In the midst of midterms and final assignments, sometimes you need a weekend away. Western’s Fall Study Break offers undergraduate students the perfect opportunity to explore one of London’s neighboring tourist destinations. Here’s a comprehensive list of cities that make an ideal 3-day-getaway:

MONTREAL

Explore Canada’s charming and unique mash-up of European and North American cultures. Montreal’s cool cafes, French inspired food, eccentric nightlife, and long history make for a perfect long weekend getaway.

Getting There: VIA Rail / 8 – 11 hours ($350 round trip), Greyhound / 11 – 13 hours ($100 round trip), flight from YXU (London International Airport) / 3 hours ($300 – $400 round trip)

Staying There: M Montreal ($25 dorm / $100 private): A popular destination for young backpackers, Montreal has better hostel options than any other Canadian city. Stay at this historical building turned modern hostel, and meet fellow travellers from all over the world!

What to Do: Have a picnic at Mont Royal Park, explore the Museum of Fine Arts (it’s free!), and go on an Old Montreal walking tour.

TORONTO

It’s Drake’s favourite city, and home to the Raptors, Maple Leafs, and Blue Jays. Toronto is Canada’s biggest city, and the third biggest metropolis in North America.

Getting There: VIA Rail / 2 – 3 hours ($100 round trip), Greyhound / 2 hours ($60 round trip, Western ride share ($30 – $60 round trip)

Staying There: Planet Traveller Hostel ($40 dorm / $100 private): perfectly situated at the crossroads of Kensington Market, Chinatown and the Annex, you can enjoy free breakfast in the rooftop lounge of this popular eco-friendly hostel.

What to Do: Spend a weekend afternoon exploring Kensington Market, go shopping at The Eaton Centre or in swanky Yorkville (Canada’s “5th Avenue”), take a trip to Toronto Island, go people watching in Trinity Bellwood’s Park, and grab weekend brunch at The Drake Hotel.

OTTAWA

Ottawa is so much more than just Canada’s hard-to-identify capital city. This pretty city is full of rich history, good food, and perfect photo opportunities.

Getting There: VIA Rail / 7 – 9 hours ($300 round trip), Greyhound / 9 hours ($100 round trip)

Staying There: HI Ottawa Jail Hostel ($30 dorm / $45 private): a one-of-a-kind Jail hostel, located in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Lonely planet rated it one of the top ten spookiest buildings in the world!

What to Do: Check out world-class museums (Canadian Museum of History, Canadian War Museum, National Gallery of Canada), eat breakfast, lunch, AND dinner at the vibrant ByWard market, sit in on a Senate debate and watch the light show on Parliament Hill.

AMERICAN DESTINATIONS
Grab your passport! Visit the IESC’s website for information on traveling to the USA.

NEW YORK

“The Big Apple”; “The City That Never Sleeps”; “The Empire State”. In New York, New York you could spend a lifetime exploring this city and still never see it all!

Getting There: Greyhound / 14 hours ($200 round trip), flight from (London International Airport) / 4 hours ($400 round trip)

Staying There: HI Hostel New York ($60 – $80 dorms): stay at North America’s biggest hostel, just steps away from Central Park and Time Square.

What to Do: Take the Staten Island Ferry at sunset (it offers a free view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline), walk the Brooklyn Bridge, stroll through Central Park, take in a Broadway show (visit the TKTS booth in Times Square for half-price same day tickets), walk the highline, and go museum hopping.

CHICAGO

Head to the “Windy City”, located just over the Ontario border on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. The busy American metropolis offers green spaces, architectural beauty, and a world-class food scene.

Getting There: Greyhound / 9 hours ($100 round trip)

Staying There: Freehand Hostel ($70 dorms / $250 privates): this trendy hostel oozes style and character. Eat Chicago inspired cuisine at The Freehand’s own Broken Shaker bar, or hand-made granola downstairs at Café Integral.

What to Do: Take a walk through Millennium Park and snap a selfie with the famous Chicago Bean, browse the famous Art Institute of Chicago, eat a deep-dish pizza, visit the animals at the Shedd Aquarium and window shop at the Magnificent Mile.

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