Road Scholar : Home
Canadian Explorer

Program Number: 3844RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/4/2013 - 10/18/2013; 6/5/2016 - 6/17/2016; 8/28/2016 - 9/9/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/16/2016; 9/18/2016 - 9/30/2016; 9/25/2016 - 10/7/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/14/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Price starting at: $5,297.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks; On the Road; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 35; 14 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From the elegance of Quebec to the wilds of the Rockies and the splendor of the British Columbia coast, experience the best of Canada on this railroad journey across the country. Explore the rich legacies of its provinces, the architecture of its cities and indigenous, French and British cultures that incomparably blend.


• Journey 3,000 spectacular miles through northern Ontario, the Prairies and the Canadian Rockies.
• Experience and compare Canada’s most exciting cities: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
• Absorb splendid views of soaring mountains and sweeping prairies outside your window.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain and stairs.

Delays on VIA Rail trains are not uncommon and this demands we adopt a flexible approach to delivering program content.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Montreal, 2 nights; train to Toronto, 2 nights; overnight train, 3 nights; Jasper, 2 nights; overnight train, 1 night; Vancouver, 2 nights; departure.


Montreal is an intoxicating blend of Old World charm and big-city excitement, from the cobblestone streets of the Old Port to the concert halls and theaters of the Place des Arts. The second-largest French-speaking city after Paris, Montreal hosts world-class museums and galleries alongside centuries-old basilicas and family-owned restaurants.

Montreal: Four-star downtown hotel. Toronto: Downtown hotel. Jasper: Mountain lodge. Vancouver: Hotel near English Bay. Aboard trains: Comfortable double bedroom or roomette.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jim Manson

In 1980, Dr. Jim Manson began his teaching career in Jamaica before returning to his native Canada, where he taught in the Quebec high school system for the next several years. He then served as a history professor at Concordia, McGill and Bishops Universities. Dr. Manson has been a Road Scholar instructor since 1992, and has journeyed by train, boat and coach with participants during numerous learning adventures across Canada.
Bruce Bell

Bruce Bell — journalist, author, playwright, actor and curator — is considered Toronto’s most famous historian and was named the Official Historian of St. Lawrence Hall by the city of Toronto. An award-winning playwright, he also published “Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood” and “TORONTO: A Pictorial Celebration.” Bruce’s mission is to tell Toronto’s history through his writings and lectures, including his sold-out shows at Toronto’s famed Winter Garden Theatre.
Kirsten Schmitten

Kirsten Schmitten has spent over 30 years exploring, researching, writing and working in the Canadian Rockies. From her career as a park naturalist to her adventures with her warden husband, Kirsten’s love and knowledge of the natural and cultural history of Jasper makes her a captivating and sought after speaker. She is the owner of All Things Wild, a company specializing in connecting people to the natural and cultural history of Jasper National Park.
Ken Purvis

