A driving vacation from Toronto to Vancouver along the Trans-Canada Highway is a 4265 km journey across Canada through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. It’s 42 hours of non-stop driving – five days of non-stop driving during daylight hours – but with majestic landscapes and so many iconic attractions along the way, you’ll be tempted to spend weeks exploring the cities, towns and wilderness areas along the way.
Once you pass Winnipeg, the TransCanada Highway splits into the Northern Route through Saskatoon and Edmonton, and the Southern Route, which goes through Regina and Calgary. Both offer amazing places to visit and things to see. We follow the Southern Route and go through Regina, Calgary, Banff and other areas close by. Any route you take, you’ll encounter untouched forests, majestic mountain ranges, amazing cities, national parks, crystal clear lakes, monuments and magical landscapes that will take your breath away.
Option: An alternative is to cross the US-Canadian border and travel to Vancouver through the USA. The most common route through the USA passed through Detroit, Chicago, Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Billings through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington and finally to Vancouver via Seattle.
The Canadiana (21-day) – a 12-destination coach tour that includes accommodation, flights, tours, meals and transport.
Canadian Train Odyssey (15 days) – by train, coach and ferry. It includes the Via Rail train journey aboard The Canadian from Toronto Jasper, a coach tour from Jasper and a ferry crossing from Victoria to Vancouver.
20 Places To Visit On A Toronto To Vancouver Road Trip
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a central hub for several industries, including finance, technology, education, healthcare and it also has a thriving culinary and nightlife scene.
Canada’s largest banks and financial institutions are headquartered in Toronto.
This vibrant and multicultural city has a lot of things to do, like visiting the Royal Ontario Museum, the iconic CN Tower, the Distillery District and the islands.
If you are visiting in summer, the city comes alive with activities, including many festivals.
The Bruce Peninsula is a stunning natural peninsula in Lake Huron, Ontario, combining two national parks (the Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park) and other nature reserves.
The peninsula is popular for its geological features like rugged cliffs, turquoise water and an extensive network of limestone caves attracting adventure seekers throughout the year.
The peninsula also has diverse flora and wildlife, including rare orchids, black bears and timber wolves.
You can hike along the Bruce Trail, swim in Georgian Bay, explore the Grotto caves, visit the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory, camp and do many other nature-related activities here.
Distance from Toronto: 255 km (158 miles) Time from Toronto: 3 hours
3- Algonquin Provincial Park, ON
Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada and about a three-hour drive north of Toronto.
The park covers an area of over 7,600 sq km and is home to numerous lakes, rivers, forests and a unique diversity of plant and animal species like moose, black bears, wolves and beavers.
If you’re short on time, enjoy the park’s beauty by taking a scenic drive along Highway 60, which winds through the park and offers stunning views of the landscape.
A unique feature of the park is its extensive canoe routes, which wind through its interior and create an unparalleled wilderness experience.
Distance from the Bruce Peninsula: 362 km (225 miles) Driving time from the Bruce Peninsula: 4 hours 30 minutes
4- Sudbury, ON
Sudbury’s official name is the City of Greater Sudbury), a former mining city located on the TransCanada Highway.
Known for its rich mining history, the city has a thriving culture and arts scene, with festivals, museums and galleries to explore.
The Scenic North interactive science museum, Dynamic Earth geology museum, the Killarney Provincial Park, Onaping Falls are places to visit near Sudbury.
The massive Five Cents Big Nickel statue near the Dynamic Earth museum is a unique landmark to snap a selfie.
Distance from Algonquin Provincial Park: 316 km (196 miles) Driving time from Algonquin Provincial Park: 3 hours 30 minutes
5- Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Sault Ste. Marie is one of Canada’s oldest communities and is right at the US-Canadian border.
The city is located on St. Mary’s river, which connects Lake Huron with Lake Superior, making it a hub for transportation and trade for many centuries.
Sault Ste. Marie is also home to several cultural and historical attractions, including the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site and the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site.
Take a scenic train ride through the Canadian wilderness in the Agawa Canyon Tour Train or a guided boat tour through Soo Locks or the St. Mary’s River.
Go hiking or camping in the Hiawatha Highlands or Pancake Bay Provincial Park, or camp and swim along the shores of Lake Superior.
With its blend of history, natural beauty, and modern amenities, Sault Ste. Marie is a great stopover on your journey from Toronto to Vancouver. Download this app and go on a self-guided walking tour to discover its history.
Distance from Sudbury: 306 km (190 miles) Driving time from Sudbury: 3 hours 30 minutes
Thunder Bay is in North-western Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior on the TransCanada Highway.
The stretch of road between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay is lined with lookouts like the Alona Way, Agawa Bay, Red Chair, Kama Bay, Nipigon and many others.
Once you reach Thunder Bay, you will be welcomed by the brightly lit twin cities of Port Arthur and Fort William.
Thunder Bay is an excellent place for an overnight stop while travelling from Toronto to Vancouver, with Winnipeg almost a full day’s drive away.
The region has stunning natural scenery, including lakes, forests, parks and is also home to several cultural and historic attractions like Fort William Historical Park and Terry Fox Monument.
