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Best way to Ottawa from Toronto??

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Aug 23rd, 2010, 05:56 AM
  #1
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Best way to Ottawa from Toronto??

Hi ,
I need to get to Ottawa,as I have discovered I have a cousin living there,I can not tell you how excited I am
We arrive in Toronto this time next week and staying at the Sheraton ,we have already booked a car and another hotel for our trip to Niagara falls,but that could be changed without a great deal of effort .
We had just about sorted out what we were going to do and when, and this lovely surprise has pop out of the blue and I would love to meet up with them, this is an opportunity to great to miss.
They have very kindly offered to let us stay with them as they have a guest room ,however we would not want to be a bother to them , so any suggestion for a nice hotel in Ottawa?I hope they will not be offended,husband is worried that they may be .
I have had a look at the travel options for Ottawa and it seem as if driving or train may be the best choice,flying is really expensive and would blow the budget at this late stage.however if all else failed the credit card would have to cope !Time is an issue as we only have 10 days and I am sure that is going to whizz by .
What do you all think?How is the drive to Ottawa?looking on Goggle map it looks like a long but relatively easy drive,of course we will be driving on the wrong side of the road for us :-0 .
What about the train journey would that be better ?
We would be looking at leaving Toronto early morning one day and returning the following day late evening maybe leaving Ottawa early evening ,or maybe we should stay two nights.My cousin has offered to be our guide and pick us up from the train station so transport in Ottawa is not an issue (I really do not fancy driving around Ottawa or Toronto city's if I can help it)I am edging towards driving as that would give up greatest flexibility,but I would appreciate all or any advice as my head is spinning,my cousin only made contact with me a week ago so we are trying to sort it out sooner rather than later .
So it looks as if I will now be going to Toronto ,the Falls ,and Ottawa .
Thank you Liz
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 06:03 AM
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Hi Liz - how exciting to find a cousin - the train to Ottawa is a lovely trip www.viarail.ca - I do it quite often.

I usually stay at the Embassy Suites Hotel right downtown and walkable to most of the sights but if your cousin is going to show you around, it might now matter where you stay.

How did the cousin find you - from a genealogy list or site?

Hope we can still meet when you're here.

Carolyn
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM
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Here's a link to the Ottawa tourism site: http://www.ottawatourism.ca/en/visit...ions-in-ottawa
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:37 AM
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I think that the train is certainly your best option given the time available and the fact that you will have someone to meet you and drive you in Ottawa.

Morningglory47's suggestion of the Embassy in Ottawa is a good one (note that it is the Embassy Hotel and Suites and not the Embassy Suites chain which I don't think has a property in Ottawa.) I can suggest two others very close to the Embassy which you might also consider: The Cartier Place Suite Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express, both on Cooper Street. This is a very nice area, right downtown and close to the canal.

Here are a couple of other tourism sites for Ottawa you might look at:

