Things to do in Canada

Awesome Things To Do In Canada: Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City

Posted September 13, 2017 Written by Jason

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” – Justin Trudeau

“What’s up T.O.?!” – My Filipino friend who happens to live in Toronto

 

Let’s close our eyes and imagine a restaurant, a buffet restaurant. It serves pancakes with maple syrup, poutine, bagels, noodle soup, wantons, sushi, gyros, pizzas, spaghetti, and burgers.

That restaurant happens to be Canada. Ok, wow. What a bad analogy.

Things to do in Canada

Jason’s note: poutine is Canadian fries – fancy fries with toppings usually with gravy and cheese, gyros are the cousins of shawarmas

 

What I’m trying to say is that the locals in this country are Canadians, Asians, Arabs, Europeans, and Americans – basically, everyone.

Anyways, I did an eight day trip to Canada on the east coast. I traveled from Toronto, to Montreal, to Quebec City, and back. If you have more time, I think you should add Ottawa and Prince Edward Island to your trip.

 

Listed below are the awesome things to do on this side of the world.

I just needed to put an adjective before the generic “things to do.”

Besides, they’re really awesome, I think.

things to do in Canada

Jason’s hot tip: Use Philippine Airlines for a flight from Manila to Toronto, with a stopover at Vancouver.

 

THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO

Toronto is the home of the Toronto Raptors.

‘Nuff said.

 

TAKE-IN THE SPECTACULAR VIEW FROM THE CN TOWER

Things to do in Canada

I personally like visiting the tallest tower or building of any city. This gives you an overlooking perspective wherein you can tell yourself: “yes, I’ve conquered Toronto!”

The CN tower, which measures 553 meters, is not only the symbol of Toronto but of the whole country as well. It’s a large TV and radio communication tower, which also showcases Canada’s mighty industry.

Hop on the subway and alight at the Union station. Walk towards the tower then take the elevator to the observation deck.

Take your time here to absorb the panoramic view of the city.

Things to do in Canada

Feeling brave?

Try out the Edge Walk, where you walk around the edge of the tower with a harness on.

Feeling hungry?

Dine-in at the 360 restaurant, which offers Canadian cuisine.

 

WATCH THE TORONTO RAPTORS

Things to do in Canada

Toronto is synonymous to Raptors because of Vince Carter. This is the meaning of Toronto to someone who is a big NBA fan.

Watching a live game has always been and will always be a baller’s dream. And I made it a reality in Toronto. Check out my detailed experience here.

Things to do in Canada

Even if you’re not a sports fan, I think you owe it to yourself to at least try and see a game. I know someone who isn’t a fan who became one after watching a game. Let me tell you this, a live game is very different from the ones you see in TV. It’s very entertaining. You’ll feel the hype and the roar of the crowd. You’ll get excited and the music will keep you pumped-up. If basketball isn’t your cup of tea, try watching baseball or ice hockey. Canadians are crazy about hockey.

 

WALK ALONG DUNDAS SQUARE

Things to do in Canada

If the Times square is to New York City, then the Dundas square is to Toronto. Well… not quite as fancy or big as the Times square but you get the point. Tourists flock the square for the mall, shopping outlets, cinema, restaurants, fast food joints, street performers, bus, and subway stations.

 

STRIKE A POSE AT NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

Things to do in Canada

A big touristy sign is placed here, within walking distance from Dundas square. You know, the big-a$$ “TORONTO” sign. It’s touristy but it’s Instagram-worthy. And if I say it’s Instagram-worthy, then it must be really good.

 

EAT POUTINE AND DRINK A BEER AT THE DISTILLERY

Things to do in Canada          

Take 514 streetcar, exit at the Cherry Street Loop, and walk towards the Distillery – a historic district. Or take 504 streetcar, exit at King and Parliament, and walk a couple of blocks south on Parliament. There are a number of dining options here but I recommend the Mill Street brewery. Have a taste of the different batches of beer.

 

RIDE THE HORNBLOWER BOAT AT NIAGARA FALLS 

Things to do in Canada

When I was 8 years old, my dad took us to see the Niagara Falls for the very first time. He kept saying something about Superman. As a kid, I was expecting to see Superman (I guess I’m a bit stupid?).

When we arrived, I got really pissed off. Surprise… surprise… There’s no Superman.

(Bad mood and disappointed)

I realized my dad was just saying it’s one of the film locations. well… duh…

Then he asked us if we wanted to ride the boat to get closer to the falls.

What?! Hell noooooo!!!!

(frightened little boy)

18 years later, I rode the hornblower boat.. whooooppsss!!!

Things to do in Canada

I highly recommend to book a day tour with Kings tours. The boat ride is an exciting experience you wouldn’t want to miss. After the falls, the next stop is the Niagara-on-the-lake, a picturesque town. Then finally end the trip with an ice wine at a local winery.

Jason’s hot tip: You can opt to spend the night near the falls. There are a lot of attractions in the area. It resembles a big theme park with fun rides, magical shows, and casinos.

 

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL

“Bonjour!”

Things to do in Canada

Both Montreal and Quebec City are part of the province of Quebec. It’s a place where Canadian culture meets French. The buildings are French-inspired. The people are speaking French. And all of the signboards and notices are in French.

From Toronto, you can catch an eight hour bus ride to Montreal. Book your tickets at Busbud.