Ken Purvis is the senior program officer at Historic Fort York, a municipal operated War of 1812 Museum featuring some of the oldest buildings in the city of Toronto. Ken is involved in all aspects of the museum’s public programs, including research and program design, training the Fort’s staff and delivering, lectures and educational programs for the general public. He has worked in the museum field for over 20 years, but his chief interest is in the area of music. Combining these two interests, he has performed on fife, drum, wooden flute, bagpipes, and even the serpent — an ancient musical wind instrument related to the modern tuba — at special events all over North America and Europe. He has also delivered lectures on military music at the University of Toronto and the Royal Canadian Military Institute. Most recently, Mr. Purvis organized and trained an authentic Napoleonic French Military Band for the 200th Anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase in New Orleans in December of 2003.
Meals and Lodgings
   Manoir Victoria
  Quebec City, Quebec 2 nights
   Delta Centre Ville Hotel Montreal
  Montreal, QC 2 nights
   The Strathcona Hotel
  Toronto, ON 2 nights
   VIA Rail
  Aboard train 3 nights
   Amethyst Lodge
  Jasper, AB 2 nights
   VIA Rail
  Aboard train 1 night
   Best Western Sands by the Sea
  Vancouver, BC 2 nights
 Manoir Victoria
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of historic, culturally vibrant, gastronomic and romantic Old Québec, the unique 4-star European-style hotel extends a warm and friendly welcome in an inviting decor and spectacular surroundings that have been delighting visitors for centuries. The popularity of the Hotel Manoir Victoria began in the early 1830’s. Named Hotel Albion at the time, it was located on the East side of Côte du Palais, i.e. across the street from the actual hotel. At the time, the Albion hotel, owned by Thomas Payne, was the best in town and a room was charged $1.50 per night. Later, the hotel name changed for Stadacona. Benjamin Trudel, owner of another hotel in Québec, bought the Stadacona in 1895, refurbished the hotel and named it “Hotel Victoria”.
  Contact info: 44, Cote du Palais
Quebec, QC G1R 4H8 Canada
phone: 800-463-6283 xor4186921030
  Room amenities: Room amenities include hairdryer, individual digital thermostat, color TV with cable and remote control, complimentary high speed internet access in all rooms, alarm clock, direct access telephone, minibar ($), ), iron and ironing boards.
  Facility amenities: The new Spa du Manoir offers expert body and esthetic care, an indoor pool, a sauna, a fitness centre, an Internet lounge as well as indoor parking with valet service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call for current prices Call for availability and current prices.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Delta Centre Ville Hotel Montreal
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Delta Centre-Ville is a luxurious four-star hotel situated between historic Old Montreal and vibrant New Montreal. Centrally located, guests are mere moments from some of the area's most notable sites including the Old Port, Mount-Royal Park and the Convention Centre. Guests of the Delta Centre-Ville have fast, easy access to public transport and the hotel is set mere moments from Montreal's subway system. The hotel features the city's only revolving rooftop restaurant, which serves delicious, mouthwatering dishes whilst boasting unique, awe-inspiring views. The Centre-Ville also offers a fully equipped fitness centre and relaxing indoor swimming pool. The Centre-Ville is the perfect choice whether you are staying for either business or pleasure.
  Contact info: 777 University Street
Montreal, QC H3C3Z7 Canada
phone: 866-332-3590
  Room amenities: Guest rooms feature floor to ceiling panoramic windows, cable TV’s with in-house videos, voicemail, data ports, high-speed Internet ($), AM/FM alarm clock radios, irons and ironing boards, mini-bars, coffee/tea makers, and hairdryers.
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include multilingual staff, 24-hour front desk, room service, dry cleaning, parking, wake-up calls, safe deposit box, Express Check-in/out, supervised children's club, indoor heated pool, sauna, seasonal sun deck, concierge, gift shop, business center, and a fully equipped fitness center with lockers and showers. Dining is available at two onsite venues, The Bistro Bar Chez Antoine, and The Tour de Ville, Montreal's only revolving rooftop restaurant.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Strathcona Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Strathcona Hotel is a noted landmark, fashioned after small, intimate European hotels. From here, you can walk to almost everything in downtown Toronto, and you are minutes away from the theater district and a variety of night spots and restaurants for dining and dancing. The Harbourfront, Air Canada Centre, and Skydome are mere moments away.
  Contact info: 60 York Street
Toronto, ON M5J 1S8 Canada
phone: 416-363-3321
  Room amenities: All standard rooms include hair dryers, and same-day dry cleaning service is available six days a week.
  Facility amenities: Fitness facilities adjacent to the hotel are available to hotel guests ($).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 VIA Rail
Type: Train
  Description: Topics will include the role of transportation in Canada’s development, the challenges of laying rail across Canada, and how railways shaped the country and Canada today. You will follow the “iron road” that was carved out of solid rock more than a century ago as you journey past lakes and mountain peaks crowned with snow and wind your way across bridges and through tunnels.
  Contact info: n/a
n/a, ON  Canada
phone: 888-842-7245
  Room amenities: DOUBLE CABIN - Room size: 7 ft 3 in. X 5 ft (214 cm x 152 cm), excluding 2 ft 9 in x 2 ft 1 in (84 cm x 64 cm) for private washroom - Mattress size: approximately 71 in. x 31 in. (180 cm x 79 cm) on Chateau and Manor cars - Private washroom available inside each double bedroom - Mirror over sink with electrical razor outlet (110 VAC) - Individual control for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system - Storage for one piece of carry-on baggage - Daytime: two folding chairs - Night-time: upper and lower beds replace chairs - Large window with blind - Access to a shower room (one shower room per car) - Shower towels and amenity bag for body care articles - Door locks on the inside only (no individual key) - Other amenities: small closet, drinking water, paper and towels, pillows, sheets and blankets supplied SINGLE CABIN/ROOMETTE Room size: 6 ft. 5 in. X 3 ft. 7½ in. (196 cm x 110 cm) - Mattress size: 5 ft. 11 in. X 2 ft. 7 in. (152 cm x 61 cm) - Room from mattress to partition when bed is down is 2 in. (5 cm) - Bed narrows down from 23 in. (58 cm) wide to 14 in. (36 cm) at the foot of the bed - Private toilet (bed covers toilet at night) - Sink over toilet and full mirror - Access to a shower room at the end of the car - Daytime: sofa chair - Night-time: lower bed pulls out from wall - Door locks from inside only (no individual keys) - Baggage space is a small area - Window with blind - Other amenities: fan, shoe closet, air-conditioning, drinking water, paper and towels, pillows, sheets and blankets supplied, 110 VAC outlet PLEASE BE AWARE: In single cabins/roomettes, your converted bed at night completely covers the toilet. Public washrooms are available but may be located at the other end of the car.
  Facility amenities: Double Cabin – By day, this is a private room for two with armchairs, a large picture window, small closet, call button, hand basin, razor outlet, and separate toilet and vanity. A foldout table is available on request. At night, the bedroom converts to upper and lower beds. Single Cabin/Roomette – This is a private, one-person room with comfortable seat, call button, hand basin, razor outlet, and concealed toilet and vanity. At night, it becomes a snug sleeping area. PLEASE BE AWARE: your converted bed at night completely covers the toilet. Public washrooms are available but may be located at the other end of the car.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Train configuration Double Cabin - separate toilet and vanity. Single Cabin/Roomette - concealed toilet and vanity.

