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Old 11-26-2015, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default Cross Canada Trip in August 2016

I'm just beginning to research where to go, what to see and how to get there for my trip. I'm going just through Southern Canada, ending up in Montreal, where I'll meet my son. I'm interested in knowing what others have enjoyed seeing and visiting. I like camping, but also museums.

How much are the tolls and are there a lot of them?

I saw the link to the Canada Discovery Pass and that looks like a good idea.

I'd appreciate whatever places or advice someone wants to share.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:44 AM   #2
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Other than a few bridges and ferries, tolls are few and far between.

You need to be more specific about where you are going: it's 5000 miles from one end to the other!
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
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yes figure out your route-

Ottawa is the Capitol City and 120 miles from MTL.

Being the Capitol it has National Museums ( War, Natural History, Aviation, Canadian history etc.) and Galleries.
Ontario has Algonquin Park, which is beautiful with about 1/2 dozen campgrounds.

Canada has lots to offer, lots of space, variety of geology and landscape- and differing cultures.
Quebec is majority French speaking and signage will all be in French.
Some parts of Canada will use French and English.. other parts are pretty much unilingual one way or the other.
Through Quebec other parts, anyone who deals with Tourists will be Bilingual and ready to help

Most measurements are metric- 0.62 miles to the km. fuel is sold in liters...3.96 to the gallon.

the CDN $ is at about .75Ę US...so a good buy depending on what the CDN dollar does

If you can...Nova Scotia is way to the East- my former home and very worthwhile I think

Many of the highways are 2 lane- Ontario uses 400 series highway numbers to denote multi-lane restricted access highways...the 401 runs from Detroit right across Ontario to near MTL.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information. As I look at the map more closely, I'll put down more specifics. Looks like going on Road 3 for a long time will be the way to go.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information. As I look at the map more closely, I'll put down more specifics. Looks like going on Road 3 for a long time will be the way to go.
Where are you starting from? I've driven across south-west Canada many time and there is a lot to see.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:44 AM   #6
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I'll be driving up from Oregon to BC, the going East. I'll go as far as Montreal, where I'll meet up with my son, then turn around and come back. Short trips off the road are welcome and I speak a little French.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:51 AM   #7
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3 thru the Rockies is great.

once you hit the Prairies, tie down the steering wheel, put a brick on the gas and set your alarm for 20 hours....

once you get to Ontario, you have a choice of following Lake Superior North Shore on Hwy 17, which is stunning- it is also subject to sudden storms and very high winds- so watch the weather. there is an inland route ( 11) which most commercial traffic will follow.

Get to hwy 17 and follow that down to Ottawa ( referred earlier) and from there MTL is close

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Old 12-04-2015, 02:56 AM   #8
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LOL. Too funny. Reminds me of the first time I drove from Oregon to Florida cross country. Hit the midwest and it was corn, corn, and more corn. I wasn't sure I'd leave there alive. (No offense to midwesterners, but when you're used to tall mountains, all that flat land is unnerving.)
I'll put down Rt. 17 as one to go on if at all possible.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:10 AM   #9
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the Trans Canada hwy takes you to 17...you'll find it!

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Old 12-04-2015, 10:40 PM   #10
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If you're planning on stopping in Winnipeg and if you don't mind a stranger showing you some things I'd be glad to give you a tour and take you to the new Human Rights Museum. It's a heck of a place.

I can also suggest camping spots too once you have your schedule set out.

Also, no tolls in all of Manitoba at present.
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by soohma View Post
I'm just beginning to research where to go, what to see and how to get there for my trip. I'm going just through Southern Canada, ending up in Montreal, where I'll meet my son. I'm interested in knowing what others have enjoyed seeing and visiting. I like camping, but also museums.

How much are the tolls and are there a lot of them?

I saw the link to the Canada Discovery Pass and that looks like a good idea.

