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So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

Wroclaw, Poland
Level Contributor
25 posts
4 reviews
So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

Hello,

I will be visiting Canada next June together with my family (5 adults of different age). We have quite limited time there - less than 7 full days - before our flight from Toronto to Cuba. I'm looking for an advice on the following itinerary:

Day1: arrival at Toronto Pearson international airport in the afternoon. Drive to Niagara falls with a rental car for rest and overnight.

Day2: Niagra falls

Day3: Niagra on the lake in the morning, then heading to Gananoque to take a Thousand Island cruise. Overnight in Gananoque or Kingston.

Day 4: Visiting Kingston till the afternoon. Drive to Ottawa for overnight.

Day5: Ottawa

Day6: Ottawa, drive to Toronto in the afternoon.

Day7: Toronto. Flight to Havana in late afternoon.

Do you think such itinerary makes sense? I think it's doable at least, but will appreciate your comments on what to add, cut, change.

Do you have any suggestions?

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8 replies to this topic
Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6,753 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

It’s doable if you just want to spend all your time driving.

You really are not visiting Canada with this, you are seeing a few highlights of southern Ontario. You are driving by lots of other interesting things to see what a guidebook might suggest over 10 -14 days.

It’s 4 1/2 hours minimum from Niagara to Gannonque but you will be in the midst of eastbound rush hour so expect that to be a 6 hour drive.

Could you fly to Montreal, rent a car, drive to Ottawa, then Kingston / Gannonque then Niagara and back to Toronto? Or look into the train from Montreal to Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, rent a car for Niagara? Toronto to Cuba return and fly home from Toronto.

This route has much less backtracking.

Edited: 08 December 2017, 20:52
SE Ontario
Level Contributor
25,506 posts
15 reviews
2. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

It's a 4.5 hour drive from NOTL to Gananoque ... assuming no stops and no getting bogged down in Toronto traffic. You'd be better off heading to Kingston, staying the night and exploring, and then go to Gan the next morning. Take one of the first cruises, and then head to Ottawa. That way you aren't backtracking between Kingston & Gananoque.

Personally I think this is a very rushed itinerary with very little time to actually experience the places you want to visit. Not enough time in Toronto that's for sure. It's a 5 hour drive, again with no stops, from Ottawa to Toronto. However, it is doable.

Wroclaw, Poland
Level Contributor
25 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

Thank you for your comments. I could have been more precise - that's an initial itinerary for certain highlights of Southern Ontario, not visiting Canada indeed. We had o possibility to add these several days there to our Cuba + Manitoba trip and so we did. I assume it's better than nothing :) Toronto is not my focus for this particular itinerary because majority of my group will have a chance to stay in Toronto for few days on our way back from Cuba and before heading further to Manitoba where we will stay for over 2 months before going back home. Therefore Toronto is only present in this plan on the last day as I prefer to stay near the airport on the departure day.

We don't have any flexibility on dates nor the city of arrival, as flight is booked already.

I do realize the itinerary is rushed. So the question is what to skip with such limited time? Niagara Falls visit is a must. Personally I would love to go to Ottawa as well, but if this will be to much backtracking in order to go there - can reconsider. What would you suggest instead in such case?

Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6,753 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

You are landing in Toronto and going both east and west, I suggest you look at one direction only. If Niagara is a must do, then focus on what is west of Toronto. If it’s Kingston and Ottawa, then focus on that direction. There is more than enough to fill a week in each direction.

You say group? How many, are you renting cars?

SE Ontario
Level Contributor
25,506 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

EM .. it helps if you read the original post:

"I will be visiting Canada next June together with my family (5 adults of different age)."

"Drive to Niagara falls with a rental car "

LikeanOcean - thank for filling in the info gaps. As noted, the trip is doable but rushed. You could play around with the itinerary ... Kingston or Gananoque could always be visited on your way back to Toronto from Ottawa. As well, there are 1000 Island cruises that leave from Kingston, although they take longer to get to the islands. In the end, it's up to you to decide what your priorities are.

Depending on what time your flight to Cuba is, you could stop in Kingston overnight on the way back.... it's a 3 hour drive to the airport.

Edited: 08 December 2017, 22:37
Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,244 posts
77 reviews
6. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

It's doable, and fine for a quick overview of Ontario. The biggest problem you face is that going through Toronto - especially during peak hours - can waste a lot of time. Have a Plan B for getting around TO in case traffic is bad.

Wroclaw, Poland
Level Contributor
25 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

Thank you all for valuable comments. Will take take them into account. I'm waiting for my Ontario Rough guide to be delivered - hope it will help me to decide which places are most interesting for me.

SE Ontario
Level Contributor
25,506 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: So little time... so much to see! Help with itinerary needed

Have you looked at the Ontario Travel website? Some excellent info there, with overviews of each region. Check under the Explore tab at top of the site's homepage:

https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/home

Additionally, most cities, towns, and regions have their own tourism pages that focus on events and attractions in their areas. Just google "place" tourism.

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