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toronto to thunder bay - cheapest option

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  • May 23rd, 2008 12:06 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 4, 2007
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Toronto

toronto to thunder bay - cheapest option

i need to get to thunder bay from southern ontario (toronto, hamilton, burlington) in mid july for a friend's wedding. what are my best options? fly/train/drive? any info would be greatly appreciated. only going for the weekend and obviously looking for the fastest method without paying a month's salary. 2 people, 2 students... any ideas?
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Sr. Member
Nov 1, 2005
604 posts
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There's no rail service to Thunder Bay. Driving from Toronto is about 16 hours (min).

If you're looking into flying, also try Bearskin airlines which now flies out of Kitchener/Waterloo to TB (but it may not be direct).

http://www.bearskinairlines.com/

There's always the bus too I suppose so you may want to check with Greyhound etc.
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Mar 29, 2006
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I used to live in the T-bay area and 16 hours is assuming everything runs smoothly. The highway beyond Sudbury is posted at 90km/h and lots of police and construction in the summer. If you have to stop for the night there's $$$ for that too. Greyhound is tough, because of all the stops in between it takes way more than 16... Today there's a seat sale on WJ, $174 one way one person before taxes/fees.
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Nov 4, 2007
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nogoro wrote: I used to live in the T-bay area and 16 hours is assuming everything runs smoothly. The highway beyond Sudbury is posted at 90km/h and lots of police and construction in the summer. If you have to stop for the night there's $$$ for that too. Greyhound is tough, because of all the stops in between it takes way more than 16... Today there's a seat sale on WJ, $174 one way one person before taxes/fees.
i know $174 one way one person with taxes its like $500 a person X2 its a lot, even with driving that covers gas and hotel., we can always crash at family's in the Soo before we continue.

bearskin is like $1000 per person.

greyhound is the cheapest at like $220 person but its a 20 hr bus ride.

any other options? hmm i can fly to north bay for cheaper and drive from there ?
Sr. Member
Nov 1, 2005
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sillygyrl8 wrote: i ... we can always crash at family's in the Soo before we continue. ...
All things considered, that's probably your best bet.
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Dec 6, 2006
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Best with Air Canada is $421.40 including taxes
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Sep 6, 2004
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well if you going back to LU for graduation at the 31 you are more or less out of luck , cuz all the flight ticket are more than 200 dollars + surcharges you are looking at 620 .. the only best way to go there is by car and sleep overnight at Sudbury .

if you take your own car the total fuel expense is 340 dollars (to and from) T.Bay plus 70 dollars at comfort Inn..
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Jan 13, 2004
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It's only 1400km, so with 2 people as long as you're both drivers it's not that difficult a straight shot in a single day. Depending on vehicle driven expect between $250 and $350 in gas. I can and have done this in my Subaru Impreza on two tanks of gas at about $70/tank. Stopping in the Soo is a good way to break up the trip and is almost exactly half way along the route.

Expect gas to cost ten to twenty cents more/litre along the route.

Once you get past the Soo, there is no fast food on the road and this is the longest stretch of the trans canada highway without a Tim Horton's (750km). There is a Subway in Wawa that you can drive into but it's a heck of a detour. There's an A&W in Marathon you can drive into that's also a bit of a drive. The A&W in Schrieber has closed its doors a few years ago.

If your vehicle is reliable and you have decent gravel road driving experience (and a spare tire), you can shave up to an hour (and 100km off) the total route by going through Sultan. The road is not well travelled so if you break down it could be as much as an hour before the next vehicle (very likely a logger or trucker) will come along. Here's the google map of that route (which I've also taken). If you go this route there is no gas available for a couple hundred kilometers. If you go this route during the evening/night, there is no gas at all between Sudbury and Wawa (technically, I think Cartier is last gas but it may be Onaping/Levack - best to fill up early).

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&hl=en&ge ... 16&t=h&z=6
Everything in moderation... including moderation :twisted:
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Sep 6, 2004
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well if you going back to LU for graduation at the 31 you are more or less out of luck , cuz all the flight ticket are more than 200 dollars + surcharges you are looking at 620 .. the only best way to go there is by car and sleep overnight at sue saint marie .(thanks Joe)

if you take your own car the total fuel expense is 340 dollars (to and from) T.Bay plus 70 dollars at comfort Inn..

Safety /Traffic Ticket
ah .. remember one thing Opp pulled me over at the outskirts of Marathon.. and there are even cops hanging out at Sudbury at 2am on hwy 17 (cos it is the only straight and wide stretch of trans-Canada) so Remember to obey your speed limit do only 108 in 90..sorta thing.

No rush Believe me I saw moose (size of a Ford Explorer)- a bunch of them drinking in the small lake along TCH. Pay attention on skid marks on the road..usually those are the tale-tell sign for danger (moose /deer) .

If you really run out of time , and need to drive at night....under dense fog ..Follow a tractor trailer ;they are your savor..they can see the road much further...better equipment than us ....plus they have experience (speed traps).. and they are your life line in case you get stuck..(they have CB radio and you don't)
Newbie
Feb 16, 2008
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Thunder Bay is basically like another country distance wise. It's like driving to the southern/midwestern states.
[OP]
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Nov 4, 2007
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Toronto
ct976 wrote: well if you going back to LU for graduation at the 31 you are more or less out of luck , cuz all the flight ticket are more than 200 dollars + surcharges you are looking at 620 .. the only best way to go there is by car and sleep overnight at Sudbury .

if you take your own car the total fuel expense is 340 dollars (to and from) T.Bay plus 70 dollars at comfort Inn..
nope not going to LU for graduation - going to a friend's wedding in mid july.
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Nov 4, 2007
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Toronto
yah i`m finding thunder bay is a weird zone - though its a major passthrough for trucking/shipping lanes - for passenger stuff its kinda limbo

hmm greyhound $220 return but a 20 hour bus (x2 people)
WJ to Tbay return is around $500 (x2 people)
Air Canada to Tbay return is around $420 (x2 people)
car - yes we're drivers, gas will be like $200+ each way + food and hotel

I can go to cuba for a week all-inclusive (plane, food, drinks, hotel) for that amount :O
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Aug 20, 2003
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Finish Line
Take Greyhound. You get to see more of the countryside :)

I used to take the Greyhound to TO and found it to be fine.
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Sep 6, 2004
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I rode on Greyhound twice and both of them are excellent adventures.

2 buses merged into 1 at Sudbury forcing you to sit all the way to the back.
you need to carry around your luggage for 2 hours until the next bus arrived

If you have motion sickness; you are out of luck

Constant engine drone for 21 hours

homeless people tend to sit at the back and you can smell their BO and they smell like weed too

Bus goes extra fast after 11 30pm-4 30 am to catch up lost time so you cannot sleep

Bus driver got lost when they need to unload 1 passenger inside some remote town

rest stop are awful sometime they don't even open when the bus arrived. (Schreiber)

they stop every 2 hours and make the trip feels like taking forever. Car only take 15 hours and greyhound needs 21 hours.

the only thing you stare for the 21 hours is the seat back or the ceiling.

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