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Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

Alberta, Canada
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521 posts
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Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

Hello there. I am going to be driving from Alberta to Nova Scotia in less than a month and I need some help with my route. A couple caveats:

1. Yes I need to drive as I need my car

2. I do not want to go into the US as my car will be packed with personal effects and more prone to be searched, don't want to go through the hassle of buying extra insurance, health care, etc. Plus I want to see and enjoy Canada.

3. This is going to be driving from point A to point B without stopping much as I will have a packed car so don't want to stop with that (except at night of course to unload into the hotel) so a quick photo stop here and there will be about it.

4. Max driving time per day as it will just be me would be 7-9 hours.

I haven't been west of Manitoba and the province that I need the advice for is Ontario... Been reading some conflicting posts on which is the best and thought I'd reach out to the Ontario experts...

Do I stick with highway 11? 17? Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie and east via Sudbury or head north on 11 or 17 to 101 towards Timmins from Thunder Bay?

Better ideas? Help? Thanks in advance!

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4 replies to this topic
Newmarket, Canada
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1. Re: Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

I would suggest taking Hwy 17 over Hwy 11. The views out over Lake Superior are beautiful, and it's just a more interesting drive. If you were attempting this in winter, I'd say go the northern route to avoid the storms above the lake, but the rest of the year, the more scenic lake route is much better.

Ontario, Canada
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1,169 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

I agree to take 17 along the north shore of Lake Superior. So Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury, then Ottawa, Montreal, etc. It is a nice scenic drive. Also more populated than the northern route on 11 through Hearst, etc. Veering off onto 101 is another pretty desolate route, and there's no reason to do it if you're driving straight through.

SE Ontario
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3. Re: Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

Agree with above. Hwy 17 around Superior is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Try to make a few stops along the way. You'll have long daylight hours which is good, but do stop before dusk - animals on the road at night are a reality, and the stretch between Manitoba and T Bay is very remote, with limited amenities.

Alberta, Canada
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521 posts
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4. Re: Driving Across Ontario - Route/Highway Suggestions

Thank you for all of your replies! Highway 17 it is!

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