Experience the historic cities and stunning landscapes of Ontario and Québec on this epic two-week journey by train. Start with views from Toronto's CN Tower and a day trip to Niagara Falls, then hop on a train to Ottawa to cruise down the Rideau Canal. Sample poutine and patisseries on a food tour of Montréal, step back in time amid the cobblestones of UNESCO-listed Québec City, then ride the rails to Charlevoix for hiking in Grands-Jardins National Park and whale watching on the St. Lawrence River.


  • Experience the spectacle of Niagara Falls up close 
  • Discover Ottawa's downtown before cruising along the Rideau Canal
  • Visit key sites in Montréal and Québec City and see Charlevoix's beautiful scenery
  • Explore Île d'Orléans by day and ride the Montréal Observation Wheel by night

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Dinner at the CN Tower Toronto
Day 2 Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Explore the Distillery District  Toronto
Day 3 Niagara Falls Day Trip Toronto
Day 4 Train to Ottawa, Optional Activities Ottawa
Day 5 Cruise on the Rideau Canal Ottawa
Day 6 Train to Montréal, Walking Tour & Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Montréal
Day 7 Mile End Montréal Food Tour, Space for Life Montréal
Day 8 Train to Québec City, Old Québec & Evening Cruise  Québec City
Day 9 Scenic Train to Charlevoix Charlevoix
Day 10 Visit Grands-Jardins National Park, Whale Watching Tour Charlevoix
Day 11 Train to Québec City, Canoe Ride to Huron Traditional Site Québec City
Day 12 Explore Île d'Orléans, Visit the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec Québec City
Day 13 Train to Montréal, Ride the Montréal Observation Wheel Montréal
Day 14 Depart Montréal  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Toronto, Dinner at the CN Tower

Toronto skyline
Toronto's skyline

Welcome to Canada! Touchdown in Toronto, where your driver will transfer you to your hotel in the heart of the city. Get your bearings with a stroll along the waterfront of Lake Ontario, or take a boat ride to one of the many islands. Have a picnic in High Park or go for a run on the Don Valley Trail. For those looking to get some shopping in, head to Yonge Street or Queen Street West for a variety of stores. Kensington Market is another excellent spot to explore and shop for one-of-a-kind finds.  

Don't miss a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum or the Art Gallery of Ontario. Both offer impressive collections of art, artifacts, and exhibits. For more modern art experiences, visit a nearby gallery or one of the many street art murals around the city. This evening, enjoy a lavish three-course dinner at the 1,815-foot (553 m) CN Tower. Ride a glass elevator to the revolving 360 Restaurant to dine on regional Canadian dishes with stunning city views. The dinner includes access to spectacular viewing galleries overlooking the city and Lake Ontario and the nerve-shredding glass floor.

Day 2: Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Explore the Distillery District

Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Visit Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

Enter an underwater wonderland at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, a 135,000-square-foot (12,500 sq m) exhibit with interactive displays and galleries where you can encounter over 16,000 marine creatures. Make your way through North America's longest underwater viewing tunnel, spot sharks at Dangerous Lagoon and rays at Ray Bay. The Canadian Waters gallery is a must-see and features 80 native species from around the country, including octopus, lobster, and paddlefish.

In the afternoon, head to the cobblestone streets and industrial-era buildings of the Distillery Historic District. Explore this collection of neighborhoods in Toronto's lower east end dating back to the city's origins in the early 19th century. Shop and dine in former whiskey distillery buildings and absorb the atmosphere in this ancient corner of the city.

Day 3: Niagara Falls Day Trip

Niagara Falls Day Trip
Take in views of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls

Today a guide will be waiting in the hotel lobby to take you on a visit to Niagara Falls, one of North America's most famous natural wonders. Watch a cascade of water crash 170 feet (52 m) over the cliffs at a rate of 6,000,000 cubic feet (170,000 cbm) every minute, sending vast clouds of mist into the sky. You'll take a 20-minute Hornblower Boat Ride to see the spectacle from the water, sailing past American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and into the spray of Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

In the afternoon, enjoy a meal overlooking the falls and some free time to soak up the views before moving on. Later, you'll continue to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, which lies at the mouth of the Niagara River on the Lake Ontario shore. Admire the 19th-century clapboard houses and pretty flower-filled streets on your way to a nearby winery, where you'll experience a tour and tasting session in the heart of Ontario wine country.

