Road Scholar : Home
Canadian Explorer

Program Number: 3844RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/31/2015 - 6/12/2015; 6/5/2016 - 6/17/2016; 6/26/2016 - 7/8/2016; 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; 10/9/2016 - 10/21/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Price starting at: $4,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks; On the Road; National Parks; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

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


This date stays in upgraded properties in Montreal and Vancouver.

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
   Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal
  Montreal, QC 2 nights
   Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)
  Toronto, ON 2 nights
   VIA Rail
  Aboard train 3 nights
   The Chateau Jasper
  Jasper, AB 2 nights
   VIA Rail
  Aboard train 1 night
   Best Western Sands by the Sea
  Vancouver, BC 2 nights
 Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This all-suites hotel is situated in the heart of historic Old Montréal. It is within walking distance of Notre Dame Basilica, museums, and some of the finest restaurants in the city. The rejuvenated Old Port of Montréal is just a few steps away. The underground Metro is close by to whisk you through the city, as is the lively area of Chinatown. .
  Contact info: 445, rue St-Jean Baptiste
Montréal, QC H2Y 2Z7 Canada
phone: 514-875-4333
  Room amenities: The hotel provides complimentary in-room coffee, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, microwave, fridge, complimentary high-speed internet and self-service laundry facilities.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has an indoor pool, exercise room, whirlpool and spa on-site, offering massage and treatments.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Check availability. Contact hotel directly for rates & availability.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Experience the largest full-service Courtyard by Marriott in the world, Courtyard Toronto Downtown. One of the great Toronto hotels downtown, we are near shopping, entertainment, businesses and subway transit. The Eaton Centre, Canada's premier Toronto shopping destination is minutes away and find some of Toronto's finest restaurants and entertainment on trendy Yonge Street.
  Contact info: 475 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1X7 Canada
phone: 416-924-0611
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, alarm clock, bottled water, coffee maker/tea service , iron and ironing board and hair dryer. Luxury bedding - crisp linens, thicker mattresses, custom comforters, fluffier pillows. Free high speed wireless Internet in public areas and guest rooms
  Facility amenities: Fitness centre (open 24 hrs), indoor lap pool and whirlpool. On site restaurants - Yonge Street Grill, The Bistro and Second Cup coffee shop. Free high speed wireless Internet in public areas and guest rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 VIA Rail
Type: Train
  Description: Topics aboard the train 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 - Limited storage space - 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) - Limited storage space - 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. In addition to your train cabin/roomette the train also features: Skyline Car: with a café-style dining area, kitchen, lounge, and Scenic dome section on the top floor. Dining Car: Considerate personnel, freshly cooked gourmet meals, modern surroundings—the stage (or rather, table) is set for wonderful onboard breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Park Car: The Park car is located at the back of the train. Its Bullet lounge allows you to take in the sweeping landscape as you read a book. On the top floor, the windows extend to the ceiling, providing you with the perfect place to admire the breathtaking scenery as it unfolds. For more information visit:
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Train configuration Double bedroom-separate toilet and vanity. Single bedroom/Roomette- concealed toilet and vanity.

 The Chateau Jasper
Type: Hotel
  Description: Chateau Jasper, Luxury in the Mountains. The Chateau Jasper is an exceptional hotel with an excellent variety of accommodations and facilities. This conveniently located hotel offers 119 fully air-conditioned luxury guest rooms and suites, pleasantly furnished with mountain decor in mind.
  Contact info: 96 Geikie Street
P.O. Box 1200
Jasper, AB T0E 1E0 Canada
phone: 780-852-5644
  Room amenities: All Chateau Jasper guest rooms have private baths, mini fridges, in room safes, air conditioning and feature large flatscreen televisions, in room safes, complimentary Wi Fi, hair driers, irons and boards, complimentary coffee and tea and electric kettles.
  Facility amenities: This intimate hotel includes an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness center, a variety of meeting rooms, complimentary internet kiosks in hotel lobby, a lounge, as well as an award-winning, fine dining room. Additional features: Proud recipient of Travel Alberta Good Housekeeping Award Dining Room and Lounge Heated Indoor Pool and Whirlpool Fitness Centre Seasonal Ski Shuttle Heated Underground Parking Air Conditioning Meeting and Conference Rooms
  Smoking allowed: No
  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: Air conditioning, mini fridges, room service, morning newspaper, FREE high speed wireless Internet access, iPod/iPhone/iPad clock radio, flat screen TV, in-room coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.
  Facility amenities: Sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and two bars on site.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Check for availability. Contact hotel directly.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals and transfers to the hotel in Montreal in the afternoon. Check-in is 3:00 p.m. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. at the hotel. You will be staying at Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is scheduled at 8:00 a.m. on the final day. Departures after breakfast from hotel in Vancouver, BC. Check-out is 12:00 p.m. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
This program starts in Montreal and ends in Vancouver. For parking details please contact the hotel directly. An additional cost will apply, paid on site.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Montreal, QC
  Nearest highway: Highway 10 or Highway 15
  Nearest airport:  Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport (Montreal, QC)
  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