 Amethyst Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: The Amethyst Lodge is close to the center of Jasper and just a short walk from rail and bus terminals, museums, and art galleries. Enjoy amazing wildlife viewing and unspoiled wilderness within blocks of your Jasper home.
  Contact info: 200 Connaught Drive
Jasper, AB T0E 1E0 Canada
phone: 780-852-3394
  Room amenities: In-room coffee/tea, hair dryers, wireless high speed Internet access in rooms ($).
  Facility amenities: The lodge offers a number of amenities for your convenience, including free high speed Internet access in the lobby. Two outdoor hot tubs and a coin-operated laundry facility are nearby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Sands by the Sea
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located half a block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park’s 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.
  Contact info: 1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
  Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, mini fridges, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, iPod/iPhone/iPad clock radios, flat screen TVs, free high speed Internet access
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning service is available, and there is a coin laundry available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Check for availability. Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in after 3:00 pm., Québec City, Québec. Dinner is at 6:00 pm You will be staying at Manoir Victoria that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is scheduled at 8:00 am. Independent departures after breakfast from hotel. Check-out is 12:00 pm. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. PASSPORTS: Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for information.
  Parking availability:
For complete parking details please contact the hotel directly. An additional cost will apply, paid on site.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Quebec City, Quebec
  Nearest highway: Trans Canada Highway
  Nearest airport:  Jean Lesage International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Vancouver, BC
  Nearest city or town:  Vancouver
  Nearest highway: Highway 1 - Trans Canada
  Nearest airport:  Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Travel Details

Quebec City


From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $30.00 CDN
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 - 30 minutes 


Taxis are available at the Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City (YQB).


Quebec City


From Train Station






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $8 - $10 CDN
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 - 10 minutes 


Quebec City


From Bus Terminal






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $8 - $10
Prices are subject to change.




5 - 10 minutes


Québec City is accessible by coach from major cities within Canada. Visitors travelling by bus from the USA come into Montreal via Greyhound, then transfer to Orléans Express bus for Québec City. Contact Greyhound for details at 1-800-661-8747). Taxis are available from the bus station to the hotel.




To Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$30 - $35
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 


Taxi from hotel to Vancouver International Airport (YVR)




To Airport




Public Transportation
Sky Train/Canada Line


Per Person/One Way:


$7 - $10
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


35 - 45 minutes 


City bus to Yaletown/Roundhouse Station, then take the Sky Train/Canada Line to the airport.

Driving Directions
  DIFFERENT START AND END LOCATIONS This program starts in Quebec City, Quebec and ends in Vancouver, British Columbia. Driving your personal vehicle to the program is not recommended due to logistics of the itinerary and different start and end locations.
Elevation Note: Elevations can reach up to 9,000 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Introductions/Welcome Dinner
(Friday, October 4)
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals and transfers to the program hotel after 3:00 pm. Please note that rooms are not generally available until mid to late afternoon.
 Dinner: Fine dining at the hotel restaurant offers you an outstanding culinary experience. Plated service features three courses with choice of soup or salad, two entree choices and dessert plus coffee and tea.
 Evening: INTRODUCTIONS: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. Take the rest of the evening to become acquainted with your fellow participants or stroll around the local area. You are embarking on a learning adventure to discover Quebec's vibrant culture and history through a broad range of presentations and exciting field trips led by some of Quebec's most knowledgeable and engaging experts. You will explore the heart of Old Quebec's Upper and Lower Towns, discovering many of the most important sites, institutions, and monuments along the way. This exciting new program embodies the best that Quebec City has to offer.
Accommodations: Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: History of Quebec City/Guided Walk in Old Quebec/Good Shepherd Museum
(Saturday, October 5)

Note: Today you will encounter uneven terrain and cobblestone streets during your moderate guided walk of Old Quebec.

