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The Hallucinating Goose

Planning a trip to Canada, would like advice

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Canadians out there and others that have visited Canada, I would like some advice as to where would be best to visit in Canada for colonial history. I've been getting really into Georgian history in recent years and have found the parts about Canadian colonial expansion very interesting. 

So, what am I thinking so far? I want to visit some of the touristy areas obviously cos they'll have some of the best attractions and of those places I'm certainly considering Quebec City because what I've seen of their looks fantastic, really extravagant architecture that seems quite unique to North America plus a huge colonial fort. I don't know as much about Montreal but figure it will also have some good historical attractions. These are the two main cities I plan on visiting. What can you tell me about these two cities and what attractions are there in Ottawa and Toronto that might fit with my interests? Also what is the best way to travel between these places? 

Also, I've had a quick read about St John's in Newfoundland and Halifax in Nova Scotia (saying provinces in case there is more than one place with these names) and there seems to be some decent colonial attractions in both with a big Fort in Halifax and a gun battery in St John's. I'd also be interested in St John's for Signal Hill and the hiking trails round there. Also that place has some good links to aviation which is one of my biggest passions as I've mentioned before though I'm not sure how much there is to see there in relation to this. So what else is there in these places and do you think there is enough to do to fill in a couple of days in each? 

Lastly, I would love to go to the Hudson Bay. I've read a bit about the Hudson Bay Company and know of a couple of their settlements, York Factory and Moose Factory but the problem with these is they seem pretty inaccessible to the average tourists and there doesn't seem to be anything there once you get there. I know there is a Fort near Churchill and an airport to get to there but the Fort is a little way out of the town and I don't want to have too much of a hassle to get to attractions seen as I'd be on holiday and supposed to be relaxing. So in terms of the Hudson Bay, where do people tend to travel to to visit this region and what is there to do when you get there? I will point out with the Hudson Bay, it doesn't matter if there isn't too much, I'm happy to just have a bit of a walk round a town and sit and stare into space, I imagine it's a very peaceful part of the world. I'm happy enough to cut this part of the trip off if it would be too much of a hassle. 

So in summary, I would like to know about:

1. Quebec City and Montreal 

2. Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

3. Hudson Bay (as I say, can forget this bit but still interested) 

 

Any bit of info at all is appreciated! 👍 😊

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose

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Obviously I live on the opposite side of the country but have travelled east a few times and would give a big thumbs up to Quebec City. Try to stay close to the old walled city as it’s so atmospheric and great fun to walk around. Old Montreal is also very cool and great to walk around. You also mentioned Ottawa, which although it’s a bit of a government town does have the Rideau Canal (historically very important) and some great museums. If you want to travel between cities then hire a car, our public transport sucks between cities and driving is really easy outside of Toronto and Vancouver. Sorry I can’t help you with either the Maritime provinces or Hudson’s Bay, the former is however on my list of things to do before I get too old.

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7 hours ago, Oldbear said:

Obviously I live on the opposite side of the country but have travelled east a few times and would give a big thumbs up to Quebec City. Try to stay close to the old walled city as it’s so atmospheric and great fun to walk around. Old Montreal is also very cool and great to walk around. You also mentioned Ottawa, which although it’s a bit of a government town does have the Rideau Canal (historically very important) and some great museums. If you want to travel between cities then hire a car, our public transport sucks between cities and driving is really easy outside of Toronto and Vancouver. Sorry I can’t help you with either the Maritime provinces or Hudson’s Bay, the former is however on my list of things to do before I get too old.

Thanks for that, I should have mentioned due to medical reasons I can't drive but I do know there is a pretty quick train between Montreal and Quebec City so I would probably take that option, I think it takes about 3 hours so I could even stay in Montreal and just take a couple of day trips into Quebec City. I've taken day trips in Europe with 4 hour train journeys so 3 certainly doesn't bother me. I believe you can fly to St John's from London so my initial thoughts are fly to there, couple of days there then fly to Halifax, same there, fly to Montreal, then like I say spend a few days there with a couple of days trips from there to places because I can fly back to London from Montreal so good place to use as a base. 

