Survival skills: How to use Public Transportation in Toronto?


No car, no horse, no helicopter, as a student in Canada the easiest way to travel is by using public transportation.


In Toronto, the public transportation system that operates buses, subways, streetcars, and paratransit services is called the Toronto Transit Commission – widely known as the TTC. This short guide will help you travel all around the city like a true Torontonian.

1. What do you need?

A Post-Secondary Photo ID: In order to use a Post-SecondaryMetropass, which is cheaper than the regular monthly pass, you need to get a Post-Secondary Photo ID. The Photo ID Centre is located at Sherbourne station (Line 2 Bloor-Danforth), only 10 min away from ILAC’s Main Building and conveniently right below ILAC’s Dream Building!

Bring a valid piece of ID and your ILAC Letter of Acceptance. The cost is $5.25 (cash only!). The centre is open from Monday to Friday from 3.00 PM to 7.00 PM and Saturdays from 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM. The whole process takes only a few minutes and you will walk out with your new Post-Secondary Photo ID in hand, ready to ride!

A Post-Secondary Metropass: This is a monthly pass running from the 1st day to the last day of each month. This pass costs $116.75 (as of September 2017) and will allow you to have unlimited travel across Toronto by Subway, Streetcar, Bus or Paratransit.

You can purchase a Post-Secondary Metropass at any subway station. Fare agents accept cash, debit or credit cards, but keep in mind the extra fees you may face when using international cards.

Monthly Metropass
Monthly Metropass © M.G

2. Our special tips:

Don’t forget about Weekly Passes: If you’re arriving one week before or after the beginning of the month, we advise you to buy a weekly pass ($43.75 as of September 2017), until the beginning of the next month.

Use Tokens: If you arrive only some days before the beginning of the month, or want to use the TTC occasionally, consider using tokens! These can be purchased at any subway station or vending machine, and one token is equal to one way (3 tokens for $9 as of September 2017).

Buses and Streetcars: You need a ticket, token, pass, transfer or exact cash to board a bus or streetcar. Operators don’t carry change, so you must give the exact amount if paying in cash ($3.25 as of September 2017).

3. Vocabulary you may use:

Token: A special coin sold and used by the TTC. You can buy tokens at every subway station or at participating convenience stores.

Monthly Metropass: An access card that provides unlimited travel in a specific month on all regular TTC services.

Transfer: A ticket, resembling a receipt, you need to take between each change of transportation (subway to bus, for example) if you do not have a pass.

Cash Fare: Meaning you must have the exact amount of money in cash.


Written by Marine Gas

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