OTTAWA AT DUSK
Canada's National Anthem
O Canada ! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise. The True North strong and free, from far and wide.
O Canada we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada we stand on guard for thee, O Canada we stand on guard for thee!
C A N A D A! C A N A D A! C A N A D A! C A N A D A! C A N A D A!
The second largest country in the world has a bit of everything on its broad landscape; cosmopolitan cities, open prairies, snow capped mountains, provincial parks, islands, coastal beaches and farms just to name a few. The Canadians like their hockey teams, stampedes, museums, ski resorts, and are proud of one of their great wonders of the world known as "Niagara Falls." O yes Canada is a mighty special place.
Canada is huge. It consists of ten provinces and two territories. If you view a map of Canada you would see the following on it; Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
I'll start with Ontario. The province of Ontario has lots to boast about. It contains the largest city in Canada known as Toronto. It's also where the capital of Canada is located and that city is known as Ottawa. The province of Ontario is blessed with the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, Manitoulin Island, Niagara Falls, and lots of vineyards.
A good itinerary for exploring Ontario would be to start in Windsor and Essex Country. Hit one of the casinos in Windsor and than head to lovely Essex County. Wineries abound in Essex County and there's no shortage of tasting some delicious wines produced from the vineyards of this region. If you like the beach one of my favorite gems is Colchester. It sits upon a bluff overlooking Lake Eire. It's a nice place to swim and even surf a bit. There's a mini playground and picnic tables too. Not too far is the town of Kinsgville which is great for shopping and eating. I highly recommend Annabelle's Tea Room for a British like afternoon tea experience. The food here is absolutely delicious and there are lots of teas from around the world to enjoy with scones and jam. Annabelle's is located on 75 Main Street East in Kingsville.
Another nice place to spend time in Essex County is at Leamington's Point Pelee National Park. There's lots of things to enjoy in this park if you're an outdoor enthusiast. Eventually you can work your way to Highway 401 and head to the magnificent international city of Toronto. There's a multitude of things to do in Canada's largest city. There's the Harbourfront Centre, CBC Museum, CN Tower, Toronto Music Garden, St Lawrence Market, Chinatown, Little Italy, Financial District, Theater District to explore as well as Eaton Centre and Bloor Street for shopping. There's also the Hockey Hall of Fame and the wonderful Toronto Islands to explore. With an abundance of activities, cultural events, and fantastic restaurants Toronto can keep you busy for days if not weeks.
Ottawa although smaller than Toronto is a beautiful city with some of the best bicycle trails in North America. This capital city has Parliament Hill where political activity takes place. The main building around here known as Centre Block contains the highest structure in the city known as Peace Tower. During the summer months there is a daily changing of the guard in Parliament Hill. Other sights in this district include the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Grand Hall, National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Children's Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Touring Ottawa can be exhausting and one of my favorite spots for a relaxing tasty meal is ZenKitchen.
Serving completely pure vegetarian food this restaurant rarely disappoints vegetarians or meat eaters
Located at 634 Somerset Street ZenKitchen was recently nominated the best new restaurant of Ottawa in 2009. Another good spot to relax and enjoy some coffee & food is The Daily Grind art cafe at 601 Somerset Street West.
My brother who was a student at the University of Ottawa and lived in the Glebe neighborhood knew Ottawa the way I know Manhattan. He introduced me to his favorite bagel shop called "Kettleman's Bagel Company" on 912 Bank Street. These are the best bagels I ever ate. They're so yummy you can even go without the cream cheese. Anytime of day you walk into this shop you can see the bagels being made right in front of you. I highly recommend the sesame bagels which are their best sellers. Another culinary establishment I like is "Life of Pie" located at 1095 Bank Street. WOW! the pies are so good here. I even had my brother send me a pie once from "Life of Pie."
After saying goodbye to the capital city of Ottawa say hello to Ontario's great wonder; Niagara Falls.
Over a million bathtubs of water plummet over the edge of these spectacular falls where tourists come as far as Japan to view their awesomeness. With 14 million tourists visiting annually Niagara Falls is one of Canada's top attractions.
Canada shares its falls with the United States (New York) but the Canadian side has the more grandeur and powerful falls. Check out Horseshoe Falls, Maid of the Mist Pool, and Table Rock. Not to be missed is a Niagara Falls boat tour for an intimate view of the falls. Other attractions in Niagara Falls are Goat Island, Discovery Center, Queen Victoria Park and Skylon Tower. Kids adore Clifton Hill known as "the street of fun." This area is loaded with gift shops, restaurants, and attractions like House of Frankenstein and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Although it's a Canadian chain I like stopping at Tim Horton's for their terrific iced cappuccino drink. The Tim Horton's on Clifton Hill is always packed with couples and families taking a little break from all the Niagara Falls excitement.
Speaking of excitement I have more exciting things to share about Canada in my next blog as we explore the provinces of Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! I'LL BE BACK WITH MORE TRAVEL WORLD BLOGS IN 2013.
Adrianna (Travel World)