Toronto, Montreal, or Quebec City?

Jan 7th, 2013, 03:10 PM
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Toronto, Montreal, or Quebec City?

If you could only visit one, which would it be and why?

And if you could only visit 2 of the 3, regardless of 'geographical site', which would it be and why?
norfolkanway is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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I love Toronto. However, in many ways, to me, it is just another city.

Montreal, on the other hand, is very exciting, alive and has something indefinable that always draws me back there. The restaurants, the shopping, the museum on Sherbrooke St West. If I could only visit one of the 3 cities, it would be Montreal.

Quebec City also has a unigueness that would prompt me to vist Montreal and Quebec City if I could only visit 2 of the following 3 cities: Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.

OceanBreeze1 is online now  
Jan 7th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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I haven't visited Toronto because I'm much closer to Montreal and Quebec City, and they are both fabulous. As to which of the two are better, that all depends. Quebec City is much more scenic - it's possibly the most scenic city in North America. However it's fairly small, and doen't have much cultural diversity (other than French of course!). Montreal is a very large city, with lots of interesting cultures - French, Italian, Greek, Jewish, North African, etc, etc. The dining and night life are second to none, and it's Old City and Plateau neighborhoods are very charming. If you enjoy cycling, Montreal is perhaps the most bike friendly city this side of the Atlantic.
For a first timer with just a few days, Quebec City would be my recommendation, just because it is so unique. If your trip is for a longer time period, do a few days in both cities.
We visit Quebec City every few years, Montreal several times a year. Montreal has so much to offer.
zootsi is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 05:12 PM
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I spread my vacations between Montreal and Toronto and can make inspiring arguments about the virtues of either one. Quebec City is both cute and historic.
But there is one other consideration: Where are you travelling from? If your time is relatively short, pick the city that is quickest to get to. Toronto has a major international airport, and Montreal's is almost as busy. Quebec has a much smaller operation. You can make your own judgments about distance if you are driving. The train service between the three is decent and there are some budget long-haul buses.
Southam is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Hi norfolkanway,

If only one, Montreal.
Why? I live here so you'd think I'd tire of it. But no, Montreal has an energy that is unique and can especially fun.

If only two, Montreal and Quebec.
Why? The Quebecois have created an ambience that's unique in North America.

This said, I've chosen to go to Toronto several times in the last several years because it's relatively easy to get to from Montreal and offers a change of pace. Despite also being an urban setting, Toronto I find fascinatingly different from Montreal and grows on me more each time I go.

I wouldn't vacation in any of us in January though.

Best wishes, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 06:58 PM
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So, for the above posters - for a "white Christmas" or a bit later, which would you pick: Montreal or Quebec City?

I think the OP has in mind more of a leaf-peeping jaunt, but since I have only been to Toronto, thought I'd throw it in for comments.

norfolkanway - I hope you are making good progress, hope this doesn't derail you like the fall foliage revolution... And BTW, although I am not an expert on eastern Canada, I have to agree with OceanBreeze1 in re Toronto. Loved my week's visit (business plus some personal), but it is another big city and perhaps not quite the unique destination you might be seeking.
sludick is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 07:33 PM
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From his other posts, it would appear that the OP is from the UK. In which case, there are dozens of quaint French towns to visit just to cross the channel. Quebec City may be unique in North America, but is hardly unique to a European.

By elimination, the correct answer is Toronto and Montreal.
ron is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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ron, there is no "correct answer"! But thanks for tossing your opinion into the mix.

I cannot think of any European City, or any city for that matter, that replicates Quebec City.
OceanBreeze1 is online now  
Jan 8th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Depends on your likes. Toronto is the most modern and largest of the 3, lots to do with excellent museums and art galleries, lots of live theatre, sports venues, cultural neighbourhoods, etc.

Montreal is vibrant, more historic (e.g. Old Montreal), excellent dining (although Toronto is also known for good and varied dining choices).

Quebec City's main attraction is the historic walled "Old Quebec" (Vieux Quebec) district - a late 17th/early 18th century Fortressed city with preserved buildings and homes (now mostly housing Inns, shops and restaurants). But if you live in Europe, this might seem less unique for you than it does to people living in North America (as already suggested). However, a scenic driving day-trip up the St. Lawrence through the Charlevoix Region could be included in a Quebec City visit (although I believe your timing puts you past peak leaf colour for that area).
mat54 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 03:10 PM
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(note: I've been to each) If I could visit only one of them, it would be Montreal, hands down. Montreal's size, and the foreign-seeming frenchness to it all are the top factors to me.

Also, walking around Montreal is easy, and you can just keep going, and keep exploring, with little in the way of hills to deter you.

If I could see two of the three, I'd leave out Toronto...

Q.C. is most distinct (to other North American cities) of the three, and admittedly it is far more french than is Montreal. The hills, the smaller size (and the weather extremes when I was there), are the slight drawbacks to Q.C.

I very much like driving on the outskirts of Montreal and Q.C. where, with Toronto, once I factor-out the Canadian signage, the nearby drives are just so-so.

The path between Montreal and Q.C. is one of my favorites, especially if you abandon the main freeway and drive on the small highway through the towns on the north shore of the St. Lawrence.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 05:27 PM
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From another one of your threads it would appear that you have decided on Montreal and Niagara Falls. No Quebec City. No Toronto.
Is that correct?
OceanBreeze1 is online now  
Jan 8th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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Yes OB1. We decided Montreal (& Boston) for our city visits.
norfolkanway is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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NFW, Wonderful! And, NF as a side trip from toronto airport?

Have a great trip!

OceanBreeze1 is online now  
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