As I travelled through Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Montreal, I couldn’t help but stand in awe of their size. It wasn’t as though I had never been to these cities before. I had been to Toronto and Niagara Falls once and Montreal a number of times. The difference between past trips and this trip was that I was vacationing with my family as opposed to travelling for work. Don’t get me wrong, seeing new places from a corporate perspective has its merits, but as you know, there is something about travelling with the family that shines an unseen light.
In the 12 days that we spent travelling, my wife and I estimated that we logged nearly 15 kilometres a day. This doesn’t sound like too much if you are behind the wheel of a car, but we weren’t. We did it on foot.
1 kilometres = 1320 steps (on average)
15 kilometres = 19,800 steps.
12 x 19,800 = 237,600 steps!
If you take in account that we flew and drove a few of the days, we are left with many days of travelling by our feet…our hot, tired and sore feet.
While in Toronto, we took in as much as we could. We were drawn to the most touristy attraction that Toronto has, the CN Tower.
As I walked around its base, I couldn’t help but look in admiration. After all, coming from a city like Winnipeg, it seemed so big.
After waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity (2 hours), we found ourselves at the front of the line for our turn to ride the elevator to the top.
As I ascended up the elevator shaft, I wondered what the view from the top would be like. Would the anticipation live up to its billing? Would it be as magical as I had hoped?
Looking out of the window for the first time left me breathless. To the left sat the Great Lakes and to the right, the cityscape; both equally beautiful in their own right.
From Toronto, we rented a car (I suspect that the walk might have taken us a little too long) and drove to Niagara Falls.
I had been to Niagara Falls before, but only in the winter. I remember most seeing all of the light posts that surrounded the Falls covered in blocks of ice that were at least 2 feet thick.
As the last few kilometres of the trek from Toronto to Niagara Falls wrapped up, I wondered if it would be the same falls I had seen the time before.
I know that this will shock you, but they were same as I remembered, minus the ice.
I vividly remember sitting with my wife at a restaurant, overlooking the falls and having one of the most amazing times we had ever had. More than one moment of the evening was spent in silence. Neither she nor I knew it at the time, but this is exactly how we wanted it.
In reflection, we both understood that the most amazing experiences don’t require speaking, but rather require listening; listening to the sounds around us and the serenity of the experience.
We capped off the Niagara Falls portion of the trip with a ride on the Hornblower. The Hornblower is a boat ride that takes you deep into the mist of the falls.
In a moment of panic, I remembered that I hadn’t showered that morning. As I would soon find out, I didn’t need one.
I got one.
During the ride, I was fortunate enough to have my son in my arms to share the experience. After he took in a long whiff of my non-showered scent, he looked at me with some uncertainty. I looked back, smiled and told him it was going to be alright. From there, his eyes lit up, his mouth smiled and he indicated he was ready to go.
After Niagara Falls, we headed to the reason that we were travelling; Nottawasaga Resort.
A wedding that we were attending lay ahead of us with a family that we had not seen for awhile.
This time was special, as all wedding are.
While the ceremony was going on, I looked over at my wife, and couldn’t help but think that I might be the luckiest guy on the planet. As I was looking, a smile took over my face. I don’t think she saw it, and that is ok. I did it to selfishly remind myself of how lucky I am.
With our Ontario portion of the trip wrapped up, we hopped on a flight to our final destination: Montreal.
Montreal is a beautiful city with more history than a monument.
You might find it interesting to know that we walked everywhere…again.
While there we visited St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. If you are ever in Montreal, this is a must visit place.
Not only is the church breathtaking and the view of the city spectacular, but Father Andre has a striking resemblance to Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars movies.
While at St. Joseph’s we walked over to the nearby park and proceeded to trek to its lookout point. Once there, much like at St. Joseph’s, the view was striking. It is easy to accept big cities as a mass of concrete, however, if you can get above them and take a look from a different perspective, everything changes.
Old Port was a nice change of pace. We spent the majority of the afternoon walking around (yes, more walking), seeing the sites and sitting in the grass eating. Our son was especially fond of Old Port. It was here that he was able to get out of his stroller and see the areas that he wanted to see.
We rounded off the trip with a visit to some very good friends of ours.
This, next to Niagara Falls, was my favourite part of the trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the sites and experiencing the culture, but there is something about sitting down, having a couple of drinks and catching up with old friends that will always hold a warm place in my heart.
If you ever get a chance to visit Toronto, Niagara Falls and Montreal, go.
Cheers to your success,