Canada is very safe, so you don't need to worry too much about traveling alone. Just use common sense and beware of your surroundings. Most tourist spots are crowded but safe. I would just be a little more careful at night.
About cost travel by bus is the cheapest. Grayhound and Coach Canada all have good service to city core. They also offer student discount but I don't know if that applies to you. When you get to a city (assuming by bus) walking is the best way to explore. Travel light.
I don't know much about hostels. But I would also check out B&B. I'm sure there are tons of info on line. Book in advance.
Most people go this way Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec, then back through Kingston to Toronto. Culturally Quebec City is more French than Montreal, so maybe you want to ease into it. It's really up to you. Toronto to Quebec is a one day trip by bus.
Local tour is very rushing. I feel it's like watch a TV travel program, all the spots just flash by in front of your eyes. There is no time to explore and absorb. However with tours you don't have to think where you are going and how to get there. Some people like that.
I'm sure you will be picking up souvenirs along the way. But you shouldn't let that bother you. The point about travel is to explore another culture for yourself, not to fulfill your social obligation. Small things will do. Why don't you take a lot of pictures and give everyone a slide show when you get back?
One last thing about cost, I have heard that things (consumables) here are cheaper than HK. So don't starve yourself. Sample local food where ever possible. Skip MacDonalds and KFCs. Montreal is famous for Fench cafes and Montreal Smoked Meat (beef). Quebec City authentic French cuisine. Ottawa has a Byward Market, go there hungry. Toronto Chinatown's double lobster is a must.
So, good luck and have fun!查看完整圖文版