Lower and Upper Canada: Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Kingston & More
- 13 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,172
MODERATE | SELF-DRIVE: A journey to highlight Canada’s English and French heritage, travelling through the rural splendor of Ontario and Québec and visiting key urban centers. Discover cosmopolitan Toronto and Canada’s capital, Ottawa, before crossing into Québec. Enjoy the joie de vivre of Montréal before you follow the mighty St. Lawrence River to splendid Québec City and the fabulous Saguenay region. Back into Ontario, travel along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, see delightful Kingston and finish back in Toronto.
A 13-day Canadian adventure to cities where polite, brisk-walking Ontarians and passionate, arm-waving Quebecers will greet you, along winding blue rivers where explorers once paddled, to thundering waterfalls and whales, this taste of Lower and Upper Canada is as sweet as maple syrup right out of the tree.
They walk briskly in Toronto, even in heels, but Torontonians will promptly help you if you’re lost, direct you to a great restaurant and show you the closest entrance to the TTC for a safe underground ride because this may be Canada’s biggest city, but it’s also one heck of a polite, diverse and happening place. The AGO (Art Gallery of Toronto) has world-class exhibitions and excellent Canadian art, all housed within a Frank Gehry designed flowing glass building. A stop at Chinatown for steaming hot dim sum or a giant bowl of Pho before hitting the trendy shops along Queen Street or the vintage boutiques of Kensington Market will keep you going all day. Possibly head south to Niagara-on-the-Lake and sample some cool climate white wines in the largest grape growing region in Canada. Hop on a romantic horse and buggy ride in the Old Town before heading to Niagara Falls at dusk when the Horseshoe Falls are lit up revealing another side to these world-famous waterfalls.
Count the Thousand Islands on a tranquil cruise along the St. Lawrence River (there are 1500 islands!) on your way to the capital city of Ottawa. Your Parliament Hill Pass gets you access to the residences of the Prime Minister and Governor General and the Rideau Canal is waiting for you to slip on your runners for a good long walk or in winter strap on your skates for a glide on the world’s longest skating rink. For art lovers, the National Gallery is chalked full of interesting pieces and bustling ByWard market is the place to chow down on a fried, sweet, Ottawa treat: the satisfying Beaver Tail.
Those lovers holding hands and stopping to kiss along the cobblestone streets in Old Montréal bring the romantic out of you. Ah, l’amour is what you will experience as you gaze up at the Notre Dame Basilica, sample croissants and café au lait patio-side or climb the summit of Mont Royal and look out over the beating heart of this vibrant city. Ah, but this is Québec and the romance has only begun! Behold the 17th century walled city of Québec City; a United Nations World Heritage site, home of adorable shops, cozy cafes and a historic battlefield which set the scene for the English defeat again the French.
Roll the windows down along the Beaupré coast on your way to Chicoutimi and breathe in the brackish air of the Saguenay and St Lawrence Rivers, where whales often make an appearance.
Follow the tapestry of forests, lakes, and rivers to the Lac St. Jean region on the north shore of the Laurentian Hills with granite outcrops carved by glaciers flank your drive. Hike, boat, fish, climb or horseback ride around the lake. You are in Québec’s blueberry mecca, so gorge yourself these succulent blue explosions if it’s the season or reminisce with some preserved blueberry jam on toast.
‘La belle d’à côte’ (the pretty one next door) of the Mauricie Region welcomes you with expansive green spaces, endless lakes and rivers and aromas of mint and pepper off evergreen forests so sublime, you may experience your heart rate slow down and your senses tingle as you explore this natural Canadian gem.
Lay low in Limestone city, as the locals from Kingston, Ontario call their town (limestone was used for many homes there) and continue west along the shores of Lake Ontario through the idyllic farms and sand dunes of Prince Edward County. Boutique vineyards and artisanal cheese makers, one-of-a-kind artists await. Silky foie gras and locally produced pinot noir go down smooth by the quaint Picton harbour before returning to Toronto and home the following day.
- 13 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,172
Itinerary View Trip Map
Arrival in Toronto
Arrive at Pearson International Airport, Toronto, and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received will have all the information needed for your holiday/trip/journey. The Remainder of your day is at leisure, perhaps shopping at the Eaton Centre or sampling the fine cuisine and nightlife of Toronto.
Toronto / Niagara Falls Excursion (260 km / 162 miles)
The day is free to discover Toronto at your own pace. You won’t be able to see it all in one day, but St. Lawrence Market, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the CN Tower are near the Harbourfront (from where you can take a ferry to Toronto Island) and that’s a great start. North of downtown are Kensington Market, Chinatown and Queen Street West, all great areas too. Maybe you just want to do a bit of multi-level shopping at the Eaton Center, or realize that Toronto has an amazingly varied restaurant, bar, and restaurant scene. Instead, you might opt to visit Niagara Falls, about an hour and a half drive south of Toronto. Your route takes you through Ontario’s wine-growing region and a stop in the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is highly recommended.
