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Would you take the train or fly from Montreal to Toronto?

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Jul 23rd, 2007, 12:33 PM
  #1
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Would you take the train or fly from Montreal to Toronto?

We are trying to decide if it is worth the extra cost and hassle to fly between the two cities. What are your experiences?
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:19 PM
  #2
 
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Hi, I'd fly if the price difference wasn't great; check out the link att'd for Porter which lands on the Islands downtown.

https://www.flyporter.com/fly/Select...hv21451gerdfez
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:24 PM
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I have done both and would only recommend the train if you get a sleeper and travel on the overnight train... this saves the cost of the hotel for the night and you arrive in Toronto early AM... the downside is you need a place to freshen up and often can't check-in that early... otherwise fly and you can save time over an otherwise boring day trip...
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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The train takes 4 and half hours, could I take a sleeper for such a short trip?
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #5
LJ
 
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If you have the time to spare, there is nothing wrong with the train, but I am not aware of a sleeper car for that journey...doesn't mean it doesn't exist...
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Also, lucy, I could not open up your site, what do you mean by the islands? Thanks.
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:44 PM
  #7
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The Porter airline people fly in and out of Toronto Island airport-good rates and right downtown. (The islands are off the dowtown shoreline of TO and you take the world's shortest ferry to get to the airport.)
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 01:51 PM
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http://www.flyporter.com/

Hi, maybe this one will work better. The airline flys out of a small airport on the Toronto Islands which are really quite central to downtown as LJ has pointed out. They save the hassle of going through Pearson and the commute to downtown and their prices are generally very competitive.
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 02:28 PM
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If you are staying downtown, and are staying downtown in Montreal, then the train makes sense. By the time you get too and from airports, and the hassles, the train would be a better idea.
However, the fairly new Porter airlines leaving from the Toronto Island Airport sounds like a great idea too.
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 03:16 PM
  #10
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Costs: Train, $87. CAD 4.5 hr
Porter $158. CAD 1.25 hr
Jet West $132. CAD 1.25 hr
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:13 PM
  #11
BAK
 
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I used to commute between Toronto and Montreal.

Airport security in Canada is similar to the USA -- you need to get to the airport very early, and then wait around seemingly forever.

If you are starting and ending downtown, the train is the way to go.

How long it takes varies -- some trains are express. Regardless, it's still a lot easier than getting from downtown Montreal to the airport -- even worse at rush hour -- and to get from the Toronto Airpot to downtown.

If Porter leaves when you want... that might possibly justify the drive to the Montreal airport.

There are half a dozen trains a day, if I remember correctly.

Better food on the train, in First Class, but the economy seats are fine, and in Montreal it is very easy to get excellent food at the station to take on the train with you. (I'm serious -- it may be the only good train station food in North America, but it really is good)

If you see pictures of Toronto's skyline, the train station is about a ten minute walk east (to the right on most skyline pictures)of the CN Tower, right in front of the giant Fairmont Royal York hotel.

To me, there's no question -- and I've done this at least a hundred times.

SLEEPERS -- there's an overnight train that goes slowly, eatingup the excess hours so you get to the destination at a reasonable hour.

BAK
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Jul 23rd, 2007, 07:18 PM
  #12
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Thanks to all for your input, I have made reservations on the train.
Please, one more question to BAK and other knowledgeable contributors on this thread.

I have made a hotel reservation at Toronto's Victoria hotel. I believe we would enjoy that downtown location. For $20 more a night we can stay at the Holiday Inn Midtown. Is that location near the upscale Bloor area worth the difference?
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Jul 24th, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #13
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Holiday Inn or Victoria location is a tough call.

My daugheter lived for several years a block west of the Holiday Inn (It used to be the Journey's Hotel, and is across the street from the Bata Shoe Museum) Close to subways, her school (the Royal conservatory of Music), bargain restaurants to the west, luxury (she peeked int he windows) to the east.

If you like museums, high end clothing stores, etc., it's a great place to stay at a reasonable price.

Victoria is a remodelled old hotel, and looks like a lot of smaller New Yorko or London hotels. Next door, more or less, to a giant underground mall, only a couple of blocks from the EAton Center, short walk to lots of art galleries (The Holiday Inn is a short walk to even more galleries), short walk to Harbourfront,

I live in several places concurrently, one of which is a fifteen minute walk from the Victoria, in the Entertainment district. You would then just go the opposite direction for a short walk to get to dozens more restaurants, some expensive, most "reasonable."

If you don't have much luggage, you can walk from the train station to the Victoria. Easy subway from the train station to the Holiday Inn -- northbound train up University Avenue, get off at St. George Station, and get out of the station at the west end (signs will say St. George Street)

If you are going to be in Toronto for several days, you'll end up visiting the neighborhood around the other hotel, so you'll see both areas anyway.

DECIDER -- do you think that after dinner you'd like a quiet drink in a quiet bar and a walk around a fairly quiet area, looking in store windows? Holiday Inn.

Or, after dinner, would you prefer to head off to a club with loud music, or walk down to the harbour and probably catch a free outdoor concert, and then come back and have your nightcap in a fairly restrained Irish pub across from the hotel, or one of the nicest bars in town, at the Meridien King Edward, just around the corner; then it's the Victoria.

I used to live in Alberta. If I still did and was coming to Toronto for a couple of days, I
'd pick the Victoria in the summer because it is close to the harbor and reasonable sidwalk cafes, and the HI in the winter, because of the places to visit (galleries and book stores rather than clothing shos) that are indoors.

BAK
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Jul 24th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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For $20 more, I'd choose the Holiday Inn over the Victoria.
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Jul 24th, 2007, 07:13 AM
  #15
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I work and live next door to that Holiday Inn. The locale can't be beat. It is a HI, so a little charmless,if that is the right word, but then, you knew that.
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Jul 24th, 2007, 09:14 AM
  #16
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Thanks to BAK, Sally and LJ for your prompt responses. Both hotels seem to have their advantages. We will be staying for 5 nights which is quite a long time so the interior has to be somewhat comfortable. The ease of getting to the train station is important because we are taking a train from Montreal and renting a car for the day at the station for a trip to Niagara. The Victoria has remodeled, standard, queen rooms but they all face walls. The HI, well, LJ you said it all. Both have free WIFI. Which looks like an all-over nicer property?
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Jul 24th, 2007, 10:03 AM
  #17
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I would go for the Holiday Inn over the Victoria. It's in a great area of downtown Toronto with the University of Toronto to the south and the Annex to the north.

Don't worry about getting to the train. As BAK noted, the hotel is just around the corner from the St. George subway station, which is a short ride (less than 10 min) from Union Station.
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Jul 24th, 2007, 12:44 PM
  #18
 
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Having just done the Montreal to Toronto train trip last week, I caught the 9.40am. train and got into Torontoa at 3.30pm - total time 5 hours 50 minutes. I don't know of any train that does it in 4.5 hours. If you take the time from your Montreal hotel to your Toronto hotel, I'll bet the train is faster and certainly cheaper.
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Jul 24th, 2007, 03:25 PM
  #19
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5 nights -- pick the Holiday Inn.

BAK
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Jul 24th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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You were on one of the slower multiple-stop trains from Montreal--> T.O., almcd. The fastest train that leaves out of both Toronto and Montreal at 17:00 daily is scheduled to take 4 hours and 10 minutes, and it's been pretty close to on-time in my experience.
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