2 weeks in Canada, starting Toronto - what to do??! Itinerary suggestions?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 8, 2012 4:43 PM Last Post By: postcardsmiles
Mar 31, 2012 8:51 AM
Mar 31, 2012 8:40 PM
1Not wanting to fly certainly limits things - you'll miss the iconic Rockies and stunning Vancouver. But let me stick with your wishes. Coming from Oman, and perhaps having friends or family in Canada (I'm guessing from the car availability) - perhaps you'd like to spend a few days in "cottage country." Ontario has thousands of beautiful lakes with rocky scenery and wonderful woodlands. May will probably be too early to swim in the lakes, but sitting on a dock, with a beer (optional) just relaxing and hearing the wonderful sounds of the loon - I can't think of anything more Canadian. It's a wonderful experience. Then I don't think you'd miss much skipping Ottawa - it's nice, but you really should see either Montreal (bigger, more cosmopolitan) or Quebec City (more scenic, more quaint). If you could tolerate a little flying, you might be able to squeeze in a few days somewhere in Atlantic Canada - well worth it.
Mar 31, 2012 11:44 PM
2Thanks for your reply. Yes, we're visiting a relative in Canada, and this is all part of a much larger trip so we really don't want to get on another plane on this particular trip! Western Canada will be a trip for the future... The lakes sound lovely - thanks for the suggestion. Is it worth heading North from Quebec city to the national parks up there. Any ideas on whale watching at that time of year?
Apr 1, 2012 12:06 AM
3If you are going in May, you might be able to see some whales around Tadoussac and Bergeronnes but it's not the peak season. I am not a whale expert, but I think the real biggies arrive later. However, if you are in Quebec City, you could easily go there, it's not that far (220km) and it's beautiful and well worth it in any case (unless you have non stop rain). You can often see whales right from the shore.
Normally it could be a bit cold for kayaking in that area, (although people do) but weather has been so strange lately, you never know!
Since it's low season, you don't really need to reserve anything, so you could decide one you are in Québec if you want to continue or not.
Edited by: Waondering
Apr 1, 2012 12:25 AM
Apr 1, 2012 10:49 AM
5I disagree with pizwat - you should stop by Ottawa, at least for a day/night. It's a small city, so you can do a lot of things in the country, and only have to drive 5 - 20 minutes to get there. You can visit the Rideau Canal, and watch boats move through the locks (which is kind of cool, at least the first time. Then it gets a little boring.) You can drive over to Gatineau Park (5 - 20 minutes depending on where you want to go) and sit on a beach, or take a hike or bike through the paths. You can also rent bikes in Ottawa itself, and bike along the canal or the Ottawa River. There's also a lot of really neat little towns in the area - Merrickville is about 45 minute to an hour south, and there are lots of little artisan shops there. There's also the St. Lawernce Seaway to the south, where you can bike or dive through submerged towns (there are buildings covered in Ottawa after the flooded the canal.) If you like history, Upper Canada Village is near Morrisburg (along the St. Lawernce). Before they flooded the seaway, the actually moved one of the villages, and left it as a replica 1800s village. All the people who work there dress in period costume, and you get to see how people lived back then. It's pretty cool!
In Ottawa itself, you've got Parliament Hill (with the cat sanctuary), lots of musems (personally I love the Musuem of Nature, The Science and Technology Museum, and the Museum of Civilization), the Byward Market, plus lots of little areas worth a wander (The Glebe, Westboro).
Apr 1, 2012 10:12 PM
Apr 2, 2012 8:16 AM
7Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy is doable in two weeks. We have done it in this time frame with my wife from Hamilton, ON. The driving distance is about 1600km to get there and I drove it in one day. Then you can drive and stop along the shores of Bay of Fundy, the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, do the Cape Breton with its breathtaking views. It is great trip, one I hope to repeat when kids get older. We still like to talk about it and though I live in Ontario and like going up north it does not come close to Cape Breton. We also did go to PEI for couple days, it is fairly small so you don't need much time to visit. On the way back we stopped at Hope Well Rocks. It is great place to visit, especially when tides are high, you can check tide tables here http://www.thehopewellrocks.ca/learning-centre/tide-tables to see the water levels.
Have a great trip.
Apr 2, 2012 8:32 AM
8Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy is doable in two weeks. We have done it in this time frame with my wife from Hamilton, ON. The driving distance is about 1600km to get there and I drove it in one day. Then you can drive and stop along the shores of Bay of Fundy, the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, do the Cape Breton with its breathtaking views. It is great trip, one I hope to repeat when kids get older. We still like to talk about it and though I live in Ontario and like going up north it does not come close to Cape Breton. We also did go to PEI for couple days, it is fairly small so you don't need much time to visit. On the way back we stopped at Hope Well Rocks. It is great place to visit, especially when tides are high, you can check tide tables here http://www.thehopewellrocks.ca/learning-centre/tide-tables to see the water levels.
Have a great trip.
Apr 4, 2012 11:46 AM
9We drove to Quebec City and Tadoussac from Toronto last summer, with our two kids...
we drove from Toronto - Oka in one day comfortably, stopping in Kingston for lunch - camped in Oka
drove from Oka to Quebec City, comfortably and camped outside of QC. We could have done the 10 hour drive but frankly, we were happy to take our time... We skipped Montreal but its close to Oka...so you could easily spend the night in Montreal...
we spent a few nights in Quebec City and then drove onto Tadoussac. We spent one night there, and went whale watching in the morning and then drove back to just south of Quebec City. We contemplated heading to Fundy but decided against it due to the timing ...
Then we went camping near Coaticook in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and then we headed down to Vermont and New York State before coming home...
All told, the trip was 10 days long ...
hope this helps...
Apr 8, 2012 4:43 PM
10Hi! I live near Ottawa, and I would say you should definitely stop through - it's the capital of the country, it would be a shame to miss it.
Also, I don't think it is unreasonable to road trip to Nova Scotia in two weeks. I have driven out that way before, you only need two days to get there (if driving all day, you may want another day or two if you plan to stop along the way) and two days going back (again, driving straight through). The rest of the time you can spend visiting all over the place - Cape Breton, Peggy's Cove, Halifax, and all the gorgeous small towns along the way.
I have planned myself a 9 day road trip doing all of that stuff starting near Ottawa. Ottawa is only about 5 hours driving from Toronto, and you can stop right through! Two birds with one stone, as they say.
As far kayaking, there are lots of opportunities for that in Quebec especially. :)
Hope I've helped at all, and I assure you going to Nova Scotia is very do-able in two weeks, even if you wanted to stretch out your trip over several more stops.
Edit: Oh, and also the route I usually take to get to NS is Ottawa - Montreal - Quebec City - Fredericton, NB and into Nova Scotia. On the way there I stay overnight in Fredericton and on the way back we usually make it to Quebec City before spending the night.
Edited by: postcardsmiles
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