The city served as an important transportation hub connecting Western Canada with the east coast through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes to the east coast. A fun way to explore is to download this app and go on a family scavenger hunt adventure.
Distance from Sault Ste. Marie: 704 km (437.5 miles) Time from Sault Ste. Marie: 7 hours 37 minutes
7- Winnipeg, MB
Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, sits at the intersection of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
Eight hours driving from Thunder Bay, this city is lovely to spend some time at.
It’s the sixth-largest city in Canada and is the “Gateway to the West” as it lies almost exactly between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
If you are interested in arts, the city is home to several cultural institutions, including the Manitoba Museum, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
You can visit the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, The Forks National Historic Site and the Manitoba Museum for insights into Canada’s past.
Assiniboine Park Zoo is a must-see for polar bears and if you’re travelling with kids.
An iconic landmark in Winnipeg is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which is in a futuristic building that houses intriguing and thought-provoking displays. The best way to get your bearings is to hire a local tour guide.
Distance from Thunder Bay: 702 km (436.2 miles) Driving time from Thunder Bay: 8 hours
8- Regina, SK
Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan and is in the southern part of the province and a good lesser-known stopover for an overnight break after driving from Winnipeg.
Situated on the shores of Wascana Lake, the city has wide-open spaces, parks, hiking and biking trails and a few cultural and educational institutions.
The Saskatchewan Legislative Building is a historical landmark with impressive architecture and a stunning dome, one of North America’s largest.
Visit the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Saskatchewan Science Centre, the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the RCMP Heritage Centre.
Stretch your legs outdoors at the Wascana Centre and check out the European medieval-style castle tour at Stone Hall Castle.
Distance from Winnipeg: 596 km (370 miles) Time from Winnipeg: 6 hours 22 minutes
9- Moose Jaw, SK
An hour’s drive from Regina on the TransCanada Highway, Moose Jaw and it’s tunnels are an intriguing stop.
The underground tunnels were used for various purposes, including as a hiding place for Chinese railway workers and are rumoured to be connected to Al Capone.
Moose Jaw is also home to several museums and cultural institutions, including the Western Development Museum, where you will get the chance to learn about the history of the Canadian West.
The Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery showcases the artistic side of the region and the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre is where you can watch shows, concerts and even visit an art gallery.
The giant ‘Mac the Moose’ statue is next to the highway and is a perfect stopping spot to photograph.
10- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site (AB)
Another short drive day trip from Calgary towards the US border will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
One of the windiest areas of Canada in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the site is a cliff used by indigenous people to kill buffalo for over 50 centuries using a unique method.
Employing their knowledge of topography and buffalo behaviour, they hunted by chasing their prey over a precipice.
The buffalo carcasses were carved up in the camp below.
The site’s name came from a tragic story of a young boy many years ago.
This large centre is similar to a museum where you can learn about the history and cultural significance of the site and a place to remember the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the indigenous people who lived there for thousands of years.
Distance from Moose Jaw: 626 km (389 miles) Driving time from Moose Jaw: 6 hour 30 minutes
11- Drumheller, AB
Northeast of Calgary, Drumheller is a small town in Alberta’s badlands known for its ancient history of dinosaur fossils and unique geological formations such as hoodoos, canyons and ancient fossils.
If you are interested in fossils, visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils.
The badlands of Drumheller are best explored by hiking, biking or horseback riding.
You can also learn about the region’s mining history by taking guided tours of the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site.
Drumheller’s World’s Largest Dinosaur, a 26m tall statue that visitors can climb inside for a panoramic view of the town and surrounding badlands.
Distance from Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: 288 km (179 miles) Time from Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: 3 hours
12- Calgary, AB
Calgary is Alberta’s most populated city and is a great place to break your drive from Regina.
The city is also close to the Canadian Rockies and makes for an excellent base to explore the mountains on day trips.
Calgary is known for its beautiful skyline, outdoor activities, vibrant and diverse cultural scene and is a city that balances the modern with the traditional.
Visit the Glenbow Museum to learn about the art and history of Western Canada or the Heritage Park Historical Village, where you can explore over 180 exhibits, including historic buildings, antique cars and enjoy a vintage amusement park.
The glass-floored observation deck from Calgary Tower is a must-visit here.
If you are travelling with kids, the Calgary Zoo makes for a great stop with its tigers, pandas, gorillas and more than 1000 other animals.
If you are travelling in July, prebook tickets to the Calgary Stampede as it’s a huge rodeo event where you can enjoy various activities, including rodeo shows, concerts and parades.
Calgary’s weather is also influenced by Chinooks – a weather pattern that brings warm winds to the city from the slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Stretch your legs on the Best of Calgary Walking Tour.
Distance from Drumheller: 136 km (84.5 miles) Driving time from Drumheller: 1 hour 30 minutes
13- Banff National Park (Canadian Rockies, AB)
In the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Banff National Park is a stunning national park and one of the oldest in the world.
The park is famous for its various geological formations, including mountains, canyons, glaciers, icefields, alpine meadows, turquoise lakes, hot springs and some of the country’s best skiing and other outdoor adventures.
