Planning a road trip in Canada
So you could argue that it might be a little late for me to be posting about my plans for Canada… Considering that I have already arrived in the country!
However, I had such a lot of interest in what my plans were when I was on social media at the airport, I thought it might be easier to share the route here now (and then post again after to let you know how it all went and whether my plans were worth looking into for anyone else wanting to explore Eastern Canada!)
I’ve wanted to visit Canada for as long as I can remember, I suspect as a result of my uncle telling stories of his travels around the country when I was in my teens. It wasn’t till close friends of mine announced they were getting married in Canada though that I did something about it.
They are not actually getting married for another few weeks but I wanted to head over early to help out and then decided to take a week or so for myself beforehand to explore a bit of what the East has to offer.
The wedding is taking place in Ontario, but as I now realise, that’s a huge place! The bride confirmed that she had plans for the wedding party for an overnighter in Toronto as well as trips to Niagra Falls and the Niagra wineries, so with those taken care of, I quickly realised everywhere else I wanted to see snaked northward in intervals from Toronto, and beyond Ontario into Quebec – making for easy planning for me! So without any more delays, my plan is below:
Day 1: Arrive Toronto airport 5am, collect hire car and drive 3 hours to Gananoque. Check in to Trinity House Inn, explore the town and get a 2.5hr boat trip around the 1000 Islands to Boldt Castle
Day 2: Drive 2 hours to Ottawa (the capital of Ontario) via the scenic Thousand Islands Parkway. Check in to the Sheraton Ottawa, explore the city markets, Rideau Canal, Parliament buildings and check out the Rib Fest and Jazz Fest
Day 3: Drive 2 hours to Montreal (the capital of Quebec province). Check in to the Manoir Sherbrooke. Take a long walk up to Mont Royal and around the park and to L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph and Plateau Mont Royal.
Day 4: Explore the Quartier des Spectacles, Chinatown, the Old Town and Old Port. Visit the Basilica de Notre Dame and the markets – and make the most of all the culinary offerings of the city!
Day 5: Drive 3 hours to Quebec City. Check in to the Hotel Port-Royal and explore the city, the Old Town, walk the walls, see the Citadel, the world’s most photographed hotel (hmmm…), the park and the markets. Maybe even get in an evening ghost walk/tour…
Day 6: Drive 3 hours to Taddousac. Check in to Motel le Beluga and have a wander through the town, and maybe a little hike or run around one of the waterside trails to try and spot whales from the shore (apparently they’re often seen!) Head out on a black bear spotting tour in the evening.
Day 7: Start the day early with a whale watching trip with Otis Excursions at 6.30am on a little zodiac so hopefully getting close to them. Spend the day enjoying the countryside, possibly exploring other trails, or going paddling, and enjoying the Canada Day celebrations. End the day with another whale watching tour by zodiac.
Day 8: Drive 5-6 hours back to Montreal (halfway point). Check in to Hotel de l’Institute Chill out and explore the Jazz Festival which will have just started.
Day 9: Drive 5-6 hours back to Toronto Airport and drop the car, meet others from the wedding party and get into shared cars to drive a couple of hours to Collingwood and check in to our chalets.
Day 10: Chill out, catch up with everyone, explore the local town and see if we need to help with any wedding plans!
Day 11: Other international guests arrive so more chilling out and catching up 🙂
Day 12: Go on a hike in the Blue Mountain, canoe Beaver River and explore the Blue Mountain area
Day 13: Explore Midland, take a boat tour and hike to the waterfalls
Day 14: The much-anticipated wedding!
Day 15: Go to Toronto, check in. Visit the CN Tower and Skywalk and enjoy the city’s nightlife.
Day 16: Big Bus Tour of Toronto to see all outstanding sights.
Day 17 & 18: Visit Burlington and Niagra on the Lake and explore the local wineries there
Day 19: Visit Niagra Falls
Day 20-25: The detailed plans don’t extend this far as different wedding guests will be leaving at different times, but hopefully we get to head to Al Gonquin National Park for some hiking, maybe paddling and camping or staying in a lodge.
Day 26: Back to Toronto to fly home
So there you have it, the itinerary for Canada, I’m just grateful that the nature of my job means I can work from anywhere (i.e. my hotel room this week!) and that I have the first week or so alone so that I can keep on working and only take the final two weeks as holiday – hooray!
I’ll be posting on social media as and when I can, and will make sure to share the stories of my trip next month when I’m back, so stay tuned!