Travel Central Ontario North

The international gateway into Ontario and the Central Ontario North Region is Toronto's Pearson International Airport which is serviced by a wide array of carriers.

Unlike many modern cities, the airport is within the major metropolitan area and easily accessible (subject to some awesome traffic delays at rush hour of course). Pearson International is Canada's main hub and easy connections are available for almost anywhere in the world (yes, you can get there from here).

From Toronto you can get regional bus service into Central Ontario North or you can even take the commuter GO service (a combination of train and bus which will take you all the way to Barrie) but the easiest way to get there is by car. The major highway through the region is the 400 which heads north from the 401 in the north western sector of the city a short distance from the airport. The 400 whisks you north to the Blue Mountains, Georgian Bay, the Muskokas and Algonquin Provincial Park.If your heading towards Owen Sound and the Bruce Peninsula a quicker route is available via the 10 from the 401. If your driving, the closest access from the U.S. is through the Buffalo-Niagara corridor in the southwest or further west the Windsor-Detroit area. From the east your best bet is to take the bridge just to the east of Kingston from upper New York State. From the eastern provinces the 401 will take you directly into the heart of Toronto.

If you're down coming from the northwest take Highway 69 south from Sudbury which turns into the 400 south of Parry Sound. From the North Bay region take the 11 south into Muskoka. The 11 merges with the 400 just north of Barry.


International - Toronto

Taxies to Pearson International airport from Toronto proper cost north of $35C. With the airport in the city it makes sense to pick up an airport shuttle at one of the downtown hotels. There is also an express bus which is significantly less expensive. Inquire at 800-387-6787. Limousines are often a good option but be sure to make reservations in advance. Rush hour has a very definite impact on the time it will take to reach the airport. The closer you get to those magic numbers, "9" and "5" the longer it will take to get to the airport, allow progressively longer time to compensate. Finally, for those easy going travelers who like to travel light, you can always take the public transit system to and from the airport.


Airlines - Regional National and International

The main Canadian carrier into Toronto is Air Canada. There are a large number of international carriers which also service the region.

National & International


Approximate Flying Times (Direct) to Toronto

Atlanta 2hrs
Boston 1.5 hrs
Chicago 1.5hrs
Halifax 2.5hrs
Los Angeles 5hrs
Montreal - 1hr
New York 2hrs
San Francisco 4.5hrs
Vancouver - 4.5hrs


Car Rental


Driving in Ontario

A valid drivers license from you country of residence is valid for up to three months in Ontario.Seat belts must be worn, by law, for adults and children over 40lb (18kg). The speed limits are as posted, with freeways generally allowing speeds up to 100km/h (62.5 mph), other highways 70 to 90 and side roads generally allowing 50km/h.You are permitted to turn right on red lights, once you've come to a full stop and ascertained the way is clear, unless otherwise indicated. Ontario has radar, so keep a light right foot. Ontario is particularly stringent about drinking and driving - don't! Snow can fly early in the year, particularly in the north, so check road conditions and closures before setting out.


Driving Distances/Mileage

Ontario Distance Calculator

  • Barrie - Wasaga Beach - 30km
  • Buffalo - Blue Mountain Resort - 273km
  • North Bay - Blue Mountain Resort - 314km
  • Sudbury - Gravenhurst - 240km
  • Toronto - Barrie - 90km
  • Toronto - Blue Mountain Resort - 168km
  • Toronto - Hanover - 135km
  • Toronto - Wasaga Beach - 120km


Road Signage

Ontario Road Signs


Road Conditions


Road Maps


Traffic Cams & Reports

  • Simcoe - covers the northern section of Highway 400
  • York - Covers southern section of Highway 400

Greater Toronto Region


Transit Systems

Both Owen Sound and Barrie have regular transit service. From Toronto you can reach Barrie by taking the GO Train commuter rail service to Brandford then the GO Bus to for the last leg.

  • Barrie Transit
  • GO Train - North South to Toronto - Go System Map (160k)
  • Owen Sound Transit

    Toronto's public transit system is excellent. Buses, streetcars, subways and the Go Trains can get you almost anywhere, not only in the city but also into the surrounding regions. The lower reaches of Central Ontario North is accessible via the GO Train.

    Toronto Transit Maps and Guides




For maps of the Toronto subway system, the bus system and the GO Train network see the individual headings.



While bridges are the common method to traverse waterways in Canada, ferries play a greater or lesser role depending on the province or territory of travel. Ferries are found throughout Ontario to facilitate river or lake crossings and shorten routes that would other wise involve large detours. They are also in service in the great lakes to reach off shore islands and to connect the Bruce Peninsula to the northern reaches of Lake Huron at Manitoulin Island. In the lower Georgian Bay area there is also a toll ferry (passenger service only) from Cedar Point (northwest of Penetanguishene) to Christian Island.


Hydrographic Charts

If you planning to sail or cruise to the region by boat hydrographic or nautical charts are essential. The maps can be obtained from the Canadian Hydrographic Service in Ottawa.

Canadian Hydrographic Service


Marine Forecasts

Marine Weather For casts



Ontario as with all Canadian provinces has an excellent medicare systems for all of its citizens. Visitors from the other provinces and territories are cover when traveling in Ontario. For those of you who are visiting from outside the country make a point of securing travel health insurance before you set out.



Via Rail provides passenger service for major centers in the east including those in Ontario and Quebec. Arrivals and departures are from from the main terminus in Ontario, at Union Station in Toronto's downtown core. The Go Train is an excellent medium to short distance commuter system servicing Toronto and the vicinity.

Rail service within Canada is declining dramatically and many destinations will require the use of both buses and the train to reach. Inquire about your planned route before you set out to determine the mode(s) of transportation required.

  • Via Rail - National Passenger Service
  • GO Train - Toronto and vicinity commuter train service


  • Algoma Central Rail - (705) 946-7300
  • Ontario Northland - Rail



Ontario's main terminal is located in Toronto's downtown core a short distance from Union Station. Several lines provide connectivity to other Canadian towns and cities and into the U.S. You'll find most of the areas in the North Central region can be reach easily by bus.





Limousine Service



Campers and Motor-Homes





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