Golden Horseshoe

The Golden Horseshoe is a region in Ontario around Toronto along Lake Ontario.

Regions

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

The Golden Horseshoe is the most densely populated area of Ontario. In the earliest days of Ontario, the area was dotted with small towns and villages that served the vast farmland throughout Southern Ontario. In the second half of the twentieth century, rapid population and economic growth around Toronto and affordable car transport led industry and residents to move further into the country; towns and farmland were developed into residential suburbs, shopping centres, and business parks, all connected by a new network of roads and highways.

Except for the oldest suburbs, the majority of suburban neighbourhoods were developed for the car, and can thus be a considerable distance from the employment or entertainment centres. Often, the 'main street' of the pre-existing towns will be preserved and will be distinct from the newer residential areas. However, it is no longer necessarily the hub of the surrounding area; most locals will do day-to-day shopping and errands at larger retail plazas and shopping malls. Every suburban town and city has at least a few places worth seeing, including unique restaurants and popular attractions, but more planning could be required to make good use of time while exploring suburban areas.

If you're willing to spend an hour or two driving, the Golden Horseshoe area offers many opportunities for day and weekend trips year-round that suit every interest; there are very few things that you won't be able to buy or do at somewhere in this region.

Get in

By plane

Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ) is located in Mississauga about 30-50 minutes by car from downtown Toronto and is serviced by most major international carriers.

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM) is located in Hamilton approximately 1 hour by car from downtown Toronto or Niagara Falls, and accommodates major air carriers and tour operators.

Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF) is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers. Buffalo Airport Shuttle, +1 716 685-2550, offers service from the Buffalo-Niagara airport to the Canadian side of the Falls.

By bus

The largest bus terminal, the Toronto Coach Terminal (also known as Bay Street Terminal or the Metro Toronto Coach Terminal), is used for intercity coach travel and is served by Greyhound, Coach Canada, New York Trailways, and Ontario Northland. Some cities have smaller stops or stations also served by these carriers on routes to Toronto.

By train

Passenger trains in the area run into and out of Toronto Union Station. Domestic service across Canada is provided by VIA Rail. VIA Rail also serves stations elsewhere in the region, including Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Mississauga, Niagara Falls, Oakville, and Oshawa.

By car

Although traffic can be heavy, there are several major highways through region. Highway 401 serves Windsor and Detroit in the West, and Montreal in the East. Highway 400 connects to highways serving Northern Ontario. The QEW serves Buffalo.

Get around

For longer distance trips within the region, driving is the most common method of getting around. Highways and roads are well maintained, and well marked by directional signage to cities, connecting routes, and major attractions.

Intercity and commuter rail and bus is a reliable option for getting around, but most routes are oriented through Toronto, and a connection will most likely be necessary.

Most cities and towns operate some public transit, and neighbouring transit systems will often connect at key terminals. Note, however, that local transit is not always an efficient way to travel across entire cities. Even services that run from one end of town to the other are primarily used to serve many streets and points en route.

See

Do

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 09, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.