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Route suggestions..

Ireland
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Route suggestions..

I am planning a trip to Canada for next year. I am going to do Fly / Drive. The area I am thinking of visiting is Niagra Falls, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec.In the brochure I got from Travel Agent it suggests this trip over 14 days also taking in Ottawa and Midland. Our main interests along with sight seeing is wildlife especially bears. Where in these areas is it possible to see bears in the wild? Also, Where in these areas is the best place to go salmon and trout fising? Would love to hear your suggestions...

Toronto
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1. Re: Route suggestions..

Uh, the wildlife that you'll see in any of those places are the teenagers and young adults at 3 a.m. after they've gone clubbing.

You'll have to go *much* farther north to have any kind of chance of spotting black bears in the wild (Ontario does not have grizzlies), and even then, your chances are low. The places you've mentioned are well populated cities, and although we do have black bears in Southern Ontario, it's very rare for them to come close to these cities. The highest densities of bears in Ontario are found in areas such as the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve and Algonquin Provincial Park.

Toronto
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2. Re: Route suggestions..

Here is a link for some info about black bears in Algonquin Park

algonquinpark.on.ca/nature/mammals/bear.html

Toronto, Ontario
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3. Re: Route suggestions..

G'dday Firiesclose:

Not sure why you want to get that close to bears. Most of us in Ontario try to ensure that we do NOT see bears on trips. Yup, they're neat, no question, but there's a rather LARGE danger factor to that viewing. If you're seeing a bear near your campsite, it means that someone got very careless (or stupid) about leaving food out, and if that bear is lookin' for food, it's usually to feed a little one. And every cliche you've ever heard about "mama bears" and their protectiveness toward their offspring is 100% true.

Having said that, if you're a hunter and are interested in a hunting expedition, please check this out; a very helpful and detailed site that can provide you with what you need: www.ontariobearhunting.ca

Ontario Government puts out outstanding tourism information through www.ontariotravel.net; it will give you route maps, accommodation ranging from camp sites to hotel/motel/lodges, etc. Within that program, there is a specific part dealing with fishing: www.gofishinontario.com

In 14 days, you can see a lot of Ontario and Quebec, but the issue is quality of view time, and how much you want to see through the car window vs being on the ground experiencing.

Toronto itself is worth a good 4-5 days if you really want to get it done well, Niagara can be done in a day trip from Toronto ('bout 2 hours away, easily done), although to see Niagara Falls PLUS the Niagara region and our gorgeous wine country, you might want to plan that as 2 days to do some winery touring.

The Petroglyphs Park toward Peterborough, as you head to Eastern Ontario. Closer to the gorgeous Kingston and Prince Edward County area you have Sandbanks and Presqu'ile provincial parks, both pretty cool for different kinds of wildlife (Presqu'ile amazing for birding). See www.ontarioparks.com for a full listing of what you could stop and enjoy along the way.

Kingston itself is a big draw for its United Empire Loyalists history, the big Fort there, Gananoque (pronounced Gan-an-ock-way) is another popular cottage area. Then you're getting near Ottawa, the nation's capital, which is certainly worth at least 2-3 days if you're big on Museums (tons of top notch stuff, Museum of Civilization, the Mint, War Museum, Parliament bldgs, etc.)

And now in Ottawa, you're just getting CLOSE to the border into Quebec, so you see what I mean about the quality of your visit vs just driving a lot. I won't go deep into a Montreal/Quebec discussion; I'm a little more prejudiced toward sending visitors toward the very European flavour you get from Vieux Quebec vs Montreal, because to me, Montreal is more like another big urban city, so I like to leave that up to anyone who may ring in from that province.

You're headed into Wine 4-2's Eastern Ontario territory now, she will probably be able to chime in with lots of good route details.

We have a stunning province, and the summer is a breathtaking time to see it. Enjoy, and ask all the questions you need to!

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Route suggestions..