 Breakfast: Full American breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant includes scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, bacon, ham, sausages, home baked beans, thin pancakes and French toast.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: History of Quebec City. A presentation by a local historian entitled, "The History of Quebec City", will give you an excellent overview of Quebec City from its founding to the present day. Learn about the principal historical events that occurred here. The city was awarded its World Heritage City designation in 1985 based partially on the preservation of the fortifications around the Old Town, which date from 1745. FIELD TRIP: Old Quebec. Explore historic Old Quebec on a guided walk. Experience the distinct European feel with its stone buildings and winding streets lined with shops and restaurants.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Role of the Church. Learn about the important role played by the Church in insuring the survival of French-Canadian culture, language and customs to its loss of influence in 21st-century Quebec. FIELD TRIP: At the Good Shepherd Museum, discover the captivating story of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, a community founded in the heart of Quebec City in 1850. Set in a magnificent historic building erected between 1878 and 1887, the Museum also provides a comprehensive analysis on the social history of marginalized women and abandoned children during the 19th and 20th centuries. FREE TIME: Enjoy some free time to explore Quebec City on your own or relax at your hotel. Some may choose to visit the Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec. The museum is made up of three linked buildings that display an impressive array of architecture. The museum's collection includes more than 22,000 works produced mainly in Quebec from early colonial times to the present day. The museum acts as a custodian, keeping alive the memory of Quebec art and artists.
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is at a restaurant in Old Québec specializing in traditional Québecoise cuisine.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Following dinner, the remainder of the evening is free to explore Québec City on your own. You may want to check the official Québec City tourism website to see what’s on:
Accommodations: Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Evolution of Nationalism/Plains of Abraham
(Sunday, October 6)
 Breakfast: Full American breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant includes scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, bacon, ham, sausages, home baked beans, thin pancakes and French toast.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: The Evolution of Nationalism in Quebec. At first French Canadian nationalism consisted in insuring the survival of the race. Later on it would focus on defending provincial jurisdictions from federal encroachments and finally it would call for an outright independent country. A local historian outlines the events that define this radicalization of options. FIELD TRIP: Plains of Abraham. Travel to National Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham. This is the site of the most significant battle in Canadian history, despite the fact that the battle lasted only thirty minutes. Following the visit to the Plains of Abraham, enjoy a short city coach excursion en route to the train station.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Travel by train from Québec City to Montréal. Upon arrival in Montréal, check into your hotel.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Following dinner, the remainder of the evening is free.
Accommodations: Delta Centre Ville Hotel Montreal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Transportation Revolution/French Empire, British Conquest/Historic Old Montreal
(Monday, October 7)

Note: Today you will encounter uneven terrain and cobblestone streets during your moderate guided walk of Old Montreal.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: The Montreal Merchants and the Transportation Revolution/The French Empire in North America and the British Conquest. Two presentations with a local historian provide an analysis of transportation technology and its impact on Montreal commerce. FIELD TRIP: Architecture of Old Montreal. Explore the architectural history of the city, as you walk the cobbled streets on a guided walk of Old Montreal. Notable highlights during the walk include Notre Dame Basilica, Place d'Armes and Place Jacques Cartier. This historic city center is rich in museums, galleries, restaurants and grey stone architecture spread out along narrow, cobblestone streets. Stroll through Place Jacques Cartier, a lively public square, and then turn south to the waterfront (Vieux Port). Its impressive harborfront facilities include a 1.5-mile (2.5-km)-long recreational park along the St. Lawrence River, a state-of-the-art science center, a theater, antiquarian bookshops and inviting cafe.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: FREE TIME: Following lunch, enjoy free time to explore Montréal on your own.You may want to check the Montréal website to see what’s on:
 Dinner: Meet for dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Continue your exploration of Montréal, or relax at the hotel.
Accommodations: Delta Centre Ville Hotel Montreal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Canadian Railway Museum/Montreal Highlights/Train to Toronto
(Tuesday, October 8)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Canadian Railway Museum. On a field trip to the Canadian Railway Museum, examine transportation artifacts including giant steam locomotion engines and refurbished early coaches. One of Canada's most unique museums, the collection of railway material here is the largest in the country and one of the most important in the world.
 Lunch: Today's lunch will be a full meal in Montreal.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: En route to the train station, enjoy a coach excursion of Montréal. Travel by train from Montréal to Toronto.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own onboard the train.
 Evening: Arrival in Toronto and check into your hotel.
Accommodations: The Strathcona Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Toronto's History/Royal Ontario Museum
(Wednesday, October 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: A coach is the learning venue for the morning lecture, as you traverse the city and examine its history. Toronto is one of North America's most ethnically diverse cities, home to more than 80 ethnic communities from around the world.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Royal Ontario Museum.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP and PRESENTATION: At the Royal Ontario Museum, either the Director of Design or the Vice President, Marketing and Major Exhibitions will conduct a private lecture and guided tour. Explore an exceptional array of themed galleries throughout the Museum, spanning both world cultures and natural history. With six million objects in the ROM's collections, there's something new to discover around every corner. The Royal Ontario Museum, commonly known as the ROM, is a major museum for world culture and natural history in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The ROM is the fifth largest museum in North America and contains more than six million items and over 40 galleries. It is also the largest museum in Canada. It has notable collections of dinosaurs, Near Eastern and African art, East Asian art, European history, and Canadian history.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.
 Evening: FREE EVENING Enjoy a professional theater performance in the city that boasts the third-largest sale of theater tickets in the English-speaking world. Only New York and London, England sell more theater tickets each year. Or you may choose to visit the CN Tower for a panoramic view of the city, or explore Toronto on your own. For information on what's on during your visit, check out
Accommodations: The Strathcona Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Loyalists/Railroad through Western Canada/Depart by Train for Jasper
(Thursday, October 10)

