Doing a road trip in Ontario can mean a lot and nothing at the same time, given how large the province is. Today, I’m focusing on the route to go from Montreal to Niagara Falls, passing through Toronto.
I’ve had the chance to make this trip several times and therefore discover the best things to do and see along the way. Shall I show you?
Doing a Road Trip from Montreal to Niagara Falls
We know, the distances are long in Canada! The country is so vast that everything is far. So, you shouldn’t be afraid of covering long distances.
So when I planned my vacation in Ontario, it seemed obvious to me to plan some stops along the way to break the monotony of long journeys.
In reality, I did this road trip in Ontario in two parts: first between Montreal and Prince Edward County, and then between Toronto and Niagara Falls. But if you have the time, you can easily combine the two to connect Montreal to Niagara Falls.
Stops for Your Road Trip from Montreal To Niagara Falls
Here are the main stops and points of interest that I recommend on the route from Montreal to Niagara Falls.
The Thousand Islands Region
Montreal – Thousand Islands: 245km (2h45)
Located just 3 hours from Montreal, the Thousand Islands region is a very pleasant stop on the road to Toronto.
The Thousand Islands is an archipelago located north of the state of New York (USA), at the entrance of Ontario when coming from Montreal. In reality, there are 1865 islands that offer a rather breathtaking landscape.
It has become a quite upscale vacation destination for Canadians who have built quite luxurious second homes there.
To make the most of the journey to the Thousand Islands, I invite you to take Long Sault Parkway, which is a road to take from exit 778 on Highway 441.
By the way, this road crosses the Saint Lawrence parks for about twenty minutes. So, it’s not yet the desired destination, but it’s the best gateway to the Thousand Islands.
Afterwards, you will join the 1000 Islands Parkway, which actually goes through the Thousand Islands!
If you stay a little while, you can explore the region in different ways. Personally, I loved taking the cruise that allows you to see the islands up close. You’ll discover magnificent houses and even a superb castle that you can visit.
If you’re not a fan of water, you can also go up the 1000 Islands Tower, which overlooks the region.
Where to Stay in the Thousand Islands?
Why not take a break in Brockville? Personally, we stayed in an AirBnb in the heart of the Thousand Islands. But we were a bit disappointed, so I prefer not to recommend it to you.
Thousand Islands – Kingston: 52km (45min)
Kingston was a big favorite of mine during this road trip between Montreal and Niagara Falls. It’s a human-sized city with very pleasant aspects.
First of all, you can walk along the shores of Lake Ontario for several kilometers, which is quite remarkable in Canada (the shores of lakes are often privatized and inaccessible).
Then the different neighborhoods follow one another, with architecture that varies greatly from one street to another. I highly recommend taking a detour to Queen University’s campus, which is magnificent, for example!
And if you want to take a shopping break, head to downtown where you’ll find a multitude of shops and restaurants.
Finally, if you’re interested in a historical break, I personally loved the visit to Fort Henry, a former prison located right across from Kingston.
Where to Stay in Kingston?
Kingston was the luxurious little break of the road trip. We stayed at the Secret Garden Inn, a B&B located right in the heart of the city in a large Victorian house. The nightly rate is a bit higher, but it’s a beautiful address!
Prince Edward County
Kingston – Prince Edward County: 92km (1h15)
One day wouldn’t be enough to discover Prince Edward County, as it’s quite extensive. But the place is definitely worth a stop.
For example, an afternoon at Sandbanks National Park could be the beach interlude that would do you good after covering all those kilometers! I really enjoyed discovering real beaches by a lake.
If you like wine, you might also enjoy a good wine tasting at one of the many wineries in the county. You can well imagine that we left with a little stock, to be consumed in moderation, of course.
Where to Stay in Prince Edward County?
We opted for the AirBnb option by staying at the Owl’s Suite Nest.
Prince Edward County – Toronto: 200km (2h30)
An essential stop on the road to Niagara Falls, Toronto could be a final destination in itself!
It’s said that the city is much more American than its cousin Montreal, and it’s true. There are more skyscrapers, a larger financial district. And then the city is 100% English-speaking, which is quite different from life in Quebec.
But Lake Ontario is still there to bring a little sweetness to the place. The first time I went to Toronto, I was amazed by the turquoise colors of the lake.
To fully enjoy Toronto, I invite you to take in the view from the top of the CN Tower. You have a rather grandiose view of the surroundings. At its base, the aquarium and its immense shark tunnel will delight both young and old!
Where to Stay in Toronto?
It’s hard to propose a single choice since the possibilities are numerous. I invite you to compare AirBnB and hotels based on your budget, knowing that the city is still quite expensive in terms of accommodation.
Toronto – Niagara-on-the-Lake: 132km (1h45)
A small pause not essential, but very pleasant just before arriving at the falls, I loved my discovery of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The village is particularly cute. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, you can stop by simply to enjoy the sweetness of life or stroll in the small downtown. But the village is also known for its vineyards.
Niagara-on-the-Lake – Niagara Falls: 24km (30min)
Finally, after days of travel, we have finally arrived at Niagara Falls.
Before going, I was told several times that I would probably be disappointed and that Montmorency Falls were much more beautiful.
It’s true that the city around the falls somewhat looks like Disneyland with several hotels and amusement parks. But Niagara Falls remains the most breathtaking thing I’ve had the chance to see.
If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend taking the cruise that takes you closest to the falls. You will get wet, that’s for sure. But personally, I was amazed to see the power of the water from so close. A magical spectacle!
Niagara Falls is without a doubt one of my most beautiful travel discoveries.
I hope you enjoy these tips for the road trip from Montreal to Niagara Falls. If you have other recommended stops, feel free to share them in the comments. I’m always open to suggestions.