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2 or 3 weeks in Canada for a single traveler

2 or 3 weeks in Canada for a single traveler

Old Mar 28th, 2005, 06:00 PM
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2 or 3 weeks in Canada for a single traveler

Hi.I'm single,38 and I'm planning a trip to North America from june 24 to july 15.I've never been to Canada.What do you suggest?3 weeks is too many time?How many days in each city?The travel agencies here in Brasil suggest Toronto,Ottawa,Montreal,Quebec,and the British Columbia.What do you think?Is Canada a nice place for solo travelers?How is the nightlife?Thank you for your help.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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You may also want to post this message on the "Solo Traveler" board and see what words of wisdom you receive.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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It matters not how you travel and
how many travel with you.

What does matter is comprehending the size and diversity of Canada.

Canada is a huge country and three weeks is not enough time.

Flying from Toronto to Vancouver is five hours. Driving Toronto to Winnipeg located in the centre of North America is 2 days.

Having said that, you should pick a theme which includes visiting the outdoors and the urban environment.

Outdoors themes include visting the east coast (Cape Breton Island for example), the prairies, Rocky Mountains, lakes and woods of Ontario and Quebec or the marine environment of the West Coast - all worthwhile destinations.

In between, visit one or more of Canada's big cities - Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Canada's smaller cities like Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Stratford Ontario, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore, Kelowna and Victoria have their own appeal. Halifax and Ottawa are my picks.

If your are feeling homesick,
there is a sizable Brazilian community in Toronto on College and Dundas Avenues.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Hello George,

If I were you, I would pick one region, either the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and perhaps also Newfoundland) OR East / Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) OR the far west (British Columbia and Alberta).

For a first visit, I would suggest either Ontario and Quebec OR BC and Alberta.

If you want to concentrate on cosmopolitan cities, with some pleasant rural scenery thrown into the mix, I would suggest Ontario and Quebec, as you then would have the opportunity to visit Toronto and Montreal.

If you want to see beautiful scenery (the Rocky Mountains and the west coast) with one cosmopolitan city (Vancouver) thrown into the mix, I would suggest BC and Alberta.

To get an idea of possible itineraries, you might look at those followed by Moose Travel Network, which is a hop-on / hop-off bus service for backpackers and independent travellers.

For example, their "Mohawk" itinerary takes in Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City, Tadoussac, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Ottawa, Fort Coulange, Madawaska, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Toronto again over 14 nights. If I was following that itinerary, I would add a couple of nights to each of Toronto and Montreal and a night to each of Quebec City and Ottawa, and stretch it into a three week trip.

Three weeks is not too much time to spend on the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Moose Travel Network's "Pacific" itinerary looks as if it keeps up quite an intense pace over its 19 day duration, but it does cover lovely scenery. It starts out in Vancouver, takes you across to Vancouver Island to the temperate rainforests and beaches of Tofino, the charming, small city of Victoria, back to Vancouver, to the mountain resort town of Whistler, back to Vancouver, then eastwards through the scenic interior of British Columbia to Banff, Alberta, which is in the Rocky Mountains. From there you continue travelling in the mountains to Jasper and back to Banff again. Then you head east to Calgary, and from there you visit two interesting museums, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller (the dinosaur skeletons are awesome) and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, which depicts the traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle of the First Nations people of the plains, and which is located between Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek to the south of Calgary. Then you head westwards back towards Vancouver, but following a different route through Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley.

If you wanted a less intense itinerary, you could follow something similar to their "Mustang" itinerary, which includes the west coast and the Rocky Mountains, but excludes Calgary, the Tyrrell Museum and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

The "Mustang" nominally is a 14 night itinerary, but I would stretch it to three weeks by adding a night in each of Tofino, Victoria, Vancouver, Lake Louise, Jasper and Kelowna.

There is good nightlife in all of Canada's cities and also in small but popular resort towns like Whistler and Banff.

In the cities (Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa), you easily can cover the centrally located attractions on foot or by a combination of walking and riding public transportation.

Some cities (e.g., Toronto and Montreal) are linked by convenient train and bus services.

All cities are linked by air as well. Of course flying is quicker, but deprives you of the scenery between cities. (However, if you were going to do something which I recommend against doing, namely, including both Eastern and Western Canada in a three-week trip, then flying between Toronto and Calgary or Vancouver is the only feasible way of covering a territory of that size in the amount of time you have.)

Some parts of the country do not have good public transportation, and you really need to drive to enjoy them. For example, there is no rail or air link between Banff and Jasper in the Rocky Mountains. The Icefields Parkway, which links Lake Louise and Jasper, is one of the most scenic roads in the world, and it would be a dreadful shame to miss it if you had gone all the way from Brazil to Banff. Yet the only way to see it is by car or by bus.

Driving in the Rocky Mountains is easy. The roads are good. I would suggest you drive if at all possible. However, if you are reluctant to drive for some reason, then I think a hop on / hop off bus service, such as that offered by Moose Travel Network, may be the second best option. It would give you more flexibility than the big scheduled buses like Greyhound and the big tour buses like Brewsters.

Before I finally let you go, I want to answer your question about how much time to allocate to each city. In my experience it takes three days to do justice to a larger city like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.

It would be nice to have a couple of days in each of Quebec City and Ottawa. Although with a population of about 1.2 million, Ottawa is not a very big city, it's particularly rich in museums, because of the fact that it's Canada's capital. You could spend even longer than two days there, but I certainly would like to spend no less than two days.

If you include Calgary in your itinerary, I believe you can cover this city's attractions in a day.

Well I hope that helps. When you have narrowed down your choices and have a more focused region that you want to visit, I'm sure your questions will get more specific.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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with your time frame, pick an area:
british columbia/alberta
new brunswick/pei/nova scotia
if it's cities you like pick ontario/quebec and you could probably see one of the maritime provinces
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