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Toronto - Montrel - Toronto

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Feb 24th, 2014, 04:44 AM
  #1
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Toronto - Montrel - Toronto

Hi, first time on these forums.

Myself and a friend (maybe 2) are starting to plan a trip to Canada sometime between the start of July and the end of September for 2-3weeks from the UK. At the moment a brief outline is looking like flying to Toronto then travel to Montreal and back. Searching round the web so far has given us Algonquin and thousand Lakes as destinations to take in. We also want to go to Niagara Falls. Depending on how long the trip looks like its turning out to be we may try to extend it to incorporate either Quebec or Chicago as well.

Has anyone done a similar trip or are there key sights that we should miss in the area?

We dont mind doing a lot of driving, we did a similar trip on West Coast USA last year and want to see as much as possible as its half a vacation and half a look around with a view to emigrate in the future. We want a good mix of city life as well as lots of hiking/canoing/fishing etc.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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If you are planning Montreal, just add Quebec city before returning to Toronto... ViaRail might be your best bet, but a rental would also work... Niagara Falls is about an Hour from Toronto and could be a side trip...

There are dozens of festivals in all of these cities, so have a look at the city websites so you can plan your favorites...
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Feb 24th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Are public transport links good in the area then? We were originally planning on having a car for the entire trip but it could be a good way to save some money. We have already found a 3 or 5 day canoe trip in Algonquin where they pick up from Toronto to cut down on hire costs.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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Public transport in all three cities is easy and excellent... if you plan side trips(like Niagara), you may need to rent a car for a day or two to get the best mobility...

There are package trips from Toronto to Montreal and QC that include transportation, bus tours, attractions, meals and extras, but you sound too young to spend your tour with a bunch of seniors...

just plan the main transportation and you should be alright with subway and bus in the cities...
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Feb 24th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Your plans have begun well by finding that trip to Algonquin, one of the country's favourite parks and also the inspiration for the beloved Group of Seven landscape painters. Niagara Falls is an easy day trip, unless you want to linger among the wineries and the Shaw Theatre Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake. You can find several organized tours or train and bus public transit. Montreal and Toronto have extensive subway systems. Via Rail runs decent trains Toronto-Montreal-Quebec and there are competing buses too. Or Porter Air, a turbo-prop airline, flies out of downtown Toronto at moderate cost.
Going to upper New York State will complicate your trip. I think your time and money will be better spent doing day trips from Montreal and Quebec Citiy.
You can also search this site's Forums, above right on this page, for previous posts on your topics.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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I would advise taking the train to Montreal as driving in Montreal is a nightmare and parking is non-existent. The train trip is about 5.5 hours and cost around $400 return.As for Chicago, it would make you trip very complicated
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Feb 24th, 2014, 10:18 PM
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"cost around $400 return"

Not according to Via Rail. Economy fare for Toronto-Montreal in September is $105 one way, or $39 if you leave early in the morning. Or did you mean for two people? Quebec to Montreal is $29 if you book early, $66 otherwise.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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Wow great replies so far... I am assuming when within the cities their are decent subway systems when its a bit too far to walk?(we are in our early 20's so will probably do most of our exploring by foot!)

I will have a browse around the previous posts before asking further questions
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Feb 25th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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I have priced up getting VIA Rail between the cities, definitely looks like a good option! Toronto - Montreal - Quebec - Ottawa - Toronto is showing as $325 .

How strict are they on the baggage allowance though? Im sure our suitcases will be fine but do they measure/weigh bags strictly?
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Feb 25th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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A couple of years back I took the train Vancouver-Jasper-Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-New York and no-one showed the slightest interest in the size or weight of my bag. Yet another reason to take the train instead of a plane.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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Via does measure the size and weight of your luggage. If it is acceptable, you can take it on to the train compartment that you are in. If not, it will be put in the luggage van to be collected by you at the end. I have travelled by train to Montreal many times and never have I been able to reserve a seat. However, my daughter came to Toronto from Montreal two weeks ago and reserved her seat. Perhaps this is now possible. It would be good if it was.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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http://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/baggage

I probably didn't exite interest because I pack light.

"Do you offer seat assignment?

Seats are assigned in Economy class and Business class on certain trains."

Guess you find out when you book whether you are on a "certain train".
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Feb 26th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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In answer to your question-- I live in Montreal and don't own a car if that tells you anything. I can get just about everywhere I need to go in the city by a combination of bus, subway, bike and foot. I've never had issues in Toronto either getting where I needed to go by combinations of subway, streetcar, bus, ferry and foot.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 07:07 PM
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VIA Rail has offered assigned seating in Business class, formerly VIA One, for years. Starting this spring assigned seating will apply to all seats in every class, in what the company calls the Corridor, essentially Windsor-Quebec City and side lines such as Toronto to Ottawa. On very occasional circumstances checked luggage may be offered, but not often. I've never had a train attendant take a second glance at my bag, but I don't pack the kitchen sink either. The website spells out the restrictions but in the Corridor the only time a problem might occur is if a passenger has several large suitcases and can't heft them up the steps into the car.
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Mar 7th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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I am sure that if your luggage passes the airline standards from the UK to Toronto that it will be fine for the train.

You can easily make a day trip to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake. If I remember correctly there is a bike rental in Niagara on the Lake and you can bike to some of the wineries or along the lake.
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