.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 / Ontario

Rambling around Thunder Bay’s Waterfront

00 Thunder Bay (51)

Situated on the northwestern shore of the world’s largest lake, Lake Superior, the small city of Thunder Bay is home to one of my favorite people (my baby brother).   I enjoy visiting the city, especially during its summers which are warm and pleasant.  

One of the nicest places to explore on foot is the waterfront along the northern section of town.  Much of the southern shore of Thunder Bay is devoted to transporting the bounty of the prairies to foreign markets.  There are many massive grain elevators alongside which ships pull up and fill their bins with wheat and other grains from the vast stores within the elevators.

The area around the Prince Arthur’s Landing has undergone a dramatic revitalization …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 29, 2017: Terry Fox Monument, Ontario

04 Thunder Bay (7)

The Terry Fox monument is located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, just off the TransCanada Highway.  The monument honors a popular Canadian hero.  Terry had a leg amputated as a young man because of bone cancer.  Thinking he was cured, Terry began a “Marathon of Hope” raising cancer awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Every day Terry ran, in his hobbling manner on (by today’s standards) a primitive prosthesis, the full distance of a marathon with his goal being to run the breadth of Canada.  When he was nearly half finished, Terry became ill and had to abandon his quest.  Thinking at first it might just be a cold, Fox and the nation were heartbroken to discover …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Ouimet Canyon, Ontario

07 03 Ouimet Canyon (36)

Situated about an hour outside the city of Thunder Bay on the Lake Superior’s north shore is a natural wonder you’d never suspect was there if you didn’t know about it.  This is where you’ll find Ouimet Canyon, one of Ontario’s many Provincial Park.   

You’ll need to do a short 1 km hike to get to the canyon from the parking lot.  The trail is partially smooth dirt, partially a boardwalk and overall is accessible to all.  It’s important to stay on the trails because the canyon is hidden by dense forest and you wouldn’t want to accidently step into the gorge.  The walk is easy and lovely and takes you to two viewing platforms from which you get panoramic …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

A visit to the Library of Parliament, Ottawa

Parliament Hill 02

When you stand on the bank of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, (especially by the Canadian Museum of History), and look across the river you see the Canadian Parliamentary buildings.  This is the view captured in the above image.  The rounded building with flying buttresses in this complex, which is the one in the foreground and closest to the river, is the Parliamentary Library.  Before we step inside, let’s take a look at the history of the Library.

A Brief History of the Library of Parliament

Canada’s Library of Parliament began in the late 18th century with the legislative libraries of Upper and Lower Canada.  These two libraries were amalgamated in 1841 when Upper and Lower Canada united.  It was not …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 11, 2017: Niagara Floral Clock

001 Floral clock

The Ontario Hydro/Niagara Parks Commission Floral Clock is situated on the Niagara River Parkway not far from Niagara Falls.  It’s a popular and quick stop for people visiting the area.
The floral clock was inspired by the famous clock in Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The Niagara clock is the largest of its kind in the world and is three times larger than the Edinburgh clock.  The planted face is maintained by Niagara Parks horticulture staff, while the mechanism is kept in working order by Ontario Hydro.  Designs for the face of this clock are changed seasonally.
Here are some of

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Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, April 7, 2017: Lake of the Woods Discovery Center, Kenora

01 Kenora

Situated on the shore of beautiful Lake of the Woods is a fairly new “Discovery Center”, which my father and I stopped at during our road trip to Thunder Bay last summer.  A tourist information stop, with a boat dock, picnic areas and places to walk your dogs and for kids to run and play, it also has some interesting exhibits.  In the summer, the famous “Ye Olde Chip Truck” — a Kenora icon — is open for business in its parking lot

I found the display of vintage outdoor boat motors fascinating, the oldest dating back more than 100 years (1914 Evinrude).  It was interesting to see how the design of outboard motors has changed over the decades.  There is also a display of …

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

Ottawa’s Fabulous Byward Market

08-13 Byward Market 09-2016

As many of you know, I am great fans of visiting markets during my travels.  Besides the beautiful assortment of food and goods, markets are a wonderful place to watch people and relax with coffee and a tasty fresh snack.   On a cold winter’s day, it’s often good to see the fresh bounty of summer (or in the case of our visit, fall).

Byward Market is a well known and long established market in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa.  The market was begun in 1826 by John By, who gained fame as builder of the Rideau Canal.  Mr. By laid out the street plan of the market, creating extra wide streets to facilitate the market as a gathering place for the area’s …

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