One week in Canada: What to do and see (East)
You have decided to make a tour in Canada for your next vacation?
Perfect, I have prepared a week-long itinerary in Canada, which will allow you to discover the East of the country. To you are the cities of Montreal , Toronto , Ottawa and tourist attractions such as the Thousand Islands and the famous Niagara Falls.
Follow our steps and our day-to-day advice to visit Canada in 7-8 days. Also find our selection of the best accommodations for each city. You will see, preparing your trip will be very easy!
So, what to do and see in Canada in one week?
Day 1: Montreal
To visit Eastern Canada in a week, you will arrive in Montreal , the best place to start your road trip.
Depending on the arrival time of your flight and your state of fatigue, you can choose:
- Collect your rental car and take a rest to be in shape to start your stay the next day
- Drop your bags at the hotel and leave for Montreal !
For your rental car, I recommend you take it on Rentalcars.com for 3 reasons:
- The site allows you to compare prices between different rental companies. So you will save money!
- They offer a “comprehensive protection” insurance that is much cheaper than that of renters. Perfect for traveling with peace of mind
- Cancellation is often free , which is handy if you change your mind
Do you want to rent a car? If you know your dates of travel, I advise you to compare the rates and rent it now to get the best price. Click here to compare prices!
If you want to do some sightseeing in Montreal, discover the main places of interest and tourist attractions, I recommend you to start by visiting the Old Montreal district. You will be able to see the Notre-Dame cathedral of Montreal, the Bonsecours market , the quai de l’horloge and Jacques-Cartier square .
Then continue the walk along the Old Port along the St. Lawrence River. A very nice place to walk around!
For the end of the day, you can go to the Belvedere du Mont-Royal located in the park of the same name. You will have a splendid view of all Montreal!
And for the evening, I advise you to immerse yourself now in Canadian culture by tasting the typical dish: the poutine !
For that, go to La Banquise, a restaurant devoted solely to the national dish and which offers a wide choice. La Banquise is located in the Mont-Royal district, which will also give you the opportunity to discover this typical neighborhood, with houses with spiral staircases and colorful facades.
Here you will find all the things to do and see in the city. All you have to do is choose according to your interests (cultural visit, park, shopping ..).
To stay in Montreal
In Montreal, as in all tourist destinations, the best accommodations fly away very quickly. I strongly recommend that you book your hotel in advance!
- M Montreal : Hostel located 5 minutes walk from Berri Uquam metro station on Sainte Catherine Street, a shopping street with many bars and restaurants. Bed in modern and comfortable dormitory from 16 € per night, breakfast included. Possibility also to sleep in a double room. The most: very welcoming staff; very modern infrastructure and room worthy of a hotel; Basement bar with shows some evenings. Ideal for a small budget stay
- Anne my sister Anne Hotel Studio : Located on Saint Denis Street in the heart of the very popular Plateau Mont Royal neighborhood. Room with basic furniture but bright and quiet from 72 € per night, breakfast included. Plus: its excellent location.
- Little Inn Les Bons Matins : A charming inn located near the metro Lucien L’Allier. Warm and colorful room from 93 € per night, breakfast included. Plus: excellent and hearty homemade breakfast. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Lofts of the Old Port : Located in the Old Port district. Large modern loft with fitted kitchen and exposed brick walls from € 180 a night. What we liked: the location, the space, the beautiful decor, the ability to make food, the super comfortable bed. There are also lofts with 2 rooms if you are with your family. It’s a big blow in terms of layout and location, I highly recommend it.
Day 2: Thousand Islands
The next day, we start serious things for this week-long trip to Canada. Head for the Thousand Islands , located halfway between Montreal and Toronto! This is the ideal stop for not getting too much car at a time and enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes of Canada .
To reach the Thousand Islands from Montreal, count practically 3h by car.
The essential tourist activity of the Thousand Islands is to go on a boat cruise (around the Thousand Islands precisely!). Departures are from the cities of Rockport, Gananoque or Kingston. You will have the choice between several durations for the cruise : 1h, 2h30 or 5 hours.
I advise you to opt for the 2:30 , I thought it was the ideal time. Cruises are available from May to October.
In all cases, boats have a capacity of about 50 people on board. If you want a more intimate visit, you can also book a private boat just for you. Of course, it’s more expensive.
