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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“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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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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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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The Niagara Apothecary, Niagara-on-the-Lake

00 The Niagara Apothecary

The Niagara Apothecary is a pharmacy museum you can visit when in the small historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.  The building actually was a active pharmacy from 1820 to 1964.  It was restored to its appearance circa 1869, and was opened as a Museum in 1971.

The interior is quite luxurious, especially for a small town pharmacy.  There are black walnut and butternut fixtures, and three crystal chandeliers.  Most of the shelves are filled with bottles and jars, all original and imported from Britain around 1830.  A pharmacist in the 19th century made most of the medications consumed by his customers, unlike in the 21st century when pharmacists only rarely make custom medications.

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Admission is free and it’s a lot of fun to …

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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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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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