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Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Aviles, Spain
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Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

I´m planning to fly into Toronto around the 11th of August this year. I´ve been doing as much research as I can at the moment with limited internet access etc. So I apologise if any of this which I imagine is ineviably repeated.

I´m thinking of spending about two weeks between all of these places before flying out to Calgary possibly on the weekend of Friday the 22nd to meet with family. However, this date is flexible. I probably also have a budget of close to $5000 for the whole trip including another 10 days in Alberta and British Columbia.

My main questions are:

1. Is this enough time to see Toronto and Niagra as well as some smaller places along the lake if I´m working my way towards Ottawa,Montreal and Quebec?

2. Should I skip Quebec and fly out of Montreal?

3. Or Should I skip Ottawa and visit Montreal and fly out of Quebec?

There is so much to see and do that this is quite overwhelming. Coming from Europe sometimes it´s hard comprehend distances etc.

I should also mention I´m a solo traveller. I´m planning to bus or train the distances between the 4 cities with VIA rail and Go transit. Renting a car is not really a viable option due to price and the fact that I´m under 25. I´m hoping to see as much nature as possible given the fact that I won´t have a car. Hopefully hostels will provide some types of trips or I will meet others who have a car or something along those lines.

I have a feeling I´m being quite ambitious about what I can do in 11 days.

Edited: 01 June 2014, 14:40
SE Ontario
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1. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Not impossible, but given your dependance on public transport planning is certainly required.

We usually recommend 3-4 days each for Toronto & Montreal (with a day trip to Niagara from Toronto). two days Ottawa and 2-3 for Quebec City.

Toronto - Montreal - 5 hours train or bus

Toronto - Ottawa - 5 hours train or bus

Ottawa - Montreal - 2 hours

Montreal - QC - 3 hours

Quebec City is beautiful and charming, however its appeal tends to be more for North Americans rather than Europeans - as old stone walls, fortresses, etc are more common in Europe than here.

You should fly out of a major hub to Calgary, which means Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal.

Air Canada and Westjet are the major air carriers - check their websites and sign up for deal alerts. However August is prime season so booking must be done quickly.

Megabus is the cheapest bus service to Montreal

http://ca.megabus.com//default.aspx

Orleans Express runs bus between Montreal and QC

VIA Rail is the train service - again early booking can get good fares.

http://www.viarail.ca/

Seeing nature will be difficult without a car.

Edited: 01 June 2014, 15:11
Aviles, Spain
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2. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

I´m thinking of altering my dates and flying in on the 8th to leave me with more time in that general area.

My flights are all in, I´m still looking at flying from Montreal to Calgary on the Friday (22nd).

So now I´m looking at 14 days. Maybe I could still fly from Montreal but go to Quebec for an overnight trip, considering its only 3 hours away if I feel I don´t want to spend anymore time there.

I´d like to do the thousand island cruise and possibly stay in a small town or city on the lake shore on the way from Toronto to Ottawa. Any recommendations?

Should I day trip to the falls or stay overnight in places like NOTF or Hamilton etc?

3. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

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SE Ontario
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4. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

14 days is better, and certainly you could fit an overnight trip in to Quebec City from Montreal. Orleans Express buses leave pretty much every hour between the two cities, and their schedule is better than the train.

http://www.orleansexpress.com/en/

There are hostels in both cities. For more information on those cities you need to look in those forums. There is also an excellent hostel in Ottawa.

I wouldn't bother with Hamilton. I believe in the summer there is bus service between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. There is also a shuttle between the St. Catherine's train station and NOTL.

https://www.niagaraonthelake.com/page/Home

Train and bus service along Lake Ontario is regular, however Gananoque, the heart of the Thousand Islands is not well served by either. The closest main centre would be Kingston. Cruises do leave from Kingston.

http://tourism.kingstoncanada.com/

Other communities along the shore accessible by train and bus would be Cobourg and Port Hope.

http://www.visitporthope.ca/

http://cobourgtourism.ca/

West Grey, Ontario
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5. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Hi Ashling;

For your time in the 1000 Islands, I would suggest taking the VIA Rail train to Kingston, renting a car, and making your way to Gananoque.

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g182143-c98077/Gananoq…

Gananoque is a smaller, typical Ontario town, but also known as the "Gateway to the 1000 Islands". Tour boats leaving from Kingston must travel to the 1000 Islands first, while the boats leaving from Gananoque spend their entire time within the 1000 Islands.

Best Regards

Aviles, Spain
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6. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Thanks so much for all the information so far.It's been great.

I'm definitely interested in the Kingston or Gananoque areas even though accomodation is pricey (for my budget) not in general.In fact some of the guest houses etc are beautiful and well priced but I should be able to find something on airbnb.

I'm thinking Ottawa may be sacrificed for the sake of visiting more places on the great waterway. Those are the types of places I want to see and things I want to do such as cycling (perhaps the Gananoque - Howe island route), canoeing and walking etc so I think/hope I should be ok. Even without a car?

Any recommendations between Montreal and Quebec? Well I've taken a quick look at the other forums for that so no worriesif you feel it's not appropriate here.

Edited: 03 June 2014, 23:46
SE Ontario
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7. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Queen's University, like most colleges and universities in North America, rent their residence rooms out to summer visitors. Check to see what rates are like. The campus is right downtown in Kingston - very pretty and easily accessible to areas of the city:

eventservices.queensu.ca/accommodations/

Summer of course is prime tourist season so rates in hotels, b&b's will be high everywhere.

You should check Kingston's tourist website for cycling rentals and tours. I do think though that you are limited by not having a car. Ottawa should not be sacrificed so quickly - do look at the Ottawa tourist website as well. And there are universities there also with summer accommodation.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Niagara Falls would be better to stay than NOTL, usually more budget friendly and more to do so at night for a younger adult in NF. .

Aviles, Spain
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9. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

Thanks for the accomodation advice, the University Halls of Residence in Kingston look like one of the best options for accomodation that I´ve seen there.

It´s looking quite complicated to get to Gananoque from Kingston but if I´m based there for a day or two it will be fine. I can do the cruise from there even though the ones out of Gananoque are said to be better.

I´m thinking of exploring Prince Edward county as well. Where should I base myself for that?

Between there and Toronto are there any other places I should stop at?

Thanks

SE Ontario
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10. Re: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Qubec Trip in 11 days?

How will you get to Prince Edward County? Again, without a vehicle you are extremely limited in your ability to get around. The closest train station is in Belleville - from Belleville to Picton - the main community on the island is a 30 minute drive. There is no public transport, other than taxis. Accommodation is limited to B&B's, luxury hotels, and some small hotels. No hostels. Bike rentals available at Picton. The bus does not come into the town - it stops up by the highway.

Between Toronto and Kingston, you could stop in Cobourg - a pretty, heritage community right on the lake. The train stops there regularly. Again - B&B's are your best bet.

But with only 2 weeks, and given the limits of your travel methods, I think you are being unrealistic about what you can achieve outside of cities.

Edited: 15 June 2014, 13:59