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Old 01-06-2011, 03:22 AM   #1
HI SOOB
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Default Visiting Ontario from Scotland.

Hey folks,

Hope you dont mind me posting on here?

Im looking for some info on the best route to take when I am driving from Toronto to Montreal next month.

I dont want to just sit on the 401 all the way up.

We are coming over to get an idea of the nicest locations to start looking at property. Anywhere from about 200Km south of Ottawa up towards Ottawa itself and around that area. Not very specific I know!

We are due into Toronto on the 26th of Feb and we will spend a couple of nights there before taking two or three days driving to Ottawa and then onto Montreal to see friends. Looking to visit Tremblant while in the area too.

So, like I say, just looking for inspiration regarding towns to visit that will take us off the 401 and in land a little.

Also, any must see locations while we are there. I know there will probably be a shed load of snow when we visit in Feb, but thats the idea. Get an idea of what winters like in Ontario and then come back in the summer and see it all green!

Im also hiring a 4x4 SUV, just incase we get hit by a storm!

We will be over for two weeks, and cant wait to make our first of many visits, and if all works out, the start of a new life in Canada.

I work in the Oil and Gas industry. Mechanical and hydraulic background from Agri and heavy plant. Currently out in Singapore on one of our construction ships, enjoying the heat, unlike back home in Scotland last week!!

I look forward to any info that you would like to share with me.

Many thanks in advance.

Jamie
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
Bill in Mtl
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Yeah - the 401 trip between Toronto and Montreal is one very lonely, dull, boring stretch of road. I travelled it two or three times a month for the past couple of years.............no more. Am now firmly planted back in Montreal.

My wife's boss still travels back and forth regularly - let me drop him a note, and see if he can offer up any suggestions for you

Good luck on your trip - and welcome, great place to live

I'll check back in - hopefully with some details to get you started

Regards,
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
Howl
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The secondary route (A road in UK terminology) between Toronto and Ottawa is Highway 7, which runs through Peterborough, Madoc and Perth. While more scenic than the 401 it can still be a pain because of a lack of places to pass slow cars. A more scenic and less traveled route is Highway 28 from Peterborough to Denbigh, then Highway 41 to Renfrew and then down Highway 17 into Ottawa. This route will take you through Bancroft (Canada's rally capital) and near Calabogie Racetrack.

If you want to see more of the area south and west of Ottawa there are tons of great roads between Kingston, Smith Falls and Cornwall. In summer a lot of people follow the Rideau Canal which runs between Kingston and Ottawa, either by boat or by driving along the nearby roads. Places like Merrickville, Westport and Smith Falls are very attractive and cater to the tourist/summer-home trade, but can also be expensive as result. Kemptville may be a place you want to look at setting up shop as it's slightly off the tourist route, but still has some history and quaintness to it.

Regarding the geography of the area - the area south and south-east of Ottawa (towards Montreal) is mainly flat or rolling farm land. The area west and south-west of Ottawa is Canadian Shield, which means it is rocky, and has lots of hills, lakes and forests. This area is generally more scenic and more popular with cottagers. The area north and east of Ottawa in Quebec are also Canadian Shield (towards Mt. Tremblant).
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
evilWagon
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Do you have any more of an idea in the type of property that you'd be looking for? That will help narrow it down as most of the 'best' town's are off the beaten path.

Are you going to use the property as a cottage/holiday home or a main residence? Do you plan to travel often from it? Looking for more city or rural? What conveinances would you want within a reasonable distance?

I'm from Toronto and have commuted to Ottawa and Bancroft on many occasions. I agree with Howl's suggestion and critique of hwy 7. Highway 28 to Denbigh wouldn't be bad from a scenic point of view, but you're fairly 'out there' once you get north of Peterborough. I'm assuming from your job you've traveled quite a bit, hopefuly you have the proper clothing etc to spend a night in the woods if the worst happens. I'm just east of Toronto and it was -24 celius this morning, up that way I've come out of the cabin in the winter and seen the thermometer pegged at -45C.

