Tag Archives: TTC to blue jays games
Posted by Kurt Smith
Okay baseball fans, here’s all you need to know for how to get to Rogers Centre for Blue Jays baseball games! I’m focusing on mostly using a train ride to get there. It’s easily the best way…and part of the fan experience.
If you really want to drive, here’s some tips about Green P parking that should help. It’s also a good idea to book your Jays parking ahead of time with SpotHero. I’ll cover Rogers Centre parking in the future, I promise, but this post covers your better options.
I’ve broken down all of these tips for you, based on where you’re coming from and how you go:
From The City + Suburbs, Part 1: TTC Subway
From The City + Suburbs, Part 2: TTC Buses + Streetcars
From Longer Distances: GO Transit
From The YYZ Airport: UP Express
From Other Cities, Part 1: Amtrak/VIA Rail
From Other Cities, Part 2: Greyhound/Megabus
Letting Someone Else Drive: Taxicab/Rideshare
For Some Exercise: By Bicycle
Exercise Around The City: Bikeshare Toronto
From The Islands (+ YTZ Airport): Ferry
From A Short Distance: Walking + PATH
Okay here we go, after a short message from our sponsor:
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the public transit system covering most of Toronto proper. They have an elaborate system of subways, buses, and light rail transit, all of which can get you to Rogers Centre fairly easily.
Subway The TTC operates three connecting subway lines. The Yonge-University-Spadina (#1) line drops riders off at Union Station, which in turn links to Rogers via the glass-enclosed Skywalk bridge, offering a view of the city and an escape from Toronto weather. The St. Andrews station is also close to Rogers Centre, for those looking to exit (or enter) a crowded train a stop earlier or avoid the Union Station/Skywalk rush.
(For you Canada visitors, Yonge is pronounced “young”, Spadina is pronounced “spa-deye-nah”, and Dundas is pronounced “dun-dass” if you’re out that way. Here the Yonge-University-Spadina line will be called the Yonge line.)
Because of its U-shape, to decide what train to get on after the game, you have to pay attention: the top of the train will show the destination: Downsview is the destination on the west side; the east side runs along Yonge Street towards Finch.
The Bloor-Danforth (#2) and Sheppard (#3) subway/train lines connect to the Yonge line. If you’re transferring to the Bloor-Danforth, (as you can see from the TTC subway map) it doesn’t really matter which direction you go.
Trains rarely take more than five minutes to arrive, so if the train you’re waiting for is too crowded, just wait for the next one. The TTC adds trains for Blue Jays playoff games.
The Yonge line’s last train leaves Union just after 1:30 AM, so you should be okay to party a bit after the game. The last trains leaving the Bloor-Yonge station on the Bloor-Danforth line are just after 1:50 AM; the last train leaving the Sheppard-Yonge station leaves at 2:14 AM, so transferring isn’t likely to be a problem either. If you do miss the last train, there should be a corresponding bus route available.
Most of the parking lots along train lines have reasonable rates that are geared at commuters more than tourists, which is good for your purposes. For example, parking at Downsview on the Yonge line is just $2 after 3:00 PM, which works fine for a night game. Even during the day, lots aren’t all that much, usually about $7.
Union Station can be a bit confusing to get around, especially on the outside. It also gets very busy at rush hour. But there are plenty of helpful signs inside the station pointing the way to the Skywalk, and they’ll be plenty of fans in blue t-shirts you can follow to the Centre and back. The CN Tower is in the same direction, so you can move up to the street and find it that way.
Buses/Streetcars TTC operates three bus routes that stop at Union Station—the 19 Bay from Dupont Street, the 72 Pape from Danforth Avenue (yes, the corner of Danforth & Pape for you Rush fans), and the 97 Yonge from Steeles Avenue routes. These three run at all times every day, and during rush hour there are additional buses. Drivers do not make change; be sure to have tokens or coins on hand.
TTC also has light rail streetcars you could use; the 509 Harbourfront from Exhibition Place, and the 510 Spadina route from the University subway station where the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines meet. Both of these lines stop at Union Station and also at Rees Street, which is a short walk to the Centre. The 504 King route also stops at St. Andrews station close by. All three lines run 24/7.
