Road tested: the best way to get to Vaughan Mills

Road tested: the best way to get to Vaughan Mills

Some Torontonians might scoff at the shopping options north of the city, but Vaughan Mills is one of the few places with outlets for Hugo Boss, Holt Renfrew Last Call and Lacoste, along with a store that carries a wide selection of crossbows. It also might as well be Siberia for car-deprived downtowners. That’s why the mall launched a free shuttle service last summer. From May 1 until the end of September, the bus leaves from Union Station twice daily (at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.). The only problem: it leaves riders at the mall for a full five hours. So we tested the shuttle (to the mall) against public transit (for the trip back to Union Station) to see which way was faster. The results, after the jump.

Shuttle Bus

Total travel time: 30 minutes.
Cost: Free.
Pro: One-way, hassle-free trip to the mall with zero chance of getting lost.
Cons: We had to arrive half an hour early to guarantee a first-come, first-served seat, and getting up on a Saturday morning to board a mall shuttle bus filled with tourists was slightly depressing.

Public Transportation

Total travel time: One hour and 55 minutes. York Region’s Viva buses don’t make any downtown stops, so we got off at Don Mills station, where we took the subway back to Union.
Cost: $3.25 for the Viva bus, $3 for the TTC subway.
Pros: We didn’t have to circle the mall for five hours, and the bus ride is a scenic tour of suburban cookie-cutter houses and greenery.
Cons: Bus transfers, waiting in the rain, having to plan a trip to the mall like an Expedia vacation.

Verdict: Get a friend who has a car.