Note: PLEASE NOTE: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to two small carry-on bags per person. Maximum dimensions of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Larger bags will be checked through to Jasper.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: The theme of the two morning lectures is the history of Ontario and the United Empire Loyalists, with an emphasis on Toronto's origins as the capital of Upper Canada; the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, and contemporary Toronto. As well, your lecturer will discuss the building of the railroad through central and western Canada. Your lecturer is the Senior Program Officer at Historic Fort York, a municipally operated museum that specializes in the era of the War of 1812. Fort York features some of the oldest buildings in the city of Toronto.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Toronto on your own. Possible visits include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum or the Eaton Centre.
 Dinner: Meet for dinner at a restaurant near Union Station.
 Evening: Depart by train for Jasper at 10:00 p.m. Your train journey to Western Canada begins at Union Station in downtown Toronto. The train route will follow the "iron road" that was carved out of solid rock more than a century ago. Journey past lakes and mountain peaks crowned with snow and wind your way across bridges and through tunnels. You will sleep aboard the train for three nights and cross four provinces traveling from central Canada to Canada's west to arrive in Jasper, Alberta.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Aboard the Train/Trans Canada Railway
(Friday, October 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the train. Each meal on board the train promises to be a memorable experience: a sophisticated, enticing cuisine, served with a generous portion of stunning landscapes.
 Morning: Audiovisual materials are available to enhance your learning experience on the train. Your Group Leader will make arrangements for a DVD presentation detailing the building of the railroad.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the train.
 Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the passing scenery.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Free Time in Winnipeg/Aboard the Train
(Saturday, October 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the train.
 Morning: FREE TIME: Enjoy several hours of free time in Winnipeg, the largest city in Manitoba, containing over half of the provincial population. Winnipeg is also the provincial capital. Located at the eastern edge of the prairie region of Western Canada, Winnipeg plays a prominent role in transportation, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and education. Because all rail and highway traffic between eastern and western Canada must travel through or near the city, it is often called the "Gateway to the West". The city is located near the geographic centre of North America, at the confluence of the historic Red and Assiniboine Rivers, a point now commonly known as The Forks. This is a focal point for many celebrations, public events, museums, shops, skating, restaurants, and tours. Winnipeg lies in close proximity to hundreds of lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, Canada's fifth largest lake and the world's eleventh largest, as well as Lake Manitoba and the Lake of the Woods. The city is a cultural centre and is the home of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It boasts historic architecture, scenic waterways, a heritage river, numerous parks including Assiniboine Park, and distinctive neighborhoods. Winnipeg is home to the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, and is in the area of the original settlements and farms in the west. Winnipeg has laid claim to the title of World's Longest Skating Rink along the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the train.
 Afternoon: The train departs Winnipeg in early afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Jasper National Park/Maligne Canyon
(Sunday, October 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the train.
 Morning: This morning the train approaches Jasper, nestled deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and recognized internationally for its rugged beauty. Jasper is a world premiere national park, with a combination of startlingly blue-green mountain lakes, soaring peaks, and broad, forested valleys.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the train.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Jasper, and transfer to your hotel. PRESENTATION: A lecture provides an orientation to the extensive riches of Jasper National Park. Encompassing over 10,878 square kilometers (4,200 square miles), the park has healthy wildlife populations, including grizzly bears and wolves, living among the grand peaks. The park's distance from large urban centers and its relatively intact ecology create a special sense of the early days in the Rockies. FIELD TRIP: The afternoon educational component is an exploration of the Maligne Canyon. Your instructor will discuss the geological evidence of deep canyon formation; the rich natural history of the site; and wildlife habitats. There will be an opportunity to search for fossils.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Free evening to explore Jasper on your own. To discover what’s on, check
Accommodations: Amethyst Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Jasper Natural History/Athabasca Glacier
(Monday, October 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: The second day in Jasper will involve a full day field trip with your naturalist instructor. The learning activities will be geared to the study of the natural history in a number of areas of this beautiful and diverse mountain terrain. Possible sites of study may include Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, Maligne Lake, and the Valley of the Five Lakes. Exact destinations may vary depending on the weather. You will also travel to the Columbia Icefields and experience a Snowcoach ride on the Athabasca Glacier. This is the largest icefield south of Alaska, and the shimmering glacial ice and snow cover some 389 sq. km. (233 sq. mi.). An exciting Snowcoach Tour will take you out onto the Athabasca Glacier, a tongue of the Columbia Icefield, for an awe-inspiring glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streamlets.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Your field trip continues during the afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Jasper.
 Evening: Following dinner, the evening is free to explore Jasper on your own or relax at the hotel.
Accommodations: Amethyst Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Yellowhead Museum/Depart by train for Vancouver
(Tuesday, October 15)

