Top 12 Scenic Train Rides In Ontario, Canada

scenic train rides in ontario
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It’s known worldwide that Canadian train trips offer great scenery and photo moments. Rather than just being a means of transportation, there are scenic train rides in Ontario that offer a relaxing and scenic experience. This stands true for the scenic train rides which are available in Ontario as well. Experience the various sights and sounds of train rides that Ontario offers. Take tons of photos to bring back home as memories of your trip. Take in the beauty during scenic train rides from Toronto, the province’s capital. You’ll get a better insight into what to expect from these rides as well as the routes that they take. You don’t even have to worry about your accommodation needs, as Ontario offers a wide range of options - from Airbnb tiny houses to luxury resorts. In the meantime, scroll down for a list of the top scenic rides in Ontario, Canada.

1. Ontario Northland's Polar Bear Express

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Enjoy travelling to some of the best farm stays by hopping aboard the Ontario Northland Polar Bear Express. The train tour in Ontario is a must-try for those seeking an unforgettable rail journey. Departing from Cochrane, this iconic train takes passengers on a scenic expedition through the stunning landscapes of Northern Ontario. The adventure is enriched with breathtaking views of boreal forests, serene lakes, and picturesque wilderness. The experience encapsulates the charm of travel by train, allowing passengers to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with the natural beauty that surrounds them.

The train itself is a cosy and comfortable haven, offering panoramic windows that frame the captivating vistas outside. Whether you’re a nature lover, a travel enthusiast, or someone looking for a unique way to explore Ontario’s pristine wilderness, the Ontario Northland Polar Bear Express promises an enchanting journey that blends relaxation, exploration, and a touch of nostalgia.

Ontario Northland's Polar Bear Express

Website: Ontario Northland’s Polar Bear Express

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2. Credit Valley Explorer

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Credit Valley Explorer promises an exceptional train excursion in Ontario and an experience that seamlessly blends nostalgia, scenic beauty, and exploration. This captivating journey takes passengers on a captivating adventure through the stunning landscapes of Credit Valley, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and discovery. The vintage train cars exude a timeless charm, and the expansive windows provide panoramic views of the picturesque countryside, including rolling hills, charming towns, and serene waterways.

The guided narration provides intriguing insights into the area’s history, culture, and natural wonders, adding depth to the experience. With themed rides that cater to different interests, such as fall foliage tours and special holiday trips, Credit Valley Explorer offers versatile opportunities to witness the region’s changing seasons and immerse oneself in the heart of Ontario’s scenic beauty.

Credit Valley Explorer

Address: Orangeville, Ontario

Website: Credit Valley Explorer

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3. South Simcoe Railway

South Simcoe 138 4-4-0 at Tottenham Station 260997
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steve Knight used under CC BY 2.0

It is said that the South Simcoe Railway is Ontario’s first heritage railway and is a trip that rail buffs have to take. This train trip allows one the experience nature at its best as well as unleash their adventurous spirit. Offering a historical experience, this rail trip offers a one-hour round trip that takes the tracks that connects Hamilton with Barrie and Collingwood. During the course of the journey, live commentary is provided by the conductor leading the train. This train trip departs from the South Simcoe Railway station located in downtown Tottenham. Special trips are also conducted on this train and with every season, there are different scenes to enjoy. These scenic train trips every weekend in October have four departures a day, allowing people to enjoy the fall colors. Christmas period is also special when commuters get the chance to ride the train with Santa aboard the Santa Claus Express.

South Simcoe Railway

Website: South Simcoe Railway

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4. Agawa Canyon Tour Train

Algoma Central stopped in Agawa Canyon
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user davidwilson1949 /... used under CC BY 2.0

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train trip takes commuters on a historical tour through Ontario’s natural wonders. Set in Northern Ontario, the sights that the region has to offer can be best enjoyed from this train ride. This particular train line has been in existence for the last 100 years and continues to give commuters an enthralling experience. This train trip takes 10 hours to complete a full round and offers an enormous amount of variety. Observe the northern lakes and rivers, the granite rock formations and lush forests. During the summer and autumn seasons, the train halts at Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park for about 90 minutes. Here, they can take on the scenic journey on foot.

Agawa Canyon Tour Train

Website: Agawa Canyon Tour Train

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Toronto Tour Guide

Robert G

Robert G

5. York-Durham Heritage Railway

York Durham Heritage Railway Train - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eric Marshall used under CC BY 3.0

Enjoy the York-Durham Heritage Railway trip which takes commuters on a trip between the historic towns of Stouffville and Uxbridge. The distance is about 20 km (12 miles) and provides a spectacular scenic trip. The trip takes about two and a half hours. There are also shorter trips which can be undertaken on selected weekends. Come make a booking on this heritage trip and celebrate the wonders of the bygone days.