I know Toronto is one of the great world cities but its never really appealed to me and I haven't ever read of masses to do in Ottawa so I'm happy enough, at least on my first visit to the country, to miss those out and after some more reading it does look like it will be a bit of a hassle to get to Hudson Bay. It seems easy enough to get to Churchill but looks like you have to fly from Winnipeg which means flying to there as well from Montreal so I'd have to do the same journey back again which is a lot of time pratting about in the middle of a holiday so again, that would maybe have to be a specific trip a different time. 

Again, thanks for your thoughts, I always thought Quebec City looked amazing! 

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose

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I have been to both Ontario and British Colombia on separate 2 week visits to Canada and enjoyed both greatly.  I remember in Ontario visiting Upper Canada village (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Canada_Village) which is a preservation of I think 19th century life in Canada.  That probably doesn’t go back far enough for your interests but it was fascinating.

For my money the best place to go in North America for a taste and history of the colonial era is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org). We visited there during a road trip up the East coast from Florida to Washington DC about 25-30 years ago.

As my family worked in the United States for part of the year for 15 years, I’ve been lucky enough to visit pretty much every major city and state you can think of so I have some frame of reference at least for what I’m saying I believe.
 

 

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27 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I have been to both Ontario and British Colombia on separate 2 week visits to Canada and enjoyed both greatly.  I remember in Ontario visiting Upper Canada village (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Canada_Village) which is a preservation of I think 19th century life in Canada.  That probably doesn’t go back far enough for your interests but it was fascinating.

For my money the best place to go in North America for a taste and history of the colonial era is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia (https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org). We visited there during a road trip up the East coast from Florida to Washington DC about 25-30 years ago.

As my family worked in the United States for part of the year for 15 years, I’ve been lucky enough to visit pretty much every major city and state you can think of so I have some frame of reference at least for what I’m saying I believe.
 

 

I can have a look into Upper Canada Village because the period I'm interested in is only a century or so before. Williamsburg would be interesting but as I say, it's more the history of colonial expansion in Canada specifically that I'm interested in due to the relationship between the British and French and certainly maritime and mercantile history because of the part the Hudson Bay Company played in expansion and how much the St Lawrence River will have influenced this. 

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2 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I can have a look into Upper Canada Village because the period I'm interested in is only a century or so before. Williamsburg would be interesting but as I say, it's more the history of colonial expansion in Canada specifically that I'm interested in due to the relationship between the British and French and certainly maritime and mercantile history because of the part the Hudson Bay Company played in expansion and how much the St Lawrence River will have influenced this. 

Okay, that’s fair enough, I hope you will find what you’re looking for.  I might just ask my father if there was other things on our Ontario itinerary that I may have forgotten.

I’ve always found that in North America they are very good at creating sites of interest to visit based on local history.  Even more so than in Britain, where I always feel we could do more to create tourist attractions given our rich history and the interest it holds abroad.

Whatever you decide upon I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as I found Canadian hospitality was fantastic and welcoming.

 

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4 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Okay, that’s fair enough, I hope you will find what you’re looking for.  I might just ask my father if there was other things on our Ontario itinerary that I may have forgotten.

I’ve always found that in North America they are very good at creating sites of interest to visit based on local history.  Even more so than in Britain, where I always feel we could do more to create tourist attractions given our rich history and the interest it holds abroad.

Whatever you decide upon I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as I found Canadian hospitality was fantastic and welcoming.

 

I think it's because North America is a place that identifies itself by its heritage, the people there are proud of their roots. In Britain and the rert of Europe I think we take it for granted a bit and just assume that visitors will want to seek it out and take it upon themselves to do that but as you say, we could do more to promote ourselves. I watch a lot of YouTube travel channels and its amazing the amount of overseas travelers, specifically Americans, that only ever visit London and consider themselves to have visited the UK. Almost every comment on these videos is from people from the rest of the country saying something along the lines of, "get out of London, you haven't seen the true UK until you do" which I agree with but also think the rest of the UK needs to shout louder in terms of publicity and advertising if its wants to get these travellers. Obviously other parts of the UK do get a lot of overseas travellers but its a negligible amount compared to the millions that descend on London. 

