Hi.I’ve done this trip many times and it is spectacular no matter how many times I do it.I assume you are also driving back from BC to Toronto…it’s a return trip, yes?
Make sure you car is in good shape to make the trip.You will absolutely need good tires and a good spare.Knowing how to change a tire may be very useful.Join the Automobile Club of Canada and carry a cell phone with you.
The Automobile Club is fantastic if you get into trouble on the highway and they will also provide you with free maps and travel information.The membership is certainly worth the expense.I advise you not pick up hitch-hikers.Keep extra water and food with you.A sleeping bag and/or tent and camping gear would be nice if you like to camp.
There are some really nice campgrounds along the way.Don’t forget a good camera.You will want to capture the spectacular scenery.Suggested route:From Toronto head north to Barrie and turn west on Highway 1.It’s trees and lakes for two or three days of driving.You’ll come out of the Canadian Shield east of Winnipeg.
Lots to see and do in Winnipeg, so schedule some time there.From Winnipeg, take the Yellowhead Highway to Saskatoon.Saskatoon is a great city, so, again, schedule some time there.From Saskatoon, I would go southwest towards Calgary through Drumheller and definitely stop at the Dinosaur Museum.
It’s absolutely first class.Alternative is to go due west from Edmonton to Jasper, and then take the Jasper-Banff highway through the Columbian Ice Fields.Otherwise, you can go from Drumheller into Calgary (again, schedule some time there), and head west into Banff.Take your time going through the mountains.You will continue west through Salmon Arm into Kamloops.You can continue on the Coquihalla Highway to Hope and then into Vancouver.
Or, from Kamploops head south through the Okanagan Valley (which I love and would never miss) and west at Princeton and from there you take a good road into Hope and into Vancouver.I hope you will have time for the magnificent ferry trip to Vancouver Island.Victoria is the most beautiful city in Canada (IMHO) and the Island top to bottom is wonderful.Try to head over to Tofino on the West Coast, if you have time.
You won’t be disappointed!!Don’t be afraid to talk with people.
That is plenty of money and you can hit some very beautiful scenery along the way..If you want to save money take a tent and food along with you.. Stay at campgrounds along the way as there are several..If campgrounds are few a far between hit a hotel every few days to take showers and keep up with weather and stock back up on food.. Get gas in the bigger cities as it will be cheaper.
Points of interest to see along the way.Sault Ste Marie ON to Thunder Bay ON.. Beautiful views of Lake Superior.. Canadian Plains.. lots of driving and wide vistas for as far as you can see..Lakes in Saskatchewan are beautiful Banff National Park..
This is a must and spend some days.. Lake Louise.. from there you can travel north into the most remote areas in Canada if you have time, the NWT has to be visited if not on this trip, plan for later..If you don’t have time to go into the NWT from Banff NP, just north is the Jasper NP..This area of Canada contains some of the most beautiful places in the world.. Once you get into BC, its like Alberta, with tons of places to see..
I recommend Whistler Resort, Pacific Rim NR, Kootenay, Canadian Rockies and the Alaskan Hwy if you can venture north.. Plan your trip out based on time, you can travel about 500–700 miles a day and swing by a lot of places along the way.. Sleep at night and long distance travel after dusk and early mornings.. For the most scenic places and stop overs, stay a day or two.Take a digital camera.. best pictures are taken in the morning and evening when the sun hits everything in angles..
I have done the trip to the west several times.Here are some of my tips.Join CAA and get them to prepare you with maps and a triptic if they still make triptics.
Make sure your car is reliable as you do not want a breakdown.CAA can help here as well if you have a problem.Be prepared with motel reservations in northern Ontario and BC at the least.
Be advised crossing Ontario from Toronto can take 3 or 4 or more days by car.Try to make Sault St. Marie, 11 hours if you drive at night, more during the day, on your first day.Then try for Marathon on the second day.
Day 3 takes you to Atikokan wher you decide to go north to Ignace and Dryden or continue on Yonge St west Hwy.11 to Fort Frances.This can put you in Winnipeg day 4.
Day 5 can be Saskatoon or Regina, day 6 may be Calgary or Edmonton.Now you should not miss the drive between Banff and Jasper, so head for one than the other.Try stopping at Radium hot springs if you are leaving for Vancouver from Banff.
You can then take 1 or 2 days to get to Vancouver.If you want to see Vancouver Island, take the ferry from West Vancouver to Nanaimo or Victoria.Try to see as much as you can here so at least 2 days.
Save time on the way back to Toronto by heading through the USA via Fargo to Chicago.It will save you 1 day driving on your return trip, although the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is excellent sight seeing.I hope this helps give you an idea of what it takes to cross two thirds of Canada.
There are a huge number of hours behind the wheel, so plan to get well rested, take breaks, drive defensively, watch out for animals, there are also hitch hikers to consider.Do be cautious.You are not in a race.
Aren’t you lucky.Apart from the “bang your head on the dashboard” tedium of driving across the endless prairies you are in for a great adventure.Your budget sounds good but it would be helpful for those wanting to “advise” you if we knew how much TIME you have to spend it in.
If at all possible, avoid driving across northern Ontario.
It’s THE WORST.
Cut through the USA, visit Mt Rushmore, and carry on to BC.