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Toronto, Niagara Falls & Niagara on the Lake: November advice

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Aug 16th, 2012, 05:28 AM
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Toronto, Niagara Falls & Niagara on the Lake: November advice

Hi all,
My bf and I are flying to NYC in November, and are considering visiting a combination of Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls. We would be able to stay in Canada for 5-6 nights. I am thinking doing all of these places in 5-6 nights is too much so our possibilities are either: Toronto & also stay 1-2 nights at NOTL (and drive over to see Niagara Falls with car hire), or divide our time between Ottawa & Toronto (and maybe a day trip to see the Falls from Toronto).
Does anybody have any recommendations on what is best or which cities/towns they like best of these options?

Regarding going to Niagara Falls area, I have read it will probably be cold 1-9 degrees for Niagara on the Lake and near the same for Niagara Falls and November is the wettest month for Niagara Falls. We come from Melbourne Australia and our winters are a lot more milder (I thought todays 14deg Celsius was cold and really the only snow we see is when we drive a few hours to the mountains to ski). Is there a possibility of snow in the area in mid-late November (would be there most likely between 15th-21st)? My major concern would be driving in snowy conditions as I never have to do that here.

Also, seeing we are going to Canada again, we'd love to experience an ice hockey match which we didn't do last time when we stayed in Quebec City and Montreal. Unfortunately, when I looked online for the Maple Leafs game on 17 Nov the only tix left were quite expensive, I guess we should have checked it out sooner. Does anyone know if there is any way you can get some cheaper tix, like if they reduce prices of left over tickets on the night of the game or something like that? Would hate to miss out on the experience but $194 plus per ticket is a bit out of our price range.

Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
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Aug 16th, 2012, 05:52 AM
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It's impossible to get cheap tickets for Leaf games at the ACC in Toronto. However, the Ottawa Senators will be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in Ottawa on the night of the 16th--this will be a good match and likely a sellout, but you still should be able to get tickets in advance. Barring injury you will be able to see the Pittsburgh superstar, Sidney Crosby, one of the greatest players in the world. The only caveat is that the NHL may be shut down at that time because of a contract dispute between the players and the league. Single tickets are not yet on sale for that game but check the website from time to time:

http://senators.nhl.com/index.html

If you can get a ticket to the Leaf game on the 17th, you will have the pleasure of seeing the sad-sack Leafs beaten by the Senators.

Re snow, there certainly is a possibility of snow at that time, but the heavy snowfalls usually come later in the winter.

In November, I would simply take a day trip to see Niagara Falls and otherwise split your time between Toronto and Ottawa. Niagara on the Lake is pleasant in the summer, but I would give it a pass at that time of year.
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Aug 16th, 2012, 06:22 AM
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I agree with laverendrye that NOTL is more of a summer destination, better enjoyed when you can see the summer theatre, wineries, and charming countryside. Niagara Falls is certainly worth a day trip, especially if you have some flexibility in your schedule and can pick a sunny day.

If you decide to go to Ottawa I suggest you check out Porter airlines which flies from a small, no hassle airport near the city center. You could fly back to NYC from there. It's quite a long drive from TO to Ottawa, and the countryside will be drab that time of year. Via rail is also an option, but takes a good chunk of the day, and expensive unless you get in on one of their frequent sales.

Also, you might ask here about tickets for a semi-pro hockey team, which might be just as entertaining for you if you are not too acquainted with the game.

You don't say what your interests are, other than hockey, but there is certainly a host of things to do in Toronto and you could easily fill 5-6 days with a day trip to NF thrown in.
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Aug 16th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Your best bet is to fly NYC to Buffalo and rent a car there...

you could then tour the Falls (20 minutes away)visit Niagara on the Lake and continue your drive to Toronto and then Ottawa... there is Hockey in Buffalo, Toronto and Ottawa, making it much easier to purchase tickets... you would then return the car at Buffalo and fly back...

The weather in this region has been unusually moderate over the last few years (Global warming)... but you never know what will happen...

Niagara on the Lake(NOTL) is the center of a booming Wine Region that continues year round... I would recommend staying AT the Falls because you can get a great room at off season rates and side tripping to the village of NOTL and some of the wineries and restaurants...

...the best option is to have your rental car for this entire loop... good luck planning your visit
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Aug 18th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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Hi Thanks for all your comments and advice.
We have had to add a day to NYC so will only have 5 nights in Canada in the end (4 full days, and the arvo on the day we arrive) so I think we will just visit Toronto. Considering the distance between Ottawa and Toronto, I think best to just explore one city and we have researched all the activities, museums, sight seeing etc and think Toronto will definitely have heaps for us to do even if we cant do the hockey game so pretty excited! Will definitely look for some semi-pro games thanks ELiz_Travels for the tip!
I wish we were able to come another time and visit NOTL in its prime but November is the only time we are able to come. We are going to try and do a day trip to Niagara Falls but probably will leave the car hire to the last minute so we can be flexible in case of the weather, maybe even a quick stop in NOTL if we have time if we are lucky and get a nice, hopefully sunny, day. Fingers crossed!
Thanks again for the help, its been great to get feedback on our plans and your suggestions
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Aug 18th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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I think your plan to stay in Toronto is a good one. If you do decide to stay overnight in Niagara Falls, you could go to see the Buffalo Sabres play the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Friday Nov 16. It should be a very good game. Once again, the caveat that the NHL may be shut down at that time.