I'd appreciate whatever places or advice someone wants to share.
If you've got the time, and depending on where you enter Canada in B.C., a loop tour via hwy 93/95 north to Radium Hot Springs and then to Lake Louise, and either Jasper or Banff or both National Parks would be a nice diversion. If you end up at Banff, you can pick up the Trans Canada (hwy 1) highway easily through Calgary and then east from there.
I have no Prairie Province experience, so can't help you there.
In Ontario, the 407 ETR is a toll road, that uses photographing license plates technology for billing. You probably won't go near it if you bypass the GTA and go directly to Ottawa, then south to Montreal.

General travel stuff: I don't think our freeways have as many rest areas as your interstates do, so keep that in mind for bio-breaks and fuel/food stops.

Since you're coming up from Oregon, it begs the question, do you know how to use self serve gas pumps? I know Oregon is a "we pump" state for gas stations. Many/most of Canada's gas stations are "self serve". Folks will usually help you, if you need it. Just ask. Canadians are incredibly friendly.

Overall, even with the lower C$, lots of stuff up here, including fuel, is still more expensive than in your country. If you know your prices at home and don't mind doing the quick forex conversion, you'll know what's a bargain, and what's a luxury.

We have been converting to RFID "chip" credit cards over the last few years. I don't think many US cards have chip technology yet? You might want to look into that issue before you get here. I would imagine you can still just swipe and sign at most retail outlets. I'm not sure how our self serve gas pumps would work, as many are chip card only, and you probably don't have a PIN code for your credit card. You might have to go inside to the cashier and pre-pay, before refueling.

Boondocking situations are mostly the same here as in the US, including truck stops, Walmarts, and so on. If it's "no overnight parking", it will be signed as such. If not sure, doesn't hurt to ask.

As for the Parks Canada Discovery Pass, I'm not sure how many National Parks you'll pass by, so no idea if it will be a benefit. Here are the places it can be used....
Parks Canada - Shop and Reserve - Participating Locations

I don't camp in provincial parks or commercial campgrounds much in Canada, firstly because we spend most of our time in your country, and secondly they are pricey compared to US Nat Park Services locations and BLM, or USFS facilities. The US$/C$ difference might make them more economical to a US traveller.

Hope some of this helps?
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:50 AM   #12
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all the pumps I used this past summer were wipe and swipe.

but a good point, call the CC company and let them know you are traveling.

and cell phone- tmobile is free in Canada ( and Mexico) at no additional charge ( voice/text/internet) ...if you use att, verizon or sprint you should check roaming rates and whether a CDMA sprint or verizon phone will get service and in which areas.

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Old 12-06-2015, 04:11 AM   #13
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My credit cards now have the chip. One has a pin code and one doesn't yet. However, if you want to get the correct exchange rate you do have to go inside and pay. You don't have to prepay. Most pumps are fill and then go inside and pay. That was my experience this past fall from all the provinces of Ontario to Newfoundland for more than a month.

With AT&T you can use your phone but it will be very expensive. However, they do have an option where you can buy cellular data under a set amount monthly contract for considerably less than what you would pay just roaming in Canada with your normal plan.

You can buy a Canadian National Parks pass that will save you a lot of money.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:48 PM   #14
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My credit cards now have the chip. One has a pin code and one doesn't yet. However, if you want to get the correct exchange rate you do have to go inside and pay. You don't have to prepay. Most pumps are fill and then go inside and pay. That was my experience this past fall from all the provinces of Ontario to Newfoundland for more than a month.

With AT&T you can use your phone but it will be very expensive. However, they do have an option where you can buy cellular data under a set amount monthly contract for considerably less than what you would pay just roaming in Canada with your normal plan.

You can buy a Canadian National Parks pass that will save you a lot of money.
So, the exchange rate at the pump was different than the cashier's counter? That's a new one on me. And I live here.
Tell me more.....
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:55 PM   #15
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all the pumps I used this past summer were wipe and swipe.

but a good point, call the CC company and let them know you are traveling.

and cell phone- tmobile is free in Canada ( and Mexico) at no additional charge ( voice/text/internet) ...if you use att, verizon or sprint you should check roaming rates and whether a CDMA sprint or verizon phone will get service and in which areas.

