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Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Manchester U.K.
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Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

My wife & I (both fit 57 yrs old) are visiting Toronto in June 2010 for a wedding. We'll be there for 10 days and have been told that maybe 1 or 2 nights away seeing Algonquin park would be great.

The tours i've found seem to be for the day. Any suggestions for a longer one. We love animals so anything involving them would be perfect. And what about accommodation. We don't need anything

fancy as long as its clean and will give us the experience of staying in the park rather than a luxury experience.

We also need to find out things to do and see in Toronto.

Any help would be appreciated.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Hi Nikon1066,

Welcome to the ONTARIO TRAVEL FORUMS,

First off Algonquin Park (West Gate) is 260 Kms North of the City of Toronto (aprox 3:00 Hours Driving Time*)… and although there is some public transit (inter-city buses) that go to that area of the Province, the best way to explore the Canadian Countryside is by car (are you open to renting a car for this exploration?).

*NOTE – Driving Time is just that… time spent driving under ideal conditons. No accounting for Stops, Breaks, Sightseeing or Delays for Traffic, Construction or Weather.

I suggest you start your Algonquin Adventure by taking a look at their Official Website = www.algonquinpark.on.ca

And also GOOGLE MAPS which will help you to become more familiar with the lay-of-the land (besides distances). Hwy 60 across the “pedestrian” part of the park is about 60 Kms in length from the West Gate to the East Gate.

The Algonquin Park Website has a ton of info, including a listing of nearby accommodations.

Most of the accommodations “within” Park limits are very expensive (rustic lodge experiences with high-end dining)… Arowhon Pines – Bartlett Lodge – Killarney Lodge.

The majority of other accommodations can be found on the west side of the Park outside the park gates in the towns of Dwight or Huntsville. Dwight is very small (caters mostly to the cottagers in the area as a gas & convenience store stop). Huntsville is larger, and a year-round town… it has a wider assortment of amenities and several brand-name chain hotels… some are in town, while others can be found along Hwy 11.

From the West Gate back to Dwight is approximately 18 Kms (12 Minutes) and back to Huntsville 40 Kms (30 Minutes).

Algonquin Park is a great destination to see a bit of the Canadian Shield Wilderness upclose… off of Hwy 60 there are several great places to stop of a picnic, refreshing swim, or explore a hiking trail. The Visitors Centre is a MUST DO with its informative displays on local wildlife and a fabulous Viewing Deck. Other public buildings in the Park include the Logging Museum and the Art Centre = algonquinpark.on.ca/mustrails/museums.html

Although there is the possibility of seeing wildlife, there are no guarantees, the best time of day is typically early (after sunrise) or late in the day (say from 4 PM thru to sunset). It is my personal experience that I have had luck about 3 out of 5 visits to the Park when travelling along Hwy 60. Remember that if you have the chance to see large wildlife up close that it is best not to approach the animal… Moose and Black Bears can be especially vicious when provoked (and both can out run and out swim a human). Although Wolves, Coyotes and Foxes are less common, some of the same rules of a safe distance should apply along with Racoons, Porcupines and Skunks. Rabies although uncommon, does occur more often in these scavengers.

For more info on Black Bears, I suggest that you read thru the info on the Algonquin Park Website, and also this Ontario of Natural Resources Website = www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Bearwise/

For info on other species you’ll want to check out this Website on “The Science Behind Algonquin Animals” = http://www.sbaa.ca/default.asp or pick up a copy of the handy guide “Mammals of Algonquin Provincial Park” =

…algonquinpark.on.ca/cgi/…00131.html which is available at the Park’s Book Store (at the Visitors Centre).

This should get you started, if you have any other Questions, please post them.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Ontario, Canada
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for Sudbury
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2. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

OMG - please do not be detered by the post about our large wildlife being vicious. The only time you will have problems with moose or bears being vicious is if they have young with them or feel otherwise threatened. Just like any wild animal - as long as you don't bother them they won't bother you. (I'm an outdoors person who has grown up camping/hiking/canoeing the parks and untamed wilderness of Northern Ontario - literally since I was in diapers - I have never had any negative run in with animals, big or small).

The accomodations in the park are rustic but that might be exactly what you are looking for. IMO it is better to stay in the park - if you are lucky you might hear a pack of wolves howling or in the least, some beautiful loon calls. The park is beautiful and once you stop at the visitors centre you can talk to a staff person and they will have loads of suggestions of places to visit during your time there. There are plenty of hiking trails, look-outs, etc. You can also rent a canoe or kayak for a day and head out on one of the lakes for a nice paddle <--- definitely my top suggestion!

As far as activities in Toronto - it really depends on what your interests are. The Art of Gallery of Ontario is nice and the McMichael Gallery (conveniently located on your way north to Algonquin :) has many beautiful paintings by famous Canadian artists including the Group of Seven. The Royal Ontario Museum is the largest museum in the city and has some great exhibits.

