Niagara Falls is a small town in the middle of nowhere next to the famous Niagara Falls. The main area is completely dedicated to tourism and is composed mainly of hotels, casinos and amusement parks. Personally, I wasn't really impressed. The only thing worth seeing are the waterfalls, which you can see in half a day. Niagara Falls has two major waterfalls on the Niagara River, separating the USA and Canada (one on the U.S. side, and the biggest and most famous on the Canadian side) and more smaller ones next to the big ones. These falls have a drop of more than fifty meters and it's impressive to see how quickly the water runs and with such a force. One of the attractions that's not to be missed is the small boat that runs along the base of the falls for a close up view.
Great long weekend, in a very walkable city with super dining. Stayed at the Ritz Carleton where we enjoyed the Cheese Cave with wonderful pairings, Museums, including the Bata Shoe Museum, eclectic street markets, and the stage show Flashdance, The Musical.
A couple of hours from Toronto is natural Thousand Islands, made up of of an archipelago of over 1,700 islands whose shares a border between the U.S. and Canada. Taking a cruise you can tour the small islands and it is strange. Many of these are occupied by people who opt for one country or another, according to their customs and ideologies showing USA or Canadian flags, either Lake Ontario or New York. But the funny thing is to see how there can be such small islands as the perimeter occupies a two-story house, where there is little space to walk around for the landing of your portal or to plant a tree. it must be lovely to wake up every morning, look out the window and see that you are on the edge of an open lake with lovely views, the sun reflecting its rays in water, while soaking up the sounds of the birds that live there. When I had the chance to visit, it was autumn, so the changing color of trees, green shades of brown, from red to orange, to yellow to dark ... was a point to add to the beauty. The daily life of these people must have many singularities, because just to buy something, they must take the speedboat, go on a dock, take the car and go to the market. The same should happen if they want to go to work or attending class. In winter, these waters are so far north, they are frozen, so after asking so many questions about his life there, I assumed that these small houses full of charm should normally be used only in summer like a beach house they were, where the goal of the Americans is to miss the incessant movement of the city and into a world of color, peace and calm to get a vacation of more original than anyone can imagine. What is clear is that it is a holiday dedicated to fishing, boating, fresh air, surrounded by nature, swim in crystal clear waters, sunbathing and I think it is a wise choice as they come highly recommended.
Parliament Hill, overlooking the city of Ottawa, is composed of three buildings that form a spectacular neo-Gothic complex. The buildings were built between 1874 and 1878, and later extended. The three buildings form the Centre Block, with the famous Peace Tower, which houses the clock, that houses the House of Commons and the Senate, as well as the library, which is well worth a visit. The East Block houses the offices of the Canadian Prime Minister, and the West Block houses the offices of parliamentarians. There are guided tours in Spanish, past which you'll see the Queen of England's sceptre. Don't forget that Canada still belongs to the crown. Hopefully you'll also see the typical mounties.
The city of Toronto has two buildings which were built with the intention of housing the city council. The old town hall (Old City Hall) is a classic building, the architect is called Edward Lennox (ve also designed the Casa Loma). Here, you can find the city courts. A few meters away is the City Hall (now the Town Hall). In a circular building, whose design was chosen from more than 500 projects. Inside (free), you can see a full scale model of the city.
The Casa Loma was owned by some magnates of electricity, but they sold it. Henry Mill Pellat was knighted by Edward VII and inherited a big fortune. He was one of the architects of that brought electricity to Toronto from Niagara Falls. The house was finished in 1911, and one can see it is mixed a multitude of architectural styles and has about 100 rooms available.
The first thing that strikes you as you enter the Royal Ontario Museum is the wonderful entrance: a huge, modern structure that is impossible to miss. The museum, also known as the ROM, is full of contrasts between the old and the new. It has a large collection of art and antiquities from various cultures, and for me, the highlight was definitely the collection of Egyptian and Chinese pieces. But it's also the ideal place to learn about Canada's history and culture. A full morning will be enough time to go around and enjoy this museum. Tip: don't miss a visit to the bird room, where you can see a huge albatross.
