Traversing Ontario and Quebec
Once you hit Ontario the TCH (#1) becomes the #17. If you want the fastest route across the province stay on the 17, but I highly suggest driving along the shores of Lake Superior. It was one of our favourite stretches of road in Canada. In this guide I’m bypassing Toronto and Montreal because we didn’t go there — we’re not big city folk. It would be easy enough though to amend this to add those cities in.
HISTORY ALERT: The Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay is a reconstruction of an 1815 fur trading post that was originally just a few kilometers upstream on the same river (Kaministiquia River). The many interpretors — from the cooper to the farmhands to the blacksmith — are in period costume and in character. It’s highly interactive, too. We got to try our hand at ax-tossing and firing a musket (a ball of grass, but it was still exciting). It’s an entertaining and educational experience.
Fort William Historical Park
Thunder Bay, Canada
This place transports you to the fur trading days in Canada, when the North West Company was competing with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The staff are not only all dressed in period outfits, but they act the part as well. For me it sometimes feels a bit cheesy but there’s no doubt I learned a ton here and had a lot of fun doing things like throwing axes, petting baby goats, and firing a musket! #history #historic
PRO TIP: Take advantage of rest stops, especially scenic ones, like Old Woman Bay on Lake Superior.
Old Woman Bay
Algoma, Unorganized, North Part, Canada
This is a rest stop we made near Wawa, #Ontario. We had this picnic table on the beach, the only one… made for a memorable campstove dinner!
Although not big city people, we couldn’t think of anywhere better to be on Canada Day. If you’re in the area on July 1, 2017 you’ll especially want to partake in the celebrations here as it will be Canada’s 150th birthday. While we were there this year they were already in construction mode for next year’s big event. The Rideau Canal is a great way to explore the city by bicycle (or get in the canal in a kayak).
Awesome place to go for a long and easy bike ride while taking in the city and the great outdoors at the same time. #biking #cycling
And then you may want to replenish yourself with a big burger…
There are a few of these in Ottawa… Big patties, big portions, and around 50 burger choices including gluten free. There was even one that had 6 different types of bacon and one that had peanut butter and banana. Good burgers!
Quebec to Edmunston, NB
I didn’t realize this at the time but once you cross the Ottawa River into Gatineau you’re in Quebec, and the difference is night and day. Immediately you stop hearing English being spoken, and all the signs are in French only, so be prepared. Our only stop in Quebec was to visit Quebec City. The Gaspe Peninsula was on our list but due to time constraints we decided to save it for another trip. If you have the time to do a loop of the peninsula, do it. I’ve only heard good things and it looks stunning.
We camped in Levis across the St. Lawrence River from the old city, then parked at the ferry terminal and walked on. I don’t recommend driving in Quebec City.
The #ferry from Levis across the St Lawrence River is a great way to approach old Quebec City. Good #views of the iconic Chateau Frontenac and Cap-Diamant with its #funicular.
Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site
Ville de Québec, Canada
It’s fun to cruise around the old #ramparts in Quebec City. There are unexpected green spaces on top of the stone walls, and great #views down onto the street. These ramparts are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America, outside of Mexico. The oldest gates were first built in 1694. #history
As we were leaving town we stopped at Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and were pleasantly surprised. They’re worth a stop for sure.
Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Super cool park across the river from Quebec City. There’s a path you can walk that takes you over a suspension bridge and get good view points on the falls. But make sure to go down the steps to the water… There are a lot steps but don’t let them dissuade you it’s well worth it to go down there. It’s a pretty special place. #waterfalls