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hdm Aug 3rd, 2006 05:50 PM

Driving from Toronto to NS -- best route?
And by 'best' I mean shortest. We'll be driving from Toronto, staying overnight in Edmundston, NB, and then driving from there to Mahone Bay, NS, the next day.

Can anyone suggest the best, most efficient route? Scenery is not the goal for this drive -- getting to the cottage is.

Thanks in advance for your help.

rkkwan Aug 3rd, 2006 10:06 PM

Why Edmundston? If you have to be there, then there's basically just one way - 401 to Autoroute 20 then 185. It's over 1,000km, so it's a long day.

If you want the fastest route from Toronto to Mahone Bay is go through the US. QEW to New York Thruway to Masspike to I-95 and so on...

hdm Aug 4th, 2006 03:41 AM

do you know the distance in time for the US route (with, say, a 1 hour stop). Also, are there car ferries and costs involved?

rkkwan Aug 4th, 2006 04:47 AM

hdm - Just use a mapping website like, or others for time and distance.

The ferry from Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, ME is expensive and doesn't save that much time. But you can look it up:

hdm Aug 4th, 2006 05:27 AM

I did try mapquest and freetrip before I posted and both gave me the Canadian route. I thought that the ferries might be expensive and we have two cars going over so that's why I was wondering why you suggested the US route. I guess it's just the time difference then. Do you know a faster Canadian route than through Edmundston?

rkkwan Aug 4th, 2006 05:35 AM

Distance is about the same if you take Trans-Canada or through the US, but more of the US route is freeway (with the exception of a stretch in eastern Maine). That's why it is faster, despite what the mapping sites say.

But parts of the US route is toll, and you have to cross borders twice. Which may make it less attractive. But you also avoid the Montreal metropolitan.

I am not suggesting you to take the ferry. Just drive the whole way, but via the US instead of Quebec. If you decide to stay in Canada, you'll always go through Edmundston.

lucyp Aug 4th, 2006 05:41 AM

Hi, my husband and I drive to the Maritimes from Toronto almost every year and have for decades. There is an easy way we found to avoid driving through/over Montreal which invariably seems mired in traffic and road repair work. MapQuest can help you figure the route - take the little ferry from Hudson, Ontario to Oka, Quebec. We otherwise stay on the major highways the whole way and stay in Quebec City overnight. It provides a bit of a mini holiday to the long drive, much more entertaining than Edmunston. Leaving early the next morning continue on the trans canada and you'll be N.S. mid-late afternoon.

hdm Aug 4th, 2006 05:41 AM

thanks, rk -- I appreciate your help.

hdm Aug 4th, 2006 05:44 AM

That sounds good. I'd love to be in Mahone Bay mid-afternoon. We though early evening was the best we'd be able to do. This 'little ferry' you mention, is it a car ferry? Do you know the costs or have a website I can look at?

rkkwan Aug 4th, 2006 05:45 AM

You need to work a little bit to get Mapquest to display my route, but they now have a multi-stop feature.

Use theses points for your route:
Toronto, ON
Saint John, NB
Mahone Bay, NS

It's actually a little longer than the Canadian route, but I'm confident it'll be faster.

lucyp Aug 4th, 2006 06:49 AM

The 'ferry' is really more like a barge, towed by a small boat. It only holds about 6 cars and cost less than $10 for a car and two passengers. It was quick and fun actually. After clearing Toronto I find getting past Montreal the most stressful portion of the trip and this solves that.

lucyp Aug 4th, 2006 06:50 AM

Just found a site.

laverendrye Aug 4th, 2006 07:53 AM

Don't look for Hudson, Ontario. The Hudson you want for the Oka ferry is in Quebec.

hdm Aug 5th, 2006 04:41 AM

Thanks, everyone. I'm going to sit down with my road atlas and check these all out.

You've been great!

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