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Find your way around: Transit in Toronto

By: Nick Lum
August 08, 2023

Find your way around: Transit in Toronto is a part of the International Student Guide —  a resource carefully curated by current international students to equip new international students with the essential knowledge and insights you need to thrive in Toronto. View the full list of articles on the International Student Guide web page. 

As a newcomer to Toronto, you might be wondering how you'll travel to and from campus and make your way around Canada's largest city! Toronto is a global hub of commerce, culture and entertainment, and we want to help you figure your way around.

We're lucky to have an extensive and efficient transit system that seamlessly connects residents and visitors to many areas and attractions around the city. This transit guide will serve as your companion, providing you with invaluable information and insider tips to navigate Toronto's transportation network with ease!

Planning your commute

Google Maps Logo
Google Maps
  • Check your ETA using different modes of transportation
  • Download a map of the city for offline wayfinding access
  • Receive up-to-date TTC service alerts
 (external link) 
  • Load your PRESTO card to use on public transport methods in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
  • Check the balance of your PRESTO card 
  • Get reminders about your balance 
Transit Logo
  • Plan your trips and route transfers around the city 
  • Keep track of station departures 
  • Receive up-to-date disruption notices 
  • Get step-by-step navigation to your destination 
Apple Maps Logo
Apple Maps
  • Access detailed indoor maps to better plan your trip
  • Get real-time traffic conditions and road closures
  • View and create guides highlighting your favourite spots in the city

Getting Around Toronto

Toronto TTC map
  • The TTC operates the subway, buses and streetcars throughout Toronto. To ride the bus, subway or streetcar you'll need a PRESTO card which can be loaded with funds, or a ticket that you can buy with cash or card.  
  • Cost with PRESTO card: $3.20 a trip* for adults above 19. PRESTO card costs $6 & is a one-time purchase.
    •  Optional: Monthly Student Pass: $128.15 (unlimited travel)

* With your PRESTO card/ticket only, you can use the TTC as much as you’d like in two hours; meaning you’d only be charged once if you are traveling within 2 hours. In comparison, if paying with TTC tickets or cash, you can ask for a free paper transfer (external link)  valid only for one-way trips.

TTC Train



The subway has very convenient operating hours
6 a.m. - 2 a.m Mon-Sat
8 a.m. - 2 a.m. Sun
Travel may be impacted by unexpected delays
Stops at major intersections Service closures can take place for track works
Fastest public transit method  to get around No cell service underground for most cell phone carriers
Pros Cons
Provides overnight service on major routes (Blue Night Network) 1:30 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. Impacted by rush hour traffic
Express buses are available that skip less-populated stops and get you to major destinations faster Smallest space, most likely to be packed
Expansive coverage, reaches and operates in smaller residential areas Less frequent/reliable arrivals compared to buses and streetcars
TTC Street Car
Pros Cons
Great way to see the city and explore Impacted by rush hour traffic        
Runs on major old Toronto streets
(most of downtown)
Slowest speed

 Driving

Pros Cons
Convenient and comfortable option Cost of car insurance and gas                                  
Easier way to explore areas outside of the downtown core Finding and paying for parking

 Taxi/Ride-Hailing Apps

Comfort and convenience Traffic during rush hours
Helpful when with belongings
(traveling to and from airport)
Often more expensive than public transit 

 Walking

Free and environmentally friendly! Dependent on weather conditions
Great way to exercise Can't get as far as vehicles 
Best way to explore downtown neighborhoods (many of which have near-perfect walk scores (external link) ) Challenging during winter months when the roads are slippery

 Biking

Bike Share Toronto (external link)  is the city's biking program with 630 stations and 7185 classic and electronic bikes. 

Cost: $1 plus $0.12/minute (classic bike) or $0.20/minute (e-bike). Daily and annual memberships are offered.

24/7 self-service at Bike Share stations across downtown Toronto Shortage of bikes at rush hour
Provides exercise and is environmentally friendly In some cases, you may need to dock your bike every 30 mins regardless to avoid overage fees
Bikes can be picked up and returned at different stations across the city Not ideal during rain or snow weather conditions

Lucky for you, there's lots of options available when it comes to getting around Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Whether you're going to class or catching a late night ride back home, rest assured you'll always find your way. 

Complete this form to receive updates and information that matter to you. We’ll send you tips and tools to start planning your future at TMU and support you along your journey.

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