I've done the southern route a couple times... think I'll stick to it. The plan would be to ride daylight hours only. I've seen my fair share of moose and deer while driving that highway in the dark. Noooo thank you. I also don't mind the prairies. The trick is breaking it up by stopping for a wander in some of the towns. Brandon, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current are favourites.If you are gonna do that trip from Ottawa to Thunderbay I wouldn't recommend taking the Northern route (highway 11) unless you have done the southern route a ton and are bored of it. Granted the last time I was on it was 20 years ago and it is likely better maintained now, but my memories of that stretch were unpleasant other than getting pulled over by a very nice and very attractive female Mountie or OPP cop (can't remember which she was). The southern route that follows around the top end of lake superior is more scenic and more fun on a bike. I also remember long distances between 24 hr fuel stations but as long as you stick to daytime only riding you should be fine. Tons of deer on/around the road all the way from Sault Ste Marie to Winterpeg too so be careful riding early morning and dusk.
Will be great trip though....well...until you hit the prairies anyhow (nothing against the prairies but exciting riding it is not). Another option is to cross the border at Sault Ste Marie and go through the upper peninsula of Michigan. I went that way once and crossed back into Canada south of Estevan Saskatchewan. Kind of a boring route and can't give a fair assessment of the scenery as there was a blinding snowstorm all through the UP, but at the time fuel was a ton cheaper in the states and I was driving a gas guzzling truck. Stay safe and have fun.