Canadian Map Source

Discussion in 'Americas' started by revmaaatin, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. revmaaatin

    revmaaatin Sioux Empire Iron Horse

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    607
    Location:
    Two seasons: winter and road repair
    Two of us are thinking about an upper tier Canadian trip,
    and have began the fantasy portion of the planning.

    I prefer paper for trip planning--
    I have the 'Mile-Post' map/guide for the West side of Canada,
    and
    I have the National Geographic Atlas; requires a side-car hack to carry it along without removing the pages. grin.

    I have also accessed the AAA maps (yeah, not real adventure maps. shrug) for the W-routes as well.

    Does any one here have a paper map source suggestion that would include these points:


    Maine to
    Goose Bay to
    Quebec to
    Thunder Bay to
    Winnnipeg to
    Prince Albert to
    Slave Lake to
    Dawson Creek to
    White Horse to
    Dawson City to
    Inuvik to
    Prudohe Bay

    Any experience/discussion along those routes would be helpful as well.
    #1
  2. willys

    willys Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
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    2,937
    I live an hour north of Toronto and have been to Inuvik and up the Dempster twice now, 2010 and 2012 for the D2D. I stay inside our country. First year I went diagonally across through Edmonton from Winnipeg and then to Whitehorse then to Dawson City. Last year we changed the route a bit, Winnepeg up to The Pas and directly west from there. Much more remote and time consuming. Was it worth it, yes to see what was up there but not in the big scheme of things.
    As for the paper maps.....I use a GPS, the cheap ass, Nuvi 560 I think it is....the cheapest motorcycle friendly GPS they make. You can buy it for just over the $200 mark around Christmas. I just figure out what towns I am wanting to ride through and add them to my favorites. I then use a laminate list for me to know which town is next on the way IF I can't figure it out. By the time you have it figured out at home, you will almost remember the route off by heart! Paper maps are great so to speak, but as you say, take up way too much room etc. They aren't riding friendly either.
    As me whatever you like and I'll try to answer.....about our routes. I don't have them saved as I had a major hard drive meltdown sorry.:cry
    #2
  3. revmaaatin

    revmaaatin Sioux Empire Iron Horse

    Joined:
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    607
    Location:
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    Willys--
    Thanks for the reply.
    I have a Garmin 76CSx; sans Canadain data.
    I would of course find some Garmin Map for the GPS. It is the broad view of paper that I really like for the planning and dreaming.

    Pin the map to the wall and dream about where it could lead you.
    That is where my milepost map is now. Spread across a table to distract me from ....work!

    The GPS map face is smaller than a pack of cigs. smile.
    Not much distraction there!

    I am guessing you are the same Willys on KLR650.net?
    #3
  4. Waterboiler

    Waterboiler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
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    Location:
    GTA Canada
    In terms of trip planning the 'semi-wilds' of Canada are really quite easy. Most road atlas style of maps ( AAA, Rand-Mcnally ... ) do quite a good job. Why you ask - there are not a lot of options for hard surface roads away from the main centers.

    For back-roads the best series is by a company called "backroad map books" - basically an atlas of dirt roads, fire roads and donkey paths. The main iissue ( not their fault ) is the the vastness of Canada combined with the great detail they provide means each book only covers a small area. I think there are 4 or 5 books just for the lower 1/3rd of Ontario. I do not think they cover all of the country but always seem to be adding new books.

    Are you looking for a road trip, back road or dirt trial trip ?

    In a nut shell, a lot of Canada goes like Ontario --> Two main routes across the province. Either Hwy 17 that runs from the Quebec border near Ottawa up to Manitoba past Kenora. Option B, is Hwy 11 that runs from Toroto up to near the Ontario/Manitoba/US border. 17 is more scenic, especially around superior but 11 may be a bit quicker up to Thunder bay.

    When looking at routes through Canada remember speed limits are lower then in most places the the US. In Ontario only the main highways in the south carry 100 km/h limits with the bulk of the rest of the province stuck at 90. This may not be too bad if not for the heavy handed enforcement. On 1 day ( Sault to Thunder Bay ) I passed 13 poilice speed traps, and the fines get up to big bucks quite quickly. Thus the lower speeds will keep travel times up.
    #4
  5. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Location:
    Maine
    In 2011 I went to each of the provinces' web sites and each one provides a page to request a printed map and "vacation guide" of some sort.