Toronto to Ottawa (402 km / 250 miles)
Leaving Toronto, drive east along Lake Ontario as you make your way to Ottawa, the nation’s capital city. Enter the captivating Thousand Islands region and explore the magnificent scenery of the islands on a relaxing one-hour cruise before continuing to Ottawa. This wonderfully lush island landscape is dotted with luxurious cottages and vast estates. Referred to by the Iroquois Nations as the “Garden of the Great Spirit”, the tranquility of the area belies a history of adventurers, wars, and rebellions. The cruise will take you past Boldt Castle, Zavikon Island and Millionaire’s Row.
Ottawa to Montréal (199 km / 124 miles)
Today there is more time to enjoy Ottawa’s attractions. Parliament Hill Pass with the residences of the Prime Minister and Governor General are popular stops, but a stroll along the Rideau Canal, which in winter becomes the world’s longest skating rink, is also highly recommended. The city has some superb museums and galleries, the National Gallery is fabulous, and ByWard market is a vibrant neighborhood in downtown Ottawa with fabulous bars, pubs, and restaurants.
Montréal to Québec City (263 km / 163 miles)
Your next stop is Montréal, a fascinating city, where you can savor its French-Canadian flavor walking on its original cobblestones through historic Old Montréal. Marvel at the architecture of Notre Dame Basilica or enjoy magnificent views of the city from the observation point at the top of Mont Royal. Then you are off to see another French jewel, driving north along the St. Lawrence River to Québec City.
Overnight Québec City
Spend a full day in Canada’s oldest city. Founded in 1608, Québec City is the only walled city in North America and a designated United Nations World Heritage Site, a treasure trove of historic sights and colonial grandeur. The Fortifications, the famous Plains of Abraham, the Place Royale, and the Basilica make for a captivating day of discovery as you walk in places that are dominated by cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and a lively arts-focused community. Outside the city are natural wonders such as the spectacular Montmorency Falls and the beautiful Ile d'Orleans.
Overnight Québec City
Québec City to Chicoutimi (via Tadoussac) (350 km / 217 miles)
Drive along the alluring Beaupré coast on your way to Chicoutimi via Tadoussac. Set at the confluence of the majestic Saguenay and St Lawrence Rivers, the area is an excellent spot for whale watching excursions.
Chicoutimi to Lac St. Jean Region (145 km / 90 miles)
An interesting stop, shortly after departing Chicoutimi, is the St. Felicien Zoo. This preserve is home to many species of wildlife such as bison, elk, bear, deer, and wolves living in their natural habitat. You can observe them from the safety of your car with the aid of a radio-broadcasted commentary. Continue afterwards through a landscape of forests, lakes, and rivers to the Lac St. Jean region. The north shore on the edge of the Laurentian Hills displays granite outcrops and glacial debris as high as three-story buildings. Meanwhile, the south shore is defined by dairy farms on gently rolling, fertile hills. The day is yours to enjoy hiking, boating, fishing, climbing and horseback riding around the circular lake.
Overnight Lac St. Jean Region
Lac St. Jean to Mauricie Region (292 km / 181 miles)
Today you depart Lac St-Jean and travel to the Mauricie region on the very picturesque route from La Tuque along the St. Maurice River. You are staying in the area for two nights and have great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in a wonderful nature area.
Overnight Mauricie Region
Mauricie Region (417 km / 259 miles)
The region is called ‘La belle d’à côte’ (the pretty one next door) and its wide-open spaces dotted with lakes, rivers and forests are truly enchanting. Needless to say, there are numerous outdoor activities you can pursue to explore the natural wonders around you, many of which are available through your place of accommodation.
Overnight Mauricie Region
Mauricie Region to Kingston (260 km / 162 miles)
Today you follow the north shore of the St. Lawrence River as it winds through the small towns that lead up into the subdivisions of Montreal. Continuing west, you cross the border into Ontario and enter the splendid tranquility of the Thousand Islands region. If time permits, consider a visit to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg and Old Fort Henry.
Kingston to Toronto (263 km / 163 miles)
Today continue west along the shores of Lake Ontario through the fertile lands of Prince Edward County, replete with historic communities boasting former residences and summer homes of Canada’s British-era governors and magistrates. The area contains several successful small vineyards and cheese makers, inviting visitors to stop in small villages such as Picton for a taste of the local fare. The day ends back in Toronto to either relax after a great road trip of enjoy the city’s nightlife.
Return to Toronto's Pearson International Airport to check in for your return flight, or your hotel if you plan to extend your stay.
Daily departures: May 2 - October 22, 2024
- 13 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Toronto
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Ottawa
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Montreal
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Quebec City
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Saguenay
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Lac St. Jean region
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Mauricie region
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Kingston
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Toronto
- Shared Rockport - 1-hour 1000 Islands
- Admission to St. Felicien Zoo
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
1 Oct 2024