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Old May 25th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #1
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Driving : Toronto to Vancouver

So my wife and I (mainly me) have had the crazy idea of driving with our 2 kids (2 1/2 & 4 1/2) from Toronto to Vancouver.

I don't want this to be a "you're crazy, just fly" conversation, I'm fed up of telling people why I want to do this (in short, we're both working contract so can take time off, I'm from the Uk so haven't seen much of Canada, I'm lusting for some adventure, I want our kids to see more of this great country).

So, apart from Sudburys Big Nickel, the Prairies, and the Rockies what would ehMaccers across this great land of ours recommend us to see, and it really could be a small as visiting a tiny town in such and such to try their hamburgers or something. We want to get stuck right in to what makes the world outside of Toronto really tick.

For the record we're looking at 3 weeks and flying back from Vancouver. We will be staying with friends in Calgary and Vancouver other than that it will be camping, hotels, motels and B&B's.

Away we go...
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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Before I offer any advice, I just have to ask, what are you doing with your vehicle if you intend to fly home from Vancouver? Ship it back to TO, or are you renting a vehicle and if so is there not a drop off penalty involved? Not to mention the camping gear you will carry with you to use on the way out? How does all that get back to Toronto? Don't mean to pry, but I am very curious.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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No specific recommendations, Loafer, but I envy you... I've been dying to do a trip like this.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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I am assuming you are delivering a vehicle or renting one since you are flying back. That said, use your CAA [ get one if you don't have it ] and if you belong to service club bring their national roster [ in case you have problems out of province ] That said, I think you must see the Royal T in Alberta ... the dinosaurs are great to see. The museum of Man in Winnipeg is great and don't over look the Railroad Museum there as well. Have fun and take lots of pictures. we would love to see them on a thread or blog.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SINC View Post
Before I offer any advice, I just have to ask, what are you doing with your vehicle if you intend to fly home from Vancouver? Ship it back to TO, or are you renting a vehicle and if so is there not a drop off penalty involved? Not to mention the camping gear you will carry with you to use on the way out? How does all that get back to Toronto? Don't mean to pry, but I am very curious.
All good questions Sinc
I'm looking at various options at the moment. Renting a car, buying cheap Canadian Tire equipment that we might just sell off when we get to Vancouver, using our own car and shipping it back (just waiting on a quote). All logistical stuff that we'll figure out.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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While you could easily spend the entire 3 weeks just in the Canadian Rockies, obviously the Banff-Lake Louise-Columbia Ice Fields- Jasper Highway is one you should not miss. Try to avoid any weekends and if possible pre-book camping.

Another worthwhile trip is Calgary west on #1, South on the Kananaskis Highway then loop back East to Longview. You could return to Calgary from Longview or head South to the Crowsnest Pass, depending on your mood or whatever. This drive is equally spectacular going clockwise so if you prefer do it in the other direction. Excellent camping and some free sites should be available on week nights.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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Actually, I was going to say too bad you're flying back. It would have been great for you to do the return trip through the US. See some of Washington, Montana, perhaps Wyoming, South or North Dakota, etc.

The one trip I would recommend is that perhaps you split off at Medicine Hat before you get to Calgary and go the bottom end through Lethbridge into Cranbrook and up to see Fairmont and Radium Springs before you do the trip into Lake Louise, Glacier and Jasper. Then a quick loop through Edmonton and back down into Calgary to see your friends.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Sounds like a great adventure.

I drive from Vancouver to Calgary approximately once a month. What to do depends upon which route you want to take.

I always feel the one thing visitors need to drive is the 'Icefields Parkway' between Jasper and Banff. Depends upon your route of course. At the very least go from Banff up to the Columbia Icefields, stopping at Bow Lake & Payto Lake for the short hikes to the few points.

Also the drive from Banff to Revelstoke - the Roger's Pass - should NOT be missed.

In Revelstoke, if you like trains, there is the Train Museum, as well as free tours of the Revelstoke Dam put on by BC Hydro during the summer.

Your kids are just at the age when they will really enjoy 'The Enchanted Forest', which is a road-side attraction halfway between Revelstoke and Sicamous. It's hokey, but a lovely walk through the forest, and a nice break from driving.

At Sicamous, get ice cream at De Dutchman Dairy.

If you want go through the Okanagan, you turn south at Sicamous. But if you decide to drive one the #1 to Kamloops, just on the edge of Chase there is a wonderful hidden treasure of a rest stop at the 'Chase Creek Rest Stop'. Doesn't look like much from the road, but there is a lovely trail beside the creek that leads to a beautiful waterfall. One of those 'free' things along the way. There is also Craigellachie, which is the 'Last Spike' for the transcontinental railway.

Post your intended route and I can give you more little places to stop. (There's enough to do just in BC, to fill up your days.)
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #9
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As we all appear to be dedicated Canadianophiles, it might be easier to suggest what to avoid. In my mind, that would be the town of Banff. Steer clear of it like the plague, unless you have a love of overpriced trinket shops, pretty much all the place has to offer. Banff park? Take it or leave it. Many Albertans recognize that the out-of-provincers head there, while residents flock to K-country or other, lesser known parks.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #10
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This is all great stuff....

Is there actually anything to see between Ontario & Alberta though ?
I know I have been warned that it can get a bit dull driving but I really just want to experience that vastness (dullness?) and speak to people about the experience instead of being told about it.
There must be something noteworthy though ?
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