Ontario Round Trip

Apr 11th, 2007, 03:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Ontario Round Trip

I got some great advice from this site previously that convinced me to curtail overambitious plans to tour Quebec along with Ontario, to just a round trip of Ontario - Thanks alot.
I've now booked flights for my young family in/out of Toronto & plan 3 nts in each of:
Collingwood Blue Mountain
Alonquin Park
Niagara Falls
Never having been to Canada (from UK) any suggestions, better places, or ideas on durations would be great - Thanks
rjuk is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I am not sure that 3 days in Collingwood is a good idea. It is a fairly expensive area and there is not a great deal to see. When you are in Kingston, look up Fort Henry on Google and see if there are any performances there that you can see. Also, go to Gananoque from Kingston and take the 1000 Island cruise from there. It is much better than the one from Kingston. It is a pity that Montreal and Quebec City are on on your schedule. They are great.
almcd is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I generally agree with almcd re Kingston. taking a boat tour out of Gananoque (down the road) is a better option, and the town is quite quaint. If you've young kids, there's lots of fun things in Niagara Falls, as well as Toronto. In Toronto, take them to the top of the CN Tower so they can walk on the glass floor and see all the way to the ground! Cool! And on a clear day (they do exist!), you can see the mist rising from Niagara Falls! And on THE Lake Ontario side of the city, Ontario Place has tons of fun things to do for the entire family. Google it and see for yourself. Finally, walking around China Town is also nice, along with great food.

Algonquin Park is an all-time favorite of my family. Where are you staying? You don't say which month your trip is. If it's August, the Park conducts Wolf Howls. Check out their website. But even if not, the hiking trails and wildlife make for a great time - good chance you'll see moose! Have a great trip!
stringer is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:09 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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I am not sure when you are planning the trip, but most of the Blue Mountain vacationers go there for skiing. They do have some pretty views all year round though and there is swimming nearby on the largest fresh water beach in the world (so they say) Wasaga Beach.

Don't be disappointed if you go to the Blue Mountains and end up saying, "where are the mountains?" Its a grandiose term for hill.

I don't think I'd spend 3 days there in summer, unless my purpose was just to relax. Maybe two nights and one full day.

I'd do the same for Kingston. You can take in a nice boat tour of the Thousand Islands at Gananoque and still have a good half day to look around Kingston. Spend the tine at its waterfront, driving along the St. Lawrence as opposed to the 401 expressway.

That would free you three days in Montreal, which is under two hours from Ottawa. Seems like a shame to be so close to Montreal and leave it go undiscovered. Really, Montreal is a unique city in North America, more so than Toronto.

DennyO is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Hi, rjuk: 3 nights is 2 nights too many for each of the following: Collingwood, Niagara Falls, Kingston. I wld use those 6 days to visit Montreal/Quebec City & maybe tack on a couple of days in Algonquin Park.
wow is offline  
Apr 16th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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Yesterday I was reading a UK photo magazine (at a Newsstand in Toroto) and the magazine had a win-a-trip contest.

England to Toronto airport, and then two days in Niagara Falls. From there, drive north to Algoinquin Park for two days. Visist in cottage country on the way back to Toronto, for the last two nights.

As I read the contest info, it seemed to me like a pretty good week.

BAK is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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Agree that Collingwood would definitely "not" be one of my choices, it's an OK getaway for Torontonians for skiing, fall colour, or a quick weekender other times, but there are more interesting places.

I love Algonquin, but I am a nature-lover. Things to do revolve around enjoying the outdoors - scenic day hikes, wildlife watching, etc. Extensive forest, lots of small lakes. I also like the Niagara area - not just the falls (pretty commercial, but worth a look-see and lots of [expensive] kid-oriented attractions), but also nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake and Wine Country. Of course, latter won't appeal to young ones. Ottawa is great with lots to do - museums, galleries, restaurants. Toronto is big city with lots - Harbourfront, Toronto Zoo, various ethnic neighbourhoods. etc. Kingston and Thousand Islands are OK - boat ride is scenic. I'd split most of my time between Algonquin, Ottawa and Toronto with maybe a night or two in Kingston in between and a couple of nights in Niagara. Or skip Kingston (as well as Collingwood) and add Montreal and maybe Quebec City back onto your itinerary. If you don't mind a lot of driving - although it sounds like you have 18 nights, so it's definitely doable.
May 9th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
I don't agree about skipping Collingwood. 3 days there could be relaxing and you'd see a small town, Canadian-style, go to the beach in Wasaga - your kids will enjoy it and maybe you'll be there for Elvis Days July 26 to the 29th this year.

SallyCanuck is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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I am joining the crowd on Collingwood and Kingston-too much time. You need some time for your kids to recover from jet lag. If you land in Toronto, take some extra days. If you want a break from the city on a hot day, take a 10 minute ferry ride to Toronto Islands after you go to the top of the CN Tower and spend some time on a bike or the amusement park (Centerville). Take a day trip to Kleinberg-see the McMichael Art Gallery for wonderful Canadian Art your kids will easily appreciate, take a walk outside on their trails and explore the charming town of Kleinberg-this is a half hour drive. Go to "the Beaches" in the east end of Toronto-long sandy beach, boardwalk, with boutiques and restaurants a few blocksaway on Queen St.
Blue Mountain is an overbuilt condo ski resort. Depending on where you stay, you can feel like you are in a very populated city community. For a country experience, go to Algonquin Park. You have to remember that Canada has vast distances-you will be driving 4 or 5 hours to get to Algonquin Park and on weekends there is a lot of traffic out of the city to northern cottage destinations that can add hours to your trip-same thing coming home Sunday. Other than the Falls themselves, Niagara Falls is too busy, too touristy. Nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake is a pretty town and there is a butterfly conservatory enroute. If you want, you can do this as a day trip out of Toronto. I would skip Kingston entirely-not worth the drive.
The kids will like the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. At the ROM, check out the bat-cave and the dinosaurs.
Again, Ottawa is a small town-much more to do in Toronto or Montreal.
lizzie1 is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Hi - Just to clarify a couple of things - it shouldn't normally take 4 or 5 hours to drive to Algonquin, unless you get badly stuck in city rush hour, or the weekend "cottage" traffic (avoid going on Friday afternoon/evening and returning on Sunday, or Mondays of long weekends). Otherwise, the drive is easily done in 2 1/2 to 3 hours from Toronto, maybe slightly longer from Ottawa due to smaller highways. Niagara Falls "is" Touristy, but young kids would like the glitzy attractions (tacky museums, butterfly and bird conservatories, Marineland, etc.). The ROM in Toronto has been undergoing major renovations and it would be best to check their website to see which displays are open (the dinosaur display was closed when I last checked). Also, Ottawa is not that small - it's the fourth largest metropolitan city in Canada, with a population of almost 1.2 million (this figure represents the "Capital Region" which includes the adjacent town of Gatineau, Quebec). Kingston is on-route between Toronto and Ottawa, so if the Thousand Island Boat Tour really appeals to you, it might be worth spending a night here (but check the tours out of nearby Gananoque or Ivy Lea).
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