I am looking to head to Canada in the summer this year. As I am a teacher I have 6 weeks off and am hoping to travel for this amount of time. I am keen to see as much as possible in Canada and was wondering if anyone has planned a trip across Canada and carried it out if they could let me know how they did it.
Im thinking about possibly starting in Toronto and maybe inlcuding an internal flight to Vancouver to see the West coast then back home from there.
If anyone has any recommendations for the best way to travel possibly cheapest and a rough schedule i would be grateful if they could share it with me.
I recommend taking the Rocky Mountaineer Trans-Canada Rail Adventure - Westbound. It starts in Toronto and ends in Vancouver in 13 days. Here's the link:
We took the trip in September 2010 and enjoyed it immensely. Since we live in Toronto, we skipped the first 2 days of the package for a reduced price (2 nights in a hotel and a motorcoach trip to Niagara Falls). The next 3 nights and days (Toronto to Jasper) are on the Canadian (VIA Rail). The rest of the trip is with Rocky Mountaineer, travelling by day and staying in great hotels at night.
The food and service was outstanding, and the scenery was amazing. It's an experience of a lifetime.
You don't realize how big this country is until you do something like this - it takes more than 24 hours just to get out of Ontario.
I haven't been to the west coast of Canada, but I would highly recommend visiting Quebec. Quebec City and Montreal are both great cities to visit. Both with a very European feel to them, in large part due to people speaking a lot of French.
We also visited Toronto and the Niagara Falls when there. They're ok too, but I really took more enjoyment out of the time in Quebec.
Rent a car in Calgary or Edmonton and then drive to Vancouver.
You might also want to visit this thread about what to see in Canada:
I live in Montreal... seriously, you can't not come to this city
The Rocky Mountaineer as mentioned is freakishly expensive and does nothing to meet OP's needs.
I suggest a few weeks in eastern Canada then a flight to Calgary and doing an organised tour of the Rockies then making your way to the coast and onto Vancouver Island to see the best of the country.
The vast bushlands of Northern Ontario and the seemingly endless prairies are mind-numblingly boring/monotonous beyond belief and not at all worthy of your attention.
There are numerous hostels here in BC with decent accommodations for low prices and day tour options abound.