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sightseeing trip..toronto-calgarry-vancouver-whistler

sightseeing trip..toronto-calgarry-vancouver-whistler

Old Feb 5th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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sightseeing trip..toronto-calgarry-vancouver-whistler

My hubby and i are flying from glasgow to toronto to eventually meet up with one of our sons working in whistler...so excited about going over!!....Unfortunately we only have two weeks and really want to spend as much time as possible with our son in whistler..would like to know which is fastest / cheapest way to travel between places and what should we really make a point of seeing.Our son thinks it might be an idea to hire a car in vancouver for seeing vancouver island.......Looking for ideas ..please!!
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 02:09 PM
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Between Toronto and Vancouver you really have only two realistic choices: train or fly. Via rail offers a wonderful experience in sleeper accommodation with meals included, which would give you a wonderful opportunity to see the breadth and diversity of the country in a relaxed fashion. However, it takes 3 days and is not cheap. If you are going to do that I would suggest spending no more than a day or two in Toronto to adjust to the time change and see a couple of sights. Then focus your time around Vancouver--a beautitful city--where you can get over to Vancouver island by public transit or car and ferry, and up to Whistler by bus or car in a couple of hours.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Is there a particular reason why you need to fly into Toronto? If you're wishing to maximize the amount of time with your son, I'd recommend flying directly to Vancouver.

I mention this because sometimes people that stopping in Toronto breaks up the flight, but it actually adds more hours to the flight because UK-Vancouver flights go over the arctic, making it not much further than a UK-Toronto flight. Whereas flying from Toronto to Vancouver is actually a 4 hour flight, and domestic flights in Canada are expensive.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Alternately, you could spend 3 or 4 days in Toronto (Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Island, Chinatown, Bata Shoe Museum, etc, etc,) and use one of them to take a day trip to Niagara Falls. The flight from there to Vancouver is 5 hours, so count on a full day of travel with airport time at either end, though you do 'gain' 3 hours by flying across time zones.

The Vancouver /Whistler trip takes about 2 hours by road, I think (haven't been since they improved the highway for the Olympics) . You can get a bus if you aren't confident about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Whistler is quite commercial, and overpriced IMHO, but there is spectacular scenery, lots to do, and a range of accommodation. How long you spend there I think will depend on your son's work schedule and how much time he has available to visit there or travel with you.

Vancouver deserves at least three days (Stanley park, Museum of Anthropology, Granville Island, English Bay). I wouldn't stay anywhere other than downtown west side (near Stanley park, not the same as West Vancouver). From there you can take a bus to the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay for a day trip to Bowen Island, quaint and picturesque.

I'm sure there are others on the forum who can tell you the merits of Vancouver island, which I don't deny but am not too familiar with not having been there for several years. And don't be surprised if someone suggests a stop in Calgary/Banff on your way west.

Tell us a little more about when you are coming (weather counts) and your interests and we can tailor our advice accordingly.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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A good part of Canada can be roughly divided into 3 zones: 1.East
2.Central
3. West

Toronto is in the Central part but closer to East than West ( at least it seems that way to me).
So, that raises the question: If you want to spend most of your time with your son in the Western part of Canada, why fly to Toronto from Ireland?
Perhaps you shd fly to Vancouver from Ireland.

If, for some reason, you want to visit Toronto then, given that you only have 2 weeks, I would recommend flying from Toronto to Vancouver.( or Calgary if you can work that part of the trip in). So, fly Ireland/Toronto/Vancouver( or Calgary)/Ireland from Vancouver.

Or, reverse it & do Ireland/Vancouver/Toronto/Ireland
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Oh! When are you coming to Canada?
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 02:12 AM
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Glasgow from Vancouver

http://www.airtransat.ca/en/Destinat.../scotland.aspx
Best deals on this route in the past for me.
carrentals.com cheap econos work best for me from airport unlimited miles.Vancouver I. Canadian Rockies with Penticton along the way if time. Banff Lake Louise beautiful for me.
either/or both would be amazing. Not sure I would spend much time in the east you do not have a lot unless you can make more than 2 weeks.

Happy Planning!
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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OceanBreeze1 - Glasgow's in Scotland, not Ireland.
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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BC_Robyn!
I feel like such an idiot. I know that Glasgow is in Scotland. She did say Glasgow in her OP. I have no idea why I thought they were coming from Ireland! Where did I get Ireland??
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Given your parameters, I think you should fly from TO to Vancouver (if not from Glasgow to Vancouver, as somebody else suggested).

For it sounds like maximizing your time with your son is the most important thing. What he has or hasn't seen (and whether he has any time to spend with you AWAY from Whistler) should dictate SOME of your journey (might as well enhance his familiarity with the area too, given the chance).

Aside from that, Vancouver itself is well worth plenty of time.

You mentioned Calgary... and so far we don't know during which season you are intending to travel.

IF your travel is prior to April (at least) (or after October-ish)... then it is less ideal to drive between central Alberta and Vancouver/Whistler.

The Canadian Rockies (Banff - Lake Louise - Jasper, etc.) are indeed worth seeing if the weather is suitable. I surmise that if your son is working at Whistler, it is proooooooobably during the time of year least likely to be ideal for traveling through the Canadian Rockies.

