I'm not sure what you mean. Fly into Toronto rather than NY ?
Toronto to Boston is approx. 550 miles / 880 km.
Renting a car in Toronto and leaving it in Boston may be very expensive, due to the drop fees charged, as the vehicle must somehow be returned to the point of origin, towed if necessary.
Many car rental companies have a “regional restriction” where they charge extra per mile / kilometre for all miles / kilometers driven, cancelling their “unlimited” miles / kilometres offer, if you drive out of that region. The charge adds-up very quickly, so be sure to double check with the company you are renting from.
If you choose to make the drive, the most obvious stop would be Niagara Falls.
Best RegardsEdited: 11:04 pm, May 18, 2013
Sorry, will try to be clearer. From Australia we can go directly to New York (via LA) or fly to Toronto. I was wondering if we should spend a week in Canada and then drive to Boston for a few days before taking the train to New York or whether we should spend the 'spare' week in new England. We are trying to see something different on our way to New York rather than our 'usual' New York, LA and Florida (where I have family)
Yes, you most certainly can, but there will be some cost involved.
Canada is a huge country. It is;
• approximately 9,984,670 sq. km / 3,855,103 sq mi.
• comprised of six time zones.
• over 8,000 km / 5,500 mi. wide, from Atlantic to Pacific coasts.
• close to 50 degrees latitude from North to South, about 25% of the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole.
• the second largest country in the world after Russia.
• only slightly smaller than all of Europe.
• almost 30% larger than Australia
A day trip to Niagara Falls, from Toronto could be easily accomplished.
Another area to explore would be the 1000 Islands.
Without knowing your family’s interests, it's difficult to make suggestions / recommendations.
The more information you provide the more detailed replies you will receive.
You could probably find a Toronto to Montréal car rental with no drop off fees although it might be from airport to airport.
Then it would be easy to drive from Toronto to Ottawa with a stop at the 1,000 Island as RescueTeam has suggested. Then may be one or two nights in Ottawa, one early drive to Montréal by highway 50 on the Québec side of the Ottawa River with must sees stops in Montebello. Then 2 or 3 nights in Mtl before taking the bus to Boston, it takes about 6 hours. There are no trains between anywhere in Canada to Boston.
By the way Toronto and Montréal are very pedestrian friendly cities with good public transit systems so you can rent your car only for the drive between both cities.
This trip will enable you to have a good mixture of nature and culture if whilst in Ottawa you visit Gatineau Park and make the stop at Parc Omega in Montebello and also above mentioned 1,000 Islands.
I would certainly suggest that you go all the way to Québec City to get a totally different slice of North-America but in 5 days from Toronto and heading to Boston it will stretch your time to the limit as you will have to come back to Montréal to catch a Boston headed bus. 6 + days then certainly Québec City is a must.
Certainly for non Europeans Québec City is a must so if you can expand your trip by a few days it would be nice to go there. Just remember that you will have to come back in Mtl to catch a bus to Boston. Flying out of Québec City check Porter Airlines. For almost all flights from Qc to places outside of Canada there will be a transfer or just landing to get more passengers en route.
If you can really extend your trip by, let's say 2 or 3 days, here's what I would suggest.
2-Next day visit the city and drive to Gatineau Park.
3-Then drive on highway 50 to Montebello. Stop to see the iconic Fairmont Château Montebello and then visit Omega Park. Instead of going back to the 50 take the smaller roads that will lead you to Mont-Tremblant where you can spend one night. Next morning go to the top of the mountain with the cable gondola and do some other activities around. Then drive to Québec City.
4-Day in Qc
5-Half a day in Qc and then drive to Mtl to be there in early evening (3 hours drive)
6-Day in Mtl
7-More than half a day in Mtl and take the bus to Boston in the afternoon.
So that makes for 7 days all in all.
Should you have another day you could take the bus to Burlington instead, spend the night there and visit around (Shelburne Museum is a must) before heading to Boston. Note that it will then be much easier and less expensive to rent a car from Burlington and drop in Boston.
I invite you to check the forums but also the Things to Do sections for the Province of Québec or separately for Québec City and Montréal. Then also look at the Vermont pages.
RickB's itinerary is good, however it seems not to leave you any time to visit Toronto. I'm sure that's a schedule oversight on his part, so I would throw in two days in Toronto, which will give you nine days. Or perhaps you can take a day off somewhere in Quebec - perhaps the night in Mont-Tremblant.
Well I thought that the time in Toronto and, may be, Niagara Falls would be prior to the drive to Montréal, etc. and not included in the original goal of 5 days. In 5 days there is no way to do the whole thing, including Toronto. All in all with those added locations it will be at least 10 days.
Thanks so much and sorry for the delay in replying - have been travelling for work to a place I expect many of you would like to visit (Sydney Australia) but one I go to every two weeks! We will certainly take your advice about rethinking our time so we can see places 'properly' rather than skimming and getting highlights only.