Tight Arse Tips
Canadian economy is much like ours in Australia so you cant really buy cheap stuff but i can recommend a few tips to make your stay a bit easier and less hassle.
Go grab a hearty breakfast at any Tim Hortons outlet, you wont be disappointed.
I advise to catch the VIA train service from Vancouver BC to Jasper AB because during the snow season the roads may be cut. The fare for a communal sleeper is $160 and takes 18 hours with magnificent views out the massive train windows, in the dining carriages and glass roofed observation carriages. You can move freely around the train depending on seat availability, we slept in a double Decker bunk bed and then walked to the observation carriage during the day.
Book tickets here https://www.viarail.ca/en
Hire a car at Jasper AB at the train station, (book car in advance because Hertz close at 5pm) and drive yourself from Jasper to Calgary which is a total of 550km with overnight stops at Lake Louise and Banff using highway 93 through the Canadian Rockies, some of the most beautiful snow capped mountains i have ever seen. There is a $10/person park pass charge to use this highway.
So after Seattle we flew 45 minutes north to Vancouver Canada, and caught a taxi for $35 to the Howard Johnson Hotel in 1176 Granville St, Vancouver, in the heart of the city for $200 per night. Hire a bicycle and helmet from City Cycle Bike rentals at 1344 Burrard St, Vancouver for $25/day, and ride along Stanley Park Seawall Path all the way to Stanley Park and return 10 km. Also visit Granville Island market under the Granville Bridge.
Another great thing to do is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, catch a tour there or a taxi or even ride your hire bicycle, get tickets here for $45. https://www.capbridge.com/
We arrived in Jasper at 445pm just enough time to get our hire car from the Hertz Booth in the train station. We stayed at the Marmot Lodge 86 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB for $70 including breakfast for two people. This Lake LouiseLake Louisehotel is close enough to explore the village on foot, you only need one night here.
230 Km east of Jasper on highway 93 lies the famous Lake Louise with its ski fields in winter and Turquoise lake in the warmer months. The drive from Jasper takes you through glacier country and moose herds, so have a charged camera at hand. There’s not much to do in Lake Louise except sight seeing, and Snow Board lessons, and you only need one night here also. Stayed at the Lake Louise Inn.
Snowboarding lessons are $80 for 3 hours and well worth the selfie opportunities as you land on your arse 50 times 🙂
60 Km further east along Hwy 93 is the Challet town of Banff, almost at the end of the Rocky Mountain range.
Here you can ride the gondola at 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB to the top of Sulphur Mountain 7500Ft for $50 and $30 for kids. Free Shuttle – During the summer months there is limited parking at the Banff Gondola. They offer a free shuttle that departs every 30 minutes from the Elk Avenue Hotel at 333 Banff Avenue and from Evelyn’s Coffee World at 215 Banff .
Our final leg of the Canadian adventure was the 120km east from Banff to Calgary on Hwy 1. Here we just relaxed after 5 weeks on the go day and night, and just looked around the city centre, and then flying back to Los Angeles en-route to Australia.
We loved Canada so much so we decided to return but this time see central Southern parts of Ontario and Quebec, the major draw card Niagara falls. We crossed the Canadian border after a Detroit Michigan Baseball game, easy transition with the hire car and the visa waiver program. We then drove along Hwy 401 to London, overnight there and next day onto Hwy 403 to Niagara Falls a total distance of 400 km. Here we stayed at Ramada by Wyndham Niagara Falls 4357 River Rd for $55 a night, with a 5km return walk to the falls along the Niagara Parkway.
In the city centre are a shitload of touristy stuff to do but we have done most of those activities somewhere else in the world, so no need to waste money doubling up on the same experiences.
From here you can walk across the Rainbow Toll Bridge to enter the United States state of New York to see the falls from their side, spectacular to say the least, remember to carry your passport.
I got thirsty so my son went to Captain Jacks Fun centre and i went to the Niagara Brewing Company for a few beers on Clifton Hill Rd. After that hard Rock Cafe was a compulsory pit stop, we go to every one wherever in the world we are.
130 Km down Hwy 403 Niagara Falls is Toronto, we didn’t stay overnight here we used trip adviser to inform us that the number one thing to see there was Casa Loma, no need to pay just look around outside. http://www.casaloma.ca/
After Toronto we continued we made our way 550 km, via overnight Bellevile to Montreal. Another architectural masterpiece we found in Montreal was the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. From Montreal we drove South to Vermont USA.