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Toronto is the largest city in Canada with over 5 million inhabitants in the Greater Toronto Area. It is also the capital city of Ontario. It is a fabulous city worth visiting, with a vibrant musical and cultural scene.
Some say that hitching out of Toronto is difficult. But as not so many points seem to have been tried yet, maybe you can give it a try and discover some new ones.
Easiest way: Bloor-Danforth subway all the way East to Kennedy, transfer to Scarborough RT, go all the way to McCowan, exit, walk North to Corporate Drive 401 ramp. In fact, on Google street view you can see a hitch hiker there getting picked up :) Hitchhiker François Gobert went there end of January 2016 and spent 2 hours on the ramp before being picked... I almost froze! The best solution is to take the train untill Oshawa and start from there! Scarborough is a pain to get out from! People didn't give a shit at all!
To go East, you need to reach Highway 401, North of the city centre. You can reach it via Don Valley Parkway (404), slightly East of the centre. There are several on-ramps to it such as Dundas St and Queen St, a walkable distance from the centre. Please note that you cross a deprived area on your way there (around Moss park), but it's generally safe. Alternatively (and significantly faster and safer), you could take the GO train from Union Station to Oshawa GO and then transfer to the 90 - Newcastle Bus. Go to the very end of the bus route and walk 15 minutes east to the outskirts of the city. There are plenty of houses that have driveways that cars can pull over in and pick you up.
Others advise to avoid hitching within city limits, as it is an approach sometimes used by prostitutes to acquire customers. If you prefer, you may take transit to one of the smaller centres outside of the city. GO transit (www.gotransit.ca) has regular trains leaving Union station downtown Toronto for Oshawa (60km). Get off at the Oshawa train station, there are on-ramps onto the 401 nearby (20 mins unpleasant walk). Oshawa also has it's own public transit system that can get you further east. Have a sign for points east, as there is a lot of local traffic in the Oshawa area. Alternatively, from Oshawa, you can get aboard a GO bus for Peterborough (80km), or a ride VIA rail into Cobourg (117km). Both of these cities are well out of the GTA and are easier to walk to good hitching points. Onramps onto the 401 in Cobourg are good spots, and if you find yourself in Peterborough, the junction of HWY 115 and Lansdowne st, where HWY 7 begins, is a good place to begin travels towards Ottawa. Highway 7 between Peterborough and Ottawa is notorious for being a bit tough to hitch on, though I personally have never had difficulties on it.
Also, there is a large service station off the 401 near Bowmanville, which may be a good spot to get a lift east. -Jackfang The Bowmanville gas station people kicked me out saying that I am not allowed to hitchhike. I was just asking rides without a cardboard. I got a ride at the entrance of the highway 100 meters from the gas station.
NOTE: Kingston is well known for being a jailing centre, there are more than 10 prisons in the area. It is a very, very difficult place to get picked up from. If Kingston is not your destination, consider taking a ride that gets you well beyond it. Though, if you're curious, Kingston is one of Ontario's most charming cities, despite all the jails! <= Although this may be true, I still think if you stay close to the highway gas stations, many of the drivers that are simply driving across Ontario know absolutely nothing about Kingston. I get rides easily with Quebec drivers out of Kingston (almost always Quebec drivers) -Jackfang
- I took the TTC and STC as far as it went and hitched on a not so big cross-road where cars were joining into the 401 going east. It was easy! After three small rides of hitching on random on-ramps I ended up on a beautiful big ONroute gas-station just before Port Hope. There I easily got a truck ride to Montreal. Often I don't use signs, but - USE SIGNS hitching out of Toronto. There are a lot of beggars with cardboard signs, so it's good if your sign says were you're going. The drivers told me they stopped because of that. I just used a sign saying 'east', which worked better than the one saying 'Montreal'. Anyhow, it is possible to hitch out of Toronto. Happy hitching! (January 2014.) Uyku.tulumu ''
- " Edward101277 hitchhiked from Toronto to Montreal twice with great success. Both times I took the Go Train to Oshawa and walked 15 minutes to the on ramp heading east. The first ride took 10-15 mins both times, and took me to the Port hope On-Route. Once there, just have a sign saying '401 East' and go OnRoute hopping. Google Onroute to search where the Onroutes are located. I got to Montreal in 7 hours both times, including the train ride. More or less the same time as the bus, but with interesting people and free :) ""
My experience from yesterday,this route is quite challenging but not impossible.Take a subway to Kipling Station,transfer to a bus 123,go all the way until the end.Just across the street from the last bus stop you will see Tim Hortons.One block away you will notice big traffic flowing to Mississauga ,that s the exit ramp you wanna put your thumb.It didnt work for me,the area is still within city limits,people are grumpy ,tired after long day of work,big chance they wont even bother paying attention on you.however if you walk along this highway all the way to Mississauga center,take a first ramp called Cawtrha.this spot will take you down south to Hamilton and Buffalo.It worked for me.
