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Ultimate Guide to Your Toronto to Ottawa Road Trip

Ultimate Guide to Ottawa Road Trip Toronto

Surviving a road trip is more than just tackling miles; it’s about picking your travel companions and crafting a stellar itinerary. That’s why our quick and easy guide is your ticket to turning your Toronto to Ottawa drive into an unforgettable adventure. 

Join us as we steer you through the picturesque landscapes, offbeat attractions, and hidden treasures that will help you have a fun journey. So, grab your snacks, cue the road trip playlist, and get ready for an epic drive from Toronto to Ottawa!

How long does it take to drive from Toronto to Ottawa?

How long does it take to drive from Toronto to Ottawa

For your Toronto to Ottawa road trip, the Lake Ontario 450 km route will take around 4.5 to 5 hours with no stops. The Inland route, which is around 480 km, would take longer to complete at around 5.5 to 6 hours.

Road Trip Checklist

Road Trip Checklist

Plan Your Route: Using our guide, outline your journey, including your preferred stops, attractions, and accommodations along the way. 

Vehicle Check-up: Ensure your car is in good condition by checking the tires, brakes, oil, and other essential fluids.

Pack Essentials: Pack necessary documents (driver’s licence, registration, insurance), and essentials like a first aid kit, roadside emergency kit, and any required medications.

Weather Check: Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your route and destination to pack appropriate clothing and be prepared for any weather conditions.

Snacks and Water: Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks to keep you energised during the trip. Having water on hand is essential for staying hydrated.

Entertainment: Prepare a road trip playlist, download audiobooks or podcasts, and make sure your entertainment devices are charged.

Emergency Contacts: Save emergency contacts in your phone, including roadside assistance, local mechanics, and accommodations.

Cash and Cards: Carry some cash for tolls, parking, or places that may not accept cards. Ensure your credit/debit cards are in good standing.

Accommodation Reservations: If you have planned overnight stays, confirm reservations in advance to avoid last-minute issues.

Check Road Conditions: Be aware of any road closures, construction, or traffic updates that might affect your route. Stay informed for a smoother journey.

Available driving routes from Toronto to Ottawa

Toronto-Ottawa Driving RoutesDistance in kmEstimated Driving Time
Lake Ontario Route4504.5 hrs to 5 hrs with no stops
Inland Route4805.5 hrs to 6 hrs with no stops

Lake Ontario Route

Lake Ontario Route

The Lake Ontario Route promises a scenic drive along the shores of the iconic Lake Ontario, offering breathtaking views and memorable attractions.

However, careful and precise planning is essential because this route would take at least a full weekend, if not a week, to fully savour the experience. For those who work, you’d need to schedule your leaves in advance.

Where to Stop

Rouge National Urban Park

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8

Website: Rouge National Urban Park

Instagram: Explore Rouge National Urban Park on Instagram

Hours: Mon-Sun: 7:30 AM–9 PM

Contact: (416) 264-2020

We recommend making a pit stop at Rouge National Urban Park, a haven named after the tranquil Rouge River. This sprawling oasis, nestled conveniently in the Greater Toronto Area, is one of North America’s largest urban parks. 

It has forests, creeks, and farms; as well as scenic trails, marshlands, and a tranquil Lake Ontario beach. Whether you opt for a guided walk, a serene paddle in the river and marsh, or a laid-back family picnic, the park offers an array of activities.

Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park

Address: 3667 Concession Rd 6, Orono, ON L0B 1M0

Website: Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park

Instagram: Jungle Cat World (@junglecatworld)

Hours: Mon-Sun: 10 AM–5 PM

Contact: (905) 983-5016

Jungle Cat World, formerly known as “Orono Exotic Cat World,” has been a wildlife haven since its establishment in 1983. This wildlife park has been a fave for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike, boasting a collection of more than 150 animals.

Open year-round, the park transforms into a magical realm after dark. For instance, it has one-of-a-kind guided tours that allow you to observe the wildlife in their natural habitat while ensuring a safe and secure experience. 

