.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

A Day at Niagara-on-the-Lake

00 Niagara on the Lake (112)

I like to stop at the pretty and historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake when I’m in the Niagara Peninsula region because it’s such a charming community.  It’s located where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario. 

Canada is a new country with only a relatively short period of recorded history.  Still, Niagara-on-the-Lake is considered to be of historic significance.  It was founded in 1781 and was originally known as Butlersburg, later renamed as West Niagara.  The town subsequently adapted it’s current name to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

British Loyalists fled here from the south in the aftermath of the American Revolution.  It was the first capital of the Province of Upper Canada (the predecessor of Ontario) from 1792 to 1797.  During the …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 23, 2019: The Spirit of Haidi Gwaii

02 Spirit of Haida Gwaii

British Columbia native artist, Bill Reid (1920–1998), may well be the best and best known Haida artist in the world.  I think his finest work is this piece entitled “Spirit of Haidi Gwaii”. 

Haidi Gwaii is a chain of islands off the coast of northern British Columbia which were formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.  The native culture features a rich history of totem pole carvings.

This white plaster model can be found in the main hall inside the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.  The piece was subsequently cast in bronze and two copies are available, one outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the other at the International Terminal at Vancouver International Airport.  I prefer this version because …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, August 23, 2019: The Spirit of Haidi Gwaii
.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Rambling around Ottawa

02 Around Ottawa (5)

Canada’s capital city of Ottawa is one I’d highly recommend for a visit.  It’s small (even if including its twin city of Gatineau across the Ottawa River), has many interesting museums and sites for tourists to visit, is home to some fine restaurants and a great market, and is very easy to explore on foot.  It makes an excellent long weekend get-away destination.

My most recent visit to Ottawa was my third so I had a pretty good sense of the city and where I was going.  I was traveling with my brother and cousin, both less familiar with Ottawa than I was, but we all had a great time wandering and exploring and catching up with what’s happening in each …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food Tour / North America / Ontario

Breakfast at the Elgin Street diner

06 Elgin Street Diner

When I last visited Ottawa with my brother and cousin, we decided to have breakfast at the Elgin Street Diner because of a recommendation I’d seen (I believe in Frommer’s).

The diner is open 24 hours, and is a clean well kept place.  It wasn’t too busy when we visited, although it was a late breakfast for us so we’d likely missed the breakfast rush.  Here’s what the place looks like on the inside.

Peameal bacon, beans and eggs, Elgin street Diner

Peameal bacon, beans and eggs, Elgin street Diner

Elgin Street Diner is relatively new — open about a quarter century — and during that time has amassed a very respectable reputation as a good and reasonably priced place to eat in the nation’s capital.  It has been recognized as Ottawa’s best diner and for having the …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 14, 2019: The Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal (23)

The Rideau Canal is a 202 kilometer (125 mile) stretch of scenic waterway.  It is a Canadian National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The entire canal connects a series of lakes and rivers, and stretches from Kingston. Ontario (on Lake Ontario), to the nation’s capital, Ottawa.

The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America and its locks are operated today much as they were in 1832.  Each lock is unique. Many locks offer the free advice of helpful lock keepers, washrooms, overnight mooring and picnic facilities.  In summer the canal is popular with boaters and in winter with ice skaters.

We visited the portion of the Canal that stretches through Ottawa.  There are some large flat …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, June 14, 2019: The Rideau Canal
.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse, Niagara Falls

02 Niagara Parks Floral Showcase

The Niagara Parks Floral Showcase is only 500 meters south of Horseshoe Falls. Greenhouses in the area date to the time of Queen Victoria, but the current complex was built the mid 20th century with several subsequent additions, including a large central atrium.  The complex includes space for storing bulbs, planting and growing new flowers for the Floral Showhouse (and elsewhere in Niagara Parks), but that is a behind the scenes activity that you won’t see.  What the visitor experiences after walking through the lovely grounds (enjoyable in the summer, less so in the winter) is a series of greenhouses that contain lush tropical vegetation, making it especially popular during times of cold weather. 

Plants you’ll see include orchids and cacti, and many …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food / North America / Nova Scotia

Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, Halifax

24 Alexander Keitih Brewery Tour (38)

While almost certainly not as famous as it’s founder would have liked, Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery has developed a niche following throughout Canada, especially in its eastern provinces.  The brewery was created almost two centuries ago, in 1820, making it one of the oldest breweries in North America (the oldest surviving commercial brewery is John Molson’s, founded in Montreal in 1786).

Alexander Keith was a Scottish immigrant who had been a brewer in Edinburgh and London before moving to the New World.  He had an interesting career that extended beyond brewing and including being mayor of Halifax and President of the Provincial Legislative Council of Nova Scotia.  While in Canada he experimented with ale, porter, ginger wine and spruce beer, …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food / North America / Nova Scotia

Halifax’s Seaport Farmers’ Market

00 Halifax Farmers Market and Food Tour (4)

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in North America, originating a year after Halifax was founded, in 1750.  For over 250 years the market has sold meat and produce delivered from Acadian farms in the Annapolis Valley and elsewhere in Nova Scotia.

The Market has operated in several locations across the city since its inception, including within the Keith’s Brewery Building.  In 2010 The Market moved into a converted warehouse along the Halifax Seaport and today hosts over 250 vendors! 

Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

We spent more than a day exploring the waterfront area and made several stops at this market.  Our visit to Halifax was during the early fall so the produce available reflected the season — apples, peaches, plums …

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