Canadian History and Culture by Rail

Canadian History and Culture By Rail

10

days

starting from US $3,206per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars
(7 reviews)

Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.

Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.

Sit back, relax and enjoy this meandering journey through eastern Canada by train. The spectacular countryside of Ontario and Quebec rolls past your train window – lakes, forests, quaint villages and bustling small towns, rolling farmland dotted with farmhouses and tumbledown red barns. At the end of each day you’ll arrive at a fascinating new city to explore, for this is a journey between Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City.

Canadian History and Culture By Rail – Map Niagara on the Lake Niagara on the Lake town center Niagara Falls, Ontario The VIA Rail 'Corridor' train travels over a bridge A colourful historic street in Quebec Le Massif train travels by a river in the Charlevoix region, Quebec
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Trip at a glance

Arrive in Toronto
2 nights in
Niagara-on-the-Lake
1 night in Toronto
2 nights in Ottawa
2 nights in Montreal
2 nights in Quebec City

Itinerary

Please note, this trip can be customized to your needs - just ask one of our local experts when you call.

Day 1 – Welcome to Niagara-on-the-Lake
Arrive in Canada's largest city, Toronto, and be whisked away to the charming town of Niagara on the Lake. Surrounding you are rolling vineyards and blooming flowers, framing Lake Ontario. Eagerly check in to your appealing accommodations before heading out to explore the town. Take in the fun holiday atmosphere as residents celebrate the beauty of the season.

Feature Dinner in Niagara-on-the-Lake
This evening, savour cuisine inspired by locally sourced products from the fertile Niagara region. Try award winning wines expertly paired with your gourmet meal. Make great memories from the very beginning of your vacation.

Day 2 – Niagara Falls or Niagara Wine Tasting
Today you have 2 options from which to choose from:

· Option 1: Niagara Falls Tour
On a small group, venture to Niagara Falls. Highlights of the area include: The Upper Rapids, Niagara Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and Table Rock. Enjoy a thrilling ride on the world famous Hornblower Cruise. This tour also includes a buffet lunch.
Activity rating: Easy

· Option 2: Niagara Wine Tour
Travel the lush Niagara Peninsula on this delightful wine tour. Visit two renowned Niagara wineries and enjoy a wine tasting at each winery. Enjoy a delicious lunch along the Niagara Parkway.
Activity rating: Easy

Whether you decide to witness the splendor of the Niagara Gorge, or the rolling woodlands of wine country, you will end your day full of wonder and discovery. Overnight in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Day 3 – Onward to Toronto
As you travel back to the ‘big city’ this morning, the funky and colorful neighborhoods of Toronto are waiting to be explored. Spend the day at your leisure and discover what lies behind Toronto’s famous skyline. From a visit to the bustling St. Lawrence Market to the many vibrant neighborhoods this city has to offer there is no shortage of things to see.

Feature Dinner in Toronto
This evening go up the famous CN tower and enjoy an unforgettable three course dinner combined with an outstanding revolving view of Toronto more than 350 metres (1,150 ft) below. Don’t forget to plan some extra time before your meal to enjoy the glass floor outdoor terrace. Overnight in Toronto.

Day 4 - Canadian Train Journey - VIA Rail’s Corridor to Ottawa
Settle into your seat for a relaxing train journey in the company of fellow travelers. Travel along the shores of Lake Ontario, past the thick forests and over rivers; the train will travel through villages and farms, with grain towers gleaming in the sunlight, and red barns in various states of repair. Overnight in Ottawa.

Day 5 – In Ottawa – The Capital of Canada
Ottawa is a beautiful Canadian city, with countless attractions and hidden gems. This is the federal capital of Canada so museums abound - the Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum and the National Art Gallery, all awaiting your visit.

You have
3 options to choose from to enjoy Ottawa to its fullest.

