Photo: joseph s l tan matt/Shutterstock

You Can Ride This Train for 2775 Miles Across Canada's Cities, Prairies, and Rocky Mountains

Canada Toronto Vancouver Train Travel
by Morgane Croissant Mar 24, 2023

Taking the train across Canada, from Toronto to Vancouver, or vice versa, means crossing the second-biggest country in the world on the second-longest train trip that exists. But the four-day and four-night journey is not about breaking records, it’s about taking in the incredible geographical diversity of this immense country in a slow, relaxed, and comfortable way. By chugging across five of Canada’s 10 provinces, passengers on this train trip will see the country’s biggest city, the prairies, the rocky mountains, and the Pacific coast from a perspective no plane can ever offer.

Is there a direct train from Toronto to Vancouver?

VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger rail company, runs a direct train between Toronto and Vancouver all year-round. This direct train is called The Canadian. The Canadian leaves Toronto Union Station every Wednesday and Sunday for the four-day and four-night journey to Vancouver; it leaves Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station every Monday and Friday for the reverse journey to Toronto.

Is there a panoramic train from Toronto to Vancouver?

Glass dome car in the train that runs between Toronto and Vancouver

Photo: joseph s l tan matt/Shutterstock

The Canadian, the direct passenger train that runs between Toronto and Vancouver, has two cars where passengers can get panoramic views of the surrounding scenery:

  • The Skyline car which is comprised of a dining area, kitchen, lounge, and a second-floor glass dome.
  • The Park car that includes two lounges (one with a full-service bar, the Mural Lounge, and one with panoramic windows, the Bullet Lounge) and a second-floor glass dome.

How much is Vancouver to Toronto by train?

The cost of the train journey between Vancouver and Toronto varies according to the demand on your dates of travel and the class of service you choose, from around $375 (515 CAD) in Economy to nearly $7250 (10,000 CAD) in a Prestige Cabin for two.

The three classes of service on board the train between Toronto and Vancouver are:

  • Economy: Includes a seat with a pop-up leg rest for night time; access to the Skyline car; possibility of purchasing food and drinks on board. Blankets and pillows are available for purchase.
  • Sleepers Plus: Includes either a berth, a cabin for one, two, or four; cooked meals in the dining car; access to the Skyline car and the Park car; entertainment on board such as wine tasting and presentations; access to the Business Lounge in the train station of departure; priority boarding; a personal service attendants to take care of any requests.
  • Prestige: Includes a cabin with a large leather sofa that converts into double bed at night; a private bathroom with shower; a flat screen TV with a selection of movies; three-course gourmet meals and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages in reserved seats in the dining car; access to the Skyline car and reserved seats in the Park car; entertainment on board; access to the Business Lounge in the train station of departure; priority boarding and expedited baggage service; a personal concierge for all your needs and wants.

The exchange and refund conditions vary according the fare plan you choose upon booking. The amount of luggage allowed on board the train depends on the class of service you wish to book.

Can you shower on VIA Rail?

Yes, you can shower on VIA Rail’s trains. Sleepers Plus passengers have access to shared shower facilities in each car, and Prestige passengers have a private bathroom with shower in their cabin.

What is the most scenic train ride in Canada?

The train running between Toronto and Vancouver going through British Columbia

Photo: joseph s l tan matt/Shutterstock

There are many scenic train rides in Canada, but The Canadian, i.e. the train between Toronto and Vancouver, offers the most varied landscapes. The most popular section of this train journey is the ride in the Rocky Mountains, before, during, and after the train’s stop in Jasper.

The Rocky Mountaineer’s routes from Vancouver to Jasper or Banff also provide amazing scenery of the Rocky Mountains, but at a higher cost than The Canadian. (Note that the Rocky Mountaineer is a train operator that is independent from VIA Rail.)

Is the train across Canada worth it?

Taking the train across Canada is the trip of a lifetime and the most comfortable and relaxing way to see the beauty this immense country. While the trip can be pricey, remember that it includes four days and four nights on board the train. Note that discounts and sales are available on VIA rail’s website very regularly.

The best hotels in Toronto and Vancouver to be near the train stations

If you’d rather stay in an Airbnb than a hotel, check out Matador’s selection of amazing Airbnbs in Toronto and Vancouver.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

The best hotel near Toronto Union Station: The Fairmont Royal York

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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The historic Fairmont Royal York is a luxury property situated right across Union Station, and close the city’s biggest attractions including The CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and more. Each room and suite at the Fairmont Royal York has a flat-screen cable TV, minibar, coffee maker, designer bath toiletries, WiFi, and robes. The hotel has a gym, an indoor pool, a sauna, a steam room, and three on-site dining options: the Library Bar, the REIGN Restaurant + Bar + Bakery, and CLOCKWORK Champagne & Cocktails.

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The best hotel near Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station: The DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection

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Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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The Douglas is a luxury hotel located inside the Parq Vancouver complex in the trendy neighborhood of Yaletown. The property’s comfortable and spacious rooms and suites mix modern and mid-century decor to create an elegant and peaceful atmosphere. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center, hot tub, and yoga space, as well as a spa that offers massages, facials, body wraps and nails services. The Douglas is one mile away (a 20-minute walk) from Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station, but despite the location it’s the closest and nicest hotel to stay at if you plan to catch a train or rest your legs after traveling on VIA Rail’s The Canadian. (The area surrounding Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station is not one where tourists should linger, so some distance is a good thing.)

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