2 Week Road Trip through Ontario and Quebec – Canada for First-timers

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec

2 Week Road Trip through Ontario and Quebec – Canada for First-timers

The decision

Canada is famous for its remarkable landscapes, endless views and beautiful cities. Needlessness to say that a two-week road trip to Ontario and Quebec are not enough to see it all, but it is a great introduction to Canada!

Need more reasons to visit the second largest country on earth? It is THE perfect place for an epic road trip. No matter if you are travelling solo, with your family or friends.

All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. Tony Wheeler

The itinerary for a 2-week road trip through Ontario and Quebec

* my personal highlights

Most flights will get you into Montreal, so I started my journey here. I didn’t visit it on my first day, but picked up my rental car here and saved this city for the last few days in Canada. More about Montreal later!

Gananoque and 1000 islands national park *

Drive time: 2:30 from Montreal

What to visit

1000 islands is a national park which shares a border with the US. Boats depart frequently and there are several different routes and different departure times. There are 1, 2,5 and 5 hour boat tours: I decided to take the 2,5 h tour, which then lasted for three hours. It is a welcome distraction from the busy world surrounding us. Gananoque and the tour itself were a perfect start for this trip.

Where to stay

Colonial Resort and Spa, a nice little motel, only 10 minutes from the pier and 12 minutes from the centre of Gananoque. Calmness, cleanliness and great breakfast await you here. There is a pool as well – yeah!

Read more about Gananoque and 1000 islands here.

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2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - 1000 Islands Boat tour

Kingston *

Drive time: 30 minutes from Gananoque

What to visit

Get lost, explore the city centre and enjoy every bit of amazing Kingston.

Read more about Kingston here.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Kingston Ontario

Toronto

Drive time: 2:35 from Kingston

What to visit

Toronto was not my most favourite place I visited, but I liked Toronto Island a lot! It’s so wonderful to see friends and families playing, having a picnic and enjoying themselves.

Note: the traffic to get in the city and out is crazy!

Where to stay

Neill Wycik Summer Hotel – during the year it is home to students, in summer it is transformed into a hostel and hotel. Great opportunity to live like a student without the need to study 😉 There is also a garage nearby.

Read more about Toronto and what to visit here.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Toronto Island skyline

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Toronto Island

Stratford *

Drive time: 1:35 from Toronto

What to visit

Walk near the river, sit down, have a cup of coffee or tea, relax and take everything in. Live the moment!

Where to stay

Stay at the Forest Motel, which is just a few minutes drive from Stratford itself. Perfect for romantic getaways and the sporty people of us. There is a little lake where you can get a kayak (no charge) or a bike to discover the nearby.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Stratford

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Stratford

Niagara Falls *

Drive time: 1:53 from Stratford

What to visit

Well – yes the Falls of course! An impressive and wonderful place created by Mother Earth. Sadly human built casinos and huge hotels ruin that picture, it’s loud and crowded – so make sure you get there as early as possible. Take a boat to get closer to the Falls and don’t be shy – you’ll get wet eventually! There are two sides of the falls – the American and the Canadian. You can see both Falls from the Canadian side, but only a bit from the American side. Trust me I crossed the bridge and the Canadian side is much more beautiful!

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As you’ll probably arrive by car, note that the parking lot is 20 CAD!

Where to stay

Check out the hotels in the area. I stayed in a quiet motel there, but the breakfast wasn’t really good.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Niagara Falls

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Niagara Falls

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Down the niagara falls

Burlington *

Drive time: 43 minutes from Niagara Falls

What to visit

Walk on the pier next to Lake Ontario, enjoy yourself and calm down! Get yourself ready for the rather long drive to Ottawa!

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Burlington Ontario

Ottawa *

Drive time: 4:40 from Burlington

What to visit

Parliament Hill, watch how boats are going up and down at Rideau Canal and look at the lovely little shops and restaurant at ByWard Market.

