Let us tell you how we did the Eastern Canada Route for a 12-day trip in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
At last we were able to visit the country of the maple leaf together and we did it with a route through Quebec and Ontario. We are going to show you a country full of nature and big cities at the same time. In this article we bring you the details of activities and itinerary on our route through the best places to visit in eastern Canada.
- Is a visa required for Canada?
- Accommodation in Canada
- What suitcase to bring?
- Our best places to visit in Eastern Canada: route itinerary
- Places I would have liked to include
Is a visa required for Canada?
Can Mexicans travel to Canada without a visa? Can Europeans travel to Canada without a visa? For both questions the answer is YES. You just have to fill in the eTA in advance and that’s it. If you are from another country you can check here if you need a visa.
Requirements due to Covid-19
For now, you still need to download and register for the ArriveCAN app. This generates a QR code that you will be asked for when you arrive in the country, but as you can imagine, this can change from one moment to another.
Get your flight to Canada at the best price
The official currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). If you don’t bring cash don’t worry, almost everywhere they accept card. What is important is to bring a card that is not so expensive when paying in a foreign currency, we brought the American Express and the N26.
To get to Canada: we traveled by plane arriving at the Montreal airport (with the Air France airline), in Economy class. We left from Nice and paid 800 euros for the two of us.
Within the cities we moved by public transport, especially by subway and to move between cities we rented a car, for this, we put into practice our advice to find a car at a good price. When we arrived to pick it up, it was excellent, they gave us a better car than the one he had booked and they also let us drop it off at the airport at no cost, we had picked it up in the city. So, if you find yourself in our situation, do not hesitate to ask them if there is a possibility, they will surely say yes.
Accommodation in Canada
On this route we stayed mostly in AirBnb-type accommodations, so we could have a kitchen at our disposal and be able to have breakfasts and dinners at home. This had a double objective: save on the restaurant bill and reduce the health risk. So in Montreal, Kingston and Toronto we slept in this type of accommodation.
In Ottawa, on the other hand, we did stay in a hotel, but this one met the same criteria of having a kitchen. It was a pleasant surprise, since the space was huge and we felt very comfortable. And yes, it did look just like the photos on the site, I’ll bring you the full review soon.
What suitcase to bring?
We were going in the middle of the season, so to be ready for the best experience on the places to visit in eastern Canada I wore pants and a blouse with medium sleeves, one with long sleeves and the others with short sleeves. The truth is that I needed another long-sleeved blouse, because it did get cooler during the day, when it was windy even more.
Thanks to the fact that we had washing machines available in Montreal and Ottawa, we were able to carry fewer changes of clothes than the days of our stay. With a cabin format suitcase for each one, it was enough.
Our best places to visit in Eastern Canada: route itinerary
The route through eastern Canada that I show you below is 12 days, of which 10 are real visits since the day of arrival and departure do not count. This is because we fly out on Monday and back on Friday, to try to avoid crowds.
In case you fly in a season even lower than spring, for example in winter, or in case the prices are adjusted and you can take the flights on weekends, you will be able to recover in the itinerary those two days that we missed. In the final part we will tell you which are those places on the route that we would have liked to visit and could not, so that you can consider them in your itinerary.
Montreal (arrival and days 1, 2 and 3)
We arrived in Montreal in the evening and given the alternatives to get from the airport to downtown, we decided to take the bus. In the following three days we visited the city where I was finally able to visit the Basilica Notre-Dame de Montreal. After that we spent the afternoon in Vieux Montreal, visiting the Port, the Bonsecours Market and the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel where we visited the museum dedicated to Marguerite-Bourgeoys.
The second day of visits was largely dedicated to the Oratory of Saint Joseph where we learned about the life of Brother André. It is a very nice place, huge, with beautiful views and gardens. In addition to all this it is free. In the afternoon we walked around the Jean Drapeau Park and saw the huge ball that was the United States pavilion at the Montreal Expo in 1967, as well as having a view of the city’s Skyline. We end the day in Saint Louis square to see the colorful houses that surround it.
The third day was quite cloudy and it threatened to rain, we took a tour of the Marie Reine du Monde Cathedral and saw outside the Bell Center, where the local Montreal Canadiens hockey team plays. From there, I went back to my childhood at the Barbie Expo that we could see in one of the shopping centers that give access to the underground pedestrian network of Montreal (RÉSO). The truth is that it was just at the right time, since it started to rain.
