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  1. #1

    Default Couple of questions about Canada

    Hi folks,

    I have a couple of questions:

    I'm from Scotland and next year around May or June me and my girl are planning to fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive off towards Regina.
    I was wondering if this is a good time of year to travel.

    Also what motels hotels are like in that area?

    and also if you can travel from that part of Canada over to the French providence without going into the USA.

    If you could let me know that would be great.

    Also this would be our first trip to Canada/America so any lovely stuff to look at would be wonderful.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default basics

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There certainly is nothing wrong with traveling at that time of year, however, there may be some passes or mountain areas that are still closed for the winter. I don't have a lot of specifics in this regard, so you'll have to do some researching if you plan to spend a lot of your time exploring the fabulous Canadian Rockies.

    Motels in Canada are pretty much just like the US, and you'll find a variety of options depending upon your budget and preferred amenities.

    Traveling across Canada is quite easy. The Trans Canada Highway goes coast to coast. Its not a freeway like an American Interstate, but it is a highly traveled good quality road. It will have some freeway/expressway sections in cities, but in rural areas it is generally a 2 lane road, with regular passing lanes. The trip from Calgary to Montreal is about 2300 miles, and I'd allow at least 5 days for the trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Quite Possible

    Ceud měle fŕilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    May and June are glorious times to be traveling in the Calgary area. I was there a few years ago and while we did see a few snow flurries driving up to Banff, we also saw a lot of wildlife on the move as Spring approached, there was an invigorating nip to the air, and there were relatively few other tourists out and about yet. There are a wide selection of motels all across Canada and you should have no problems finding something to suit your needs. When you do find one you like, ask if they have other locations and if they have a brochure or directory listing them. It is quite possible to drive the entire breadth of Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway without ever crossing into the US. There are a couple of spots where eastern and western Canada are united by a single ribbon of two lane blacktop, but there's nothing to prevent you from driving the route. You should allow a good 4-5 days for the drive from Regina to Montréal. Unfortunately, there is just too much in Canada to see for us to list a few highlights, but you can plan on stopping every few hours on the Trans-Canada to get a feel for the land you're driving through.


  4. #4


    Thanks so much.
    really great and friendly responses.

    If you ever decide to travel to the UK let me know and I can help you plan your own route.


  5. Default Planning a trip to Canada

    The highway in May in good pretty well anywhere, and this is the BEST time to visit the mountains, since there is still snow up high, but the valleys are already green with deciduous trees. Midwest Michael's response is untrue about passes closed along the Trans-Canada (even in winter highway closures in the mountains is usually for preventative avalanche control, lasting at worst a few hours). In May, a detour along the Icefields Parkway between Banff & Jasper is one of the most spectacular roadways anywhere on the planet!! The mountains can get snow ANY month of the year, but moving east toward Regina its flat (it's said a farmer sitting on his porch can watch his dog run away from home, and it will be three days before the wagging tail disappears over the horizon!)

    As to travel resources, the best place to look (and I am biased, since its a website I manage) is here which has detailed itineraries in bite-sized segments, as well as detailed notes about the highway, attractions and communities along the way, as well as construction & traffic notes, even tips for cyclists (including elevation charts). The site also links to many hotels, motels, wilderness lodges and bes & breakfasts along the way.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 12-17-2009 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Preferred link format.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what I said

    I never said the Trans Canada was closed at any point nor did I say that the area should be avoided at this time of year. I suggested that if the poster was going to be doing a lot of traveling in the Rockies before he starts heading east that he do some research to see which highways or passes may be closed for the season. It is a fact that not every road through the Rockies, both in the US and Canada, is maintained during the winter season and it is typical for such roads to be closed into May and often time even into June.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Traffic in Eastern Canada


    Just a quick note regarding traffic in the major cities of Eastern Canada. We just finished a couple of months in that area and found that all of the warnings about congestion on the freeways in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City were true. Lots of cars at almost any time day or night. We hit all three at rush hour in a motorhome pulling a car, so we saw the worst...and survived intact.

    We especially loved Toronto (we called it the New York of the North) and the historic parts of Quebec City. Just make sure you have a good GPS unit to help you wend your way through. All of the cities, especially Toronto, especially had lots of road construction which means lane closures, detours and massive confusion by locals as well as tourists.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by ajkeenan View Post
    Hi folks,

    I have a couple of questions:

    I'm from Scotland and next year around May or June me and my girl are planning to fly to Calgary, rent a car and drive off towards Regina.
    I was wondering if this is a good time of year to travel.
    Hi Alan. I discovered this forum through a Google search this morning, and your post made me register and join this forum. Thanks for that.

    I live in Calgary, and have made the trip east to Saskatchewan a few times in the 5 years we have lived here. There are no mountains between here and Regina at all, so you don't have to worry about summer snow in those pesky prairie mountain passes. ;)

    That was a joke, folks.

    May/June/August/September is absolutely the best time of year to travel. July is always rainy here in Calgary.

    Anyways, just to give you an idea, the Calgary sits right at the border between prairies and mountains. There is much to do in Calgary before you hit the road to Regina. Maybe you could let us know what you're interested in, and we can provide some good local suggestions of things to do.

    Here's an idea of a route you should consider.,9.876709&z=7

    You can't visit the prairies without seeing the Badlands. Drumheller is beautiful, and May/June are the perfect times to go to avoid the heat.

    Medicine Hat is another great stop with a quaint small town feel, with some of the best small town museums I've ever seen. The Medalta Pottery museum is a must see. So is the local Medicine Hat Historical museum. There's great shopping downtown with a genuine 50's North American feel to it.

    The trip further east follows the Transcanada through Regina. It's flat. I will say, Saskatchewan does not have much going for it in terms of the scenery. But the people are top notch. Stop in some of the small towns along the way and pick up a coffee and Saskatoon Berry pie at a local diner. You'll find out what I mean.

    You can continue on to Quebec if you like, but that's easily a 4 or 5 day non stop drive. Well worth it if you have the time and money though.

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