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Along the waters of Eastern Canada

During this motorhome trip, you will travel to major cities of Eastern Canada, namely Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. You will visit Niagara Falls and the Algonquin Provincial Park as well as experience the historic French flair in Québec City and whale-watching on the St. Lawrence River with its beautiful coastal resorts.

Your route

  • from Toronto / to Montreal
  • 14 - 21 days / 2,100 km
  • Best time to travel: May to October


Arrival in Toronto and collection of the camper

The cosmopolitan and multicultural Toronto is Canada's largest city and the capital of the Province of Ontario with a population of 2.8 million. The Greater Toronto Area has over 6 million inhabitants.

The city has numerous attractions: for example, Casa Loma, a sumptuous castle residence which was built by a businessman in the early 20th century. You can take a walk through the vast Queens Park, along University Avenue, an enormously wide and very long boulevard, and visit the equally magnificent Provincial Parliament building. Those who would like to experience the multicultural ambience ought to visit Chinatown and Little Italy, with their typical gastronomic offer.

You can get a great overview of the city from the top of the 533-metre CN Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. Not only does Toronto go up, but it also possesses a developed underground. This feature of the city is called PATH and is a network of underground pedestrian tunnels beneath Downtown Toronto. The tunnel has been steadily expanded since 1990 and grew to 27 kilometres and 371,600 square metres of space. It is one of the largest underground structures in the world. Over 50 buildings are connected to this tunnel network.

Highlights & Tips

Island hopping in the metropolis
The elongated waterfront of Lake Ontario offers an opportunity to stroll or to take a trip by ferry to the Toronto Islands.

Toronto – Niagara Falls

Suggested route: Toronto – Hamilton – Niagara Falls

Stage distance: approx. 130 km

Niagara Falls, the largest, most famous, and most impressive waterfalls in North America are your today’s target. They are located on the border between the Province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York, on the Niagara River. On the way to Niagara Falls, you will travel through the lush wine-growing area between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

To get to Niagara Falls, you will drive in the direction of the homonymous village of Niagara Falls and stay on the Canadian side in order to enjoy the frontal view. The Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is split in two halves by an island. Therefore, on the American side, it falls from a height of 57 metres, whereas on the Canadian side, from a height of 52 metres – you can find there the Horseshoe Falls.

Highlights & Tips

Information about arrival
Niagara Falls is not only known for thundering masses of water, but also for the great number of visitors. Plan a visit to Niagara Falls on a working day if it is possible. If you arrive on Saturday or Sunday, spend the day in Toronto to visit the falls on Monday.

Water masses from up close
Optionally, you can take a boat trip to the foot of the spectacular Horseshoe Falls.

Overnight in the vicinity of Niagara Falls
In the vicinity of the village of Niagara Falls, there are several campsites. Some of them are located only a few kilometres from Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls – Kingston

Suggested route: Niagara Falls – Hamilton – Toronto – Kingston

Stage distance: approx. 390 km

From Niagara Falls, you will go back to Hamilton and Toronto located on the Canadian northern shore of Lake Ontario. Then, to Kingston, inhabited by 125.000 people, where the St. Lawrence River begins. Visit the beautiful old town and stroll along the waterfront in Kingston.

Here, you can also visit the historic Fort Henry, a British military fortress dating back to the 19th century. Find out more about the British garrison life in the years just before the Confederation of Canada. From 1841 to 1844, the city was the capital of the largest British colony in North America. Montréal became the next capital city. It was followed by Toronto and Ottawa.

Highlights & Tips

Shopping in Kingston
You will also have many shopping opportunities in Kingston, away from the urban bustle of Toronto. In addition to many stores in the city centre, there are two large shopping centres. The larger of them is the Cataraqui Town Centre (945 Gardiners Road). The Frontenac Mall (300 Bath Road) offers everything you need on the road, along with typical gastronomy.

Kingston – Whitney (Algonquin Provincial Park)

Suggested route: Kingston – Bancroft – Whitney (Algonquin Provincial Park)

Stage distance: approx. 260 km

From Kingston, there exist several routes to the Algonquin Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Canada. The road will lead you through a beautiful landscape. Your first target is Whitney, later, you will continue your journey to the Algonquin Provincial Park.

The Algonquin Provincial Park is a 7725-km² large nature park in the Province of Ontario. The park is crisscrossed by swamps, areas where deciduous and coniferous trees grow, 2,456 lakes, and a number of towering rock walls.

Highlights & Tips

Stay in the heart of nature
In Algonquin Provincial Park there are several campgrounds situated partly on the beautiful lakes.

Indian Summer
If you are planning this trip in the late summer/early autumn, you can enjoy the Indian summer, during which maple trees, the national symbol of Canada, are characterised by various shades of red.

Whitney (Algonquin Provincial Park) – Ottawa

Suggested route: Whitney (Algonquin Provincial Park) – Shawville – Ottawa

Stage distance: approx. 240 km

From the picturesque nature of the Algonquin Provincial Park, the journey continues back to the urban atmosphere of Ottawa, the capital of the country. With just under 900.000 inhabitants in the urban area and a total of 1.2 million in the metropolitan area, the city is situated on the southern shore of the Ottawa River and at the mouth of the Rideau River. The Gatineau Hills are located to the north. Ottawa belongs to the Province of Ontario, while the District of Hull is part of the Canadian Province of Québec.