If you are a nature lover and like to spend time in the mountains, Banff National Park has so many activities you’ll want to stay forever.
Take a ride of the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, relax at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, or take in the history of this beautiful place at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
In the heart of the national park, Banff is a charming resort town that offers accommodation, galleries, cafes and bars.
If you want to explore the National Park, you can stay in Banff overnight and explore the region but don’t miss the stunning Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, which offer opportunities for hiking, boating, fishing and other activities.
Distance from Calgary: 127 km (79 miles) Time from Calgary: 1 hour 30 minutes
14- Jasper National Park (Canadian Rockies, AB)
The drive between Banff National Park and Jasper National Park takes you through one of the most beautiful drives in the world, the Icefield Parkway.
Although both Banff National Park and Jasper National Park have an abundance of nature-related sights and activities, Jasper National Park is less crowded.
The town of Jasper is a calmer and more peaceful sibling of Banff and serves as a base for exploring the park.
Jasper is connected to Vancouver by VIA Rail train, which has a glass dome observation car that is a great way to explore the Canadian Rockies.
The Miette Hotsprings, Jasper SkyTram, Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls, and the beautiful Maligne Lake are some sights and activities to tick off your to-do list.
Kelowna is a beautiful city located in the southern interior of British Columbia on the eastern shore of Lake Okanagan.
Picturesque mountains and valleys, provincial parks, vineyards and orchards surround this stunning wine country.
The city has dry and warm summers and cool, cloudy winters with many sunshine hours throughout the year.
Its relatively mild winters and proximity to parks and mountains make this city a hub for various outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, golfing and water sports.
The downtown area features a vibrant arts and culture scene, with many galleries, theatres, and music venues that feature regular shows.
With over 40 wineries, you could spend days wine tasting and stock up on wine you enjoy.
Distance from Jasper: 541 km (336 miles) Driving time from Jasper: 6 hours 30 minutes
16- Kamloops (BC)
Located on the TransCanada Highway, Kamloops is surrounded by rolling hills, mountains, and pristine lakes at the confluence of the South and North Thompson Rivers.
The city is a well-connected transportation hub called the “Tournament capital of Canada” for hosting more than 100 sporting events annually.
With over 100 lakes in the area, Kamloops is a significant destination for outdoor activities like boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking.
Visit Kamloops Art Gallery, The Western Canada Theatre and the riverside Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park, which features the remains of a 2,000-year-old village.
The city is also a popular foodie and wine destination, with many local wineries offering tasting tours.
Distance from Kelowna: 167 km (104 miles) Driving time from Kelowna: 2 hours
17- Whistler (BC)
Whistler is a famous ski resort in British Columbia and only a couple of hours’ drive from Vancouver.
This resort town is famous worldwide for its world-class skiing, snowboarding and vibrant après-ski scene.
Whistler and Blackcomb mountains attract skiers worldwide in winter and is a popular destination for summer activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, golfing and ziplining adventures.
It has cool arts and culture scene, a range of accommodations, restaurants, shops and activities.
If you have time, visit the town of Squamish for its world-class rock climbing, Cheakamus Lake or the Garibaldi and Brandywine National Parks for hiking, camping, and exploring the wilderness.
Distance from Kamloops: 302 km (188 miles) Driving time from Kamloops: 4 hours 10 minutes
The monumental road trip from Toronto finally ends in the amazing city of Vancouver.
Known for its stunning natural scenery, diverse cosmopolitan culture, and world-famous culinary scene, Vancouver never fails to impress.
The city has several attractions and neighbourhoods you can visit, like the historic and trendy Gastown and the waterfront district of Granville.
If you are interested in museums, the Science World Museum, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver Art Gallery, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Burnaby Village Museum and many more offer a glimpse into the city’s history, culture and art.
Vancouver is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the mountains, forests, and the ocean and offers many outdoor activities within the city and close to the city.
Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain and Lynn Canyon Park are popular places to enjoy the outdoors close to the city.
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium, or take a whale-watching tour in the Pacific to make the most of your trip to this beautiful city.
Distance from Whistler: 121 km (75 miles) Time from Toronto: 1 hour 30 minutes
Distance from Toronto: 4,403 km (2,736 miles) Time from Toronto: 47 hours (non-stop)
Other Ways To Travel From Toronto To Vancouver
If an epic drive is not on the cards, there are a few ways to travel from Toronto to Vancouver. Here are some options:
By Air: Air is the quickest and most convenient way to travel from Toronto to Vancouver. Direct flights are available from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Vancouver International Airport, with flight times of around 4.5 hours.
By Train: VIA Rail offers a scenic cross-country train service called “The Canadian”, which runs from Toronto to Vancouver. The journey takes around four days and is a relaxing way to see the country.
By Car:Rent a car and drive from Toronto to Vancouver on a scenic road trip through the mountains and forests, taking several days of driving. Compare rental car rates here.
By Bus: Several bus companies offer services between Toronto and Vancouver, with direct and connecting options. The journey typically takes three to four days and may include transfers in cities like Winnipeg and Edmonton.
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