Monday, 19 October 2015

Travel: Toronto, Canada 2015: A Vacation

I have just returned from a wonderful vacation in Ontario, Canada visiting my family. I always knew that Canada was famous for its Autumn colours, but they were just so spectacular.

These photos were taken at Chudleigh's Apple Farm, Halton Hills where we spent a wholesome Canadian Thanksgiving in glorious sunshine picking (and eating) apples and eating the best corn barbecued whole and spread with melted butter.

One of the best ways to make the most of a short stay in or around Toronto, is to pick up a Citypass which allows you access to the top five attractions (the CN Tower, Toronto Zoo, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre and Casa Loma). You save as long as you visit three of these -we didn't visit Casa Loma.

We were blessed with brilliant weather at the CN Tower which led to fantastic views. We paid extra to go right up to the skypod which is great but you can definitely feel the sway of the tower in the wind so is not for the faint hearted!


Following on from the dizzying heights of the tower, we walked to the ROM which seemed a good idea but was much further than we thought - allow at least 45-60 minutes walk between the two (or take the subway from Union to Museum, which we did on the return journey)! We completed our long day in Toronto with a trip to see the Toronto Raptors play at the Air Canada Centre (basketball). 

No trip to Toronto is complete without a drive (about an hour) to Niagara Falls. Unless you are big into tackiness, the actual town of Niagara is not worth a second look but the falls themselves are pretty spectacular. My family did the Journey Behind the Falls whilst I had a sedate stroll around, followed by a hot chocolate in the overlooking Welcome Centre.

The drive between Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake (30-40 minutes) takes you past some beautiful Canadian countryside, vineyards and the most gorgeous houses. I just can't believe I didn't stop to photograph them. Niagara on the Lake is again a bit of a tourist honey trap but is full of lots of lovely shops, including Reiners where I indulged in a leather Moose (don't even ask how I got him home)!!

Ontario Science Centre felt a little dated and is not the easiest location to access by public transport (take the subway from Union to Eglinton, then the No 34 Eglinton East bus, getting off at Don Mills Road), however, they did have Felix Baumgartner's spacesuit and capsule and lots of hands on science for all ages.

Crawford Lake was where we saw the best Autumn colour, and is a lovely, deep lake with a boardwalk surrounding it. There are also Iroquoian longhouses here. We were lucky enough to hear a milksnake rattle its tail, and see some turkey vultures. There are also turtles in the lake, but we were unable to spot any.
Whilst we were in Canada, Er Shun, the giant panda gave birth to twins at Toronto Zoo. Whilst they will not be on public display for three - four months, it was still fascinating to see the Panda Dad, as well as an array of other animals.
Love Mrs Jones x

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