York-Durham Heritage Railway

Website: York-Durham Heritage Railway

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6. Port Stanley Terminal Rail

Source: Photo by Flickr user Loozrboy used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Port Stanley Terminal Rail is a fully functioning tourist railway line which runs on the London and Port Stanley railway line right up to St. Thomas. The train ride takes passengers through lush greenery in the area as well as some of the tranquil lakes, where a few boat rentals may be spotted. Throughout the year, special events take place on this train. These include live musical entertainment, murder mysteries as well as themed rides during the holiday season.

Port Stanley Terminal Rail

Website: Port Stanley Terminal Rail

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7. Waterloo Central Railway

steam engine
Source: Photo by Flickr user Laurel L. Russwurm used under CC BY 2.0

Enjoy the steam train ride in Ontario that the Waterloo Central Railway offers you. This railway travels from North Waterloo, traversing through St. Jacobs and Elmira before embarking on a scenic ride through the countryside. There are many themed train experiences that take place on board the train throughout the year such as the Great Train Robbery, Eggstravaganza Easter train rides, and magical wizards rides. This train ride will allow passengers to get a glimpse of the various eras in Canadian history.

Waterloo Central Railway

Website: Waterloo Central Railway

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8. Muskoka Heritage Place

Portage Flyer Christmas
Source: Photo by Flickr user Huntsville Ontario used under CC BY 2.0

Muskoka Heritage Place is a three-in-one place which consists of a museum, a pioneer village, and a train. This place is located close to downtown Huntsville as well as the Algonquin Provincial Park. Apart from enjoying activities like candle-dipping and pioneer baking, visitors get to sit in an open-air coach train to enjoy a ride. This train is known as the Portage Flyer Train and takes passengers on a scenic trip along the Muskoka River onto Fairy Lake Station. A return trip lasts for about 30 minutes.

Muskoka Heritage Place

Website: Muskoka Heritage Place

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9. Halton County Radial Railway Museum

Halton County Radial Railway Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user My work for your ... used under CC BY 2.0

The Halton County Radial Railway Museum is situated in Milton and serves as a great day out for families and friends. The admission ticket includes an unlimited number of historic streetcar rides which stretches almost 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) of scenery. A highlight of this train journey is the stop the train makes at a very famous ice cream shop and the display barns along with the historic Rockwood Station.

Halton County Radial Railway Museum

Website: Halton County Radial Railway Museum

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10. Niagara Parks Falls Incline Railway

Falls Incline Railway Niagara Parks Spring 2010
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mike Garrett used under CC BY 2.0

As the name aptly suggests, the Niagara Parks Falls Incline Railway is an inclined railway track that makes it easy for visitors to commute between the Niagara Parks attractions at Table Rock as well as the Fallsview Tourist Area. This railway journey also offers commuters the chance to shuttle between the attractions and hotels in the region. A highlight of this train ride is the “Bridge of Flowers” pedestrian crossing which stretches over the Niagara Parkway into Table Rock.

Niagara Parks Falls Incline Railway

Website: Niagara Parks Falls Incline Railway

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11. Essex Terminal Railway

Essex Terminal Railway Caboose 53 2016-05-25
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SoftwareSimian used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Essex Terminal Railway is a short line terminal rail road which commutes between the city of Windsor, Ontario via La Salle, to the Amherstburg in Ontario. This train journey stretches for about 21 miles (34 km). This particular railway was founded in 1902 and served as the western connection for the Grand Trunk Railway to the factories located at the east end of Windsor.

Essex Terminal Railway

Website: Essex Terminal Railway

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12. Guelph Junction Railway

Guelph-Railway-Station 20110827 (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Milan Suvajac used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Guelph Junction Railway is a trip that takes place for a four and a half hours. This entire track is owned by the Guelph Junction Railway and commutes between Guelph Junction near Campbellville, Ontario and Guelph’s Northwest industrial park The entire track is about 38.6 kilometers (23.9 miles) long. The train makes stops along the way and passengers can disembark the train. This allows them to explore the areas around the old rail yards.

Guelph Junction Railway

Website: Guelph Junction Railway

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Scenic trips in Ontario

Northlander at Englehart 2008 12 21
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 40rev used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ontario has so much to offer, from wine tours to wellness retreats to train rides, making it a must-visit destination. Ontario’s extensive railway system has a significance in the history of Ontario. In today’s times, people of all ages will enjoy these train rides whilst being able to learn about the city.

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Frequently asked questions about scenic rides in Ontario

1. Which train rides in Ontario are suitable for families?

If you are looking forward to spending quality time with the family during one of the scenic train trips in Ontario, you can book the Ontario Northland’s Polar Bear Express or the Credit Valley Explorer.

2. Which train rides in Ontario are good for a three-day trip?

If you are keen on hopping aboard a train in Ontario that is good for a three-day trip and fits well into your itinerary of a weekend getaway, you can book a seat on the South Simcoe Railway.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Sheela, a devoted mother to two remarkable young children, takes immense pleasure in family travel experiences. With a well-traveled history spanning numerous countries, her passion lies in the...Read more

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