Wait until you're here and about to leave before you decide on your route, if a blizzard comes through it 'could' take you 4-6 times longer than it would on a clear day. We had people stuck on a stretch of the 401 overnight a month ago after the highway ground to halt due to snow.

Enjoy your trip though!
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
HI SOOB
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Bill,Howl, evilWagon,

Many many thanks for your replies.

At present, I intend to head up the 401 in a bid to reach Ottawa as quickly as I can when I depart Toronto. When is say "quickly" I will probably split the journey into two days , having a stop over at a motel around Belleville.
On my way back down to TO, we can look at going on the 41 onto the 28 as this is the area we are keenest to see.

Howl, we are looking for the more rugged land that the area has to offer, so the sheild land will be best. I was not aware that to the east of Ottawa, the land was more rolling and farmed. Thats great information.

As for our property search. We would be using the property as our main residence.
The main criteria would be close proximity to a good Junior and Senior school, no more that arond 30-40 min drive. Some kind of town or small village around the same time away would be good too.

I will continue to work in the Offshore Construction industry, which takes me to all courers of the world (Singapore at present), however, as I only travel out to work around five ro six times a year, distance to an airport is not important.
I can make Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal in under four hours from most places, so thats fine. Its not like its an every day commute!

The area around Bancroft and over to Perth has been my area of choice so far, with plenty of choice for property.

Can anyone comment on the communities, schools and services around this area?

The schooling is my biggest concern since I do not need employment and neither will my wife. So it pretty much all about my daughter (4 yrs old) and finding a good schooling area.

On aside.
If we move over, should I bring this for trips to Bancroft during peak Rally fever season?









Speak again soon I hope

Jamie
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:42 AM   #6
Howl
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What you should really do in ask at the Motorsports Club of Ottawa (www.mco.org).
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
evilWagon
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Also tap into the Toronto Subaru Club... don't let the name fool you it's more than ontario wide. www.toronto-subaru-club.com

I'm not too aware of the schooling around the Bancroft area, but definately take a look at some of the small towns up there, as they can be pretty sparse. Also the trip from Toronto to Ottawa would be 4-5 hours straight through if you didn't want to split it up. Kingston is a nice city on your way (bit larger) with plenty of hotels etc. Take a trip through the old downtown/Queen's campus. If I were to move to another city, that would be it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:51 AM   #8
HI SOOB
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So, thats us booked up.

Making the trip a week earler than expected, due to work schedule and other factors.

Will be in TO on the 17th of Feb and spending three nights there before nipping down to Niagra and then up to Ottawa for a few days. Tremblant for the weekend, meeting up with soem friends from Montreal.

Still not hired a 4x4 yet. Thats the next one to tick off the list. Dont want to get caught out in a storm with a 2WD!
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
Robin2
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Hi from ottawa.... and from www.ottawasubaru.com

quickly reading up, where is the company you're going to work for? as much as you say you don't mind to drive, some days with winter weather, it can be a VERY long drive... Even if it's 30min drive in perfect weather can turn into 2hr drive..

there's a lot of great sections in ottawa. Perth is nice but still a small town. It's more a retirement area. It's slowly building up. Bancroft is very small town and it's about 2-2.5hrs from Ottawa. I know cause i used to go there all the time for pro rally (Tall Pines).

For houses in Ottawa, a good website is www.grapevine.on.ca or www.ottawarealestate.org or simply search through www.mls.ca.

For driving/renting a car, some car companies might offer winter tires as an option but i doubt they will in Toronto. It might be different in Ottawa/Montreal but haven't rented a car in a long time.

The drive on 401 is boring but it will get you there. If conditions are bad, the drive up through bancroft to ottawa can be treacherous... as you're pretty isolated..... it's a nice scenic drive but in a snowstorm, it's a long drive.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
evilWagon
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Any feedback? How was your trip?
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:18 PM   #11
Studmike02
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Best hotels in Toronto?
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:30 AM   #12
HI SOOB
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Hi everyone, sorry for the late feedback.

