12 days around Toronto and Ottawa

Jun 9th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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12 days around Toronto and Ottawa

My family, including a 10 year old girl and 13 year old boy are planning to spend 12 days in Ontario in August. We loved Montreal and Quebec two years ago, and now we are going to start in Toronto. We need advice on how to split the days. Our current plan is as follows: 5 nites in Toronto (which assumes 3 actual days in Toronto and one day traveling to Niagara Falls); 4 nites in Ottawa (which assumes one day traveling through Kingston and the 1,000 Islands to Ottawa and 3 days in Ottawa); and 4 nights near Huntsville (this assumes 3 1/2 days in the area, staying in the Deerhurst or Grandview hotels.

Is this the right allocation of time? Is three days too much in Ottawa? Should we spend more time in the Huntsville area? (We like to kayak, canoe, and hike.) Any thoughts on our hotel choice in Huntsville? Thanks for your help. Gail
Gail_in_LA is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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HI Gail,
I would say that if you like to hike and canoe, you may want to drop one night in Ottawa and add the extra day to Huntsville. The Algonquin area is beautiful and a very large area, with many lakes and hiking trails.
Although I've never stayed there, I understand Deerhurst is very, very nice. SOrry, I'm not familiar with Grandview.
I hope I've helped a bit.
Have a wonderful vacation.
kodi is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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Ottawa, as I am sure you have seen in other threads, has plenty to offer for a family - great [and interesting for kids] museums etc.
You are also close there to Gatineau Park [in Quebec]with some good hiking trails and pretty scenery with hills and waterfalls etc.

I would leave your itinerary as it is - but could certainly understand adding or subtracting a day at any of the locations.....including Toronto.

The least 'outdoorsy' of the three is of course Toronto but again you can certainly get out for some long walks on the Toronto Islands, the Zoo or in several of our wooded river valleys including the Rouge Valley.

Sounds like a fun trip!

gannetmusic is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 10:28 PM
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Thank you. These are helpful. The more I hear about the Huntsville area, I am inclined to add a day there.

If anyone has suggestions on whether they would pick Deerhurst or Grandview in August, we'd welcome them!


Gail_in_LA is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 05:55 AM
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3 days is certainly not too long to spend in Ottawa. There is a lot to see and do -- in some ways, more than Toronto. Don't miss the Canadian Parliament Buildings and a tour of Rideau Hall. Take a boat tour either of the Ottawa River or the Rideau Canal. If I had to choose for you I would choose the River because you can easily walk along the best parts of the canal.

If you like art, the National Gallery of Canada will give you several enjoyable hours. The Canadian Museum of Civilization which is across the river in Quebec is a must-see (and has wonderful views of Parliament Hill). One evening, take the Ottawa Ghost walking tour (fun and you get a good idea of the older building in downtown Ottawa).

Then, if you still have time, and depending on your children's interests, go to one of the other four major museums: The National Aviation Museum, the Museum of Science and Technology, the Natural History Museum or the Canadian War Museum. There are several smaller museums as well such as the Bytown Museum (history of Ottawa, the Canadian Mint Museum, Canada and the World Exhibit, and the National Archives of Canada just to name a few.

You will certainly like Algonguin and if you want to try some urban canoeing/kayaking you can rent them at Dows Lake in Ottawa and actually paddle the canal to downtown (no locks).

Enjoy your visit. We moved to Ottawa nearly three years ago and we are still being tourists and discovering more exciting things.
Pam_in_Ottawa is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Hi Gail!

With regard to whether you might pick Grandview or Deerhurst - the choice is quite personal. They are both world class accomodations with spectacular golf on sight....I however, would choose Grandview as it is a bit smaller and more personal as opposed to Deerhurst which is significantly larger and more glitzy big time resort...Many celebrities go to Deerhurst - Tom Cruise once flew in on a sea plane...trying to be inconspicuous?!?!!? I worked at Deerhurst so I can say it is a great spot - all sorts of shows at night - Shania Twain got her start there many many many years ago. But Grandview is next door (relatively speaking) so you can benefit fromthe more intimate atmosphere of G. but easily get over to D. for the shows or some dinners...

This is why I say the choice is personal - but truly you CAN NOT go wrong with either if you are looking for super quality, easy to get to, directly on the water with great water activities, twenty minutes from Algonquin and also twenty minutes from Arrowhon - another great spot to hike - less well known. Huntsville has everything you need -but make sure you take a little day trip to go to Dorset which is a lovely little town - but for the kids there is the Fire Tower which is on a cliff and then rises another ridiculous height - offering breathtaking views of Lake of Bays - ritzy lake.

Please let me know which you choose and how the trip is as I cottage up there and have my whole life...so I am personally interested in your experience. If you have any further questions about the area - I am happy to answer!!
carib_bean is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Hi Gail & Kids! I second the rec. of Carib_bean! A lot of people like Deerhurst but I am not one of them b/c I find the place too big & sprawling & crowded. And, as CB has pointed out you can always go over to Deerhurst if there is something of interest. Both have excellent golf courses(Highlands @ Deerhurst) w/ the Grandview Mark O'Meara course being the much newer of the 2. Both also have less challenging golf courses than the 2 I have mentioned. Grandview has a very short 9 hole & Deerhurst has the Lakeside course.
Try to have at least one meal @ Arrowhon(sp?) while you are visiting Algonquin Park. Another great place for dinner is Kilarney Lodge. Some have told me that Bartlett Lodge also has good food (you have to take a very short boat ride to get there from the highway).
When you say "one day travelling to Niagara Falls" do you mean that you wld do that as a "day trip" from Toronto b/c that is certainly doable?
I might be inclined to chop from your Toronto visit & tack those nights onto the end of your trip in the Huntsville area.
As a final note, things get booked up vey quickly & far in advance in the Huntsville area so you shd book that soon whatever you decide.
Are you flying into To & renting a car...coming from LA??
Any questions, post back!
wow is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Check out the great post here by Amy called "Toronto & Niagara: Short Trip, Small Trip Report" about doing a day trip Toronto-NF!!
wow is offline  
Jun 14th, 2004, 09:46 PM
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Thank you for all these wonderful responses. In answer to some of the questions, yes we are going to Niagara Falls as a day trip from Toronto (otherwise we fall short on days). (I will check out the other posting on a Niagara day trip -- thanks for the tip.) Yes, we are going to fly to Toronto, then rent a car. I also appreciate the multiple suggestions about sights to see in Ottawa. It sounds like we shouldn't cut Ottawa down either. A tough choice! Gail
Gail_in_LA is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just to add my picks to ones mentioned above for Ottawa:

Musuem of Civilization
Byward Market
Aviation Muesuem

I think your kids will love them too!
last_mango is offline  

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