The last bus stop on the 123 is called Longbranch, it's on Lakeshore; if you keep on the side of the road you're on and walk forward, there's a pretty good place to hitch within your line of sight. If you stay on Lakeshore it'll take you through Oakville and Burlington into Hamilton. In Hamilton, if you're heading towards Niagara or Buffalo, your best bet is to get onto Centennial Pkwy where it turns onto the QEW. I got a ride from there into Lincoln (about halfway from Hamilton to Niagara Falls, right beside St. Catherine's) and went from a gas station there to the Falls. A lot of people will tell you not to take drivers advice, but if you're unfamiliar with the area (as I was) locals are usually happy to tell you what secondary roads feed into the major arteries, and from there you can just use your intuition to find a good spot.
West toward Kitchener (Ontario), London (Ontario), Windsor (Ontario), Sarnia and Detroit
Get to the airport by going to Kipling station and taking the express shuttle to the airport, and then go to the 401 to hitch from there. Another option is to go all the way to Milton and hitching from there.
From Kitchener, one can take the 201 bus followed by the 51 bus and a 15 minute walk to get to the onroute at Cambridge. Once there, you can start hitching in either direction along the 401. Edward101277 found a ride to Detroit in 2 minutes.....
North toward Barrie
Blackriding (preferably during rush hour, also train might run only once a day during weekends) the GoTrain to Barrie, hitchhike further north. (10$ if you want to pay for the ticket)
This method gets you just north of Major Mackenzie drive which is far enough outside of Toronto that you will be able to get a lift. In the Summer, you can take the subway to Yorkdale station (I believe York Mills Station works too), Proceed to the GO Bus Terminal and buy a direct ticket to Wonderland (should be $4-5). When you arrive at the park it is about a 200 meter walk back to Highway 400. There is an overpass on/off ramp right there, where you can wait for a ride. When you get off at the Park if you go in the opposite direction from the highway about 300 m there is a large plaza with lots of gas stations and fast food joints for food, including a Tim Hortons for your coffee fix. Also check the "Canada's Wonderland" website for updated info on this bus, under the heading "Planning a visit" then "Directions". If arriving into the metro from the Southwestern cities (Windsor, London, etc) in Mississauga, try to get dropped off at the Square One shopping mall. At the nearby GO Station, you can buy a ticket to the Go Park & Ride at Wonderland for $13.
Helpful Tip: Try to convince the bus driver to let you off just after you get off highway 400 if you want to avoid the walk from the park back to the highway.
Alternate Route to the Park: To my opinion, the best way to get there - operating year round, cheap, frequent: take the ttc bus 165D from Wilson subway to its last stop, Hwy 400 Car Pool Lot. Buses run Mon-Sat from 5.43am - 24 to 30 mins interval, last bus at 9.51pm. If You will not get a ride north, the last bus 165D back to Toronto runs at 10.54pm. Sunday: they run from 8.50am till 8.10pm - every 32-40 minutes. You can use a free transfer from the subway, and You are supposed to pay extra $0.35 since You travel past the city border. This last stop is only a FEW METERS from the ramp! THe ramp is in a good place because it is out of the city, yet there is enough traffic on it. This seems to be the best spot to hitch north/transcanada from Toronto.
Another effective way of hitching out of Toronto Heading north along the 400: Take the TTC to Finch and Jane and walk West along Finch until you reach the ramp to the 400. You can stand on the sidewalk at the edge of the on ramp to the 400 North and avoid any legal woes this way. There is enough of a curb that people can safely pull over and enough traffic to make this feasible. I have hitched from here 5 times and have never wated longer than an hour. Good luck! (If you can get to the bass pro shop...this is a good place to start also, though it is difficult to get to off the getgo). trash:Toronto