Browsing: Exploring Canada

Short and long trips in Canada, from big cities to small towns.

Exploring Canada
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Once There Was a War

Since you don’t come to Ogdensburg for a culinary adventure, the guys had lunch at Subway while I was taking pictures of the bilingual Spanish/English signs and an Amish man queuing for a sandwich presumably made with regular, non sacramental bread.

Exploring Canada
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Doors Open Toronto

By chance, the weekend we were in Toronto, the annual “Doors Open” event was held, a city-wide celebration offering free, rare access to more than 155 landmarks. We have a similar event in Ottawa, usually held in June.

Exploring Canada
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Exploring Toronto

Of all the Canadian cities, Toronto is probably the one I know best. I have a soft spot for the place where I first landed in Canada in 2002, coming directly from Rio de Janeiro with a sweater and a backpack.

Exploring Canada
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An Artsy Sunday in Montreal

We checked out of the bedbugs hotel (yay!) hopefully leaving the insects behind (RIP dead bug on white sheets… I still have your picture!). The plan was to explore McGill University and its famous campus but we got sidetracked.

Exploring Canada
By 18
Bad Luck Day in Montreal

For some reasons, we always have a hard time “mastering” Montreal. It should be easy: it’s a first-world city, a blend of North American and French influences, it’s close to Ottawa… and yet, we always seem to run into minor annoyances—which doesn’t happen to us when we travel to, let’s say, Toronto.

Exploring Canada
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The Chalet du Mont Royal and Montreal’s Skyline

Our first evening in the city had started off pretty well. After checking in at the “hotel from hell” (which, at that point, was just a regular bed bugs-free hotel as far as we knew), we decided to make the most of the remaining daylight. We headed to Mont Royal, the hill west of downtown Montreal, to which it gave its name.

Exploring Canada
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The “Itchy & Scratchy Show” And the Hotel From Hell

I’ve seen bed bugs before, mostly in dirty hostels in Australia—I remember being eaten alive a couple of times in Melbourne. But I kind of expected it. I mean, hostels are… well, hostels. When the twelve guys in your sixteen-bed dorms haven’t showered or done laundry in days and when they store food on their beds… you know it’s a bed bug hostel. But I certainly wasn’t expecting a place like a Travellodge Hotel (not fancy but decent) to have bed bugs.

Exploring Canada
By 9
The Beach, the Lake, Sand Dunes and a Storm

We drove to Dunes Beach and discovered a sandy bay encircled by huge dunes dominating the scenery. By the time we got there the rain had mostly stopped. The clouds were gorgeous and the little stretch of sand, right at the edge of the woods, was deserted. I could see the dunes right beside us and spotted a paved path.

Exploring Canada
By 18
A Misty Visit to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls. This amazing natural wonder of the world is on the bucket list of most travelers—everyone want to see them at least once. But how many people come back for a second, a third or a fourth visit? Well, more than you’d think.

Exploring Canada
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Toronto Island

The only group of islands in the western part of Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands are located just offshore from the city centre. Today, it’s a popular recreational centre and a quick getaway from the “mainland”. Just the ferry rid can wow even the most blasé tourist: the view on Toronto’s skyline is amazing.

Exploring Canada
By 18
A Long Weekend in Toronto

Every year (except when I’m eight-month pregnant like last year…), we take a short trip during the Labour Day long weekend. Two years ago, we were in Toronto and visited Barry, Balm Beach and the Geor­gian Bay. The year before, we were in rural Ontario and visited the Townships of Head, Clara and Maria, Rapides-des-Joachims, Pembroke, Deux-Rivières and Matawa and Deep River. This year, we decided it was time for Mark to visit Toronto—the last time we went for the Rolling Stones concert, he had stayed home with his 爷爷 and 奶奶 (grand-parents).

Exploring Canada
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Along the St. Lawrence Seaway

After a stop in Alexandria Bay, we decided to cross the border back to Canada at the Thousand Islands Bridge and to follow the parkway along the St. Lawrence Seaway. I do miss living by the ocean but I have to say that the Thousand Islands region is pretty awesome—peaceful, scenic and, despite being a popular tourist spot, it doesn’t feel crowded or tacky.

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