Eastern Canada

The provinces of Eastern Canada offer some of the most diverse experiences in North America and with incredible scenery, abundant wildlife, and vibrant, culture-filled cities, are the perfect introduction to Canada.

Ontario

Ontario does everything on a grand scale. From multi-cultural Toronto to the thundering cascade of Niagara Falls. The charms of the capital city of Ottawa to the wilderness areas of the Bruce Peninsula, Algonquin Provincial Park, and Thousand Islands National Park.

Toronto is a melting pot of cultures and a city with numerous districts and neighbourhoods sitting shoulder to shoulder. In just a few steps, you can be in the lively atmosphere of Little Italy, Koreatown, or the laid-back vibes of Kensington Market. The arty Distillery Historic District is a charming enclave of cafes and galleries, all housed within Victorian-era architecture. Head to the top of the CN Tower for incredible views and for a change of pace take the 15-minute ferry ride out to the Toronto Islands, lying in the harbour.

The nation’s capital city of Ottawa is a blend of old and new. Visit Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, and enjoy a feast of culinary experiences and festivals. Ontario’s only UNESCO site, the Rideau Canal, wends its way through Ottawa and, during the winter months transforms into a magical, winter wonderland skating rink, as the water freezes over.

To truly experience Ontario’s charms though you need to get out of the city. Discover Algonquin, Canada’s oldest provincial park, and a wilderness area that is spectacular in any season. Just 3 hours’ drive from Toronto or Ottawa, it’s the perfect spot for outdoor adventures. Kayak the calm waters of the lake, follow the numerous hiking trails, and spend time searching for the abundant wildlife including moose, bears and beavers and if you’re lucky, wolves. The Bruce Peninsula sits surrounded by Georgian Bay and Lake Huron and is the place for hiking, climbing and canoeing.  A visit to Niagara Falls is a must – stand in awe of the impressive cascade of water, journey behind the falls or soar above them on the Wildplay Zipline.

Quebec

Quebec is a country within a country, embracing its Gallic influences with great abandon, yet also determinedly Canadian.

The city of Montreal is dynamic and eclectic. Alongside the old-world, charming, cobbled streets of Old Montreal, home to treasures such as the Basilica of Notre Dame and the Vieux Port you’ll find New Montreal, filled with superb shopping, elegant restaurants, and buzzing nightlife. A walking tour is a great way to get your bearings.

Quebec City by contrast is North America’s only walled city and dates to the 17th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses narrow, cobblestone streets housing over 400 years of history, living historic sites, and beautiful architecture. Just outside the city you’ll find Montmorency Falls, spectacular in summer and perhaps even more so in winter, when they freeze over like a beautiful glacial sculpture.

Outside of Quebec’s two main metropolises’ you’ll find some truly magical wilderness areas. See iconic wildlife such as moose in the Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve, set sail on the beautiful Saguenay Fjord, or search for whales in Tadoussac.

The province of Quebec is one for all seasons. Long warm, sunny days give way to spectacular fall colours that in turn fade to a magical winter wonderland when you can take to the trails by huskie-pulled sleighs, ice skate on frozen canals, or stay in North America’s only hotel carved from ice.

Getting Around

Both provinces lend themselves to both city breaks and more immersive adventures. A rental car is the ideal mode of transport however, the rail network is also excellent. VIA Rail connects the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City by train and there is something wonderful about taking to the rails and trundling along the shoreline of Lake Ontario with a cup of tea in hand, marvelling at the magnificent scenery.

About Me

It’s fair to say that travel is in my blood, I’ve spent more than 24 years exploring almost every continent on the planet and Canada is a real passion of mine. I’ve been lucky enough to live in and travel to Canada multiple times so the knowledge I offer is from first-hand experience. The service I offer is personal, flexible, and tailored entirely to you. Have a look at my website https://www.catherineblackburntravel.co.uk/ you can also follow me on Facebook for more inspiration.