Omega Park (day 4)
On the fourth day of our Eastern Canada tour, we picked up our rental car and headed to Omega Park, which is about 130 km away. We were able to see a lot of local fauna, some in semi-freedom such as the deer, which came willingly for us to give them carrots. This is the only food that is allowed to give them. Everything is done from our cars, on a safari-type tour, but with a fixed path. We could also see other animals such as bears, wolves, but these were in delimited areas.
The reason for going to this park and not to see them in total freedom as we like to do, is because at that time it was not a good season to see these animals in a completely wild state, due to not being in summer yet . The season for these visits is in June and we went in May. So going to this park was a very good option for us.
Kingston and arrival in Toronto (day 5)
Our next stop was Kingston, once the nation’s capital, and we saw places like Murney Tower and the Rideau Canal Locks. Also, it was here that we first encountered Lake Ontario.
From there we continued driving until we reached Toronto, the current capital of Ontario. It was already a little late, so we only managed to go around to visit Casa LOMA. We could only see it from the outside, since there was an event that we could not enter. But still, we got to see the house where scenes from the X-men were filmed.
Toronto (day 6)
This would be a full day of visits in the city of Toronto, we started with Nathan Phillips square and the famous letters of TORONTO, we also saw the buildings of the old and new city hall… from the outside since it was Saturday and they were closed. From there, we went to the famous CN Tower, which I have to say disappointed me a bit. The problem is that after visiting towers as lively as the Tokyo Skytree I expected more, on top of the fact that it is quite expensive. From the heights we could see the baseball stadium of the Toronto Blue Jays. Then we take the tram to get to the Kensington market neighborhood.
Throughout the day it was cloudy and somewhat rainy. When a little sunlight came out, we decided to go to Toronto Island Park to see the Skyline of the city. It was a bet since it could get ugly again and with this we would no longer be able to see the Old Town area, we took it and managed to spend a very pleasant afternoon. We finished the day with some delicious beaver tails.
Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls (Day 7)
Day to take the route, but this time it would not be for long since Niagara on the Lake is relatively close to Toronto. We spent a few hours in a beautiful town, where it seems that time has stopped. Then we arrived at Niagara Falls, we didn’t plan to do much there that day since it was a holiday and it was full of people. But everything changed when we realized that this was the only day we could take the Hornblower boat since the next day they did not operate. We jumped in and managed to take the last boat, all very hearty, but we made it. Wow how much power is in those falls.
Certainly this is one of the best places to visit in eastern Canada and should not be outside of the route at all.
Niagara Falls (Day 8)
Full day at Niagara Falls, the difference between a normal day and a holiday was noticeable: there were much fewer people. This time we went to see the falls from behind thanks to Journey Behind the Falls and then we went to the Skylon Tower to see them from above. We finished the day seeing how they lit up at night and the icing on the cake was the fireworks.
Road trip and arrival in Ottawa (day 9)
That day of the route through eastern Canada was 6 hours by road there were not a lot of places to visit. We arrived in the capital of Canada, well into the afternoon, to take possession of our superb hotel in Ottawa (the only one on the trip).
Ottawa (Day 10)
We dedicated the entire day to Ottawa, beginning by passing in front of the City Hall building and Confederation Park, where many squirrels welcomed us. We arrived at Parliament Hill and found that the main building is under construction, which is why it cannot be visited, but even looking at it from the outside you can appreciate how beautiful it is. Again web could see the locks of the Rideau Canal, this time in Ottawa and we went to eat in the ByWard market area.
We saw the ByTown Museum from the outside, since it was closed, this is the oldest stone building in Ottawa. Another place that we could not enter, because it was closed, was the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. Note that Ottawa is a city that, despite being the capital of the country, you can walk in a very pleasant way.
We intended to end our day at the Canadian Museum of History, which is located in neighboring Gatineau, we crossed the bridge only to find out that tickets were sold out. But along the way we met a beaver out of the water! For that reason alone, the walk was worth it. In addition, even without a ticket, we were able to see some of the totems that are exhibited in the huge museum.
Thus ended our day and our visits in Canada, the next day we would drive to the Montreal airport to leave.
Places I would have liked to include
On this route, one of the places that I regret not being able to visit in eastern Canada was the city of Quebec, I had already visited it before, but not Vincent. Like Montreal, I really wanted to return, but decisions had to be made, too bad.
Other places that I would have liked to see are the natural parks of Quebec such as: Jaques Cartier National Park and Mauricie National Park.
In addition to visiting Charlevoix and its landscapes, Saguenay and its fjords, see the whales.
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