Gathering ideas from travel guides and other travelers and adapting them to my own tastes I planned my perfect route across the east coast of Canada, with a combination of the country and the cities, activities and relax. This itinerary is planned in a way so I don’t have to drive more than three hours per day, and with rest days.
My first “American” city with its skyscrapers, big avenues, the University, Chinatown, Yorkville, the underground city, the Loma House and, of course, CN TOWER and Ontario lake. It’s the starting point of the route and the place to rent a car.
You’ll see them from their least known angle: the Canadian side, and still they won’t disappoint you. They are 128Km from Toronto and it is worth enjoying all the fuss on the other side of the lake. Fun and souvenirs are guaranteed. On the way back to Toronto there are picturesque towns like NIAGARA ON THE LAKE, on the shore of Ontario Lake, ideal for a coffee and more pictures.
The route from Toronto is about 278Km long and I’m planning on sleeping in a close town named HUNTSVILLE, the name clearly expresses what people like to do on their free time in that part of Ontario. I walk around the town, buy mosquito repellent and prepare the walks for the next day.
This park is not well known in Canada, but has a wide net of rivers and streams where all the locals go for days with their canoes. I take advantage of the good weather to walk on several paths, perfectly signed, and walk deeper into the tick forest, where a black bear showing up doesn’t sound very unlikely. All the information about the park is available in the visitors’ center; all thought you can get an idea on their website. I should have consider taking one more day so I could go camping and spend the night listening nothing but the sound of the forest.
As I wasn’t that brave and didn’t spend the night in the nature but rather in a Pembroke’s motel, on the other side of the park, I go from here to the country’s capital city: Ottawa, driving through the 146Km of distance. I spend the rest of the day visiting around the city, specially the Parliament, its biggest attraction, with a very pretty and touristic light show; the Rideau Canal, the Chateau Laurier, where my modest economy doesn’t allow me to stay; and a nice restaurant for dinner.
Given that yesterday worked well for me I’ve decided to take the car and go back to a boat excursion on a zone known as Thousand Islands. There are several towns on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River which organize cruise ships and I’ve decided to go to Brookeville, 114Km from Ottawa. There I hire an excursion on the Rockport Boat Line, given myself to the sweet idea of having, maybe in other life, one of these wonderful houses with their own pier.
Half way between Ottawa and Montreal, my next destination, already deep in the French Zone, there is a park, ideal for kids and no-so-kids, ideal for animal lovers. Something between a safari and a zoo, you can see buffalos and reindeers in the meadows, even artic wolfs, black bears, etc. Take a look to their website web and tell me you don’t want to hang out and grab a bite.
About 200Km from Ottawa, in the French Zone, which my stomach highly appreciates, is MONTREAL, where I arrived the day before just in time to see the sunset and dine in a creperie. I use this day to go around town, enjoying the summer atmosphere in the port, going up the Mont Royal Park and taking pictures from the several lookouts.
I’m again on the road, I’m going to SAINT ALEXIS DES MONTS, a small town about 145Km away, where I found a wonderful hotel surrounded by nature, and where I’m going to spend a few days relaxing. The Lac-a-l'Eau-Claire offers many activities in an idyllic environment; you can enjoy relaxation at a spa, with hot tube and an indoor swimming pool; practice water sports in the hotel’s lake with canoes and motor boats, rent a squad, play tennis and even hiring a seaplane to take you on a ride to see the lakes and treetops.
Without any doubt is the prettiest of the four major cities I’ve visited, it’s about 190Km away and I decide to make the trip in two parts, because from there I’m flying home. But there is still something I don’t want to miss about Canada: the whales. I take the rest of the day to walk around the old city, taking pictures of the Chateau Frontenac, go shopping and dining in many of the French style restaurants.
I going to TADOUSSAC, a town about 217Km away, in one of the most beautiful routes in this area, going along the edge of Saint Lawrence River and with a ferry at the end, until I reach my destination in this small town, in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park bay, where I search for a company to help me on my last activity: whale watching.
There are several boats to choose and I’m inclined to a zodiac, to get a chance of seeing the whales closer. I don’t regret the choice.
On my return to QUEBEC I continue to enjoy the city, I watch the shift change on the Battlefields Park, take a walk on the Marche du Vieux Port or in the wall, looking at the rooftops and thinking about where I could come back to this wonderful country.