I'm not planning on going to Canada very soon, I'm just planning my trip for the future and starting to save up for it cos it is going to cost a lot! I wouldn't be surprised if in the end I decide to make it more simple for this first foray and just visit Montreal and Quebec City but its certainly worth looking into the Maritime provinces. I just want to get out of Europe for one of my next trips, I was planning on going to Jerusalem this year but for obvious reasons that didn't happen. 

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8 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I think it's because North America is a place that identifies itself by its heritage, the people there are proud of their roots. In Britain and the rert of Europe I think we take it for granted a bit and just assume that visitors will want to seek it out and take it upon themselves to do that but as you say, we could do more to promote ourselves. I watch a lot of YouTube travel channels and its amazing the amount of overseas travelers, specifically Americans, that only ever visit London and consider themselves to have visited the UK. Almost every comment on these videos is from people from the rest of the country saying something along the lines of, "get out of London, you haven't seen the true UK until you do" which I agree with but also think the rest of the UK needs to shout louder in terms of publicity and advertising if its wants to get these travellers. Obviously other parts of the UK do get a lot of overseas travellers but its a negligible amount compared to the millions that descend on London. 

I'm not planning on going to Canada very soon, I'm just planning my trip for the future and starting to save up for it cos it is going to cost a lot! I wouldn't be surprised if in the end I decide to make it more simple for this first foray and just visit Montreal and Quebec City but its certainly worth looking into the Maritime provinces. I just want to get out of Europe for one of my next trips, I was planning on going to Jerusalem this year but for obvious reasons that didn't happen. 

Yes, I agree with your comments about tourism.

The planning stage can be one of the most exciting parts of plotting a holiday I always find.

Enjoy!

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3 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Yes, I agree with your comments about tourism.

The planning stage can be one of the most exciting parts of plotting a holiday I always find.

Enjoy!

I spend a good lot of my spare time just planning journeys, very enjoyable thing to do! 

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A) Don't go in the Winter unless you like Hockey, or Skiing/ Winter Sports

B) Go in the Summer if you like being outside.


Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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Make sure you budget enough for any internal flights. There are a couple of low cost carriers (Swoop and Flair) but they may not fly where you want to. If that’s the case you will be at the mercy of Air Canada and WestJet and that usually means $$$$.

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If you're looking for pre-1812 history, and this might be a stretch if you don't drive, but there's the Ste. Marie among the Hurons site just outside of Midland, Ontario, on the edge of Georgian Bay.  A reconstruction of the short-lived Jesuit mission form the mid-17th century.

There's a museum in Midland which has a reconstructed Wendat village, the museum is small but interesting, a lot of history of the trade on the Great Lakes and the First Nations in the areas.

Penetanguishene isn't far from there either, and served as a garrison and dockyard for the British during the war of 1812 and afterward.  Two replica schooners, the supply ship HMS Bee and warship HMS Tecumseth are moored there. Discovery Harbour - Penetanguishene.

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very expensive to visit Hudson Bay/Churchill and more of an attraction in winter when you can see polar bears (from an elevated bus!) Hamilton Ontario has a fantastic warplane museum (flying Lancaster bomber which visited the UK a few year back. Halifax NS is nice and has a WW2 corvette at the marine museum of the Atlantic. Quebec city and Montreal are fantastic  you can ride the rapids in a jet boat in Montreal. Newfound land has a Viking settlement. Plenty to do..we did have Rugby League here in Toronto . 

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4 hours ago, CanaBull said:

If you're looking for pre-1812 history, and this might be a stretch if you don't drive, but there's the Ste. Marie among the Hurons site just outside of Midland, Ontario, on the edge of Georgian Bay.  A reconstruction of the short-lived Jesuit mission form the mid-17th century.

There's a museum in Midland which has a reconstructed Wendat village, the museum is small but interesting, a lot of history of the trade on the Great Lakes and the First Nations in the areas.

Penetanguishene isn't far from there either, and served as a garrison and dockyard for the British during the war of 1812 and afterward.  Two replica schooners, the supply ship HMS Bee and warship HMS Tecumseth are moored there. Discovery Harbour - Penetanguishene.

