Montreal or Toronto

Sep 3rd, 2003, 05:29 PM
Original Poster
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Montreal or Toronto

If you had five days to spend in either of these cities (in early November), which would you choose and why? I need to make a decision in the next few days, and would also appreciate any hotel recommendations in the $150-$200 range. I'd want to stay in the downtown area of either city. This will be my first trip to Canada, so I'm sure I'd love either city. Is SARS still of any concern in Toronto? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Annalaura is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Hi Annalaura,
I did have that choice once, we chose Montreal. It was also the first week in November. We loved the Frenchness of Montreal, the energy and friendliness of the city. It has the Old Town and history, downtown with all the boutiques and museums and shopping, and some of the best restuarants you could ask for!
There are so many excellent hotels, it is hard to decide on the right one.
We have gone for years now, always finding new things to do or just enjoying the old things.

Next time-we will go to Toronto
Kate2 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 08:26 PM
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Montreal would definately be my first choice. Montreal is very different from any city in the US not just because almost 75% claim French as their first language, (though you can manage just fine in English), but because it is combines the best of North American multi-culturalism with the savoir faire and cosmopolitanism of Europe.

Toronto certainly is well worth a visit. I think of it as the city all big American cities would like to be when they grow up. It's the most multi-cultural city in the world with over 60 ethnic groups of 5,000 people or more and it's neighborhoods and restaurants are the wonderful result of this. It also is No. 3 in the world, (after New York & London), for English Language theatre. SARS never was a real threat to tourists and is now pretty much a bad memory.

Both cities are much safer to walk around in than any big US city though common sence is still advised. In November you should have no problem finding a good Hotel for $150-200 Canadian and much less if you use one of the priceline type sellers.

But again - if I had to choose my first city to visit in Canada it would be Montreal. Then it would be a tossup between Toronto & Vancouver.
GaryA is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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It depends where you are coming from.

If you're coming from Europe or Asia, for instance, come to Toronto. It's more different, so to speak.

If you are coming from some English speaking country, Australia, New Zeland, South Africa, the USA, go to Montreal, because it is more different.

SARS never was a problem in Toronto, by the way. It was only a problem in the minds of stupid people who were cowards, and third rate scientists, and a tiny number of people in a couple of hospitals.

Delta hotels in Montreal and Toronto combine good rates with good service with good loctions.

And yes, stay downtown in either city.

BAK is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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BTW: BAK is correct about SARS - it never was a concern for tourists unless they intended to visit SARS wards. The last I heard about 1 week ago - there was exactly ONE SARS patient left in hospital and he was expected to recover and be released soon.
Which city ? Good question - if theatre and exotic dining are important to you - Toronto. If an experience in a francophone culture is of interest - personally I would pick Quebec City over Montreal but Montreal is a fine interesting experience just to my mind not as lovely as Quebec City. Really BAK's points on the choice between Toronto and Montreal are good. I am sure you would have a good time in either city.
JMM is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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You can't go wrong with either.
Toronto is one of the great multicultural centers of the world - you walk down the street and hear a bazillion languages spoken. And it embraces its multiculturalism - Torontonians seem to love the fact that they can eat lamb tikka, sashimi, jerk chicken and dim sum at once, sometimes on the same block!
Montreal is unique. It's a mix of France and North America. Modern and old-world at the same time. It's got great food and fantastic nightlife.
martytravels is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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SARS is no longer a problem in Toronto, or any other part of Canada.
We hope that it remains that way.

As for your comment BAK - "It was only a problem in the minds of stupid people who were cowards, and third rate scientists"???? - would you tell that to the families of the 44 people who died??
Borealis is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 04:24 PM
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It really depends on what you are looking for! If you want to pretend you are in Europe and have that really historic feeling then definately go to Montreal. If you intend on doing many city things, including the theatre then I would definately suggest Toronto. Toronto also has more interesting restaurants although the food in Montreal is still of great quality!
As for hotels you can easily get a room for $150-$200/night in either city. You can actually pay less and still find nice accomodations. If you are thinking of Toronto I would look at The Holiday Inn on King. The room rates are good and the location is superb. Some of the best restaurants area stones throw from there and this is also the theatre district!
Scott2Markettos is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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MONTREAL! definitely! the old part of montreal is especially charming.

i agree with BAK that your choice between montreal or toronto depends on where you're from.

i've lived in the States for over ten years so to me, montreal is more fascinating because it is very european and toronto is more ordinary because it's just like any big american city.

about SARS in toronto - i just went to a wedding there in july. SARS is not a concern there.

happy travels!
jellybelly is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 05:26 AM
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Thanks so much to everyone for the advice. One more question: how far is Quebec City from Montreal? I understand that it's really worth visiting while in Montreal. Are there trains that go there, or would you need a rental car? Also, any suggestions as to what to see and where to stay in Quebec City would be appreciated.
Annalaura is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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If memory serves me well, it is about a 2-2 1/2 hour drive from Montreal to Quebec City.
You could tour the city in a day or two, I think you need a car. We drive up so I am not sure about trains,etc.
But 5 days in Montreal still won't be enough to see everything!
I do recommend going to one of the Montreal tourism sites and finding out what is going on at the Museum of Fine Art and if there are any concerts,etc that you might want to see while there.
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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You could do a reasonable job visiting Quebec City in a day.

By rental car, leave around seven in the morning and you'll be in QC well before lunch. Byu the time you've wandered around the Plains of Abraham, visited the lobby of the Chateau Frontenac, and looked around more of upper town, it will be time for a great lunch.

After lunch, head for lower town, walk until you're feet ache and your stomach rumbles, and then have a great dinner, taking it easy on the wine.

by the time 8:30 rols around, you should be full of excellent food and good memories, and you can get back in the car and be back at the hotel before mid-night.

Have a night-cap in Monteal, and say to yourself, "well, that was a great day."

About the train: VIA Rail is the railroad that carries passengers between the sities. The QC railway station is on the south side of the St. Lawrence River, in Levis, so you'd have to get from the station to a ferry boat to cross the river, or just grab a taxi cab.

You'd save a lot of driving, but the schedule might not work right. If the schedule makes sense, though, the train is a good idea. QC is, for the most part, easily walkable.

BAK is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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The train between QC and Montreal does not leave from the Levis station, so no ferry is necessary. It leaves from a station about 5 blocks from the center of the lower city.
MikeT is offline  
Sep 17th, 2003, 04:08 PM
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Yes, BAK is incorrect. The train station on Gare du Palais is right in the heart of Quebec City, within about a 10/15-minute walk of most of the major sights in Quebec. I find the station incidentally, from the outside, to be one of the prettiest I've seen in North America. Don't, however, take the Montreal-Halifax(Gaspe) train (perhaps this is what BAK was thinking), because that indeed stops on the outskirts of Quebec in Charny (Levis); there are however several trains a day that go from Montreal right into the heart of Quebec City.
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Sep 19th, 2003, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7
You can also take the bus at berri uquam metro station..
bus every hour for Quebec city...
easy & efficient...
The stop is at the gare du Palais, same
as the train station...
schedule bus from 6:am to 1:am
1 or 2 bus every hour, you buy your tickets, and matter of minutes, you are in the bus!!! There is about 10 times more bus than train...
But, personnaly, the best is rent a car... it's cheaper and you can come back whenever you want, easy to drive by the 40 or the 20... just 2& half park the & and enjoy your day walking...

Have a nice trip... Bruno!!!
brodgers2 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 05:03 AM
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Posts: 7
If you are interested by bus..
see the web site...
french & english.
Only $57.00 CDN. per person (round trip)

brodgers2 is offline  
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