We have 4 or 5 days to get from Toronto to Montreal, and from reading my lonely planet, nothing in that area really grabs our interest as a stop worth spending much of any time at. Our most likely candidates so far are Ottawa (which would be good, as it'd mean we could just stick to getting from place to place by bus) or Algonquin Provincial Park (which has hiking and wildlife, but finding accommodation nearby seems iffy; probably would rent from and return to Toronto, and then still take a bus onward to Montreal). Alternatively I've been thinking maybe we should just push on to Montreal in one go, and spend 8 full days there, maybe with a few daytrips in the vicinity if there's anything worth doing. Or should we even push on beyond Montreal to anywhere? I haven't had a chance to research that area yet...
Can anyone recommend something we might have missed, or give a strong recommendation for either of the above options? We love hiking and gorgeous scenery, but also bustling cities with good museums and quirky little shops. Our favorite places in Canada so far have been Victoria and Banff National Park (specifically Moraine Lake).
Hello, as you said there is not all that much to see but you do have a couple of options. You could rent a car and drive in one day. To drive it is about 6 hours. You could also take the bus or train and do it in one day although it is longer as there are stops in between. If you do take a car you can drive through and stop at the Thousand Islands parkway as it is beautiful to see. Ottawa also has lots to see. You can go to Montreal and then go North to the Laurentians or to Quebec City.
Hope this helps.
There is not much to see in between the two cities. If you wish to go to Ottawa, I dont think you have much more than one day worth of stuff to see, but you can make a stop in the national park named Parc de la Gatineau, its beautifull. There is a lot to see in Montréal, so I dont think you will get bored in 8 days! If you want some short trips in the area, you can check the Estrie region, its about an hour and a half south from Montréal, it has a lot of nature to see and less mosquitos then in the north of Montréal. You can also check Quebec city, its not to far and in the summer its really nice, there is some free circus shows downtown every nights. In Montréal, dont miss the Picknick electronik, its every sunday afternoon, a really nice event.
I agree with the previous remarks: Ottawa is a nice town, but one full day is sufficient to see the main attractions (do not miss the tour at the Parliaments building, which was still free when I was there in 2005).
You should really think about doing a trip from Montreal to Québec City. Including the trip 2-3 days should be sufficient. The town is small but really nice and a must see in Québec.
As it seems, Thousand Isalnds is a beautiful region and might be worth a longer stay. But I unfortunately did not make it there.
Although Montreal is a thrilling city, 8 days for tourism seems a bit too much, given that Québec has so much more to offer.
Enjoy your stay!
Hmm, as a former Ottawa resident, have to at least put a shout out for more than a day there. I think you could do three days in the area.
Day 1. Museums and history - Parliament hill, Parliament buildings, National Art Gallery and Museum of Civilisation in Hull. For the evening, Byward Market or dinner in Hull.
Day 2. Gatineau park
Day 3 - touring - The Glebe, Dow's lake.
Kingston might be another day or two stop.
You've been given some good suggestions. As you seem to be at least 2 people, I would rent a car for "touristing"/flexibility.
I prefer smaller cities & I like the Thousand Islands area & Kingston; Kingston has the fort & is on the water.
I'm from Montréal which is known for its restaurants & entertainment. There are real bagels (St-Viateur bakery), amazing pizza (Toto's in Lachine) & fantastic (expensive) Gibby's & Les Filles du Roy in Old Montréal, Moishe's on St-Laurent above Sherbrooke (they cure their beef), and quirky Willinski's (1920's decor). All of these can be found on the internet.
If you go to the Eastern Townships, try to go as far as Lennoxville & North Hatley - near the US border - for the countryside & loyalist heritage, maybe stop at Mount Orford & Lac Brome; there's a zoo in Granby on the way to or from Montréal.
My daughter lives near Coaticook; it's stunning farm country out there.
Québec City is easily worth 2-3 days. It's only 2 hours or so by freeway, or... if you go the scenic route, either by the north or south shore of the St Lawrence river, there are many quaint small towns where one can practice their French to the delight of many locals in shops & restaurants.
Have a nice one!
Thanks, all! Very helpful!