Travel

Long weekend - Toronto to Ottawa

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  • May 11th, 2015 2:08 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2014
3 posts
Toronto, ON

Long weekend - Toronto to Ottawa

Driving to Ottawa Victoria Day weekend. Leaving Saturday morning. Google maps suggest:
1. via Barrie and Algonquin Park
2. via 401/ 416

Found a post from 2004 (LOL) talking about a route :?: via Peterborough and Highway 7. Is this a better route?

We have a decent car(fairly new), but are worried about washroom breaks. :?: Are there any decent pit-stops via this route? :o

Thanks!
6 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 15, 2003
832 posts
515 upvotes
Ottawa
There are several communities along that route and they all have restaurants you can stop at, but there are no designated rest stops that I am aware of.

It is a nice drive down highway 7, but keep in mind that it is mainly a two lane highway with a speed limit of 90 (and slower through communities). Be prepared to drive behind the occasional slow motorist, and with an inadequate number of designated passing lanes you will have to pass the old-fashioned way in the incoming lane.

I have driven that route a few times and mostly enjoyed it, but I prefer the speed of the 416/401 routes.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 23, 2009
5161 posts
703 upvotes
South of Ottawa
It's about a 4 hour drive, go before you leave?

Hwy 7 route is nice but a bit slow as rodenti posted. 401-416 is quicker but may be a bit further depending on where you're coming from in TO and going to in Ottawa.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3819 posts
935 upvotes
Toronto
Beachdown wrote: It's about a 4 hour drive, go before you leave?

Hwy 7 route is nice but a bit slow as rodenti posted. 401-416 is quicker but may be a bit further depending on where you're coming from in TO and going to in Ottawa.
Agreed. This would be why we took the train! If driving I too would prefer to take Hwy. 7 - many people want to avoid the 401.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2014
3 posts
Toronto, ON
rodenti wrote: There are several communities along that route and they all have restaurants you can stop at, but there are no designated rest stops that I am aware of.

It is a nice drive down highway 7, but keep in mind that it is mainly a two lane highway with a speed limit of 90 (and slower through communities). Be prepared to drive behind the occasional slow motorist, and with an inadequate number of designated passing lanes you will have to pass the old-fashioned way in the incoming lane.

I have driven that route a few times and mostly enjoyed it, but I prefer the speed of the 416/401 routes.
Thanks Rodenti, Beachdown & Blanche123. We're thinking of leaving early around 6 or 7 am. We're in no rush and wouldn't mind taking a more scenic route. Hope we can catch some wildlife early on the way.. past Peterborough?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 16, 2011
7205 posts
9195 upvotes
The NORTH
driven all these route multiple times.

1. Boring drive this time of year, few stops between Huntsville and Renfrew.

2. Quickest; stops spaced out. Recommended Trenton OnRoute as first stop unless you want something different. If you do want a better stop get off in Belleville (10 minutes past Trenton) at Highway 62 south. The first set of lights is the corner of Front Street and Bell Boulvard. Turn right and drive past the quinte mall about 4 sets of lights to 'Reids Dairy'. You cant miss the dairy, its a giant castle. Some of the best ice cream i have ever had, awesome cheese and an all around great 30 minute stop. Back on the highway and the next stop is an OnRoute before Brockville. Then back on the highway to Ottawa. This route has LOT's of stops for emergency bathroom breaks (Cobourg, Brighton, Trenton, Belleville, Napanee, Kingston, Gannanoque, Brockville, Merrickville....) and generally you are always within 30 minutes of a community to stop at.

3. Peterborough -- Highway 7 : AVOID!!!!! you are stuck on a two lane road that goes through MULTIPLE towns / villages that drop the speed to 50 Km/H and have stop lights. It just takes sooo long to get too Ottawa. The Barrie, Huntsville, Algonquin Park, Renfrew route is better as it is quicker but has longer stretches of nothing. The road quality is also POOR in places. If you do take this route you will basically be stuck with stopping at gas stations, tim hortons and subways.... There is also plenty of tractor trailer activity on this stretch too.

I always take the 401/416 route. its quicker and with the extra time I can explore a community along the way as a stop.
Member
Sep 2, 2008
236 posts
177 upvotes
I'd take the 401 then change to hwy 7 at Belleville. There is a McDonald at Hwy62 and Hwy 7 or if you're taking Hwy 37 there is a Tim Horton in the town of Tweed.
There also plenty of gas station along Hwy 7 and the gas price is cheaper than TO.

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