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sobolik Jun 4th, 2005 01:07 PM

canada drive must sees?
Hi I will be driving to the follwing. Are there any short/long stretches that are just awesome senic drive must see/photo ops? thanks

Sarnia to Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls to Toronto/Ottawa
Ottawa to Kingston
Kingston to Montreal
Montreal to Quebec city
Quebec City to Tadoussac
Toronto to Windsor

Gavin Jun 4th, 2005 04:55 PM

When I saw the subject line I was thinking about the Cabot Trail or the Icefields Parkway. We will work with what we are given. It would help to know how far you are willing to detour for something special. I am going to assume you are looking for efficient transportation but are will to make a stop or short detour for something good.

Sarnia to Niagara Falls. Just get it over with! It is not that it is an ugly drive at all but nothing really awe inspiring. The views of the Niagara Escarpment from the QEW are nice and you explore a bit on small roads. There is a lookout on top at Grimsby. Pass through town and go up the hill, turn right at the top then right again at Quarry Rd., entrance on the right. There is loop parking area with a steel observation tower (don't bother it is for hawk watchers in season) There is nice path through thte woods to the edge of the escarpment. You get a great view on a clear day, almost awesome.

Drive the Niagara Parkway from top to bottom, i.e. from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake. This way you are following the water's path and more importantly it is easier to pull off and have a better look because you on the right side of the road.

Niagara Falls to Toronto/Ottawa. My Grimsby idea works here too. There can be a good view from the Burlington Bay Skyway which goes over the entrance to Hamilton Harbour...but you can't stop to admire it! Going to Ottawa you have choices. (By the way why not stop at Kingston first, saves lots of driving than what you have described.) You can go 4-lane divided all the way, efficient and boring. You could detour to better see the 1000 Islands. When I used to drive that way I would sometimes take hwy 45 from Cobourg to Norwood, then east on 7, for a change.

I will leave the more easterly part to others.

Toronto Windsor. Nothing exciting that I know of. Hwy 3 along Lake Erie (look for Port Alma as a marker) is nice, but out of your way.

BAK Jun 4th, 2005 06:19 PM

Kingston to Montreal:

Leave Kingston on Highway 401, and look for signs to the Thousand Islands Parkway. This takes you a few miles right along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, and then the road naturally rejoins 401, for the rest of a pretty boring drive to Montreal.

If you are intrested in old architecture ...

I did the photos fora book called Going to Town, Architectural Walking Toures of Ten Ontario Towns.

All these places are worth walking around, even without the book. Near Sarnia: Goderich. Then Stratford, St Marys and Paris on the way to Toronto.

Niagara on the Lake is a nice town to visit, and walk around in.

East of Toronto, Port Hope and Cobourg, Picton, Smiths Falls, and Merrickville.

I used to drive from Toronto to Montreal and back every week; when I wanted a break, I'd go through Cobourg and Port Hope, then back to 401 to Trenton, then over to Prince Edward County, and across this almost-island to the Glenora Ferry, and back to the mainland, going along the shore of Lake Ontario through Bath to Kingston.


laotzu_1 Jun 5th, 2005 06:27 PM

Hi Sobolik, travelling east on Highway 401 from Toronto will take you to Kingston. A few miles past Kingston, at around Gananoque, you could return to Highway 2 which runs along the St-Lawrence river up to Cornwall. It is, in my opinion, very pretty as it runs closest to the water. There are locks, I think, along the way but I forget exactly where. And the lakers (the ships) travel close by, on the water. From Cornwall, however, the drive back to Ottawa is not very interesting although there is a great cheese co-op in a little town called St-Albert (at the Casselman exit). Or you might want to go north from Prescott, on highway 416 to Ottawa. It's faster, but not necessarily any more scenic IMHO.

If you have time, Kingston is a lovely historic little town, Canada's very first capital city by the way, very well worth a day's stop. Take the Division Street exit off Highway 401 and drive as far as Princess Street. Turn left on Princess and travel down to Ontario street (I think that's the name). It runs along the waterfront. Try Chez Piggy restaurant, off King Street (one street before Ontario), between Princess and Brock street. The restaurant is hidden in a little courtyard and is a lovely little place to eat. Or Mino's, right on Ontario at Princess for great Greek food.

All the best.

laverendrye Jun 6th, 2005 12:51 PM

Here are a few thoughts on some of your routes:

Ottawa to Kingston: The fast way is Hwy 417 to 416 to 401. It should take 2 hours from downtown Ottawa to Kingston. If you have more time, I would suggest a short stop in either Merrickville or Perth, or even both. Take 416 south to Hwy 43 at Kemptville, continue to Merrickville. The continue on to Smith's Falls where you can load up on chocolates etc. at the Hershey's factory. Smith's Falls also has an interesting Rideau Canal Museum. Continue on Hwy 15 to Kingston, taking a short stop at Jones Falls to see the four locks, dam and historic buildings. If you want to stop in Perth, a very attractive historic town, then continue on 43 from Smiths Falls, You can get back to Hwy 15 via Country Road 10 to Westport and then Hwy 42 to Crosby.

Kingston to Montreal. Other posters have given you good suggestions for scenic routes.

Routes in Quebec. There are many scenic routes in Québec covering the areas you're interested in. The provincial tourism website has excellent descriptions of each, with detailed itineraries. Have a look at

jenna16 Jun 7th, 2005 11:40 AM

The drive from Quebec City to Tadoussac is not very long - about 2 hours - and it's really lovely. When you get closer to Tadoussac, around St. Simeon, the highway travels along the water and it's absolutely beautiful. Are you heading to Tadoussac for whale watching? Talk about a must-see AND a photo op! If you are, there are a number of companies operating out of Tadoussac, but I have gone with Croisières AML twice, and both times it was great. It's a 3-hour tour of the St. Lawrence estuary and the Saguenay fjord, complete with narration from a bilingual naturalist, and a whale-sighting guarantee!

I agree with the other posters that the quickest drive from Montreal to Quebec City is not at all scenic, but it's the only route I've ever taken. If you go this way, I recommend looking out for the strange gigantic statue of a dog on your right. Although I suspect that's not really what you mean when you say you're looking for awesome scenery, it does give pause for thought ;)...

have fun!

tedgale Jun 7th, 2005 06:44 PM

Quebec City to Tadoussac is the only really striking drive of the lot. Great scenery -- no, really great scenery. You understand why they called it The Mighty St Lawrence. Historic bits aplenty, too.

Check out Brockville between Kingston and Ottawa -- also the area just east of Brockville on Hwy 2, heading to Prescott -- settled in the 1780s, with fine old stone houses and good river views.

Erick_L Jun 9th, 2005 08:41 PM

Easbound from Montréal, stick to the 138 except between Baie St-Paul and La Malbaie where you should, I mean MUST take the 362.

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