Crossing Canada West to East

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outward bound

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Joined
Oct 27, 2022
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8
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Vancouver Island Canada
Hello everyone ☺️ we live on Vancouver Island and have decided to cross Canada next year and have a few friends who would like to join us on our journey. We have a 2007 Pace Arrow 37' gas motorhome and our friends have various types of trailers. I was just wondering if any of you lovely people have done this trip and would like to share your experiences about where to visit and time allotted for the journey. Any information would be very welcome and I am looking forward to your replies. Thank you in advance
 

JJSON775

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Sep 27, 2022
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56
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Texas
Allow plenty of time for the north shore of Lake Superior. Spectacular country. We took 2 weeks from Grand Marais, MN to Sault Ste Marie MI. We stayed in provincial parks all the way.

Don't miss the amethyst mine east of Thunder Bay or the Serendipity Gardens Cafe in Rossport.

You are in for a wonderful trip!
 

Laura & Charles

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Jun 10, 2016
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999
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Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio. Go Bucks!
Welcome to the forums!
Are you, by chance, considering a return route south of the border? I’ll be following this thread as we definitely want to traverse north of the border but having never done so, cannot offer much to you in way of tips or advice. On the other hand, if you’re considering a return trip on this side (south side) of the border, we have much experience along the border on this side and can share some of that experience.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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2,380
How far east are you planning to drive? Are you going as far as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia? If you are going that far east, I would guess it would take no less than 4-6 weeks, maybe more.

Its been about 40 years, but I agree that the north shore of Lake Superior is a great place to visit. Lots of little streams and waterfalls enter into the lake and are worth stopping at. Thunder Bay is also a nice city. (A long time ago, when my kids were small, we circled Lake Superior--I keep saying i want to do it again someday.)

I am from Michigan, but have driven in Canada a lot. (Some grandparents were from North Bay.) I do know, however, that you need to get gas when you can on the TransCanada highway in Ontario. I drive a motorhome with a big gas tank, but I know some others with pickup trucks and smaller tanks had problems.

Also, nice ferry ride from South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island to Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula. Crystal clear water in that part of Lake Huron and also lots of shipwrecks.
 

Hfx_Cdn

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Sep 22, 2006
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Location
Nova Scotia
I have no idea how far east you have already travelled, so I will skip BC and try to give brief comments. Banff and Jasper are a must, The Badland and Royal Tyrell near Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg and area, North Shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Wawa, Sault Ste Marie, Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, North Bay through to Ottawa, Montreal, Gaspe Peninsula, Acadian Peninsula, Buctouche Nature Center, PEI, Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton Island (Cabot Trail, Bell Museum, and Louisburg) also Annapolis Valley and South Shore, add Newfoundland then double back to NB Saint John and the St John River Valley.
Those are highlights, Quebec and the Maritimes get heavily touristed in July and August, so reservation are highly recommended. In all, no less than 2 months to get to those locations.

Ed
 

steveblonde

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
4,637
Location
calgary alberta
bring lots of money - it will cost you $300 just to get off the rock lol lots to see in BC and Alberta but east of Drumheller to the Ontario border its a bit of a struggle to keep entertained Indian Head in Sask is a pretty cool little place. kakabeka falls and terry fox memorial are a must see. Leave 3or 4 days just to get around lake superior its that big- there is so much to see, as others have said 6 weeks is a minimum time frame - i have only driven as far as Toronto area 4 times in the last 5 yr pulling my 5er but we keep saying we are going to leave the 5er at my sister in laws in London Ont drive back to Calgary and resume the trip the next summer. Ive flown to the east coast several times but not driven there is sooo much to see and down easters are the nicest of people.
 

outward bound

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Posts
8
Location
Vancouver Island Canada
Allow plenty of time for the north shore of Lake Superior. Spectacular country. We took 2 weeks from Grand Marais, MN to Sault Ste Marie MI. We stayed in provincial parks all the way.

Don't miss the amethyst mine east of Thunder Bay or the Serendipity Gardens Cafe in Rossport.

