As Canada's biggest city and arguably the cultural capital of the nation, Toronto has more than enough to keep visitors occupied no matter how long you visit. With exceptional food, lively culture, a variety of fascinating neighborhoods, and some great lakeside scenery even in the city itself, you won't be in any hurry to leave this enchanting city.
But Canada is a huge and sprawling nation, and there's so much to see that it would be a shame not to take advantage. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in the city, and you'll be ready to take advantage of some of the best day trips from Toronto to see more of Canada, and even beyond.
Once you've seen the best museums in Toronto and sampled all the delicious things there are to eat, try some of these day trip ideas to show you what the region outside the city has to offer. Heading out of downtown Toronto will show you that there's so much more to this part of Canada than the city that's sometimes known as The Center of the Universe.
How to get out of Toronto
When you're traveling around downtown Toronto, public transportation is the way to go. Traffic in the city is never a pleasant thing to have to deal with, and the cost and stress of parking can quickly turn any trip into a nightmare. For more information on getting around the city, check out our guide on how to get around Toronto.
However, things change when you start looking into day trips from Toronto. Even as Canada's biggest city, Toronto's regional infrastructure isn't what it could be. While it's possible to reach some of the destinations on this list by train from Toronto's Union Station or by bus from the city, for others, renting a car is probably a better idea. Once you get out of the city itself, driving in Ontario is pretty easy, and it's the best way to go where you want on your own schedule.
From Toronto to Lake Ontario
For this first day trip, you don't need to go far at all from downtown Toronto. In fact, Toronto is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, and you can start exploring the lake right from the city. If you want to stay in the city, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the lakefront. The Harbourfront Centre is a great place to start, with its restaurants, markets, art galleries, and more.
You can also take a ferry over to the Toronto Islands for some peace and quiet away from the city. The islands are home to a number of beaches as well as parks, nature trails, and even a small amusement park. It's the perfect place to spend a summer day if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto.
If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can rent a car and head west along the lake towards Hamilton. This city is known as Canada's Waterfall Capital, and it's easy to see why when you visit places like Albion Falls and Webster's Falls. There are also a number of hiking trails in the area that offer some great views of the city and the surrounding countryside. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for nature lovers, so don't forget to add it to your list.
How to get to Lake Ontario
From downtown Toronto, the lake is basically impossible to miss. Head to the Harbourfront Centre, and you can take a boat out onto the water and explore the lake in the most memorable way possible.
From Toronto to Blue Mountain Resort
For something very different, consider heading north of Toronto to Blue Mountain Resort. This is one of the most popular ski destinations in the country, but it's also a great place to visit in the summer. There are a number of hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as a scenic gondola ride that takes you to the top of the mountain.
At the top of the mountain, you'll find a number of restaurants with some stunning views, as well as an adventure park with zip lines and other activities. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for families or for anyone who wants to enjoy some beautiful scenery and some fun activities. Attractions like the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster and the Plunge Aquatic Center make this one of the best things to do with families in Toronto and an excellent day trip if you have the time.
How to get to Blue Mountain Resort
You can reach Blue Mountain Village by means of a shuttle bus that leaves from Toronto every day during the winter season. You can also take a number of city buses that will bring you there but expect to spend a while traveling. The quickest and easiest way to reach Blue Mountain is by car since it's only a two-hour drive from Toronto itself.
From Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake
For a taste of life in small-town Canada, head to the other side of Lake Ontario and explore the charming town of Niagara-on-the-lake. This is the starting point for many wine tours in the Niagara region, but there's also a lot to do in the town itself. Stroll down Queen Street for some shopping and lunch, then explore Fort George, an 18th-century fort that's now a national historic site.
In the afternoon, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the old town or head out to one of the nearby wineries for a tour and tasting. There are more than 100 wineries in the Niagara region, so you're sure to find one that you enjoy. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for wine lovers, and it's also a great place to relax and enjoy some of the finer things in life. Don't forget to try some of the famous ice wines produced in this region.
How to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake
You can reach Niagara-on-the-Lake from Toronto by using public transport. Take bus number 40 to the Dundas Street Park & Ride, then hop on bus number 12 to Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you get your timing right, the journey will take a little over two hours without traffic. Alternatively, you can drive there in just over an hour.
From Toronto to Oshawa
If you're looking for something a little closer to Toronto, consider heading to Oshawa. This city is home to the Canadian Automotive Museum, which is a must-see for anyone interested in cars. You can also learn about the city's history at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens and the Parkwood Estate.
For something more active, head to the Pine Ridge Golf and Country Club or rent a kayak and explore the Oshawa Harbour. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for history buffs and car lovers, so don't miss out on adding it to your list.