We had a great time when we were over.

All started well when we arrive in TO. A little mild for our liking ( above freezing for the first day or so) but soon changed to the Canadian weather we expected.
TO was good fun and not as big and busy as some had made it out to be. We liked it a lot though.
We stayed in the Ramada on Jarvis street. Its a bit of a run down area and had to walk past some of the rougher places in the city to get there. But thats what it was all about. We wanted to see more than just the tourist attractions as we dont intend being tourists if the future!

I booked an SUV through Avis for when we departed Toronto and to our delight we were upgraded to a bigger and better spec one. A Suburban, which was great as it had loads of room, and we certainly used its 4wd ability later on when we went up to Tremblant.

We took a trip down to Niagra, which we all loved. Everyone friendly and the service in the hotel and resteraunts was first class.

After leaving Niagra we headed back up past TO and into Belleville for a night, then onto Ottawa the next day. We spent two nights there and I think it had to be our favorite city out of them all.
Skating on the Rideau, going to the market area and just wandering round, was all good fun.
After that we had a trip into Montreal, met some friends and then went on up to Tremblant where we spend four nights.
First two days were great, but there was not much in the way of fresh snow, however, we didnt have to wait long as it chucked it down on te second last day. We were in a cabin in the middle of no where, but picture perfect. The big SUV got us out no problem and we found loads to do and see. Snow tubing, visiting Tremblant and going up the mountain etc.

Our return journey to TO for our flight home saw us drive back through Ottawa and onto Bancroft, however, we were not so keen on that area and ended up driving untill we got to Belleville again and stopped over before the journey the next day to Pearson for our flight home.

Over all, we all had a great time.
My 4yr old Daughter still talks about it. The CN tower being her favorite, then Niagra.
My wife who loves skating thought it was great how many ice rinks there were that were free to use.
For all of us, the best thing was the friendlyness of everyone. The service where ever we went was pretty much great everytime.
Places were easy to drive in and we didnt even have a map or SatNAv, I just had a look on Google maps each day to see roughly where we were going and jotted down some road numbers. Never got lost once, apart from at Tremblant where its like a maze with all those little snow covered roads!

So, we are ready to return in July/August for roughly a month. Managed to narrow it down to the area north of BArrie, into PArry Sound and Sudbury. If nothing else, the weather is drier in the summer and gets more snow in the winter. A perfect mix that we are looking for.

If all goes well, we will be looking to start the paperwork with a view to move over for good next year. Would love to be over for next summer, esp as my daughter would be due to start school then. Dont want to rush it, but dont want to hang around either.

My current job lets me relocate to anywhere in the world anyway, so might as well take advantage!

Will keep in touch with any further news as it happens.

Thanks

Jamie
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #13
Howl
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Parry Sound gets tonnes of snow. If you end up in that area expect to be snowed in regularly. The cold winds blow in from the west over a slightly warmer Georgian Bay and pick up loads of moisture which then falls as big fluffly white snowflakes. The closer you are to the lea of Georgian Bay the more snow you will get.

The area around Lake Muskoka, including Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge are getting to be very high-end locations (mainly because they are spectaular places to be in summer). North of Muskoka towards Lake Nippising is cheaper and also very nice (but a further drive to anyplace). (BTW I was born on the shores on Lake Nippising).

The area around Barrie is, or will be, seeing a lot of growth and development, which can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on your point-of-view. Expect the population to double in the next twenty years.

Sudbury is a mining town and has a working class character. I have family living in Sudbury.

Once in the area check in with Davenport Subaru in Orrilla. They are very rally friendly.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #14
Robin2
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good to hear you had a good time. the canal is always great for winter/skating especially if you were here during the Winterlude. IN ottawa, we have lots of festivals.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
Yayoshow
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Ottawa sucks lol
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