You are in for a wonderful trip!

Allow plenty of time for the north shore of Lake Superior. Spectacular country. We took 2 weeks from Grand Marais, MN to Sault Ste Marie MI. We stayed in provincial parks all the way.

Don't miss the amethyst mine east of Thunder Bay or the Serendipity Gardens Cafe in Rossport.

You are in for a wonderful trip!
Thank you so much for your input I will be sure to include those places on our trip!
 

outward bound

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Posts
8
Location
Vancouver Island Canada
Welcome to the forums!
Are you, by chance, considering a return route south of the border? I’ll be following this thread as we definitely want to traverse north of the border but having never done so, cannot offer much to you in way of tips or advice. On the other hand, if you’re considering a return trip on this side (south side) of the border, we have much experience along the border on this side and can share some of that experience.
Thank you for the welcome! That's exactly our plan so any input from you would be greatly appreciated
 

outward bound

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Posts
8
Location
Vancouver Island Canada
How far east are you planning to drive? Are you going as far as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia? If you are going that far east, I would guess it would take no less than 4-6 weeks, maybe more.

Its been about 40 years, but I agree that the north shore of Lake Superior is a great place to visit. Lots of little streams and waterfalls enter into the lake and are worth stopping at. Thunder Bay is also a nice city. (A long time ago, when my kids were small, we circled Lake Superior--I keep saying i want to do it again someday.)

I am from Michigan, but have driven in Canada a lot. (Some grandparents were from North Bay.) I do know, however, that you need to get gas when you can on the TransCanada highway in Ontario. I drive a motorhome with a big gas tank, but I know some others with pickup trucks and smaller tanks had problems.

Also, nice ferry ride from South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island to Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula. Crystal clear water in that part of Lake Huron and also lots of shipwrecks.
Thank you so much for the information especially about the gas part!! We'll be starting from Vancouver Island and are planning on traveling right across to Prince Edward Island so we'll be covering a lot of ground!!
I lived for four years in Windsor, Ontario but didn't travel much unfortunately due to having a business! We now have time to travel and are really looking forward to it!!
 

outward bound

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Posts
8
Location
Vancouver Island Canada
I have no idea how far east you have already travelled, so I will skip BC and try to give brief comments. Banff and Jasper are a must, The Badland and Royal Tyrell near Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg and area, North Shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Wawa, Sault Ste Marie, Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, North Bay through to Ottawa, Montreal, Gaspe Peninsula, Acadian Peninsula, Buctouche Nature Center, PEI, Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton Island (Cabot Trail, Bell Museum, and Louisburg) also Annapolis Valley and South Shore, add Newfoundland then double back to NB Saint John and the St John River Valley.
Those are highlights, Quebec and the Maritimes get heavily touristed in July and August, so reservation are highly recommended. In all, no less than 2 months to get to those locations.

Ed
Hello Ed thank you so much for your detailed information that is wonderful!
We haven't left yet but are trying to plan that for next year and will be leaving Vancouver Island sometime in May. We aren't going to do much in BC as we can incorporate that in a shorter trip later but are going to concentrate more from Alberta across to Nova Scotia so the information you've given me is absolutely perfect!! We reckon on two to three months from what we've gathered and that's coming back through the States.
 

outward bound

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2022
Posts
8
Location
Vancouver Island Canada
bring lots of money - it will cost you $300 just to get off the rock lol lots to see in BC and Alberta but east of Drumheller to the Ontario border its a bit of a struggle to keep entertained Indian Head in Sask is a pretty cool little place. kakabeka falls and terry fox memorial are a must see. Leave 3or 4 days just to get around lake superior its that big- there is so much to see, as others have said 6 weeks is a minimum time frame - i have only driven as far as Toronto area 4 times in the last 5 yr pulling my 5er but we keep saying we are going to leave the 5er at my sister in laws in London Ont drive back to Calgary and resume the trip the next summer. Ive flown to the east coast several times but not driven there is sooo much to see and down easters are the nicest of people.
Thank you so much for your input! I know the cost of the ferry from Vancouver Island is expensive although we've not done it in the motorhome yet . We will however be leaving midweek as seniors are free then!! Every little helps!! We'll be focusing our trip mainly from Alberta to Nova Scotia and leaving BC for another time. I've also heard that the east coast people are lovely and they have great music too!!
 

