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Canada: Quebec and Ontario in early Dec

Katie

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We have recently realised with Not So Little Miss now in high school, we have a bit more time in December to play with holidays. After Christmas is out of the question for a trip for various reasons, but we think we can manage to spend the first two weeks of December this year in Canada.

Mr Katie wants to go to "the Eastern coast with the history".:Do_O
We have friends with a cabin about 6hrs drive out of Toronto, and hope to spend a longish weekend with them there. I'm thinking we might be able to manage Montreal, maybe a day or two in Quebec City, then a week or so in Toronto, including the weekend with friends. I'm not sure that much time in Toronto will be too much?? Maybe we could pop down to Niagara Falls for a day or an overnight trip.

Is there anything else around Toronto that you'd recommend to see/visit?
 

RooFlyer

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First lesson. To blend in, remember there is no 'o' in Toronto. Its more like T'rarna :) . And of course you like the Blue Jays.

Around T'rarna:

Niagara Falls of course. Very tacky in the towns, but a sight you have to see. Go to Niagara on the Lake for a bit less tack; the US side is also worth going to.

Kingston is a couple of hours up the 401 (freeway) and is the 'gateway' Gananoque and the Thousand Islands National Park and on the way to Montreal. Won't be as scenic in winter, unfortunately. I lived in Kingston for a bit over a year when i went to the Uni there, and then 18 months in Toronto. Its a student town, but will be pretty dead in winter. Take the ferry to Wolfe island. Fort Henry is an old historic fort.

Toronto is OK for 3-4 days. CN Tower, Fort York and they do 'neighbourhoods' quite well. Toronto Islands. Its odd downtown, as there are few shopfronts along the streets. They are all down one level connected by a maze of underground connectors.

The subway is pretty good in Toronto. The freeways are incredible ... I reckon bigger and more complicated than Los Angeles.

Montreal is pretty and interesting, more so than Toronto. Make sure you have some poutine :eek: . But more seriously, get a smoked meat sandwich - heavenly. Gotta go to Schwartz's Deli: https://schwartzsdeli.com/ca/index.php?route=common/home .

Not much in Ottawa, unless you are into skating, then skating on the Rideau Canal with some hot chocolate is definitely a thing to do.
 

OZDUCK

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I was going to push you towards Gananoque and the Thousand Islands National Park but, as RooFlyer said, it is really the wrong time of the year for a visit.

Toronto will easily hold your attention for 3 or 4 days. The 'neighborhoods' were fun to visit - we had a nice walk through 'Cabbagetown' and unsurprisingly had a good Greek meal in 'Greektown'. Kensington Market is where you will find the 'alternative' scene and lots of interesting food - Thai/German and Italian/Jamaican etc. The city has a 'Greeters' program and we had a nice couple of hours walk and talk with one of the volunteers. Toronto Greeters Program .

Not to forget the' Distillery District' either - you might run across Inspector Murdoch. We took, as a lot of people recommended, a long trip to the end of the Queen St Streetcar/Tramway Line - it passes through a number of interesting areas.

Montreal does have a very 'French' feel in parts and we some nice meals around the Quartier des Spectacles , Le Plateu-Mont-Royal and Rue Saint-Denis areas. The Old Port area is well worth a visit. We unfortunately didn't get to Schwartz's Deli but did enjoy some smoked meats at Smoked Meat & Deli Fare | Reuben's Deli - Montreal's Premier Deli & Steakhouse.

Reubens.jpg

Ottawa does have a great museum in "The Canadian Museum of History". Quebec City would be a great place to visit, especially if staying in the Old Town.
 

kookaburra75

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I don't know what you plans for getting to Montreal/Toronto are, but the train ride from New York City to Montreal, or from New York City to Toronto is well worth it. They run up through the lakes area, and when we did it in winter, the country side was cloaked in snow and the old boys out on the ice in their Hiluxs, fishing through the ice
 

Katie

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Thank you all for the ideas so far!!

I’ve been to Montreal before, but for a conference, so I only had one day to explore. I’m looking forward to discovering more when (if) we go.

As we’ll only have two weeks, at the moment I’m thinking of flying in to Montreal via QF7 and DFW, and flying out of Toronto to DFW or LAX for the trip home. I am pondering trains where possible to Quebec City, and from Montreal to Toronto.
 

OZDUCK

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Thank you all for the ideas so far!!

I’ve been to Montreal before, but for a conference, so I only had one day to explore. I’m looking forward to discovering more when (if) we go.

As we’ll only have two weeks, at the moment I’m thinking of flying in to Montreal via QF7 and DFW, and flying out of Toronto to DFW or LAX for the trip home. I am pondering trains where possible to Quebec City, and from Montreal to Toronto.
We travelled Ottawa-Montreal and Montreal-Quebec City by ViaRail and they were fine. The Montreal & Toronto stations are right in the centre of town and the Quebec City one is in the lower Old Town under the ramparts. (Don't walk up the hill with your bags like we did - it was not my best idea.) They advertise their specials every Tuesday. .
 

luxury-lizard

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As a native Montrealer I would definitely recommend a couple of days in Quebec City - Montreal had more 'atmosphere' than Toronto. But all 3 worth a visit - in Montreal stay in the centre or old Montreal, Yorkville in Toronto and Chateau Frontenac in Quebec. Of course as you would be well aware, the weather in Dec will be not much fun - unless of course there's a blizzard - but probably more grey and slushy.
 

here2go

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I'm doing a similar trip this December with my family of four - fly into YUL on 14 Dec, then make our way down to Toronto a few days later to see friends, then head over to Syracuse to catch up my wife's friend from boarding school. My wife would like to see Niagara Falls, then keep going on Amtrak (not keen on driving much)
With all the fun of border crossing, is there a good way of seeing the falls, then shuffling across to Buffalo or similar, without scrambling around for near non-existent bag storage on a Sunday?
Best option I've seen is one-way car hire from Toronto to Buffalo airport, leaving the car parked with bags while we do our thing, then drive to the airport, and overnight in Buffalo before taking a train the next day to Syracuse.
Thoughts?
 

drron

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We will be in Montreal and Quebec at the end of August so will be doing a report.
In Quebec we are staying at Auberge Saint-Antoine which is on the lower part of Quebec city but about 2km from the train station.
We got a very good deal from our Virtuoso travel agent-about half price,may have been lucky- so if you know one check it out for your dates here-
 

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