...Trip idea

Rail Roads Through Canada’s Eastern Cities

Discover a quad of eastern Canadian cities linked by train, travelling in business class on this cultural exploration starting with a visit to Niagara Falls.

Highlights

  • Enjoy an exploratory trip to eastern Canada discovering the French-Canadian heritage of Québec, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal
  • Take the stress out of travel by journeying aboard business class on the VIA Rail which links each city on your itinerary
  • Experience one of Canada’s most magnificent natural sights: the Niagara Falls
  • Appreciate the perks of private transfers, expert guiding, curated trips and behind-the-scenes access
  • Discover fascinating French-Canadian architecture, art and culture in each city’s Old Town, museums and galleries
  • Savour a wealth of worldwide foodie experiences from poutine, fine dining to Asian delicacies

There’s no doubt that travelling by train in business class adds in an element of effortless relaxation, as you sit back and watch scenery fly by, changing as your journey progresses. There is also an attractive contrast to your slow travel trip with the dynamic energy and cultural heritage of Canada’s eastern cities and of course the thundering Niagara Falls.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly direct from London Heathrow to Toronto and return from Montreal.

WHEN TO GO

We recommend visiting from late spring when it starts to get warmer. Summer can be busy but buzzy with lively festivals in the cities. Autumn is a great time to catch the colours of the changing foliage.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The mix of contemplative time on the train paired with cultural cities, insider tours and world food at every stop is hard to beat.

Gooderham or Flatiron Building in downtown Toronto – Toronto, On
Skyline of Toronto in Canada
Niagara Falls boat tours attraction. Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Niagara Falls aerial view Canada
Niagara Falls
Toronto Skyline Aerial View, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Days 1-4 Toronto

Canada’s biggest city, Toronto is a busy hub of modern architecture, located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Characterised by dominating landmarks, spot the soaring CN Tower and the futuristic Sky Dome sitting alongside prestigious museums. Enjoy the pleasures of this thriving city with fine dining in the newly regenerated Distillery District and designer shopping in Yorkville.

Take a memorable day trip with a private driver to the thundering cascades of Niagara Falls. Made up of three separate falls, enjoy the view from several vantage points, soaking up the plunging curtain of water at Horseshoe Falls plus a boat trip to the base of the frothing water. Savour lunch before an exclusive wine tasting in Ontario’s acclaimed wine-making region, Niagara Peninsula.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Rideau canal in Ottawa, Canada. Summer view.
Ottawa River Looking to Hull
Ottawa’s well-known central building is located on Elgin Street
The Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
Alleys and cobblestone roads in Old Montreal
The Basilica of Notre-Dame in Montreal
National Gallery of Canada with colourful sunset sky, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Days 5-7 Ottawa

Four hours will fly by aboard the VIA Rail in business class taking you from Toronto to Ottawa, speeding past forests of maple trees, Canada’s iconic emblem, as you dine on a delicious hot lunch served with a glass of Canadian wine.

Arriving in Ottawa, be enchanted by this attractive city, full of green spaces and parks, rivers, nature and the Rideau Canal. Easily walkable, take a guided tour with an expert to discover Ottawa’s history including why Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital in 1857. Admire the cluster of neo-Gothic government buildings at Parliament Hill where the pinnacle of the clock tower soars into the sky before dropping by Byward Market to sample traditional poutine. Spend time in the National Gallery of Canada to gaze at illuminating works of Indigenous and Canadian art. Evenings can be enjoyed on Elgin Street for upmarket Mexican cuisine, Italian steaks or refined Asian fare.

View from Levis city on cityscape and skyline of Quebec City, Ca
Gare du Palais, the main train station of Quebec City, Canada
Saint Louis Gate – La porte Saint-Louis, Quebec City – Canada
the emblem of the old city of Quebec, the Château Frontenac

Days 8-10 Quebec City

Board back onto VIA Rail in business class to continue northwards to Quebec City for a journey of around six hours. Sit back and relax with a delectable meal and a glass of wine, appreciating your luxurious, stress-free mode of transport as you cross the rushing Saint Lawrence River and pass by Montreal and the rugged backdrop of the volcanic Monteregian Hills.

Arrive by rail to 400-year-old Quebec City via the Gare du Palais and feel welcomed to this well-preserved city of considerable charm and French influence, sitting riverside by the flowing Saint Lawrence River in the Quebec province. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, French-Canadian Quebec is a walled city that is easy to stroll around amid its cobbled streets and ramparts, dotted with historic buildings such as the Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires and the Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Quebec. Stop for a coffee and croissant to take in the enchanting scene including the labyrinthine Basse-Ville (Lower Town) where the Quartier du Petit-Champlain, the oldest shopping area in North America, is a pleasant place to browse the galleries and artisan shops. For something special, allow us to arrange a private yacht to sail along the Saint Lawrence River.

Montreal city in Canada autumn season colourful threes
Beautiful houses in a street of Montreal, Canada
Montreal from top view at sunset in Canada
Alleys and cobblestone roads in Old Montreal
The Saint Joseph Oratory in Montreal, Canada is a National Histo

Days 11-13 Montreal

Your last journey by rail, enjoy a short yet sumptuous rail trip of three hours in business class, passing by rural landscapes that wrap around small communities, dense forests and glades of maple trees. As you approach Montreal see how the Monteregian Hills give way to city suburbs as you near your destination.

The island city of Montreal is found in the province of Québec and is bordered by the Saint Lawrence River. Canada’s second largest city, multi-cultural Montreal is a vibrant fusion of North America and Europe, with at least 70% of the population speaking French as their primary language. The historic quarter of Vieux-Montreal is full of Parisian charm including the Basilique Notre-Dame and Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours which contrast with the glinting skyscrapers of downtown Montreal. Food is a big part of this city – enjoy a foodie tour around the cuisine of Chinatown and Little Italy or stroll around the parks and forests of Mont Royal. End your trip on a high with a tasting menu at a fine dining institution – let us handle your reservations. With a private transfer taking you to the airport, start your journey home armed with memories of a rail route through eastern Canada.

SUMMARY

Exploring by train creates a stress-free ambience to soak up Canada’s eastern cities, an enchanting mix of culture and history, closely fringed by nature. This is a carefully curated trip that uses our network of private guides to open up insider experiences just for you.

Sarah Ward Hedges

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Sarah’s profile
“Eastern Canada throws up a wealth of French-Canadian culture from UNESCO World Heritage sites, to Michelin-starred French food, cobbled Old Towns to charming cafés. Speak to me about putting together your perfect itinerary to visit eastern Canada’s historic cities by rail.”

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

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