TonyL

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Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
963
Location
UK
To reduce your ferry costs, you might want to look at crossing to Horseshoe bay. Occasionally that route offers quite a discount and with the freeway it won't add much to the journey.
We've recently completed a journey beginning in Penticton BC up through the Rockies and across to Sault st Marie Ontario, having spent the previous 6 months touring Western USA. You have several routes available from Vancouver to the Rockies and we've done most of them. Our favourite is using highway 3 through Manning park to Kelowna, across to the Arrow lake and use the ferry to Nakusp. Then use the upper ferry to Revelstoke. Across to Banff then use the icefield parkway to Jasper.(absolute must do)
As someone else has pointed out and we can confirm, Saskatchewan and Manitoba offer little unless you like cities like Winnipeg. Thunder bay is great for the Kakabeca falls as mentioned previously.
Some of the campgrounds we used were really good, especially those operated by the Lions club.
The Soo locks are best viewed from the US side as the Canadian side is only used by leisure craft apparently.
We can recommend Michigan upper peninsula, but where you go from there depends on what you want to do.
 

JudyJB

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Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,380
Here is a really neat trick: You will want to go to both Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. To get to Prince Edward Island, you will have to go thru New Brunswick. (Unless you want to take a ferry from the U.S., but that would be silly.) BUT, they only charge you for leaving Prince Edward Island, not going to it. The ferry one-way costs about $110 per person, plus a surcharge for your RV if it is over 50'. With two people that could cost you $240 plus if you are towing anything other than your motorhome!

The bridge costs per axle. So, a motorhome with two axles will cost you about $50, plus $8.50 per axle if you are towing a car.

(You will want to double check all of this to make sure it has not changed.) So, the least expensive thing is to drive to Nova Scotia from New Brunswick, and then take the free ferry to Prince Edward Island. When you leave PEI, you just take the $45 bridge back to New Brunswick!! Neat, huh???

That will save you at least $150 that you can spend on seafood in Saint John, New Brunswick.

By the way, I went to PEI in September and was disappointed in that many places were closed for the season. I did visit Anne of Green Gables birthplace, the home she used as the idea for Green Gables, and the Potatoe Museum. I wish I had spent more time on the beautiful beaches, but i went in early October and it was getting cold.
 
Last edited:

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,380
New Brunswick is really underrated. (It near the Bay of Fundy where there are 35' tides.) One place I really enjoyed was the downtown area of the city of Saint John. I found a big empty parking lot to leave my rig while i walked around the harbor area.

The New Brunswick Museum is near downtown and is mostly nautical, but very worth while. Also, lots of nice restaurants, markets, and shops in downtown. Worth a day just wandering around. I enjoyed a lobster roll at an outdoor cafe in the harbor area and was kept entertained by a little bird I have never seen before. He hopped on my table and just watched me!

Also, make sure you visit the reversing falls on the Saint John River. Depending on where you start, you could float on a raft down to the Atlantic with the outgoing tide and then float back up with the returning tide!! I did not do that, but it is funny to see a river flow backwards.
 

Hfx_Cdn

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Sep 22, 2006
Posts
3,888
Location
Nova Scotia
Judy, there is no ferry from the US to PEI, or to New Brunswick. There is a ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia, and a ferry from Digby NS to Saint John NB. As I understand it, they now charge a one way fare from Nova Scotia to PEI on the ferry.
Unfortunately, the north eastern shore of PEI suffered major damage from hurricane Fiona, so a lot of the attractions remain closed until repairs can be completed. Several of the most popular campgrounds were severely damaged and it isn't known if they ever will re-open.

Wd
 

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