Vancouver to Toronto, By Land

In July, 1989, my son, Andrew, and I drove from Vancouver to our new home in Toronto, in an 1986 Turbo Diesel VW Rabbit, armed with some cash, a brand-new Mastercard, a brand-new CAA membership, some Nikon cameras, and some film. We had camping equipment in a car-top carrier, but I soon discovered driving was enough work, and I was not about to make and break camp every day, so we stayed in cheap motels or overnighted with friends and family.

Andrew was six years old at the time. This is a big country, a second driver would be an asset, but six year old eyes are a bigger asset, as they can see more of this marvelous place.

We had a Kinks tape and a Leonard Cohen tape; we still like to listen to "Come Dancing" and "First We Take Manhattan." I kept a notebook of the journey, and, now, when I want to read it, I cannot lay my hands on it. I have stuff in this home office that is over twenty years old, but... I will try this from memory, some dates may be wrong.

Trip map
Date Depart Way Points Arrive
Saturday, July 15, 1989 Vancouver say goodbye to Andrew's grandparents in Vancouver, off to Maple Ridge to visit my mother before the Great Trek begins day 1 Maple Ridge
Sunday, July 16 Maple Ridge goodbye to my mother, drive along the North side of the valley to mission, cross to Abbotsford, up through Chilliwack through Hope, breakdown at Hope slide area, burst turbo oil cooler hose; towed to Petro Canada service at Hope; CAA membership pays for itself, lifetime. Do not leave home in a car without CAA day 2 Hope
Monday, July 17 Hope Waiting for cooling hose to come from Langley, explore the cafes and byways of Hope, pretty much finish touring Hope by foot day 3 Hope
Tuesday, July 18 Hope Yeah, a hose, we are out of here! We bid Hope a fond farewell, and are off to the glories of Princeton, Osoyoos and the East. day 4 Grand Forks
Wednesday, July 19 Grand Forks Wow, I see a Rocky Mountain. I have lived with coast mountains all my life, the Rockies look completely different. Stunning day 5 Cranbrook
Thursday, July 20 Cranbrook a long drive, Fort Steele, where the big fire was, Radium, Banff, overnight with TMcC day 6 Calgary
Friday, July 21 Calgary visit the zoo and dinosaur park day 7 Calgary
Saturday, July 22 Calgary Tyrell Museum, stunning museum which just sort of appears out of the coulee day 8 Calgary
Suday, July 23 Calgary visit Uncle Jim Houston, use the water slides at the Medicine Hat Best Western day 9 Medicine Hat
Monday, July 24 Medicine Hat tour the pork abattoir, visit with cousin Jim Houston day 10 Moose Jaw
Tuesday, July 25 Moose Jaw Amazing; in Killarney we find a museum where they have a few of my grandfather's painting; they give us one. Incredible lightning storm in p.m., we are in motel at Brandon day 11 Brandon
Wednesay, July 26 Brandon stayed overnight with Uncle Merv, Anne and a couple of ferretsday 12 Winnipeg
Thursday, July 27 Winnipeg Don't try this trip without a second driver, this is big, empty country. after Kenora and Dryden there are three dots on the map before Tundra Bay. Beware, there is nothing at those dots. day 13 Thunder Bay
Friday, July 28 Thunder Bay Andrew sick at Tundra Bay in am, OK by noon, not much choice but to drive on. We stop at Marathon, to play in the pool, which is filled with sand. day 14 Sault Ste. Marie
Saturday, July 29 The Soo Andrew OK now, but this is still a big country; via Sudburyday 15 Toronto
Thursday, Dec 27, 2001 Toronto still here, Andrew now 18 Toronto

Day 1

top

Day 2

top

Day 3

to do

top

Day 4

to do

top

Day 5

to do

top

Day 6

to do

top

Day 7

to do

Some more pictures fromCalgary Dinosaur Park and Tyrell Museum


top

Day 8

to do

top

Day 9

to do

top

Day 10

to do

top

Day 11

to do

top

Day 12

to do

top

Day 13

I made a mistake in Winnipeg; we dawdled around into the afternoon, and then set out to the East. I was thinking we could make it to Thunder Bay, but if we did not get there, we could maybe find a motel along the way. After Dryden, there are rocks, trees, lakes, rocks, trees, lakes, and it got dark, and I got a little nervous, being passed by fuel trucks and other big rigs at 100 mph. It was very late in the evening when we finally arrived in Thunder Bay. I have no pictures of this leg of the trip. I should have left early in the morning.

top

Day 14

Andrew woke up sick to the stomach in Thunder Bay. Perhaps too many bowls of chile at too many Esso Voyageur restaurants. Again, I decided to drive, and hope he started to feel better along the way. Some Gravol, and some Sprite, and off we went. I did not take many pictures on this leg, because I wanted to get some kilometers behind us. There is some glorious stuff out there.

top

Day 15

to do

top

A slide show of photos from the Rockies and more views of Fort Steele. And a beluga, of course.


As they say, this page is

under construction