Note: PLEASE NOTE: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to two small carry-on bags per person. Maximum dimensions of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Larger bags will be checked through to Vancouver.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Local Geology of the Jasper area. FIELD TRIP: Enjoy a visit to the Yellowhead Museum. At the museum, the educational program will address the human history of the area. This is a research and exhibit museum. Its documents and artifacts illustrate the human history of Jasper National Park and the Yellowhead corridor. The museum visit is followed by free time to explore the town of Jasper.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore local fare
 Afternoon: FREE TIME: Enjoy some free time in Jasper before the train departs for Vancouver in mid afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Vancouver Exploration/Granville Island Market/Museum of Anthropology
(Wednesday, October 16)

Note: Today, in addition to having lunch on Granville Island you will have time to explore the area on your own. Please note you may encounter cobblestone streets and uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the train, prior to arrival in Vancouver.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Disembarking the train in Vancouver, you will immediately commence the exploration of this vibrant city. Downtown areas of the city, such as Stanley Park, Gastown and Chinatown will be the subjects of study. Both coach and walking excursions will be utilized as learning venues for this segment of the program.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at Granville Island Market.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: The focus of the afternoon educational program is the culture of indigenous people. The venue for the study will be the Museum of Anthropology, a spectacular building on the campus of the University of British Columbia overlooking mountains and sea. This museum is Canada’s largest teaching museum. Its collections, exhibitions and programs are renowned for providing insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Following dinner, the remainder of the evening is free to explore Vancouver on your own. For a list of what's on, check
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: The Evolution of Vancouver/Vancouver's West End/Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, October 17)