All that looks very interesting but as you say, doesn't look like the easiest place to get to without driving. I think the attractions I'm going to find most accessible for the period I'm interested in will be anything to do with the seven years war, or as I think it is known in North America, the French and Indian War. Certainly Quebec City and St John's played massive parts in this so I am going to presume there are some decent museums in those places about it. I could perhaps also visit Louisbourg but again, a place I'm not sure it's that easy to get to.

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3 hours ago, RobertAM said:

very expensive to visit Hudson Bay/Churchill and more of an attraction in winter when you can see polar bears (from an elevated bus!) Hamilton Ontario has a fantastic warplane museum (flying Lancaster bomber which visited the UK a few year back. Halifax NS is nice and has a WW2 corvette at the marine museum of the Atlantic. Quebec city and Montreal are fantastic  you can ride the rapids in a jet boat in Montreal. Newfound land has a Viking settlement. Plenty to do..we did have Rugby League here in Toronto . 

I essentially want to visit the Hudson Bay to visit it, it's somewhere when I was a kid I was always interested in looking at in an atlas (as a kid you had to prise an atlas out of my hands) so the polar bears aren't massively important, I've seen them at Berlin Zoo many times anyway! If there is some nice hiking trails round there then that would suit me. This is also why I mentioned Moose Factory because I know there are some buildings there related to the Hudsons Bay company but that doesn't seem the easiest place to get. There is an airport in Moosensee but doesn't look like a particularly big one. There is also the train from Cochrane but it doesn't seem possible to get to there in the first place without a car.

The warplanes museum is a good suggestion since, as I have mentioned before, I am a massive aviation nerd though my interests there lie more with civil aviation rather than military. Is there any big aviation museums in Canada? St John's plays a big roll in pioneering aviation given it was the start/end of a lot of the early transatlantic flights so maybe there is something there. 

Rugby league in Toronto?! I've never heard of that before, what is this sorcery?! 

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose

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Bus from Toronto to Cochrane and then onto the Polar bear express. ofc lotsa stuff not running at the moment

aviation museum in Winnipeg and also one in Ottawa.

Churchill is great for hiking in the summer..winter its too dangerous you might end up as a meal

If you want a great hike do the Cabot trail in the maritimes  spectacular!

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43 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

Bus from Toronto to Cochrane and then onto the Polar bear express. ofc lotsa stuff not running at the moment

aviation museum in Winnipeg and also one in Ottawa.

Churchill is great for hiking in the summer..winter its too dangerous you might end up as a meal

If you want a great hike do the Cabot trail in the maritimes  spectacular!

Thanks for that, I'll definitely look into the Cabot Trail, I've seen it on maps but never really done any reading about it. 

At the moment, my plan is St John's, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal, a few days in each with flights between them. I've come to realise that fitting Hudsons Bay into the same trip will not be realistic and will have to be a completely different trip some other time. As I've said though, we're talking at least a year until I do this trip, probably more, I'm just enjoying planning it at the moment.

Next place I'm going is Essen in Germany to stay with some friends. Canada will be my next big trip though, I do a long trip every couple of years, Monaco, South of France, Spain and Gibraltar last year, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic two years before that, two weeks each time. Two weeks should be enough for my Canada trip. 👍

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3 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Thanks for that, I'll definitely look into the Cabot Trail, I've seen it on maps but never really done any reading about it. 

At the moment, my plan is St John's, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal, a few days in each with flights between them. I've come to realise that fitting Hudsons Bay into the same trip will not be realistic and will have to be a completely different trip some other time. As I've said though, we're talking at least a year until I do this trip, probably more, I'm just enjoying planning it at the moment.

Next place I'm going is Essen in Germany to stay with some friends. Canada will be my next big trip though, I do a long trip every couple of years, Monaco, South of France, Spain and Gibraltar last year, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic two years before that, two weeks each time. Two weeks should be enough for my Canada trip. 👍

I want to do the Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyage. Last did the Fjords on one of those school trips from North Shields many many moons ago

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14 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

I want to do the Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyage. Last did the Fjords on one of those school trips from North Shields many many moons ago

I'd really like to do that one as well, always wanted to go right up to the top of Norway but so many places to see it's hard to whittle them down to a manageable number so a fjords cruise or coastal voyage would probably be the way to go with that with the opportunity for excursions. Again, with my atlas when I was a kid, I always loved the name Hammerfest so it's somewhere I'm determined to visit!

