This weekend is the Canada day long weekend. While many of you are going to be at a cottage relaxing or hanging out in the city on your favorite patio if you don’t have access to a cottage. Don’t worry I will see you on the patio! Let’s take a second to appreciate Canada’s rich and diverse topography, before we enjoy its rich and diverse alcohol. Auto|One Group presents Canada’s best drives and the best cars do them in.
The Maritimes: Newfoundland has some of the most breathtaking views in the country, sweeping panoramas of the ocean situated next to rich and pristine forests. Traffic is sparse; the budding moose population will present more of a hazard than other cars. The roads are very twisty with lots of opportunities to test suspension, tires and your hand eye coordination. Don’t believe us? The Targa of Newfoundland attracts drivers from all over the world every year to take part in the quasi rally race. You will want to do this with the top down so you can full appreciate the scenery plus, how awesome is it go get some salt water spray on your face while hooking corners?! You should visit Canada’s rocky playground in early June so you can see the icebergs at the northern and eastern tip of the continent. The Cabbot trail in Nova Scotia is similar to Newfoundland and just as rewarding, more cars and less moose though.
Best car for the job? Lotus Elise or Porsche boxer. You’re on a budget? Mazda Miata. You will not need too much power, just agility to carry you through the corners.
Quebec: Quebec is an odd-duck province. You can drink at 18, party until 3 am but can’t make a right on a red. Quebec is also known for is beautiful historic cities and quaint townships. The roads are also twisty through the northernmost regions of the Appalachian mountains but offer more straightaways than our friends on the Atlantic Ocean. Auto|One Group recommends touring the culturally fantastic Eastern Townships, in the fall with the leaves changing, it will also change you as a person. No trip is complete without a visit to the world famous race track at Circuit Mt. Tremblant.
Some of the best cars you’ve never herd of can be found on the road in this province. 2 stroke Saab’s, Renault’s, Volvo wagons in manual transmission guise, ect…Best car for the job? Volvo S60R, Saab 9-5 Viggin, Subaru legacy 2.5GT turbo (those are the only odd-duck cars I can think of). You’re on a budget? Old Toyota MR2 turbo. Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6. Quebec marches to its own drummer, your car of choice should as well.
Ontario: A little known fact is that the roads in Ontario are awful in the northern reaches… okay it is known. This might deter some… for us enthusiasts, we embrace it. Northern Ontario is particularly sketchy around the Thunder Bay outskirts. We recommend an off-road adventure. North Bay to Cochrane Ontario is a good bet. The Canadian Shield will accompany you the entire way, the opportunities to go off-roading are limitless and the people are very friendly. Best time to go is September, avoid the black flies (you’re welcome) and the water in the thousands of lakes you will pass is warm enough to swim in.
Best car to take: Toyota FJ cruiser, Nissan Frontier, Chevy pickup 4X4. You’re on a budget? Old Nissan pathfinder or old Chevy pickup. Both are indestructible.
Manitoba/Saskatchewan: The key words here are open, flat, straight, empty. I have spent much time on the Prairies and can tell you that if your dog runs away on Tuesday you can still see him running on Thursday. It is flat. This area is mostly farmland and while it may not have much in the way of turns and bends it more than makes up for it in straight aways that last forever. Time of the year to go? September or October during the wheat harvest. The shades of gold you will see are spectacular. You will be amazed at the natural beauty of the produce we consume before it gets to our plates. You can drive it one of two ways, slow and low and enjoy the views or opt for something insane and scare yourself with the amount of speed you can pick up. Don’t worry, the majority of police cars you see at the side of the road are actually cardboard cut-outs.
Car to take: on the fast side of things I recommend a Corvette ZR-1, Mustang GT500, Nissan GT-R, anything with lots of power really… on the slow and low side I would recommend a 1968 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. They float over just about everything and have motors that are laughably large.
Alberta is a very geographically diverse province. To the east it is the bread basket of the world and thus flat as anything you can imagine. To the West you get the best skiing in North America by way of the Rocky Mountains. This requires you to be a good all-around driver. Comfortable with massive amounts of speed that come from the east, and able to hook corners that drop off into a rocky abyss that catch you by surprise in the Rockies. Your best time to go is October. Avoid the summer tourists in the mountains. Best drives? Take the Trans Canada through the mountains and then loop back down into the prairies. Enjoy the leaves changing colour but be wary of slipping out on wet patches.
Car to take: Nissan GT-R Porsche 911 turbo, Corvette ZR-1, Ferrari 458 Mercedes SL63 AMG. You’re on a budget? Old Corvette or Nissan Z car.
British Columbia. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the other side of the Rocky Mountains is the mecca for many different things. Hippies, winter sports, lumberjacks and hockey riots. They also have a crazy network of roads that snakes through the mountains. Constant turns, changes in altitude, inclement weather and narrow roads are just some of the things that will face a driver in the interior of BC. We will not get into vying for space with logging trucks, local wildlife and falling rocks, that will be a surprise for you to discover. Time to go? Not the winter, keep the wheels between the ditches!
Good power, even better handling is a must Porsche Cayman S, BMW M3, lotus Extige. On a budget? Subaru WRX, Honda S2000.
North West Territories. From the land of black flies the size of houses and ice road truckers comes the great baron wasteland. Yellowknife is one of the few cities where roads exist, although they are shared with snowmobiles and ATV’s. You need to go in the middle of January when the ice roads are opened up for the truckers to deliver equipment up to the diamond mines. It will be -40 outside so pack warm, there will be few rest stops so bring food and supplies in case you get trapped. This all seems a little intense for you… I know but the rewards are amazing. Long, flat, wide open roads with soft cushy barriers (snow that has been plowed) the only traffic is other truckers and the cops monitoring there speed. Special bonus: the northern lights are spectacular, you will probably see them. They will leave you speechless with there different colours dancing across the sky.
Car to take: Subaru WRX STi, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi RS4. You’re on a budget? Old school Subaru Impreza or anything with ice studs.
Canada is a rich and diverse country with lots to explore. We have some of the friendliest people and each town you visit has its own unique heritage and tradition. Isn’t it time you put on some driving gloves, bought a map and visited some of those people?
happy Canada day from all of us at Auto|One Group!