Note: The morning walking field trip to/from and through Stanley Park will be approximately 2 miles or 3.22 km over relatively flat terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the Pacific Ocean. The morning lectures conducted by a local historian consider the evolution of this dynamic city from a social, ethnic, and economic perspective. FIELD TRIP: Discover Vancouver's West End on a walking field trip with your instructor. You will visit the seawall walk in Stanley Park, with its impressive totem poles. Famous for its majestic wilderness in downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park spreads over 1000 acres and is the largest urban park on the continent.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is yours to continue your exploration of Vancouver.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the Fish House in Stanley Park. Surrounded by Stanley Park's lush greenery, the Fish House overlooks panoramic English Bay and the spectacular gardens and forests of Stanley Park.
 Evening: Free evening to relax at the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Independent Departures
(Friday, October 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Breakfast is scheduled at 8:00 a.m. Independent departures after breakfast from hotel. Check-out is 12:00 p.m.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Jasper, AB Jasper Art Gallery
A must see on your tour of the Jasper area, The Clock Tower Gallery presents a timely offering of local and regional art. Since opening it’s first permanent gallery in July 2003, JAG operates Jasper's only artist-run gallery, has experienced boundless success and received acclaim from thousands of international visitors. Come and view our eclectic collection of oils, acrylics, watercolours, drawings, photo-based works, clay and metal sculptures and converse with our informed gallery representatives. For additional information, visit
  Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives
The Jasper Yellowhead Museum & Archives houses thousands of artifacts in the collection storage. Some of the more interesting items include woollen bathing suits worn at Miette Hot Springs, wooden shovels used on the Skyline Trail in 1911, and many beautiful examples of Suzette Swift’s beadwork. The collection continues to grow with donations of new artefacts arriving regularly. The permanent historic gallery features exhibits on the fur trade, the railway, and early exploration and tourism in Jasper National Park. Among our featured artefacts is Curly Phillips’ canoe, the ice axe from Mt. Alberta, and David Thompson’s musket balls recovered from Athabasca Pass. For additional information, visit
  Montreal, QC Château Dufresne Museum
The Château Dufresne, built between 1915 and 1918, was a beaux-arts style mansion owned by the Dufresne brothers, leading members of Montreal’s French bourgeoisie. Today, the Château Dufresne houses a museum dedicated to the history of Montreal’s east end. For additional information, visit
  Château Ramezay
Montréal’s portal to its past, the Chateau Ramezay Historic Site and Museum, was built in the 18th century as a prestigious residence. It was the first building in Quebec to be classified an historic monument. Relive more than 500 years of history through its numerous exhibits, its multimedia portrayals of historic figures and its French colonial style garden. For additional information, visit
  McCord Museum
The McCord Museum embodies the vision of a passionate collector, David Ross McCord, whose abiding wish was to shed light on the history and cultures of his country and thus bring its people together. The McCord Museum is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion and appreciation of Canadian history. The McCord Museum helps individuals connect with generations, cultures and communities, inspiring them to become informed, open-minded and engaged citizens. For additional information, visit
  Quebec City, Quebec Cruise on the St. Lawrence
Set sail with our costumed guide, Louos Jolliet on a captivating cruise on the St. Lawrence River. Discover the history of Quebec City, the river and the surroundings. Navigate from the Cap Diamant to the Montmorency Falls. This Maritime Excursion is a fascinating cruise and the perfect occasion to admire the breathtaking beauty of Québec City, as seen from the river. Relax on our outside terraces as you learn about the city, its fortifications and surroundings. There are also a number of other cruises available on their web site. For additional information, visit
  Musee du Fort
The Musee du Fort presents an original and unique sound and light show on the military history of Québec City. The Musee is centrally located in front of the Hotel Chateau Frontenac. For additional information, visit
  Quebec Parliament Building
The most important historical site in Québec City. The Parliament Building is an imposing structure comprising four wings that form a square of about 100 metres (330') per side. One of the few buildings in North America whose architecture in Second Empire style. The tour of the Parliament Building includes the National Assembly Chamber (where the members of provincial parliament sit) with its Renaissance architecture and the Legislative Council Chamber (standing committees have been held here since 1968). For additional information, visit
  Toronto, ON Arts, Culture, History
Toronto has a number of world-class museums and historic sites including the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Museum of Inuit Art, Gardiner Museum, Tatar Gallery, University of Toronto Art Centre, Textile Museum, Queen's Park and the Parliament Buildings and historic Fort York. For additional information, visit
  Gardens and Historic Homes
Toronto is home to an array of gardens, green spaces and historic homes. Casa Loma, Toronto Botanical Garden, Toronto Sculpture Garden, Kew Gardens, Toronto Music Garden, Mackenzie House, Allan Gardens Conservatory. For additional information, visit
  Neighbourhoods/Sports Venues
Other sites of interest: St. Lawrence Market, CN Tower, Canadian Air & Space Museum, Hockey Hall of Fame, Air Canada Centre, Toronto Islands, City Hall, University of Toronto, The Distillery District, Chinatown and P.A.T.H. the underground city. For additional information, visit
  Performing Arts
Toronto is home to a number of theatre and other performing arts venues. Venues include: Sony Centre for Performing Arts, Young Peoples Theatre, Canadian Stage Theatre, Peoples Theatre, Canadian Stage Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, Four Seasons Centre, Massey Hall and many more. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver, BC Capilano Suspension Bridge
Voices from Vancouver’s past mingle with the sounds of nature, beautiful gardens skirt colourful totem poles, British Columbia First Nations artisans chisel legend into cedar and Capilano Suspension Bridge takes you to the serenity of a West Coast rainforest. Cross the suspension bridge, try out Canada’s award-winning tourist attraction, Treetops Adventure which offers a squirrel’s eye view of a thriving coastal rainforest in the mid-story of 1300-year-old old growth Douglas-firs; or take the Cliffwalk with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms. For additional information, visit
  Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Step back in time to 15th Century China at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The first of its kind outside of China, the Garden offers a glimpse into life as a Chinese scholar during the Ming dynasty. Scholars lived and worked in their gardens, sharing these enchanting spaces with friends and family of all ages. Like any home, a scholar's garden was filled with energy, but also offered quiet moments for contemplation. As a bridge between cultures, the Garden offers lively demonstrations, Chinese festival celebrations and diverse art exhibitions. We also feature musical concerts such as the summer Enchanted Evenings Concert series. For additional information, visit
  Granville Island
Early in the morning, the first Aquabus of the day putters across False Creek, heading towards Granville Island. Home to 300 businesses, studios and facilities, the destination still retains an old-fashioned, timeless feeling. Craftsmen and artists take up residence here, and it's clear that the tradition of apprenticeship and mastery is alive and well. You can see it in the detail of a ceramic bowl or the gentle curve of a freshly blown glass vase, the intricacy of a piece of jewellery or the flick of a painter's brush. Granville Island's charming public market overflows with fresh produce, breads, seafood and a bounty of other goods is reason enough to visit Granville Island. Be sure to also stroll the narrow lanes of the island to check out its unique shops and photo-worthy views of downtown across False Creek. Street music is one of the most distinctive characteristics of Granville Island. Singer/songwriters strum away in open courtyards, drum circles form out of nowhere, and a clear strain of a melody from violin or saxophone melody often seems to make its way to the ears of an unsuspecting visitor For additional information, visit
  Harbour Cruise
Vancouver's best sightseeing, dining and special event cruises. Join Vancouver's most popular Sunset Dinner Cruise, an amazing opportunity to enjoy the fabulous sunset view. Enjoy Vancouver's only authentic paddlewheeler and narrated tour of the inner harbour or relax with Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise through a secluded mountain fjord. A unique experience, since the area is only accessible by boat, in 4 hours you will pass Deep Cove to Indian Arm and finally reach Silver Falls. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Aquarium
Canada’s largest aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium is dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life through display, interpretation, education, research, and direct action. You can experience all of this and more when you visit us. Research is ongoing at Aquarium labs and with display animals, by graduate students and staff. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Museum
The Vancouver Museum houses permanent displays, exhibitions and educational programs about the natural, cultural and human history of the Vancouver region. Canada's largest civic museum moves into its second century, it continues to explore the human and natural history of the Vancouver region, the Pacific Northwest Coast and Pacific Rim with exciting, ever-changing new exhibitions. The Vancouver Museum continues to celebrate the rich legacy and heritage of our diverse multicultural society through varied programs. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Trans-Canada Rail Guide

