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Filmmaker Bruce McDonald likes to get away from it all by taking the three-day train trip from Toronto to Vancouver.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum / The Globe and Mail

The three-day train trip from Toronto to Vancouver

I've done it a few times and I keep going back. … It's always a shock that it takes almost two days to get out of Ontario. Just to see the little communities you never really get to see from the road or from the air, and the fact that you're on the ground. … You're doing nothing, but you're going somewhere. You're having dinner and glasses of wine as the sun's going down over Kenora or wherever. It's just stunning. And nobody's in a rush. That's part of the great pleasure of travelling by train. People are relaxed, people are unwinding. You're moving through space without effort, you're between destinations so you're not anywhere in particular, so there's this great feeling of everything is possible. Sleep is good too, you feel like you're rocked like a baby. The first time I took the trip, about eight years ago, I was making a documentary about Hollywood director Norman Jewison. He just had the best time because he had this little three-day holiday where nobody could really get to him. And we had great dinners and he was telling stories about Hollywood and Steve McQueen, drinking wine. I love the trip because you step on and say, 'We're here for three days.' In a tiny micro way, it'd be like going to Greece for six months. That's my version of that.

As told to Sarah Boesveld

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