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  1. Default Boston to Toronto - Round trip

    Greetings good people of the Roadtrip America forum!

    Myself and my wife are currently in the process of planning a trip for early September which should last 16 nights.

    The plan is to fly into D.C spend a couple of days there, hop on the train to NY, 2 more days, then train again to Boston. After 2 days in Boston we are hiring a car as we have to be in Toronto for a family wedding, i've given us 2 days to get from Boston to Toronto. Was looking at driving up to Vermont, staying Burlington, then hopping across the border to the North of Lake Ontario and staying in Kingston or Picton, before hitting Toronto for 4/5 nights depending on family visits etc. Following the wedding we have a couple of days to get back to Boston to fly home, which would probably be through Niagara and NY state (seen Niagara before so not worried about time out to see the falls.)

    Does this seem feasible or am I cramming to much in? For the drive we are happy to just take a drive through scenery and nice towns, we will not be looking to stop and kayak or hike anywhere.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakville, ON, Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default

    We are planning the exact opposite route that you will be taking for our summer vacation. We live outside of Toronto and will be driving to Boston via Niagara Falls in a day stopping only for gas, food and to stretch our legs (i.e. no sightseeing). We have done that before without any problems and it is the quickest route between the two cities. We anticipate a full day of driving (7am to 5 or 6pm). What you are planning I believe is totally feasible. You do not say why you are staying in Burlington overnight, but Vermont is very scenic and the leaves may start turning color in some spots when you are travelling. If you chose to, you could easily make it to Montreal where you could visit Old Montreal for dinner and stay overnight, shortening your second day drive. Note that traffic in Toronto (across the 401 and the expressways to downtown) are VERY busy during rush hours (4-7pm) on weekdays and is often at a crawl. Plan that your last hour's drive could take two hours depending on how far across the city you need to drive. You said you gave yourself two days to get from Boston to Toronto via the route you describe but you also say you will stay in Burlington and then Kingston, which by my calculations is three days of driving (Boston to Burlington, then to Kingston, then to Toronto). If you are staying overnight for 2 nights you have a very leisurely drive and can stop often to see things. I lived in Kingston for 4 years during university and enjoyed it very much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    When you make arrangements with the rental car company, make sure it's acceptable to take it into Canada. Verify that SEVERAL times, with various people, as well as when you pick up the vehicle.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakville, ON, Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Try to find a rental location off airport to save you significant money. I just did a quick quote from Alamo at Logan Airport versus their downtown location for a week and the difference was $100. Since you aren`t arriving by air, this shouldn`t be too much of an inconvenience. Also, try to pick up the car just as you are leaving Boston. You don`t need a car in Boston as it is a very walkable city and transit is good. To park it downtown will cost you up to $40 or more a day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Off the interstates

    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishSteve View Post
    Following the wedding we have a couple of days to get back to Boston to fly home, which would probably be through Niagara and NY state.
    Last year I did this very route. Rather than do it in a day, on the I-90 with its associated tolls, I took route 20 past the Finger Lakes and through many of the small and old historic towns along the route. Stopping to admire the shops, old churches, etc along the way will soon eat into your time. But I'd do it again any day, rather than fly past every site on the interstate.

    Highly recommended.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    Thanks for your responses!

    Yes wec67, it would be 3 days driving from Boston to Toronto (Hamilton actually) with 2 overnights. I just picked Burlington because I read some good feeback on it and there is the ferry to Port Kent the next day before going to Kingston/Picton area. Hoping to get to Hamilton lunchtime so as to miss the rush hour. How long would the drive be from Boston to Old Montreal? Would it be better crossing the border there or in near Kingston?

    Yes Donna, thanks, I have already asked several times and will do so again.

    Yeas Lifey as we probaby have 2 days to get from Toronto to Boston will take a leisurely drive, stopping for an over night in Ithaca (?) Read it was nice!

    I know this is a ROAD trip forum but I hope it isn't heresy to ask about the trains!!!!

    Has anyone done the train journey from NY to Boston? Does it go along the coast?

    Cheers people... I love travelling in the US but there are so many options and places to visit it's easy to get carried away!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oakville, ON, Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default

    If you were to go to Old (Vieux) Montreal, you would cross the border on the I-89/QC-133 (St. Armand/Philipsburg) following north from Burlington. It is an extra 100 miles (160km) from Burlington and may add 2 hours plus any delay at the border crossing. You would not cross with the ferry you mentioned. If you were going to stay overnight in Burlington and go to Kingston, you have the option of using that ferry. I Google mapped the drive from Kingston to Hamilton and it said it would only take 3h 15m. I would estimate 4.5h-5h without any sightseeing (just stopping for gas/coffee, etc.) unless you are driving on the weekend when you probably could do it in 3.5h-4h. I've done it many times living in Hamilton when going to university in Kingston and I would expect it to take 4-5h with traffic. Traffic in the Greater Toronto Area (from Oshawa to Hamilton) is congested all day and is at its worst from 7-9:30am and 4-7pm. If you left Kingston around 8am, you'd be nearing Toronto after morning rush (10:30 to 11am) and could get from Toronto (401 & 404/DVP) to Hamilton in probably 90 minutes if there are no major tie-ups. It takes me 60 minutes to drive 40km to work downtown on a normal day in rush hour. I live in Oakville, halfway between Toronto & Hamilton.
    On your way back to Boston, the Finger Lakes region of NY state near Ithaca is very scenic. There are waterfalls and hiking trails to explore. The town and area is quaint. You will enjoy it.

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