During the ride, you will navigate among some of the 1865 islands! They are all different: of larger or smaller sizes, inhabited or not; hut, luxurious houses and even a castle were built on it.
The castle on the island of Boldt has a story a bit special. It is the billionaire Georges Boldt who had it built for his wife but she died before it was finished. For more than 70 years, the castle remained abandoned until it was bought for € 1 symbolic by the society of Thousand Islands. Today you can visit it.
The scenery is really beautiful and the cruise very pleasant, a good time of relaxation during a stay of 7-8 days in Eastern Canada.
If you have a slightly higher budget, you can also fly over the Thousand Islands by helicopter !
To stay in Mille Iles
- Howard Johnson Gananoque : Motel located 1.5 km from the pier for cruises. Spacious and comfortable double room from 70 € per night, breakfast included. Goodies: the location, the outdoor pool, cleanliness, comfortable bedding, good breakfast, free parking. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Comfort Inn & Suites Thousand Islands Harbor District : Located 5 minutes walk from the boat dock. Comfortable double room from 100 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the indoor pool, free parking, breakfast, the quality of the home, the geographical location.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 1000 Islands : Located 2 km from the cruise departures. Modern and warm double room from 150 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the indoor pool, the sauna, the comfort of the rooms, the good breakfast, the calm.
Day 3-5: Toronto
For the third leg of this 1-week itinerary in Canada , I suggest you continue your journey to Toronto. From the Thousand Islands, count about 2h30 of road.
When you arrive in Toronto , start by discovering the main neighborhoods :
- Kensington market, the bohemian neighborhood and one of the oldest in Toronto. It is particularly popular with Street Art lovers.
- Chinatown, Toronto’s Chinatown, where you’ll find the cheapest souvenirs in the city, it’s time to stock up on magnets and mugs!
- The Distillery district , the historic district completely rehabilitated into a large pedestrian zone. Original stores, art galleries, trendy coffee is Toronto’s trendy neighborhood.
For the lunch break, I recommend going to St-Lawrence Market. The covered market, over 200 years old, offers to taste the very good local products. You can eat on site at the tables provided. The place is friendly and warm.
In the afternoon program, meet the marine mammals of the Ripley Aquarium. It’s one of Toronto’s must-see tourist attractions and Canada’s largest aquarium with more than 16,000 animals. You can circulate in an underwater tunnel or hit rays and even sharks.
Not generally being very fan of this type of activities, it must be recognized that this one is playful and well done. If you are visiting Toronto with your family , there is no doubt that your children will also enjoy!
For the end of the day, I recommend going up to CN Tower, Toronto’s iconic attraction. A panoramic lift will allow you to reach the height of 346 meters in just 58 seconds.
You can walk on a transparent glass floor and admire the incredible panorama of the whole city. The experience is really impressive! The best time to get there is at sunset.
And if you like adrenaline and thrills, I advise you to test the Edge Walk. Only restrained by a harness, you can walk on the outer edge of the tower , a small 1.5 meters wide! I forgot to specify, the little fright will still cost you $ 225 (actually even the price is scary!:-D )
Finally, to end the day in a romantic setting, you can dine at the CN Tower restaurant. The restaurant rotates throughout the meal for you to enjoy the 360-degree view of Toronto.
The next day, for your second day in Toronto of this week-long stay in Canada, head for a rather original place, Casa Loma.
Casa Loma is an authentic medieval style castle, very unusual in Canada! A whim of $ 3.5 million at the time of a wealthy industrialist. It should be noted that he quickly went bankrupt and that he was not able to enjoy it for a long time (the poor …).
You can visit the many rooms of the castle but the most interesting part is the view it offers from the top of the turrets , simply one of the most beautiful of Toronto.
The 2-hectare garden of Casa Loma is also very pleasant to walk among fountains, sculptures and floral arrangements.
For the rest of the day in Toronto, a bit of cultural tourism with a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest museum. With its architecture consisting of an old part , stone, and a glass and aluminum structure, you will not miss it.
History of First Nations , world cultures, natural history, the museum is interested in several subjects. There is even a space devoted to the skeletons of dinosaurs , the best part of the museum for the big boy that I am!
Then, to get away from the bustle of the city and find some greenery, I recommend spending the afternoon on the islands of Toronto.
We must take the ferry from Queens Quay to reach easily in 10 minutes. The trip is an opportunity to admire one of the most beautiful views of the Toronto skyline. The night is even more beautiful because everything illuminated.