One knock on the current state of the TTC is that the subway doesn’t cover enough ground (which is a somewhat legit gripe), so you may need to use a bus or a streetcar to get to a subway station. If you do the transfer is free, but you may need to ask for a paper transfer ahead of time. There is a useful trip planner on the TTC website.
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Riding a bus or streetcar might be fun the first time, enabling you to see the city. They are generally comfortable and quiet. But in most cases, if you have a choice of bus/streetcar vs. subway, use the subway. Toronto traffic can tie up a streetcar or a bus nicely. The 510 Spadina route is a bit better than most, being separated from the traffic (the Spadina/Bremner stop is actually closer to the ballpark than Union Station), but it still has slow moments.
Staying near the Pearson International Airport (YYZ), there are several bus lines that run there from town and back, and most all of them run all night. The 192 Rocket is a nice express ride, making only four stops.
$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$ – If you’re making a day of visiting the city, a TTC day pass will pay for itself with four rides, and it’s good on any of TTC’s services. Better yet, on weekends and holidays (July 1 is Canada Day) you can buy a group/family pass that is good for two adults and up to four kids, or one adult and five kids under 19, for the price of one person. Great savings for the family, and cheaper than parking at the game.
Another tip: If you’re staying or live near the Airport, you can save beaucoups bucks with the TTC bus lines to the city and back. The aforementioned 192 Rocket runs from Kipling Station to Pearson, and this is just one fare including the ride to Kipling. That’s two transfers, but neither should be a long wait, and the cost for the trip can’t be beat—a cab for this would cost upwards of $60.
GO Transit GO (Government of Ontario) Transit runs seven rail lines of double-decker trains stretching into much of southern Ontario, all of which converge at Union Station. There are parallel bus routes extending as far as Niagara Falls bringing folks to rail stations, and they also have bus service to the airport.
It isn’t the cheapest suburban rail service, but it can save some money over driving in—with a group of three or more it might be better to drive and park near a TTC station and take a subway, depending on the distance. There is a fare calculator on the GO Transit website; the price per ride increases as one gets further away from the city.
GO trains are popular with Jays fans and get crowded with limited seating occasionally before or after games. Try an earlier one if you can. Here’s a trick: if a train is leaving from two platforms, head for the side that is harder to get to, for a less crowded entrance to the train.
Parking is free at GO Transit stations, and if you use a TTC train before and after riding a GO train, your transfer is free.
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Check the schedule using GO trains. Many of them won’t take you all the way back late at night, but you can usually pick up a GO bus for the rest of the way. It’s a minor hassle, and the wait for the bus shouldn’t be long, but a hassle nonetheless and you don’t want to depend on it.
The only other complaint for Jays fans is the infrequency of nighttime and weekend trains: often they run just once an hour or even two hours as opposed to every 15-30 minutes on a weekday. On the way back, you may have to hustle or wait a while—so it’s good to get a round trip ticket for easier departure. Union Station has restaurants and stores; it’s not the worst place for waiting.
GO Transit encourages the use of added value PRESTO cards (yes, another Rush reference); if you live in the area this makes for less hassle boarding GO and TTC vehicles, and can save you money on rides and transfers.
Some more money-saver tips for you: Buying a weekday or weekend GO pass offers a discount on fares. If you’re going to use GO say, four times, and you don’t mind the effort, this can save you a few dollars on the slightly pricey fares. If you’re taking the family to the game on a weekend, check out their group passes; you can save quite a few bucks.
One more thing to know…if a GO train is more than 15 minutes late, which does happen, especially in the late evening (I speak from experience), they’ll refund you the cost of the ride.
UP Express If for some reason you are coming from the Airport (or the Bloor or Weston GO stations) you can ride the extremely efficient UP Express train to Union Station. It’s not the cheapest ride, but it will get you from the airport to Union Station in just 25 minutes (which is much quicker than the Rocket/subway route to Union), and you never have to wait more than 15 minutes for a train. The last UP train leaves Union at 1:00 AM.
Like with GO, you can use a PRESTO card for your UP fare. It’s especially great if you want to get back to the airport or stations quickly and with no transfers, but decide for yourself if that’s worth the significant extra cost over the TTC Rocket. Like with GO, there are ways to save on passes and such for the family. Parking at the airport costs $35 as I write this.