Toronto also has lots of festivals during the summer. Depending on when you are going to be there you might want to check one of them out. Off the top of my head I know in June there is a Blues Festival, Pride Week, I think the Toronto Jazz Festival is also in June.

You could also head to Niagara Falls for a day - its about a 2-3 hr drive from Toronto depending on where you are staying. Its very touristy but if you've never been its worth visiting for the day.

Hope this helps!

Manchester U.K.
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3. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I have printed out your posts for reference and i'm sure we'll act on your suggestions.

Manchester U.K.
7 posts
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4. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I have printed out your posts for reference and i'm sure we'll act on your suggestions.

Edited: 20 January 2010, 20:32
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
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5. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Hi,

We're not sure when in June you will be in Ontario, but you may need to be aware that the G-8 summit will take place in Muskoka, centred at Deerhurst Resort between Huntsville & the west gate of Algonquin Park, on June 25 & 26. It rolls into the G-20 meetings in Toronto on June 26 & 27. Huntsville will be likely be impacted in a big way prior to & during the conference & it sounds like hwy 60 may be as well.

ontario.ca/en/…ONT05_024293

Hopefully this doesn't conflict with your dates.

Manchester U.K.
7 posts
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6. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Thanks but we'll be in Toronto from the 7th till 16th June

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

TO KRISTY31,

I believe my Quote was...

<< Remember that if you have the chance to see large wildlife up close that it is best not to approach the animal… Moose and Black Bears can be especially vicious when provoked (and both can out run and out swim a human). >>

Unlike yourself who has lived in Canada your whole life a lot of Tourists to Canada DO NOT KNOW or have an understanding of how to deal with our Wildlife... which is why I also posted all the Government Info on Wildlfe interaction (both Parks Canada and Ministry of Natural Resources).

Too many tourists (here in Ontario, and out West in BC) have "thought" that it is totally acceptable to "feed the animals" (I kid you not it happens... there are several stories here on TA where people have seen such "misguided" actions). You are correct in your statement that Wildlife problems are a result of their having young with them... or when otherwise feeling threatened... and messing with what they see as their right to "food", or ability to move-on where they choose to... is one way that that can happen.

By coming to TA BEFORE travelling, Tourists know more about a situation BEFORE they are faced with it. Because the whole concept behind TA is giving thorough advice to Travellers, so that they know what to expect BEFORE they go... in this particular circumstance we do not know specifically what the Traveller intends to do in Algonquin (camp - hike - back country canoe, etc).

Hopefully, the Algonquin Park Website will inspire them.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Brampton, Canada
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4,560 posts
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8. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

Agreed Wine-4-2. Far better to have knowledge and not need it than to find yourself in a situation without knowledge. I'm originally from Sudbury, and spend a lot of time up there vacationing and visiting family. I'm not an alarmist, but here's the way I see it. It's been about 10 years since the cancellation of the spring bear hunt, and the life cycle is on it's second go round. The black bear population is growing and we should see even more encounters than in the last few years. It's starting to have effect on deer and moose populations. They eat the fawns and calves in the spring.

Also, black bears were rarely seen by me in the wild. I would see evidence and sometimes hear one (or at least what I thought was one), but it would be long gone before I got there. I see them every summer now, and had one very close encounter with an adult two summers ago. They are becoming less shy and IMO it's only a matter of time before we read about a human tragedy involving a black bear - so yes, fair warning for sure and read the Bear Wise material suggested.

Edited: 21 January 2010, 03:24
West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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9. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

"You could also head to Niagara Falls for a day - its about a 2-3 hr drive from Toronto depending on where you are staying."

Hi nikon1066;

Niagara Falls is approx. 80 miles / 130 km southwest of Toronto. The average drive is about 1½ hours, without any traffic delays.

Best Regards

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Trip to Toronto and Algonquin park

TO ONCEAROUND,

RE - Algonquin Black Bears

I hear ya.

According to one of the Websites (Research Projects) that I quoted to the Traveller - "The Science Beyond Algonquin Animals" - the park is currently home to about 2,000 Black Bears. Which when one takes into account that Algonquin Park is HUGE 7,630 Sq Kms it doesn't sound like a lot, but could work out to almost 4 Black Bears per Sq Km.

Of course the experts admit they can't give an accurate number, because to do so means to interact with the bears (tagging) and any human contact ultimately can end up causing problems later on for the bears and their loss of fear with humans (scent related). Also, they can't guesstimate accurately, because unlike other species, bears are inactive in the winter time and consequently don't leave prints that can easily be recorded and evaluated.

Lastly, on a personal note, I remember back in the 1960s before all this awareness when the Bears roamed the park to an unbeliveable degree (numbers had to be higher then than now) and the local dumps were uncontrolled... and how much a problem they were to campers, canoeists etc. I came from a camping family, so I grew up respecting wildlife... just the same, when I had an encounter with a Black Bear in Algonquin it was a very scary experience (one I don't care to either repeat... or have anyone else experience).

So knowing the facts are indeed important.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2