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Tips for going to Canada in 2020

Last time I was in Canada, I spend the day in Windsor, but I would I loved going to Toronto, Montreal, Quebec. if I wanted to spend some time in any of these places. love travelling by train . what would be the great places to stop and see? places to stay overnight?

Posted by
386 posts

If those are your three options for this trip then make sure you spend some time in Quebec City, it's the only walled city left in North America north of Mexico. Stay inside the walls and wander for 2 or 3 days. If history is your thing, this is where the English defeated the French once and for all to lay claim to Canada. My favourite museum was the plains of Abraham Museum. Don't forget Canada is a big country, some time you should plan on Western Canada. The drive between Lake Louise and Jasper is one of the most spectacular I've ever done, I'd rank it above the Pacific Coast Highway and slightly below the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Posted by
6196 posts

We have traveled to Canada on our off years when we didn't visit Europe. We flew into Manchester, NH and took a rental car as far as the roads went on Cape Breton Island, NS. We've also traveled to Victoria and Vancouver which are very special places.

Posted by
1083 posts

If you want to travel by train, you could go to Quebec and Montreal. Spend time in Montreal and then go by train to Quebec.

You could also check into traveling by train on the Western coast of Canada and they have trains with glass roof tops to see the countryside. Canadian Rockies Train tours maybe something you would be interested in doing. Lots of different options and places to see to fit the time you have to see Canada.

You could go to Vancouver and Victoria and take a ferry between the two cities.

Posted by
5595 posts

Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec are all well connected by the VIA rail (https://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our-destinations/trains/ontario-and-quebec/toronto-montreal) so they are totally easy to link together in one trip. Each one of these three is worth seeing, but for weather/temperature reasons I would try to go between June and early September (summers are the best - long days and nice weather, although lots of crowds). The main beauty of Canada is actually not the cities (the places you want to see by train) but the nature and the outdoors. Driving in Canada outside the cities is easy and worthwhile, the sights are breathtaking. I have not been to the Rockies (yet) but my favorite part of Canada is Vancouver and Vancouver Island (no need for a car in either Vancouver City or Victoria, but it's really nice to have a car to explore the island).

Posted by
4433 posts

I did a trip by rail Toronto-Montreal-Quebec City - Halifax, Nova Scotia - about 30 years ago. There's plenty to see and do in downtown Toronto and Montreal. You can google the cities' tourism websites and see tons of recommendations. Quebec City is wonderful. The Old Town is so French, they were filming a movie there, set in WWII France. If I did it again, I'd consider renting a car in QC and spending some time out in the Quebec countryside, visiting some of the small towns.

Posted by
2500 posts

I've been to all 3 cities several times. I'd definitely put Quebec at the top of the list. It's like visiting Europe, and it's easy to get around on foot. Montreal is nice, but much much larger than Quebec. And Toronto is just sprawling and enormous.

Posted by
199 posts

I agree. Quebec City is well worth a visit! It is easy to get around in the city and there is plenty to do. Seeing the changing of the guard at La Citadelle is a must.

Posted by
514 posts

We were in Montreal and Quebec last week and would recommend both! We flew into Montreal and took the train to Quebec.

We had 2 full days in Montreal. I scheduled 2 tours with the company Spade and Pallacio: “Beyond the Basilica” (2 1/2 hours) which met near the Basilica in Old Montreal, but then walked north through various neighborhoods and we felt like we got to see a good bit of the city. The next day we did their “Beyond the Market” food tour, which again brought us into corners of Montreal we would never have gone to on our own. The groups are limit to 10 people. Because each tour was in the morning, we still had plenty of time to see other things on our own. I recommend the company.

In Quebec, we had 3 full, days and I also booked 2 tours, both through Voir Quebec which is based in the Tourist Office. The first was a walking tour of Quebec which covered much of Old Quebec and the lower city. It got us oriented and informed about the city. That had about 25 people and our guide was great. On our last day, we took a tour outside Quebec to Montmorency Falls, Isle d’Orleans, and Ste. Anne de Beaupré Basilica. I assumed it was in a van—big mistake. There were 70 people on a double decker bus. Many had come off a cruise ship. No assigned seats, so many cries of “someone took my seat!”, or people surreptitiously moving seat place holders, or a single person saving 2 seats as we got on and off the bus at various spots , spoiled our enjoyment of the trip. It would have been better to have rented a car for the day.

The food was great. We followed the recommendations of the front desk staff at our hotels who led us to many farm-to-table, up-and-coming restaurants.

We were there at the end of the fall season, late October, but had some beautiful foliage.