A Travellerspoint blog

Developments in Pioneer Village

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Black Creek Pioneer Village is a short drive from Aurora. It gives a taste of life in nineteenth-century rural Ontario, with people in costumes producing traditional crafts and giving information about each building. The village would have been home to a tinsmith:

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A weaver:

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A printer:

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And a doctor. The surgery featured an array of scary looking implements.

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Our visit yesterday was interesting and informative. The effect was only spoilt by the high-rise buildings in the background and the noise of a nearby road. Apparently there were fields around the village until development crept right up to the edge of the site.

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Posted by shoestring 20:42 Archived in Canada Tagged village toronto ontario canada creek black pioneer Comments (0)

Wipeout on Lake Simcoe

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Yesterday we were lucky enough to be taken out on a boat by Ben's relative Mike. We could either go wakeboarding or tubing. Whereas it sounded like a certain level of skill was required with wakeboarding, tubing involved sitting in an inflatable tube and hanging on for dear life. We thought we could manage that.

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Ben managed to stay out of the water, if not exactly dry. However, when Karen went out with Emma, this happened (Karen's on the right):

Wipeout! Thankfully Karen was uninjured and smiling by the time the boat swung round to collect her. However, this morning we are both suffering from aches in several muscles we didn't know we had.

Posted by shoestring 06:06 Archived in Canada Tagged water boat lake ontario canada tubing simcoe wipeout Comments (1)

Island Hopping in Toronto

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Since we'd both been to to Toronto previously, we'd seen most of the sights, including going up the CN Tower. Mere days ago, however, a new attraction was opened at the tower - EdgeWalk. You can now walk around the edge of the roof, outside, then lean over the edge - backwards - supported only by a harness. The cost? $175 per person. Needless to say we passed on the opportunity, but did get to see some brave souls making their way around.

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Instead, our destination for the day was Toronto Islands - just $6.50 for a return trip on the ferry. It's only a short journey, but once there you feel a million miles away from the city, due in no small part to the fact that no motorised vehicles are allowed. Facing north you can admire the skyline.

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On the south of the island are long beaches that look out over Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes, which is nearly as big as Wales. It's like looking out to sea.

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The island is not just a tourist destination, however. There are many houses on Ward's Island that are lived in year round.

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Idyllic, but shopping must be difficult. As we waited to get on the ferry back to the mainland several people disembarked pushing shopping trolleys filled with supplies.

Posted by shoestring 19:48 Archived in Canada Tagged sea islands tower beach lake toronto ontario canada ferry Comments (0)

Arriving in Aurora

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Sault (pronounced 'Soo') Ste Marie is an attractive lakeside city in Ontario that has a twin, also called Sault Ste Marie, to the south in Michigan, USA. Unfortunately all we got to see of the city was what we saw from the Greyhound and the short walk to and from our hotel. We were up again early to catch the Greyhound bound for Toronto, which arrived at 6.15pm yesterday evening.

We're staying just north of Toronto in a town called Aurora with Malcolm, Brenda and Emma, Ben's relatives whom he last saw when he visited Canada six years ago. Today it felt like a great luxury to be able to do very little - just read, sort laundry and not much else. We'll be sightseeing again tomorrow.

Posted by shoestring 19:47 Archived in Canada Tagged travel bus toronto ontario canada marie greyhound sault ste Comments (0)

Superior Stops

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Whereas in Europe and Asia we could rely almost exclusively on hostels, in North America we've had to improvise a bit more. We've already stayed in hostels, hotels, motels and a B&B, and yesterday we added to that list a hall of residence - Sibley Hall, at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Cheaply built and labyrinthine, it's like halls of residence everywhere, but at least it was a reasonably priced place to sleep.

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After discovering we wouldn't be able to head back down into the US at Winnipeg to visit Chicago we considered staying on the Greyhound all the way to Toronto, but the 32-hour journey didn't exactly appeal. Instead, in addition to our stop at Thunder Bay we'll stay in Sault Ste Marie tonight. Despite these cities being a nine-hour journey apart they're both on the banks of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. With a surface area of nearly 32,000 square miles, it's bigger than Scotland.

Posted by shoestring 03:49 Archived in Canada Tagged travel bus lake ontario bay canada marie greyhound thunder sault superior ste Comments (0)

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