10 days around Ontario

Dec 30th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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10 days around Ontario

I am visiting Toronto, Montreal and Ottowa in October, with my daughter(4) and husband. Anyone have ideas of what to do and see. We plan to go to Niagara and then through the U.S to Montreal and Ottawa. Any suggestions for accommodation or sights etc would be gratefully received. Oh and does anyone think this is a bit too 'whistlestop'?
lisa_b is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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If your little girl likes chocolate, she would enjoy the Hershey factory tour in Smiths Fall, Ontario (you can't tour the Pennsylvania site anymore so this is the only plant tour Hershey gives to tourists.)

My family loved the heavenly aroma and we still talk about the mounds and mounds of Reeses cups being made. The on-site factory store stocks 'irregular' pieces by the pound for purchase.


wsoxrebel is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 04:56 PM
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I can't imagine a good reason anyone would go through the US to get from Niagara Falls to Montreal.

Lake Ontario runs at an angle; the trip is longer than staying in Canda, the drive from Syracuse to Canada is really awful, although not too long, there's not much to see in Rochester, according to a recent newspaper story I read that infuriated the good people of the Kodak city.

Now, on a more positive note: When kids are involved, my advoice is usually based on the kids, and the parents can just go with the flow, and they'll stiull have a good time, I hope.
She'll love the Butterfly Conservatory between Niagara Falls and Niagara ont he lke, and she'll enjoy the Fort in Niagara Falls. Plus the fireworks over Niagara Falls are worth waking her up for, if she's easy to get back to sleeep later.

North on Niagara Falls, on the way to Cambridge, is African Lion Safari, and lots there, including the water play area, is fun for a tiny girl.

In Toronto, Centreville amusement park, on Toronto Island, will give her lots of fun, plus you'll all enjoy the ferry ride across the harbor. Centreville is the best of the Toronto area parks for little kids.

There's a new little kids section at the Ontario Science Center, plus there's lots of the big kids part she'll enjoy., and you'll like it, too.

If you drive to Montreal through Canada, consider stopping at Sandbanks Provincial PArk, near Trenton / Belleville. Beautiful sandy beach, fine for little lkids. then take the ferry from Glenora back to the mainland and continue to Kingston.

She might, you certainly will, enjoy a boat tour of the Thousand Islands.

In Montreal, she'll enjoy walking around Old Montreal, climbing on some of the architectural ruins there, and perhaps going for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

In Ottawa, she must go to the children's part of the Museum of Civilization, across the river in Hull.

And there's lots of outdoor play stuff at the museum, at the back overlooking the river and the Parliament Buildings.

10 days will work. You might want to do some night driving, though.

leave Montreal after supper, and dfrive to Ottawea, for instance. And you could spend most of a day from Toronto to Kingston, including the beach at Sandbanks, and then drive into Montreal (approx 3.5 hours from Kingston) in late afternoon and evening. Nothing much to see between Kingston and Mtl. anyway.


BAK is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 07:11 PM
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Hi Lisa:

All of the suggestions that BAK referred to are great when traveling with a little one. However, I just re-read your post and noticed that you will be coming to Canada in October. Some of the outdoor sites, like centreville park or sandbanks provincial park will not be suitable weatherwise; it will be too cold and the amusement park will be closed, although the Island Ferry will be running and you can just take a ride on it. However, the Science Centre will be a very good choice to visit as it is indoors.

I am assuming that you will be arriving/landing in Toronto from wherever you are coming from. I do have a recommendation... You mention that you are staying 10 days and visiting 3 major cities and Niagara Falls, It would entail a lot of driving on your vacation. It may be much more enjoyable if you traveled to these cities by train. The web site the train is www.viarail.ca - Via Rail is very affordable and gives you a chance to see the provinces without having to drive. For e.g, You can take Via from Toronto to Montreal(if you take the express train leaving Toronto at 5p.m.,you will arrive in Montreal at 9.p.m), From Montreal to Ottawa and then back to Toronto all by train. When in Toronto, rent a car and drive to Niagara Falls. You can also cross the Canadian/U.S.A border at Niagara Falls and view the Falls from the States.

torontopm is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 01:29 AM
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Thanks for all the responses. I am in the U.K and it's been tough to find out good things to do in detail. The train thing sounds great as does the chocolate factory (I missed out when I went to San Fran a while back). Night driving seems a pretty good idea too, means we can max out time in the day doing stuff and not waste it driving.
Thank You all
lisa_b is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 08:46 AM
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Lisa, I'm sorry about missing the October element.

Forget the waterparks and beach, obviously. The ferry ride to Toronto Island is still fun.

There are various harvest festivals and dall fairs that you'd all find interesting; lots of stuff for kids.

BAK is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 07:58 AM
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In addition to previous suggestions, I would add the following.

If you have flexibility, try to visit in early rather than late October as the weather is usually nicer and the autumn leaves and colours should still be in progress.

