This will be a shorter post, I promise. A large collection of photos (and the photos in higher resolution) can be found here. I will just pick out a few of my favorites now.
Our first stop in Toronto was the Hockey Hall of Fame (who would have figured *g*) but I will cover that in a special hockey post. I think we’ve seen most of the “must-see” attractions in Toronto, at least from the outside. We didn’t have that much time, so we didn’t visit a museum although the ROM or the Art Gallery would definitely have been worth a visit. We’ll do that next time :-)
The golden Royal Bank Plaza was pretty cool to see. Real gold in the windowpanes and all of that for the sake of insulation. Neat!. And the CN Tower really is visible from everywhere. As long as there is not fog or rain clouds, then the top of the tower might just disappear.
We didn’t have enough time to stroll around the different neighbourhoods, The Annex and Yorkville looked really nice from the bus though. We did walk around a bit of course, in Downtown, Yonge Street, Church Street ;-) the University quarters and even in Chinatown where everything written in English and Mandarin.
We also spend some time at the Distillery District, a former whiskey distillery and now home to cafés and gallerys. I can totally understand why this often serves as movie set for the New York in the 19th century :-)
Of course, one of the highlights of this vacation was the trip to Niagara Falls. We booked a tour with a minivan and our group visited a winery first (supposedly Dan Akroyd’s winery, although there was no proof of that) and drove through Niagara on the Lake on our way back. Unfortunately the tour doesn’t stop there anymore.
Niagara Falls is… impressive. Really, really impressive and pictures (or clips) can not do them justice. You have to be there and hear the falls roar and feel the water spray on your skin for the real experience.
Unfortunately the “Maid of the Mist” boat, which gets you close to the bottom of the falls wasn’t operating yet (too early in the year), but instead we could go on “the journey behind the Falls” Part of it, isn’t really that exciting as you only watch out a small hole in the wall and see another white wall. The backside of the falls. But it really could have been faked as well, as you hadn’t any proof that you really are behind the falls. But then you got on the observation deck and you could experience the falls in all it’s power and glory.
Another unexpected highlight was the almost private tour of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre. An impressive theatre, with an interesting history and really nice volunteers who guide the tour.
And then we left for Halifax, which is a really nice small (at least the urban center) town. Lots of historic properties and a wonderful harbour front.
Which served as set for the “Seawolf” filming and thus became our secret favorite sight :) Not really, but whenever we were in the vicinity we spend some time watching and it was really fascinating to witness the transformation of the ordinary Halifax harbourfront 2008 into San Francisco 1905.
We also did a harbour tour which also led us out to the Halifax bay and we had a wonderful view of some really great mansions on the northwest side of the bay. I still haven’t found out to what community these mansions belonged to, but for a moment I was determined to find myself a bachelor whose father owns one of these properties. Or even better he already owns it :-) Really cool place to live.
Pier 21, the Canadian immigration museum was really interesting to see as counterpart to the emigration museum Ballinstadt, which I visited in Hamburg a few months ago. The most interesting part of the Maritim museum was not the Titanic section (because we already know everything from the movie), but the part about the Halifax explosion, which was a terrible disaster in 1917 and was the biggest man-made explosion until the atomic bomb.
We also did a guided tour of Halifax and all the way to Peggy’s Cove, which is a really lovely place and even stopped by the Fairview Cementary on our way back to visit the Titanic memorial. The J. Dawson buried there isn’t THE Jack Dawson, but I had to take a picture nonetheless, of course :-)
And that was the short version of my Canadian Sightseeing. More of my photos can be found at ipernity