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Montreal vs. Ottawa



We've made plans for a five day stay a nice campground in Montreal. We are traveling with two kids and two dogs. Kids are 7 and 4. 36' Class A with a Toad.

We recently bumped into a couple about our age (40s, non-rv'ers or campers) who told us to reconsider Montreal. Bluntly stated, they mentioned that Montreal was very seedy. This couple has one child, 8 years of age. When asked to elaborate, they mentioned that the city was dirty, residents seemed dirty, didn't feel safe, and overall just didn't seem nice. I realize these descriptors are very vague, so I really can't tell you, the readers, anything much more. The couple we bumped into are very nice, not stuffy, both post college educated. So, source reliability is strong. Furthermore, their only child and our eldest - again, both near the same age - took ballet lessons together, play dates, both attended chinese language school, etc. So, we have every reason to NOT believe this couple in their assessment of Montreal. Needless to say because of their experience, we are now very apprehensive in moving forward with our five day stay in Montreal. Can anyone confirm their observations? Should we be concerned? Any other info about Montreal would be helpful. Now, about Ottawa.

This couple did mention that Ottawa would be a much better place to visit. In fact, this couple stayed in Ottawa last year for three days, but they were very sad to leave because thier three day stay was not enough. incidently, they will be traveling back to Ottawa for a five day stay next month.

Are we better off going to Ottawa vs. Montreal? If so, any recommendations for campgrounds? Can't seem to find anything!

And just as a reminder, we have two young kids with us, so when replying, kindly consider your feedback from the vantage point of traveling with two kids,



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You really can't go wrong with either place. In the summer of 2011 we spent three days in Ottawa, a couple of days in Mt. Tremblant (and that is really fun for the kids) and four nights in Montreal.

I must admit that Ottawa is one of my favorite cities. It is small and easy to get around with plenty of museums and sights to keep the kids and you occupied. Some of the museums are on the other side of the Ottawa River in Quebec. The locks on the Ridieau Canal are fascinating (and less expensive to get to than Panama). At night during the summer they have a laser light show on the Parliament building which is free and draws a big crowd--don't forget to bring your blankets. There is an old market (whose name escapes me) which is east of Parliament with lots of little shops and restaurants.

In the past I had not been that enthused over Montreal, but on this last trip I really came to love it, too. Old Montreal, which is down by the river, is always exciting with plenty of restaurants and shops. The rest of the city is a big city but in no way did I find it seedy or intimidating. My group walked around the city all hours of the day and night.

In my opinion there is more to do in Montreal and one can get along without speaking French. We did not yet have our motorhome at the time that we took this trip so we had B & Bed in Ottawa, stayed at the Fairmont in Mt. Tremblant, and stayed in the Omni in Montreal. So I can't help with campgrounds.

Also, one more caveat, we did this in the summer--not sure how it would be in colder weather.

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