Where to Stay

Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront

Address: 2 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1A2

Website: Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront

Instagram: HI Kingston Waterfront (@hi_kingston_waterfront)

Contact: (613) 549-8400

Price: From $160 per night for two people

Choosing Kingston as a pitstop means having a relaxing waterfront stay at the Holiday Inn Kingston. This lovely hotel with a killer view also grants you access to historical landmarks like the Rogers K-Rock Centre and Fort Henry.

It offers straightforward yet comfortable rooms equipped with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and a choice of pillows. Plus families are in for a treat, with kids 19 and under staying free with an adult.

Secret Garden Inn

Address: 73 Sydenham St, Kingston, ON K7L 3H3

Website: The Secret Garden Inn

Instagram: The Secret Garden Inn (@secretgardenygk)

Contact: (613) 548-1081

Price: From $267 per night for two people

Dating back to 1888, this Queen Anne-style B&B exudes old-world elegance. The inn’s rooms offer a cosy haven with modern amenities, including cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and en suite bathrooms with some offering claw-foot tubs and stained-glass windows.

Guests can indulge in a complimentary cooked breakfast served in an oak-panelled dining room. The inn’s common areas, including a courtyard garden with a koi pond, and a lounge in a turret, provide perfect spots to unwind before resuming their road trip.

Inland Route

Inland Route

Opting for the Inland route offers additional stops to enhance your road trip. This would be ideal for those who want to cram in as many attractions and natural wonders as possible.

However, this comes with the trade-off of an extended driving time of around 1.5 hours along with an additional 30 kilometres. Also, be prepared for potential traffic, especially during peak travel times outside the holidays as you navigate this trail.

Where to Stop

Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Address: 106 Monck St, Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0

Website: Welcome to Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Instagram: Kawartha Highlands (@kawartha_highlands_ssp)

Hours: Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Contact: (613) 332-3940

For a cool road trip detour, consider venturing into the expansive beauty of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site. This spot beckons with a wide range of outdoor experiences, from backcountry canoeing and camping to shorter hikes. 

As you plan your visit, it’s essential to note that the access points at Kawartha have limited facilities and parking capacity. Safety is paramount, especially around water, where life jackets and careful trip planning become crucial. 

Bonnechere Caves

Address: 25 Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8

Website: Rouge National Urban Park

Instagram: Explore Rouge National Urban Park on Instagram

Hours: Mon-Sun: 7:30 AM–9 PM

Contact: (416) 264-2020

With over 55 years of welcoming visitors from around the globe, the Bonnechere Caves offer a safe, educational, and enjoyable experience suitable for all ages – from babies in backpacks to senior citizens. Plus, reservations are unnecessary!

We suggest going on a tour within the caves, where you’ll encounter fossilised coral, ancient sea creatures, including an octopus, gastropods, cephalopods, and more. For those visiting in late September, you may catch a glimpse of early hibernating bats.

Where to Stay

Somerset Lakeside Resort

Address: 27075 ON-28, Cardiff, ON K0L 1M0

Website: Somerset Lakeside Resort

Instagram: Somerset Lakeside Resort (@somersetlakesideresort)

Contact: (705) 768-1255

Price: From $168 per night for two people

Somerset Lakeside Resort beckons weary travellers on their Toronto to Ottawa road trip. This lovely hotel features a shared lounge, terrace, restaurant, and bar, with amenities like free WiFi, free private parking, and modern comforts, including flat-screen TVs. 

Guests can also engage in outdoor activities such as fishing and canoeing in the pristine surroundings. Somerset Lakeside Resort also has a cosy restaurant offering daily soups and seasonal coffee menus – ideal for refuelling during your long road trip!

Baptiste Lake Lodge

Address: 27075 ON-28, Cardiff, ON K0L 1M0

Website: Somerset Lakeside Resort

Instagram: Somerset Lakeside Resort (@somersetlakesideresort)

Contact: (705) 768-1255

Price: From $200 per night for two people

Baptiste Lake Lodge, a family-owned vacation rental, is a hidden gem waiting to enhance your Toronto to Ottawa road trip experience. This lodge offers fully furnished apartments, just a short 15-minute drive from Bancroft. 

Tired souls can revel in the luxury of a private patio overlooking Baptiste Lake, offering the perfect backdrop for breathtaking sunsets. You can also indulge in a hot tub experience and enjoy the scenic beauty from your balcony, featuring mountain views. 

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