    The maps all arrived in a reasonable time, some very fast and some took about a month.

    Some of the planning guides tell more about parks and camping while others tell more about casinos and festivals. To be honest I wasn't really interested in receiving the guides, but that's part of their promotional deal.

    The maps, however, are all pretty good. All are better than the map published by the state of New York, for instance.

    EDIT: I may have had to get an 800 number from a website and call a province or two.
    #5
  6. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Yes I'm the same Willys all over the web so to speak.....Not at .net any more....I've had it with Glenn...took me way too long to finally cut that cord! Enough crap....lol.

    Yes I like to use maps to plan but I now use Google maps and spend way way too much time planning routes etc even down to side roads. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes it just doesn't pay if you have a time limit on the trip to look for the best most interesting route. Unfortunately the best routes eat up too much time IF you have a destination that is the main reason for the trip. I use the Google map for road searches then switch into satelite mode to see what the terrain looks like where I have planned to ride. It works well in the more remote locations as long as you get choices to where you can ride....lol.

    I agree with the Ontario suggestions above. Ontario is a nightmare to get out of for us! It takes me 2 1/2 days to get completely out of it doing very close to the speed limit and riding sensible kms per day. The north shore of Lake Superior is spectacular and shouldn't be missed. The difference isn't worth missing it time wise. Then you can make a slight detour after Thunder Bay and go directly west and not diagonally north/west. It'll take to a slightly less remote route, which I haven't managed to force myself to do yet either. Time eats me away after spending so much time trying to get out of Ontario that I bolt and just try and get out as fast as I can. At close to the speed limit. The cops know we are running for the border and take full advantage of it! Then once you pop out into manitoba the speed limit sky rockets up! BUT, don't go crazy as their cops are waiting for us too! Some get all excited and need to test their vehicles just to get the slow drone out of their systems only to get caught breaking the limits after a short time into manitoba. I ride a KLR so trying to break that limit is senseless!!!....lol. Yes I can but it's not wise.
    IMHO, if the far north is what you desire....take the diagonal route through Edmonton to Dawson Creek....that is where you will truly start your adventure visually speaking. The central plains are interesting to see and if you have great tunes, they aren't as boring as some make out. It's nice to see a small grainery, god knows how far away as you SLOWLY approach it......pay attention to your gas....because distances are very deceiving! I nearly got caught dry once thinking I could make it to the next town as I could see it.....it took hours to get there!!!! Plus all small villages don't have gas from what I found......really aggravating to say the least! I carry a small gas can 4 or 5 litres and it's full for most of my trip, just in case I screw up! I have a range of roughly 365kms when fully loaded if I keep the speeds to 110kph. I shouldn't have an issue gas wise, but my stuborn nature takes over some times and I look into the distance and see a grain elevator and think.....that's not that far!!!

    So yes I do like paper maps but now use the computer screen more now.....it's free and a printer will make any map I possibly need worst comes to worst.

    Hope this helps.:freaky
    #6
  7. revmaaatin

    revmaaatin Sioux Empire Iron Horse

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #7
  8. Waterboiler

    Waterboiler Adventurer

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    Aug 8, 2012
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    43
    Location:
    GTA Canada
    I have been all over the place in Canada in the last few years. In general Garmin maps have been very good. In growing areas the new bits are not that great but I suspect that is more of an issue with the local goverment updating the cartography.

    Garmin City Navigator has been good on road and the maps in my Zumo 660 - they may just be newer version of CN - have worked well off the beaten path. I also have a few backroad map cards - I do not think they will auto-route but the detail is amazing. The Garmin basemap is not that bad if you stick to the main highways but I know few motorcycle riders that like to stick to "interstates"
    #8
  9. outbacktaz

    outbacktaz outbacktaz

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    3 minutes from a KTM dealership, Angus, On
    For free maps:

    http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

    Those are for Garmins. And I love my GPS MAP 76 Csx and my 2720... They both work great for me!!

    Again, it's free AND legal...!!

    Have fun planning!!
    #9
  10. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    +1

    This is what I use and I'm very impressed. It's actually much better than Garmin maps far trails in my experience, and it will only get better over time
    #10