Suggestions for Canada road trip

Joined
Feb 7, 2005
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1,027
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Annandale, VA
The wife and I will be driving to the atlantic coast of Canada including Montreal, Ontario. Quebec City and Nova Scotia in general.

We enjoy castles, ruins, cathedrals, museums, forts and shopping down narrow alleyways (in europe, at least) for artwork and stuff. We're transplanted Chicagoans so we've never developed an interest in hiking, mountains or roughing it. (roughing it for me is not having an internet connection)

Would anyone like to suggest places and sites to visit? Or places/things/activites to avoid?

Thanks, very much

Rich
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
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609
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Rich, Paula and I did similar trip back in June/July last year. One place I recommend highly is Tadoussac up in Quebec, just a stunning and interesting place.

The images we took, plus a map of the route we used, are here

Hope this helps a little and, if I can, I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

Neil
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
348
Location
Pocono Mts, PA
We took the same trip last summer

If you're going all the way up north in Nova Scotia, give some serious thought to taking the ferry ride across to Newfoundland. We spent 8 days there in 2004 and loved it. Lots to see and great people. They have the largest moose population (7 per sq.km) in Canada.

While in Nova Scotia, be sure and visit Louisbourg, The Highland Village Museum near Baddeck, The Alexander Graham Bell home at Baddeck, and of course drive around the Cabot Trail (counter clockwise is our prefered dirction). Peggy's Cove is fun, but a real tourist trap.

A good way to go to New Burnswick is stay on US route 1 all the way to Whiting, Maine, then follow the coast to Lubec. Visit FDR's summer home and then take the 2 small island ferry rides across to St. George, NB.

While in Quebec, along the St. Lawerence near Metis Beach is a really great Botanical garden. There's all the wood carvers at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli and don't miss Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Old Quebec City is a MUST visit. Spend a day taking one of the guided tours here.

We took 8 weeks to make our trip and wished for more time-- there is so much to see in this area.

Chet
 
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Jan 25, 2005
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994
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Alabama
Hey Chet,

Welcome to the Cafe. Just so everyone gets a chance to know you, you might want to stop by the new member intro forum. Not a requirement, but lets us all know what your primary photo passions are.... :wink:

Regards,

Frank
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
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Annandale, VA
Thanks to both of you! I'll be following up via e-mails for details. I incorrectly listed Ontario; it will be Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St. Andrews NB and around Nova Scotia.

Thanks again, Rich
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
609
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Rich, just realizd that apart from the Nova Scotia bit in your trip and Tadoussac in our trip, your itinerary is almost exactly the same. We really enjoyed St Andrews in particular.

Neil
 
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Annandale, VA
NeilCam said:
Rich, just realizd that apart from the Nova Scotia bit in your trip and Tadoussac in our trip, your itinerary is almost exactly the same. We really enjoyed St Andrews in particular.

Neil
Great! The reason for St. Andrews is rather odd. My wife is a chronic yarn collector. Nowadays women don't knit or crochet. Stores are closing quickly; even in the U.K. So when we plan a trip we map it around the yarn shops she can find. Not literally, of course, but it's fun to mix both our hobbies. I'll have more questions as we get closer.

We were hoping to stay in B&B's. We've done that in the U.K and Ireland. The folks are very very friendly (yes, even the Brits!) and it's more relaxing staying in a house than in a motel or hotel. Did you use any B&Bs? Are there many in that part of Canada?

Rich
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
609
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Ottawa, Ontario
Rich Gibson said:
NeilCam said:
Rich, just realizd that apart from the Nova Scotia bit in your trip and Tadoussac in our trip, your itinerary is almost exactly the same. We really enjoyed St Andrews in particular.

Neil
Great! The reason for St. Andrews is rather odd. My wife is a chronic yarn collector. Nowadays women don't knit or crochet. Stores are closing quickly; even in the U.K. So when we plan a trip we map it around the yarn shops she can find. Not literally, of course, but it's fun to mix both our hobbies. I'll have more questions as we get closer.

We were hoping to stay in B&B's. We've done that in the U.K and Ireland. The folks are very very friendly (yes, even the Brits!) and it's more relaxing staying in a house than in a motel or hotel. Did you use any B&Bs? Are there many in that part of Canada?

Rich
St Andrews is worth seeing from a photographic point as well - very pretty (as is so much of Canada).

We didn't stay in B&Bs on our trip, although we did stay in these cottages just outside St Andrews: http://www.bocabeccottages.ca/ The owners were very nice and the cabins were a nice relaxing place to stay (especially given I had a horrible head cold at the time).

Anyway, feel free to ask more questions at your leisure.

Neil
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
348
Location
Pocono Mts, PA
Maritimes trip

Rich,

If you are going to St. Andrews, here is a little diffrent route to get there. Go up US1 in Maine and stay on the coast when you get near the Canadian border. by going on Hwy 189. This takes you to Lubec. Cross the boarder /bridge here and stop and visit FDR's summer home on Campabello Island. Then take the 2 inter-island ferries to St George, and it's a short drive back to St Andrews. This is the way we went last summer. It totally bypasses the boarder crossing at Calais and the interisland ferry rides are neat.

