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aussies in ottawa

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mackay
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aussies in ottawa

Hi, we are an aussie family with two boys aged 16 and 13 travelling to US in early july. we have five nights in new york and then heading back across to san francisco but keen to have a canadian stopover for 3 days . Which would be best for our first taste of Canada, Ottawa or Toronto.

Thanks in advance for any advise guys.

Niagara Falls, ON
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1. Re: aussies in ottawa

Either one is quite a detour from a New York to SF route, 7-8 hour drive.

Although Ottawa is our Capitol city and has the Parlaiment Buildings and many fine museums, Toronto is our largest city and has much more to offer, especially for teenage boys. And since you will probably be passing Niagara Falls on the way, you might want to add it to your plans.

www.torontotourism.com

http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/

ottawa
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2. Re: aussies in ottawa

While it's true that there is more stuff to do in Toronto, Toronto is not a whole lot different than other big American cities. Ottawa I feel offers a bit more of a "Canadian" experience and the museums there afford more opportunties to learn about Canada, especially the Museum of Civilization. If you want something unique, but in a big city you could also try Montreal. While mostly populated by Francophones, most of them speak English as well. They have an older downtown core complete with cobblestone streets as well as some good museums and an amusement park (La Ronde) that is accessible by subway as well as the car.

northern Ontario
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3. Re: aussies in ottawa

Hi scoop1962.

If you want to see a little bit of Canada there are so many possibilities.

You mentioned Ottawa and Toronto and as posted above by fallsdude as far as the choice between those two cities, your boys might like Toronto better than Ottawa. Seeing Niagara Falls, definitely would be spectacular and I am pretty sure one of the highlights from your trip. If you did decide on Toronto it would be do-able to spend an afternoon or evening in Niagara Falls.

On the other hand there is also Montreal and even Quebec City to consider. It really depends what types of things you and your family like to do. You mentioned San Fransisco. Are you driving or flying?

Getting back to your post...When you mentioned 'first taste' of Canada it wants me to say Ottawa, as it is the capital and there are a lot of cultural things to do there. But again it really does depend what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to visit museums and attractions, see the architecture? Do you want to mingle with people and get a real feel for the area? Do you want to see the landscape and that sort of thing.

mackay
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4. Re: aussies in ottawa

Thanks for info guys......we are flying...not driving...our only drive will be from San fran to LA.

I am assuming it is easy to fly into all major cities in Canada and then grab flights across to SF.

northern Ontario
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5. Re: aussies in ottawa

Hi Scoop.

Most of the big city airports in Canada should have flights to San Francisco.

You can get flight information on this T/A site by going to the various city overviews. (usually on the left side of the page)

Also these links may help.

http://www.aircanada.com/en/home.html

c3dsp.westjet.com/guest/home.shtml…

http://www.etn.nl/lcostcan.htm

…about.com/od/…top10na.htm

Niagara Falls, ON
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6. Re: aussies in ottawa

If you decide on Toronto/Niagara Falls, an option to look at is flying in and out of Buffalo, NY. It is much cheaper than flying to/from Toronto, and is only a 45 min drive to Niagara Falls, or 2 hours to Toronto. Domestic flights in the U.S. on discount and regional carriers (Jetblue, Southwest, etc.) are very reasonable compared to international flights. A little driving could save you a lot of money.

toronto,on
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7. Re: aussies in ottawa

Yes, easy to fly from any major Canadian city, but not cheap.

As Fallsdude says, it would be a better idea to fly in and out of Buffalo. MUCH cheaper.

You could then visit Niagara Falls and Toronto, which is only about a 90 minute drive.

Although I really like Ottawa, I think Toronto would be a good bet for a Canadian stop.

mackay
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8. Re: aussies in ottawa

Thanks guys...thanks for all the great info and have taken advice on board and flying into Buffalo, NY and then driving to Toronto via Niagra Falls. I probably need to move to Toronto forum for this but we will have a hire car for our four days in Toronto and if anyone can recommend good day trips and also any adventure day trips (ie canoeing etc) as teenagers need to be entertained, afterall the whole world revolves around them APPARENTLY. Cheers

ottawa
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9. Re: aussies in ottawa

If you're looking for a base city from which to experience outdoor adventure day trips, there are many great Canadian cities and towns to do it from, Toronto isn't one of them. Toronto is great for nightlife, restaurants etc, but it can take over an hour to actually get out of the city. Quebec City, Victoria, Banff, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver even... all better options for experiencing the outdoors.

If you insist on Toronto, do stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake for lunch on your way from Buffallo. It's very pretty. I wouldn't reccomend staying there with teenagers though. It's more adult oriented with it's wineries and theatre festival.

mackay
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10. Re: aussies in ottawa

My problem is then how to do niagara falls and then which of the cities scratchmyfeet referred is an enjoyable drive to spend a few days based in??