The islands are forbidden to cars, I advise you to rent a bike to go around. It’s really nice and quiet, there are lots of beaches for swimming or relaxing and the 1920’s holiday homes are pretty cool to see. If you prefer, you can also opt for a boat trip to discover them all.
For the rest of your 6-, 7- or 8-day tour of Canada, discover the iconic attraction of the province of Ontario, Niagara Falls. The falls are about a 90-minute drive from Toronto.
Niagara Falls is truly awe-inspiring , it’s one of the must see things in Canada! The best way to admire them and certainly the most spectacular is to opt for a cruise at the foot of the falls. Wearing a beautiful poncho, you will get closer to Niagara Falls and you’ll get soaked (but it’s for a good cause).
After the cruise, you can also go to the top of the Skylon Tower , to see the falls from the panoramic terrace.
And if you want to live a unique experience, I recommend flying over helicopter falls. If there is a place that deserves to break a little piggy bank is this one. You will remember it all your life!
Regarding the city of Niagara Falls itself, no need to dwell on it more than reason. If you wish, you can take a tour on Clifton Hill, a street lined with attractions of all kinds including a wax museum or a haunted house. But it’s just a must to see the kitsch of the thing!
For the rest of the day, I recommend taking the Niagara Parkway , a road that runs along the Niagara River between Niagara Falls and the village of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The area is famous for its vineyards and the road allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the river. You will then arrive at Niagara-on-the-Lake , a very charming picturesque village with its flowery streets and period houses.
To stay in Toronto
- Hostel Toronto : Hostel located 1.5km from the Eaton Center. Bed in dormitory from 20 € per night. You will not find cheaper in Toronto. Most: the staff very welcoming, the rental only a ten minutes walk from the city center. Ideal for small budgets and backpackers.
- Downtown Home Inn B & B : Located 500 meters from the Royal Ontario Museum. Double room comfortable and quiet from 85 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the quiet, the neighborhood very nice, comfortable bedding, a good breakfast.
- Paradise Suites Toronto : Apartment located in a large building just 300 meters from the CN Tower. Price from 99 € per night. The balcony offers a breathtaking view right on the CN Tower. I advise you to reserve immediately, there is only one!
- City * Stay Condos – Simcoe Street : The property is located 700 meters from the Eaton Center and offers several apartments. Fully equipped apartment with kitchen and lounge area for 4 people from 151 €. Most: well-appointed apartment and very clean, excellent geographical location, the view from the terrace, free private parking. For a family, the benefit / price ratio is ideal.
- The Omni King Edward Hotel : For all those who would like to have a little fun during your trip to Toronto. Luxury hotel located in Toronto’s financial district, just steps from the Eaton Center. Cozy double room and tastefully decorated from 236 €, breakfast 20 €. Pros: the perfect location, the attentive staff, the decor and comfort of the rooms, excellent breakfast. A privilege for a luxury stay in Toronto (where just a night to have fun in love!)
As you may have noticed, staying in central Toronto is quite expensive, which is understandable enough because it is a big Canadian tourist city.
If you want to save a bit and you do not mind staying a little further from the center, I suggest 2 accommodations: Upper Beaches Studio Apartment (from 49 € per night 10km from Toronto) and Toronto Luxury Guesthouse ( from 65 € the night at 12km from Toronto).
Day 6: Ottawa
After 3 days in Toronto and Niagara Falls, continue your week-long road trip to Canada, heading to Ottawa. Visiting Canada in a week and not going through the capital would be a shame!
Count a whole morning of road, approximately 4h15 of road, it is the longest route that you will have to make during this route. I advise you to leave early in the morning to arrive in Ottawa at the lunch break.
For your lunch, go to the Byward Market. Guests can dine on the go with some good local produce or eat at one of the many restaurants in the area. And for dessert, succumb to a beaver tail, the traditional Canadian pastry.
The Byward Market is located near Parliament Hill, the main tourist site of the city, so you can continue the day by admiring the place. All of Canada’s Parliament Buildings are clustered on this hill.
Then I suggest you visit one of the best and most interesting museums in Canada, the Canadian Museum of History. For me, this is the essential cultural activity to do in Ottawa.
The museum traces the history of all of Canada from the first nations. This is where you will find the largest collection of totems in the world ! The museum is really well done and exciting. You will not regret spending at least 3 hours in the afternoon.
