Josh and I are hoping to do this trip when we head to Canada later this year. I know it's a long way, but it sounds awesome!
A road trip from Vancouver to Toronto is definitely not an easy feat, especially when you want to get there faster, while also seeing the sights and avoiding having to spend a lot of money on fuel, food and other resources.
The whole distance covered by car will likely exceed 4,000 km, and it will take you somewhere around 4-5 days before you reach Toronto. Planning your route and expenses is, therefore, extremely essential in order to have a safe, relaxing and exciting road trip.
Planning Your Trip
Basic planning is one of the most important parts of your road trip. First of all, it is important to remember that there are no “best” routes you can take, and the actual routes that might be more favorable in your case will depend on your driving style, the actual sights you want to see and your budget range.
Two main routes stand out when it comes to going from Vancouver to Toronto: the I-90 and the Trans-Canada Highway. You will find that online maps point to these as the most likely routes travelers would take between the two cities, and you'll also be able to check for flexible options regarding route length – especially if you plan on avoiding certain regions or purposely taking a detour through others.
See the Sights
In terms of seeing the most beautiful sights in Canada during your road trip, the best route to take would be that from Vancouver to Calgary, then reaching Ontario through southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Finally, you will be able to get to Toronto after about 4,500 km through the Canadian countryside.
The road to Calgary is especially lush and green, and it will take you through beautiful places along the Okanagan valley and the Alberta Rockies. From Calgary to Ontario, you can go on a long, relaxing road trip, and although there will not be any more mountains to enjoy, the road will take you through stunning farmland on a scenic ride along the Trans-Canada Highway and through all the major cities on the way, except for Edmonton, straight to Toronto.
Costs and Other Considerations
In terms of calculating the cost of your road trip, you'll find that online maps will, in most cases, recommend a trip through the US that may be slightly shorter and more affordable. You can go through Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota to improve your time, or take a more southern route through Nebraska and Iowa (usually recommended in the winter).
As for the costs, whether you choose to pass through the US or not, you have to find out the exact number of kilometers or miles you'll need to cover, and calculate the total amount of fuel you will need for the road trip. It is, of course, safer to place the amount you'll be spending on gas a little above the upper limit to account for unexpected detours.
As long as you plan ahead, get enough money for gas and food, and call ahead for reservations to most (or all) of the places you expect to stop at during your journey, you will find that road tripping from Vancouver to Toronto can be an extremely relaxing, enjoyable and memorable experience!
Ken Bradley is a road trip fanatic. Every weekend he packs his wife and 4 kids into the car to drive somewhere, anywhere. Currently living and road tripping in Canada.