Canada Journals

Toronto to Vancouver by Train

Best of IgoUgo

A November 2003 trip to Canada by amandabeth

Polar Bear Photo, Canada, North America More Photos
Quote: Having lived in Scotland for two years, I finally returned to Canada with a Scottish boyfriend and a good friend, Jenni, in tow. We started in Toronto, heading for Vancouver by way of Churchill on Hudson's Bay in the chilly November weather. We'll be in Vancouver for the next year, while Alan has his working holiday visa.

Toronto to Vancouver by Train

Overview

Quote:
Toronto, polar bear tours in Churchill, Jasper in the Rockies, lots of wildlife, and the beautiful skyline of Vancouver.

Quick Tips:

Polar bear tours in Churchill run between mid-October and mid-November.

There is a webcam for the polar bears in Churchill that you can look at during the polar bear seasonat www.polarbear.com.

Best Way To Get Around:

By train, of course!

Polar Bear Photo, Canada, North America
Quote:
Travelling your own country with friends from elsewhere is an interesting experience. Alan seems to notice the strangest things - he is amazed by the fact that pint glasses in Canada are never filled as full as in Scotland (wonder what that says...), that milk comes in plastic bags, that bread packages have plastic tags to keep them closed, that bubble tea exists! Leaving Toronto proved interesting, as Via Rail has some creative baggage policies. First off, I asked if there were any restrictions before we left and was told no. Since we have discovered that you can only have carry-on-size bags in the carriages, that there is a weight restriction and charges for overweight baggage, and that...Read More

Winterpeg to Edmonton

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Story/Tip

Edmonton Photo, Canada, North America
Quote:
Arriving at the hostel in Winnipeg was amazing, as for the first time in 6 days we all got to shower... yes, I know, that isn't exactly a pleasant thought, but there you are. Seeing polar bears was worth 5 days of bad hair. "Winterpeg" is one of those nicknames that you immediately understand upon arrival. Apparently, the weather was unseasonably cold for november... However, the worst was the wind. If you can believe it, we actually found the cold worse than in Churchill. Met some interesting folk in the hostel - two potheads from Revelstoke. They gave BC a good name though, since they offered to share with just about everyone in the hostel, including all the staff! Tourist-wise...Read More
Deer Photo, Canada, North America
Quote:
Arriving on the train, the skyline of Edmonton seems to jump out of nowhere. Why it's called Deadmonton, I don't know, ‘cause we all loved the city, especially Strathcona, the neighbourhood the HI hostel is located in. It was in Edmonton that Alan and Jenni were served pints with bits of lemon. What's up with that? We loved the provincial museum of Alberta – there were lots of dioramas about wildlife and native Canadians. The women that charged us to go in turned out to be studying to play the bagpipes, which was a bit random, but that is the kind of stuff you find out when travelling with Scots apparently. We attempted to go and have our tea leaves read at a Russian tea house, but ...Read More

The Rockies Rock!

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Story/Tip

Ram Photo, Canada, North America
Quote:
Once we get the photos of the trip developed, we'll be calling them the "back to nature" photos, since there are many of animal arses... So, we got to Jasper and decided to rent a car. It is such a beautiful little town, it reminds Alan of Aviemore in Scotland, and I can sort of see it, but Jasper is MUCH cooler. The weather was nice and sunny and the mountains were unreal. Our hostel was odd-going up the long road at night, surrounded by trees, tended to make us think of "the Shining", and Alan managed to quite spook us with his "redrum" one evening... The hostel had several resident dogs, all very cute, who we periodically threw sticks for. Some of the hostel's other creatures were stra...Read More
Spadina Streetcar Photo, Canada, North America
Quote:
You'd probably have to be from Ontario to get the joke in that title, but there you are... Alan and Jenni spent 4 days in Toronto. They managed a pint at Main Street station in my hometown of Bolton on their first evening, having survived dinner with my family. We visited the CN tower, of course. This was Alan's second visit, as he had visited my family in Canada two years previously. However, we couldn't let Jenni miss it. And all those lovely huge moose in costumes. We tried to see Canadian art at the AGO and found the galleries closed to save money. Hopefully it was just the time of year, because while the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg is better for Canadian art, it ...Read More

Toronto Tales

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Having lived over in Scotland for two years, and been away in Kingston at university before that, it had been a long time since I had visited the city that I grew up right outside of, in a very boring little town called Bolton. I arrived at the end of August, needing to catch up with friends and family and do a little temping before we headed out to Vancouver. I was back in Canada. While I may have lived outside the city for a long time, up until now really all I had done was taken the subway somewhere. Now I was becoming familiar with all the big intersections and was slowly developing a mental map. Real Torontonians found me a bit funny, as I have bought myself a guidebook to the city, but I w...Read More