For the end of the day, head for the Rideau Canal for a stroll along the shores of this UNESCO World Heritage listed canal. And if you visit Ottawa in winter , you can try ice skating. The Rideau Canal is transformed into the largest natural ice rink in the world!
Staying in Ottawa
Ottawa is Canada’s capital, it’s still a small city. The offer for accommodation is therefore a bit limited. I advise you to go ahead to book accommodation of our selection and do not hesitate too long.
- HI Ottawa Jail Hostel : Hostel located in a restored former prison. You will sleep in cells! Bed in dormitory from 30 €, breakfast included. The most: the originality of the place, the excellent location, the good breakfast.
- The Business Inn : Hotel located 1.3km from Parliament Hill. Studio very well equipped with a kitchen from 95 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the geographical situation, the spacious rooms, the presence of a computer with printer in the rooms, the possibility of being made to eat. This is our favorite for its unbeatable value for money!
- Andaz Ottawa Byward Market-a concept by Hyatt : Located in the Byward Market area. Double room with modern and refined decoration from 160 € per night, breakfast included. Goodies: the location, the friendly staff, the roof terrace, the buffet breakfast very complete and varied.
- Fairmont Château Laurier : Luxury hotel located 10 minutes walk from Parliament Hill. Spacious and comfortable double room from 350 € per night, breakfast included. What’s more: the quality of the services, the comfort of the rooms, the indoor pool, the helpful and attentive staff. The ideal to have fun!
Day 7: Mont-Tremblant
For the fifth and penultimate leg of this 1-week trip to Eastern Canada, head for Mont-Tremblant. From Ottawa, the trip takes about 1h50.
On the road, I advise you to stop to discover the Omega Park, located in Montebello, 50 minutes from Ottawa. In addition, if you are traveling with your children, this is the ideal activity for families. Omega Park allows you to discover many animals from Canada while driving in your car. Animals are at liberty: you will be able to feed some of them and observe them as closely as possible.
In the early afternoon, join Mont-Tremblant. The best way to discover Mont-Tremblant is to hike in the park. One of the most accessible trails is the rock and cornice.
You can also enjoy water activities that are proposed at the lake (in summer) or skiing (in winter). And if you have the privilege of doing this week-long road trip to Canada in the fall, you will be dazzled by the shimmering colors of the trees! And do not miss a stroll in the pedestrian village.
To stay in Mont-Tremblant
- Auberge HI Mont-Tremblant : Hostel located 5 minutes drive from the village of Mont-Tremblant and 10 minutes by bus. Bed in dormitory from 20 € per night, breakfast at 5 €. Most: the good value for money, the lake nearby, warm welcome, pleasant surroundings.
- Comfort Inn & Suites Mont-Tremblant : Hotel ideally located to enjoy the nature of Mont-Tremblant, in the village of Saint-Jovite. Spacious and comfortable double room from 75 € per night, including breakfast. The most: the heated outdoor pool, the quiet location, the comfort of the rooms.
- Escale du Nord : The hotel is located 4km from the Mont-Tremblant casino in the heart of nature. Warm double room from 100 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the ideal setting, very friendly staff, the many activities to do, the pool.
- Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant : Hotel located on Lake Ouimet. Comfortable and spacious double room from 100 € per night, breakfast at 12 €. The most: the superb view of the lake, the location, the indoor pool, the spa, the style of the hotel all in wood and with fireplace in the rooms.
- Fairmont Tremblant Hotel : This luxury hotel is located at the foot of Mont-Tremblant, right next to the pedestrian village. Double room very comfortable from 300 € per night, breakfast 19 €. Pros: all services of a 5 *, location, heated pools, quality of service, magnificent facilities.
Day 8: back to Montreal
And as all good things come to an end, today the last leg of this 7-8 day trip to Eastern Canada takes you back to where you started: Montreal.
From Mont-Tremblant, a trip of approximately 1h30 awaits you. Depending on the time of your return flight, arrive directly at the airport or choose to visit a little more Montreal!
If you only have 7 days in Eastern Canada , you can resume this route and delete step 5 of Mont-Tremblant. The 7th day will be spent on the Ottawa-Montreal route: 2 hours 10 minutes.
If you have 10 days in Canada, check our ultimate itinerary for 10 days trip in Canada!
Feel free to give us your thoughts and suggestions on our week-long itinerary in Canada!