.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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“Pic of the Week”, January 27, 2017: A Visit to Toronto’s Victoria University

13 Victoria University

Strolling about the neighborhood of the Ontario Legislative Building, Toronto, I came across a pretty college campus.  This is Victoria University (known as Victoria College), a beautiful and historic school.

Not a large campus, it’s a pleasant place to explore on foot — to enjoy the architecture and some of its interesting art.

It wasn’t until later than I learned a little more about the place.  Victoria University was founded in 1836 by royal charter from King William IV.   Victoria became part of the University of Toronto in 1890.  It consists of Victoria College, an arts and science college, and Emmanuel College, a theological school associated with the United Church of Canada.

Victoria is one of the …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

004 Niagara Butterfly Conservancy 7-2013

The Niagara peninsula is one of my favorite places in Canada.  Not just because of majestic thunderous Niagara Falls, but because of the many parks and gardens, the beautiful vineyards, lovely small towns, and that marvel of engineering that is the Welland Canal.  And it’s home to my favorite cousin, Liz, who has shown me the highlights of the peninsula during a number of visits, including my last stop there when we made a point of going to the Butterfly Conservatory.  The Butterfly Conservatory opened in 1996 and is a special place, home to over 2,000 tropical butterflies.

The Butterfly Conservatory is situated on the grounds of beautiful Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, about a 10 minute drive north of Niagara Falls.  …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Old City Hall, Toronto, Canada

02 Old Toronto City Hall

In a city with hundreds of gleaming new skyscrapers, I found it refreshing to see and visit a view a few of Toronto’s older buildings, including this one in particular.  It was designed by noted Toronto architect, Edward James Lennox (who also designed Casa Loma).  The project took almost 10 years to complete, opening in 1899,  and came in at the then hefty sum of $2.5 million.  It’s a huge square quad building with a central courtyard.  Two types of colored stone were used in the construction: 1) grey from the Credit River Valley in Ontario, and 2) brown from New Brunswick.  To give you an idea of the scale of the project, it took the equivalent of …

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.All Trips / North America / Ontario

Exploring Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto

037 Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.  Dangerous Lagoon  07-2014

One of Toronto’s newest big attractions is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, with underwater creatures and habitats from across the globe.   It’s in a fabulous location, on the harborfront adjoining the CN Tower, Rogers Center and the Convention Center.  The aquarium is said to be the largest in North America (with more tank capacity than even the Monterey Bay aquarium, making it one of the top five by size in the world).  It has a great architectural design reminding me of a massive whale with it’s mouth open ready to gobble up the tourist throngs and their cash.  The complex is massive and sprawling, at 12,500 sq m (135,000 sq ft) and with 5.7 million …

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