Blogs from Ontario, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » Ontario » Ottawa July 20th 2019

Well – here we are again kind readers. I have missed you. It has been five years since Tanya and I embarked on our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Within weeks of returning from Spain I was researching other long distance walks – I knew I needed more. I soon realized (using the “scaredy squirrel” guide for all potential danger) that there are very few long walks with the infrastructure and safety of the Camino. About three years ago I started to plan a walk commemorating my Dad and more specifically his service during WW II. I applied for and got his military & medical records – somewhat redacted – about a year later. I start off ambitiously thinking I could take 3 months and walk the entire route the Canadian soldiers followed. I soon realized I ... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Ottawa July 13th 2019

Leaving by bus for Montreal tomorrow morning. Then overnight KLM to Amsterdam. Last minute packing. Listening to the Dutch band BZN to get into the mood. They’re a Paling Pop band, very strange name meaning Eel Pop, a very unique sound created in the seventies by this band from Volendam. It’s a derivative from the Beatles, mixing in some ABBA sound and the unique one-two step dances from the Netherlands as well as some Vienna waltz melodies. Go to YouTube and check out BZN. Maybe not your taste but I like it!... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario July 8th 2019

Ontario, June 14-24, 2019 Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls We left Montreal in a soaking rain, hauling our suitcases to the train station. We had neglected to try the famous Montreal bagel, so grabbed one at the train station. Different than the New York style bagel, it is first boiled in honey water before being baked. We weren’t impressed. Ottawa is in the province of Ontario and is the capital of Canada and from what we can see so far, a clean beautiful city. Our Airbnb is much nicer; although, interestingly, we find ourselves back in the province of Quebec, as we are staying in Gatineau, Quebec, just a short walk across the bridge. But it’s still raining. I think it’s rained about 50% of our time in Canada so far. Downstairs in the apartment building ... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Niagara Falls June 17th 2019

As regular readers of this travel blog will probably recall, my last published scribblings covered our amazing trip out east to Indochina and before that our incredible adventure (also, in an easterly direction) to Australia and New Zealand. But, for 2019 we thought that it was time for a change; time to escape the tortuous grind of the 'Deal or No Deal' Brexit; time to erase from the memory, the embarrassing spectacle of which Prime Ministerial hopeful managed to smoke, inject or inhale the most illicit drugs in their past; and time to troll off to some place, where drinking a milkshake is considered more fun than chucking them about!! And with that in mind, it was no contest really. We simply decided to take the advice of American author Horace Greeley from 1865 and slightly ... read more
The Beast!
Hilton Fallsview 1
Hilton Fallsview 2

North America » Canada » Ontario » Brantford June 3rd 2019

TH&B and Waterford Heritage Trail The TH&B is a railway that was to connect Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo but never did. Sections of the railway are now part of the TransCanada Trail. It connects with the Waterdown Heritage Trail. Distance: 14 km Access Points: Brantford off Colborne St. W. Mount Pleasant Park – 755 Mt. Pleasant Road (highway 24) GPS: 43.070952, -80.314968. The Park has a large sheltered area, flush toilets and lots of parking. Use the large map in the park to navigate about 400 metres to the trail. The TH&B trail is very flat, paved and about 3 metres wide. There are many informative signs, about the area but not as many regarding where you are or distance markers. No bathrooms on the trail, one bench At the Norfolk County Line, the trail changes ... read more
waterford Ponds
black bridge
old tobacco kilns

North America » Canada » Ontario » Brantford June 1st 2019

Cycling SC Johnson Trail – Paris to Brantford This is a stone dust trail connecting Paris and Brantford Ontario. It is NOT a rail trail so as a result there are a few steep hills. Trailhead: · Paris: Curtis Avenue, just south of Dundas Street East (park at the fire hall, 15 Curtis Ave. North) and cross Dundas street. The trail starts about 100 metres (30 Curtis Ave. S) · Powerline Road: SC Johnson Parking area, mid-way between Paris and Brantford on Powerline Road, west of Oak Park Road · Brantford: Kraemer's Way, west of Oak Park Road · Brantford: Limited parking at Wilkes Dam, at Lafayette Street and Dufferin Avenue The Trail: It travels through farm fields, and grasslands and provides scenic overlooks of the Grand River including a bridge over the river. A few ... read more
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North America » Canada » Ontario » Atikokan May 20th 2019

Sunday 19th May 2019 We left Thunder Bay and Lake Superior behind us this morning and travelled to the Quetico Provincial Park, North West Ontario where we are spending a few days. Quetico is known as one of Canada´s great wilderness parks and most of it can only be reached by canoe; Quetico forms part of the “Path of the Paddle”, 1000 km of linking waterways in NW Ontario. A message to our son Dan, “This is the place for you!”. We are now staying in a lodge for two nights on the edge of the park by Lake Eva and hopefully tomorrow we shall have a little paddle! It is said that Quetico is where people who love canoeing “go to dream”! From Thunder Bay we visited the Kakabeka Falls, the largest and most powerful ... read more
French Lake, Quetico Provincial Park
On the Whiskey Jack Trail

North America » Canada » Ontario » Thunder Bay May 18th 2019

Saturday 18th May 2019 It is now two weeks since we left home so we are a quarter of the way through our trip. In some ways the time has flown, conversely, it seems ages since we left home! It has been two weeks of varied and rich experience, some quite unexpected (like discovering there were bears around where we were camping): “Travelling is about finding things that you never knew you were looking for” Anon When we got to Red Rock yesterday, we slept in a beautiful heritage building, the Red Rock Inn, jacuzzi bath and all; we enclose some photos of the Inn here in this blog, just to prove that we don’t always slum it and are not entirely crazy souls! Only now and again! The journey from White River to ... read more
Still thick snow about, even at the waterfalls
Aguasabon with Lake Superior in the background
Rainbow River

North America » Canada » Ontario May 16th 2019

From Sault Sainte Marie to Wawa, where we stayed last night, proved to be one of the finest scenic drives we have ever experienced. The Lake Superior Provincial Park covers 1,600 square kilometres of evergreen forests, rivers, lakes, craggy escarpments, roaring waterfalls and tumbling rapids and above all, the little coves and panoramic vistas of the brilliant blue “Shining Big Sea Water”. Lake Superior lives up to its name! We took our time, stopping frequently to explore and take photos, so only got as far as Wawa, which is, as the Lonely Planet describes it, a town “in the middle of nowhere”! The places visited on the journey included the Chippewa Falls, which is the half way point on the Trans Canada Highway, from coast to coast, as well as Little Rabbit ... read more
Lake Superior
Chippewa Falls
Chippewa River

North America » Canada » Ontario » Sault Ste Marie May 15th 2019

Yesterday was pretty special. We went to visit the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation at M’Chigeeng near Lake Mindemoya on Manitoulin. Artists work there, reviving traditional work like moccasin-making, beadwork and fine jewellery and painting on skins, wood and stone. Beautiful craftwork. They run free sessions for school children there too. These classes are so important following on from years of suppressed cultural identity. Manitoulin children were sent away to Catholic residential schools from the 19thCentury right up until 1958. At these schools, where they spent ten months of the year without seeing family, brothers and sisters were segregated from the age of five, beaten if they were caught speaking the Ojibwe language and also frequently abused. The idea was to obliterate Ojibwe culture and the Catholic Church failed to apologise formally until 1996! Many First Nation peop ... read more
Our B and B by the lake
The Silver Birch wood
Pathway up to the first escarpment

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