• Option 1: Private Sightseeing
ON this private sightseeing tour of Ottawa visit all the highlights of Canada’s national capital including - Parliament Buildings, embassies, universities and museums. Check out the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Civilization, the residence of the Prime Minister and the National Arts Centre.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Ottawa Bike Tour
See the sights of Ottawa from the seat of a bicycle – hit all the highlights and enjoy beautiful views of the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River, cycling over the Portage Bridge and towards Quebec’s Gatineau Hills.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: Walking Tour
Why not take a leisurely stroll around Ottawa on this guided walking tour. Visit Parliament Hilll, The National War Memorial, Sparks Street, The Byward Market and other major city highlights.
Activity rating: Moderate

Day 6 – Train to Montreal
As the train rocks and sways out of Ottawa, you will start to notice more and more French words floating in the background. You journey towards the open farmland of eastern Quebec, chat with old friends and new, dip into a book, or do the crossword. This is what train travel in Canada and being on vacation is all about!

Arriving in bilingual Montreal, you settle into your hotel and go for a walk - enjoy the shopping, the cobbled streets of the Old Town, or the entertainers outside a sidewalk cafe. Overnight in Montreal.

Feature Dinner in Montreal
Try something different tonight - sit back and enjoy Nordic Cuisine whilst sailing down the St. Lawrence River. Get a unique perspective on Montreal, and indulge in rich cuisine with distinct Nordic ingredients. This fresh and authentic approach to cooking guarantees a memorable evening where all your senses are awakened!

Day 7 - Tour Montreal
Bienvenue à Montréal! You have
3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Montreal.

• Option 1: Hop on/Hop off Bus Tour
Hit all the big stops along this route - including the Notre Dame Basilica, Bonsecours Market and Mont Royal Park. Hop on and hop off as much as you like for the full day!
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Montreal Highlights by Bicycle
A 3-hour tour by bike that takes in major sights and neighborhoods and learn about the history of the area. Also have the chance to indulge in a delicious picnic at a farmer’s market.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: Walking Food Tour
Explore ‘The Main’ – Canada’s answer to The Lower East Side, where you will find culinary masterpieces. Try some tasty morsels, and learn the story of the culinary roots and the communities formed in Montreal.
Activity rating: Moderate

Day 8 – Your Canadian railway vacation continues - Montreal to Quebec City
Voyage by train to the city the French and English battled so fiercely over. As the St. Lawrence River dances in the sunlight, the charming town of Cap-de-la-Madeleine passes outside your window. At the end of the day, step off the train into Quebec City, where your surroundings fill-up with old stone buildings, cobbled streets, Quebec’s distant mountains, and a wealth of history and culture.

Overnight in Quebec City.

Day 9 – Quebec City
Today you have 3 options to choose from to help you enjoy Quebec and its surrounding area:

• Option 1: Quebec Bus Tour
Spend the day discovering Quebec City’s French Canadian culture on a group bus tour. From your comfortable seat, enjoy the beautiful architecture of the fortified city, visit historic sites commemorating the battles between French and English, and take in the sights of this unique city.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Private Military Walking Tour
A favourite of history buffs, this tour allows you to discover Quebec City’s role as a military city and learn how various conflicts and sieges have shaped the 400-year-old capital. Visit the Citadel and its associated museum and from July to the beginning of September you may also see the changing of the guard. Visit the Plains of Abraham where the well-known battle took place between the French and British Armies in 1759.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: The Food Tour – Canadian Signature Experience
So confident are the folks that run this tour – that they simply called it ‘The Food Tour’ – the only food tour you will need to take! This tour covers seven different venues, and samples about 15 different products. Try food of French Canadian origin from crepes to organic wine.
Activity rating: Moderate

Day 10 - Departure - your Canadian train vacation comes to an end
Say farewell to Canada's scenery, history and culture as you are transferred to Quebec City’s airport, in time for your flight home.

Common Questions

Are you on the train the whole time?

All of our trips include some stops to get off the train, to explore Canada's beautiful national parks and unique cities. However, if you're keen to maximize your time onboard, we'll pair you up with the perfect experience.

Is this an escorted tour?

While our trips are not "escorted," we combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe. Click here for a more detailed comparison.

How do the trains work in Canada compared to the US or UK?

Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in Europe and the US), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, plus great food.

What types of trains are used?

