The Road to Toronto
The Road to Toronto for me began years ago when I was planning this trip and for one reason or another just never did it – until now. Elsy and I had been planning a trip to Toronto as part of our trip to Niagara Falls. We were actually going to spend two night in Niagara Falls, then spend a night in Toronto and head home. We decided to cut costs and cancelled the overnight stay in Toronto, which we turned into a day trip. It was kind of risky. It was already 1:00 when we left. Would we hit traffic and be stuck for hours? The hotel concierge was ambivalent about counseling us to do it. Well, we did and it turned out to be one of our best decisions ever and a big highlight of our trip….
The Road to Toronto from Niagara Falls is 120 km or 75 miles versus the straight line distance of 30 miles. Getting there is remarkably easy. Starting at the Marriott Gateway, we went on Stanley Street and took a left to get on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way), which is Route 405….
Because I was driving, Elsy was the on-the-road photographer.
From here, it’s a pleasant 90-minute drive that takes you first through St. Catharine’s, Lincoln, Grimsby, and Hamilton along the south shore of Lake Ontario. You pass through Ontario’s wine country and locally produced wines are offered in the Duty Free shop on the way back home….
At Burlington, you turn northeast and continue on to Oakville and Mississauga, the latter being a large industrial city with lots of traffic. It’s a bottleneck on the road to Toronto. After Mississauga, you get onto the Gardiner Expressway which takes you into Toronto….
Enlarge these pictures and you can see the approach to Toronto more clearly. Canadian highways are easy to drive, as long as you use your common sense and follow the law. Canada is on the Metric System; UK English and French are spoken here.
GO Rail is a division of Metrolinx and is a major commuter line serving Toronto and surrounding areas. Elsy got some shots of a GO Rail commuter train and a GO bus. You can travel between Toronto and Niagara Falls, ON using the GO Transit system, but for mass transit between these two destinations, VIA Rail is a better option. The run is three hours one way on the GO Transit system and involves both a bus and a train.
After the Lake Shore Exit, traffic on the Gardiner tends to be bottlenecked at all times of the day. It was just a feeling I had…I got what I was going to get out of the highways; it was time to get out – NOW!
I followed my instincts and traveled along beautiful Lake Shore Blvd. West….
Which took me straight into Downtown Toronto. I was struck by the turquoise windows and balconies on most of the buildings. Toronto is a very modern, hip city.
The city has a nice street car system along with buses and subways.
Our destination was the CN Tower. Being that it’s only the largest man-made structure in the entire Western Hemisphere, all I had to do was keep it in sight. I could not use Google Maps, because I was not using data while in Canada. My wits were good enough to get me there and back. We would pass under the Gardiner which was a parking lot above….
This huge steam shovel on a flatbed was off to our right…..
A left turn onto Lower Simcoe St. and another left into the Convention Centre Parking Lot and we made it!
I took my Jeep 502 miles on a road trip deep into a foreign country. Now, we were going to ascend the CN Tower….that will be the subject of its own major post.
On the way back to Niagara Falls, this Brandenburg Gate-like structure was the last thing Elsy took a photo of.