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Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

London, United...
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Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi,

My partner and I are driving through Ontario on our Honeymoon at the end of April next year. I am wondering the best places we should stop on our drive. Time is not on our side as we have a lot planned. We are seeing Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec but are driving inbetween. We do like to see old quaint villages as we are covering the big cities.

Is it worthwhile stopping at Prince Edward Island or the Thousand Islands/Kingston, we only have time for one. I was planning to do a cruise through the Thousand Islands.

Are Oakville and Burlington worth a stop over?

Thanks :)

West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi Candy235;

Congrats on your upcoming nuptials.

You don't mention in your post how much time you do have for this planned trip. Prince Edward Island is approx. 532 miles / 855 km east of Quebec City.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, 4th largest in North America after Mexico City, New York, & Los Angeles. You could spend an entire week in Toronto and still have plenty to see and do !

Quebec City should be a 3-5 day stay, Montreal 2-3 days and Ottawa 2 days.

Niagara Falls and the 1000 Islands require a full 24 hours each.

With limited time, skip Oakville and Burlington.

Best Regards

London, United...
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2. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi,

Sorry no what I meant to say is that I have already booked my time in the big cities... it is the driving inbetween i am interested in. So best places to stop on my drive. These will only be for lunch or just to visit. I just want the most idealistic places for a quick stop over.

So after a few days in Toronto we are driving to Niagara Falls for two nights... I was interested in places worth stopping in on the way just for lunch or a tour around.

Then after our couple of nights in Niagara Falls I am wondering whats worth stopping in during the day on the way to Ottawa that evening.

Thank you :)

gxp
Niagara
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3. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Did you mean Prince Edward County, in Ontario, near Belleville?

Prince Edward Island is a province on the east coast.

Athens, Ontario
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4. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Considering your talking about lunch, I'll assume you mean Prince Edward County, but you won't find villages near as quaint as some you could find near London. If you're just going for lunch I would head to the public beach in Wellington for a picnic and then head east through Bloomfield and Picton to get back to the 401. The County does have great shorelines at Sandbanks Provincial Park and in the southwest and southeast corners, as well as many art galleries and wineries, but you need more time to do it justice.

The 1000 Islands are closer to the 401 so you will spend less time detouring to get there. There are one hour or more cruises from Gananoque and Ivy Lea, the 1000 Islands Tower, and the 1000 Islands Parkway. Kingston has a nice downtown for lunch or you could take a picnic on the side of the Parkway.

I'm not sure about things on the other side of Toronto. Maybe check out Niagara on the Lake.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 12:01
West Grey, Ontario
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5. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi Candy235;

Niagara Falls is approx. 80 miles / 130 km southwest of Toronto. The average drive is about 1½ hours, without any traffic delays. There really isn't any place along the way that I would suggest to for a "quick stop over."

To get to Ottawa, you will drive back through Toronto, with the remaining drive being approx. 5 hours.

(1½ + 5 = 6½ hours)

Morning "rush hour" in Toronto, is approx. 6 am to 10 am, to try to avoid those hours when travelling through Toronto, if you can.

About 165 miles / 265 km, about a 3 hour drive east of Toronto, are the towns of Kingston and Gananoque.

(the Gateway to the 1000 islands)

I would suggest stopping here enroute to Ottawa, but as commented above, for more than just a quick bite.

Best Regards

SE Ontario
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6. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Assuming you mean Prince Edward County, from Toronto heading east, you get off the main 401 highway at Port Hope and follow the old Hwy#2 through Port Hope, Cobourg, Grafton, Brighton, to the County, where you hook up to the Loyalist Parkway (Hwy 33), which you then follow to Kingston & Thousand Islands. This route would take you through old towns, which are historically significant, and would likely be described as "quaint".

http://www.northumberlandtourism.com/en/

http://www.loyalistparkway.org/

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi Candy.............in post #2 you mention that you're driving from Toronto to Niagara Falls, where you will spend a couple of days, and looking for somewhere to stop and have lunch............you can drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls in approx. 1.5 hours so you don't really need to stop, but if you'd like to, then both Oakville and Burlington are at the approx. 1/2 way mark, and have lovely downtown areas with cafes/dining right across from the waterfront, and on your way to Niagara Falls...........the corner of Lakeshore and Brant St. in downtown Burlington in particular has a nice section of eateries right across the street from the waterfront park.............there is parking a block away on Locust Street, and if you want to stretch your legs for a bit you can stroll through Spencer Smith Park right on the lake which is across the street from the eateries I mention.....if you walk up Brant Street from the Lakeshore, you will come across a great deal of good restaurants/pubs/shops/bakeries, etc as well..............exit the QEW at Brant Street on your way to Niagara, and head south about 5 minutes to reach this area............

London, United...
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8. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Wow thank you everyone for your advise. I did mean Prince Edward County. That clears up confusion for me. One issue you have raised for me is the peak hour.... we wanted to leave Niagara Falls and get to Thousand Islands by 12pm so how would we avoid this peak hour. Is there another way?

Thank you :)

West Grey, Ontario
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9. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Hi Candy235;

I would suggest that you look at a map of southern Ontario.

https://maps.google.ca/

You will see that the route from Niagara Falls to the 1000 Islands, parallels Lake Ontario. There is no way to avoid Toronto without travelling via the United States, which I would not suggest.

The earlier you get to Toronto, the less congested it will be, but the "peak" during morning rush hour, would be about 7 to 9 am.

Best Regards

London, Canada
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10. Re: Driving from Niagara Falls to Ottawa - Places to stop

Just a thought, I have done this drive. Leave from Niagra Falls and instead of heading east, head north, spend a day or two in Algonquin Park. There are a few nice resorts in the park, if not consider Huntsville or the Deerhurst resort. The drive on hwy 60 through the park is beautiful with many places to stop. Then continue on to Ottawa. It's nice country up there.

I have spent time in Kingston and the Thousand Islands but thought this would be an alternative suggestion since you are already seeing the big cities.