Two main companies operate trains in Canada: VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer.

Rocky Mountaineer operates daylight touring trains, which travel along 3 of the most spectacular routes in Western Canada. You'll enjoy onboard commentary, award winning service, and incredible food.

VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of Northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.

What we love about this trip

Niagara region, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and rural Quebec

Travel onboard VIA Rail

Stunning Quebec countryside

Daily departures!

Closer to God

Inside story #6

‘Closer to God’

What Clients Say

What a wonderful, memorable family vacation!

What a wonderful, memorable family vacation!

Star Rating 5

What a wonderful, memorable family vacation! We really enjoyed visiting Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. Very pleasant experience on the Via Rail train ride between Toronto and Montreal, and Montreal to Quebec City. Excellent accommodations at Fairmont Royal York (Toronto) and Fairmont... read more

What's Included

Here are the things to look forward to on this trip...

Daytime tour on Via Rail 'Corridor' train - Daytime tour on Via Rail 'Corridor' train
Daytime tour on Via Rail 'Corridor' train
Niagara Falls tour - Niagara Falls tour
Niagara Falls tour
Toronto hop-on hop-off tour - Toronto hop-on hop-off tour
Toronto hop-on hop-off tour
Ottawa step-on step-off tour - Ottawa step-on step-off tour
Ottawa step-on step-off tour
Accommodations & rail service:
• 9 nights of hotel accommodation
• Daytime rail journeys on VIA Rail’s Corridor Train - Toronto /Ottawa/ Montreal / Quebec City*

* Economy for comfort class (ask us about upgrading), business class including 3 course meals & wine for Boutique and Deluxe guests.


Sightseeing & activities:
• Your choice of hand-picked activities in Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City*

* Price of your trip may vary depending on activity choices.
* Some activities may not be available on all trip start dates, due to seasonal weather conditions. Vacation Advisor can provide further details.

Dining experiences:
• Feature dinner in Niagara-on-the-Lake
• 3 course dinner at the CN Tower in Toronto
• Feature dinner cruise in Montreal
• Gourmet meals on the Corridor Train for Business class guests.

Transfers:
• Bus transfer from Toronto airport to Niagara-on-the-Lake or Niagara Falls
• Bus transfer from Niagara-on-the-Lake or Niagara Falls to downtown Toronto
• Train station transfers
• Personalized transfer to Quebec City’s airport, in time for your flight home

Additional:
• Gratuities for most private tours and transfers (unless otherwise noted)
• Documentation package
• Friendly and dedicated Fresh Tracks Canada customer service

 

Not Included

• Meals, other than those mentioned
• Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
• Gratuities for rail, hotel, tour & transfer staff
• Trip Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended)
• Canadian Sales Taxes

 

 

Customize this trip a little, or a lot...

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Work with us to personalize this trip by adding some amazing side trips & activities, like...

Taking the train to the Charlevoix region
Taking the train to the Charlevoix region
Extra nights in your destinations
Extra nights in your destinations
Driving up the Saguenay Fjord
Driving up the Saguenay Fjord
Visiting Mont Tremblant resort town
Visiting Mont Tremblant resort town
• Upgrade to Business Class for access to the Panorama Lounge at the train station, priority boarding, and meals and bar service, including alcoholic drinks served by an attendant on board the train
• Add some time in Montreal to visit the Laurentian mountains, including Mont Tremblant
• Rent a car and drive up the stunning Saguenay Fjord to explore the parks or take in some whale watching
• Add on a car rental and spend a few days exploring the charming Eastern Townships in Quebec
• Spend some extra time in Quebec City and visit the charming island - Ile d’Orleans for spectacular views, local artisans and gourmet local fare

Accommodation Options

Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

Auberge Bonaparte - Boutique style hotel roomAuberge Bonaparte - Charming interiors

Auberge Bonaparte

An example of our Comfort Level hotel accommodations

The cozy Auberge Bonaparte is a charmingly historic inn, nestled in Old Montreal. Along with an award winning French restaurant, guests can enjoy sunny summer days or moonlit nights on the rooftop terrace. A full complimentary breakfast at the restaurant is included in your stay here (or continental breakfast if guests choose to eat in their room).