After the arrival, you can participate in a city tour. You will see the elegant buildings of Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada, and the beautiful city with its parks and gardens. Visit a gallery, explore one of the many museums in Ottawa, or pay a visit to the Rideau Canal, which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and which is the world’s largest skating rink in the winter months. Also, you can admire the magnificent Confederation Boulevard and Gatineau Park with its small lakes and many tree species – which is a great contrast to the urban landscape.

Highlights & Tips

Overnight accommodation in Ottawa
Despite being close to the city, you can stay away from the hustle and bustle of Ottawa, on the idyllic Rideau Heights Campground.

Ottawa – Montréal

Suggested route: Ottawa – Papinauville – Montréal

Stage distance: approx. 200 km

Approximately 200 kilometres from Ottawa, you will find the metropolis of Montréal situated on the St. Lawrence River. In addition to expressways, you can also use Highway #148 located on the northern shore of the Ottawa River.

Montréal, in the Province of Québec, is the second largest city after Toronto as well as the largest French-speaking city outside of France. The city is inhabited by nearby 1.9 million people and almost 4 million people in the metropolitan area. About 80 percent of the dwellers speak French and approximately 20 percent of inhabitants speak English.

You will have a look at the Montréal Nôtre-Dame Basilica, the colourful waterfront as well as the modern and bustling city. Enjoy a mix of English and French flair of this multicultural place. You will find here also the Italian Quarter, known as Petite Italie, and the obligatory Chinatown – just like in many cities of North America.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and experience Mont Royal, whose name comes from the city’s name. At the top you can enjoy panoramic views of one of the most beautiful cities in North America. The Saint Joseph's Oratory, located on the south-west slope of Mont Royal, is an important pilgrimage church. What is more, there are large parks bordering Mont Royal. The botanical garden is worth seeing as well. It is one of the largest parks in the world. If you are interested in modern architecture, you can visit Habitat 67, which is located at the port, nearby Olympic Stadium. It is a residential complex of concrete blocks.

Highlights & Tips

Sightseeing tours
There are several sightseeing tours - from a shorter one, during which you can admire the highlights of the city centre, to a half-day tour. Those who are more determined and would like to try a combination of those options in one day can take the Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour. The trip involves ten stations and you can hop on and hop off the bus at any time that is convenient for you.

Montréal – Québec City

Suggested route: Montréal – Trois Rivières – Québec City

Stage distance: approx. 265 km

From Montréal, you will continue your journey along the St. Lawrence River through Trois-Rivières to Québec, the capital of the Province of Québec. With over 500.000 inhabitants, this is the only fortified city in North America. The historic district dates back to 1985 and is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the fortified wall there are four city gates. The Lower Town and Upper Town are connected by various streets and stairs, but also by a funicular known as Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec.

The Lower Town is located outside the city walls. There are historic buildings in both halves of the inner city. Local attractions include the Musée de l'Amérique Française, the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, and the Musée de la Civilisation. In the Upper Town, the hotel Château Frontenac is perched on a small hill just like a French castle. The Citadelle is located at the southern end of the Upper Town of Québec. Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, the scene of the decisive battle between the English and the French in 1759, is a significant part of North American history.

Highlights & Tips

Québec City from water
An excellent opportunity to admire the city from water is a ride on Québec-Lévis Ferry. The St. Lawrence River which flows between Québec City and Lévis is also known for the Pont Pierre-Laporte, the longest bridge of this kind in Canada.

Québec City – Tadoussac

Suggested route: Québec City – Saguenac – Tadoussac

Stage distance: approx. 335 km

From Québec City, you will travel to Tadoussac, where the St. Lawrence River flows into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Instead of taking the direct route along the St. Lawrence River, drive through the wildlife reserve, Réserve faunique des Laurentides, until you reach Saguenac. From there, you will follow the Saguenay River to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and to the stage destination, namely Tadoussac.

Tadoussac is dominated by tourists, especially when it comes to the magnificent “Hotel Tadoussac” dating back to 1864. In 1600, there was the first permanent French trading post in New France located in the area. The former trading post is now reconstructed as a museum. The bay was formerly a starting point for expeditions as well as the centre of whaling. Today, the city is considered to be one of the best places in the world when it comes to whale watching. Depending on the season, you can spot here beluga whales, humpback whales, fin whales, mink whales, and even giant blue whales.

Whale watching in Tadoussac

Québec City from water
There are different companies organising boat tours during which you can admire whales. There are different boat sizes available. Here, you can find general information concerning the tours as well as other activities available in Tadoussac.

Tadoussac – Montréal

Suggested route: Tadoussac – Lévis – Montréal

Stage distance: approx. 470-500 km

From Tadoussac, the longest stage of this trip takes you back to Montréal. Depending on your schedule, you can make a stopover in one of the coastal towns along the St. Lawrence River. La Malbaie is a very interesting option. An alternative to the route along the northern bank through Québec is taking a route from Tadoussac to Saint Simeon and a ferry to Rivière du-Loup, then, driving towards Lévis along the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River to Montréal.

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