Where to stay

Check here for great hotel deals.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Ottawa

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Ottawa

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Ottawa house parliament unicorn

Trois-Rivieres

Drive time: 3:05 from Ottawa

What to visit

Stroll down to the pier where you can enjoy the view and get some wonderful coffee or tea! It’ perfect for a sleep over and to rest on your way to Quebec City!

Where to stay

HI Hostel Trois-Rivieres– nice, clean, great kitchen, right in the centre and a parking lot – what more can you ask for?

Quebec City *

Drive time: 1:13 from Trois-Rivieres

What to visit

Park the car at one of the many parking lots on Boulevard Champlain and walk towards North. Fall in love with the little alley called Rue de Petit Champlain, try fresh maple syrup at ‘la petit cabane a sucre’, admire the huge castle Chateau Frontenac. Have you ever tried Poutine? No? It’s the most popular food around Quebec – a dish of fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Try it at ‘Le Chic Shack’ near the Chateau Frontenac. Buy some nice souvenirs at Rue Saint Louis and have the best dinner at ‘Au Bonnet D’Ane’ after you stroll around at the Citadelle de Quebec.

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Where to stay

Auberge Loulou. This beautiful hostel is located outside of Quebec City, but well worth the drive of about 15 minutes to the centre. The dorms are the cleanest I’ve ever seen, the owners will show you around themselves and breakfast is yummy! Say hello to their cute little black dog!

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Quebec

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Quebec

Montreal *

Drive time: 2:32 from Quebec City

What to visit

Best choice is to visit the Monte Real and get THE best view over the city! Enjoy the sun up there and start your day with some light hiking. Another great place in Montreal is the Old Port!

Where to stay

The hostel I stayed in apparently closed. But look for international hostels and hotels here.

Read more about what to visit in Montreal here.

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Montreal Road Trip Ontario

2 Week Road trip through Ontario and Quebec - Mont Royal Montreal Chronic Wanderlust

The rental car

I decided to rent a Mazda 3 at Discount rental cars as it was the cheapest I found for this period of time. It was equipped with automatic drive and actually was even too big for me as it was just me in the car.

The costs

The total costs for 11 days were 552€ or approx. 785 CAD for 2350 km/1460 miles including all rental costs, full coverage insurance, parking and gas.

Find a more detailed list of the costs in this post here.

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12 Comments

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  • Hi Viki!
    It’s really too bad it’s so expensive to rent cars in Canada. But I’m happy to see you made it to Canada! It’s a beautiful country with a lot to see! You covered quite a lot of ground in 11 days!

    • Hi Amanda!
      I didn’t feel that it was very, very expensive. Take into account how far I’ve travelled and I couldn’t have done all of that with buses or the train. A rental car is a lot of freedom too, so that’s what I was looking for!
      have a great day!

  • Hi viki!
    Just booked my flight to Toronto and stumbled over this post when looking for ‘canada in two weeks’. So far the greatest i’ve found on the topic! Gives me an idea and inspiration. Well done, thank you! I had to lough hard at the end though, as you’re the forst i’ve seen yet, to abbreviate the name same as i do (as doctor who fan i just thought for a second it’s my future i, writing for me, i know, i’m weird).
    All the best!

  • Hi Viki, thinking of doing something very similar this summer, but Montreal seems to be quite expensive to fly in and out of (from London) compared to other places like Ottawa. Do you reckon that this route would work if I started and ended at a different point??

    Thanks! Clarissa

  • Hello Thank you for the breakdown of the roadtrip.

    I will be going with my GF in July.

    We plan to do something similar from Toronto.

    what was the total of your whole trip with hotel, car rental and food expenses roughly. I think I will bring about 1500 CAD o you think that would be ok for a couple?

    • Hi Mike!

      Honestly, I doubt that. Car and gas will probably take half of that budget that you are proposing. Places like Toronto and Quebec are really expensive to stay. Food is expensive in Canada too. It well depends on whether you stay in Hostels or not – but even Hostels in Toronto and Quebec are just expensive.
      I’d say take at least 2500 CAD 😉

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