http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins...d=16297&lang=1

http://www.ottawa.ca/visitors/index_en.html

Enjoy your visit!
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Hi - we travel from Toronto area to Ottawa quite often. The highway drive is straightforward via 4 lane highway all the way - about 4 hours in good traffic. However a couple of years ago we met up mid vacation with friends from downtown Toronto who had taken the train up to Ottawa which they thought was easy and convenient.
If you stay in downtown Ottawa, you won't need a car even if exploring on your own. Many of Ottawa's major attractions are fairly concentrated in and near the downtown which is quite walkable.
I like Ottawa and think there is enough to keep you busy for 2 days. Your cousin will likely help you choose highlights, but some of mine include the Byward Market district (not just a market but an area of many bistros, cafes, patios and interesting little shops). The Canadian Museum of Anthropology on the Quebec side of the Ottawa river right across from the downtown is another highlight. The Museum of Nature and the National Gallery (major art museum) are also very popular as are tours of the Parliament Buildings. A drive into the Gatineau Hills Park again across the river is very scenic.
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for getting back so quickly,I shall have a look at the trains and hotels this afternoon,I am back at work tomorrow so trying to get everything sorted today.My next day off will be Saturday and I will have to pack sometime.Thank you for the links I will have look at them as well.
Carolyn,my Cousin found me through genes reunited,I received a e-mail just over a week ago,I have not used that site for some time so I was surprised and after I had a look at her tree I was thrilled that we share the same Great Great Grandparents,I had not realized that my mum's cousin on my grandfathers side had even gone to Canada(the same year that my mum travelled to Canada).However I never knew much about my Grandfathers side of the family as my Mum and Aunt grew up with my Grandmothers family after her death.
My Mum's cousin settled in British Columbia so when her daughter contacted me I assumed that was were she was living ,but to cut a long story short she and her family live in Ottawa,her husband is retired from the R.C.M.P.
So we thought as Ottawa was so close we really have got to try and go and visit,they had asked us to come and stay for two or three night ,however the problem is if we did go to Ottawa for more than one night,we would not get to see much of Toronto sadly we are only going to be in canada for 10 days I wish it was longer now .
And yes I would still love to meet up while we are in Toronto,I will get back later today or tomorrow once I have got the Ottawa side trip sorted.We are booked to go to Niagara on the 6th September and returning to Toronto the following day but of course that could change now so once I get these trips sorted and I shall know what days I will be in Toronto,we will have to try and sort something out .I am not sure what they are going to make of us at The Sheraton we are booked in to stay there and instead we will be all over the place instead.
thank-you again
Liz
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 09:38 AM
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Oh, so then it's not part of the Barnes family who lived here in TO.
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Aug 24th, 2010, 12:40 AM
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No not the Barnes , I drew a complete blank with the Barnes,so we decided that we would visit Toronto and the falls and of course take to flower to Agnes and Jane's graves,and I had fulfilled my Mum's wish of finding out what became of her Aunt Agnes.
Then completely out of the blue came the e-mail.I have tried many times to make contact with my grandfathers side of the family.I know my uncle Robert,had a large family and I used to be in contact with them when I was newly married and living in Scotland ,but sadly we lost contact after my Mum and Uncle Robert died.As soon as I took a look at the tree I knew the connection and was delighted and the bonus is they only lives in Ottawa and what prefect timing ,even if it has become hectic the last few days before we fly out ,but I am sure it will be worth it and we are really looking forward to seeing them and all the old family photo's too.
So we think we will now be going to Ottawa on the Tuesday and hubby want to drive so I have got to sort out another hire car.
My cousin has suggested taking us on a drive to Quebec and to visit the Royal Canadian Musical ride training grounds so I will get to some Mounties tooHow jealous will the girls be when I get to work today! although the ride is out on tour it should be good to see and I have to try a *Beaver Tail *at one of the markets so I think we will have a good time.Well I have to rush as I am at work in a little over an hour and running late again!!
Bye for now liz
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Aug 26th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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I had no idea that musical ride training took place in Ottawa...something to try and see my next visit.

