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From Niagara on the Lake to Montreal --- good mid-point for visiting?


May 25th, 2013, 05:24 AM
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From Niagara on the Lake to Montreal --- good mid-point for visiting?

Hi All:

We'll be traveling from NOTL / St Catherine's in July to Montreal. I thought it would be an easy 1-day trip but am now wondering if there's someplace special in between to visit on the way up to Montreal (by car).

Do any of you have suggestions of interesting places to stop and spend a night or two?

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May 25th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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The drive is about 400 miles or about 7.5 hours, but if you want to break it up, consider a night in Toronto and a stop in Ottawa along the way to montreal...

Personally I would try to make the drive in one day with a lunch stop, and use my extra nights for a side trip to Quebec city... but Toronto and Ottawa have much to see... have fun
garyt22 is offline  
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May 27th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Thanks Garyt22! I agree with sucking it up and going in one day.
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May 28th, 2013, 04:51 AM
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In terms of distance, the drive should be in the six- to seven-hour range. However your schedule should also allow for traffic jams. Don't get rolling too early because the morning rush hour into Toronto is horrendous. The Queen Elizabeth Way between Hamilton and Toronto is particularly prone to turning into a parking lot at any hour of the day. You could divert north on Highway 403 to go across the top of central Toronto on 401, one of the world's biggest and busiest expressways. The highway continues all the way to the Quebec border. Unfortunately that reasonable schedule also puts you into the go-home traffic in Montreal where highways are just as congested and in poorer repair.
You can do it but stay calm.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 08:47 AM
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I would definitely stop along the way. The Thousand Islands parkway is lovely. You can take a boat ride from Rockport for $15 and see the many islands and if you have time, stop for a few hours at the Boldt Castle. Its so beautiful and lots of fun to see and do. You can sty in Rockport or one of the many hotels in Ganaoque or Brockville. Also, Upper Canada village is worth a visit too. Nice to stroll around & have lunch if you have time. Its a bit closer to Montreal near Prescott.
These places are just off the 401 about half way between Montreal & Toronto. The picnic areas along the St Lawrence are lovely too.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 08:51 AM
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You could also stay in Kingston near the harbour front - very pretty - with lots of nice restaurants and you can take the free Wolfe Island ferry from there to Wolfe Island and back.
If you stay only on the 401 or at the 401 hotels, you see very little. Go nearer to the waters of the St Lawrence.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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I agree with cjx. We were traveling from the Michigan to Vernmont and hit Toronto about 2 in the afternoon. It took almost an hour for us to get through traffic.

We stopped in Ganaoque for the night. Cute little town. We stayed at the Ramada. Nothing fancy but it was very clean and comfortable. Looked like it was right out of 1955. In this area you are just a few miles from Kingston and The Thousand Island area.

We went to Montreal for a day trip. Traffic there was horrible all day long. You could easily spend an hour finding your hotel after you hit Montreal.
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Jun 13th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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If you are not interested in stopping in Toronto - Canada's most dynamic city - I'd suggest a stop in Kingston, whose historic core is lovely in summer. (The suburbs are not lovely at any time) It has many resources for visitors, including good places to eat.

The 401 parallels closely the old Highway 2. We often get off 401 and meander along Highway 2 for a bit. The stretch from Brockville to Prescott is a favourite: fine stone houses with views over the St Lawrence, along most of the route.

We also like to stop off in Port Hope, a historic town with many fine buildings.
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Jun 14th, 2013, 03:56 AM
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Tedgale is generally correct about Kingston's suburbs, but just north of Highway 401 at Kingston Mills is the entrance to the historic Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with four locks, a blockhouse and visitor's centre. It really is a lovely place, although if one's time in Kingston is short, the historic centre has much more to offer.
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Jun 14th, 2013, 07:46 AM
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Kingston is a lovely town. If you do decide to make it your halfway stop, I recommend strolling through the highly respected stately Queen's University campus and/or along the waterfront. I really enjoyed my brunch at Pan Chancho's bakery there. Have a great trip! Daniel
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