From Airport





If you purchased airfare through Road Scholar, you’ll receive free round-trip airport transfers to get you to and from your program. You will receive detailed information regarding the transfer approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. If you did not purchase airfare through Road Scholar, you will be responsible for making your own way to and from the airport. Please review the suggested options below.




From Airport




Public Transportation
747 Express Aeroport P.E. Trudeau/Centre-Ville
phone: 514-786-4636


Per Person/One Way:


$10.00 (exact change required, coins only)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 mins from airport 


Take 747 Express bus from the airport. Purchase tickets at the Arrivals Level at the airport or pay the fare in cash with exact change on board the bus. Only coins are accepted (no bank bills).




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$30 - $40 CAD (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 - 45 minutes depending on traffic 


Taxis are readily available curbside at the airport.




From Train Station






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately CAD $10 - $12 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minutes 


Taxis available at the train station. Regular train service to Montreal is provided by Via Rail (with connections to Amtrak in the US). Trains arrive into the Via Rail Central station at 895 de la Gauchetiere West in downtown Montreal.




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.




To Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$30 - $35 CAD (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 


Taxi from hotel to Vancouver airport.

Driving Directions
  DIFFERENT START AND END LOCATIONS This program starts in Montreal, 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: You will be spending some days at high altitudes reaching over 3000 feet (915 meters) in Jasper.

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: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Sunday, May 31)
 Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel; check-in after 3:00 p.m. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. to register and pick up your welcome packet.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel at approximately 6:00 p.m.
 Evening: 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. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Accommodations: Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Transportation Revolution/French Empire, British Conquest/Historic Old Montreal
(Monday, June 1)

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

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Two presentations with a local historian will set the stage for our activities in Montreal. The first will provide an analysis of transportation technology and its impact on Montreal commerce; the second lecture will focus on the French Empire in North America and the British Conquest.

Then set out to explore the architectural history of the city as you travel 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: At a nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Montréal on your own after lunch. You may want to check the Montréal website to see what’s on:
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Continue your exploration of Montréal, or relax at the hotel.
Accommodations: Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Canadian Railway Museum/City Coach Excursion/Train to Toronto
(Tuesday, June 2)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: 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: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: En route to the train station, enjoy a guided coach excursion of Montréal. Highlights along the way include St. Joseph’s Oratory and Mont Royal. Later this afternoon, board the train and depart for Toronto.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own onboard the train.
 Evening: Arrival in Toronto and check into your hotel.
Accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Loyalists/Railroad through Western Canada/Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, June 3)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: 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: On your own to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Toronto on your own. Options include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum or the Eaton Centre.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare; or join your Group Leader at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening.
Accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Explore Toronto by Coach/Royal Ontario Museum/Depart for Jasper by Train
(Thursday, June 4)

Note: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to 2 small carry-on bags per person (1 small suitcase plus 1 small carry-on bag OR 2 small carry-on bags). Maximum dimension of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Consider taking only 1 small suitcase per couple plus a small carry-on bag for each person (for personal items, camera etc). Larger bags will be checked through from Toronto to Jasper. You will have all of your luggage in Jasper.

