Ontario/Quebec basic itinerary help

Nov 17th, 2003, 02:30 PM
  #1  
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Ontario/Quebec basic itinerary help

I realise it's still early days in my research but I have almost firmed up some dates to spend in the above provinces. Some of you may recall my earlier post "Best time of year for Toronto".

Well, it's looking like we'll be flying into Montreal from the UK on 20 May and leaving Toronto on 30 May. This gives 10 nights which I am starting to think about dividing up into different places. I have a couple of books to start going through but thought I'd post here now to help generate a few ideas.

Obviously a few nights will be spent in each of Montreal and Toronto. Is it worth trying to spend some time in Quebec or Ottawa?

I had thought about getting the train from Montreal to Toronto rather than renting a car or going by bus. Until I know how many of us are going, I am probably undecided what will work best here.

I assume Niagara is best done as a day trip from Toronto rather than trying to spend a night in the area. One other area I have just read about is Algonquin Park - is it too ambitious to try and fit this in to a short stay?

Are there any other day trips or places where I should try and think about spending some time.

Other than the usual sightseeing activities in the day which I plan to start researching now, places with plenty to do in the evenings (restaurants/bars/clubs) are generally preferred for longer stays.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have. I realise this post may read a bit haphazardly with rather a lot of questions!
Dave_ is offline  
Nov 17th, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #2  
BAK
 
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You might wish to rent a car for a couple of days.

Fly into Montreal and enjoy the city for several days and nights. Then one afternoon rent a car and drive to Ottawa. Spend the rest of the afternoon, that night, the next day and night in Ottawa. The next morning drive west from Ottawa through Algonquin Park, on to the town of Huntsville, then perhaps stay locally.

The next day, get up early and drive southwest to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake, spend the afternoon and evening there (afternoon in Niagara Falls, evening in Nigara on the lake, having a good dinner) and then drive to Toronto.

Turn in your car that night or the next morning (rules depend on the rental company, where the drop-off location is, etc.)and enjoy your last few days in Toronto.

As a general rule, you can be fine in Montreal and Toronto as a tourist without a car.

And can you manage a few more days?

To me, I'd assign three nights to Montreal, two nights to Ottawa as per this schedule, one night at a hotel or lodge in the Huntsville area, and four in Toronto, but it would be more fun, and more relaxing, if you could have an extra day in Montreal, and if you arranged to stay in Niagara on the Lake or Niagara Falls before you came to Toronto.

And a while day in late May in the Huntsville area would be relaxing, interesing, and reflective of a lot of the Candian personality.

Quebec City, which has many fans although I think the town is worth no more than a day, is unfortunately the wrong way if you are doing a drive. To me, the best parts of QC are pretty much repeated in the Old Montreal section of Montreal, so if time is tight, I suggest more depth in Montreal and Toronto, plus a quick look at northern Ontario.

Contrary to what you'd think looking at a map, the Huntsville / Algonquin Park / Gravenhurst area is called Northern Ontario by those of us in Toronto.

BAK
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Nov 17th, 2003, 09:31 PM
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I thought Torontonians considered everything north of Steeles Avenue as Northern Ontario.
laverendrye is offline  
Nov 18th, 2003, 07:04 AM
  #4  
JMM
 
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BAK's itinerary advice is very good - it lets you see cities, major tourist atttraction (Niagara Falls) and a little bit of the "bush" (Algonquin Park). I am one of the Quebec City lovers but with your limited time - it is probably best to skip it on this trip. Ottawa is an excellent "extra" - as the capital city - it has a lot of attractions for a small city (museums, art galleries etc) and BAKs idea of driving from Ottawa through Algonquin Park is just excellent (The most direct route from Montreal to Toronto (highway 401) is BORING beyond belief.) BAK's idea of taking a northerly route is inspired - it will take longer but will be a lot more interesting.
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Nov 18th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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So BAK - if Huntsville is Northern Ontario, and Windsor is Western Ontario (as you replied to another posting), what do Torontonians call Thunder Bay and Kenora ?????

