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Why rent a car in Toronto?
It's great having your own ride in Toronto. With a rental car, you can see all the distinct parts and neighborhoods of this sprawling metropolis, and to visit important landmarks outside the city.
Top ways to enter Toronto
- Toronto Pearson Airport: The busiest airport in Canada, Toronto Pearson has flights to and from all parts of the world.
- Toronto Billy Bishop Airport: Although much smaller than Toronto's primary airport, Billy Bishop is located very near the city center.
- Ottawa Airport: Primarily serving Canada's capital city, Ottawa Airport is about 348 km (216 mi) away.
- By rail: If you're arriving in Toronto by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Toronto Union Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- Although not the capital, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. The population in the city proper is 2.7 million, but more than 5 million people live in Toronto’s larger metropolitan area.
- Toronto has one of the most diverse populations in the world, with 47.5% of its inhabitants born outside Canada.
- Toronto has a humid continental climate. The average temperature in July is 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) and the average temperature in January is -6.7 °C (-19.9 °F).
Top destinations and activities
- Art Gallery of Ontario. The largest gallery in Canada mostly focuses on works by well-known and contemporary Canadian artists, but it also houses paintings by classical European masters like Ruben.
- Black Creek Pioneer Village. Thoughtfully recreated, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a place where you can see what life was like in the 19th-century Ontario and to observe the architecture of that age.
- CN Tower. The tallest in North America, CN Tower is a great place to start (or finish) your vacation in Toronto. Going to its top in a glass elevator is a stunning experience, and the view from up there makes the rest of the city look tiny.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limits vary between different roads. The general limits are 90 km/h to 110 km/h on motorways and outside cities and from 30 km/h to 50 km/h inside cities.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%. Driving under influence exceeding the limit is a criminal offence and can lead to hefty fines, a driving ban, and even imprisonment.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- Using the mobile phone while driving is prohibited. The rule is strictly imposed with high fines.
- The phone number for emergencies is 112.
There are a number of toll roads in Canada.
Ontario Highway 407 is toll road for which you can only pay electronically. As you will be driving a rental car, the bill will be automatically sent to your rental car provider. The exact fee will depend on how long will you drive along this road. Some rental providers do include an additional toll charge fee. Do get in touch with your rental car provider in advance to find out more. Visit the official Highway 407 website to find out more information about fees and payment methods.
Highway 412 is another toll road in Ontario. It is part of the same toll system as the Highway 407. The exact fee will depend on the time of the day and the day of the week of your travel, as well as the length of your travel along this road.
There are some other toll roads in Ontario. Do look them up in advance depending on your planned route.
In the rest of Canada, payment method and fees differ for different toll roads. It is best to look them up in advance, finding the information for each province in which you plan to travel. You can also use a toll calculator to calculate the approximate fees for your upcoming ride.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Niagara Region. The famous Niagara Falls is just a tad more than an hour's drive away from Toronto, but you might be tempted to also visit the surrounding nature areas, vineyards, and the cozy town of Niagara-on-the Lake.
- Stratford. This town in Perth County that's about two hours drive west of Toronto has a population of just over 30,000 inhabitants, but it is home to the famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival that lasts all the way from April to November. If you're a classic literature lover, time your travels accordingly.
- Ottawa. Canada's capital is about for to five hours drive away, so this one's probably a two-day trip, but this underrated city makes a great travel destination thanks to the combination of beautiful architecture and relaxed atmosphere.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car type in Canada is an economy, but fullsize and intermediate are also often picked. The most popular rental cars are the Kia Rio, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Nissan Rogue.
- Montreal. Canada's second largest city is sometimes considered Toronto's rival, so why not travel there to make up your own mind? Competition aside, this bilingual metropolis is as unique a destination as Toronto in terms of history, arts, and atmosphere.
- Northern Ontario. The sparsely populated north of the province doesn't see as many tourists as the big cities in the south, but it's impressive nature areas will convince anyone that you don't need to go to Yukon to see Canada at its wildest.
- USA. Detroit and Michigan is just a couple of hours drive away, but with a rental car you can also easily reach other famous cities like Chicago, Boston, and New York. Note that you'll have to cross the national border to visit U.S., so do get in touch with your rental car provider in advance to find out if they permit it. Also, make sure your entry documents are in order.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Toronto:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Toronto is the cheapest in October when renting a car is about 33% cheaper than the yearly average and 53% cheaper than renting a car in June.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Toronto?
What’s the usual rental length in Toronto?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Toronto?
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