Montreal Vs Toronto?

Old Feb 12th, 2004, 07:46 PM
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Montreal Vs Toronto?

We are 2 adults from Australia travelling to America for 1 month, finishing up in Boston to visit my sister. We were planning on leaving Boston and flying direct to Toronto for 3 nights, seeing Niagara and the city sights. We only have 3 nights spare and I would love your advice on doing the following as an alternative (not sure how much to see in Toronto as opposed to getting a glimpse of Montreal and Quebec).

Fly early Boston-Montreal, pick up 9am departure on a tour of Quebec City and Montmorency Falls (12hr tour). We would then overnight in Montreal and take coach or rail to Toronto the following day (how long would this take? hoping about 3hrs) then do a 1/2 day city tour of Toronto, overnight there and do the Niagara Falls tour the following day. Overnight again in Toronto (which gives us the 3 nights) before making our departure. Will this be too much travelling do you think? Bearing in mind that the coach tour (although 12 hours) is just sitting and taking in the sights. Or perhaps 3 nights are better spent in Toronto? Thank you so much for any input.
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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You don't say when you are going, which makes it difficult to reply in a way because some of the best of these cities are best enjoyed by walking the towns. To me, city tours do not give you an up close view of what the city really has to offer. But, assuming the weather is nice, my opinion would be to fly into Montreal as you suggest and spend the majority of time in Quebec. Quebec is a romantic, beautiful, and historic city....You could easily cover in 3 days, old town (walking this takes a day in itself) and all of the quaint restaurants that have al fresco dining, the Plains de Abraham (if you're lucky and it's summer, you may be able to catch a free concert at the Bolanger pavilion), the Citadel, Parliament, Montmorency Falls (there is also a restaurant there where you can dine with a view of the falls), and if even more time allows, you can't miss a tour of I'le de Orleans, just a short drive from Montmorency Falls. We loved the other two cities as well, but Quebec was our favorite hands down.
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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Toronto is a very large, cosmopolitan city. There's a lot to see and do there such as the Royal Ontario Museum, art galleries, fine restaurants, professional sports such as hockey, Canadian football, basketball and baseball. The CN Tower is interesting. Toronto is also a relatively new city so there is less of things of historical interest than Montreal or Quebec. And its proximity to Niagara Falls is a plus.

I live both Montreal and Toronto. I would recommend picking one and and really seeing it rather than trying to divide your time. I would choose based on your preference for old vs. new. If you like antiquities than head for Montreal. If you like big, bright and modern, head for Toronto. Montreal also has bright and modern but you go there for the history. Toronto has its older historic sections but you go there to be in a big cosmopolitan city.

Have a great time. And I hope you enjoy your stay here in Boston. Its my hometown and I love it.
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Actually, Toronto, while it has many, many attractions - not the least is it's vibrant multiculturalism - is really a slightly bigger and more cosmopoliton Melbourne.

Montreal, on the other hand has no real cultural equivilant in North America and certainly not in Australia so with only three nights I would spend it all in Montreal and even stretching for a day trip to Quebec would result in at least 3-4 days too few in Montreal.

There's a lot to see in Canda outside of the Central Quebec-Windsor corridor not the least of which would be Vancouver/Victoria, the Canadian Rockies and Atlantic Canada so one hopes that this will not be your last visit to North America and Canada.
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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This IS a bit much. I would just head to Toronto & Niagra Falls and pass on Montreal/Quebec City this time (that's a 7 day trip unto itself!).
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Hi, Karenb! If you click on "Destinations" in your Fodors tolbar, you will get some very detailed info on Montreal, Quebec City & Toronto. You are looking @ a 3 hour bus or train ride b/t Montreal & Quebec City; 5 hours by bus or train b/t Montreal & Toronto.
This is what I wld suggest given your condensed timetable:
Day 1: Fly very early morning Boston/Quebec City on American Eagle. Spend the day touring Quebec City & overnight there.

Day 2: Take early morning bus or train 3 hour ride from Quebec City to Montreal. Spend the day touring Montreal & overnight there.

Day 3: Take early morning 5 hour bus or train ride from Montreal to Toronto. (or fly Montreal/Toronto) Overnight in Toronto & fly out of Toronto late @ night on Day 4. (do you go back to Australia from Toronto?) Perhaps on Day 4 you cld get a "Day Tour" to Niagara Falls from Toronto or you cld rent a car for the day. It's about 1.5 hours from Toronto to Niagara Falls.
Whew! It's cramming a lot into 4 days/3 nights! Or, you cld forget the Toronto/Niagara Falls part & focus on Quebec City/Montreal.
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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It really depends on when is your next trip to America and what you enjoy seeing most. There is so much in each city, Montreal-Quebec has European charm, Toronto is multi-culture. The Falls (3 of them) are a must-see, I rank them up there with the Great Wall and the Grand Canyon. You can manage WOW's schedule, and there's nothing wrong with doing a 2-3 hour city tour to see the sights and then take public transportation back to what interests you most. You don't need to join a tour for the Falls, buses (Greyhound & another Canadian one) leave the Toronto downtown terminal every 1/2 hour for the Canadian town of Niagara Falls and you can take a cab (under $10)from the bus stop to the Falls. Stay on the Canadian side, it's more stunning than the U.S. side and you'll have time to take a boat tour before heading back to Toronto. We took a 7-hour bus ride from Montreal to Boston through gorgeous fall leaf color changing countryside... I want to go back! By the way, save your receipts and get forms to claim tax credits, the shopping in each city (and Boston) is also part of the fun. Have a great time!
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Old Feb 16th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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Hi everyone, thank you all so much for your advice, I have a much better idea of how to get around now. I realise that Canada is a trip on its own and we plan on returning next year to do this from coast to coast, just couldn't resist a quick glimpse as we would be so close! Once again thanks alot, we are travelling in April and can't wait!
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Old Feb 16th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Hi- You might also want to post this on the Canada board.
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