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4 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Thanks for that, I'll definitely look into the Cabot Trail, I've seen it on maps but never really done any reading about it. 

At the moment, my plan is St John's, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal, a few days in each with flights between them. I've come to realise that fitting Hudsons Bay into the same trip will not be realistic and will have to be a completely different trip some other time. As I've said though, we're talking at least a year until I do this trip, probably more, I'm just enjoying planning it at the moment.

Next place I'm going is Essen in Germany to stay with some friends. Canada will be my next big trip though, I do a long trip every couple of years, Monaco, South of France, Spain and Gibraltar last year, France, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic two years before that, two weeks each time. Two weeks should be enough for my Canada trip. 👍

Essen's not far from Wuppertal, where they have a weird suspended railway that might be worth a ride. Here's side-by-side footage from 1902 and 2015.

 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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2 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

Essen's not far from Wuppertal, where they have a weird suspended railway that might be worth a ride. Here's side-by-side footage from 1902 and 2015.

 

Yeah, I am planning on going there when I visit, I've been through the whole region on the train a few times (Rhine Valley railway is utterly amazing BTW, scenery is breathtaking, I highly recommend taking the train from Hamburg to Cologne) but haven't been to that northern part of the region, been to a load of places just a bit further south.

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On 19/09/2020 at 03:17, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Canadians out there and others that have visited Canada, I would like some advice as to where would be best to visit in Canada for colonial history. I've been getting really into Georgian history in recent years and have found the parts about Canadian colonial expansion very interesting. 

So, what am I thinking so far? I want to visit some of the touristy areas obviously cos they'll have some of the best attractions and of those places I'm certainly considering Quebec City because what I've seen of their looks fantastic, really extravagant architecture that seems quite unique to North America plus a huge colonial fort. I don't know as much about Montreal but figure it will also have some good historical attractions. These are the two main cities I plan on visiting. What can you tell me about these two cities and what attractions are there in Ottawa and Toronto that might fit with my interests? Also what is the best way to travel between these places? 

Also, I've had a quick read about St John's in Newfoundland and Halifax in Nova Scotia (saying provinces in case there is more than one place with these names) and there seems to be some decent colonial attractions in both with a big Fort in Halifax and a gun battery in St John's. I'd also be interested in St John's for Signal Hill and the hiking trails round there. Also that place has some good links to aviation which is one of my biggest passions as I've mentioned before though I'm not sure how much there is to see there in relation to this. So what else is there in these places and do you think there is enough to do to fill in a couple of days in each? 

Lastly, I would love to go to the Hudson Bay. I've read a bit about the Hudson Bay Company and know of a couple of their settlements, York Factory and Moose Factory but the problem with these is they seem pretty inaccessible to the average tourists and there doesn't seem to be anything there once you get there. I know there is a Fort near Churchill and an airport to get to there but the Fort is a little way out of the town and I don't want to have too much of a hassle to get to attractions seen as I'd be on holiday and supposed to be relaxing. So in terms of the Hudson Bay, where do people tend to travel to to visit this region and what is there to do when you get there? I will point out with the Hudson Bay, it doesn't matter if there isn't too much, I'm happy to just have a bit of a walk round a town and sit and stare into space, I imagine it's a very peaceful part of the world. I'm happy enough to cut this part of the trip off if it would be too much of a hassle. 

So in summary, I would like to know about:

1. Quebec City and Montreal 

2. Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

3. Hudson Bay (as I say, can forget this bit but still interested) 

 

Any bit of info at all is appreciated! 👍 😊

I have no idea when your planning on visiting but if its this winter just some advice as of now most attractions have limited access due to with how many cases were seeing each day its very possible Toronto and Ottawa will be a complete lock down with in a couple weeks.

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