Chet
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
4,084
Great places !

Rich Gibson said:
Thanks! I finally got the Canadian maps. We're going to start the trip once Caroyln returns from her bridge trip.
Rich :


Hmmmm... That would mean in late March ?

Well, spring doesn't come to those parts quite as quickly as in your location. Last frost day in Toronto, for example, is in May. Edmonton, where I was born, can be later. A colleague of mine arriving in St. John's, Newfoundland, in what he thought should be summer, hit a sleet and snow squall !

The Maritimes are wonderful places, but springs can be alternately grey with ice through to warmish and sunny. The former's more likely than the latter in my experience, however. I've worked through all of the seasons in the Maritimes, and unpredictability is the most predictable thing... :lol:

Since you're on a road trip, you can manage to bring several items of clothing for shifting seasons. I recommend careful layering with at least one "waterproof" item if you do hit the rains.

A few other ideas for your stated objectives or if your plans shift...

Ottawa is a fun city. The museums are quite good, the food fairly so. The Rideau canal will likely be closed for skating when you arrive, but if it's still frozen, watch people skate ot work in the morning and home in the evening. Depending on the weather, you may get bulbs starting to sprout, or you may still have grey grass and some ice. The Parliament buildings and much of the government make for lovely shots. I worked and lived in Ottawa sometime back on assignment, and it's a nice smaller city, for all of being Canada's capital.

Montreal... Well, Yves should be the one to comment here, as he's local. While I've spent months in that city on assignments, I'm not as much up-to-date on what's happening around there. One thing's quite certainly still the same - the food's a lot better in Montreal than Ottawa. For a stereotypical Quebecois dish, try "poutine". Don't mispronounce that when ordering, or you'll be asking for a prostitute, perhaps more surprise than your spouse would like for a vacation !

If you do get time to go Prince Edward Island (PEI), do so. With the new bridge, it's no longer a ferry ride with all the associated issues. Wonderful, wonderful place, and the fictional site of "Anne of Green Gables" among other things. Minor trivia issue - PEI is considered the source (by many Canadians) of the best potatoes in the country.

It doesn't sound like you'll have sufficient time to go to Newfoundland, one of my favourite places in the Maritimes. That's a pity. A stark and sometimes forbidding place, it has some of the most amazing parks in Canada, IMO, some of the warmest and nicest people in the country. Fjords, forests, rock placements, historic towns... You would need a solid week to ten days in NF for a thorough drive. Getting to Newfoundland is a bit more problematic than the other Maritime provinces as well.

Keep your eyes open as you drive. Local yarn production, while vastly reduced from times past, still exists.

Those are a few other points to ponder...


John P.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
104
Location
Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
We hit Toronto for a brief visit in February '03. We were on our way back from an extended NZ trip and returning to the UK via Mexico (Yucatan). We flew straight from morning on the beach in Cancun at 32C to Toronto in the evening at -5 - OUCH !!!

We took a chance on the weather and booked a day trip up to Niagara. When we got there, it was blue skies, no wind, no people and the falls were almost totally frozen. I shot 5 rolls of slide film in just a couple of hours.

The really sad part is - they're all in storage back in the UK {sob!}.


D.McG
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
1,027
Location
Annandale, VA
Re: Great places !

PJohnP said:
Rich Gibson said:
Thanks! I finally got the Canadian maps. We're going to start the trip once Caroyln returns from her bridge trip.
Rich :

Hmmmm... That would mean in late March ?

John P.
:oops: I forgot one word start "planning" the trip.... We'll leave late May.

I've seen Yves' pictures..no thanks to March!!!!!

Rich
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
195
Location
Nova Scotia
All great places mentioned by Super_Rep. As a biased Haligonian, you really should visit Halifax. It's the main city in Nova Scotia. The city is beautiful and we have an old fort, Citadel Hill, that overlooks the entire city and harbour. As a whole, I don't think i've ever visited another city quite as beautiful as the one I live in. There's a lot that goes on during the summer, so it's a fun place with live music and pubs. People are extremely friendly and you'll never be too far from a pub :) Anyways, hope you have a chance to make it up here.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,808
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Canada
Hello Rich,

I hope you have a great visit when you come North!
I've some pics of Toronto in my Cityscapes gallery, and a few of Quebec City and the travel up the Gaspe Peninsula. I didn't make it as far as Nova Scotia, so I don't have anything to show from the Cabot Trail...a highly recommended "must see" trip.

Best regards,
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
12,515
Location
near Montreal, Canada
Guys, this is a thread from 2005 :biggrin:
I can personally confirm that Rich and Carolyn did make it up to the Great White North last year and I am pretty sure they visited Montreal (Well informed sources tell me they did not try "poutine", but had a nice Italian dinner instead).
 

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