Montreal and onto Long Sault Parkway and into Toronto, Ontario

We were in Montreal for 4 days which was a really good rest time.  We only went into the city of Montreal once but spent all day there and explored it extensively.  I think we would have gone in a second time but the roadworks were daunting/confusing coming back to the campground and it didn’t seem worth it.  Instead we went out exploring south of the river to St Annes which was a small town on the river where it splits and creates a canal system.

We rode our cycles along the road parallel to the river and enjoyed looking at some of the grand houses.

We spent most of the day there.

 

 

We left the campsite this morning and drove through a tremendous storm to get to the Long Sault Parkway.

This state park is in lower Canada’s bird migratory system, it’s a roadway over 10 islands.  We are parked in a huge paddock overlooking the river, it’s a very nice spot full of Canadian geese which do very large poo’s!

We had 2 nights at the birdy place and saw only geese and seagulls.  We did a long, arse numbing ride along the road over the 10 islands, very pretty and a relaxing time spent there.

Onto Toronto, we are now at a campsite north of the city.  We are a bit crowded in at this campsite but it’s a long weekend here in Canada and all campsites are probably busy, it’s like labour day in NZ.

Yesterday we took a drive into Toronto.  Similar to Montreal it’s got a tremendous number of construction projects going on which for the tourist is a shame as it causes congestion and detracts from the appearance of the city.  We made use of it being a long weekend and decided Saturday would be a good day to visit.  We drove in with our cycles and good job too as the city has a great network of cycle trails.  Infact, motoring would be the least appealing form of transport in the city, as a motorist you need to watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, trams, trains, skaters etc.  It’s all a bit chaotic but favours the cyclist.

I wanted to take a look at York Street which is the old city area, it’s right on the edge of Bloor St which is a posh Ponsonby/Remuera area, so the old bohemian style blending with the posh area was very interesting, a lovely area that could be explored over many days.

 

The city has endless comparisons to Auckland.  It has it’s downtown waterfront area, which for Toronto is Lake Ontario.

 

Then the financial district is back from the harbour going up to the University on Wellesley St!  The University area is very nice with grand buildings, statues and parks.  York and Bloor are uptown, just like Ponsonby, and then you can ride all the way down to the harbour again on the cycle tracks.

 

Of all the Canadian cities we have visited, Toronto has the least impressive architecture.  There are lots of 70’s buildings, modern glass buildings and historic buildings all interspersed, it’s a bit of a mish mash, but no area or architectural style really stands out.  The main attraction, as with our sky city is their CN tower, it’s similar looking in form but we decided to ride along the lake edge instead of going up the tower.

 

On that Saturday there was a Caribbean Mardi Gras in town and as a result we saw many people wearing glittery outfits, lots of people were getting in the groove.

Unlike other Canadian cities, we saw lots of homeless people in Toronto.  It’s sad to see and must be a hellish place for them in the winter when it’s -20.