Author: Melissa Graham

Description: GUIDEBOOK, 2010, PAPERBACK, 256 PAGES A compact, kilometer-by-kilometer guide to the 4,000-mile rail journey across North America from Halifax to Vancouver (including spur lines to Churchill and Prince Rupert). With 30 maps of cities and town en route, brief descriptions of major attractions and much information on the railroad itself. 4th edition. (CND04, $22.95)

Alberta Wildlife

Author: James Kavanagh

Description: FIELD GUIDE, 2005, PLASTIC CARD A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered wildlife in Alberta. (CND279, $5.95)

The National Dream, The Great Railway, 1871 to 1881

Author: Pierre Berton

Description: HISTORY, 2002, PAPERBACK, 456 PAGES Part one of the great Berton's exhilarating account of the boldest project in Canadian history, the building of the transcontinental railroad, from idea to the start of construction. (CND178, $24.95)

Canada by Train, The Complete Via Rail Travel Guide

Author: Chris Hanus

Description: GUIDEBOOK, 2009, PAPER, 320 PAGES Full of useful facts and vivid photographs, this comprehensive guide features 500 full-color illustrations and photographs; updated information on schedules, fares and pass options; mile-by-mile route guides; practical suggestions on traveling light, settling in sleepers and coaches; and much more. (CND355, $26.95)

Fodor's Montreal's 25 Best

Author: Fodor's

Description: GUIDEBOOK, 2011, PAPER, 128 PAGES A shirt-pocket guide to Montreal, this slim book includes an excellent map of the center of the city and essential information on its highlights, including restaurant recommendations and sightseeing -- all in a slipcover. (CND41, $11.99)

Rails Across Canada

Author: Tom Murray

Description: HISTORY, 2011, HARD COVER, 320 PAGES In this marvelously illustrated history, author Tom Murray provides readers with an engaging look at the railroad whose own history is, in many ways, the history of Canada itself. Author Tom Murray presents fastidiously researched and concisely presented histories of each railroad, along with more than 300 photographs, including rare archival black-and-white images and modern and period color photography sourced from national archives and private collections. (CND354, $30.00

The Canadian Landscape

Author: J.A. Kraulis

Description: NATURAL HISTORY, 2004, PAPERBACK, 160 PAGES A portfolio of 150 striking color photographs from Atlantic Canada to Vancouver, with accompanying text in English and French. (CND220, $24.95)

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