One of the more interesting stops in the city of Toronto is the St. Lawrence Market, located in a fairly central area, accessible by TTC tram (available on their website). It has all kinds of shops: fishmongers, butchers, cheese shops (to my joy, this is where I found the typical Norwegian cheese that I couldn't find anywhere else), sausage shops, greengrocers, a shop specializing in mustard, souvenir shops, bakeries, etc. Best of all is that all the food is very well presented and the market is a fairly spacious and clean. A local market takes place outside at the weekend.
On our visit to Canada we were shown this museum. The outside is spectacular due to its strange architecture that seems like a head. In the inside there are totem poles and an IMAX cinema and museum for children. We couldn´t complete the visit because you had to pay but it was a nice experience.
This was one of the most surprising sites on my visit to Canada was this city. We were on our way to see the famous waterfalls and made a stop here. What seemed like a quick break from the bus became a surprise that everyone loved. Interestingly Niagara on The Lake has none of the show of the falls. There's no need for it to become a resort town to be special. Everything is spotless. Its streets, its shops, its flower decked gardens and its hotels, which seem like those from the Old West. It's like the set of a movie. It's a place you could decide to live in.
In Niagara Falls we had the possibility to take a boat and approach the base to view it from below. About 100 meters of the falls, there are lockers where you can buy tickets, go down stairs,get a raincoat and climb on-board. The trip takes about 30 minutes but is well worth it, it is one of those things for tourists to do, you can not go without jumping! I recommend you go with the first ship, which if I remember correct was at 9.30am.
The Art Gallery of Ontario or AGO, as they call it. is one of the most important museums in Toronto, huge and spectacularly designed. Here you can find large collections of Canadian art, as well as African and Oceanic works, an archive of over 40,000 photos, a large number of educational activities, and large-scale exhibitions, such as that on David Bowie which will open soon.
I enjoyed the visit to this museum because it allowed me to see many works that I didn't know about, like the Canadian artists don't get exposure in European museums. The collection is quite large and is a journey through the local and international art from all eras, extending to contemporary art. Right outside, there's a giant spider, which is one of Louise Bourgeois sculptures that are also found in other countries. I found the exhibitions very interesting. All were of quality and I discovered the artist Cheryl Sourkes, with her exhibition of the "Public Camera". Adult admission costs $15 Canadian, but with a student card you end up paying 7 euros (however, they're very demanding about the card's expiration date!).
This channel extends along several lakes and rivers and through the territory of Kingston and Ottawa - it is 202 kilometers long. It takes its name from one of the rivers that takes advantage of this route. The Rideau is notable for being the first channel to be built using a technique called "slackwater" which involves saturating the rapid river with the help of high dams. This technique minimized excavation, contributed to the improvement of rivers, making them navigable, and meant that canal construction lasted a relatively short period of time. This channel was had great transportation and military value. Construction began in 1827and ended in 1832 - today is used for tourism purposes. As you can see this channel has served various interests but initially it was for navigation, it was one of the first channels designed for navigation by steamboat, tourist interest, it is connecting path for rest areas, hunting and fishing, so it is an invaluable asset for the Canadian people. This waterway is the oldest artificial waterway in North America and is a place of great historical value to the Canadian people, which is why it is considered a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Kensington is, at best, really picturesque. Located around Spandia Avenue, Augusta street, Kensington Avenue and Baldwin Street, it was the former Jewish district of Toronto. Now it has been converted into a bohemian, hippie and alternative area. I have some photos to prove it :) It has many vegetable stalls, clothing stores and thrift stores.
Kensington Market is not a market but a set of streets, situated between Spadina Avenue, Kensington Avenue and others, where every house or small building sells clothing, decorative accessories, fruit and vegetables etc. The clothes and accessories are mostly second hand or hippy/gypsy fashion, in the style of what you might find in Camden Town. A few blocks from Chinatown, the Kensington area is a must for those ve like colors, life, yoga and other alternative cultures!
This amazing structure designed by Santiago Calatrava was quite impressive. I had seen simulated buildings inside a commercial gallery that made you feel like you were in the village of Pim and Pom, but this was real. This is a street with real buildings, shops, banks, cafes, and restaurants all inside another structure. I really thought it was great, original and a whole lot more.