 Breakfast: At the hotel; followed by check-out. Baggage (including carry-on bags) can be stored at the train station; carry-on bags can be picked up before we board the train this evening. Larger bags will be checked through to Jasper.
 Morning: 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: At the Royal Ontario Museum.
 Afternoon: Explore an exceptional array of themed galleries at the Royal Ontario 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. Travel coast to coast, discovering the rich history of Canada and its natural wonders. From dinosaurs discovered in the Badlands of Alberta to the legacy of Canada's First Peoples and more.

Your experience begins behind-the-scenes in a private room with an expert from the ROM and dozens of Canadian artifacts from the vaults. Touch and discuss the artifacts in an environment that encourages collaboration and group discussion. Then embark on a guided adventure in the Museum's galleries; experience the diversity of this great country and discover what makes the ROM like no other museum.

 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local 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, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Aboard the Train/Trans Canada Railway
(Friday, June 5)
 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.
 Lunch: On board the train.
 Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the passing scenery.
 Dinner: On board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Free time in Winnipeg/Aboard the train
(Saturday, June 6)
 Breakfast: On board the train.
 Morning: 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. 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. 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.

 Lunch: On board the train.
 Afternoon: The train departs Winnipeg in early afternoon.
 Dinner: On board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Jasper National Park/Maligne Canyon
(Sunday, June 7)
 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: On board the train.
 Afternoon: Once in Jasper, a presentation will provide 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. This afternoon we explore Maligne Canyon. Your guide 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: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free evening to explore Jasper on your own. To discover what’s on, visit
Accommodations: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Jasper Natural History/Athabasca Glacier/Ice Explorer
(Monday, June 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: On the second day in Jasper 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. with your naturalist guide. Exact destinations may vary depending on the weather.
 Lunch: Box lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Travel to the Columbia Icefields and learn all about this impressive geological feature. Travel in a specially designed Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier, on a 3 mile/5 km round trip journey, for a for an awe-inspiring glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streamlets. The driver/guide will explain how glaciers are formed and point out interesting geological features as you travel onto the glacier in safety and comfort. At the mid-point, you will have the option of stepping out onto ice formed from snow falling as long as 200 years ago.
 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: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Yellowhead Museum/Depart by Train for Vancouver
(Tuesday, June 9)

Note: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to two small carry-on bags per person (1 small suitcase plus 1 small carry-on bag OR 2 small carry-on bags). Maximum dimension of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Due to limited space you may want to consider taking only 1 small suitcase per couple plus a small carry-on bag for each person (for personal items, camera etc). Larger bags will be checked from Jasper to Vancouver.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Discover "A Wild Life" in the Jasper area through an expert led presentation. This thought provoking and entertaining program explores Jasper National Park's amazing variety of mountain wildlife. Get a bear's eye view of alpine landscapes, or how about a crash course on romance in the Rockies? Participants will leave with an appreciation of the wonders of the wild side of Jasper.

On a visit to the Yellowhead 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.

 Lunch: On your own to explore local fare
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Jasper before the train departs for Vancouver mid afternoon.
 Dinner: On board the train.
 Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.
Accommodations: VIA Rail
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Vancouver Exploration/Granville Island Market/Museum of Anthropology
(Wednesday, June 10)

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

 Breakfast: On board the train, prior to arrival in Vancouver.
 Morning: Disembarking the train in Vancouver, we 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: On your own at Granville Island Market.
 Afternoon: 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: At a local restaurant.
 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 12: The Evolution of Vancouver/Vancouver's West End/Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, June 11)

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

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the Pacific Ocean. The morning presentations will be led by a local historian and will highlight the evolution of this dynamic city from a social, ethnic, and economic perspective.

Next we will explore Vancouver's West End on a guided walk. Famous for its majestic wilderness in downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park spreads over 1000 acres and is the largest urban park on the continent. Visit the seawall, the impressive totem poles and other sites of interest.

 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time this afternoon to explore Vancouver on your own.
 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.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Program Concludes/Departures
(Friday, June 12)
 Breakfast: At the hotel at 8:00 a.m.
 Morning: Departures from the hotel after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Hotel check-out is 12:00 noon. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
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 its 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 woolen 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
  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
  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/Other Attractions
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
  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
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

A Traveller's History of Canada

Author: Robert Bothwell

Description: A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.

