Capitals of Canada by Rail  

A four-stop rail journey from Toronto to Quebec City

Travel by train and unwind between urban explorations in Canada’s captivating eastern cities

Sit back and relax as you make your way to the best of Canada’s glittering cities the old-fashioned way, travelling in daylight to see the best of the scenery and disembarking to stay in beautiful hotels. Take in Toronto’s cosmopolitan neighbourhoods, Ottawa's charms, Montreal’s multitude of museums, and Quebec City’s World Heritage-listed old town. None of the railway journeys exceed five hours, giving you ample time to explore the cities.

Upgrade to our Capitals of Canada by Rail Deluxe Itinerary, staying at Fairmont hotels and travelling business class service on VIA Rail.

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9 nights
Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City

Taking a relaxing northbound journey through East Canada

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A modern metropolis

Toronto is an instantly recognisable city with a skyline dominated by the CN Tower. But there's much more to Toronto than vertiginous architecture. After a few days of getting to know the city, hop aboard the VIA Rail to Ottawa on a journey that’ll take four and a half hours.

What to do in Toronto

How you’ll spend your days

The to-do list is endless: food markets, art galleries, world-class museums, great shopping, theatre shows, and sports games are just the tip of the iceberg. So, while what to do is taken care of, the next decision is when to visit. Toronto is distinctly seasonal, appealing to sun-seekers and snow bunnies alike.

Where to stay in Toronto

Choose your neighbourhood

Deciding where to base yourself in Toronto can be tricky, simply because there’s so much choice. A room in a gleaming tower overlooking Lake Ontario? Or swanky digs in the elegant Yorkville area? Then again, something bijou in a historic city enclave could be tempting.


Find flurries of art and flowers

Ottawa fizzes with excitement and festivities. Its sweeping beds of colourful tulips and urban art make perfect city-strolling fodder. A visit in spring reveals the flowers in all their glory. But whatever the season, check out the Gothic-style buildings that grace Parliament Hill, the home of Canada's federal government. After exploring Ottawa, you’ll board the VIA train to Montreal, just two hours away.

What to do in Ottawa

How you’ll spend your days

Take a stroll along the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Visit the National Gallery of Canada or explore the Canadian Museum of History and learn about the country's rich heritage. For a cultural experience, head to the ByWard Market, a bustling outdoor market filled with artisanal food, crafts, and souvenirs.

Where to stay in Ottawa

The hotels to know about

The castle-like Fairmont Chateau Laurier is an iconic hotel in the city, as is the Art Deco Lord Elgin. Or get to know Ottawa’s creative scene and stay at Le Germain Hotel Ottawa, which shares its address with Ottawa’s art gallery.


Shaped by an extraordinary history

This French-speaking city reaches across the Atlantic to steal Paris’ top culinary ranking and brings joy to foodies who come to taste Montreal’s flavours. But there’s plenty more than food in this riverside city. An explorable and majestic park, Mount Royal, overlooks proceedings from its lofty elevations. After getting to know the city, your final rail journey takes you to Quebec City, around three and a half hours away.

What to do in Montreal

Explore the neighbourhoods

Take a narrated tour that explores all aspects of bustling downtown Montréal. Discover the intriguing blend of Old-World charm and North American modernism as you pass many of Montréal’s fascinating landmarks. Enjoy the freedom of leaving the bus, exploring the attractions of your choice at leisure, and boarding another bus later.

Where to stay in Montreal

Save or splurge?

Stay somewhere special, like the illustrious Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, or decide whether simpler accommodation is all you need in Montreal.

Quebec City

The perfect overnight stopover

French-speaking Quebec City has a lot going for it. Weathered stone buildings complement a blissfully scenic situation. The history here is like no other in North America, dating back to 1608. Spend time understanding the heritage in the forts and museums, each telling their part of the story before joining the here and now in the city’s excellent bars and restaurants.

What to do in Quebec City

Choose an enlightening tour

Join a walking tour of historic and modern Quebec City to the Latin Quarter, the Plains of Abraham, the Citadel, the Fortifications, the National Assembly, Place Royale, the Basilica and other points of interest within Quebec City. Or follow a similar route on a bike tour and pedal your way around the neighbourhoods.

Where to stay in Quebec City

Chic and stylish accommodation

From the incredible Fairmont Chateau Frontenac that overlooks the city to the luxury Auberge Saint-Antoine and the modern Hotel 71, expect a sleek and memorable stay in Quebec City.