Updated: Jul 16, 2022
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In this post, I will cover how you can travel directly from Toronto to the city of Victoria in British Columbia, passing through the city of Vancouver using a domestic flight and public transportation.
Table of Contents
1. Why visit Victoria in British Columbia?
Victoria, located on Vancouver Island, is the capital of the province of British Columbia in Canada.
Some advantages this city has are mild temperatures and lower rainfall compared to Vancouver.
Due to this weather, this city has beautiful gardens and landscapes. For this reason, it is known as the City of Gardens.
I had the opportunity to visit the Butchart Gardens; believe me; it was worth it. I am going to leave here a photo to inspire you.
In addition, there are whale watching tours, more outdoor activities to do, not to mention access to the Pacific Ocean, museums, and a miniature world. If you like insects, there is a bug zoo and a butterfly garden.
Once you've decided you want to go to Victoria, here are the steps to follow to get there if you are in the Toronto area or from Vancouver
2. Flight from Toronto
First of all, you need to schedule a flight. There are flights directly from Toronto to Victoria, which you can also check out, but in this case, we flew from Toronto to Vancouver to connect via ferry to Victoria.
The experience is beautiful, so we recommend making the ferry crossing.
To find a flight, check sites like Kayak, Google flight and Skyscanner to find the most reasonable prices.
3. Take the subway
Once you arrive in Vancouver, and as it is a domestic flight, you have to follow the signs, and you will be just a few steps away from taking the train, which is internally connected to the airport.
To use the Canada Line subway, you must use a Compass card (similar to Toronto's Presto and Montreal's Opus).
The price of this card is 6 CAD; there are totems just at the station's entrance where you can pay with a debit or credit card to get one, and you can recharge it with the amount of money you prefer.
The system works by zones, so you can buy tickets according to the zones you will travel through. However, it was confusing for us, so we purchased the card.
To enter the subway, you must scan the card at the YVR airport station entrance and tap it again when you arrive at your destination, in this case, Bridgeport Station.
The trip here is only three stops, and you must stop at Bridgeport Station.
4. Take the bus to the ferry
When you arrive at Bridgeport Station, you must walk down the stairs, scan your card to exit the station and locate bus number 620.
When we went, it was in bay 12. As soon as you exit the station, a message says, "Passengers on bus 620 to Tsawwassen should go to bay 12," so it is not challenging to locate.
On this bus, you pay by scanning the same Compass card you use for the subway. The ride takes about 50 minutes and will get you into the Tsawwassen terminal.
5. Take the ferry
At the entrance to the Tsawwassen terminal, there are self-service machines where you can buy your ticket.
In summer, when we made this trip, the ferry from Tsawwassen to Victoria had a one-hour frequency; we made the trip at 10 am.
With this ticket, we went in, and it showed us which berth number the ferry would arrive at; in our case, it was berth five, and some screens told us where the berths were.
This is important because different ferries are going in and out to other islands, so make sure you don't get the berth confused.
Once the ferry arrives, you will see people start boarding.
The ferries are enormous; this one had two floors for cars; we explored floors 5, 6 and 7. The ferry that took us to Victoria was the Coastal Celebration. This ferry has a cafe on deck 6, where you can buy and eat.
The cafe is large enough, but unfortunately, it had no vegan options when we travelled. The only option was sold out when we arrived, so we ate fruit and bread with peanut butter/jam.
The drive is 1.5 hours and is beautiful. I recommend going to the 7th floor and walking to see the islands; we even saw a whale
6. Take the bus downtown
After 1.5 hours ferry ride, you will arrive at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.
From here, there is a bus number 70 (I think it also serves the 72) that will take you downtown.
The passengers cannot pay for the ticket with a Compass Card; they only take cash, so make sure you have 2.5 CAD with you to pay for it, or if you know you will be using more than two buses that day, you can buy a day pass for 5 CAD which allows you unlimited travel that day.
7. Take another bus connection, if necessary.
In our case, we came to Victoria to babysit two beautiful kittens through the Trusted House sitters website, which allowed us to stay for free, as I explained in the post about How to travel on a budget in Canada.
Therefore, we took another bus to connect to the house we were staying at.
So that you know, there is no Uber or Lyft in Victoria. Someone recommended using Bluebird taxi, but we didn't use it, so I'm not sure if it's a good option.
I hope this post helps you understand how to travel from Toronto to Victoria or Vancouver-Victoria. Who knows, maybe plan your next adventure travelling within Canada or choosing this city as your place of residence in Canada.