Niagara Falls - Do the Maid of the Mist but check schedule.

Toronto - Add Toronto Zoo, a great zoo. Also Royal Ontario Museum and perhaps Bata Show Museum.

If you do like outdoors and/or some hiking, autumn colours will usually be in full swing in early October - spots include Niagara Glen (near Niagara Falls), High Park and Toronto Zoo (both in Toronto). There are many spots in southern Ontario and Quebec although chances are leaves may be gone the more north you go from Toronto (for reference - Montreal is further north than Toronto; it varies but 30-60 minutes north of Toronto should still be good but 90-120 minutes north may be late in the season). An area that is 30-60 minutes from Toronto is the Forks of the Credit (River) and Hockley Valley.

Montreal - Biodome is a popular site for children.

Accomodations - not sure what your price range is. Niagara Falls has many new hotels (Sheraton, Hilton and I think Westin) with views of the Falls. For better or worse, the new casino/hotel opens in Spring 2004 which will I guess will have full amenities. Toronto - Delta Chelsea is a family oriented hotel that is centrally located and moderately priced.

dial is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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HI Lisa,

I can not believe that noone has mentioned Casa Loma. It is the most magestic castle in Canada. Sir Pellet (sp?) built it for his wife importing all the stones from his homeland in the UK. She died before he finished it but he completed it anyways. There are self guided tours and different events all the time. It is especially good in October as it gets decorated for Halloween. Currently it is set up as a Princess Castle....every little girls dream.

I have to agree with BAK there is no good reason to drive from Niagara Falls to Montreal via the United States. There is nothing to see really, and it is considerably longer, not only in distance but also because the accetable speeds are much lower on the highways.

When in toronto the science centre and the zoo are certain must see. The Zoo also have sleep overs you can arrange... a favorite with kids.
clearthinker is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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clearthinker, my girls enjoyed the secret passages within Casa Loma, but didn't like all the military guns. When Casa Loma is redecorated periodically, do they keep all the military stuff on display?
wsoxrebel is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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Lisa: Nix on entering the US. BAK is correct that it'll take you way off track. Also, getting into the US entails long lines and potential hassles from the immigration inspectors. I work in the US immigration field and can attest that while most people have no problems, you never know when you'll encounter a difficult time, or more likely, get behind someone who has a problem. Stay in Canada. It's my opinion that the US has gone beyond what's reasonable to ensure border security, alienating lots of good folks along the way. This is off track with your request for info but the point is made.
waltd is offline  
Jan 16th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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The secret passages and the tunnel to the stables are two of my favorite things about Casa Loma. I think that the military things are always on display there but they are easily skipped if of little interest
clearthinker is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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Hi Lisa

Like waltd, a bit off the main track of your question, but probably a useful consideration for your vacation.

You are in the UK - does this mean you and your family are travelling on British / EU Passports?

If so, at least when members of my family from England who visited had to go through to the US there was additional documentation - basically a visa - and also fees that they had to pay to enter the US (and I think documents even had to be issued in advance at that time when crossing by car and couldnt be done at the border - although perhaps not now of course). This was summer 2003, so fairly recent experience.

This sort of extra requirement to have sorted out before or during your vacation is probably something to avoid, especially when the route doesnt add anything or really save any time.

Have a great trip!
nkh is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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Hi everyone

Thanks for the additional suggestions.
We are going to ditch the States as per everyones advice.

lisa_b is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:59 AM
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Just saw this thread - so if you're still reading you might like to know that in May 2004 there will begin a fast ferry, "CATS", between Toronto and Rochester that will cross Lake Ontario in (supposedly) 2 hours. It looks pretty fun. Rochester doesn't have too much that's touristy (maybe that's a good thing...) There is a fabulous "living" museum nearby called the Genesee Country Museum which we really enjoy.
Feb 29th, 2004, 11:25 PM
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Thanks weenie. Will bear this in mind/
lisa_b is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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While in Ottawa, you may want to take you little one to the Canadian Museum of Nature (near downtown - very centrally located), the Canadian Museum of Civilisation (across the Ottawa river in Gatineau, Quebec)(this is where the Children's Museum is located) or the Museum of Science and Technology (eastern part of the city, not too far from the train station on St-Laurent Street).

If you like hiking or walking, go up to(across the Ottawa river)Gatineau Park for wonderful short or longer hikes near the village Chelsea, beautiful places for a picnic if dressed warmly and the local bakery (boulangerie du village - next door to general store)has fantastic food for take out. Do come in early, early October if possible, otherwise you may see flurries and a Canadian Thanksgiving (2nd Monday in October).

Good Luck with your travels. Also, don't forget to visit the Big Apple on the 401 south of Port Hope towards Toronto. You can't miss it and your little one may enjoy feeding the llamas and free hoping bunnies. The food there is ok, not great, but the animals are fun and it's an inexpensive little break from highway driving.
2CdnMMs is offline  
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