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Calgary/Edmonton or Qubec/Montreal/Toronto

Travel Forums North America Calgary/Edmonton or Qubec/Montreal/Toronto

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1. Posted by fhwill (Budding Member 23 posts) 4y

fhwill has indicated that this thread is about Canada

I've been to Vancouver this year and loved it - particularly the quaintness of Victoria :)

I'm planning my next trip to Canada and I can't decide between Calgary/Edmonton or Quebec/Montreal/Toronto.

From what I've read in travel guides, there didn't seem to be that much to see in Calgary/Edmonton to make it worth the trip - has anyone got any input or visited either/both of these places?

2. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 190 posts) 4y

Boy that depends on what you like. We've traveled a lot over the years and the drive from Jasper to Banff in the Canadian Rockies is on our short list of best trips every. Can't say I know a lot about either Calgary or Edmonton but I do know that they are both close to the Rockies.

On the other hand Montreal and Toronto are both very cool. Montreal is like traveling to Europe for obvious reasons. Toronto is downright beautiful.

So in summary it depends on you. If you are a city person who enjoys city stuff take the eastern trip. If you like the outdoors and want to see some downright spectacular scenery go west young man (or woman).

3. Posted by fhwill (Budding Member 23 posts) 4y

Wherever I go I know I won't be driving... :)

I'd love to see the Canadian Stampede, but am worried that, past that, there mightn't be that much to see...

I like museums and stuff like that, as opposed to 'scenery' - I think you might've helped me actually - I'm no city girl, but I definitely wouldn't say I was a country girl either!

Thanks :)

4. Posted by Sara23 (Budding Member 5 posts) 4y

I live close to Montreal and Toronto, and I've travelled to Calgary and Edmonton quite often. The cities of Calgary and Edmonton themselves are nice but they are quite small and if you just plan on seeing the city then you'll probably be a bit disappointed. I usually spend a day in the city and then head to Banff and Jasper for the rest of the time. Banff and Jasper really are one of the most beautiul places in the world. Personally I never get tired of visiting there. But it is mostly based on outdoor activities and it is best travelled by car. If you plan on just staying in the city and taking public transportation then I would absolutely recommend Toronto and Montreal. They are large cities with a lot to keep you busy. If you have the time, take a side trip to Quebec City as it is also quite beautiful and worth seeing.

5. Posted by dbl-nkl (Budding Member 26 posts) 4y

I was born in Montréal, lived in the suburbs of Toronto for a few years, in Edmonton for 9 years & have been in Surrey/Vancouver for 14 years.

You mentioned you won't be driving & are not into scenery. Metropolitan Edmonton & Calgary are about 1 million each in population, Toronto about 3.5 to 4 million & Montréal is about 2 to 2,5 million.

Edmonton & Calgary are much newer cities & have less history - the province celegrated its Centennial in Confederation in 2005, but there are very interesting museums & such in Edmonton with a lot of local history available in photographs, a reconstructed Ukrainian Village to the East & you might be able to arrange a trip to the Tar Sands in Fort MacMurray. Edmonton is about 4 hours east of Jasper in the rockies & there are definitely tours available, probably round trips via Banff & Calgary.

Montréal is old; I've been to a restaurant - Les Filles du Roy in Old Montréal - that is in a 375 year old building. There are jet boat trips to the Lachine rapids from the old port. The residential architecture is unique in North America, There's the Underground City, an interesting & impressive walking tour. The French culture & language are very present in parts of the city; in others there's Italian, Greek, Haitian, Anglophone... Annual Festivals: comedy, jazz, Francophonie, etc. In the Eastern Townships there are towns/cities that are either French of English & one can immediately see the difference in the architecture & less evident but also noticeable in farms.

A day trip to Québec City, the provincial capital (about 2 hours north-east) via inter-city bus or train - maybe a few days via a tour bus- is a must for one seeking cultural/historical sites. Ottawa, the Canadian capital - lots of museums, is also worth a 2-hour trip south-west from Montréal for reasons akin to a trip to Québec City, but with an English accent.

Toronto... My first visit to Toronto was in 1968; then, it was near impossible to buy booze without a meal, or even a meal, or even gas on Sunday in "Toronto The Pure". Then the 1970 October Crisis happened in Québec, mostly in Montréal, & the "money" businesses & most of their personnel moved to Toronto, which eventually took the title of Financial Capital of Canada away from Montréal. All those ex-Montrealers forced a lot of changes to make Toronto "less Pure" - nudge-nudge wink-wink - & there's been no looking back for Toronto & the rest of Ontario ever since. Annual Festivals, that I remember: Caribana, CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), etc.

Looks like a trip to Montréal is in the cards... Brush up on your French, especially in Québec City.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-May-2010, at 10:04 by dbl-nkl ]

6. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 624 posts) 4y

Quebec/Montreal/Toronto-hands down more interesting than either Calgary or Edmonton.

No contest really.

7. Posted by fhwill (Budding Member 23 posts) 4y

Dbl-nkl that's a fantastic reply thankyou :-)

I'm not going to have a problem with the language, I majored in French at university - I don't know if Canadian French is different accent-wise, but I'm sure I'll cope :-)

8. Posted by yyzdxb (Budding Member 18 posts) 4y

I would say give Montreal and Toronto a shot and you won't be disappointed.
Toronto is very vibrant city, with a lot to offer, we got the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), Art Gallery of Ontario, and many more if that what you fancy.
I personally I don't get bored of going to the historic neighbourhood of St. Lawrence Market, and walking east on Front street all the way to the distillery district.
Let me not forget China town, Creek town, little Italy to name few of the very unique neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Montreal, well that's another lovely place, very lively and during the summer they have plenty of festivals like jazz festival.

9. Posted by DaveinMD (Respected Member 190 posts) 4y

Quoting dbl-nkl

Toronto... My first visit to Toronto was in 1968; then, it was near impossible to buy booze without a meal, or even a meal, or even gas on Sunday in "Toronto The Pure". Then the 1970 October Crisis happened in Québec, mostly in Montréal, & the "money" businesses & most of their personnel moved to Toronto, which eventually took the title of Financial Capital of Canada away from Montréal. All those ex-Montrealers forced a lot of changes to make Toronto "less Pure" - nudge-nudge wink-wink - & there's been no looking back for Toronto & the rest of Ontario ever since. Annual Festivals, that I remember: Caribana, CNE (Canadian National Exhibition), etc.

I didn't know any of this and found it very interesting. Thanks. FYI for anyone else who didn't know about the October Crisis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Crisis

10. Posted by fhwill (Budding Member 23 posts) 4y

I found that really interestin too - thankyou :-)

Decided in the end to do Toronto-Ottowa-Montreal-Quebec City then back to Toronto to fly home, can't wait!