wcs
Posts: 180
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A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:40 pm

Hi Folks,

I would ask you some advices regarding a trip I plan to do in early January in Canada. I know all about the weather, it will not be my first time in Canada during winter, so don’t worry about that.

I will for sure do Vancouver and Montreal and I have a full week and maybe a couple of extra days, if needed. I know Montreal pretty well, so no problem there. I look forward to discover Vancouver.

Here is the deal: I have to distribute my week between Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal. Ottawa and Toronto are not on the list because I know those Cities pretty well.

Now I would like some insider’s advices regarding Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. I have for sure a pretty tight schedule, but that’s the way it is. For every single step, the goal is to have a quick overview of the city, mostly downtown.
Hopefully, our famous Canadian's Members there will be able to help me to sort this headache out.

I look forward to see your feedback!

Regards,
Raphael
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WestJetForLife
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:51 pm

Calgary, my hometown, is well-renowned for our bar scene (if you're into that), the Glenbow Museum, the Telus World of Science and on top of that, the Calgary Tower and the Aviation Museum off McKnight and 19th St. (message me if you want directions).

Edmonton pretty much has one thing: the mall. West Edmonton Mall, former largest mall in the world. Has its own water park (World Waterpark), bungee jumping, theme park (Galaxyland), indoor ice skating rink, dozens of other goodies and of course, if you have people who are shop-a-holics, about 800 stores or so.

Winnipeg is my second home (girlfriend lives out there), but for the most part not that much happens during the winter, as it can dip down to -20 as a high temperature (as my girlfriend and soon, myself, will attest to), however there are places such as The Forks Market, The Meeting Place (where the Assiniboine(sp?) and Red Rivers meet) and other places that you should go look for if you are a tourist-y type of person.

Vancouver is pretty much a great city, both winter and summer. I should warn you, however, that the rain will not let up in Vancouver during the winter, as between about November and March is the rainy season, so if you are going there, bring your rain coat and umbrella, it is going to be wet.

Anything else, just PM me and I'll help you out in any way, shape or form.

Cheers, and enjoy the Great White North,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:51 pm

hrmmm, winnipeg in january. I love this city, but i sometimes wonder what tourists do here.

Winnipeg's downtown is, um, not that great.

Maybe if you tell us what you want to do i can give you a better idea of what you can do. Do you want to shop? go to museums?
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:17 pm

I vote you abandon the southern cities and come see the real great white north (Yukon/NWT/Nunavut), but that's just me  Wink


CanadianNorth
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MrChips
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:10 pm



Quoting WCS (Thread starter):
Here is the deal: I have to distribute my week between Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal. Ottawa and Toronto are not on the list because I know those Cities pretty well.


My advice is to pick only one other city other than Vancouver and Montreal. Honestly, if you try and take in all the cities on your list, in the best case scenario you will be spending all your time traveling and not taking in the sights. Unlike Montreal, getting around in many of Canada's cities is extremely difficult without a car - Edmonton and Calgary especially. Public transit in both cities is a joke (Edmonton less so), and unless you're renting a car at the airport, simply getting from the airport to the downtown of either city can be either expensive (via taxi) or time-consuming (waiting for buses/airport shuttles).

My second piece of advice is to bring lots of layers of clothing. Temperatures in January can reach as low as -30 in Calgary and can be as low as -35 degrees Celsius in Edmonton and Winnipeg. Calgary and Edmonton (to a lesser extent) have the added curveball of chinook winds, where strong westerly winds can raise the temperature as much as 45 degrees in a matter of hours.
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:27 pm

Hi,

I want first thanks you all for this quick feedback. I understand it is hard to help me further without more details. I should maybe give you more details about the spirit of this trip.

You all say Winnipeg is not very tourist friendly during winter. I will for sure be a tourist, but I’m a genuine traveler, meaning that I love to see a country, a city or any other places in a context. Should I decide to visit Canada during winter, I would find extreme weather. I like to “take the temperature” (quite relevant in that context Big grin ) of the place.

The ultimate goal is to have a snapshot of the city. I will do a few shopping, thanks to the exchange rates of the Euro, but not that much. I will also be alone for this trip, meaning that I will be quite flexible. As a frequent traveler, I do realize that one week is just too short to fully understand every city, but I will have a general feeling.

CanadianNorth, I truly love your suggestion! I will for sure enjoy such a journey. Unfortunately, I’m already somewhat short on my planning. I know I will be very frustrated if I come and see the real with north in one day.

