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The Travel Guides Tour Canada

2nd July 2024

This week, the Travel Guides are on a Trafalgar coach tour of Canada and Travel Money Oz is on board as the Official Currency Card of Travel Guides! While tourists often flock to the scenic west of the country, the Guides are off to discover a different side of Canada – traveling from Toronto to Quebec City in the east.

The best time to travel to the east of Canada is over their summer months from June to August, when temps hit the 20s. You’ll be able to take in the sights without having to rug up in lots of layers – the temperature regularly drops below zero in winter.

The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The good news is, you can load up our Currency Pass with CAD, lock in the exchange rate and use it as your bank card while on tour! Keen to learn more about Canada? Here’s where the Guides went this week!

Your Complete Travel Guides Itinerary for Canada


Stop one: Toronto

The tour of Canada starts with a geography lesson for the Fren Family, with Cathy Fren admitting she didn’t know Canada was part of North America. Where she thought Canada was located is still unclear.

Luckily, the Guides are checking into a great hotel for first-time visitors to Toronto. The Chelsea Hotel is right in the heart of downtown Toronto and, with 1600 rooms on offer, is Canada’s largest hotel. The highlight for Kev isn’t the location or outlook though, it’s the fridge to keep his insulin medication cold.

As an intro to Toronto, the Guides go up to the observation level at CN Tower in the city’s centre. Kevin and Janetta skipped this attraction on their last visit, with Kevin pointing out that just because there’s a tower, it doesn’t mean you must go up it. The other guides are more enthused by the idea. Matt and Brett head up further to the SkyPod – it’s 33 storeys higher than the observation deck and turns out to be a little too sky high for the pair.

Karly and Bri and the Boys take their experience to the next level with the CN Tower EdgeWalk. The guide explains it’s the highest hands-free walk on the outside of a building in the world. Dorian thinks this is the most specific Guinness World Record and we’d have to agree. While Bri says that hanging off the top of the CN tower in a harness isn’t on her bucket list, she embraces it nevertheless. The terrifying walk gets a (shaky) thumbs up from most of the Guides.

Ice hockey is an institution in Canada, so it’s then time to head to the Oakville Hockey Academy for a literal crash course in the sport. The Fren Family won’t be turning pro any time soon as they struggle to stand up on the ice. However, for Karly and Bri, “Coach Andy, the eye candy” makes the class infinitely more appealing. 


On Tour from Toronto to Ottawa


It’s time to board the bus for Trafalgar’s Best of Eastern Canada tour. The Guides have mixed feelings about the coach tour. While Matt and Brett are happy for someone else to do the hard work of organising a trip, Janetta thinks bus tours are for people older than herself. The Boys have never even considered one, while Karly’s last coach experience was at a hen’s party. The Trafalgar tour is perhaps a classier step up from this – the luxe 56-seat bus has movie screens and Wi-Fi.

Their first stop on tour is about an hour south of Toronto at the famous Niagara Falls, on the border of the USA and Canada. Over 20 million tourists visit the falls each year, making it the most popular waterfall in the world. After seeing it from land, Bri and Karly and Kevin and Janetta board Niagara City Cruises to get up close to the breathtaking falls. It’s a little too close for Janetta, who says it’s like being in a washing machine, while Bri’s fake lashes get a lashing.

The Boys, The Fren Family and Matt and Brett travel 20 minutes down the river to Niagara Gorge for a boat trip that really makes a splash. The Whirlpool Wet Jet Boat Tour is a high intensity tour of the gorge that promises an even bigger drenching. While Brett and Matt aren’t thrilled about getting soaked, Cathy Fren says it’s even better than a theme park ride. As the Guides emerge from the tour soaking wet, their ponchos seem pretty pointless.

Once they’ve dried off, the Guides board the bus and head to their next stop, Mādahòkì Farm, on the outskirts of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. At the farm, the Guides have the opportunity to learn more about the culture of the Anishinaabe people, the traditional custodians of these lands. Karly and Bri jump right into the dreamcatcher class – relishing the opportunity to make their own after buying a few from Bali over the years. The Boys try out a music workshop and get an A+ for effort, even though Kev’s singing doesn’t quite make the grade.


Stop two: Ottawa


The Guides arrive in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Rather than touring one of the city’s many galleries and museums, they attend a different kind of cultural experience. Oh Canada Eh!? is Canada’s longest-running dinner musical and truly divides the Guides. Well, basically everyone is checked out or confused, except for Brett and Matt. In fact, Matt says it’s the highlight of his trip. Luckily, the Shania Twain and Bryan Adams singalong at the end slightly redeems the experience for the others.

Next up on the agenda is Interzip Ottawa – the world’s first interprovincial zipline. The zipline crosses the Ottawa River, connecting Ottawa to the city of Gatineau. Kevin appears confused by the activity. His logic: you don’t go to Canberra to bungee jump so why go to Ottawa to zipline? Janetta, however, loves every single second of it.


Stop three: Quebec City


The final stop on the bus tour is Quebec City. This picturesque French Canadian centre is one of the oldest cities in North America. The best way to discover its UNESCO World Heritage listed old town is on foot, so the Guides set off on a walking tour. Karly and Bri and Kevin and Janetta opt for a traditional tour to explore the winding cobblestone streets and see the classic European architecture. The Boys and Matt and Brett choose the more theatrical option on a Quebec Cicerone Walking Tour. The passionate guide leads the tour in character, but the major appeal for The Boys appears to be riding on the old Russian and English cannons that line Dufferin Terrace.

To refuel after their walk around the old town, The Guides travel 20 minutes north of the city to the Lessard family sugar shack – Érablière du Lac Beauport. 70% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec, so this is the prime place to sample it. After trying maple syrup, maple butter and crepes slathered in syrup, the Guides taste a more unique maple offering. Maple taffy is a wintertime treat made by spreading maple syrup on crushed ice, leaving it to cool and then rolling it up on a stick. It’s a sweet and sticky delicacy that Matt thinks could also be great for waxing. Before they leave, Matt and Brett seamlessly pay for their maple merch at the gift shop with their Currency Pass.

On the last night of their holiday, the Guides go to Quebec City’s waterfront to watch Grands Feux Loto-Quebec. Since 1995, this free fireworks show has been lighting up the sky in summer. It’s a dazzling way for the Guides to wrap up their Canadian adventure. 

Oh Canada Eh!: $122 per person (Optional experience with Trafalgar)
Interzip Ottawa: $40 per person (Optional experience with Trafalgar)
Quebec City Walking Tour of Old Town: Included in Trafalgar tour
Quebec Cicerone Walking Tour: $30 per person (Not included on Trafalgar)
Érablière du Lac Beauport Sugar Shack: Tasting and meal packages available (Not included on Trafalgar)
Grands Feux Loto-Quebec: Free entry

It seems the Guides have come around to the idea of a classic coach tour. Their ratings are in for Canada and they’ve scored their trip…

Kevin and Janetta: 4/5
Bri and Karly: 4/5
The Fren Family: 4.5/5
Brett and Matt: 4/5
Dorian, Kev and Teng: 4/5

Top Travel Money Oz Tips for Canada

Here’s how to get your spending money sorted before your trip to Canada:

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Travel Guides airs Sunday at 7pm on Channel Nine and 9Now.

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