Got a question for you Canadians, éh

kundalini

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I hope that header wasn't out of order. I can only imagine a few pairs of ears have been lifted and likely a few more with the tiny hairs on the back of your necks raised to attention with that call out.

In all honesty and humbleness, I do have an earnest question for you folks. I have yet been to your fair country and it is certainly on my list. I just did a quick check and I found out that I can fly to Toronto in March for less than $500USD returned (cheerful glees on the return part not required).

Anyway, that was just for Toronto. I would like some of your input on which city would be considered a good place to hang out for an extended weekend and also what time of the springtime for festivals or whatnot.

I would really like to set up a time that you think is best to visit your country. I prefer a metropolitan area such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal etc. But, dare I say it, I would also prefer to make it a time that I could meet a few TPFers if possible. I can't remember how many I have pissed off, so I guess I'm going on probabilities rather than possibilities. Oh, come on, have at least have a pint or three and then I'll likely be on my way to get lost.

All jokes aside, I do want to consider this trip. All advice and considerations are much appreciated.
 

Sideburns

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Well..Toronto itself is a nice place to spend a weekend. Lots of culture.

You could always fly into Detroit and visit Windsor...it's not too shabby for a foreigner...though not to interesting to a local. It's my hometown...and is known as "sin city". Canada's capital of sex, and alcohol. Hookers, strippers, rub 'n tugs, more bars than you'll ever see...a casino...(just bought by caesars).
Then you have the Detroit zoo or something if you are interested.

Then, there's Ottawa...you could fly to Toronto, or you could fly into Ottawa...but it's a GREAT trip. Lots of history in that city, and plenty of architecture. So many tours you can take you'll get tired of tours...and a truly bilingual city where almost everyone speaks english and french one after another...

If you fly into toronto and find it too busy...mississauga is kinda like mini toronto and you can find lots of stuff to do their as well.

Toronto has a basketball team, a hockey team, and lots of theatres if you're into that kinda stuff.

I'd recommend waiting at least until the spring. April or something...
It's a little cold out...especially if you were interested in Ottawa.

Either way, Canada's winters are kinda crappy, and it rains then snows then is super windy...

The absolute best time to visit is probably some time around June...but it's up to you.

I'm not so sure about festivals, because they are mostly celebrated by each city.
In Windsor, somewhere between June 25 and 30 there is a HUGE fireworks display held jointly with Detroit and there's like a fair down by the river and they have games and hotdog vendors and all that carnival stuff...along with a stage with performances...


Ok...I'm getting a little long winded....but I hope I have given you at least something to work with...

No matter what your decision, I'm sure you'll find something to do. There's no shortage of things to do for tourists.
 

Alex_B

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Been to Toronto and enjoyed it!

From there, I just made it to Algonquin, Niagara and other places nearby, not to any other city. But I was busy for quite a while ;)
 

Buszaj

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Toronto has a lot of attractions of all types, and is close to some amazing wilderness (a few hours of driving). Vancouver is rated one of the nicest places in Canada, and the world. Quebec City and Montreal have some really nice cultural stuff, almost a taste of Europe. All of Canada is great! Depends on what you're looking for.
 

Sideburns

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Oh yes, I forgot to mention Niagara. The falls are wonderful if you haven't seen them before. You can even take a boat that goes right up to them...it's pretty neat.
 

Peanuts

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Don't listen to Sideburns... Windsor is really called the armpit of Canada, it isn't all fun and games ;)

Ottawa is lovely, Vancouver is rainy, Edmonton has a big mall, Calgary is a cross between a working city and cowtown (if you come in July the Calgary Stampede is on.. fun!), Regina..., Saskatoon..., Winnipeg... (high opinions of them really), Toronto downtown is a great place and I imagine amazing for photography, Montreal .. the older sections are just charming, Whitehorse ... (don't go.. been there... best part was the dog sledding ;)), and I have no idea about the maritimes.
 

Trenton Romulox

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Quebec City was quite interesting when I went, very old, very historic place. The Maritimes are, to me, a place to live more than visit. But I might think that because they are just like Maine, and I sort of live in Maine, so I'm not really excited by anything here. I've heard good things about Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. And Montreal. My brother loved it there.
 

Antarctican

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I agree that it's best to come here during the better weather months (roughly May to September if you're in Ontario, although of course it can vary). There could be more better weather months (ie a longer 'good weather' season) out in BC, which is a very beautiful part of the country.

Ottawa has a huge tulip festival in May.

Toronto has tons of stuff to do in the summer, and numerous festivals (eg the big Caribana festival the first weekend in August). And Niagara Falls is roughly 1 1/2 hours drive away from Toronto, which makes for a nice day trip. And we have an active group of TPF'rs who are usually up for a meetup.

Montreal is a very cosmopolitan city with lots of history and lots to see and do.

Calgary is another big tourist destination, and the Calgary Stampede is well known.

The maritime provinces are very friendly and pretty, but generally 'quieter'. Many great photo ops though - forests, rivers, wilderness, beaches, sand dunes, lighthouses etc etc. Newfoundland is stunning and has incredibly friendly people (if you can understand their heavy but charming "Newfie" accents)
 

Bea

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I have a friend in the UK that has come over during all season's. He loved the winter activities, once he adjusted to the cold and snow. The winter festival in Ottawa is amazing. If you like to ski then don't cross out the winter season.
He really enjoyed seeing the non-tourist things as well. So if possible try to find people that can show you around and meet as many people as possible while here. The houses and highways are so different etc.
Niagara falls was a favorite as was the CN Tower. Quebec city is a must, but if you can swing it try to get to the coast. It has lots of beautiful things you can't see in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver etc...
The thing he loved the most was the exchange rate, cheap place to visit and stay if your coming from the UK.
Word of warning, if you come be prepared because YOU may be the one with an accent. It's all relative.
I'm sure you'll be amazed, it's so much bigger then the UK.
 