When you have a minute, post a place/time/day (probably the lobby of the Sheraton) where we can meet...I'm downtown by 11 most weekdays to go to the gym but can come earlier. I can introduce you to the wonders of getting lost in the PATH http://www.toronto.ca/path/.
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Aug 27th, 2010, 11:54 AM
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Hi Carolyn
Well I think I have caught up with myself at last,what a week it has been!!I have finished work and now getting ready for our holiday.
So here are our days in Toronto,Tuesday 31st August,Saturday and Sunday 4th and 5th of September and Wednesday the 8th of September .We really hope one off them fit in with you.
So the Place is the Lobby at the Sheraton (we can not get lost getting there)So that works great for us.I believe they have a Starbucks in the lobby.
Time, morning is good for us,in fact any time what ever is best for you.I expect I will be up early as we have a 5 hour time difference from the UK ,I doubt I will switch over to Toronto time until our last few days,it is always the way!!
So what do you think ?Tuesday ,Saturday ,Sunday ,or Wednesday any would be good for us .Morning afternoon or evening,what ever fits in with you.
We arrive into Toronto on Monday afternoon,and we are collecting the first hire car on Wednesday morning to drive to Ottawa,We will have the car until Friday evening,has to be back by 7pm at union station,not sure if we are going to stay in Ottawa for one or two nights we have booked a travel lodge for one night and taking a wait and see attitude about the following night.We will either stay in Ottawa another night and spend more time with my cousin or travel to Gananoque(I hope I have spelt that correctly)or Kingston on the way back from Ottawa.My cousin really would like us to stay the two nights,so we decided to have the car and see how things go we may stay another night and leave early on Friday morning to head back to Toronto most likely stopping for lunch on the way or else we may leave late on Thursday and stop at a travel lodge/hotel on the way.
We will pick up our next hire car on Monday the 6th to go to Niagara we are staying over night so back on the Tuesday sometime.
So are any of those time suitable for you? I hope so.As we are really looking forward to meeting you.so we are completely flexible on the above days,So if you could get back to me about the time and day which would suit you best ,we do not leave home until Sunday afternoon so I will check back later keeping every thing crossed.
By the way the Musical ride has a sunset ceremony that take place in the months of June and July my cousin said it is a lovely time to visit the Ottawa training grounds (who know I may come back to canada yet )
hope to see you soon regards Liz
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Aug 27th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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Hello Gleaner:

I see that you have decided to drive to Ottawa rather than fly or take the train, and that you are planning to travel to Ottawa on Wednesday, returning Friday. That should be fine, but remember that Friday is the beginning of the Labour Day weekend and that traffic will be heavy in all directions. However, the worst traffic will be heading out of Toronto and you shouldn't have any difficulties. Make sure that you build in some time for delays, however.

I think that you can still stay two nights in Ottawa, take a 1000 Islands Cruise and still be in Toronto by 7pm. (I'm assuming that you do want to take a cruise as there is little other reason to visit Gananoque.) Gananoque is about a 1.5 hr drive from Ottawa and you can take one of the 1 or 2.5 hour cruises in the morning, and continue in the early afternoon to Toronto (3.5 hours).

The TravelLodge is fine. I assume that you are staying at the downtown property.

I would leave Toronto fairly early. Luckily you will be leaving against the main traffic flow, but it will be busy. Take the Don Valley Parkway to Hwy 401 and continue to Kingston where you could have lunch. Don't eat near the highway, but get off at Sir John A Macdonald Blvd and follow it to the end. Then follow King Street towards downtown (left turn). There are lots of nice restaurants in Kingston, but I would suggest Chez Piggy on Princess St. You won't have much time in Kingston, but when you leave, cross the bridge on the Cataraqui River (you'll pass Fort Frontenac, the Royal Military College, and Fort Henry.) Take Highway 15 north. From there, I would stay on Highway 15 through the Rideau Lakes district to Carleton Place and then follow Hwy 7 and 417 to your hotel get off at Kent, turn on Albert and there is your hotel. (If you have chosen one of the other properties, I can give you directions). It should take about 2.5 hours (as opposed to 2 hours by Hwys 401 and 416.

Returning from Ottawa, simply take 417 to 416 to 401 get off at Gananoque if you have decided to do this, and after your cruise continue on 401 to Toronto. It's a boring route (I have been doing this countless times over the years) but it will be the fastest way to get to Toronto.
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Aug 27th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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Trivia about Chez Piggy: the late Zal Yanovsky, singer with the Lovin' Spoonful and other groups, was the original owner of the restaurant...now his daughter and first wife run it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zal_Yanovsky
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Aug 27th, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Thank you for you reply Laverendrye,that gives us some options to go with,and I had not thought about it being a holiday weekend.
I would preferred to had gone to Ottawa by train,but hubby wanted the flexibility of having the car,and he is doing the driving not me.
We are going straight to my cousins house and checking into the Travel lodge later in the evening after dinner, as we have been advised to stay out of the down town core between 3pm until 6pm because of the rush hour.We opted for the down town travel lodge as it is just somewhere to sleep as long as it is clean.
We are planning on leaving Toronto around 7.00am so we will have the afternoon with my cousin and her family.