Hotel Place d’Armes - Chic and elegant rooms are perfect for those seeking seductive comfortHotel Place d’Armes - Relax in the elegant setting of Suite 701,  serving modern brasserie cuisineHotel Place d’Armes - Enjoy dining and drinks al fresco on the terraceHotel Place d’Armes - Hotel ExteriorHotel Place d’Armes - Modern bathroom

Hotel Place d’Armes

An example of our Boutique Hotel accommodations

It takes a special hotel to equal Montreal's unique urban sophistication and charm, and that's exactly what the 4.5 star Hotel Place d'Armes is. Luxury and exceptional service are the rule at this gem nestled among the lovely cobbled streets of Old Montreal. Here, you'll discover three centuries of history, boutiques and art galleries as well as fine dining and vibrant nightlife.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - Fairmont on hillFairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - Fairmont RoomFairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - Indoor PoolFairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - Hotel exterior

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

An example of our Deluxe accommodations

This deluxe landmark chateau-style hotel is located within the walled city of Old Quebec. To enjoy views of the St. Lawrence River, upgrade to a deluxe view room. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 2 lounges, a pool with whirlpool, fitness room, steam bath, spa, and shops.

 

Prices & Dates

Start dates
Vacation starts daily from Toronto*

The prices listed below are based on travel service and hotel class for this journey:
• Prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single, triple and child rates can be provided on request.
• Pricing is based on departure date, travel service and hotel class for this journey and may vary from your personalized itinerary.
Limited availability and surcharges may apply during the Grand Prix in Montreal (June). Please call your advisor for details
Comfort Level Hotels
from US $3,848to US $4,156per person

Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

Boutique Level Hotels
from US $3,206to US $3,462per person

Our Boutique Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Boutique Level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Private drivers and unique tours complete your itinerary.

Fresh Tracks Favorite
Deluxe Level Hotels
from US $4,548to US $4,912per person

On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

Canadian Train Vacations Vs. Others

Canadian Train Vacations Local Travel Agency Online Booking
Independent Travel

Flexibility and freedom of a personalized tour to suit your travel goals.

     
Personalized itineraries

Carefully crafted to your budget and needs.

     
Insider Knowledge

Plan your trip with help from insiders who live and travel in Canada. You'll know when to come, where to stay, which train to take, and lots more...

     
Local Support

Someone in Canada you can call before and during your trip, seven days a week.

     
No-one can be trusted more

You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations.

Our accreditation and consumer protection partners
     

Pre-packaged Trips

One-size-fits-all approach.

     

Group Tours

Cheapest type of travel with rigid itineraries and crowds.

     

Why choose us?

Online booking sites prefer you to book your vacation with them online. Truthfully, they'd prefer you not to bother them at all! Our approach is completely the opposite.

We don't use online booking – instead we use technology to put visitors directly in touch with our Canadian travel insiders because we believe the best vacations are personal.

Online booking sites and local travel agencies focus on multiple destinations – we focus only on Canada because it's our home and we know it better than anyone else.

Fresh Tracks Canada Team

Canadian Train Vacations Team

No one can be trusted more...

You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations

Consumer Protection BC

Consumer Protection BC

  • License Number: 31202
  • The Travel Assurance Fund (TAF) provides a possible source of compensation when consumers do not receive the travel services they purchased through a BC licensed travel agent.
ABTA

ABTA

  • Membership Number: Y6176
  • Our UK clients have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct which means that all package holidays sold by Canadian Train Vacations (Fresh Tracks Canada) in the UK are covered by a full financial protection in the event of the company failure.
  • We're one of the only agencies in Canada offering this protection.
BBB Accreditation Business

BBB

  • A BBB Accredited Business since 08/02/2008
  • Highest rating: A+
  • BBB has determined that Fresh Tracks (Canada) Inc meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
IATA

IATA

  • Fresh Tracks Canada is an IATA Accredited Agent.
  • Full accreditation authorizes travel agents to sell international and/or domestic tickets on behalf of IATA member airlines. It also allows access to IATA's Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), an efficient interface for invoicing and payment between the agent, airlines and transport providers.