ScrubbsYWG, I hope my point is more clear now and I love your enthusiasm regarding Winnipeg

Nik, thanks for your amazing input. I think I will enjoy Calgary –I’m mad about towers! -

Regards,
Raphael
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wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:53 pm

MrChips,

Thanks for your input. I do realize that I will have to strike a balance, so I will maybe have to remove a city from the first planning. I unfortunately have Edmonton and Winnipeg on the short list for that. Maybe I should keep Winnipeg, as I will visit Calagary…

Regarding the concept of layers, I will follow the advice. I was in Montreal and Quebec City during winter some years ago, and I could remember that winter was the season and wind the key. Now, I figure that we were somewhat lucky, as we only had -30°C once.

Regards,
Raphael
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WestJetForLife
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:01 am



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 2):
I love this city, but i sometimes wonder what tourists do here.

Some visit their significant others, although technically I won't be in Winnipeg city. I'll be heading out to the country, Oakville, for the duration of my trip.

WCS: If you like towers, then you'll love Calgary's skyline. We have the largest building west of Toronto in our city (Petro-Canada Centre, 52 stories high) and some pretty awesome hotels and other high towers. If you go to the Calgary Tower, you'll be able to stand on a plate glass window and see, under your feet, the action of 9th Ave. as you look down from 150 or so feet.

Also, another hint: if you are going to fly domestic in Canada, fly WS. They are cheap(er) than the competition sometimes and really flexible, especially inside Western Canada.

Nik
I need a drink.
 
WestJetYQQ
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:58 am



Quoting MrChips (Reply 4):
My advice is to pick only one other city other than Vancouver and Montreal.



Quoting WCS (Thread starter):
I look forward to discover Vancouver.

If you are going to discover Vancouver, you might as well visit Victoria as well. Take the ferry across the strait as there are some very incredible views offered, especially going between the Gulf Islands and through Active Pass. Victoria has a gorgeous harbour scene with lots of marine and float plane activity. The Royal British Columbia Museum, and the BC Legislature are right on this harbour front, as are the Wax museum, undersea gardens, and a whole lot of other fun things. The downtown area along Government St is directly adjacent as well, and is quite an enjoyable place, IMO.

Quoting WCS (Reply 5):
CanadianNorth, I truly love your suggestion! I will for sure enjoy such a journey. Unfortunately, I’m already somewhat short on my planning. I know I will be very frustrated if I come and see the real with north in one day.

To best discover the North, you have to rent a car for a week and just drive. This is something I look forward to doing in the future.  Wink

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 7):
WCS: If you like towers, then you'll love Calgary's skyline. We have the largest building west of Toronto in our city (Petro-Canada Centre, 52 stories high) and some pretty awesome hotels and other high towers. If you go to the Calgary Tower, you'll be able to stand on a plate glass window and see, under your feet, the action of 9th Ave. as you look down from 150 or so feet.

Calgary is wonderful for tower enthusiasts. Vancouver has many towers as well, but now they are all shrouded with identical apartments.  Wink

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 7):

Also, another hint: if you are going to fly domestic in Canada, fly WS. They are cheap(er) than the competition sometimes and really flexible, especially inside Western Canada.

 yes 

I hope this helps! Enjoy your visit to Canada!  Smile

Cheers
Carson
Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:11 am



Quoting WCS (Reply 5):
You all say Winnipeg is not very tourist friendly during winter. I will for sure be a tourist, but I’m a genuine traveler, meaning that I love to see a country, a city or any other places in a context. Should I decide to visit Canada during winter, I would find extreme weather. I like to “take the temperature” (quite relevant in that context Big grin ) of the place.

I know how you feel. I actually lived in Metz, France for a little while a couple years ago. Like Winnipeg, it is a city dwarfed by the reputation and glitz and history of the many more traveled to cities and regions of France. Even so, i loved that little city. I loved that it wasn't overrun with tourists and i was able to experience what i hope was the 'real' France. I will forever love the time i spent in the fifth republic, so maybe i can return the favor and help you out a bit.

What are the dates you are here, generally? There may be something going on, who knows.

As for tourist things, as was mentioned, you can go to The Forks, located at the confluence of the Red and Assinaboine rivers. It was always a historic gathering place in the history of Western Canada, was for a long time a Railroad yard along with city horse stables. Later, some of the old stables were converted in a shop/restaurant area. It is filled with all kinds of one of a kind shops. There are also some good restaurants in there(although there are much better restaurants elsewhere in the city). You can also try your hand at ice skating outside on the river if that interests you.

If you want a museum, the current premier museum is the Manitoba Museum (hopefully in a few years we will get our state of the art Canadian museum for human rights, but they are still raising money for that). It is basically the museum dealing with the man and nature of Manitoba throughout it's history. It has some pretty impressive dioramas, has a replica of the Nonsuch(the ship that was essentially responsible for starting the the Hudson bay company and the fur trade).

We also have an art gallery here if you enjoy that kind of stuff, although it doesn't really compare to the French art museums Big grin . I don't know if you have ever visited the website postsecret.com , but there is an exhibit at the art gallery that Winnipeg somehow managed to be the first north American venue for this exhibit. The man responsible for postsecret is also speaking at the art gallery in mid-January.


