Late autumn colours near Montreal/ Toronto
September 15, 2019 3:57 PM   Subscribe

We are going to be in Montreal for work in early to mid October, and towards the end of the month will be traveling to Toronto for our flights out of Canada. Towards the end of October, we want to get out of Montreal and stay somewhere we can see autumn colours. Can you recommend either an area where we should look, or even a specific place to stay, with the restrictions described below the line? We are limited by not driving (though could combine, within reason, bus+taxi or train+taxi).

I understand late October is a bit late for the best autumn colours but we really want to try to get out of Montreal and see some fall foliage; that is probably the only time we will be able to manage 2-3 days away. We are planning to go from Montreal to Toronto by train, so can also stop somewhere for a few days along the way. Preference is for countryside rather than towns.

Our absolute ideal would be a small comfortable rural bed and breakfast with excellent food and a few nice day hikes in the vicinity, EITHER no more than 2 hours travel time from Montreal, OR further away but somewhere we can break our journey between Montreal and Toronto by train or bus. But we would be happy simply for suggestions on areas where we should look for bed and breakfasts or even Airbnbs.
posted by tavegyl to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Added note: If late October is just too late to see autumn foliage, we would also really welcome alternative suggestions for where we could break the journey between Montreal and Toronto. Eg, we were told Kingston would be nice to visit, but other ideas (especially for a rural stay) would be great.
posted by tavegyl at 4:04 PM on September 15, 2019

Summer ended quickly this year in Montreal and we've had a fairly cool September so far, although most trees aren't turning yet. Mid-October ought to be pretty good.

Here's a fall foliage map for Montreal.

In Montreal itself you have Mount Royal, plus several other less well known nature parks right on the island like Cap Saint-Jacques and Bois-de-Liesse. Just off the island is the closest Quebec national park, the Îles-de-Boucherville.

From Montreal you could drive east to Mont Saint-Bruno and Mont Saint-Hilaire and get not only the foliage but also the apples at roadside stands.
posted by zadcat at 5:55 PM on September 15, 2019

I think mid-late October is going to be too late this year for this region. The foliage is already starting to turn and it's only mid-September. The Ontario Parks foliage reports are one of the most reliable and up-to-date and you can get a picture of the region as a whole to keep tabs on what the foliage is doing.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:41 PM on September 15, 2019

we were told Kingston would be nice to visit

I live in Kingston, so I’m biased, but I’d say it’s definitely a nice place to visit. Some of the tourist activities shut-down by October, but not all of them. What sorts of things interest you?

Be aware, Queen’s University has its homecoming weekend on the weekend of Oct 18th-20th this year, and that usually has a big impact on the availability of accommodations & restaurant seating. There will likely be crowds of intoxicated students and alumni on campus and in the downtown core.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 8:21 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Gananoque is close to Kingston, and a very pretty town on the Thousand Islands.
But probably Ottawa and the Gatineau will have more to offer. For instance, you could go to the Nordik Spa in Chelsea, and spend the day in the infinity pool overlooking the hills. It's wonderful, even if most of the foliage is gone by that time.
Ottawa also has great pubs and restaurants in the Byward Market, several museums and the National Art Gallery.
posted by Enid Lareg at 6:22 AM on September 16, 2019

Ottawa is a great launching point for seeing nice foliage. The Gatineau Hills just north of Ottawa are spectacular in fall. Great colours, small lakes, lookouts over the whole Ottawa valley. A very Canadian feel.

You could also look south of Ottawa to the Opinicon resort (it's just over halfway between Ottawa and Kingston). I haven't been yet myself, but some friends who have said it's lovely.
posted by fso at 7:30 AM on September 16, 2019

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