Fall Festival Hopping on VIA RAIL
MONTREAL - Canada’s leaf-peeping season is short, sweet, and as spread out and massive as the country itself. From vineyards at harvest time to vast maple forests, the magnificent seasonal colours serve as inspiration and setting for celebrations of nature, culture and tradition. And with value-added discounts - especially for extended vacationers and senior citizens - VIA Rail lets fall foliage fans get more fiery reds, awesome auburns and magnificent magentas for less of their hard-earned greenbacks. And with VIA at the driver’s seat, your hands are free to capture the moment with camera in hand.
For travellers eager to experience autumn where Mother Nature does its best, there is no better option than VIA Rail’s Windsor-Québec City Corridor. VIA’s convenient Corridor services provide safe, affordable and comfortable travel. And with multiple daily departures - why drive hours between destinations? Choose from VIA 1 first class or comfort (economy) seating. Travellers can also take advantage of the onboard pay-for-use wireless Internet access. Relax with loved ones, enjoy VIA’s outstanding at-your-seat service, and marvel at the changing season drifting past large picture windows.
Travellers with more time to experience the country’s fall landscape can choose from VIA’s signature transcontinental services - the Canadian (Vancouver to Toronto), The Ocean (Montréal to Halifax) or the Chaleur (along the Gaspé Peninsula).
Travel with VIA and Catch the Savings
At this time of the year, there are a variety of passes and discounts leaf peepers can choose from when planning their trip. Travellers planning a multi-destination or extended stay to Canada can take advantage of either of VIA’s value-added rail passes. The CorridorPass offers 10 days of travel in the Ontario-Québec Corridor, available in VIA 1 or Comfort Class. Adult fares are CAD $714 for VIA 1 and CAD $299 for Comfort class.
Looking to see even more of Canada’s fall offerings? VIA’s CanrailPass offers 12 days of travel in Comfort class over a 30-day period. The pass is good for travel anywhere within the VIA Rail nation-wide system and upgrades to VIA 1 or various Sleeper classes can be purchased by paying a simple surcharge. Adult fares for the CanrailPass through October 16, 2007, are CAD $837 and drop to CAD $523 for the extended off-season. Visit viarail.ca/travelpasses for more information.
VIA’s “Flexi Fares” and senior companion fares provide a perfect opportunity for sharing the harvest of the fall season. Depending on availability, passengers may choose from Regular Fares, with no service charges for changes or cancellations, Discount Fares, offering discounts with some flexibility or Supersaver Fares, representing great value for travellers who do not foresee the need to make changes to their tickets. VIA’s senior companion fares allow passengers age 60 and over travelling in Comfort class to bring a companion, of any age, along for free. For sleeper class, a senior’s travel companion receives a 75% discount off the regular adult fare. (Space is limited and some conditions do apply). Visit viarail.ca/senior for more information. For young adults from 18 to 25, VIA’s new Youth Fare is valid for a 25 % discount off the adult regular fare in Comfort class.
The following are some of the best reasons for exploring Canada with VIA Rail this fall.
Ontario-Québec Eastern Corridor
Toronto/Niagara region - The Niagara Wine Festival (September 21-30) proudly displays this renowned region’s wide range of vineyards and wineries. Visit www.grapeandwine.com. Enjoy a guided group tour of two of Toronto’s most popular public parks, Edwards Gardens and Sunnybrook Park, which promise travellers a leisurely scenic walk for viewing fall leaves and the park’s waterfalls.
Ottawa - As Canada’s capital, visitors of Ottawa can enjoy a short walk from Parliament Hill to Gatineau Park for the city’s Fall Rhapsody (September 30-October `4). The highlight of this three week event is the hike along an interpretive path to Luskville Falls where travellers have the best vantage point to observe the blazing Ottawa Valley.
Montreal - With over 22,000 plants, 30 thematic gardens, and a variety of international exhibitions, travellers can enjoy the serenity of foil foliage in the Montreal Botanical Gardens. The seasonal Magic of Lanterns festival, with hundreds of silk Chinese lanterns, illuminates the garden’s tree canopy creating a dazzling illumination of color. The Orgue et Couleurs Fall Festival (September 21-30) combines the changing leaves with organ and organ-inspired music performed by musicians from around the world. More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the concerts, talks and exhibitions. Visit www.orgueetcouleurs.com.
Quebec City - Travellers looking to get in touch with nature can visit Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area for the opportunity to view thousands of snow geese against the autumn backdrop of the rugged outdoors. The Fete des Vignobles (September 14-16 and 21-23), Québec’s prestigious wine festival celebrates numerous vineyards offering samples of the world’s most northern wines. (www.vignerons-du-quebec.com)
Looking to discover the undisturbed beauty of Québec’s Gaspé Peninsula, VIA Rail’s Chaleur takes passengers on an overnight journey from Montreal along the St. Lawrence River and through the Matapedia Valley.
Gaspé - With the area’s trees falling victim to the vibrant seasonal hues of red, yellow, and maroon, one of the best vantage points is from the blue waters of the Bay of Chaleur. As forest covers the mountains of the Bay, recreational sports such as sea kayaking or sailing are ideal to appreciate the vista from afar.
The Maritime Provinces
The Ocean takes passengers from Montréal’s hustle and bustle to the charm of Canada’s Maritimes. An overnight journey, the train rolls by glistening lakes and scenic countryside, and allows passengers to experience multiple cultures en route, including the Acadian heritage of New Brunswick and the Scottish lineage of Halifax. Through October 14, passengers in Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience will be ingratiated into the Maritimes with brief lectures and presentations.
New Brunswick - Held against the backdrop of magnificent mountains and rushing rivers, Kedgwick’s Fall Festival (October 3-7) is one of New Brunswick’s best with live music, dance demonstrations, sporting events, theatrical shows and a parade. And this town is serious about their leaf peeping, keeping daily records of the season’s color transformation.
Nova Scotia - As a sign of fall harvest, visit the Halifax Farmers Market to find fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, baked goods and wines. Fresh food in hand (or stomach), head for Kejimkujik National Park for a picnic of overnight campout where you can enjoy one of the parks trails and beautiful autumn landscapes.
The Canadian Rocky Mountains
The Canadian is VIA’s flagship service, taking passengers on a three-night journey between Vancouver and Toronto. And though the continental-wide route provides countless leaf-peeping opportunities, none are more special than in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
Jasper National Park - Jasper National Park is the ultimate escape for those who seek outdoor adventure and the full spectrum of autumn’s hues. With glistening lakes, canyons, hot springs, and waterfalls, there is seemingly no better way to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the fall foliage other than exploring the terrain while horseback riding, boating, canoeing, biking or hiking - all of which are available in the park. September marks the 100th anniversary of Jasper National Park.
Looking to be inspired by more events taking place across the country? Travellers can visit viarail.ca/calendar featuring more than 250 major events across Canada accessible by train.
For tour programs that highlight VIA services, please visit viarail.ca/packages. For more information on VIA Rail services or promotions, customers can also visit VIA’s secure website at viarail.ca to book a trip anywhere in the VIA system, or by calling 888-VIA RAIL (842-7245) or TTY 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired) or through their travel agent.
As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada’s mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger transportation services, both in Canada’s busiest corridor and in remote and rural regions of the country. VIA serves more than 450 communities with a network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains. Demand continues to grow as more Canadians turn to train travel as a safe and convenient travel choice.
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