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Driving from Toronto to Montreal - PLEASE HELP!

Driving from Toronto to Montreal - PLEASE HELP!

Old Feb 8th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Driving from Toronto to Montreal - PLEASE HELP!

Hello all!!

Beginning June 14th in the evening, my fiancee and I are leaving Chicago and driving to Toronto, which I've done numerous times before. This time, i wanted to stay in toronto only for about 2 days, then head over to Montreal. Only problem is - i have NO clue what to do in QC or along the way! We have about 6 days to work with between driving and sightseeing overall. I wanted to stop in Ottawa on the way but not sure if it's worth it? Montreal looks gorgeous, so I'd like some advice on the best things to see and some nice, but cheap places to stay (no hostels).

Can anyone just throw some ideas out there for me?
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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I can't answer all your questions, but, yes, Ottawa is definately worth a stop. Spend at least a day there (more would be better). Also stop in the Kingston area. Leave the 401 and drive along the parkway in this area. and take the 1,000 Island Cruise ( a few hours) out of Gananoque.( HOpe I spelt it right). It's beautiful.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Hi Jackie,
I agree - Ottawa is a great city and although I have not been to Kingston, I have heard wonderful things about this University town. Montreal is one of my favourite cities in the world (was there in October). By the way, I am a native Chicagoan now living outside of Toronto.

How much do you want to spend on hotels? I would suggest staying in Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal) at least one night and besides downtown, I would suggest the Mount Royal/Plateau area.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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I would like to spend no more than $100USD per night for any hotel, although something cheaper would be preferrable. I'm not that picky about hotels, as long as there are no bugs, it's safe to leave my belongings around and I have a private bathroom I won't be getting much sleep on vacation lol
I would prefer to save my money for attractions.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Do we assume you're going back to Chicago by car, too?

And have youbeenm to Niagara Falls before? That's well worth a visit.

Anyway, from Toronto...

East on Highway 401 to Port Hope, and then go to the shore of Lake Ontario and follow highway 2 for a while, retunriong to Highway 401 when you get bored.

Around Trenton, turn south again and go to Prince Edward County, which is an island, and cross it to Glenmora, takign the ferry back to the mainland. follow the edge of the lake to Kingston.

You could spend a whole day doing htis, or half a day if you started early enough.

Kingston is a good place to spend a night,a nd you can findhotels in your price range.

Next day, east from Kingston on 401 to Gananoque (not far0 and take a boat tour of the Thosuand Islands. Back int he car, flooow the Thousadn Islands Parkway for a while, and keep going to Montreal.

Montreal is a great city, and you should stay downtown, and you may or may not find a hotel for your price, but you can come close. Remember, it's tourist season.

From Montreal you can decide to go to Quebec City, or not. To me, Quebec City is just a free-standing version of Old Montreal, well worth the visit if you've got lots of time.

But I'd stay in Montreal.

After several days, leave Montreal and head back west, to Ottawa. Allow 24-36 hours in Ottawa, and then head west out of Ottawa toward Alginquin Park and Huntsville, with is vacation country.

From Huntsville, work your way across the back highways and across the bottom of Georgian Bay, to Sarnia, Ontario, and Port Huron, Michigan, go back into the USA, and continue home.

You'll have seen English Canada, French Canada, big cities, farmland, water, vacation wilderness, etc., etc.

Get yourself a Choice Hotels directory. To me, this is the most likely source of good accomodation in your price range, and there are hotels, motels, etc. under several brands, including some spots downtown.

BAK




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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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BAK - I see you post quite a bit of info throughout the forum. Could you suggest the best things to see in Montreal? I do like history, I'm a photography nut, so I like nature too. But I am also looking for something... I don't know, that would be unique to that part of Canada. I like anything I cannot find or see in the US (for a bad example, I was excited to see Toronto carried odd flavored doritoes and kit-kats LOL). So I guess that would come down to culture, but I just don't want to miss anything that is a must-see in Montreal. Any specific locations?
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Also, I am driving back to Chicago, and I have not been to Niagra, so that is DEFINITELY something I have to see this trip.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Niagara Falls is either a stop on your way to Toronto, or a one day trip from Toronto.

Montreal -- unique-like stuff.

If you have a macro lens, the insectarium is a good place, as in the nearby botanical gardens. Mount Royal, right in themiddle of the city, is a fair-sized mountain. Worth taking pictures of.