Which would you chose on the way back to visit Kingston or Gananoque?is the boat trip worth doing? or would Kingston be a better choice?
We just thought as we had the car we may as well see a little more of Ontario,as I am not going to be driving I can just sit back and give directions .

Carolyn
I will check back late to see if any of the days fit in with you.
Bye for now Liz
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Aug 28th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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It's hard to say what would be more attractive. It all depends on your interests.

Kingston is a very attractive small city with many old and monumental buildings (it was briefly the capital of Canada before Confederation.) Fort Henry is an impressive early 19th fort built to protect Canada against another American invasion and the Fort Henry Guard provides military displays from the Victoria era throughout the summer.

On the other hand, a short cruise through the Thousand Islands is something unlike anything in Britain, so you might find that attractive.

Here are a couple of websites to help you choose.

http://tourism.kingstoncanada.com/en/index.asp

http://www.1000islandsinfo.com/boat_tours.htm#G

Don't take a cruise from Kingston as they take some time to get to the Thousand Islands and for you time will be short. Either Gananoque or Rockport would be the preferred starting point.

When you said that you would be leaving Ottawa at 7am, I do hope that you meant on Friday and not Thursday. An afternoon and evening is very little time to see anything of Ottawa, and in my opinion is too much driving in too little time. Trust me. I've done this trip many many times.
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Aug 28th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Thank you for your reply I think we will go with the cruise from Gananoque,We are leaving Toronto at 7am on Wednesday morning with the hope of getting to Ottawa for lunch time,so we will have the Wednesday afternoon,evening and all day Thursday with my cousin.And our plan is,we will either leave Ottawa on Thursday evening or Friday morning.If we do leave on Thursday evening we will just get a hotel on the way to Gananoque to break up our journey .But we may stay another night in Ottawa,we are just waiting to see how it goes ,If we do stay on in Ottawa we will still break our journey back to Toronto and do the cruise or have lunch and a walk around Kingston as we have the car until 7 pm on Friday.
My cousin has started planning what we can do ,I am not sure how we are going to fit everything in,but it should be fun trying.
I agree it seems like a lot of driving to me as well which is why I am trying to break up the journey.Hubby is not worried we loves driving and thankfully is never effected by jet lag(not like me )which is why I am not planning on driving during that part of the trip.
So thank you again Liz
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Aug 28th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Liz, Tuesday the 31st is a good day to meet - tell me what time to be in the lobby.
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Aug 29th, 2010, 01:45 AM
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Carolyn,
That is great would 10.30am be to early? I expect I will be up bright and early.
We are really looking forward to meeting you.
Now how are we going to recognize you or you us?If that makes any sense at all!!
I will let reception know that we are expecting you Carolyn and they can point us out when you come in,if you ask for Liz and Keith and if all else fails I will have a small canvas bag with me which has UNICEF written on it(I will place it on the table so it is noticeable) .That is the bag that I have just packed this morning and it seems to travel the world with us.So lets hope not everyone has one.If you have any other ideas please post them I will check on line this evening for any updates from you.
Well we are really looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday,we are leaving for the airport just after lunch today,We are all packed,our eldest son is driving us up so it is Lunch at the local Carvery and off to the airport hotel all ready for an early morning check in 5.30am.Our flight leaves at 8.30am.Well i had better go and get ready as it is now 10am
So see you soon regards Liz
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Aug 29th, 2010, 06:17 AM
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10:30 (Tuesday) is not too early at all. I'll sit in the comfy chairs in the lobby - I'll wear a pink and white big shirt and white pants. I'm height challenged; my hair is blonde but that could change by Tuesday! I always have a bag with me (you have to pay for bags in shops here) - I'll take the black one I got at Andy Creese's butcher shop in Newent, Glos. I'll watch for your Unicef bag - I'm looking forward to meeting you both, too. Have a good flight.

C
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Aug 29th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Mam and dad have gone off to the airport hotel, but I've passed the message on.

Yours,
James (the youngest and forgotten son )
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Aug 29th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Poor James! Thanks - I'll see them soon.
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