Transportation - Get In
The closest airports to the Falls are across the border in the U.S. Buffalo-Niagara International Airport (IATA: BUF) in Buffalo, New York is about a 20-30 minute drive from the Falls and is served by most major American carriers. Niagara Falls International Airport (IATA: IAG) is the closest airport to the Falls, but only a few scheduled flights serve it.
On the Canadian side, Hamilton International Airport (IATA: YHM) in Hamilton is about 70 km (43 mi) from Niagara Falls, and is served by WestJet. Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ) in Mississauga is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the Falls and is served by most major domestic and international carriers.
Buffalo Airport Shuttle, +1 716 685-2550, offers service from the Buffalo-Niagara airport to the Canadian side of the Falls. A family of 4 can expect to pay less than $25 per person and the drivers often have great tips on where to go and what to avoid.
Niagara Falls is about 2 hours from Toronto (assuming ideal traffic conditions), and 30 minutes from Buffalo.
- From New York, Boston, and the East Coast: Take I-90 west towards Buffalo to the 290 west. Exit onto the 190 north towards Grand Island and Niagara Falls. Follow the highway through Grand Island, then take the exit immediately after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Continue until in downtown Niagara Falls, New York. Proceed on Rainbow Boulevard, to the Rainbow Bridge, across to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
- From Chicago and the Midwest: Cross the international border at Detroit/Windsor, then take Ontario Highway 401 east to the 403 east. Divert around Hamilton via Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and Red Hill Valley Parkway, which will lead you to the Niagara-bound QEW. Continue to Highway 420 (signs for The Falls and Niagara Falls, USA), which becomes Roberts Street. Stay straight to go onto Falls Avenue.
- If you're coming from points east of Detroit, you can instead take I-90 east through Ohio and Pennsylvania, then at Buffalo exit at I-190 north. Pass through Grand Island, then take the exit immediately after the North Grand Island Bridge (as you're leaving the island) for the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Follow the signs for the Rainbow Bridge; downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario is at the far end of the bridge.
- From Buffalo-Niagara International Airport: Take NY 33 west from the airport, the first exit off of which is I-90 eastbound (signs for Niagara Falls and Albany). Exit onto I-90, then get off at Exit 50 (I-290 west), which you'll follow to the end of the highway. From there, take I-190 north (over both Grand Island Bridges, $1 toll) to the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Follow the signs for the Rainbow Bridge; downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario is at the far end of the bridge.
- From Toronto Pearson International Airport: Take Highway 427 south to the QEW towards Hamilton. Drive for about 100 km (62 mi) and then keep left to take Highway 420 east, which becomes Roberts Street. Stay straight to go onto Falls Avenue.
GO Transit, +1 416-869-3200, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's regional/commuter rail and bus system operates commuter/regional bus service to/from the Burlington train station, connecting with commuter/regional trains to/from Toronto. Most buses make stops en route in Stoney Creek, as well in Grimsby and St. Catharines. The bus ride to/from Burlington station is between 80-90 minutes. The train ride from there to downtown Toronto is another 60 minutes. However, during the summer, on Fridays (or Thursday if Friday is a holiday) evenings and weekends/holidays there are express bus services that run directly to/from Burlington station. This is in addition to the excursion trains (see below). These buses take around 65 minutes to reach Niagara Falls from Burlington. A one-way standard ticket is $18.75 to/from Toronto and $13.15 to/from Burlington. The buses have coach style seating but seating is not reserved and there are no washrooms, wi-fi services, or any on-board amenities. Buses run every 60 minutes on weekends/holidays and 60-90 minutes on weekdays.
Megabus, offers discount bus service to Niagara Falls from Toronto.
The Niagara Falls bus depot is located at 4555 Erie Avenue, +1 905-357-2133. It is opposite the Train Station and connects to WeGo Transport Services
Taxi service to the Falls and main tourist area from the bus depot will run $10-15, If you fancy a walk the route is simple and easy, although nearly 5 km (3 mi), and has the advantage of seeing the Falls come slowly into view.
