Traveling through Canada - bus or train?

Old Feb 10th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Traveling through Canada - bus or train?

A group of four of us, all twenty, are planning on spending a week traveling through Canada having spent the summer working in America. We want to try and see as much as possible but at the same time want to spend at least a night in each place so that we see the area. We don't have a car so will have to travel by bus or train. Can anyone recommend one over the other or a particular 7 day travel ticket that will allow us to see Canada. We will be crossing back into America so don't want to travel more than a few hundred miles into Canada.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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I recommend Greyhound bus.

At the risk of being boring, I'll point out that Canada covers 5 time zones. The distance from Vancouver to St. John's, Newfoundland (as the crow flies) is about the same as the distance from Cairo to Cape Town.

Since I see from another of your posts that you will have been based in Chicago, may I suggest you confine your ambitions to touring Southern Ontario over the course of a week? If you manage that, I'll think you've done well.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Em, what you need to do is look @ a map of Canada & re-post your question. Judy in Calgary has given you a good suggestion especially if your plan is to travel only "a few hundred miles into Canada". For the price of 4 bus or train tickets you cld probably rent a car (but check on minimum age for car rental). When you see how huge Canada is you will look back on your post & chuckle!
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Many people fail to realise that Canada is the second largest country in the world, second only to USSR and larger than the US. I think it is a very common misperception for people to expect to travel our beautiful country in a short period of time.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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My post will be no help to Em, but this discussion on distances and perceptions reminds me of my family.

I live in the Seattle area, and if I tell them that I'm going to LA or San Diego, they don't blink. However, if I say I'm going to Vancouver or Calgary, I'm asked, "Why are you going so FAR?" Vancouver and Calgary are much closer to Seattle than Southern California, but since it's Canada, they assume it's a million miles away.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Canada is huge! Just left question open as we're not really sure yet where to go in Canada. We're thinking of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec - there is 7 day pass covering these areas with both amtrak and greyhound. We can add and remove places as we find out more or if we won't have enough time to see them all. Just getting idea of whether rail or bus ticket would be better to get, and then can decide on exact route. What do you think of these cities as places to visit? Are there any that we should choose over the others? We would also like to see some of the smaller towns of Canada along the way if there is anywhere in particular you could recommend?
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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With only one week I would concentrate on just 2 cities and surrounding area.
Since you are coming from Chicago, Toronto and Ottawa
Toronto and Montreal
Personally I would pick Toronto and Ottawa. Ottawa is the capital with a lot to see and do for a relatively small city. Also part of the drive to Ottawa is nice once you leave the main highway (401).
Montreal has the advantage of giving you a taste of francophone Canada but the drive is pretty much unrelentingly boring (all on highway 401) and it is a bit further from Toronto than Ottawa.
I would NOT try to do all 4 cities in just a week - you will spend too much time travelling and not enough time enjoying the cities.
Train or bus? If going to Montreal: train
If going to Ottawa: bus
Really though - if you can rent a car that would be best. There are some pretty towns on the way (and no express bus will be stopping at them) like Tweed (on the way to Ottawa)(plus of driving to Ottawa you would have the option of driving through Algonquin Park (great oppotunities for wildlife viewing). Other interesting towns are Kingston (on the way to Montreal or Ottawa (depending on which Ottawa route your take)), and Gananoque.
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Old Feb 12th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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But you can't miss Quebec, it is so different from the other cities!!!
Like a little piece of Europe in North America...
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