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Old 01-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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Canada input

Planning a trip from NC mountains to Quebec, then to Sault Sainte Marie and circle back thru Wisconsin and on home in May.

I've never been to Canada....anything I should know? I've heard of charming farming villages in Quebec from a podcast years ago but don't really know where they are. I want to find something like the UK countryside we loved. Any info appreciated.

Allstays Is the app we love and it was recommended on this site. Do I really have to reserve ahead. We love being spontaneous.

I've heard that Canadians are wilder about camping than here so I expect the locations to be interesting.


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Old 01-05-2015, 05:48 PM   #2
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It's a bit out of your way but the closest to UK country side would be on Prince Edward Island....they speak funny there as well. Halifax and the "Maritimes" are great.
Lets hope the exchange rate is still good when you go.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
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The good news is that the mechanics of traveling in Canada are not all that different from the US, except possibly for the French language in Quebec. It's a wonderful country and a great trip you will certainly cherish. The people are very friendly and will go out of their way to make your visit pleasant. As in the US, County, Provincial and National parks tend to have the nicer campgrounds in better locations than the private campgrounds which can be significantly more expensive and crowded than the public alternatives.

Be prepared that gas costs over $5 a gallon (at least it did this past summer) and most everything else is 20 to 30% more expensive than in the US. Then there is the 14% GST (i.e., sales tax!)

If you think you will spend any time in the National Parks or any national historic sites get the Discovery Pass at your first opportunity. We were pleasantly surprised to learn where it gained us free admission and we more than saved the $136 cost (Parks Canada - Shop and Reserve - Discovery Passes)

Crossing the border is relatively straightforward. Bring your Passports or Enhanced Driver's License and be prepared for the U.S. or Canadian border agent to want to peek inside your trailer. Make sure you check the respective customs web sites ahead of time so see what restrictions exist for bringing goods into both Canada and then back into the US (do not even think about bringing firearms into Canada.) The restrictions are usually agriculturally related and can seem capricious (e.g., who would think that bringing lemons or bell peppers from Canada to the US would be prohibited?)

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Old 01-05-2015, 06:25 PM   #4
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I know nothing about Canada but if I may make a suggestion about another part of you trip. If you have not been to Machinac Island it is well worth it. No motorized vehicles allowed. So you will need to camp in or near ST. Ignace, MI Then take the ferry to the island. You can do as a day trip or find a hotel on the island.
We would also like to offer courtesy parking at our cottage in Beaver Dam, WI
Tim and Pam
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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Keep track of holidays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxy View Post

I've heard that Canadians are wilder about camping than here so I expect the locations to be interesting.


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Canadian holidays are different than US holidays, so keep that in mind when you are deciding to go without reservations. And maybe set different expectations for your neighbors on holiday weekends. We camped at Meaford, Ontario, in the town park on Canada Day weekend in 2013. The people were all plenty friendly, but the place was rocking (with music playing from at least four different camp sites near us) when we put in our ear plugs and went to bed at 1:30 in the morning, after helping our next door neighbors try to erect their six foot high chain link dog run.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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Just a note, gas is now about .85/l so a gallon is about $3.40 per gallon. The GST (federal sales tax) is 5%, and each province has a different PST (Manitoba is 8%). I have noticed in the last while that retail prices for a lot of products in the US are very much in line with prices is Canada. With the 15% exchange rate, you might find things are even cheaper in Canada. C'mon up and have fun!!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxy View Post
Planning a trip from NC mountains to Quebec, then to Sault Sainte Marie and circle back thru Wisconsin and on home in May.

I've never been to Canada....anything I should know? I've heard of charming farming villages in Quebec from a podcast years ago but don't really know where they are. I want to find something like the UK countryside we loved. Any info appreciated.

Allstays Is the app we love and it was recommended on this site. Do I really have to reserve ahead. We love being spontaneous.

I've heard that Canadians are wilder about camping than here so I expect the locations to be interesting.


Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
If you're in Sault Ste. Marie, Take the Canadian route around the North Shore of Lake Superior....one of Canada's most beautiful roads. You'll end up in Thunder Bay where you can scoot down to Duluth and back into Wisconsin to head home.

And in Quebec....best bet is Quebec City for charm...I can link you to a good camp site there. And don't worry about the French Language...Many people speak English/French and we're a friendly bunch.

No need for most reservations....our holiday season is really July/August when school is out.

Best advice for the border.....leave your friend Smith&Wesson at home.


PM me if I can be of assistance. Don
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:07 PM   #8
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Just remember gas prices in quebec are always more there about .45 cents more per us gallon , you can go on the gas buddy web site and check gas prices all over canada it can save you big bucks and diesel prices are a lot more then gas prices, fill her up before crossing into canada, and like someone said leave your firearms at home. And if your looking for the friendliest people go east to prince Edward island ,Newfoundland ,Nova scotia, newbrunswick, ( maritimes) and in Quebec most people speak French there are some that speak English close to the other provinces borders.