If you love trains, there's a great train museum south of the city.

Old Montreal is full of photographic opportunities, as is the Lachine Canal area. Bring a tripod; there are great night shots from Mount Royal looking down on the city.

If you like to eat, create a photo record of Montreal food. Start with bagels, make sdure you visit Swartz's Deli for a smoked meat sandwich, (St, Laurent Blvd, which is also called The Main) a few blocks north of sherrbrooke. that street is worth a long walk, anyway. Add Beavertails in Old Montreal, (pastries) and chances are you'll find other food wirth photographing to show friends back home.

I used to commute between Toronto and Montreal, usually weekly, and I'm a photographer. You will not regret brining a camera to Montreal.

But Ottawa is also photogenic, and you can find lots to shoot in Toronto, too.

The Toronto - Kingston itineray I gave includes Port Hope, Cobourg and Picton, all with enough interesting architecture that they were in my book of architecture walking tours. And the Thousand island boat tour requires a camera.



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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Hmmmmmmm, you and a fiance departing from Toronto to Montreal with six days to spend...

I did a similar trip in 2000 and did opt to spend one night each way in Ottawa. Granted it was March and the winds were quite chilly in Ottawa at the time, but while we enjoyed seeing some of what Ottawa has to offer (the tomato stains on the U.S. embassy are priceless), I think you might do best to spend all of your time in Montreal.

Montreal is purely romantic, and with a 5- or 6-night stay, you should easily be able to land a great rate on Priceline.com for a nice hotel in Montreal.

I wouldn't do Ottawa for more than one night, in ONE (but not both) direction.

There will be plenty to do in Montreal, especially in June when it stays light so long in the northern regions.

Just my thoughts.

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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Hmmmmmmm, you and a fiance departing from Toronto to Montreal with six days to spend...

I did a similar trip in 2000 and did opt to spend one night each way in Ottawa. Granted it was March and the winds were quite chilly in Ottawa at the time, but while we enjoyed seeing some of what Ottawa has to offer (the tomato stains on the U.S. embassy are priceless), I think you might do best to spend all of your time in Montreal.

(though I do want to offer two thumbs up to the dozens of stray cats who live in "government housing" on the Canadian Parliament grounds in Ottawa)

Montreal is purely romantic, and with a 5- or 6-night stay, you should easily be able to land a great rate on Priceline.com for a nice hotel in Montreal.

I wouldn't do Ottawa for more than one night, in ONE (but not both) direction.

There will be plenty to do in Montreal, especially in June when it stays light so long in the northern regions.

Just my thoughts.

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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 06:06 AM
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Thanks all! You've been so helpful! I would like to ask another favor if possible... I do not fully trust getting driving directions online as I've had bad experiences with them, would anyone be able to give me specific driving directions? I have great directions to get to Toronto, but from there, I would like specific directions on getting to Montreal, I suppose to around 1600 rue saint-hubert for a particular area? Also from there to Niagra Falls, and then from there I will head back home to Chicago (via the canadian side... never tried the US side, is it worth the trip?)

thank you all! If you are willing to put up with more questions of mine or want to talk about great things in those areas, please feel free to email me, i have tons of questions but I don't want to be rude and hog up everyone's time here.

[email protected]

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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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when you come into Canda, either at Sarnia, Windsor, Fort Erie or Niagara Falls, you'll see Ontario government travel centers.

They will give you a free map.

Toronto to Niagra Falls and back:

Gardiner Expressway west -- it changes its name to Queen Elizabeth Way -- and keep gping. At Burlington it curves, and you follow the signs saying Queen Elizabeth Way and Niagara Falls.

there are signs that takeyou right into downtown Niagra Falls (a small city) which is where the falls are.

From Niagra Falls, follow the riverbank downstream, and you'll end up in Niagara on the Lake.

From here, you need the map to tell you the options.

Back onto Queen Elizabeth Way (no need to go back to the city of Niagara Falls) and retrace your steps to Toronto.

Toronto to Montreal -- didn't I already write this?

When you cross the border into Quebec near Alexandria, you'll see a Quebec Toruism Center along the highway. Stop and get more maps.

Maybe someone will give you better info than I on how to get to your specific Montreal acddress. The problem is that as you approach Montreal you can go through Dorion, which is the "south" route, and that takes you right downtown.

Or you can follow the curve in the highway, which takes you north before turning east again, and this takes you into central Montreal, rather than downtown.

BAK
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