This weekend I had to travel to Algonquin via The Parkbus from Toronto. I was beyond impressed! Typically I travel up north via Ontario Northland…it used to be by train but now they only use busses. The trip is so long and not that comfortable. Parkbus however is the exact opposite.
First off, finding your stop isn’t very hard. They have three within Toronto to make it extremely easy. The stops are York Mills, Carlton & Yonge, and Dufferin & Bloor. I got on at Carlton & Yonge which is right outside of the Holiday Inn. When the bus pulled up we were greeted by a bus volunteer named Norman! He was organized, polite, and made sure that everything was taken care of. After we got out of Toronto (which took a while due to construction) it was a peaceful and relaxed ride up to Webbers where we stopped for Tim Hortons. During the trip Norman chatted with passengers about their journeys and made you feel welcome aboard!.
The second half of the trip was just as nice and comfortable! I really enjoyed learning about people’s trip plans, talking about the park history with first time trippers, and learning about the other passengers. The trip was versatile so you were pretty much able to be dropped off whereever you needed. On the way there I got dropped off at Algonquin Outfitters and on the way back I got picked up at Canoe Lake. It was refreshing to be able to travel with other people who share the same passion and desire for the park and the outdoors that I have. Parkbus has also added on to their experience by putting food bins in each of the campgrounds in Algonquin for those who take the bus and have no cars to store their food!
Norman was a great volunteer! He really knows his camping stuff and his knowledge about ultra light camping was impressive! He is very knowledgeable about backpacking especially when it comes to the backpacking in the States! He got to know all the passengers and found out about their trips and made sure any questions they had were answered. On the way back he raffled off a bunch of stuff like Parkbus shirts and a couple of Jeff’s Maps!
Overall it was a great experience and I look forward to riding it again. Who knows…maybe I’ll get a chance to volunteer this summer !
~Enjoy your Trip!