Going in late September, 2008

General discussion about the James Bay Road and region. Share your experiences and travel tips. Ask questions.

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Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:22 pm

Well, my girlfriend and I decided to go next year. Getting adequate time off and sufficient funds to enjoy the trip properly this year didn't work out, but we are absolutely committed to going next September.

It looks like the region gets more rain that time of year, but the foliage should more than make up for that. And we'll still get to catch the Rupert River before its diversion.

Since we're coming from Ohio, and we're both big hockey fans, we're going to coordinate our schedule so we can attend a couple of OHL games and a QMJHL game on the way up and back. We also want to stop in Cochrane, Ont., at the polar bear habitat to swim with the polar bears. There's a glass partition between humans and bears, of course ;)

It looks like we'll be going through Toronto, north to North Bay, east into Quebec to Rouyn-Noranda, north up 109 to Matagami and onto the James Bay Road. We promise to post a link to our pictures :)
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Postby wobblycat » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:47 pm

I just want to say ahead of time, sorry about the traffic in Toronto. It's not my fault!

Sounds like you're going to have a great trip.
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Postby Bonk » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:13 am

We'll hopefully pass through Toronto during the early afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday.

Last year when we went to Ottawa, we got through Toronto OK at 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, but they had the 401 down to one lane to clean the highway around Oshawa, and it cost us an hour-plus.
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Postby Jeff_Tatterson » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:32 pm

We took the same route last year and really enjoyed the trip. As they said, Toronto is in a league of its own when it comes to traffic. We had to take a detour north of Temiscaming to Rouyn-Noranda but we got to see lots of beautiful countryside. The route no. is 391 and it runs parallel to 101.
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I'm postponing my trip too.

Postby Rally_T-115 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:03 am

I'm afraid I'm going to be postponing my week-long trip up the JBR and to the end of the TT as well. My little zuki isn't as prepped as I would have hoped by now. I wanted to go for a week in mid-september. I wanted to have some real A/T tires, right now I just have these half-worn asphalt-only all-season things, plus I wanted to get my old rallycar headlight rack mounted on the front of my little suv somehow, so I can see better. So this year I'm spending the week at home and in the Ottawa Valley but I'm going to try again for the long trip in late May 2008, want to visit longue pointe, actually go for the tour at the big complex, and bring 2 big containers of gas and go right to the end of the transtaiga and back! At least in May I'll be able to see Mighty Mr Rupert at spring flood power again!... if the taps aren't shut by then.
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Postby Bonk » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:59 pm

Yeah, it sounds like if you have any vehicular durability or equipment uncertainties on this trip, it's best to wait. Hopefully we'll both get out there and home safely next year. :)

I'm debating whether to rent a car, and I think since mine will be up to about 110,000km by then, I'll probably put the miles on someone else's vehicle.

Weather.com says the temperature in Radisson is 6 C this afternoon, which sounds a lot better than the unseasonably hot 34 C we're getting here today.
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Postby Bonk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:04 pm

We're now seven months away from our trip, and looking forward to it.

Thanks to this site, we have plenty of information to make educated decisions about where to rest/eat from Matagami north. My question, for those that have come that way, is do you prefer Val d'Or or Rouyn-Noranda for lodging/dining? And if you have a preference, where would you recommend lodging/dining.

I can speak French well enough to get around, so that's not a concern.

We're going to try to catch a QMJHL game in one of thoses cities, but information on those two cities is fairly sparse online.
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Postby Rally_T-115 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:28 am

Hotel Forestal, Val-d'Or was perfectly fine by us last may. :wink:

James
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:48 pm

OK, we'll check that out. Thanks for the tip. :)

James - Have you driven Quebec 117 through the Verendrye to get to or from Val d'Or or Rouyn-Noranda? One of our options is to drive to Ottawa on Day 1, stay there, and get the Val d'Or the second day. Day 3 we would reach Radisson and/or Chisasibi.