I will try and think of more for you too. What are your interests? art? architecture? people watching? Food? outdoors?

And yes, dress warm. January and February are cold here. -30C overnight is common, and you often see the weather forecasts go like this "temperature: -20, feels like -32" This is because if there is a wind, your skin feels colder than it actually is because of the convective heat transfer.
 
wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:30 pm

Hi all,

Ok, everything is now almost crystal clear for me, so here is the program:

I will fly KLM to Vancouver on January 9. I will stay around Vancouver and Victoria till January 12 in the morning. I will then fly WestJet to Calgary and stay there till January 14 in the morning. I will next fly WestJet to Winnipeg and stay till January 16 in the morning. Last step, I will fly Air Canada between Winnipeg and Montreal and stay there till January 19.

I think this is the perfect balance, and I know in advance I will have a blast in Canada (this is my third trip there).

I look forward to fly the CRJ for the first time, like the MD11. I know I will enjoy my first flight with WestJet.
I really want to thank you all one more time for your various advices. I will keep a record of this topic.

Big up for all of you guys!

Regards,
Raphaël
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SA7700
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:46 pm



Quoting WCS (Reply 10):
will fly KLM to Vancouver on January 9. I will stay around Vancouver and Victoria till January 12 in the morning.

Some advise regarding Vancouver and Victoria. If you are going to stay in downtown Vancouver, take note that it is not a quick drive to Tsawwassen ferry terminal (where you catch a BC ferry to Schwartz Bay,Vancouver Island) and beware of accidents in-and around the Massey tunnel.


Rgds

SA7700
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wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:32 pm

SA7700,

Thanks also for this advice. You're right, I plan to stay downtown, but it's unclear if I will rent a car so far.

Regards
Raphael
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FighterPilot
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:51 pm



Quoting WestJetYQQ (Reply 8):
Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 7):

Also, another hint: if you are going to fly domestic in Canada, fly WS. They are cheap(er) than the competition sometimes and really flexible, especially inside Western Canada.



This coming from two guys with "Westjet" in their username.  Wink

Hope you enjoy your stay in Canada, I'm sure you will, along with both Air Ca

Cal  airplane 
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wcs
Posts: 180
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:23 pm

My aviation geek madness forces me to fly WestJet AND Air Ca!nada, of course!

Regards,
Raphaël
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VonRichtofen
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:07 pm



Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 7):
Also, another hint: if you are going to fly domestic in Canada, fly WS. They are cheap(er) than the competition sometimes and really flexible, especially inside Western Canada.

Often AC is cheaper than Westjet. And AC offers more frequencies and their new inflight product is superior to Westjets. But try both.
 
wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 6:58 pm



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 15):
Often AC is cheaper than Westjet

Quite true! AC is cheaper on every leg, according the simulation I made tonight. But I have to fly also Westjet, so I figure I will do a combo  Smile

Regards,
Raphael
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WestJetForLife
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:56 am



Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 15):
Often AC is cheaper than Westjet. And AC offers more frequencies and their new inflight product is superior to Westjets. But try both.

Unless you get stuck on a Jazz CRJ-200 for more than an hour (especially in the back row of no recline  grumpy  ).

I hear the ERJ-170/190 is good, and yes, AC is sometimes cheaper than WS in some cases, but it's basically a pick-and-choose, and as you suggested Baron VonRiboflaven, try both. It'll make for a very unbiased look at domestic travel inside Canada.

ALSO, if you are going to be in Calgary anytime, you MUST try Cattle Baron steakhouse near the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel off of 32nd Avenue. Once again, PM me if you have any questions about Calgary.

Cheers, and enjoy Canada,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
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czbbflier
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:45 am

Enjoy your stay in Vancouver.

If you choose to go to Victoria, may I suggest flying downtown to downtown? Of the two float airlines, your choice is partly dependent on the aircraft type you'd like to fly. Harbour Air uses turbo single Otters, while West Coast Air uses Twin Otters. Both have Beavers as well. Our preferred supplier for our own clients is Harbour Air.

Should you choose to do that, renting a car in Vancouver or Victoria is probably not something you need to do.

Happy trails,
-B
 
wcs
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RE: A Week In Canada: Need Help To Plan!

Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:06 pm

Hey Czbbflier,

Thanks for the suggestion! I will for sure enjoy a flight between Vancouver and Victoria.
Now this journey seems to be quite interesting for the enthusiast.

I will fly:
Air France, Air France Regional, KLM, Air Canada (first time), Air Canada Jazz, West Jet (first time) and one float airline.

I will fly on E90, CRJ700 (first time), A332, MD11 (first time), F100, F70, 737.

I will also add Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg to my North America visited airports list.

Can’t wait now!
Regards,
Raphael
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