Canada Transport

Get in


Most visitors likely to arrive to Canada in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver (the 5 largest cities, from East to West). Many other cities have international airports as well, with the following being of particular use to visitors: Halifax, St. John's, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Victoria. Air Canada and WestJet are the country's only national air carriers, covering the entire country and international destinations.

Flights some US cities, often as a stopover or transfer to Canada. There are no nonstop flights from Australia or New Zealand to Canada. The best route is from Sydney to Los Angeles. The main Canadian gateway for flights originating in Asia is Vancouver.


The train is an inexpensive way to get into Canada. Via Rail is Canada's national passenger rail service. Amtrak provides connecting rail service to Toronto from New York via Niagara Falls, Montreal from New York and Vancouver from Seattle via Bellingham.

If you're traveling cross-border on Amtrak service, you must have your tickets validated prior to boarding. Some stations have a dedicated window for international passengers.


Greyhound Canada serves many destinations in Canada, with connecting service to regional lines and U. S. Greyhound coaches. Be sure to inquire about discounts and travel packages that allow for frequent stops as you travel across Canada.


Several cruise lines run cruises between the eastern United States and Halifax. Most freight routes run to Montreal on the east coast and Vancouver on the west coast. In British Columbia, you can enter Canada by ferry from Alaska and Washington.

In addition, a small car ferry operates between Wolfe Island, Ontario (near Kingston) and Cape Vincent, New York. A small car ferry operates between Pelee Island Ontario, Kingsville Ontario and Sandusky Ohio when ice and weather allows.


Most citizens simply drive to where they want to go if the distance is short, or fly if the distance is long. The United States is the only one country to Canada by land. If you intend to enter Canada using a U. S. car, take note that after crossing the border going north, the road signs change into metric units. If you plan on renting a car from the U. S. , be sure to rent one with a speedometer that has both metric and U. S. units. If you are a U. S. Citizen or permanent resident and travel to Canada frequently, you may consider applying for a NEXUS card.

Canada has some of the highest auto insurance minimums in the world $200, 000 in all provinces except Quebec and Nova Scotia. Since most US states have insurance minimums under $50, 000 and some states do not require insurance at all, the non-resident certificate signifies that your insurance company will cover you up to the mandatory limits while driving in Canada. If you are planning on driving into Canada, its very important to talk to your insurance company as soon as you know you'll be going.


Canadians drive on the right of the road.

In the province of Quebec, roadsigns are written solely in French.

In British Columbia there are many roads, mainly in mountain passes, which require vehicles to be equipped with winter tires or carry chains from October 1 - April 30.

In Quebec, winter tire use is mandatory for all taxis and passenger vehicles from December 15 to March 15.

In Ontario, exceeding the speed limit by more than 50km/h (90mph) is considered "racing" or "stunt driving".

Get around


The best way to get around the country is by air. Air Canada is the main national carrier, and has by far the largest network and most frequent schedules. WestJet offers a very similar service, too. Most major airports are served by public transit. This consists of feeder buses running at peak frequencies ranging from five to fifteen minutes or less.


VIA Rail is the main Canadian passenger rail company. Passenger rail service in Canada, although very safe and comfortable, is often an expensive and inconvenient alternative to other types of transport. You'd better make arrangements ahead of time to get lower fares.

If natural beauty is your thing, the approximately three-day train ride between Toronto and Vancouver passes through the splendour of the Canadian prairies and the Rocky Mountains, with domed observation cars to allow passengers to take in the magnificent views.


Travel by intercity coach is available between most major cities in Canada. Service is best in the densely packed Windsor - Quebec City corridor which includes the major cities of Toronto and Montreal as well as the national capital, Ottawa. Routes in the prairies can be extremely long, some of them taking several days. Passengers should be sure they will be able to bear sitting in a seat for 48 or more hours with only rare stops for food and toilet breaks. The only exception to this is the Toronto - Niagara Falls route, which is run by many American coach companies, who continue on to Buffalo and ultimately New York City.

Intercity buses in Canada are generally very safe, however travelers should be aware of their belongings at all times and make sure that their valuables are on their person if they intend to sleep.


Many people choose to travel by car. Unlike the US, gas is sold by the litre in Canada, and the price typically escalates in March, just in time for summer driving season. You can usually obtain maps of the public transit systems at airports, subway kiosks, and train stations.

When driving within Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto keep in mind that these cities are densely populated and parking can be difficult to find and/or expensive. In this cities, public transit is a strongly recommended alternative to driving.