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mistybleu Toronto - A travel report by Amanda
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Toronto,  Canada - flag Canada -  Ontario
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mistybleu's travel reports

In search of the Canadian Mountie

  22 votes
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To celebrate my sister's intended marriage we went away on a hen weekend. Whilst Canada is not the normal escape destination, for a $100 flight it was a done deal.


The Mounty
image from wikipedia.org
The Mounty image from wikipedia.org
Like mad tourists who only knew what they have been fed, we headed to Toronto with the hopes of seeing a Royal Canadian Mounted Police aka the ‘Mounty’, regardless of where they were actually based. I was adamant that I would see one.

Canada is a wonderful country, full of wide open spaces; we crossed the prairies and viewed the wonderful colours of autumn and pretty doesn't begin to describe it.

But like I said we initailled I headed for Toronto - a built up concrete jungle. I really liked Toronto and somehow felt it should be the capital; it’s such a great city kind of like a mini London or New York (no offence to Londoners, New Yorkers Londoners or even Canadians). But it’s not; it’s just the largest city in Canada and sits on the edge of Lake Ontario.

An interesting fact is that, more people live in Toronto than in the other 4 Canadian Atlantic provinces combined. There are over 2.48 million inhabitants, with 49% of the population being born outside of Canada. Excluding Canadians, the largest portion of the population are Chinese, followed by South Asians, Blacks and Filipinos.

It's the home of the world's tallest free standing structure - Canadian National Tower and the world's longest street - Yonge Street (something like 1,896 km long).

So my hunt for the mounty started in downtown Toronto, however we found out much later that the only regions that didn’t have Mounties were parts of Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec and off course Ontario – just our luck…

Favourite spots:
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
My favourite thing was seeing Niagara Falls. Even though outside of Toronto it's something you can't miss.

There are two sides to Niagara, the US side – The American Falls and the Canadian side – Horseshoe Falls which forms an arc about 792m metres long.

The source of Niagara comes from Lake Erie as it pours down into Lake Ontario. The drop is 100m and whilst it is brilliant, it’s no Iguacu and really shouldn't be compared.

One of the fun things to do is take a ‘maid of the mist’ tour which takes you under the falls, so you can feel the spray. They provided a ‘fetching’ waterproof cape to help, but inevitable you get a little wet.

I was also able to go behind the falls and I know I was a little naïve but I expected to be transported into a Tarzan movie, and see jagged rocks, uneven surfaces, etc but all I saw as concrete rooms with a small peep hole with the torrents of water thundering down. I was so disappointed.

What's really great:
The CN Tower
The CN Tower
[I still couldn't find a mountie.]

Not sure how many times I’ve said this but the people were really nice. They were very friendly and made the journey really enjoyable

The Canada National Tower or as it is more commonly known as CN Tower is the tallest tower in the world. The title was initially held by the Eiffel Tower, then the Empire State Building, and then in 1975 when the CN Tower was completed Canada. The area around the tower is very busy and in fact the tower sees around 2m tourists a year. There are many shops and restaurants and along side the tower is the Sky Dome (sport stadium). The CN Tower stands 553.3m to the tallest point (on the top of the antenna).

Before I started my journey I visited the website first and got a 2 for 1 entrance ticket plus some other vouchers. So it was good to do a little research before hand.

The view are spectacular, you can see what seems like the whole of Toronto, and then across Lake Ontario.

www.cntower.ca.

Sights:
The Sky Dome
The Sky Dome
Not really sites, but more of things to do:

The Eaton Centre, (I’m not sure it’s still called that), but I was a great place to shop. Initially Eaton was a main department store in Canada, but I think it went bust. Anyway the best thing about the shopping is that it is all undergrounds. So when the weather is bitterly cold outside we could still shop until our hearts content with the warmth of a shopping mall. It was huge and covers about 16 mile and had all sorts of shops there. I even found a Mark’s & Spencer. There was even a cinema and I think a bowling alley. A brilliant place to send the day.

We were also told to go shopping on Yonge’s Street; it's a major road which had lots of shops. It was very busy and I found the fashion a little wierd but a great experience.

We didn't really do much sightseeing, apart from visiting the CN Tower and the Sky Dome, two of Toronto's most popular tourist attractions.


Accommodations:
Sutton Place Hotel
Sutton Place Hotel
I stayed in a lovely hotel - the Sutton Place Hotel, fairly centrally located. A block away from Yonge Street, the shopping area and financial district. It was the first time we'd stayed in a premium hotel especially which I'd paid for myself. But it was wonderful; I jumped on the beds, raided the mini bar ordered room service and took incredible long baths. We enjoyed the facilities and worked out in their gym. The works, it was such a fantastic time. I shouldn’t even admit that hotel I stayed in, in case there was an outstanding bill. But that’s what hen weekends are all about.

