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Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

Hello, my family and I want to rent a car and take a trip next summer for a week or more (maybe 7 to 10days) from Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto to Niagra Falls.What would you recommend be the best scenic route.

6 replies to this topic
West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

Hi Alex;

Montreal to Ottawa via hwys. 40 & 417

From Ottawa, hwy. 416 to hwy. 401.

The 1000 Island Parkway starts just west of Brockville Ontario, exit 685 off of Hwy 401. It runs west along the St. Lawrence River, for approx. 40 km / 25 miles, ending at the Town of Gananoque (Gan-An-Ock-Way) the “Gateway to the 1000 Islands.

From Gananoque, re-enter the 401 and continue west to Toronto.

Leaving Toronto, take hwy. 401 west to hwy. 403 to the QEW to Niagara Falls.

You could spend an entire week in Toronto and still have plenty to see and do !

Montreal should be 3 - 4 days, minimum. Ottawa 2 days. Niagara Falls requires a full 24 hours.

Best Regards

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

A suggestion to extend the scenic portion of your trip. The 401 is anything but scenic!

If you have time, (and as mentioned above) continue on Hwy 2 from Gananoque to Kingston, then take Hwy 33 along Lake Ontario to Prince Edward County, (Glenora Ferry is a nice treat). If you have time, stop in the County at a few wineries, visit the villages of Bloomfield and Wellington before going back up to the 401 at Belleville.

A diversion well worth it! You could do it relatively quickly, or spend a day in the County to really appreciate this gem of a place in Ontario.

Gaspesie Region...
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3. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

Stay off the 400 series highways. Canada was built on rivers, so the old roads near the rivers are much more enjoyable than the concrete trucking canyons of the 400 series.

Stick to hwy 2 along the St Lawrence, go into Prince Edward County and Sandbanks Provincial park if you have time.

If you're going into Ottawa, stay away from the 417, take the 174 instead. Take the 19 instead of the 416.

Depending where you are leaving from in Montreal, aim for Beauharnois/132 or Oka/148 as they are both really cute.

Interesting stops include Parc Omega, Montebello, Upper Canada Village, Carillon dam near Oka, St Lawrence Seaway locks near Beauharnois.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

Just a note from Montreal to Ottawa, you will to take the 40/401 until Hawksberry then it will actually be the 17 you will take for the more "senic" route, but it will be slower through towns. The 174 does not actuallt start until you are around Orleans (the suburb at the east end of Ottawa)

Another option to get to Toronto from Ottawa is to take Hwy 7.

Now many of these road that we call highways are actually one lane each way, except for the 400 series, and the 40 in Quebec

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

To make it scenic you can go to Mont Tremblant and then down to Montebello and on to Ottawa on hwy 50

or just take hwy 50 on the QC side and either way stop in Montebello to visit Chateau Montebello and Parc Omega where you will see all of the Canadian wildlife and even feed some of them.

After your Ottawa visit take HWY 417 and HWY 7 to Perth (nice little town) then from there you could go to Kingston or Peterborough which are both nice places to visit before you get to Toronto.

Montreal, Canada
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6. Re: Scenic route from Montreal to Niagra Falls

Nobody mentioned the hefty price tag of drop off fees for interprovincial drives. Renting a car in Montréal and dropping it in Niagara Falls will be expensive. Nowadays most large car rental companies are doing a Montréal to Toronto or vice versa free of dropping charge. Just check with all the big brands to find what suits you. Then drop the car in Toronto as you don't need one to visit the town and then rent again to get to N-F, checking again for no drop off fees. Of course if you return to Toronto to fly back home then there is no problem at all but if you were planning to drive to Buffalo (NY) and fly from there you are looking for a lot of trouble and money.

Also nobody mentioned the charming little town of Niagara-by-the-Lake by the scenic Niagara Parkway and may be stop at some wineries while en route.

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