VIA Rail Canada: Interesting Stops Along Vancouver and Toronto

Photo Credit: VIA Rail Canada

It’s roughly crossing the North American continent when you take a trip from Vancouver to Toronto with VIA Rail Canada. Take a train trip with thousands of miles of changing landscapes, different climate and interesting stops without the need to drive or fly.

The distance between Vancouver to Toronto is 2,704 miles and if you are flying it takes four hours 11 minutes.  And you will be traveling through different time zones. This four days train trip on the Canadian is one of the world’s most popular and legendary long haul train journeys.

The train for this trip is called the Canadian. It starts in the Pacific Central Station in Vancouver West Coast and departs at 8:30 pm and arrives five days later in Union Station Toronto at 9:30 am. Venturing into the country, north of the border is a great eye opener to Americans especially if you are taking a train ride across the country. You will soon find out the Canadian culture, language and natural heritage is quite different from us.

Start your trip either from Vancouver to Toronto or vice versa. Here is a video of the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver:


This Pacific Coast city has half of the population of British Columbia consisting of people of diverse cultural background and is where ‘Asia and North America meet’ (Source: VIA Rail).  Vancouver has the second largest Chinatown in the world, a great getaway for foodies with a range of food choices of diverse Asian cuisine, local produce and variety of fresh seafood.

Visitors have an array of beaches, parks, shopping, and museums to visit in close proximity to the city or take an adventure to the wilderness either to the mountains or to the sea. Stanley Park and market area of Granville Island are among the must sees in Vancouver.


220 miles away is the town Caribou, the gold rush town of Kamloops. One of the most beautiful towns filled with natural beauty of lakes, rolling hills and deep river canyons.


The Jasper Tramway will take you to Whistler’s Mountain, the most beautiful ski resort in Canada with a high alpine environment and a great hiking trail during warmer days. (Source:Jasper)

Get a feast of the wildlife in Jasper where Elk and mule deer are seen roaming the streets.


Located by the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and gateway to the northern part of Canada. It is rich in wildlife, culture and is also an important commercial center of Canada.

Visit the natural beauty and richness of Alberta in four convenient locations near the city, like the Muttart Conservatory, Fort Edmonton Park, Nature Centre and Edmonton Valley Zoo.

Change your watch to one hour earlier when you arrive in Edmonton.


327 miles away is the city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada. Known as the sunniest city in Canada, it is also an up and coming city with bustling nightlife, fine dining, outdoor activities and a collection of contemporary and historical Canadian art.

Saskatoon comes alive each year as host of the annual SaksTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival where world-class artists gather.


Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and was originally the hub of the Canadian fur trade. Now, Winnipeg has a rich diversity with 50 different ethnic communities and variety of restaurants and live entertainment. Immerse yourself in a musical or theatre festival or visit the world’s largest Inuit sculptures and art gallery.

You will travel about 515 miles from Saskatoon to Winnepeg and change your watch to one hour ahead.


Your destination, Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, the largest city and it’s also the heart of business activity in Canada. Tall buildings, towers and huge office buildings dominate Toronto’s skyline. Situated along Lake Ontario, Canada is beautiful and sizzles with adventures and attractions.

Get your best overview of the city from the observation gallery of the 180-storey CN Tower and see the vastness of where the 2.5 million people live in Canada.

By the time you arrive in Toronto, you would have traveled almost the whole country of Canada. You have crossed lakes, mountains, breathtaking Rockies, western Prairies, rivers and cities.

The Canadian VIA Rail train offers different classes and prices for your travel. They include economy, sleeper plus class, upper berth or lower berth, cabin for one to three passengers.

It is highly recommended to travel in sleeper class because all meals are included and it is more comfortable. One of the great ways to see Canada and take your time to explore each city is to stopover. Pick the cities you want to explore and find out more about stopover policies with VIA Rail.

If you want to stopover in Edmonton, check out your hotel options here:

VIA Rail allows each passenger to have two luggages for free.

Here is the weight and dimension of the luggage:

2 articles


11.5 kg (25 lb.) each 
54.5 x 39.5 x 23 cm (21.5 x 15.5 x 9 in.)

1 personal article


11.5 kg (25 lb.) 
43 x 15 x 33 cm (17 x 6 x 13 in.)

For this option, articles of more than 11.5 kg (25 lb.) are not allowed on board. For more information please check out VIA Rail’s website.

For your train travel or road trip to Canada, please check out Travelmath’s calculator to help you plan your trip. Please let us know which travel calculator meets your travel needs.


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