 

HIKE MT ROYAL

Things to do in Canada

This is my favorite thing to do in Montreal. Take the metro to Mount-royal station. From here, walk through the jungle-like park until the summit. An overlooking view of the Montreal will greet you at the top.

Things to do in Canada

 

VISIT OLD MONTREAL

Things to do in Canada

Take the metro to Champ de mars station and walk along Old Montreal. You’d feel like your in Paris. The highlights are the Notre-Dame Basilica and Vieux Port de Montreal.

 

THINGS TO DO IN QUEBEC CITY

 “Je t’aime, Quebec”

Things to do in Canada

Quebec City is quite similar with Montreal – an old and modern fusion, the cobbled streets and the fascinating street arts. It reminds me of a little European town – calm and serene, but above all, charming.

From Montreal, catch a three hour bus ride to Quebec City.

Jason’s hot tip: Don’t stay at Auberge de Jeunesse Maeva Quebec. Avoid it like the plague. The guy owner is just too weird.

 

VISIT OLD QUEBEC

Things to do in Canada

Same as in Montreal, you should visit its old version: old Quebec. Be fascinated by the European castle-like shops, buildings, and hotels. The highlight is the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, the iconic hotel of old Quebec.

Things to do in Canada

 

SEE THE MONTMORENCY FALLS

Things to do in Canada

Take Bus 800 from downtown Quebec to the falls. It’s a 20-minute ride. Alight at the final stop. Walk across the park and get a closer view of the falls. It’s not as majestic as Niagara Falls but it’s still a sight to see. Take a selfie at the bridge to get a magnificent view.

Things to do in Canada

 

EAT POUTINE IN POUTINEVILLE (POUTINE AGAIN??? WHY NOT?!)

You’re in Canada. Eat a lot of Poutine!

Make your own poutine with the toppings of your choice. Poutine is basically with toppings and sauce. Everyone loves fries, right?!

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY AND EXPENSES

Things to do in Canada

Here’s a sample itinerary for 8 days in Canada, which is similar to what I did last April 2017 starting from Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, and back. Take note that this will just serve as a reference. You can definitely reduce costs by booking buses months ahead, by avoiding expensive meals, and by choosing cheaper seats at an NBA game.

DAY 0 PRICE

(CAD)

Arrival in Toronto Pearson International Airport
Bus#192 to Kipling station, then subway to Donlands station 3.25
Check-in at Only Backpacker’s Inn w/ breakfast 28
DAY 1  
Niagara Falls Tour with Hornblower boat ride 135
Meal (Dinner) 19
Lights out at Only Backpacker’s Inn w/ breakfast 28
DAY 2  
Subway to Dundas station 3.25
Stroll along Dundas square, window shop at Toronto Eaton Centre
Nathan Phillips Photo-op
Street car to the Distillery district 3.25
Bus to Air Canada Centre 3.25
Watch an NBA Playoff game 387.85
Subway to Donlands station 3.25
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 36
Lights out at Only Backpacker’s Inn w/ breakfast 28
DAY 3  
Subway to Dundas station 3.25
Bus to Montreal 93.79
Check-in at Alexandrie Hostel  w/ breakfast 28.24
Stroll along Montreal downtown
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 43
Lights out at Alexandrie Hostel
DAY 4  
Metro to Mount Royal station 3.25
Hike Mount Royal
Metro to Champ de mars station 3.25
Stroll along Old Montreal
Metro to Berri UQAM, back to Alexandrie hostel 3.25
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 30
Lights out at Alexandrie hostel w/ breakfast 28.24
DAY 5  
Bus to Quebec City 40.25
Check-in at Auberge de Jeunesse Maeva 25
Stroll along Quebec downtown
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 24
Lights out at Auberge de Jeunesse Maeva
DAY 6  
Walk to Old Quebec for sightseeing
Taxi back to hostel 10
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 29
Lights out at Auberge de Jeunesse Maeva 25
DAY 7  
Bus to Montmorency Falls for sightseeing 3.5
Bus back to hostel 3.5
Grab bags, take taxi to Quebec airport 34.25
Fly from Quebec to Toronto (Westjet) 144.15
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 27
Check-in at Only Backpacker’s Inn w/ breakfast 28
DAY 8  
Metro to Union station 3.25
CN Tower entrance (General admission + Skypod) 53.11
Metro back to hostel to get bags 3.25
Metro and Bus to Toronto Pearson International Airport 3.25
Meal (Lunch and Dinner) 34
Fly out from Toronto
TOTAL excluding air fare from/to Toronto and visa fees 1404.88

~59K PHP in 8 days (including a 16K PHP NBA playoff game)

 

TRANSPORT FEE INFO

Toronto Transit Commission Adult fare
One-way ticket 3.25 CAD
3 Tokens minimum 3.00 CAD per token
One day pass 12.50 CAD

 

Montreal Metro Adult fare
1-trip ticket 3.25 CAD
2-trip ticket 6.00 CAD
10-trip ticket 27.00 CAD
Unlimited evening (6pm-5am) 5.00 CAD
Unlimited weekend

(4pm Fri -5am Mon)

13.75 CAD
1-day pass 10 CAD
3-day pass 18 CAD

*Burger meals at fast food joints cost less than 10 CAD and a Chinese meal (duck and rice) costs around 17 CAD.

 

Special thanks to JR on the run on helping me out on my itinerary.

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