I dunno, but IF your son can get away for a few days, then indeed go to Vancouver Island with him in tow. Depending upon the timing/logistics, you might even strategize to NOT have a vehicle for days spent IN central Vancouver, and then travel to Victoria by bus, before renting a car ON the island for that part of your journey.

Perhaps that would entail arriving in Vancouver, getting a car, going to Whistler, and leaving some/any of your luggage with your son (/at his place) before going back to Vancouver, and eventually taking the bus to Victoria (so as not to have QUITE as much stuff to pack on that bus ride).

Such a plan might also help you avoid sometimes staggering parking charges at downtown Vancouver hotels (when your need for a car is minimal anyway) as well as the costs of taking a car on the ferry.

But ONLY if it is workable based on your options and desires.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Could land in Toronto, spend a couple of days. Fly to Calgary, transit to Jasper, day there, then take train through Rockies to Whistler. It is $$, but the views...

http://www.rockymountaineer.com/en_U...ate=&Duration=
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Thank you for all the comments.We are going to Canada last week in April.Our sons have bought tickets for anniversary (30th)present for us.Our son has not seen much of Canada yet and so yes would like to explore with us.I know 2 weeks is not much but it is all that work will allow.Also would like to spend as much time with son as poss.
Given the above is Niagra falls and Calgarry a good idea or not?.
Tickets are bought Glasgow----Toronto Vancouver----Glasgow the rest is up to us.!!!??!!
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 09:39 PM
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OK... (most of the time your having parameters HELPS us give you priorities)

SO, IF you're in Toronto... DO go to Niagara Falls

IF my priority were a son in Whistler, I think I would skip Calgary... BUT it would be worth seeing the Canadian Rockies.

I still can't tell whether your son is 'free' (of commitments in Whistler) to tour around with you.


Let me say that IF your son can get away for most of your two weeks (er, at least the western part of your two weeks)... bring/meet him in Vancouver first... spend at least two nights there... then go to Vancouver Island... for, eh, 4 nights... and then consider driving eastward from Vancouver, toward the Canadian Rockies... for perhaps a couple of nights there... and then back to fly out of Vancouver.

Leaving the eastern BC leg until last will help in giving you the best chance at decent weather, plus you can adapt or scrap that leg if the first part slows you down.

Additionally, lodging simply won't be a problem when touring around BC/Alberta in early May or late April, so you can plan on the fly...

Should be a good time.
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Old Feb 8th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Thank you once again for your help.Just to let you know our son is working in Whistler but will be doing some sight seeing with us.I agree with what you said.i think our best option is to see niagra falls then 'fly?' to Vancouver and do the rest from there.
Although it did seem a good idea to stop at calgarry as well. In reality i think maybe not now....

Still very much looking forward to the trip....
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Old Feb 8th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Viewed another way...

IF you ever reach the path from Vancouver eastward toward the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is only about 80 miles from Banff, Alberta (which is in the mountains), so IF you remained interested, you could dart to Calgary to spend a day.

Clearly you have greater priorities, AND the luxury of NOT having to have reservations and such cemented in at that time of the year.

(Clarity: yes, probably FLY from TO to Vanc... leaving more of your time for what really matters)
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Old Feb 9th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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For my own tastes and interests, with only 2 weeks total including Vancouver and Toronto, the main reason I would stop in Calgary would be as a jumping off point to explore some of the famous and spectacular Rocky Mountain National Parks for a couple of days (e.g. nearby Banff). I haven't visited these in April (I'm sure others in this forum have) however I'm guessing the weather "could" still be a little winter-like, although the mountains are spectacular in any season. The Rockies are arguably the most scenic area in Canada, so if scenery is high on your priority list, you might consider it.

Otherwise you might want to plan a few days for Vancouver Island. Victoria is nice, and Tofino/Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast are spectacular. But again, two weeks will limit you and Vancouver/Whistler will certainly keep you busy for a number of days.

At the beginning of your trip, as you're coming into Toronto anyway, unless you want to get back on a plane to Vancouver right away, you may want to enjoy 2 or 3 days in this quite different part of the country. Yes, I would include a day trip or overnight to Niagara. Toronto itself is a nice city and has a number of interesting attractions (e.g. great museum: Royal Ontario Museum [ROM], tons of restaurants of all different types, good live theatre, etc).
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Old Feb 14th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Back in September I really wanted to go on a trip before the cold weather came, but I didn't really have a lot of money to spend so my friend recommended that I go to www.evaluateitbysqm.com and you can get 50% off of your flights, hotels, etc. It's basically a mystery shopping company, you fill out a form for them(took me no time at all) and they give you the discount in return! I was a little sceptical at first, but after my friend showed me reviews on facebook of what others had said about the program I was set! Here's the link for that as well, http://www.facebook.com/SQMInc. Hope this helps you out, it worked out for me
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Old Feb 19th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Thanks once again for all the above....the trip is closing in rather fast now..which is great!!
We have decided that we are going to spend 3 days in Toronto and then fly to Vancouver and rather wing it with the rest.
I am beyond being excited about the trip..in fact i am so high i hardly need a plane to take me there.!!
Thank you all once again.
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