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:20 PM   #9
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Taking the Ontario portion of your trip description very literally (in at Montreal and out at Sault Ste. Marie) you might want to consider a route that includes these attractions. Lots to see and do in Ontario but these are (in my view) show you the best of Southern Ontario's Natural park attractions without taking you through any large urban areas. If you check out the websites you will get a lot more information on what each of these places have to offer.

St. Lawrence Islands Parks Commission:
Lots to see and do all around - easy to spend at least a couple of days.
http://www.stlawrenceparks.com/index.cfm/en/home/?mobileFormat=false

Algonquin Provincial Park:
Ontario's first park - a great place - you can easily spend a few days here.
http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/algonquin

Killarney Provincial Park:
One of the most pristine and scenic areas you will find anywhere. The town of Killarney has as much character as the park. A couple of days will give you a good taste.
http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/killarney

Tobermory/Fathom Five National Marine Park
A very neat kind of park with boat tours over a lot of wrecks. Lots of character and history in Tobermory. You can easily spend a couple of days here.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/amnc-nmca/on/fathomfive/index.aspx

Chicheemaun Ferry is an alternative and attractive way to get you over to Manitoulin Island and back to the Trans Canada Highway. If you are not going to take the Ferry then drop Tobermory from the list as well.
http://www.chicheemaun.com/ontarioferries/english/index.html

Sault Ste. Marie:
I'm not a fan of KOA's but SSM has limited camping close to the city and the KOA is fine.
http://koa.com/campgrounds/sault-ste-marie/

The Bush Plane Heritage Centre is a neat place to visit if you are a fan of airplane history particularly as it relates to the north.
http://bushplane.com/

Note:
  • the Victoria Day holiday weekend usually marks the opening of the camping season - you may run into a few attractions not yet open if you visit ahead of that weekend.
  • that same Victoria Day weekend is real good to have camping reservations in advance.

Have a great trip.


Jay
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
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Take plenty of money. When we were in Canada earlier this year diesel was costing over $6 per gallon. I guess it may have come down some since then.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:47 PM   #11
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Take plenty of money. When we were in Canada earlier this year diesel was costing over $6 per gallon. I guess it may have come down some since then.
Not only has fuel been coming down in price - but at least for today your dollar is worth .15 cents more than ours .......
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:53 PM   #12
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Best leave all your shooting irons at home. Coming up from Maine on the old Ethan Allen trail is a very pretty drive. You'll go through Sherbrooke in the eastern townships. Then west to Montreal and up to Ottawa. Quebec City is on the north shore of the St Lawrence so it's a bit out of the way. Bridges are in Montreal. From Ottawa take hwy 60 through Algonquin park to hwy 11. Then go north to North Bay to pick up the trans Canada. As stated the tour around Lake Superior is worth it.
Be aware the trans Canada is a 2 lane road. Winter is very cold up here and the roads suffer from the freeze / thaw cycles. Construction is a common event in the summer.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:41 AM   #13
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You've gotten some great advice and ideas. I would just add:

1. Quebec City is a fascinating place. The old city is walled and looks very European. There are guided tours.

2. Brush up on your French sufficient to read road signs. French Road Signs in Quebec : Trail Canada Many, many French Canadians are bilingual.

3. Depending on your route, you might want to visit Ottawa, the capital; or Niagara Falls. (Try to avoid the junky tourist traps. The Falls themselves are impressive.)

4. Save "loonies" (one-dollar coins, named for the picture of a loon on one side) for parking meters and the laundromat. The washers need loonies instead of quarters. Get ready for "toonies" (should be spelled "twonies")-- $2 coins. Most businesses of any size
will take American money, but it's no problem to take out Canadian money at ATMs.

5. I can't speak for Quebec, but some cute villages in southern Ontario are here: Some of our favourite villages in Southern Ontario - pretty & peaceful and this site gives some suggestions: LES PLUS BEAUX VILLAGES DU QUÉBEC

6. Gas up in the US. No fooling.

7. The Canadian and US customs websites give information on what you can or cannot take across the border, and what you can take across but have to declare. (So don't buy oranges in Canada and try to take them back to the US, for example.) If you travel with a dog, take its up-to-date rabies certificate. Customs officials rarely ask to see it, but they can if they wish. Generally we find the smaller border crossings to go a lot faster than the big ones, but you may need to plan on an hour or more delay at the border if there are long line-ups.

8. The Great Lakes are a beautiful and under-appreciated amenity. I'd go camping along them any time.

9, It looks like Monday, May 18 is Victoria Day in Canada. This is a long weekend and traditionally the start of the camping season. I would book ahead for these Friday-through-Monday dates.
After the long weekend, the campgrounds will quiet down until late June, when the schools are out. Have a great trip!
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:30 AM   #14
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We have crossed over into Canada a lot, have property in ONT. Couple of things, limited to no fruits and Veggies, no firearms (however we do travel in with a shotgun and rifle for protection from animals at our property, but there are forms available on the Canadian webiste that must be filled out, weapon declared and then you need to stop at the border and go into the office without the weapon, but with the form, make sure you do not check the box "for personal protection". Dogs need proof of shots, rabies in particular, no pit bulls in ONT. Bring up to date passports. Have a ball.
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