By the way, any recommendations for accommodation in the Huntsville area?
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Nov 18th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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I agree with BAK. Excellent itinerary. The only thing I would wish for is to spend a night in Niagara Falls. IT would mean giving up a night in MOntreal or Toronto, but I think it would be worth it. Especially if you want to do things in Niagara Falls. You might want more than an afternoon there if you chose to do the MAid of the Mist, or the Butterfly Conservatory. Oh there is so much there that you could do...especially if you have children with you.
Good luck with your planning.
kodi is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 05:17 AM
  #7  
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BAK - thanks for the detailed information, this is definitely the dort of thing I was after to get my research up and running.

Unfortunately, I probably can't allocate any more time to this trip so the 10 nights is fixed but I don't mind seeing and doing lots while I am away.

I'll have a think abot what I want to do at the Falls. The Maid of the Mist trip looks good. I have read a lot of people recommend spending time at NOTL which I will look at. From what I've seen and heard, apart from the Falls themselves the immediate area is very commercial.

Thanks again for your help.
Dave_ is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 06:48 AM
  #8  
JMM
 
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Getting from Niagara Falls to NOTL - take the Parkway - it runs along the river - lots of parks and views - a very pretty drive. Also the Butterfly Conservatory is along the Parkway - definitely worth a stop.
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Nov 19th, 2003, 09:21 AM
  #9  
BAK
 
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For Borealis and others concerend about what Torontonians call various parts of the province ...

We hardly ever even think of the mid-north, like Kenora, Dryden and Thunder Bay, but when we do, we refer to the area as North West Ontario.

The other day I was talking to two men from Sioux Lookout, and had to go find a map to see exactly where their home is.

Timmins, Kapuiskasing, Hearst, etc. a;lso get called Northern Ontario but they are a long way north of Hunstsville and Gravenhurst.


The words are not clear; it's like people refering to San Fransicso as Northern California, while there is a lot of California that's much more north than that.

And to confuse things more, when you look at a map of Canda, a lot of what we in Toronto think is "north" is significantly south of most of the cities in Manitoba, Saksatchewan, Alberta and B.C.

BAK

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Nov 19th, 2003, 07:46 PM
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BAK - IMHO Toronto should refer to itself as the Deep South!!

How about some recommendations for accommodations in the Huntsville area?? Are there any B&Bs there? Small cozy inns?? What about the dining - any good eateries or fine dining establishments???
Borealis is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 08:01 PM
  #11  
BAK
 
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I don't stay in the Huntsville area in commercial establishments.

And a lot of places may not be open during that week; it i still early in the season.

When in dougt, the Fairmont chain. And that means Deerhurst, which is a wonderful resort, but depending on arrival and departure times, may be pretty fancy as just an overnight stay.

But if Dave could spend an afternoon, evening, and next morning there ...

He's got five months to stay in touch with us, and by the time early May rolls around, we can probably be more specific.

BAK

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Nov 20th, 2003, 06:26 AM
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I would definitely try to get to Ottawa as well if I were you. I have traveled around a lot from Ontario east and always skipped over Ottawa for one reason or another. I finally went last year and LOVED it.

We stayed at the Ottawa Marriott and had a room on the 20th floor with a balcony overlooking Parliament. Lovely! We were there for two days and I don't feel as though we missed anything.
Mazey is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 03:46 PM
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If you are interested in the Huntsville Area, and want a B&B, you could try the Fairy Bay Guest House. I heard that it is very nice.

Also, in Bracebridge (also in the Muskoka area near Huntsville) is the Inn at the Falls. Nice historic inn.

jamierin is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 03:55 PM
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Dave, got the websites for you of those 2 above :
Fairy Bay Guest House - www.fairybay.ca
Inn at the Falls - www.innatthefalls.net

Have fun whatever you do.

P.S. Before heading up North, check when black fly season is in north central Ontario. I don't know if they come out as early as May but they are pesky tiny bugs that bite. It doesn't hurt, just a nuisance. I know that they can get bad in June.
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Nov 22nd, 2003, 04:59 AM
  #15  
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Many thanks to you all for the continued help with my itinerary.

Jamierin - thanks for posting the links to the accommodations you mentioned.

I will sure be in touch a lot between now and May, no doubt with quite a few more questions!
Dave_ is offline  
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