Day 4: Train to Ottawa, Optional Activities 

Ottawa at dusk

Head to Toronto's Union Station to catch your train to Ottawa on this scenic five-hour journey. Located on the banks of the Ottawa River, Canada's capital is a mix of old and new. Once you've checked in at your hotel, spend the rest of the afternoon discovering the city at your own pace.

Opt for a tour of the Parliament Buildings, which are the seat of Canada's government, or explore the Byward Market, home to over 200 vendors selling everything from local produce to handmade crafts. Take a stroll along the Rideau Canal, which runs through the city and offers stunning views of the Ottawa skyline. Visit some museums, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History. Spend time in some of the parks, such as Gatineau Park and the Rideau Canal. Experience the vibrant food scene with various restaurants offering everything from fine dining to casual eats.

You could also visit the Canadian Museum of History. With roots stretching back to 1856, it's one of Canada's oldest public institutions and shares its expertise in history, archaeology, ethnology, and cultural studies worldwide. Peruse four displays that tell Canada's military story, from First Nations Canadian weaponry to World War II combat.

Day 5: Cruise on the Rideau Canal

Cruise on the Rideau Canal
See Ottawa from another perspective as you cruise along the Rideau Canal

Meet at Rideau Street Bridge today for a cruise on Ottawa's Rideau Canal, protected by UNESCO for its history and beauty. The canal is a chain of scenic lakes, rivers, and channels from Lake Ontario to Ottawa. In the winter, the 125-mile (202 km) canal becomes the world's longest skating rink and is lined with paths where you can stroll along the 19th-century waterway. As you float along the canal, referred to by the Iroquois Nation as the "Garden of the Great Spirit," you'll pass historical points of interest and attractive architecture, including the Parliament Buildings, National Arts Centre, and Fairmont Château Laurier.

Day 6: Train to Montréal, Walking Tour & Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

Old Montréal Walking Tour
Downtown view of Montréal

Board your train from Ottawa's central station for your two-hour journey to Montréal. Once settled at your hotel, get to know the birthplace of the city by taking a guided tour through the historic district, which sprawls over several blocks near the St. Lawrence River. Cross cobblestone roads lined with 17th-century landmarks, markets, and bustling pedestrian streets like Saint Paul. Highlights include the City Hall, Place Royale, and the Gothic-revival Notre-Dame Basilica, found in the Place d'Armes square.

Spend time exploring the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), which features exhibitions combining various disciplines, from film and music to fashion and design. You'll also find collections of international art with a focus on local Québec pieces. Make time for the two new pavilions: the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion and the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace. The MMFA complex includes Bourgie Hall, a 462-seat concert hall, an auditorium, and a movie theater.
Plan your trip to Canada
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Day 7: Mile End Montréal Food Tour, Space for Life

Mile End Montréal Food Tour
Rue Saint Paul in Montréal 

Take a food tour of Montréal's famous Mile End, a thriving community of musicians, artists, and young entrepreneurs. You'll explore the area's back alleys and trendy shops with a local guide to uncover some of Montréal's best cuisine. Sample everything from famous St-Viateur bagels to poutine and gourmet patisseries. End with a drink at one of Mile End's top breweries.

Later on you'll continue to Space for Life, a Montréal museum district in and around the Olympic Park. You'll find four museums: the Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Garden, and Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan. This interactive space allows you to journey through America's ecosystems in the Biodome, visit 185 acres (75 ha) of themed botanical gardens, delve into space exploration, and explore one of the largest insect museums in North America.

Day 8: Train to Québec City, Old Québec & Evening Cruise

Old Québec
Journey back in time in Québec City

Say goodbye to Montréal this morning and take the three-hour train ride north to Québec City. Wander the narrow alleys of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only walled city north of Mexico. Absorb the 17th and 18th-century architecture, which features European-style church spires, hilltop citadels, and stone buildings that now house French-style bistros. Learn about European influences at Place Royale, where Québec City was officially founded.

City highlights include the grand Château Frontenac. Walk along the city's ancient walls and take photos of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace. Named in honor of Lord Dufferin, a governor-general of Canada who loved Québec City, the terrace is so popular that it's been expanded twice. While you're there, hit up another historic site, the Saint‑Louis Forts and Châteaux, located beneath this famed promenade.

End the day with an evening cruise, taking in views of Québec City from the water. Board a boat for a relaxing cruise along the St. Lawrence River, watching the city's lights pass by. Look for key landmarks like Château Frontenac, illuminated at night.