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kundalini

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I was beginning to wonder if the roaring silence was a sign that you all rather I planned a trip elswhere. lol.

Thanks for all the suggestions. My plan was to go in spring (my favorite time of the year) and until Sideburns mentioned it, I hadn't even thought about that March / April would not be spring there yet.

I live on the East coast, so Toronto and Montreal were first on my list of cities. As this is likely to be only an extended weekend, and the fact that I have the need to get back to a major city, the idea of a city center location sounds good to me. Preferably one with a river and bridges, nice archtecture, establishments with good food and adult beverages. I despise doing the typical touristy things though.

Now that I realize that there is a bit more time to make plans for hitting better weather, I will start working on the short list and probably come back with more questions.

By all means, please continue to keep with the suggestions. Thanks again.
 

Sideburns

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I was beginning to wonder if the roaring silence was a sign that you all rather I planned a trip elswhere. lol.

Thanks for all the suggestions. My plan was to go in spring (my favorite time of the year) and until Sideburns mentioned it, I hadn't even thought about that March / April would not be spring there yet.

I live on the East coast, so Toronto and Montreal were first on my list of cities. As this is likely to be only an extended weekend, and the fact that I have the need to get back to a major city, the idea of a city center location sounds good to me. Preferably one with a river and bridges, nice archtecture, establishments with good food and adult beverages. I despise doing the typical touristy things though.

Now that I realize that there is a bit more time to make plans for hitting better weather, I will start working on the short list and probably come back with more questions.

By all means, please continue to keep with the suggestions. Thanks again.

Yes, technically spring starts in march, but it doesn't feel like spring MOST YEARS until mid april.

Though the weather has been so weird the last few years, it's hard to say. It's only snowed twice so far this year...and none of it stayed for more than a week.

I never even thought to suggest other places...but others are right in saying that Calgary is a very popular place to be...there's supposed to be lots of life there.

The best place in Canada I've been though, is still Ottawa.

One winter festival I just remembered...is in Quebec...they make this palace out of ice, and they have ice slides and all kinds of stuff...
Quebec winter carnival. Looks like fun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_City_Winter_Carnival
 

Chiller

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If you make it into Toronto, I will take you to the coolest cemeteries here. :thumbup::thumbup:
 
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kundalini

kundalini

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If you make it into Toronto, I will take you to the coolest cemeteries here. :thumbup::thumbup:

Dude, I am so there with you. Need a side trip to your favorite zoo as well.
 

Kazoo

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May/June would be a good time to visit, should be all done the last gasps of winter by then. There are tons of neat neighbourhoods -the distillery district (like in Antarctican's pics), Chinatown, the fashion district, harbourfront, the zoo (just don't go to the Cdn domain unless you love long painful hills to walk back up, ha)... You could take the 501 Queen St streetcar and ride that for a whole cross-section of neighbourhoods, (think it's about 50km long). And if you can find someone with a cottage, you can join the mass exodus into some really beautiful countryside.

Montreal is a bit funkier and the Old Town has a great European feel. Plus you're only an hour and a bit from Ottawa and 3 hrs to Quebec City. There's the jazz festival and the big Just for Laughs comedy festival during the summer. From Ottawa you can go white water rafting (a bit chilly in early summer, but only if you fall in) and on into Algonquin National Park. Early June also avoids the dreaded black fly season in the park :confused:.

Be prepared to get into the cult of Timmy's, lol. If you like you espresso, I don't think anyone does it better than Terroni's in Toronto (I'll drive to T.O. from London just for that restaurant, they're fab).
 

Sideburns

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May/June would be a good time to visit, should be all done the last gasps of winter by then. There are tons of neat neighbourhoods -the distillery district (like in Antarctican's pics), Chinatown, the fashion district, harbourfront, the zoo (just don't go to the Cdn domain unless you love long painful hills to walk back up, ha)... You could take the 501 Queen St streetcar and ride that for a whole cross-section of neighbourhoods, (think it's about 50km long). And if you can find someone with a cottage, you can join the mass exodus into some really beautiful countryside.

Montreal is a bit funkier and the Old Town has a great European feel. Plus you're only an hour and a bit from Ottawa and 3 hrs to Quebec City. There's the jazz festival and the big Just for Laughs comedy festival during the summer. From Ottawa you can go white water rafting (a bit chilly in early summer, but only if you fall in) and on into Algonquin National Park. Early June also avoids the dreaded black fly season in the park :confused:.

Be prepared to get into the cult of Timmy's, lol. If you like you espresso, I don't think anyone does it better than Terroni's in Toronto (I'll drive to T.O. from London just for that restaurant, they're fab).

You're talking about Tim Hortons? Ya, it's not exclusively a Canadian thing anymore.

They've already started putting them in the US. Wendy's bought them ages ago, made their donuts crappier, and started building franchises in the US to try and convert them as well...
But to be honest, Americans drink different coffee than we do from what I can tell. There coffee is stronger any time I've tasted it.

I still like their donuts...and love their French vanilla cappuccino, but it's not what it used to be.
 

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