Toronto has an ok public transportation system, but definitely not among the best in the world.
- The best way to get around the downtown area is walk, subway, or street cars.
- Regional travel (to the suburbs) is best done on GO Trains and GO Buses
- To get to and from the airport, the best way from downtown is to take the Union-Pearson Express (UP Express)
- I found Google Maps to be the best tool to use to determine which line/route to take by putting your origin and destination in (but don't use it for the specific schedules though)
Subway and street cars
- Cost is the same, both $3.25 per trip if you pay cash. Subway stations will let you pay by credit card
- You can also get tokens, which are small metallic coins that you pay with instead of cash. The benefit is that with tokens you can get volume discount so that each trip costs $3.00
- You can buy tokens with cash or credit card at pretty much all subway stations. Look for the machines that sell it in the subway stations, or if you can't find those you can always buy them from the manned booth. Some grocery stores (Sobey's, Metro) also sell these tokens
- When you board or go into a subway station, just drop your cash coins or token into the clearly-labelled boxes on the turnstiles, or next to the manned booth.
- You should always get transfers when you use subway or street car. Transfers are pieces of paper that let you continue your journey on the next street car/subway leg you need to take to get to your final destination. Note that for subways, you need to get your transfer at the station you enter, not at the station you get off.
- Many residents use Presto card to pay, which is a pre-loaded touch card that's been enabled on pretty much all subway stations and street cars, but if your travel to Toronto is short it might not be worth the hassle
- Here's a full list of fares: https://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/Prices/Prices.jsp
Go trains and Go buses
- Go trains and buses costs anywhere between $4 to $10 per journey, depending on the distance you travel
- They connect downtown Toronto with the surrounding suburbs
- You simply buy tickets at each of the stations and stops
- On the Go Trains, tickets are checked on a random basis. Most of the time no one will check for your ticket, but on the occasions they do check and you don't have a valid ticket, you'll be fined
- You can also use Presto card for the Go trains and buses as well. Note that you need to tap when you get on, AND tap again when you get out, because the fare is determined by distance
- I use their website to find the schedule. http://www.gotransit.com/timetables/en/schedules/schedule_finder.aspx
- You can also just show up to the station. These trains/buses run pretty frequently