Advice on driving the TransCanada highway.
May 18, 2012 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out my route, travelling from Edmonton to Toronto on the TransCanada highway!

I'm moving back to the Toronto and am planning to pack all my stuff in my Civic and drive.

-Is there any must see things along the way?
-Where are the ideal pitstops to maximize the drive? (i'm thinking every 8-10hrs in saskatoon, winnipeg and thunderbay)

Also, is this a waste of time, should i just cut through the States? (I wonder if crossing the border is too big of a hassle though)

Thanks everyone , in advance!
posted by pytar gucchy to Travel & Transportation around Edmonton, AB (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would strongly suggest crossing the border after Winnipeg, since northwestern Ontario is nothing but an endless purgatory of rocks and trees and trees and rocks, whereas the US route has Minneapolis! Chicago! Detroit!

If you were driving a U-Haul or something, I'd advise against crossing the border, but a Civic? Go for it. As long as it's clear that you're on your way to Toronto, you shouldn't get much hassle from the border guards.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:37 PM on May 18, 2012

As for the "should i drive through the states" question, someone just asked a version of that question very recently (same trip, different direction), you might find it useful.
posted by Kololo at 5:54 PM on May 18, 2012

northwestern Ontario is nothing but an endless purgatory of rocks and trees and trees and rocks

Hey, some of us live up here!

The drive isn't that bad, in my opinion, and the scenery while boring at times can also be quite beautiful.

Thunder Bay is still a two day drive from Toronto - we usually stop for the night in Wawa on the way down, or Sault Ste. Marie if you are feeling like pushing through.
posted by davey_darling at 7:45 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreed with the time davey_darling mentions, as well as Wawa... don't forget to check out the Goose. I've also enjoyed taking the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory, as opposed to going around Georgian Bay.

As for the endless purgatory of rocks and trees... I'm currently living in Quebec and really miss Ontario's North,(although it is similar here); I'd never skip that drive for just south in the States.
posted by Laura in Canada at 7:57 PM on May 18, 2012

Stop in Moose Jaw! Go to the spa and take the tunnel tour! Highly awesome.

Don't go through the States. If some asshole border officer (US or Canadian) decides to toss your car, you could really regret it.
posted by Dasein at 8:43 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On a lovely day in summer, the north shore of Lake Superior is as stunning as any landscape in Canada. That said, there are many, many hours of unchanging Canadian Shield bog and forest between awesome Lake Superior vistas.

Still, I've never regretted making that drive. And as Dasein says, it guarantees a journey free of the possibility of customs agents on power trips.
posted by gompa at 12:16 AM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

In Sudbury there's currently a Body Worlds exhibit (with real human bodies, plastinated) May 1st through June 30th..

The forks in WInnipeg , is a great pace to get a meal; pierogies, tacos, fish & chips, fruits, candy and no chain stores which may be a welcome change to the roadside stops and endless Timmies. Here's a flickr picture of the the skate park behind the forks, there's also a statue to Ghandi and a nice pedestrian bridge. You can park right in the forks and walk about the area, never too far from your car. So you don't have to worry too much about break ins.

In Northern Ontario, Kakabeka Falls near Thunderbay and the Terry Fox memorial statue.
posted by ecco at 7:48 AM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've taken the Northern route a few times and it's lovely. I'm seconding the Wawa Goose and Big Nickel in Sudbury for photo opps. If you do take that route, keep a bathing suit and towel handy and hop into a lake if you get bored. If you don't want to just pull over to a random lake you can pop into one of the many provincial parks you'll be passing.

If you take that route, one important things to keep in mind is the prevalence of deer/moose in the area. Try not to drive at dusk/dawn as they'll be out in droves and difficult to see. It's also normal in the area to not drive with your eyes on the road (since there won't be a vehicle in front of you), but rather to sweep your eyes from shoulder to shoulder, watching for wildlife that's about to dart out in front of you. Deer eyes are pretty easy to see at night, since the light reflects in the same way as a cats.
posted by valoius at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2012

Response by poster: I really thought thunderbay and nothern ontario was very pretty. Good to do it once! No need to go in the the states.
posted by pytar gucchy at 7:00 PM on June 14, 2012

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