Day 9: Scenic Train to Charlevoix

Explore Charlevoix
Take the Train de Charlevoix along the St. Lawrence River

Travel by scenic rail today on the Train de Charlevoix. During this five to six-hour journey, you'll have options to stop in Baie-Saint-Paul or La Malbaie within the Charlevoix region. First up is Baie-Saint-Paul, known for having the most art galleries in Canada. Stroll along its charming streets and dine at one of its many fine restaurants. Enjoy the gorgeous riverside panoramas as the train ride continues before stopping at La Malbaie with its world-class golf clubs. See the castle-like Fairmont Manoir Richelieu and a flourishing restaurant scene.

As you arrive in Charlevoix, the sea and the mountains make for a magnificent setting. Created by a meteorite that crashed over 400 million years ago, Charlevoix is known for its rolling hills that shadow the St. Lawrence River. Once you've checked in at your hotel, you can sip coffee on pretty terraces along the mountainside or in the hollow of peaceful coves and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine. Charlevoix has an impressive range of outdoor activities and cultural events all year round.

Day 10: Grands-Jardins National Park, Whale Watching Tour

Grands-Jardins National Park
Grands-Jardins National Park

Spend some time in nature today, starting with a hike amid the remarkable landscapes of Grands-Jardins National Park. As you climb up the 3,215-foot (980 m) Mont du Lac des Cygnes, you'll be surrounded by dense forests. The black-backed woodpecker sets the pace as you hike, and, in autumn, the subalpine plants turn purple, red, and orange. Be on the lookout for woodland caribou, lynx, and foxes that find refuge in the woods, safe from prying eyes.

After an invigorating workout, descend from the mountains and head to the shores. Have your camera ready for whale watching on a three-hour cruise along the St. Lawrence River. Near the mouth of the Saguenay River, you'll find various species of whales coming to feed.

Day 11: Train to Québec City, Canoe Ride to Huron Traditional Site

Huron Traditional Site
Kabir Kouba River

Get ready for a change of scenery as you depart from La Malbaie or Baie-Saint-Paul for your return to Québec City on this scenic six-hour train journey. After you arrive, a guide in period costume will greet you and take you on a canoe ride along the Kabir Kouba River as you immerse yourself in Huron-Wendat culture. When you arrive at the Traditional Huron Site, you'll be welcomed at the dock and led into the forest as you learn the legend of the Great Snake, Kabir Kouba.

Experience the sacred dances and ceremonies that thank the creator for the harvest of fruit and corn during fall. The Hurons-Wendat also did these dances during different holidays, and they were held between the first and the thirteenth moon. At the end of the show, you'll be invited to participate in a dance called "the friendship dance" before returning to the city.

Day 12: Explore Île d'Orléans, Visit the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

Explore Île d'Orléans
A farm on the Île d'Orléans

This morning, you'll take a self-guided tour of Île d'Orléans, a 22-mile-long (35 km) island just 15 minutes from Québec City. Classed as a historic district, this idyllic island is the birthplace of French North America, home to villages established by original settlers back in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over 600 buildings on the island have been restored to their colonial splendor, including the oldest rural church in New France, Église Saint-Pierre.

Île d'Orléans is also a hotspot for artisans and food lovers. Stop at cheesemakers and farm stands loaded with locally-grown produce to pick up picnic supplies, which you can enjoy at a scenic spot overlooking the St. Lawrence River. You can also visit a vineyard or cider producer for a tasting session and browse for souvenirs at a gourmet chocolate shop before returning to Québec City.

Later, you'll have the option to visit the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, whose aim is to promote and preserve Québec art, showcasing over 42,000 pieces dating from the 17th century to the present day. Browse permanent exhibitions focusing on art in the early French colonies to contemporary works. Don't miss the Brousseau Collection of Inuit Art, one of the museum's highlights.

Day 13: Train to Montréal, Ride the Montréal Observation Wheel

Ride the Montréal Observation Wheel
 Montréal Observation Wheel

This morning, head to the train station for the beautiful three-hour journey back to Montréal. Once checked in at your hotel, relax or stroll along the pedestrian streets. For your final evening in town, take a ride on La Grande Roue de Montréal ("Montréal's Big Wheel"), Canada's largest observation wheel at 200 feet (60 m) high. Set on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the wheel offers views of Old Montréal and beyond; step into a climate-controlled pod to soar above the city and savor panoramic views.

Day 14: Depart Montréal

Bye-bye Canada!
Farewell Canada!

Today your Canadian adventure comes to an end. You'll be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Eastern Canada by Train: Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Quebec City & Charlevoix - 14 Days
Map of Eastern Canada by Train: Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Quebec City & Charlevoix - 14 Days