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

Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, Ontario

01 Thunder Oak Cheese Farm (7)

An interesting place to visit near Thunder Bay is the Thunder Oak Cheese Farm.  Here you have the opportunity to see Dutch-style Gouda cheese being made, and have the chance to sample or buy some interesting Gouda flavors. The farm is located a few miles south of the city of Thunder Bay. 
The Thunder Oak Cheese Farm is run by the Schep Family, who immigrated from Holland and have been making fine Gouda in Canada since 1995.  The Scheps have their own Holstein dairy herd from which their natural (no preservatives or color added) Gouda is made.

Thunder Oaks Cheese Farm, Thunder Bay

Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, Thunder Bay


Cheese is surprisingly popular in Canada, much of it originating in Quebec.  So it’s unusual to see a cheese factory outside of that province.  In …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 27, 2020: Grain Elevators, Thunder Bay

05 Grain terminals (1)

There are eight massive grain elevators in the Port of Thunder Bay, situated on the western shore of Lake Superior.  Trains bring much of the bounty from the Canadian prairies to Thunder Bay — wheat, durum, canola, feed grains, peas and other crops, as well as grain by-products (smaller amounts are also shipped to Churchill and Vancouver).  These foods are temporarily stored in these enormous structures before being loaded onto ships that then make their way through the St. Lawrence Seaway, bound to countless ports around the world.
The Port of Thunder Bay has the largest grain storage capacity in North America, currently handling about 6 million tons of grain each year (though capable of more).  Ship loading rates range from …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 13, 2020: Lupins, Thunder Bay

10 Lupins (3)

In my travels I’ve come across three places where lupins were growing in abundance.  1) South Island of New Zealand, 2) Ushuaia, in southern Patagonia, and, 3) Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior’s western shore.  I’m sure there are other places that love and grow lots of lupins, but these are my observations.
Many of the ditches and roadsides in Thunder Bay had a thick growth of these colorful flowers, as you can see in these photos.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

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Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, July 31, 2020: Centennial Flame, Ottawa

Parliament Hill (9)

The Centennial Flame is located on a walkway leading to the Central Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  It was officially lite by then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson on January 1, 1967, to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary.
The Flame is fueled by natural gas.  It’s surrounded by a ledge which contains the shields of the 12 provinces and territories that formed Canadian Confederation in 1967 (the shield for the Nunavut territory was added recently), and it in turn is surrounded by a fountain.  Coins tossed into the fountain are used to fund a government Research Award.
Intended to be a temporary monument, the Centennial Flame proved popular with tourists and glows to this day.
(Clock on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, May 15, 2020: Reflections of Toronto

01 Reflections of Toronto

While I admire buildings made of stone and brick more than those made of cement and glass, there are features to be enjoyed in modern architecture.  Toronto is filled with dozens of gleaming skyscrapers, many of which reflect the city.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

The “Maid of the Mist”

00 Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the Mist is an interesting boat tour of Niagara Falls which takes you up to the plunge pool of one of the world’s greatest waterfalls and let’s you experience its roar and spray up close.  The boat tour starts and ends on the American side of the Niagara River, near Rainbow Bridge, but crosses into Canada when it approaches Horseshoe Falls.

The original Maid of the Mist was christened in 1846 and served as a ferry connecting the Canadian and American sides of the Niagara River, part of a link between New York City and Toronto.  It was a powered by steam generated from a wood/coal-fired boiler and could carry up to 100 passengers.

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

The ferry service did well

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“Pic of the Week”, December 20, 2019: Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake

01 Prince of Wales Hotel

Situated in the heart of pretty Niagara-on-the-Lake is an elegant Victorian era landmark, the Prince of Wales Hotel.  lt was built in 1864 and has gone through several name changes.  Originally called the Arcade Hotel, then Niagara House, it was given its current name when the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) visited in 1901.

The hotel was significantly expanded in the 1970s, though in a manner very consistent with its original design.  It was thoroughly restored and updated in the late 1990s.  It’s lobby shows nice architectural and historic details.

I’ve never stayed here but did eat at its fine dining room once and thoroughly enjoyed it.  High Tea in the Drawing Room …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

The Niagara River and and its Amazing Waterfalls

00 Niagara River and Horseshoe Falls (1)

The iconic image above would be recognized by most people.  It’s Horseshoe Falls, known by some as Canadian Falls.  The amount of water dropping over this precipice in the Niagara River is staggering and, while the surrounding area is very commercial, it’s hard not to be impressed by this amazing natural spectacle. 

I had an aunt we frequently visited who lived only 10 miles from Niagara Falls. Among my first travel memories are those of seeing this waterfall — as such, Horseshoe Falls has a special place in my heart.

The Niagara River carries the output of four Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) into Lake Ontario.  The international boundary between Canada and the United States is in the middle of the …

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