The areas you have mentioned, though not hugely seperated on a map of Canada, are, in fact, hugely seperated if you plan on visiting all of them within a 14 day trip and plan on doing what you suggest. London England to Dublin is about 290 miles, while Toronto to Montreal, considered close here, is 310 miles. Toronto to Niagara is 1 1/2 hours. Toronto is a 6 hour drive from Montreal, and Montreal three hours south of Quebec. All these times are without traffic considerations or without stops which you will no doubt do.

It is difficult in that time frame to plan on "seeing bears". Algonquin Provincial Park, a huge 7,700 square kilometer park in Northern Ontario is a good 3 to 4 hours north of Toronto just to its southerly end. In Algonquin Park, you can't plan on seeing bears. You just do sometimes. Infrequently. They most likely won't be around to see them from your car either. You have to be on trails or possibly in a car camping spot but not often. Most that are seen are looking for camping garbage, and are to be left alone as they can be extremely dangerous.

There are countless areas to fish in the areas you mention and you are best to plan what you want to see first and then decide where you want to fish and be more specific regarding the type of trout or salmon fishing you want to do. The type of trout for example will dictate the area.

You have to realize that these areas are very seperated, unlike Europe. Either take more time on your trip, or narrow down your destinations so that you can do what you want to do with more time to enjoy those experiences.

Ireland
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5. Re: Route suggestions..

Thank you all for your prompt replies. You have given me great information / insight into planning my trip. I am going to do some more reading on Canada and will be back with further questions. I did Game Safari in South Africa so had hoped there would be something similiar for bear watching.

toronto
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6. Re: Route suggestions..

Just as you wouldn't expect to go on a safari in Jo'burg, you can't expect to find bears near Toronto, Montreal or Niagara Falls.

There are photo safaris you can do in Canada. Here's one company that offers them:

canadaphotosafaris.com/canadaphotosafaritour…

But you have to keep in mind that to see large animals where they live you have to go to where humans mostly don't.

Ireland
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7. Re: Route suggestions..

Estragon,

I will have a look at this website. I know I'm not going to see wildlife in the middle of a city but I had thought maybe if I drove out of the city into a national park area or similar I would see bears. I travelled 3 hours outside of Port Elizabeth in SA to see wildlife so had thought I would do the same in Canada. In my home town we have beautiful wild deer which I see most mornings on my walks in wooded area's. I am willing to travel outside of the cities to maybe get a glimpse of a bear in its natural environment.

toronto
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8. Re: Route suggestions..

Southern Ontario is heavily populated and industrialized, and unfortunately urban sprawl has driven out most large wildlife. You can sometimes see deer within a couple of hours of the city, but certainly not bears.

Check out this link for a map of Ontario's bear population and some related facts:

northernontario.org/BearRelocation/…9D

toronto
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9. Re: Route suggestions..

Oops. Just in case that link doesn't work, here's a shorter one: http://tinyurl.com/69rxx9

Toronto, Ontario
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10. Re: Route suggestions..

Firiesclose, unfortunately, sometimes you can drive for 3 hours here...and just be at the other end of the city! <lol>

Having immensely enjoyed my trip to Ireland, Wales and Scotland the other summer, it gave me a much better perspective on why folks from the British Isles often believe these are do-able distances. When we went from Doolin to Dublin, we were able to drive for several hours through exquisite countryside and small towns; could have done it in one, chose to do it over two days. The distances in Canada are much larger than they appear on maps. In Ontario, as Estragon said, the heavy industrialization has changed that landscape; and the traffic is usually routed thorugh very sterile highways. I can drive for 3 hours and see...a lot of car dealerships! In just the last 10 years alone, the "country drives" we used to take have turned into the saddest urban sprawls...

Let's try moving off the bear and safari thing for a moment. Firstly, you haven't actually mentioned WHEN you're coming. And what else do you like to do, other than fishing? You mention "our main interests", so assuming you're travelling with a companion. Are you campers? Is food an issue? Like wine? And why Midland, if you don't mind me asking?