ITINERARY: The Eastern Cultural Explorer
Aboriginal Experiences, Ottawa
Explore Ontario and Québec on this 11-day holiday that will see you experiencing the sights and sounds of downtown Toronto, discovering the traditional territory of Six Nations, marveling at the magnificence of Montréal, and learning about diverse Indigenous communities across two very different provinces through some of the most memorable and authentic experiences available.
Province: Ontario and Québec
Length: 10 Nights / 11 Days
Route: Toronto – Six Nations Territory – Ottawa – Québec City – Wendake – Croisières Essipit – Odanak – Montréal – Toronto
Day 1: Arrive in Toronto
Arrive in Toronto and transfer to your downtown hotel. The remainder of day is spent at your leisure shopping at the Eaton Centre or perhaps sampling the fine cuisine and nightlife of downtown Toronto. Insider’s tip: visit an amazing Indigenous restaurant like ku-kum or or NishDish for an amazing meal filled with unforgettable flavours.
Day 2: Day Tour: Exploring the Territory of the Six Nations
Today, explore the territory of the Six Nations in Ohsweken. This region lays claim to the Chiefswood National Historic Site, the childhood home of the poet Tekahionwake E. Pauline Johnson. Visitors to the site can experience rare grassland prairies, Carolinian forests, swamp lands, and the Grand River. The site is also a traditional hub where Six Nations gather each year for Indigenous Day in June and the Champion of Champion’s Pow Wow in late July.
Located further west in Brantford, The H.M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawks features Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, the oldest building in Canada, built in 1785. It is the last remaining building of the original Mohawk village and is now the oldest surviving Church in Ontario.
Day 3: Toronto to Ottawa
Drive east along Lake Ontario, visit Kingston and explore the magnificent scenery of the 1,000 Islands before arriving in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.
Day 4: Discover Indigenous Culture in Canada’s Capital City
While in Ottawa, discover Aboriginal Experiences (for groups only), an award-winning Canadian Signatures Experience attraction in downtown Ottawa that gives visitors the opportunity to explore authentic Indigenous culture, past and present. Ask about group tour packages featuring traditional food, interactive powwow dancing, art workshops, and storytelling. In the afternoon explore Ottawa like never before with Indigenous Walks. You will explore the city’s monuments, landscapes, architecture and art with tour guides who will share their Indigenous perspectives and stories.
Day 5-6: Ottawa – Québec City – Wendake
Today, make your way from Ottawa to Québec City along the Chemin du Roy (King’s Highway). This route is perfect for those who want to admire the Québec countryside, and take their time getting to Québec City. Explore the sights and sounds of Québec City before you make your way to Wendake (just a 14-minute drive). Your home is the The Hôtel-Musée, a four-star attraction of Wendake, where history and Indigenous traditions blend with contemporary hotel luxury and convenience. Take the next two days to immerse yourself in to the Huron-Wendat culture with guided tours, storytelling, dance performances, craft workshops and more.
Day 7: Wendake to Croisières Essipit [Côte-Nord region near Tadoussac]
Today your journey takes you along the St. Lawrence River to the First Nations destination of Vacances Essipit. Located in the Côte-Nord region near Tadoussac, Vacances Essipit is known for unique outdoor holidays on the Essipit Innu lands in condo-hotel units, cottages, campgrounds and outfitters. These protected natural lands represent a precious heritage, handed down unspoiled and known for breathtaking vistas. While staying here, explore the Essipit Innu village and learn about their culture and traditions. The Innu Nation differs from other Indigenous cultures through its unique customs and lifestyle.
Overnight Vacances Essipit
Day 8: Whale Watching at the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
Today experience an exhilarating whale watching tour with Essipit Cruises that goes to the deepest waters of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. By traveling in a zodiac, you get as close as possible to the surface of the St. Lawrence River, giving a unique sense of being right up next to the whales. This larger-than-life feeling is enhanced by their experienced guides, who share their knowledge, as well as Essipit Innu beliefs about whales and the marine world in which they live.
Overnight Vacances Essipit
Day 9: Croisières Essipit to Montréal
Drive along highway 138 along the St. Lawrence River to Montréal, or if you wish to take an alternate route, hop on a ferry in Saint-Simeon and cross over to Riviere-du-Loup. From here the drive passes Kamouraska and St. Jean-Port-Joli, the woodcarving capital of Québec. The numerous islands in the St.Lawrence River are frequented by large colonies of seabirds and shorebirds. Before you arrive in Montréal, be sure to stop at the Musée des Abenakis in Odenak – 40 minutes outside of Montréal. This museum is Québec’s first Indigenous museum, featuring the culture and history of the Abenaki First Nation.
Day 10: Montréal Exploring
You’ll enjoy exploring the European flavours of Montréal, a diverse city offering many cultural attractions, from ritzy nightclubs to fascinating art galleries. If you happen to be visiting Montréal in August, join Montréal’s First Peoples festival, a multidisciplinary event that celebrates Indigenous cultures from throughout the three Americas. You may also wish to visit the L’Espace Culture Ashukan Gallery which showcases the Indigenous arts and cultures of both Québec and Canada.
Day 11: Montréal to Toronto
Drive to Toronto where your Eastern Cultural Explorer tour ends.