A tale of four cities, Eastern Canada

In Canada, Far, Memories, Our Journeys, Road Trips, The Americas, Trip-Types, Unesco by Janis0 Comments

Memories of our mini Canadian Road Trip

This was our first trip to Canada, perhaps not the best of timings, as on our arrival we caught the tail end of Hurricane Earl. Oh well, it made visiting the CN Tower on Gary’s Birthday even more interesting.

Gary and I always enjoy reminiscing about our trips, particularly to friends and family, there are always memories that evoke pleasure, laughter or wonderment.

Bertie the Beaver - Straight from Canada

So, we have gathered together our highlights from our 2-week road trip to share them with you, and hopefully, they tempt you into creating your own adventure, and you can share your memories with us.

Flying in from the UK we chose to arrive in Toronto and fly out of Montreal. Not really too far when you look at them on a map, but as a filler between the two, we were also visiting Niagara Falls, Kingston, Ottawa & Québec City.



Highlights


Niagara Falls – I know this is probably clichéd and it’s obvious why visitors flock here, however; it is a magnificent site.

Niagara Falls at night, Niagara Canada

The incredible cataract that straddles two countries borders of Canada & USA is not to be missed. If you get the chance to stay overnight, make sure you take an evening stroll to catch it lit up.


CN Tower – The views from the observation deck are amazing, although Hurricane Earl was still making the outside walkway a challenge.

Janis over the glass floor of the CN Tower, Toronto, Canada
Looking up at the CN tower from Roundhouse Park, Toronto, Canada

While many feet have passed before you, it still takes a leap of faith to walk over the glass panels with the view dropping 356 m (1,168ft) below you.


Montreal Formula 1 circuit – Gary couldn’t visit Montreal and not walk the ‘Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’. This track weaves its way through the Parc Jean-Drapeau, you are free to wander around the track and through the chicanes with remnants of tyre rubber still left from the previous F1 race.

The pits of the Montréal Formula 1 circuit, Quebec, Canada

Historic District of Old Québec – This area of Old Québec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was inscribed in 1985. It has lovely intriguing lanes and stores which you can’t help venturing into.

The Historic District of Old Québec, Canada

Rideau Canal – another of Canada’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, which was inscribed in 2007. Now only really used by pleasure boats, this is an amazing site in the heart of the country’s capital and a great area to take a stroll along and relax.

The Rideau Canal, Ottowa, Canada

Parliament Hill – This is another pleasant area of Ottawa, not only is it home to Canada’s Parliament and other historical Gothic buildings, it’s a relaxing place to stroll around.

Parliament Hill, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada

The well-kept gardens are scattered with some lovely sculptures and statues, for you to wander amongst.


St Lawrence Seaway – Although we didn’t venture into Canada’s true rugged landscape, on the route up to Québec City we tried to keep to the shoreline of the St Lawrence River as much as possible, to enjoy other elements of the country.

The St Lawrence Seaway from Prescott, Ontario, Canada



Pleasures


Montreal Olympic Park – Just a short hop out of town is the Olympic park, built to host the summer Olympics of 1976.

Looking down at the Olympic Park, Montreal, Canada

The park is still home to some of the original venues & others have been converted into recreational centres. Although, shortly after the Olympics had finished an observatory was built which can be accessed by travelling up the 266 metres (873 ft) funicular.


Maid of the Mist – It has to be done, you really can’t say you have experienced Niagara Falls without donning one the synonymous blue ponchos and heading straight for the oncoming drenching.

On board the Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls, Niagara, Canada

Mill St. Brewery – While we were in Toronto it was Gary’s birthday, so if any further excuse were needed, we stumbled upon Mill Street Brewery. Great food and even better beer.

Mill Street Brewery, Toronto, Canada

Tall Ships – On the day we were leaving Montreal to head home to the UK, a Tall Ships event was taking place in the old port. The main attraction being ‘Bounty’ which was commissioned by MGM for the 1962 film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’.

Tall ships in the harbour, Montreal, Canada

It was since used for various other films including Pirates of the Caribbean. However; tragically the ship sank off the coast of North Carolina in October 2012 during the storm of Hurricane Sandy.


Lake Ontario boat trip – Our Toronto sightseeing tour included a boat trip, around the islands of Lake Ontario. Never one to turn down the opportunity to jump aboard a boat, we were there.

The Toronto skyline from the Water, Canada

It was a fun trip and you could get some amazing views across Toronto city, even if the dark clouds were looming.


The Battlefields Park – Taking a poignant relaxing stroll through The Battlefields Park in Québec City was really interesting.

The Battlefields Park, Québec, Canada

Steeped in history this park is where the Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place, part of the Seven Years’ War & where today a statue to General Wolfe stands as a reminder.



Treasures


Statutes – While we were strolling around our four chosen cities in Canada, we noticed that there were some amazing statues and sculptures.

'Women Chatting' sculpture; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Maman sculpture, Ottawa, Canada

Some hidden around corners and other like the Maman spider in Ottawa on full display.


  • Poutine – The local delicacy of the French-speaking province of Canada, is made up of French fries, cheese curds and topped with a light brown gravy. It’s more of a fast food dish that is served by street vendors or as a snack in pubs. But don’t knock it until you have tried it. Sorry, we missed the photo opportunity, we weren’t blogging at the time!!!!

  • Ice Wine – Another photo opportunity missed was a glass of the dessert tipple, Ice Wine. This is only produced in a handful of countries and is made by the grapes being frozen directly on the vine. It was delicious, if not a bit on the expensive side.



What I would do differently


  • It was my own fault really; we didn’t get to see any of Canada’s amazing countryside. Next time I would leave out the cities and head into the wilderness.



A funny moment


  • Ascending the CN Tower, Toronto’s highest point, as the tail end of Hurricane Earl decides to pass by. Yep, we felt the tower swaying.



A slight disappointment


Perhaps I expected too much – I had heard about The Underground City in Montreal for when the extreme weather heads in, there is interconnecting shopping malls, restaurants, office towers, hotels & metro system.

Inside the mall, Montreal, Canada

I thought I was going to be blown away by a state-of-the-art complex; I was left slightly disappointed.


Arriving in Canada in early September was evidently the wrong time to catch an ice hockey match, that will have to be for another time.

Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto, Canada



And now your turn

We’re looking forward to our next road trip adventure in Canada, can anyone give us some great tips on where to go and what to see?

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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A tale of four cities, Eastern Canada was last modified: June 27th, 2017 by Janis