Traveling with Via Rail Canada – Toronto to Montreal

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Montreal is a road trip that we take frequently. But this time, we decided to take the train from Toronto to Montreal.

We were looking forward to going from downtown to downtown in comfort without the hassle of traffic.

Via Rail from Toronto to Montreal Train

Two of Canada’s greatest cities are just a quick 5-hour drive along highway 401 (short by Canadian standards) but they couldn’t be more different.

Toronto is the English speaking financial hub of the country with skyscrapers dominating the skyline while Montreal is the country’s cultural center balancing its historic French heritage with modern-day living.

Most people that live in Ontario prefer to take a road trip to Montreal, but other options of traveling to Montreal from Toronto are plane and bus.

Flights leave frequently from Billy Bishop and Pearson Airports and the Greyhound and Megabus leave from Bay Street, the centre of the financial district.

Taking the train

Free WiFi on the Via Rail train

Taking the train is my favourite option as it takes us to and from the heart of one city to another.

Plus when taking the train, we don’t have to worry about the cost of parking downtown and we don’t have to fight the heavy traffic leaving the city every day.

It can actually end up being more cost effecient to take the train to Montreal rather than driving.

For tourists it saves on costs of car rentals or the hassle of standing in long lines at airports.

Via Rail is Canada’s national passenger railway and now in 2020, I expect more Canadians will choose the train over plane when it comes to their favourite choice of transportation.

What to Expect

comfortable Canadian railway
Traveling in comfort to Montreal

The train from Toronto takes about five hours which is the same amount as driving.

  • Complimentary wifi service is also provided.
  • They provide power outlets for your electronics.
  • And sturdy trays to either work on your laptop or to put your food and drinks on.
  • The reclining seats are spacious and comfortable.
  • There is an abundance of legroom, the seats and windows are spotless and the temperature onboard is perfect.

Our little Canadian Railway, Via Rail has become fast, modern, and efficient.

Meals aren’t included in the price of the ticket on the train, but you can bring your own food.

There is also a vendor comes around regularly selling snacks, coffee, and soft drinks.

The toilets on the train are clean.

It is wonderful to go into a bathroom where people actually care about the person going in next.

There are signs asking everyone to clean up after themselves and low and behold, they do!

Looking for a place to stay in Montreal? Make sure to check our guide of Where to Stay and What to do in Montreal!

From Toronto Union Station

toronto to montreal train | union station

Trains depart in Toronto at Union Station.

Union Station is a Grand Old Station dating back to the 1920’s.

The main entrance is a great hall with vaulted ceilings and marble floors.

There is plenty of shopping, dining and places to pick up snacks for the ride.

In 1975 Union Station was designated a national historic site due to its beautiful Beaux-Arts style architecture. It is considered one of the greatest train stations built during the 20th century.

Security Boarding the Trains

toronto transit deb

One thing we were surprised about was that there are no security checks.

We also didn’t have to check our bags.

When taking the train, you only need to check in 30 minutes before departure if you have your ticket in hand.

Cost of Train to Montreal from Toronto

The cost of train travel has come down a lot in recent years.

Escape Tickets from Toronto to Montreal start as low as $46 one way.

The other classes of train travel on Via Rail are:

  • Economy
  • Economy Plus
  • Business Class
  • Business Plus

The Escape class offers no refund or transfer. Economy Plus offers free exchange or refunds

If it were the same price as the Spring sale all year round, I am sure that more Canadians would look to train travel as an option to travel through this vast and fabulous country.

Via often offers deals.

We booked our ticket during their Spring Seat sale for 50% off.

You can keep an eye out for deals here.

There are also deals each Tuesday when booking for the following week at Discount Tuesday here.

Montreal Train Station

Montreal Train station is located downtown and is easily accessible to Old Montreal and St. Catherines Street.

Like Union Station it is the central Metro hub of the city and it is easy to connect to anywhere you want to go.

I know that we will make our summer travel plans and Via Rail will be a big part of it if they have their spring sale again.

Read Next:

The Best Canada Adventures: 36 Amazing Trips from Coast to Coast
19 Photos That Will Make You Want to Discover Banff, Canada Right Now
A Winter Trek in Northern Canada

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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