Mike

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Did you use a chipped credit card with a PIN code? Or a swipe and sign model? Most newer pumps, in Ontario where I live, actually sense the RFID chip and grab and hold the card while you choose your amount of fuel by dollar value, and then enter your PIN code to confirm the transaction. Then your card is released, and the pump turns on. There are probably older "insert and remove quickly" pumps out there, but I haven't used one in a while.
I'm not even going to ask what "wipe and swipe" is......
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:57 PM   #16
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Just swipe the card through or insert card into the reader...instant on. no sign, no pin etc.
and fill the tank- no preset limits

used at a variety of station brands in Sudbury, cornwall and Ottawa areas ...mostly petrocan.

I use discover card mostly which is the only US card to currently use a chip/pin. so far only home depot uses this system...the rest all swipe as before

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Old 12-06-2015, 06:19 PM   #17
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So they do still exist? I would have thought the Suncor/Petrocan brand stations would have all converted all of their older pumps by now, but apparently not everywhere? Good to know.
So your Discover card is chipped, with a PIN code? All of mine are, and work by chip/PIN, or by swipe/sign, in the US, to a point. Too many consecutive swipes, and the card locks up until the chip/PIN method is used. Yet another modern inconvenience. U.S. Walmart/Sam's Club is the fix for that. Near me (Michigan), they use either method, so I can reset my cards when traveling in the States, without making a phone call.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:50 PM   #18
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long story short - and skipping details.

US card companies are now "supposed" to use chip/pin as is common outside of USA- and fraud is greatly reduced.

my visa and m/c are swipers ( "cost savings"), only discover has a chip/pin

retailers ( even target who lost millions) do not want to change over the machines and give employees 20 minutes of training...so the old system is still in common use.


HOWEVER any retailer who has fraud on an outdated system will have to cover fraud- not the card issuer.


I travel internationally for work- I always call the card issuers before traveling...I have had trouble a couple of times and just try calling an 800 # from Botswana...it can;t be done.


my credit info is one of the millions released by experian when was stored on unsecured servers.


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Old 12-06-2015, 09:18 PM   #19
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US card companies are now "supposed" to use chip/pin as is common outside of USA- and fraud is greatly reduced.
As I understand it, the new US requirement is chip+signature, not chip+pin. This is controversial. Many see it as a half-way measure. Retail stores were supposed to have converted by last October (after three years notice). Not even close.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:38 PM   #20
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I hear you on the delays in upgrading the technology. I would imagine there are many reasons why retailers are dragging their feet. It takes longer to check out with chip/PIN, people forget their PIN, or swipe too many times and then are forced to use the PIN, and so on. Lots of frustration. We had to suffer through the learning curve up here a few years back, but now almost everyone uses chip/PIN, as far as I know. Anyone can grab your replacement credit card out of your mailbox, but not knowing the PIN renders it useless. You don't hand your card to a retailer to process the transaction, so no double swipes. Or, simply losing your card without the PIN also renders it unusable. At most Canadian retailers.
soomha will not likely be impeded by these things, but it's a good idea to do your homework before you leave. Advising them where you'll be using it is almost always a good idea.
Sometimes it's near impossible to call an 800# from the USA for us.

The only big box stores that use it in the US, that we frequent, are Walmart and Sam's Club. mkguitar says Home Depot as well? You'd think the rest wouldn't want to have to deal with CC fraud, and the chip/PIN response is probably the best current technology available to combat that.
I expect you'll get there, eventually. By that time some form or other of security, like NFC on a secured smartphone, may have taken over as the best in class secure non-cash transaction process. It's getting there right now, I believe? Maybe that's why the retail community is going slowly, waiting to see how that goes? Credit cards as a standalone method of payment might become a thing of the past?
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