How I Took A Day Trip From Toronto To Niagara Falls On The Cheap

The bus station attendant spouted off various options for traveling to Niagara Falls.

I stood there after everyone drifted away, feeling lost.

Get it together, Michaela.

For fifteen minutes, I watched other confused people discussing options.  Some gave up and left. I was determined to figure it out.

Large View of Day Trip From Toronto To Niagara Falls

That morning, I’d had the idea to take a day trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls.  Pushing myself to be more independent, I fought the urge to take a tour.  Instead, I looked for transportation with VIA Rail, Megabus, or Greyhound.

Megabus was the least expensive option.

Unfortunately, the United States Megabus site wouldn’t allow me to buy a ticket with a Canadian starting and ending point.  The Canadian Megabus site wouldn’t allow me to buy a ticket using a United States email address.

Luckily, the bus station was a fifteen-minute walk (Corner of Bay St. and Dundas St) and I purchased tickets there.  At $30 round trip, the tickets were half the cost of a tour.

Although I asked for Megabus tickets and stood in the Megabus line, many of us were directed to another bus operated by Coach Canada.

The two hour ride was uneventful and ended at a small Niagara Falls bus station.  I laughed at myself for thinking that we’d be dropped off in front of Niagara Falls.

I headed into the station for information.

It took a few overheard conversations, clarifying questions and a careful review of the local map before I understood what I needed to do.  I asked the station attendant to change my bills because local buses only take correct change and I went to wait outside.

As we boarded, the local bus driver recommended that we take the Niagara Falls Visitors Bus called “WeGo”.

Exasperated, a lady ranted about the conflicting information received from the bus station attendant.  A few patient explanations later, the crowd dispersed.  Some ignored the bus driver while others heeded her warning.

I was in the second group. 

WeGo is a pricier option, but the route is simple and follows a color system like a metro.

While the local bus to Niagara Falls costs $2.50, WeGo is $7.00 for a day pass.  The line has numerous stops at all the major attractions.

With the WeGo pass, you can hop on and off the bus at your leisure while exploring all that Niagara has to offer.

After getting a fill on Niagara Falls and its attractions, I made my way to the bus stop running between Niagara Falls and the bus/train terminals.

The bus had stopped running 25 minutes prior.

While the bus operates until very late during tourist season, off-season operating times vary.

I had to find another way back to the bus station.  I took a look at the map and decided to walk to the bus station.

The easy walk took about 45 minutes.

If you walk: Follow Niagara River until reaching Queen Street.  Once at Queen Street, the bus station is five minutes away.  Turn left on Queen Street.  Walk to Erie Avenue and turn right.  The station is on the left side of the street.

Coach Canada offers an open return ticket to Toronto that was perfect for any adjustments to my plans.  Buses leave about every hour with the last bus departing at 10:15 pm each day.

I enjoyed the day spent in Niagara Falls and was pleased that I’d taken the trip alone and without the crutch of a tour.

Depending on the which attractions you’re interested in and how much walking you want to do, you may not need the WeGo bus pass.  I would recommend it to save time since many attractions are spread out including the Butterfly Conservatory.

Since there is such a variety of things to do, it may be helpful to decide what to do in advance so that time in Niagara Falls isn’t used to make those decisions. Certain attractions are popular and limited like ziplining. Purchase those tickets in advance.

I’m free to answer any questions you have and I hope you’ll share your experiences with me.  Enjoy the Falls!

  • Nel

    Hi there,
    I’m going to Canada in the next three weeks. I’m planning to take the MegaBus from Downtown Toronto, which I believe the bus stop/terminal is around the Union Station, to the Niagara Falls, which I believe is around 25-45 minute walk to/from the Falls. Right?
    Do you think it is a good timing to leave at 7:00 and return at 20:30? Or will returning at 22:15 safer that I won’t be missing the bus? Can the ticket be bought at the station/bus stop/terminal or does it need to be bought in advance online only?
    You have recommended WeGo Pass. Can I use that to Niagara-on-the-Lake as well.
    Would you mind sharing you day itinerary?
    Thanks,
    Nel

    • Hi Nel! Niagara Falls is an amazing destination and I’m sure your trip will be loads of fun. You’re right about the walk time from the Falls to the Bus Station. A leisurely walk takes about 45 minutes. You’ve given yourself plenty of time to explore. You won’t run out of things to do in Niagara Falls so the more time (and money) you have the better. BTW, you can buy tickets in advance or at the bus station. The purchase is flexible and there are plenty of options. WeGo goes to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the other attractions at the Falls. It’s best to buy those attraction tickets in advance because they do sell out during high season. I spent 6 hours at Niagara Falls taking pictures, visiting the Butterfly Conservatory, the Upside Down House, the Floral Clock, and the Casino. I also did a lot of walking and people watching. I traveled in low season, so if you’re traveling during high season, more time is needed because lines will be longer!

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