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

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

I stood there after everyone else had drifted away.  I felt lost.

Get it together, Michaela.

I sat down against a wall and plugged my phone into the charger.  I was pushing myself to be more independent by taking this trip alone and my thoughts were a jumble.

For fifteen minutes, I watched other confused people discussing options.  Some gave up and hopped in a taxi.  My stubbornness wouldn’t let me take the easy way out.

Large View of Day Trip From Toronto To Niagara Falls

I’d awoken with the idea to take a day trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls.  I fought the urge to take a tour because I wanted to remain flexible and open to alternatives.  Instead, I looked for transportation with VIA Rail and Megabus.

Megabus was the least expensive option.  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.

No worries, the Megabus station was a fifteen minute walk from my room and I purchased tickets there.  The price was $30, over half the cost of the average 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 ending at the 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 me a few overheard conversations, clarifying questions and a careful review of the local map before I was able to get a handle of what I needed to do.  I asked the station attendant to change my bills because buses only take correct change and I went to wait on the local bus.

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

Exasperated, a lady begin a rant about the conflicting information received from the bus station attendant.  A few patient explanations later, the crowd dispersed.  Some decided to ignore the bus driver and others decided to heed her warning.

I was in the second group.  WeGo is a pricier option, but the route is simple and follows a color system like the metro.

While the local bus to Niagara Falls costs $2.50, WeGo is $7.00 for a day pass.  The line takes you to all the local attractions and has numerous stops.  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 a bus stop on the Purple Line – which runs between Niagara Falls and the bus/train terminals.

The bus had stopped running 25 minutes prior.  During the high tourist season, the buses run into the morning hours.  Unfortunately, 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 walk took about 45 minutes.

You follow Niagara River until reaching Queen Street.  Once you reach Queen Street, you’re literally about 5 minutes from the bus station.  Turn left unto Queen Street.  Walk to Erie Avenue and turn right.  You’ll see the station on the left side of the street.

Coach Canada provides an open return ticket to Toronto that was perfect to ensure that I could adjust my plans as necessary.  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 events 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 there are only so many hours in a day.

Since there is such a variety of things to do, it may be helpful for groups to decide what to do in advance so that time in Niagara Falls isn’t used to make those decisions.

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?

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