Fifteen other ways Philpott could travel for $1,700

How the health minister could have travelled for what she paid a limo to take her around the GTA

A hot air balloon in the distance ofof Parliament Hill in Ottawa. (Shutterstock)


The Conservative Party is asking health minister Jane Philpott to repay a large chunk of change this week, after discovering she spent $1,700 in one day on transportation around the Greater Toronto Area in March. On Wednesday, Philpott’s office revealed the minister also paid the same limo service $1,994 for a day in July. The Tories are calling on the minister to reimburse taxpayers for the $1,700 bill, but Philpott’s office has made no such reassurances, saying only that the minister will stop using that particular limo service.

Where would you go if you had $1,700 to spend on transportation? How would you get there? Maclean’s has devised 15 different – and in our opinion more exciting – ways to get from point A to point B to the tune of $1,700 (more or less.)

  1. Ferrari
    For $1,693, Philpott could have taken a flashy cherry-red Ferrari 458 Italia out for a 150-kilometre rip around the GTA on a Saturday. She would have had to put down a $5,000 deposit before settling into those luxurious leather seats, however. It’s the same car that’s been seen in Top Gear, Orange is the New Black and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.
  2. A Ferrari on a Calgary street. (Shutterstock)


  3. Helicopter
    For under $1,400, Philpott and her husband could have taken two 12-minute, 35-kilometre, private heli-tours over Toronto at twilight. Romantic!
  4. TTC
    For $1,700, Philpott could have purchased a single-fare TTC token for 523 Torontonian commuters.
  5. Hot Air Balloon
    For $1,553, Philpott and four others could have witnessed the sunrise over the “6” from the vantage point of a hot air balloon.
  6. Taxi
    For $1,609, Philpott could have taken a taxi from Ottawa to Toronto. And that’s including a 15 per cent tip!
  7. Feet
    For $1,700, if she spent $30 a day on food, and $100 a night on accommodation, Philpott, walking at a rate of four kilometres per hour for eight hours a day, could travel 416 kilometres—or from Parliament Hill to Mississauga, Ont.
  8. Horse
    For $1,300, Philpott could have jumped over the border and purchased her very own “large athletic pony” named Ella. Throw in a cheap, used saddle for $400 and she’s set!
  9. Sailboat
    For $1,850, Philpott and 11 other people could have gone sailing for five hours — on a weekday — around the Toronto Harbour.
  10. Sailboat on an Ontario loake. (Shutterstock)


  11. Limo
    For $1,500, Philpott could have had the full prom experience, and rented a stretch SUV limo to travel around the GTA for 12 hours, complete with champagne, crystal glassware and a chauffeur dressed in a tuxedo.
  12. Bike
    For $1699, Philpott could have bought a fancy commuter bicycle from Toronto’s Bike Depot, though it wouldn’t leave much money for a helmet.
  13. Race car
    For $1,693, Philpott could have raced 70 laps in seven different exotic cars at the Toronto Motorsports Park.
  14. Plane
    For $1,953, Philpott could attempt to make a trip around the world this September, from Toronto through Tokyo and London. But, she’d have to call it quits in Britain, and find cash elsewhere to make it back home.
  15. Motorcycle
    For $1,695, Philpott could have rented a Harley for a week, and travelled up to 1,500 kilometres — all the way to Thunder Bay via the Trans Canada — on the hog.
  16. Greyhound
    For $1,800, Philpott could have taken a Greyhound bus from Toronto to Mexico City and back three times. It takes three days to get there, and three days coming back, so hypothetically, she’d be on the bus for 18 days straight. But that would also mean no accommodation costs!
  17. A Canadian tank sits on display as part of a MIlitary museum exhibition in Alberta. (Shutterstock)


  18. Tank
    For $1,656, Philpott and two of her friends could have made their way through Kasota, Minnesota in an Abbot Tank, and driven that tank right over a car for the full combat experience.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.