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

Signs of Toronto

02 Signs of Toronto, Queen Street.  CP 24 News

Toronto is one of Canada’s great cities.  Often called the “New York of the North” (I presume as a complement), it’s a fun place to visit.  There’s lots to see and do in Toronto, from the amazing CN Tower which soars 1815 ft (553 m) into the clouds, to enjoying great architecture,  to endulging in a large assortmant of great restaurants and markets.  We’ll be discussing Toronto in more depth in the coming months.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Toronto through a series of photos taken while walking around the city’s many neighborhoods, and showing you some of the its signage and ads.  I’m always fascinating by the glimpses these images can provide into a city’s character.  This post …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

022 St. Lawrence Market.  Toronto 7-2014

I’ve a fondness for visiting Farmers’ Markets in my travels.  One of the finest markets I’ve ever been to is the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.  This market was recognized by National Geographic as the “world’s best food market” in 2012.  It’s one of two main markets in Toronto, the other being the Kensington Market.

The quality of the food in the market is superb.  Extremely fresh produce, meat, seafood and a wonderful assortment of cheeses and baked goods.  Much of the food is locally grown, often in farms north of Toronto but also the Niagara peninsula, and it’s supplemented with seafood from the maritime provinces and St. Lawrence seaway.  Many of the cheeses are made in Quebec but there are …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

St. Catharines Market, Ontario

009 St. catherines Market 07-2014

One of the oldest Farmers Markets in Ontario is found on the Niagara peninsula, in the pleasant small city of St. Catharines (nicknamed the “Garden City”).   The market has been held since the early 1800s and is currently located in Market Square in downtown St. Catharines, at the corner of King and James Streets (adjoining the historic courthouse).

The market highlights the quality fresh produce grown in the rich soil of the Niagara peninsula.  You’ll also find fresh baked bread and other bakery items, meat products, seafood, and cooked food for sale.  Several vendors sell fresh cut flowers, jams and preserves, honey, and even some handicrafts are available.  The farmers market operates year round every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with an extended …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 25, 2014: Field of Roses, Niagara peninsula, Ontario

2014 30a July 25, 2014  St. Catherines

I just returned from a short but very pleasant visit to southern Ontario.  After attending a meeting in Toronto, I visited my dear cousin who lives on the Niagara peninsula for a few days.  She was a excellent tour guide and shared many great sights, including this one.

The Niagara peninsula is well know for its fruit orchards and vineyards, but it also has a substantial nursery business, like this field of roses near St. Catherines.  On a gray misty morning, it was a most beautiful sight!

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, July 25, 2014: Field of Roses, Niagara peninsula, Ontario
.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Quebec

Quebec — A Walled European Fortress In America

Quebec — A Walled European Fortress In America

Quebec, like New York, is both a city and a state (or rather, a province).  It’s an island of French heritage and culture within our Anglo-North American continent.  I had wanted to visit this city for years so when Untours began offering apartment rental trips to Quebec, it seemed an opportune time to spend a week exploring and enjoying the city.  We combined this visit with stops in Montreal and Ottawa, which I’ll talk about in separate postings on this blog.

Quebec is one of the oldest and most historic cities in North America.  Founded as a small French outpost by famed explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608, it is now a city of 500,000 (and recently celebrated a huge 400th birthday bash on the Plains …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Quebec

Saguenay Fjord — Deep and Long but not very Tall

Saguenay Fjord — Deep and Long but not very Tall

I’d heard as a schoolboy that the Saguenay Fjord was one of the longest in the world.  Years later someone told me the area around Tadoussac was pretty, sparsely developed and inviting.  Given a spare day or two that’s all the reason I need to explore a new place.  Plus it would give my kids a chance to see a fjord in North America and an opportunity to do some whale watching.  So we made the drive downriver on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, about 3 1/2 hours past Quebec City to Les Escoumins.  We chose to stay in Les Escoumins because it offered attractive fairly priced condo rentals situated right on the banks of the St. Lawrence River — a chance to watch the river and …

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