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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Driving in Canada?

Since I know there are a number of Canadians on this board, any tips on driving in Canada, especially Quebec? I am going to be in Montreal in a couple of weeks and just rented a car to take a day trip to Quebec City and Montmorency Falls. Rented a "Toyota Corolla or similar" from a downtown Enterprise close to my hotel. I'll be there with two of my buddies. I may be American, but dangit I prefer metric, so not worried about things like distance/speed and I've driven in France before, although I believe Canada uses US style road signs, just in French in Quebec.

Interestingly enough two of us own 2005 Mazda 3 (I have a S and the other guy has an SP23 that still looks brand new). We almost drove, but considering that all three of us own 2005 model cars and I am the only one with a second car, we probably wouldn't have taken a 3 on a nearly 2000 mile road trip and would have gone with my much newer Escape. Airfare was cheap enough even with ski equipment that we decided to get a little extra time at the destinations.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:45 PM
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So, what's the question?


FWIW, I routinely get in one of our older cars (170,000 miles on the 2001 and 200,000 miles on the 1999) and set off on one to two thousand mile trips.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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So, what's the question?
What should I be aware of driving in Canada as compared to other places? I'm from the US but have also driven extensively in Spain, Germany, and France.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bolt in blue View Post
What should I be aware of driving in Canada as compared to other places? I'm from the US but have also driven extensively in Spain, Germany, and France.
Hmmm, I drive north of the border a number of times per year, and other than the metric measurements (which I also prefer), I don't really notice much of a difference. Errr, that and Ontario is the first place I ever saw the two-lane snow plows (but per the following link, Indiana is now using the as well).


Indiana DOT Adds Two-Lane Tow Plows - Top News - Procurement - Top News - Government Fleet

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 06:21 PM
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Myself and MBalik live in MTL
Things you need to be aware of:
1)There are fucking billions of potholes, and sinkholes happen all too often. The roads here (particularly on the island) are atrocious.




And don't get me started on our bridges:





Or our tunnels...




2)Be prepared for poor/nonexistant signage (or conversely so many signs about rules ((in french)) of where and when you can park your mind will be blown):





Constant road closures due to construction, with traffic jams at any hour:





no lines painted on the roads, people turning 1 lane into 3. Sorry no pictures for that


Montreal/QC is not representative of the rest of Canada so don't judge based on what you see, hear, etc.


Enjoy your stay, and if you have any questions/need advice/whatever give me a shout


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Cab0oze those traffic maps look just like home! Pictures made my morning! Not used to sinkholes, but everything else looks normal to me.

My plan is to pick up the car at the Gare d'Autocars and head east. Hoping to make a quick stop at the falls and then put the car in a lot in Quebec City until it's time to head back and turn the car in. Not wanting to deal with a car in Montreal is a big part of why we decided to fly - worst driving I've ever seen in a Western country was in Montreal. I can make out about 90% of what the signs you posted say and have Google Translate worst case although I speak just enough French to get me in trouble.

In Montreal, I have about 3.5 days. Planning to hit up Vieux-Montreal, the Oratorie, some museums, and eat a lot. Going to make reservations at Bonaparte - they probably still remember the last night I was there. One of the other guests was a very entertaining Parisian right off the plane who drank at least 3 bottles of good wine by himself. Also planning to go to the Ermitage near the Oratorie, eat smoked meat (probably the place across from Schwartz), and of course poutine. Any recommendations of things we're missing are appreciated - locals know best. Been preparing with Canadian beer - picked up a bunch of Unibroue and Molsons last weekend.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 07:58 PM
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haha good stuff. In terms of recommendations go, I'm not the person to ask, and it sounds like you have a good plan already. I don't find that there is that much to do in montreal (particularly in the spring when there isn't much going on in the way of festivals or events) except for restos, bars, strip clubs and obviously climb Mont Royal. Of course there are things to do, they're just not anything different or better than you could do in any other city.

The good news is you've got your US$ which will go way further than our canadian pesos and should allow you to have a great time without breaking the bank.

Maybe @MBalik will have some other ideas for ya, he's more local than me lol


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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I did some hiking on Mont Royal in October 2013. How is it in the winter? Haven't found a good answer if people still hike it this time of year. Montreal is one of my favorite cities so looking forward to returning! I keep having people try to get me to go on US trips, but with the current exchange rates, I want to spend all my vacation time outside the US (sorry about the pesos - but the exchange rate is a lot better for you than it was when I first started thinking about this trip).

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bolt in blue View Post
I did some hiking on Mont Royal in October 2013. How is it in the winter? Haven't found a good answer if people still hike it this time of year. Montreal is one of my favorite cities so looking forward to returning! I keep having people try to get me to go on US trips, but with the current exchange rates, I want to spend all my vacation time outside the US (sorry about the pesos - but the exchange rate is a lot better for you than it was when I first started thinking about this trip).
I've done it in the winter, and the summer... I don't think I ever did it in the spring, not sure how messy it would be. People do it year-round for sure though, so I'm sure it's fine.

Yeah, I saw the exchange rate did some recovering, but it still has a loooong way to go.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Not too muddy last week on Mont Royal - still a fair amount of snow on the trails.

Trip out to Quebec City was successful other than miscalculating how much gas to buy and almost running out in the old city. 550km out and back in a day with the only traffic being crossing back into Montreal in the evening.

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