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Amtrak/VIA Rail Union Station is also a stop for the VIA Rail System that covers the rest of Canada and connects with Amtrak in the U.S., but this is generally for people making a trek to Toronto from another major metropolis out of GO’s reach.
This isn’t a method you would likely use just to get to a game, since the service from Amtrak and VIA from most destinations is rather infrequent, but it’s there if you can think of some reason.
Greyhound/Megabus For those of you familiar with the ubiquitous continental bus services, both Greyhound Canada and Megabus stop at 81 Bay Street, a 15 minute walk from the ballpark through the Skywalk.
I’m a big fan of Megabus; you can get to Toronto from multiple locations in Canada and the U.S., including Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor and Detroit, for as low as a buck if you book the trip early enough. Even if you don’t get the dollar fare, it is usually reasonable, and the buses are comfortable as buses go.
If you use Megabus, you have to use either the American or Canadian version of the website depending on where you’re coming from. Just FYI, Canadians call non-local buses “coaches”, so you know.
Taxicab/Rideshare If you’re looking for a cab or rideshare, your best spots are north of the Centre on Front Street or south on the corner of Bremner and Rees Streets. Taxis drop you off right there at the gate.
There are ample taxis and Uber/Lyft drivers available both before and after games, but keep in mind that you will probably be stuck in post-game traffic with the meter running. Unless you’re a luxury suites during the World Series type, you probably won’t want to pay that. Rideshares like Uber include “surge pricing” fees, and they often apply to after a ballgame. I also wouldn’t use a taxi, unless I were staying nearby and had the cash to spare.
Bicycle You can ride your bicycle straight to the game; there are a few bicycle stands at nearly all of the gates for bicycles only, and they do get used. Scooters will be towed. You’re also allowed to take your bike onto selected TTC buses and streetcars, and there are bicycle lockups at some of the TTC subway stations.
The city of Toronto has taken considerable steps to make the city more bicycle friendly, with painted bike routes on major streets. Along the Harbourfront on Queens Quay Boulevard is a very nice route that is used by many riders.
You can get a free cycling map at libraries or bicycle shops, or you can download one online.
Bike Share Toronto Bike Share runs a system of bicycle rentals in several major cities. Users can buy a subscription for a time period ranging from one day to a year, and then rent a bicycle from any of 700 stations (!) and return it to another station. It is designed for short rides of 30 minutes or less, which are free to members; longer rides cost a bit extra.
It’s an inexpensive way to get some exercise, see the city and get to the game.
There are stations all over downtown (they’re usually marked by advertisers, rather than with the Bike Share logo), including four near Rogers Centre and a few near Union Station. You can bike from Union to the game if you like, but you can’t use the Skywalk for that.
Ferry I can’t think of a way that this method would be convenient, but I’m sharing it anyway. Should you be flying into the Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) on the Toronto Islands south of the city, there is a free ferry that takes you to the mainland, about a half mile walk or streetcar ride from Rogers Centre.
Porter Airlines runs a free shuttle from the ferry dock to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, but you’re not exactly saving money there.
If you’re heading back that night, the last ferry leaves the mainland just after midnight, except on Saturdays, when it leaves around 8:00.
Again I don’t know if or how well this works, because I’m presuming that you’d be staying overnight, which means you’d have to go to the hotel first to drop off your stuff anyway. There aren’t any hotels on the Islands. Just putting it out there. It might work for a day trip from Ottawa or Montreal or something like that.
Walking There are plenty of hotels in the downtown area (including the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel in the ballpark itself), and Toronto is an attractive, walkable city with plenty to interest you on the way to a Jays game. Not only are there lots of shops and restaurants around, but there are some highly original street performers in the area. Toronto is as safe as cities can be, just exercise common sense.
Toronto has a network of underground tunnels called PATH that protects you from the elements and can take you to dozens of points of interest including a Blue Jays game. A map of the PATH underground city is available on the city’s website.
You can use the PATH to find some great pre- and post-game spots. Rogers is kind of a part of the entertainment district here. Most of the buildings closest to the ballpark are banks and office buildings, but further north are hotels and shopping centers. Keep in mind that many of them are closed on the weekends, though.
There’s all of the ways I know to get to Blue Jays home games and other Rogers Centre events! That’s including football games with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Trust me, public transportation is almost always your best bet.
Be sure to check out more Rogers Centre tips here. Thanks for reading, and please support our sponsors!