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Old 06-28-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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North Bay to Toronto or via US from Minneapolis

Looking for recommendations. We are traveling from Victoria to the East Coast.
Have pretty much figured out going from Calgary to Minneapolis. Taking the northern route or the south via US.
I understand the gas prices in Canada are very high. Looking at the north route for more nature, worried about driving via Chicago and Detroit.
Please share any experience you have had.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:48 PM   #2
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Have a great trip. We did it last September from Kelowna. We stayed in Canada all the way. Very little was duplicated other than a day or so in Northern Ontario.
Email me if you have specific questions like where to stay in Ottawa and how to see the parliament buildings, war museum, air museum etc.
Another wonder we saw was the lift lock in Peterborough Ont.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:34 PM   #3
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Having having experience driving Hwy 2 Montana to North Dakota and being twice in the Chicago area in the last two months I have some suggestions.

Since gas prices vary to equal in the $1 litre Cdn. in the US currently, yes you would save considerably in the US. I would suggest Hwy 2 right from off I15 if you head that way from Calgary, and take Hwy 2 (except use 28/41/28 from Wakefield MI to I75) and cross back into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie. Alternatively you can drop back down to Hwy 2 to St. Ignace then I75 south to Flint then I69 to Port Huron then from Sarnia 402 and 401 to Toronto. Hwy 2 is not like an Interstate so you see more, it's two lane across MT, then four lane 65mph limit right across North Dakota and for 130 miles in MN, before turning mostly two lanes until I75.
I don't understand you saying North Bay, if you plan to stop there then you'd have to cross at Sault St. Marie.

Unless you really want to go through Minneapolis (traffic OK there) then you are pretty well forced to go near Chicago if not through it. An alternative to I94-I90-I94 through Chicago area with lots of tolls, is a route I took picking up a trailer for my son in IN. I took I39 south from Rockford to I80 then east across south of Chicago to I80 to I94. There's only two tolls that route. It's a bit further but don't lose much time if any. If you do go that route then you don't need to go near Detroit. Take I69 off I94 to Port Huron and on as above.

I'd also suggest that if you go one way through the US you may want to go the other through Canada. Northern Ontario especially around Superior is beautiful.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:03 PM   #4
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Email me if you have specific questions like where to stay in Ottawa and how to see the parliament buildings, war museum, air museum etc.
We don't stay in Ottawa to visit Ottawa. We stay for free at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau. Just a short walk or bike ride over the bridge to the parliament buildings etc.

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Old 06-28-2018, 11:27 PM   #5
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Might be worth a phone call as this is what I founded posted on the subject. “As of May 11 2018 there is a sign at this lot prohibiting parking from 10pm - 7am. However...
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:00 AM   #6
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Thank you. I will trace your suggestions via mapquest. This is very helpful to make a decision.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:16 AM   #7
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Might be worth a phone call as this is what I founded posted on the subject. “As of May 11 2018 there is a sign at this lot prohibiting parking from 10pm - 7am. However...
Could be a case of good things don't last forever. Too bad if it's no longer available as it was a great location and so convenient to see Ottawa sights.

There'll be a lot of unhappy Quebecer's if that's the case. It was a very popular place.

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Old 06-29-2018, 12:00 PM   #8
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I have posted this before but...you may want a 30 amp extension cord as many of the provincial camp grounds have the power pole between the spots or at the front! My brother in law refused to buy one and here is a picture of him using all of our 15 amp cords trying to run fans etc. Of course he could not run his air conditioner on this hot day.
Also as soon as you hit Ontario the fee for camping jumps to like $50 a night.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:47 PM   #9
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Also as soon as you hit Ontario the fee for camping jumps to like $50 a night.
Another good reason to take Hwy 2 across the US, as I suggested in post #3. I hate as a Canadian recommending traveling through the US but the savings even with our low dollar are considerable. For example at Wakefield (I mentioned in post #3) where you'd turn off Hwy 2 onto 28 there's a lovely town campground right on the lake. A couple of years go we stayed there and the price was $25 I believe. even private campgrounds are more reasonable than Ontario Provincial campgrounds. This March we stayed in some private ones on the way to Georgia for $30 a night.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:05 AM   #10
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From Minneapolis, I would prefer to drive around Lake Superior if time permitted, very beautiful. If not go around the top of Lake Michigan then into Ontario, and across to Ottawa. Avoid, Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto. Roads in Chicago and Michigan are horrible, and Toronto traffic is really bad.
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