Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hamilton, Canada
I wouldn't go near Montreal or go further north to Ottawa unless there is something you want to see. Traffic sucks and all the signs are in french. Montrealers can be real jerks to non-french speakers.
I would stay on the US side and cross the St. Lawrence at Syracuse/Kingston and pick up the 401 there. Scenery from the bridge at the 1000 Islands is spectacular. The hwy 401 stays close the lake the whole way. It's well serviced and the scenery is nice. Then, like I mention below, to avoid the 401 in Toronto, go south at the Don Valley Parkway/404. Alternately, you could go north on the hwy 404 at that point and then take the hwy 407 to by-pass Toronto completely, but there's not much to see and it's a toll road. You'll get the bill in the mail.
If you really do want to do the Montreal and Ottawa thing, then suggest you do Hwy 7 east from Ottawa. The scenery is outstanding. Lots of lakes etc and vacation areas. Then go south on hwy 35/115 at Peterborough down to the 401 westbound, near Oshawa, follow the hwy 401 towards Toronto, and cut down the Don Valley Parkway.
Roads to avoid: Hwy 401 anywhere near Toronto. Or Toronto in general 6am - 9am and then 3pm-7-pm.
Try and hit Toronto mid day or evening if possible. From the 401 Westbound towards Toronto, take the Don Valley Parkway south to the Gardener Expressway to the QEW towards Hamilton/Niagara. This take you right through downtown Toronto and you can see the Roger Center (the old Skydome), the CN tower and all the skyscrapers of Yonge and Bay St. as wells as the Toronto waterfront. Between Hamilton and Niagara you will go over a couple of pretty neat bridges. First the Burlington Skyway with a great view of Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour and further on the Garden City Skyway in St Catherines. From the Garden city Skyway you can see the Welland Canal that connects shipping between Lakes Erie and Ontario. For sure exit the QEW at Niagara Falls (take 420, there's plenty of signs) then follow the signs to the falls. After your time at the falls get back on the QEW towards Fort Erie and cross into NY state at Buffalo. You may be tempted to just cross at Niagara, but you will need to go through some nasty sections to get to the I190. Better to go to Buffalo.
An alternate from Hamilton to Niagara is Hwy20 if you prefer 2 lanes. Exit the QEW at Hwy 20/Centenial Parkway Hamilton, and follow 20 all the way to Niagara Falls. When Hwy 20 turns left on Hamilton mountain about 3 miles east is Suck, Bang, Blow. The parking lot will likely be full of bikes. Stop for lunch. Personally, I prefer the QEW as you follow Lake Ontario shore most of the time and you go through the Niagara wine region. Very pretty. Many of the winery's have tours and tastings. There are signs on the QEW.
A couple of suggestions for Harley dealers: When travelling on the QEW towards Niagara, once you are over the Garden City Skyway east of St' Catherines, exit at Glendale Ave northbound, turn right at York Rd, and about 1km along is Clares HD Niagara-on-the-Lake. Alternately, right in the falls on Clifton Hill (the main tourist st) is Clare's at the Falls. No bikes, just a t-shirt store, but they have the Niagara Falls designs.
I live in Hamilton. PM me for my cell if you want to hook up. If it happens to be a Wednesday, I can take you over to Suck, Bang, Blow and the best bike night ever. Also, nolonger8 and 2stangs8689 are in the Buffalo area.
Last edited by chris_lacey; 12-12-2012 at 03:18 AM.