View Full Version : Getting North from Toronto - best bang for buck?

Otto Seaman
5-May-2013, 09:01
So as an American, if I go to Toronto to fly out of, what is the best bang-for-the-buck weirdest Hudson Bay - NW Territories - Labrador - Arctic location ~ with a hotel and rental car ~ that I should go to? On the cheap, rustic but credit card-able, where my cell phone still works. Showers, toilets, that sort of thing....

I want to see icebergs and hearty Northerners.

And when are the flies gone? What is the idea time to go that isn't dark or brutal?

bob carnie
5-May-2013, 09:30
We come out of our Igloos in two months and have one month of no snow on the ground then back to the igloos.
You will need a parka and mucklucks.
Its too cold up here for flies

5-May-2013, 09:55
you do have to be careful though, those Canadians have a very dry sense of humor. :cool:

Otto Seaman
5-May-2013, 11:21
I thought they were supposed to be nice!

bob carnie
5-May-2013, 11:22
We are but when southerners come north we are very wary of our stuff.

Leszek Vogt
5-May-2013, 12:53
Otto, what Bob didn't say might be of little concern. The Thunder Bay 'skeeters (we're talking squadrons) are preparing....and they'll meet you. Not sure that even bazookas would be effective. You could avoid all that by staying at Albion Hills (someone leveled that...there are no sinkin' hills). Alrightie, enjoy Oh Canada. Hmmm, Northern BC starting to look better and better.


Simon Benton
5-May-2013, 13:50
Don't go north - go east to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton and Newfoundland and enjoy the beauty of the Maritimes. The north is for the people who were born there - it is a harsh place.

Nathan Potter
5-May-2013, 17:33
I can easily agree with Simon. The fishing villages along the Maritime coasts have a particular charm (as long as you're not a fisherman). While the fish are mostly gone there is a fairly robust lobster and crab industry carried out by small operators. Some nice visuals are possible. Below, the little harbor of Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia in fog.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8534/8711486183_75e10e9c40_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/argiolus/8711486183/)
45MA03-3-26[t2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/argiolus/8711486183/) by hypolimnas (http://www.flickr.com/people/argiolus/), on Flickr

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

5-May-2013, 19:23
Best 'bang for the buck' north of TO would be Moosonee or Iqualuit. There are tour operators in Moosonee for the polar bears, but you should be able to 'charter' (talk someone into driving you) out of town on a 4x4 or 4-wheeler. I don't know how much tourism Iqualuit gets, but it is the capital of the new arctic territory of Nunavut, so there are hotels and restaurants, regular flights, as well as a substantial Inuit population. Again, you will have to deal with locals to go out, probably in a freighter canoe. I've done this further south, in Hudson Bay, it's a back-breaking ride if there are waves. Bring lots of cold-weather gear; temps are given for the airport, but the temp out on the water is much closer to the temp of the water, so: just above freezing. Expect very windy conditions at times, this helps keep the flies and mosquitoes off, but your camera will quite literally blow away if you're not careful.

From Moosonee, take the 'water taxi' to Moose Factory, but don't expect modern accommodations. The Cree have hunting camps all over the place, you will have to deal with someone to ferry you to a camp, and they usually stick around to make sure you don't end up being a light snack for a polar bear. It may be possible to take LF photos of polar bears at Moosonee, using the 'tundra buggy' tourist service. You will need a window mount for the camera, perhaps, like people use for spotting scopes. That will hold something like a Speed or Crown Graphic. They get quite close to the bears, at times.... pic (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tundra_Buggy_2004-11-13.jpg)

5-May-2013, 20:26
Nothing in the North is cheap. From Toronto your best bet is Nunavut I suggest you check out their tourism site (http://www.nunavuttourism.com/) for ideas.

Best time to go? Well, get far enough north in June and you've got 24 hours of daylight. Golden hour lasts for about six hours up here. Get above the arctic circle and the sun never sets.

Otto Seaman
5-May-2013, 20:53
Whoa so we're talking $2500 to get up there from Ottawa?

Dang.... makes Iceland look cheap.

6-May-2013, 05:24
Churchill, Manitoba.
That's where you should go.
But if you're looking for a real adventure, just drive your car on any of Montreal's world-class roads and bridges.

6-May-2013, 07:01
Whoa so we're talking $2500 to get up there from Ottawa?

Dang.... makes Iceland look cheap.

You can take the train to Moosonee, or drive on the Quebec side to Radisson/Chisasibee. I've done this several times, beautiful paved roads and quite a few people take RVs up there. Granted, your car has to survive the bumpy roads in lower Quebec to make it there. You can also take the train to Churchill. Come to think of it, the Tundra Buggy service is in Churchill, not Moosonee.

Or you could take the Mackenzie Road to Inuvik.

6-May-2013, 08:14
"Moosonee" - that's very close to "Munsan-ni" (Moo-son-ee - least that's the way I learned how to pronounce it) which was a large village close to the DMZ in South Korea when I was there is the late '60's. Now its sprawling metropolis with modern high rises.