Joey Downtown Toronto – Eaton Centre

In the lull between Christmas and New Year’s you can still shop until you drop at many increasingly illogically named Boxing Week/month/year sales or you can do something better. In my case, meet with friends you have not seen in years at Joey’s on Dundas West right near Yonge Street. If you grew up in Toronto and then moved away, Yonge and Dundas is an alien place. The streets curve in ways they used not to and the whole faux New York Times Square attempt seems forced. Joey’s as a chain I associate with the west coast as it is […]

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Bowmanville Zoo

The Bowmanville Zoo has the claim to being the oldest private zoo in North America, starting in 1919 with the unscientific name of “Cream of Barley Park”. The last time I was there was when I was a child and thus my ability to compare visits is non-existent. However, one should be prepared for a difference between zoos of this sort and ones like the Calgary or Toronto Zoos. This zoo is in the business of education but also of providing animals for use in television and film. This makes some people uneasy but for others provides an opportunity to […]

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Bay Street Cafe Parry Sound

When we drove into Parry Sound we wanted to try a restaurant not branded so as to just feel like we didn’t do the same old same old. We drove into the main section of town and at dinner time, it was closing up being the business area. I headed down James Street, which turns into Bay Street. We parked in the marked 2-hour free street parking spots and checked out a couple of places. We are constrained on choices by the children in our company. The menu looked pretty extensive and not anti-vegetarian. We dined inside as their wrap-around […]

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Parry Sound and Georgian Bay Cottage Country

Think Parry Sound you might think of Bobby Orr, famous hockey player, or wonderful cottage country. But you may not realize that with its access to Georgian Bay it has a storied maritime history. Georgian Bay is a bit of a misnomer. It covers 15,000 sq. km (5,800 sq. mi.) and is part of the Great Lakes even though it’s technically a bay of Lake Huron. So, to find an example of the diverse experiences, I picked up a free tourist magazine called Sideroads of Parry Sound & Area. The July 2015 edition was surprisingly full of information about the […]

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What about those Jays?

When someone wants to change the subject, especially in the work place, some people will say “what about those [insert major league team name here]?” I don’t live in Toronto, nor in a major league baseball market. To make the banal statement more comic in a meeting in Calgary or Vancouver, and to break some tension, I’ll say “what about those Jays?” When I had the chance to see a real Blue Jays baseball game, it was all a bit surreal. The group of us heading to the Skydome, which I learned has been renamed to the Rogers Centre, were […]

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Fossils in Wellington

Of course, by “fossils”, I mean ancient organisms preserved in stone. On a trip to Prince Edward County, we were given a tip for finding fossils at a beach in Wellington Ontario. This quiet lakeside town is on Highway 33 and it worth the visit even if you aren’t a rock hound. At the end of Beach Street, there’s a small park and beach called Wellington Rotary Beach. You can park for free and enjoy the wind off the lake and start turning over stones. Some have faint markings and other are more clear. On the day we went, the […]

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Riverview Park and Zoo Peterborough

Tucked away at the end of Peterborough Ontario is a park with a zoo. It’s not a gigantic zoo like Toronto’s but it has its own charm. Tortoises, wallabies, lemurs, meerkats, monkeys, camels, otters, bobcats and a couple of sloths that I’m told came from the Calgary Zoo when it was hit with a flood. The park itself has other really good features. The playground for kids is not lame. There’s lots of structures to play on and there’s a cool slide that’s a tube downhill, through a hill that is long. The kids and their adult supervisors love it. […]

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Prince Edward County Cottage Life

Cottage life at a cottage where you likely will never stay The term “cottage” in Canada is sometimes interchanged with cabin. Chalet is frequently used, especially near ski hills. All these terms evoke in our minds a place away from the constant commotion of the city. In the past few years, some of the monster homes have been built that have been given the appellation cottage. Perhaps “summer place” would be more appropriate. However, no matter what name you use for cottage, I’ve always associated the term with Prince Edward County, which is in Eastern Ontario about 2 hours from […]

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Sandbanks Provincial Park … or … Quebec West

Sandbanks Provincial Park is one of those secret places you read about that actually isn’t really a secret but feels like one. The park is located 14.5 km from Picton Ontario, which is about 2 hours from Toronto. I’ve always considered Sandbanks as a beach with a campground. The beach has wonderful sand and is itself a large sand dune that has a wonderfully gentle and slow drop off, making it a favourite for children. When the wind picks up, wonderful Lake Ontario waves crash on the shore and make for wonderful playing. I was trying to look up online […]

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Bloomfield Shopping

Prince Edward County is a wiggly shaped peninsula* in Lake Ontario that has a number of quaint towns. Bloomfield is perhaps the most quaint with heritage homes from pre-1879 and a main street that is pleasant to walk and shop. Back when I was a kid, the shopping on Bloomfield’s main street was limited to antique shops, a bakery and a grocery. Now some unique, non branded and fairly upscale shops exist. If you are in from Toronto or Montreal you will be pleased that you aren’t besieged with brand after brand, but can still drop some serious coin on […]

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