You could also try to take in a game of the Toronto Marlies, a second tier professional (American Hockey League) team. The quality of AHL hockey is very good as this is only one level below the NHL. The Marlies play at the Ricoh Coliseum, close to downtown, and you will be much closer to the action than at an NHL arena (unless you are paying big bucks). The Marlies play afternoon home games on Sat and Sun Nov 17 and 18, and if you can't make either of these, they play Friday night Nov 16 in Hamilton, an hour or so from downtown Toronto. Availability of tickets shouldn't be a problem, unless there is an NHL shutdown and hockey starved fans turn to the AHL for their fix.
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Aug 18th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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if you are interested in NFL Football, The Miami Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night November 15th... Busses take you from the Niagara Falls NY bus terminal to the Bills Stadium for $6 each round trip... tickets to the game are still available... the stadium will be rockin' for this game...
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Aug 19th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Budgiesrule - I live in Buffalo, NY and have been visiting the southern Ontario world all my life. You are getting good advice on this forum. Some thoughts:

Good advice to stick with Toronto and not do Ottawa given you have decided to maximize time in NYC and your time is limited.

You should definately do Niagara Falls, it is one of the wonders of the world.

NOTL is really nice, but given November, Toronto, and NF, it finishes in 3rd place. It is a very quaint place and have spent a good amount of time there - but if you really want to enjoy Toronto, NF, see a sports event, etc. I suspect your agenda is getting a bit too full.

You received guidance about both the Buffalo Sabres a(hockey) and Buffalo Bills (American football) - both are major (highest) league and downtown Buffalo (where the hockey team -Buffalo Sabres play) is only 20 minutes from NF. The Buffalo Bills football team plays 20 minutes further south in Orchard Park.

Doing sports in Buffalo is eminently more doable if you stay a night in NF - suggest the Marriott Resort & Spa where you can get a room overlooking the falls - very special - you will never forget.

Someone mentioned flying NYC to Buffalo - that is a very real suggestion - check prices and your itinerary but it is good advice to consider.

D.
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Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for the hints. We will be visiting Toronto and Buffalo next May. We have a cousin in Buffalo who is the most hated man in town-a pediatric dentist. Maybe we will catch a Bison's game. If the Sabres are still playing in May, the tickets will be too expensisve and the fans will be stunned.
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Sep 4th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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ADU... consider adding a Frank Lloyd Wright tour to your Buffalo visit... there are now fully escorted tours to the six Wright attractions and homes in the area... the gem is the restoration of www.darwinmartinhouse.org

They have recently added the "All Day All Wright" tour
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Sep 6th, 2012, 02:42 AM
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Definitely liking the idea of seeing some hockey! I am writing down all our options so we can decide what fits in. Currently we haven’t got any bookings confirmed other than the flights to NYC-Australia (must start doing all that soon..!)

The Toronto Marlies is definitely a good option, since we would be arriving Fri 16th Nov.

Laverendrye- You say getting tickets to the games shouldn't be a problem, do you think we should book now or just wait until we come in NOvember?

Not sure yet about the Buffalo games as we want to try and leave the planning of the trip to Niagara Falls to the last minute to hopefully get some good weather. Thanks The_D_Dawg and garyt22 for your advice, we'll keep in mind

I am definitely going to check out the option of flights into Buffalo vs Toronto. We planned for NYC-Toronto so we wouldn’t have to hire a car for all that time (and just park it at the hotel in Toronto). I kind of thought we would just fly into Toronto, stay put there and just organise a car hire day before to reach the falls. This is after our trip to the southwest US earlier this year resulted in massive car hire fees..

Thanks for all the suggestions
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Jun 20th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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good tips thanks
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Jun 25th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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I am going to disagree with the others. NOTL is beautiful in the fall. That early in November I doubt that you would have snow. I am not really sure what you would spend a whole day doing at the Falls. If you do make the trip to the Falls I suggest having a meal in NOTL. Most of the restaurants at the Falls are chains. It is only a 15 - 20 minutes drive from the falls along the water. The downtown area in NOTL is just a few blocks and most of the vineyards are very close by.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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" I am not really sure what you would spend a whole day doing at the Falls "

Journey Behind the Falls
Falls Illumination
Dinner overlooking the Falls
Niagara's Fury
Botanical Gardens
Queen Victoria Park
Butterfly Conservatory
Niagara Falls History Museum
Floral Showhouse
Bird Kingdom
Helicopter Tours
Skylon Tower
Skywheel
Imax Theatre
War of 1812 Sand Sculpture Exhibit
Indoor Skydiving
Floral Clock
Comedy Clubs – Yuk Yuk’s and House of Comedy
War of 1812 Sites
Clifton Hill attractions - Tussauds, Ripleys, Guinness, etc.
Indoor Water Parks
hiking in the Niagara gorge or Bruce Trail
Canada One Factory Outlets
Hydro Electric Generating Stations Tour
Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara
dinner theatres
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