Due to budget cuts and expansion of GO Transit, VIA Rail Canada has not run dedicated Toronto-Niagara Falls service since November 2012. Rather, that service is provided as part of Amtrak's Toronto-New York Maple Leaf Train. The physical train belongs to Amtrak but is staffed by Via during the Canadian portion of the route. The trip leaves Toronto Union Station daily at 8:20AM and makes stops in Oakville, Burlington (at Aldershot station near the boundary with Hamilton), Grimsby, and St. Catharines. It arrives at Niagara Falls Ontario at 10:16AM. Only economy class service is available and a standard ticket from Toronto costs $42 one-way + 13% sales tax. The train continues onward to New York City via Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and various smaller cities. It reaches New York's Penn Station at 9:50PM. In the other direction, the Maple Leaf makes daily departures from New York City at 7:15AM and reaches Niagara Falls Ontario at 4:28PM. It holds there until 5:45PM when it leaves for Toronto, arriving there at 7:42PM.
GO Transit provides limited intercity rail service to the rest of the Golden Horseshoe. While service to Niagara Falls is usually provided by bus (see above), during the summer weekends and on the Thanksgiving long weekend excursion trains run from Toronto to Niagara Falls. On Fridays (or Thursday if Friday is a holiday) there is one train a day that leaves Toronto at 6:20PM and reaches Niagara Falls at 8:24PM. That train leaves for the return trip to Toronto at 8:40PM and arrives there at 10:44PM. On weekends/holidays, there are three trains heading towards Niagara Falls and four trains heading to Toronto. The trains leave Toronto at 9:00AM, 4:18PM, and 8:10PM and reach Niagara Falls at 11:04AM, 6:22PM, and 10:14PM respectively. These trains leave for the return trip to Toronto at 11:30AM, 7:20PM, and 10:30PM, respectively, and arrive at 1:34PM, 9:24PM, and 12:34AM respectively. There is also an early train that leaves Niagara Falls at 8:30AM and reaches Toronto at 10:34AM. These excursion trains run express and do not stop at all the commuter/regional train stations they pass through. After leaving Toronto Union Station the trains stop at the Exhibition grounds, bypass Etobicoke, make one stop in Mississauga, one in Oakville, and one in Burlington. Note that they do not stop at Aldershot station nor anywhere in Hamilton despite passing through the city. The trains also bypass Grimsby but do stop in St. Catharines. A one-way standard ticket is $21.75. Being public transit, it is tax exempt. Being public transit also means there are no reserved seats or any amneties on board other than washrooms.
The Niagara Falls train station, +1-888-842-7245 (toll-free), is located at 4267 Bridge Street, about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the Falls and right across from the bus depot. Taxi service to the main tourist area at the Falls will run $10-15.
Transportation - Get Around
Many of the main attractions are within walking distance depending on where you walk from, and the rest are easily accessible by transit. Note that some roads are steep so it may be preferable to drop elderly family members off near the falls before parking.
During the busiest tourist season (May - October), the Niagara Parkway and Queen Victoria Park along the Canadian side of the Falls, can become very crowded and finding a "picture perfect" view of the Falls is difficult. Walking to the attractions can be slow during peak tourist season with thousands of people bustling by.
If you want to park your car and walk around the city, consider parking at the Niagara Casino (near the Hilton Hotel). It is a flat $5 every time you leave the garage; there is no limit on how long you can leave your car inside the garage.
WEGO Niagara Falls, bus system runs throughout the Niagara Parkway, Falls Avenue, Fallsview Boulevard and other tourist areas year round. There are stops at the participating points of interest including attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Prices vary although day passes are available. There is a live map of WEGO stops and buses online [www]. WEGO passes can be purchased from Niagara Parks Info Centres, WEGO Drivers, and participating attractions and hotels. WEGO buses, especially on the Green line (which takes you to all of the attractions along the Niagara parkway) can easily fill up during peak hours and be difficult to find space on. If possible, try to catch the bus at its terminal end near the Journey Behind the Falls attraction in order to secure yourself a seat, especially if travelling to attractions such as the white water walk or butterfly conservatory.
Niagara Transit, is operated by the Niagara Transit Commission (City of Niagara Falls) and has routes covering sections of Niagara Falls not covered by the WEGO system. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Day passes are $10 for adults.
Niagara Regional Transit, is operated by the Niagara Regional Government to transport travellers between the cities of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland. Tickets are available at the bus terminal or from the shuttle bus driver. Price is $6 with transfers available to local transit for an additional fee and day passes are not available.
There are also several tour services that offer the option to buy a shuttle pass, which allows you to board any of the tour buses at any stop point throughout the day. Many of these operators have ceased operating their shuttles after the WEGO system débuted in 2012.