Ogdensburg, NY State

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During the Thanksgiving long weekend, we enjoyed amazingly hot weather and we decided to spend the day in Ogdensburg, NY State. We always pass through the town but never really stopped to appreciate it. Time to do it justice under a beautiful Indian summer sun.

Ogdensburg is probably the closest American town to Ottawa. A 45-minute drive took us to the International Bridge between Prescott and Ogdensburg, where we flashed our passports and entered the U.S.

Even though both countries are only separated by the St Lawrence River, small differences are easy to notice. For instance, in the U.S, traffic lights are often suspended from wires over the middle of an intersection while in Canada they are mounted on vertical poles. Houses sport The Stars and Stripes and most have a nice cozy porch with a few chairs and/or a sunroom. In Canada, I’m used to entire neighbourhoods looking exactly the same because they have been built by the same promoter. It’s nice to see older houses, even though some were really falling apart.

Finally, I have never seen Amish in Ontario (even though there is supposed to be a small settlement there) but here we stumbled upon two buggies a few minutes apart. Even the local Wal-Mart had parking space reserved for buggies and horse carriages! I hate to sound silly, but are Amish even supposed to shop at Wal-Mart?

After lunch (a gigantic pizza—ordering the large one was a mistake), we hung out around the marina. The weather was turning stormy but the light that filtered from the dark clouds was amazing.

On the way back to Canada, like last time, we were stuck on the bridge for over an hour. Tons of Canadians go bargain-hunting in the U.S and custom checks can be slow, plus there is some construction on the bridge. From there, the sunset was amazing and it was almost worth the delay.

You can see the complete set of pictures taken in the U.S.A here.

Religious Propaganda

Amish-Friendly Walmart

Fall Colours

Amish and Buggy

Amish and Buggy


Getting Ready For Halloween

A Huge Pizza

Ogdensburg Marina

Ogdensburg Marina

Getting Stormy

Religious Propaganda

The Marina

The Marina

From America With Love (Canada Right in Front)


Americans take Halloween Seriously...

Stuck on the International Bridge

Stuck on the International Bridge

Sunset on the International Bridge


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Hi Zhu,

    Thanks for taking us all over the border again :).
    That was interesting to see the Amish and their buggys. And yes, reserved parking for them all Walmart!

    Have a nice Sunday

    • I know exactly what you mean! What I like is the fact that don’t proselytize, they just live their life the way they want and mind their own business. Quite fascinating actually.

  2. In Waterloo, Ontario, it is quite common to see mennonites all around. There is a buggies’ area in the Mall parking, and a “buggies’ parking” close to the City Hall as well, downtown.

    • I had no idea! I had heard there were settlements in Ontario but obviously not close to where I live, although another commenter mentioned seeing them in Aylmert which is close to Ottawa. Interesting!

  3. From what I remember, the Mennonites are not as conservative as the Amish — they come . The Amish are mostly in Pennsylvania Dutch country (Lancaster County, near the state capital of Harrisburg), and they keep totally to themselves. Mennonites, however, are more integrated into modern life and take buses, fly planes, and I see them often at Niagara Falls. They don’t shun the outside world like the Amish tend to do.

    St. Jacob’s in Ontario is where you’ll see a lot of buggies. They own and operate a lot of farms in the area (there is a high concentration of farming around Guelph and Waterloo, that’s also where you’ll find the major veterinarian schools).

    There are also a lot of Mennonites in different parts of Canada, like Manitoba. When I was in primary school, I went on a week-long canoe trip and for part of that stayed in a Mennonite village.

    You can read more about the differences between Amish and Mennonites here:

  4. Oh, and another reason why I think the people in the photos are Mennonites and not Amish is because of their clothes. The Amish wear mostly black clothes, and Mennonites wear more colours.

    • Ah… that kind of make sense!

      I didn’t know the distinction between the two groups. I suck at religion actually! 😆

      There are quite a few personal websites on Amish, Mennonites and their way of life and I wasted a few hours reading them after I took these pictures. Interesting though! It’s quite fascinating the way they lead their life in such a modern country, compromising on some issue and keeping their beliefs current and relevant.

  5. Oops, I forgot to finish my first sentence in that first comment.

    “From what I remem­ber, the Men­non­ites are not as con­ser­v­a­tive as the Amish — they come “… from the same historical background but have different approaches to how they should live. Amish live much stricter lives and don’t believe in higher education (even high school) or technology.

  6. The picture which shows Ogdens­burg Marina with heavy clouds above the sky reminds me of some interesting movie scene. 😀
    Also, those hands look like real! XD

  7. This is one of those posts that challenge my knowledge of geography. I always put Ottawa somewhere in the middle of northern Ontario, and when I read your daytrips to the USA, I always think, really, it’s that close? As I am writing this comment, I have Google Maps open trying to see how far or near these places are from you!

    • Tell me about it! I’m usually good at geography but I had the same experience with Quebec, which is basically next door to Maine. I found it hard to reconcile in my head for some reason!

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