Travel Swellness: GO getaway to Niagara or Barrie

June 4, 2015

Inniskillin Winery

As much as Toronto is lovely during the summer (well, minus the humidity), sometimes you just gotta get out of the city. But visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) or Barrie isn’t an easy option when you don’t have a car. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been on my own to either destination since that last time I had a car. Add to this that you’re probably going to be drinking on your day trip, which then forces someone to take the role of designated driver. Le sigh…

But wait, did you know that the GO train has service to NOTL and Barrie? I didn’t. Now, this opens up all sorts of day trip possibilities for the summer! And it’s affordable: round-trip to NOTL from Union Station costs $36.30 for an adult, and it’s $26.90 round-trip to Barrie.

GO bus to NOTL

For NOTL, you get off the train at St. Catherines, then you hop on a GO bus that’ll bring you to downtown NOTL (and from there are some wineries that offer shuttles). Or, and I love this option, there are specific cars on the GO train that are equipped with bike racks, so you can bring your bike to St. Catherines¬†and pedal to NOTL and from winery to winery. Throw a blanket, baguette, charcuterie and cheese in your bike basket and what a charming little outdoor summer day you have in store for yourselves.

GO train

I had the chance to try this GO train service to NOTL (however, we had a private bus take our group from St. Catherines to a couple of wineries rather than bike), and we stopped into Jackson-Triggs for a tour and lunch, and then a tour at Inniskillin. We learned much about the wine process (like how ice wine is produced, and what the windmill-like towers in the fields are actually used for — to find out, get yourself out on a wine tour!) before we hopped back on a bus for our group that took us back to the 6, bottles of wine in tow. And from these pics, you can probably tell we got a lovely little day trip out of it!

cheers in NOTL

This GO service made the getaway easy breezy and I’m already hoping to do it again soon.

Will you use the GO service for a getaway? What’re your fun summer plans??

FullSizeRender (25)

Oh, and here are the details of the dates of service:


Friday, July 3 to Monday, September 7

Friday, October 9 to Monday, October 12 (Thanksgiving weekend)

(once-daily on Fridays and three-times daily on Saturdays, Sunday and holidays)

* As a part of the summer service there is a connecting GO bus from St. Catherines to NOTL; check the GO Transit website for that schedule.


Saturday, June 27 through Monday, September 7

(four times daily on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)

Jackson Triggs

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