How to get to Oshawa
You can reach Oshawa by train in just over 30 minutes from Toronto. Alternatively, it will take around an hour by car.
From Toronto to Niagara Falls
Of course, no list of the best day trips from Toronto would be complete without mentioning Niagara Falls. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it's easy to see why. The falls are absolutely breathtaking, and there's a lot to do in the area.
You can take a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat, which takes you right up to the base of the falls. You can also explore Niagara Falls State Park, go hiking or mountain biking along the Niagara Gorge Trail, or take a scenic helicopter tour. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for anyone who wants to experience one of Canada's natural wonders. Great for nature lovers, it's also an excellent family activity thanks to the many amusement parks and arcades in this admittedly tourist town. The falls are also located right on the US-Canada border, so you can easily pop over into the United States to add another country to your list. However, if you plan on doing that, remember that you'll have to deal with border control, so don't forget your passport.
How to get to Niagara Falls
There are tons of local tour operators that will be happy to take you on a day trip to Niagara Falls, and some may even pick you up right from your hotel. If you prefer to make the journey yourself, expect to spend an hour and a half in the car, not including traffic.
From Toronto to Elora Gorge
Elora Gorge is one of the best day trips from Toronto for anyone who loves the outdoors. This area is known for its dramatic cliffs, which tower over the Elora River. You can go hiking or rock climbing in the gorge or enjoy a more relaxing activity like tubing down the Grand River.
There are also a number of excellent restaurants and cafes in Elora, so you can refuel after a day of exploring. If you're looking for an adventurous day trip from Toronto, this is definitely the place to go.
How to get to Elora Gorge
Elora Gorge is located about an hour and a half from Toronto. You can drive there or take the Go Bus, which will drop you off right in the town centre.
From Toronto to Cottage Country
When residents of the big city of Toronto need to get away, there's one summer destination that beats all others. That's right, we're talking about cottage country. This is a popular spot for Toronto residents, as it's just a few hours away and offers a complete change of pace from city life.
There are countless lakes and rivers to explore in cottage country, and you can find a rental cottage or cabin to suit any budget. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some time in nature. Just be sure to book your accommodation in advance, as this is a popular spot during the summer months.
How to get to Cottage Country
This is a big region with lots to explore, so you'll want your own vehicle. Cottage country starts around a two-hour drive north of Toronto itself.
From Toronto to Canada's Wonderland
If you're visiting Toronto with kids, this is another destination that may prove difficult to avoid. Canada's Wonderland is one of the country's largest and most popular amusement parks, and it's located just outside of Toronto.
The park has more than 200 rides, including roller coasters, water slides, and a variety of carnival rides. There are also a number of live shows, an expansive midway, and plenty of places to eat. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for families, but it's also great for anyone who loves amusement parks. Just be sure to bring your wallet, as this place can be pretty pricey.
How to get to Canada's Wonderland
Without traffic, this theme park can be reached in around half an hour from central Toronto. You can also get there by bus, but the journey will take over an hour.
From Toronto to Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park is one of the best day trips from Toronto for anyone who loves the outdoors. This vast park is located just a few hours outside of the city, and it's a popular spot for hiking, camping, and canoeing.
There are more than 1,500 lakes in the park, so you can easily spend a week exploring without getting bored. If you're looking for an adventurous day trip from Toronto, this is definitely the place to go. Just be sure to pack your mosquito repellent, as these pesky insects can be a real nuisance in the summer months.
How to get to Algonquin Provincial Park
Canada's oldest provincial park is a three-hour drive from the middle of Toronto. There are no real public transportation options here, so driving is not only the best way to reach the park but the best way to explore once you're there.
From Toronto to Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County is a beautiful spot located just a few hours outside of Toronto. This area is known for its stunning beaches, quaint villages, and award-winning wineries.
There are a number of excellent restaurants in Prince Edward County, so you can refuel after a day of exploring. This is one of the best day trips from Toronto for anyone who loves the outdoors, as there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore. Just be sure to pack your sunscreen, as this area can get pretty hot in the summer months.
While you're in Prince Edward County, don't miss the chance to explore Sandbank Provincial Park, which is home to a number of rare and endangered plants and animals.
How to get to Prince Edward County
The county is around a two-hour drive from the city, and it's a scenic drive along the lake shore that is itself part of the appeal of this particular day trip.
The best day trips from Toronto offer just about everything you need for a memorable holiday. Whether you want to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors, visit fast-paced amusement parks, soak up some history, or just relax in a beautiful cottage, a day trip from Toronto is ideal for you. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage, and you'll be ready to explore everything this part of Canada has to offer.