Hangouts:
The Falls upclose
The Falls upclose
[Still no mountie]

I didn't go to any clubs, but in the CN Tower the revolving restaurant (360 Restaurant) is a great place to watch the sun set. Or experiencing the Sound and Light display (Son et lumiere) at Niagara in one of the many restaurants, or just sitting in the open air on a clear evening is magical.

Restaurants:
Niagara
Niagara
One of my favourite experiences was having dinner in Hard Rock Café in the Sky Dome.

I’m no baseball fan but after spending the day in the area and visiting all the souvenirs shops I couldn't help but purchase a few Toronto Blue Jays memorabilias. The Blue Jays boast of being the only team to win the World Series outside of the US. Then we went into the restaurant.

I can’t remember what I had exactly, some thing like burger and chips (ohh steady), with a big root beer. The food was really good and it was a lovely experience. The waitress was friendly and her hovering was well timed. I didn’t feel like we were smothered, but attentive enough to know when we needed assistance.

After dinner we were invited to go to the bar. The atmosphere was pumping, by the time we got their and everyone was celebrating. The view over the field was incredible; we were able to see the Blue Jays in action. It was a fantastic experience. If only I could do that again.

Other recommendations:
Ottawa - The Nation's Capital
Ottawa - The Nation's Capital
If the time is not an issue you can travel to Ottawa the nation’s capital. It’s another great place with great historic buildings. After spending some days in Toronto I thought it would be good to see a little more of the country.

I travelled to Ottawa, then onto Montreal on the Greyhound. I could have gone all the way to Quebec but I didn’t want to be too greedy. I can remember the cost, but if you book on line in advance it works out quite cheap. On the way back we travelled overnight back to Toronto pick up our bags and were off to the airports. It was so well timed that I avoided spending two nights in a hotel. When you’re on a limited budget, every little helps. And it was a fantastic way to see Canada.

Going back to the mounties, we ended up finding one back at Pearson International Airport, on our way home and it was a wooden lifesize replicate that I think was advertising cigars.

Published on Wednesday May 17th, 2006


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Fri, Apr 09 2010 - 11:07 AM rating by sujoy

A good portraying of vivacious city with spices . thx

Tue, Apr 29 2008 - 05:51 PM rating by murrayskinner

Nice report. I can relate to your observations as I live in Ontario. You will have to edit the report as the CN tower is now the 2nd talles structure.....as you are aware having taken fantastic pictures of bthe twin towers recently.

Wed, Feb 14 2007 - 08:30 PM rating by travler

Great review and wonderful picture of a RCMP dressed in red. I understand they only wear red for special occasions.

Mon, Sep 25 2006 - 03:02 PM rating by mrscanada

Did you lay flat on your back to get the picture of the CN Tower. Next time you come to Canada come west... to 'lotus land'.

Wed, May 31 2006 - 09:36 PM rating by eirekay

Amanda, Toronto is one of my favorite cities - it has GREAT theatre - best in the North America short of New York! Your report captures it beautifully (I found your Mountie in Edmonton) ;-)
Eire

Fri, May 19 2006 - 04:41 PM rating by st.vincent

A nice personal story Amanda, I won't make any jokes about not "getting your man" on a hen do.

Fri, May 19 2006 - 09:25 AM rating by gloriajames

I liked your report! Sorry that u did not find your 'guy' ie mounties. Nevertheless it must have been a great hen trip! Alas.. u did not tell us anything about your hen activities! (";)

Fri, May 19 2006 - 02:12 AM rating by mamielle

Very interresting report, I've never been in Canada and I hope to go there one day

Fri, May 19 2006 - 12:15 AM rating by bootlegga

If it makes you feel any better, I didn't see a 'Mountie' in a red dress uniform until a few years ago when I was in Regina and stumbled across a bunch who just graduated from their training course. Most Mounties look like regular cops most days.

Thu, May 18 2006 - 12:26 PM rating by rangutan

What a great 'Blitz-trip', nicely and humerously written, a pleasure to read.

Thu, May 18 2006 - 06:49 AM rating by marianne

Amanda,
You must have had a great time. Toronto sounds a good place to visit.
Marianne

Thu, May 18 2006 - 02:31 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

wonderful report

Thu, May 18 2006 - 01:07 AM rating by frenchfrog

Very nice report Amanda, vey pleasant to read. I loved Canada as well, I am glad you enjoyed yourself.

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