Sunday, August 8, 2010

My first trip Canada!

Last week, I made the quick 1 hour flight to Toronto to visit the Happy family during their stay with relatives for a few weeks. Well, "quick" really isn't appropriate as my 6pm departure turned out to be a 10pm departures; however I'm not complaining as I'd rather arrive alive, than not arrive at all. The airplane had a leaky fuel line, which resulted in a puddle of fuel below the wing. Even though it was in for repair 2 days earlier, it obviously wasn't fixed. Quite honestly, I never complain about a delay when it has to do with the mechanics.

I spent the first day in Toronto solo, exploring the area until the Happy family arrived. I walked around Chinatown, King and Queen Streets, the Harbour area and of course, did the full blown CN Tower tour, complete with interactive ride, movie, observation deck, and the ride in the sky pod.

On Tuesday, I joined the Happy family and headed out to Niagara falls, with a quick stop at a Tim Hortons for breakfast :-).

Traffic in and around Toronto is NUTS! It's a typical big city, but it appears to have boomed with out having the necessary infrastructure in place....or they need to raise the price of gasoline to limit the number of autos on the road.

Tara and I stopped at Webers, a roadside drive in, for burgers and fries. Yummy! I even picked up a few buckets of burgers for my hosts in Bracebridge. My allergies were in full swing, so I wasn't 100%, but still had a great time seeing some fellow expats from Denmark!

Tips for Canada:

  1. Check your credit card and see what the conversion/exchange rate fees are before you leave. It is usually cheaper to use your ATM card than use a credit card.
  2. Don't believe the website when they say taxis are metered from the airport. A 15 minute ride will set you back the 'set rate' of 54 Canadian dollars!
  3. Check discount websites / coupon codes for discounts to Casa Loma and the CN Tower. You can save 20% or more just by doing a quick google search.
  4. Traffic in and around Toronto is crazy. Be prepared to sit in traffic during commuting hours. Bring along your GPS/Garmin to navigate the roads; especially around the's like a bowl of spaghetti! The 407 is a toll road, so try to avoid it unless you want to pay a hefty convenience fee to the car rental addition to the tolls.
  5. Niagara Falls isn't as big as I thought it would be. View it from the Canada side. It's gorgeous and you can get some amazing photos if you go all the way to the end by the visitor/welcome center.