8 days, 8 provinces, 6300 km and $650 in gas.
Why on earth were we driving across the width of Canada? It was a question many people asked us before we hit the road. The enormity of our challenge didn’t hit us however, until we were on our way. Whilst we understood it was a massive journey, we were most probably a little naïve about it. Yet, we had good reason to be making the trip, we had secured a six-month house and pet sit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia, however, was on the opposite side of Canada as we had spent the summer in British Columbia and had just finished two weeks in Vancouver with my parents.
So, we waved goodbye to my sleepy parents early on rainy Vancouver morning and headed on the 6300 km journey across the second largest country in the world. If you plan your route on google maps from Vancouver to Halifax it takes your down through the United States but we wanted to spend as much time as possible in Canada so changed our route accordingly.
Therefore, our journey ended up looking more like this:
Vancouver to Calgary
This was supposed to be a ten-hour journey however it turned out to be nearer to thirteen. We intended to power through the first day in order to be able to spend a couple of days in the city visiting family and friends. There were some major roadworks along the way which held us up. However, it was the ultimate Canadian road trip as we drove through beautiful scenery seeing a bear and even a moose!
Calgary to Regina
After we’d recovered from our hangovers Matt and I set off to Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. People had joked with us that once you get through the Rockies you could see your dog run away from you for at least five days. It is the truest statement ever, it is incredibly flat. So, for the next eight hours we saw field after field until we reached Regina.
Regina to Winnipeg
Whilst the flatness has a beauty of its own, it does get a little boring after a while. It was a good job we had a load of tunes to keep us occupied (although I’m pretty sure Matt would’ve preferred it if I didn’t sing the entire way!) We arrived in Winnipeg in the evening and headed straight to bed.
Winnipeg to Thunder Bay
Not heard of Thunder Bay? Us neither. But it was one of the only places to stay in the vast space between Winnipeg and our next stop Timmins. From our brief time there it would appear that Thunder Bay is a lot of people’s stopover town as it is mostly motels. But we did get to stand in two time zones at once along the way!
Thunder Bay to Timmins
Again, Timmins was another stop we’d never heard of. It was a mammoth nine hour driving day so once again we arrived just in time for dinner and bed. It was a gorgeous drive as we were surrounded by beautiful fall colours. Honestly, the pictures don’t show how truly vibrant it was.
Timmins to Ottawa
Whilst Ottawa is the Capital of Canada we weren’t able to explore it thoroughly due to our tight schedule. It was another day of full driving with no significant stops. Hopefully we will get to visit the city at another point along our journey back as I’m sure it has much more to offer than a Bacon-ator at Wendy’s.
Ottawa to Quebec City
We battled through the outskirts of Montreal on our way to Quebec City. Boy are they intense drivers! We found it was best if Matt did the driving and I did the shouting/gesturing to other drivers! Once we arrived, thankfully in one piece, we spent the evening watching the sunset while walking around the beautiful city walls.
Quebec City to Fredericton
After resting up in Quebec and filling ourselves with smoked meat sandwiches and croissants we had another day of driving ahead. We added in the stop at Fredericton so that we didn’t have to travel as far on our final day. This is another place we are hoping to visit again and explore properly beyond a bed to sleep in.
Fredericton to Halifax
Just a four and a half hour journey on our last day so that we were nice and refreshed meeting out new pet family. It was a beautiful day when we arrived and we were so excited to be the Maritimes.
Whilst it’s great to be able to say we’ve driven across the width of Canada, having to do it in such a small amount of time was challenging work. We couldn’t actually see anything in the places we stopped other than Quebec City. It was difficult sitting still for such long stretches of time in such a confined space. However, the result was well worth it. The east coast is beautiful and our housesit is great. And we were able to stop long enough to get a picture with almost every Province sign!
We are hopefully heading back to Alberta for the summer and will be taking much more time driving back to the stunning mountains we first called home in Canada.
Thanks for reading A-Z Travels, next Monday is E for Edmonton and how to spend a rainy weekend in Alberta’s Capital. Happy Travels 🙂