Scenic Bus Ride: Toronto to Montreal

Scenic Greyhound Toronto to Montreal

Normally, the idea of sitting for eight hours on a bus does not appeal to me. First, there is the anxiety that comes with not knowing who you’ll be sitting in front of (a seat-kicker?), behind (a loud conversationalist?) or next to (I got lucky this time—it was my sister).

But then there’s the inevitable butt-ache that comes after sitting in the same position for hours upon hours, as well as the gnawing hunger and the sudden, urgent need to use a (non-disgusting) bathroom.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the road a lot lately, but the eight-hour bus ride from Toronto to Montreal, despite my reservations, was not bad. Not bad at all. I didn’t encounter any of the atrocities I mentioned above. Instead, I kept my head cocked to the left, staring out the window at the almost surreal Canadian countryside whizzing past.

Our bus driver was unlike any I’ve ever encountered. I’m used to a certain gruffness—Megabus drivers are notorious for being cranky, and though this was a Greyhound, I expected roughly the same thing. But this guy took the time to announce over the PA that we’d be passing great scenery on our trip, though we would miss the change of the leaves, which would happen (he said) in approximately one week. Darn.

Another reason our trip was pleasant: in Canada, nobody talks on the bus. Nobody listens to music too loudly. They just ride.

Once the wheels start rolling and you get in the groove, the minutes pass by so quickly, and then you look at the clock and question whether it’s right. Did I just stare out of the window of this bus for two hours? Am I really on my way to Montreal, where I’ve never been, staying with people I’ve never met? Is this crazy six-month trip really still going?

In the absence of chatter or other transit-related nuisances, you can really enjoy the time to reflect on your life, your journey, and the next leg of your adventure, whatever that may be.

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