We vacationed in Ottawa in 2006 for four days and absolutely loved it. You live in an amazing and beautiful city. :)
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby njam101 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:28 am

I live not very far from Rouyn-Noranda and Val-d'Or and both places are very good for lodging and dining. Amos although a smaller town is probably the best. Here are some of the places I would recommend staying at where I have stayed in the last few years:

Val-d'Or

Hotel Forestel http://www.forestel.ca

Motel L'Escale http://www.lescale.qc.ca (my favourite)

Comfort Inn http://www.choicehotels.com

Motel Prélude http://www.motelprelude.ca (this one's the least fancy and kind of blah but clean and fine for a night)


Rouyn-Noranda (if you're going up to James Bay this isn't really on the way unless you're coming into Quebec from Northern Ontario)

Hôtel Gouverneur http://www.gouverneur.com (my favourite)

Best Western (Hotel Albert) http://www.bestwestern.com

Motel De Ville http://www.devillemotel.com (it is actually behind the Best Western downtown)



Amos

I would recommend staying in Amos as it's the gateway to up north and the last place of significant population (with things like McDonald's, Canadian Tire, shopping mall, supermarkets) and has some interesting attractions like its church. The best places to stay are obvious just by driving in the town but I'll list them.

Hôtel des Eskers http://www.hoteleskers.com (rooms are nothing special but clean...restaurant and bar really nice)

Amosphère complexe hotelier http://www.amosphere.com

Auberge Nouvelle Frontière http://www.nouv-front.qc.ca (my favourite) This one isn't nearly as large as the others and is on the edge of town but for some reason I find this one to be the most convenient. You can drive up to most rooms on main level and go through the sliding doors. There is a restaurant but I haven't eaten at it but it's Quebec so chances are it will be very good. There is also a Petro-Canada gas station and convenience store attached which I believe are open 24 hours.


I could go on and on about restaurants too but if anyone has any questions just ask me on this forum and I'd be more than happy to answer. If you're looking for cheaper lodging or restaurants I can help too. I can provide websites for things in the region.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby njam101 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:44 am

Just another thing:

If you're visiting anywhere in Québec, make sure you have the Tourist Guide for the region you're travelling in. It will help you with finding hotels, restaurants, attractions etc. And all their guides are published in French and English. You can order most online. Rouyn, Val-d'Or, Amos are in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and north of there is in the James Bay (Baie-James) region. You can order both guides online. Make sure that after clicking the following links that you click on "english" if need be.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue

http://www.48nord.qc.ca


James Bay

http://www.tourismebaiejames.com
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:07 pm

Wow, thanks for the site link. That's tremendously helpful. I just ordered the tourism guide for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. In English. ;)

My girlfriend's sort of a picky eater, so we prefer not to just wing it when it comes to meals, plus we don't want to eat fast food all the time.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Rally_T-115 » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:10 pm

[quote="Bonk"]OK, we'll check that out. Thanks for the tip. :)

James - Have you driven Quebec 117 through the Verendrye to get to or from Val d'Or or Rouyn-Noranda? One of our options is to drive to Ottawa on Day 1, stay there, and get the Val d'Or the second day. Day 3 we would reach Radisson and/or Chisasibi.

We vacationed in Ottawa in 2006 for four days and absolutely loved it. You live in an amazing and beautiful city. :)[/quote]

When I went up, I got of work Friday at about 4:30 pm. That evening I just drove up to Val-d'Or on the 105 and 117 and we stayed at the Forestal. Saturday we drove all the way up to Radisson. Sunday we toured around the area a little bit, visited James Bay itself, then headed down and stayed in Matagami at the hotel there (the one with the chicken restaurant in it.) Monday we headed home the same route.

James
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Tue May 13, 2008 11:13 pm

njam101 -- Got the tourist guide in the mail a couple of days ago. Thanks so much for the tip -- it's packed with useful information about the region.
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Re: Going in late September, 2008

Postby Bonk » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:50 pm

Rally - I think we're going to head up through Ottawa and head back from North Bay. We're going to catch a 67's preseason game on the way. How long did it take you to get to Val d'Or from Ottawa, and how is the road?

We're trying to gauge our total drive time.
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