There’s a Free Shuttle Service from Toronto to the Great Canadian Wilderness
If you’re feeling consumed by the city concrete this summer, it couldn’t be simpler – or cheaper – to get up close and personal with nature. Alongside partners Parkbus and Parks Canada, Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) is on a mission to connect urbanites with the great outdoors.
Now, you can hop on a free shuttle bus straight to the sights, sounds, and smells (in addition to the Instagram ops, naturally) of nature. Newly launched this summer, the TD Rouge Park Express offers free shuttle service from downtown Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park. The park features over 50 square kilometres of wilderness just outside of the city confines. Here, you’ll find picnic tables, lush wetlands, hiking trails, flowing rivers, and a sandy beach.
The shuttle runs every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday now until September 30. Drop-off locations include 30 Carlton Street (College Station) and the MEC North York location. Tickets must be booked in advance at parkbus.ca.
The non-profit Parkbus was founded in 2010 to connect city dwellers to nature through accessible transportation options to national and provincial parks from major cities in Canada. In addition to the free Rouge Park Express, the company offers other affordable rides for both day and overnight trips. These include trips to Algonquin Provincial Park, Bruce Peninsula, Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Elora Gorge, Christie Lake, and Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, to name a few.
You don’t have to break the bank when it comes to camping gear, nor rely on a random assortment of items borrowed from a dozen friends either. MEC offers tent and outdoor gear rentals.
So, even if you’re broke as a joke, don’t drive, or don’t know where to go, you have no excuse not to escape the city if the urge hits this summer.
Featured image: Instagram/ @rougepark
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Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis