Trip to Canada!

Oct 20th, 2019, 04:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 49
Trip to Canada!

Hello,
My name is Franco and I'm from Argentina. We are two people planning a trip to the cities in Eastern Canada on next April or May and we would like some help with the itinerary and other issues.

1) We are planning on this itinerary, what do you think about it?:
- Toronto (including visit to Niagara Falls) – 5 days
- Ottawa – 3 days
- Montreal – 4 days
- Quebec City – 4 days

2) Taking into consideration the weather as well as the prices, is April a good option or is it better to travel in May? Is it likely to find snow in the cities in April?

3) Is it worth it to rent a car? How hard and pricey is it parking in the cities? Are the routes between the cities scenic??

4) Other places or towns near the main cities that are worth it to visit or to make a detour??

Thanks in advance for your help!
Franco

francolf is offline  
Oct 21st, 2019, 07:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,286
There are several day trip bus tours from Toronto to Niagara Falls. The one I saw was with Viator which included lunch and a Hornblower boat ride. The price was in to $150 price range per person.
Between the cities your best option would be ViaRail trains. The Toronto rail station is next to the CN tower. If you have an interest in hockey, the Hockey Hall of Fame is also within walking distance of the Toronto station. If you wanted to go further into the US, there is a daily Maple Leaf Amtrak train that leaves Toronto and ends in New York.
tomfuller is offline  
Oct 21st, 2019, 06:17 PM
  #3  
 
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Posts: 374
Hello Franco,

I live in Ottawa and would say May is better weather-wise. We sometimes have snow into April (especially the first two weeks).

I wouldn't say the train or driving is particularly scenic as the driving and train mainly follow the major highways. But you don't necessarily need a car for the cities unless you want to explore some of the countryside. But you could maybe wait until Ottawa before renting a car? Parking is more expensive in Toronto.

It depends what you are interested in. If it's at least mid-May I would recommend going to the Gatineau park from Ottawa for some nice hiking. And from Quebec city there are some nice drives such as to Montmorency Falls and Ile d'Orleans.
jacolis is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2019, 07:48 AM
  #4  
 
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May. April can be a time for nature's rebirth, but also the last revenge of winter. Quebec City, in particular, is substantially further north than Toronto and vulnerable to cold weather.

All your cities are connected by train on VIArail.

https://www.viarail.ca/en

There is frequent bus service, especially in Quebec province. It would be best to fly into Toronto and home from Montreal or vice versa (use a multi-destination search function.) Quebec City has a pleasant airport but not a lot of international connections. So you might have to treat that city as a side trip from Montreal. Or you could fly to Quebec city from Toronto or Ottawa and take ground transport west to Montreal, and then home. You're better off without a car in the big cities which have adequate public transit. Central Ottawa you can walk.

Toronto Transit Commission - TTC

STM | Société de transport de Montréal

Driving the countryside can be scenic but, like Argentina, the distances are vast. Driving in the cities can be a nightmare and parking can be very expensive, especially in Toronto. Expressway access to Toronto and Montreal can be tediously slow (and even Quebec City). It would be cheaper to take a tour to Niagara Falls than having a rental car in Toronto for five days.. Your hotel in Toronto will have brochures for tour operators or search on-line. Viator is only a clearing house, not a coach operator. Public transit takes a commuter train plus bus route if you are doing it yourself. While the expressways can be jammed, having a car in the Falls would give you access to attractions outside the city itself, such as Niagara-on-the-Lake. But there must be tours covering some of those sights too.

I praise you for allowing enough time in each city to get some real feeling for the places.
Southam is offline  
Oct 24th, 2019, 12:37 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 49
Hi everyone!
Thanks for all the suggestions, we finally decided on May and we have the flight tickets!

We'll be arriving in Toronto on May-08 and leaving from Montreal on May-26.

I think our route will be Toronto -> Ottawa -> Quebec -> Montreal. Any recommendation on the ideal itinerary / route??

Thanks!
francolf is offline  
Nov 9th, 2019, 07:37 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1
A few tips

Hi francolf,

This sounds amazing. Being from Ontario and making these journeys quite a few times, I have some tips for you!

I recommend going Toronto > Ottawa > Montreal > Quebec City - This will be the most efficient route for your time.

Also, I recommend renting a car for your trip to Niagara Falls so that you can make a stop in Niagara-on-the-lake. A very very cute historic town located just north of Niagara Falls. The Niagara area is one of the best regions in Canada for growing and producing wine. So if you fancy a drink, look into wine tasting tours from Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-lake.

Toronto is really nice but if you want to get away from the city for a while, take the ferry to Toronto Island. Here you can rent bicycles, sit on a beach or even go to an amusement park. I would recommend half of a day or a full day for Toronto Island.

The journey from Toronto to Ottawa is really... flat. To be honest, its not the prettiest drive/train ride in the world but it may be different from what you're used to. In Ottawa, be sure to visit Parliament Hill and possibly the Canadian Mint (where Canadian dollars are produced) if you're into that. Ottawa is small, so I believe 3 days is more than enough.

Montreal is a beautiful city and 4 days is perfect.

Quebec City is also a small city and you could probably see everything in and around the city in 3 days. So, if you're up for it, I recommend renting a car and adding a stop before heading to Quebec City. Mont Tremblant is known as a pretty ski village but also has some great hiking and summer activities. Look into Mont Tremblant if you want to experience some Canadian nature.

Don't forget to try maple syrup - Quebec is where 70% of the World's maple syrup comes from (the entire world)!

Enjoy your journey!

Last edited by Moderator3; Nov 9th, 2019 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Remove link
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