Bear Tales from the Canadian Rockies

Author: Brian Patton

Description: Bears hold an honored place in the mythology of the Canadian Rockies. This collection of stories draws on the adventures of hunters and trappers, native legends and traditional tall tales to create a portrait of the animal that has captured the wild imagination of the region.

Canada Map

Author: ITMB

Description: This attractive color map of all Canada (1:6,000,000) shows topographic relief, transportation routes, cities and towns.

Lonely Planet Canada

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: A comprehensive, practical guide to all of Canada, redesigned for this 11th edition.

Long Beach Wild, A Celebration of People and Place on Canada's Rugged Western Shore

Author: Adrienne Mason

Description: An intimate portrait of Long Beach -- the spectacular sweep of sand along the west coast of Vancouver -- by a longtime resident of the region. Featuring archival photos and contemporary photography of the nature, Mason delves in to the history and wildlife of a portion of the Pacific coast she clearly loves.

Moon Handbook Canadian Rockies

Author: Andrew Hempstead

Description: This comprehensive and authoritative guide by Banff-based Hempstead covers where to go and what to do from Jasper to Waterton.

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

Author: Jon Dunn

Description: This guide is the veteran's choice for birding anywhere in the United States. Practical to use in the field, it has maps, illustrations and descriptions of the birds on facing pages.

Railroads Across North America, An Illustrated History

Author: Claude Wiatrowski

Description: This entertaining account of the golden age of rail in the U.S. and Canada is illustrated with 600 vintage and modern photographs, period advertisements, maps, timetables, postcards and brochures.

Rising from the Plains

Author: John McPhee

Description: McPhee's elegant and accessible essays show the geology of the Rockies through his travels with U.S. Geological Survey scientist David Love.

Shadows on the Rock

Author: Willa Cather

Description: Set at the end of the 17th century in rural Quebec, this beautifully realized novel highlights the struggles of the Parisian widower Auclair and his young daughter to adapt to their new land.

Spectacular Canada

Author: Gerald Bryan Hall

Description: Featuring 177 color photographs showcasing the diversity and grandeur of our neighbor to the north.

Switchbacks, True Stories from the Canadian Rockies

Author: Sid Marty

Description: A native Albertan and park warden in the Canadian Rockies, Marty relates colorful anecdotes from friends, colleagues and his own youth in this collection of tales, which includes A Horse Named Candy.

The Last Spike, The Great Railway, 1881-1885

Author: Pierre Berton

Description: Part two in Berton's exhilarating narrative of the boldest project in Canadian history, the building of the transcontinental railroad.

The National Dream, The Great Railway, 1871 to 1881

Author: Pierre Berton

Description: 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.

The Railway Anthology

Author: Deborah Manley (Editor)

Description: An anthology of evocative writing from the rails. Manley includes works from 50 of the world’s preeminent literary figures including Agatha Christie, William Dalrymple, Peter Fleming, Rudyard Kipling, Eric Newby, Paul Theroux and Colin Thubron, brilliantly celebrating this most "civilized" mode of travel.

The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia

Author: Jean Barman

Description: A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.

Train, Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World

Author: Tom Zoellner

Description: An informative and entertaining history of railway travel around the world -- from the frigid Trans-Siberian Railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to futuristic Mag-Lev trains. Zoellner examines mechanics and innovations in rails and engines, trains’ impact on societies and even America's ambivalence toward mass transit.

Trans-Canada Rail Guide

Author: Melissa Graham

Description: A compact, kilometer-by-kilometer guide to the 4,000-mile rail journey across North America from Halifax to Vancouver.

Vancouver Then and Now

Author: Francis Mansbridge

Description: This installment in the Then and Now series takes stock of Vancouver’s evolution by placing antique photographs side-by-side with contemporary ones. It peels back the years so that readers can see city fixtures as they once were.

Why I Hate Canadians

Author: Will Ferguson

Description: This is the tenth anniversary edition of Ferguson's wickedly astute cultural salvo, the collection of humorous essays that launched his career. As you might guess, the title is tongue-in-cheek.

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