Still not sure we can help you?

See What These Canadian Train Vacation Customers Are Saying…

Customer Reviews & Testimonials

What a wonderful, memorable family vacation!

Star Rating 5
August 18, 2016

What a wonderful, memorable family vacation! We really enjoyed visiting Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. Very pleasant experience on the Via Rail train ride between Toronto and Montreal, and Montreal to Quebec... read more City. Excellent accommodations at Fairmont Royal York (Toronto) and Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (Quebec City).

Keep up the wonderful work you do

Star Rating 5
July 21, 2016

Thank you all so much for all you did, the vacation ended well and will definitely recommend you to everyone going to Canada. Keep up the wonderful work you do. Many people do the planning themselves when traveling, including myself,... read more but using your services made me fall in love with travel agencies all over again. When we go back to Canada again we will give you a call for sure! Thank you!  

Your company is first rate

Star Rating 5
June 2, 2016

We had a great time! I have some wonderful pictures and memories. Your company is first rate for sure. We loved the two higher level hotels and would not have found them on our own. Can't say enough good about them (despite a too... read more soft mattress in one of them). More later, but I hope to travel with your company again! And thanks for the welcoming treats at the first hotel, champagne and chocolate, how special is that...

Thank you for arranging such a successful vacation

Star Rating 5
September 17, 2014

Our trip was a very good experience overall and we would recommend Fresh Tracks Canada. We enjoyed each city and your arrangements worked out very well. The train experience was fun and a very efficient way to travel.  Everyone... read more we met was very helpful and friendly. Thank you for arranging such a successful vacation.

The package you put together was phenomenal

Star Rating 5
September 28, 2014

Thank you for such a wonderful vacation we will remember for the rest of our lives! We all had an awesome time and the package you put together was phenomenal. Janet and Gordon were very happy with the beautiful Hotels and the... read more train ride itself, it was a very good time. Thank you again.

The attention to detail was really nice

Star Rating 5
October 16, 2011

Our trip was wonderful! The attention to detail in all transportation was really nice. The limos and drivers were on time and very helpful. Local bus tours/drivers were well worth the time and greatly enhanced our visits and knowledge... read more of the cities. The hotels were superior, especially the Fairmont in Toronto. The Deltas in the other cities were fine. The only disappointment was in Montreal, where the dining room menu had been greatly abbreviated apparently due to staff shortage. All staff were courteous and helpful. Local people were all very friendly. I was impressed with how clean all the cities were (Montreal perhaps less so). The weather was very wet (only one whole day of sunshine), with few glimpses of anything but rain clouds and lots of wind. Nevertheless, we had a great time. The fall colors were gorgeous. While we Wisconsinites are accustomed to fall colors, our traveling companions are from California, so seeing the scenery was a real treat for them. We were amazed at the parliament buildings in Ottawa. LOVED, loved, loved Quebec City. It is so European and quaint. Food was great everywhere. Trains were clean and comfortable. We are considering doing the Rockies trip in the future, having noted that the rail line plans to improve sleeping cars soon. Thanks for your help in making our trip so memorable.

The trip was planned to our satisfaction

Star Rating 5
June 8, 2011

This is to express our sincere thanks to you for scheduling such a delightful vacation for Robert and me along with our friends, the Raifords and the Smiths. We had a ball in Canada! There was so much to do and see on the Canadian... read more Culture and History tour in each city, but we also had sufficient time to explore each city on our own. The weather was perfect and the natives were very friendly and welcoming (especially in Toronto). We knew the itinerary looked awesome and it was just that! The trip was planned to our satisfaction and we could not have planned a more enjoyable vacation. I will be busy uploading photos that will bring back many beautiful memories of this vacation. When our travel plans call another visit to Canada, we will make sure to contact your company. Thanks so much for making this a carefree, wonderful and pleasant trip. My friends thought I was just awesome for discovering and choosing your company for our travel.

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  • Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
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