Ontario - Lake Simcoe & Toronto

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. giradman

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    This coming Saturday (July 1), we will be visiting Ontario, Canada - two planes into the Toronto airport and a rental car for about an hour drive to the Briars Resort & Spa on Lake Simcoe - 3 nights; then will drop off the car at the airport and cab into Toronto for 4 nights - staying at the Shangri-La Hotel - our second visit to the city and will simply use the excellent subway/metro system - will plan an 'all-day' tour to the Niagara Falls area (Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Falls, and a winery or so - for some ice wine!).

    I decided not to take my MBAir, just my iPad (plus KB), so likely will not be posting to this thread until my return, but will see - hopefully I'll get a LOT of great pics. Dave :)
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    #1 giradman, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  2. scifan57

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    I'm sure you'll have a wonderful visit to Toronto. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum.
     
    #2 scifan57, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  3. giradman

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    Hi SciFan.. - our last visit to Toronto was probably in the mid-90s - I know we saw 3-4 museums and likely the Royal Ontario Museum, but I cannot remember much - just looking at this Wiki list of Toronto Museums - quite impressive! Will need to pick out 3-4 again. Thanks for the input. Dave :)
     
    #3 giradman, Jun 28, 2017
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  4. scifan57

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    The Royal Ontario Museum has had a major makeover since your last visit. It’s well worth a re-visit. The Hockey Hall of Fame is also in Toronto.
    Besides the original 1893 Stanley cup, there are exhibits covering all aspects of professional and amateur hockey.
     
    #4 scifan57, Jun 28, 2017
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  5. giradman

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    Flooding of Toronto Islands - Off Our Itinerary

    Tomorrow, we are off to Canada - last few days we've been making a long list of things to do in Toronto - on our previous visit to the city, we took the ferry out to the Toronto Islands (quote below & pics), but just became aware of flooding due to heavy rains and rising lake level. We plan to take a harbor cruise so will at least get a view of the islands. BUT not to worry, we could spend several extra days in Toronto and still not run out of activities (and of course eating options!). Dave :)

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  6. giradman

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    Lake Simcoe - The Briars - Part 1

    Yesterday, Susan & I returned home from our one-week trip to Ontario, Canada - will continue my travelogue - our first three nights were spent at The Briars, a historic resort w/ all of the amenities (pics in early post and below) - just an hour drive from the Toronto airport in a rental car. We stayed in the Governor Simcoe Suite and were on a modified American Plan which included breakfast & dinner - the kitchen was quite good w/ nightly 'specials' for variety - there was a garden (see pic) in view of our balcony w/ a wide assortment of herbs & veggies which made the dinners colorful & interesting.

    For those wanting to visit Lake Simcoe, this resort is a recommendation although not inexpensive - offerings in short include indoor & outdoor pools, golf, fitness center, game center, lake activities, and more. Portions of the property are a little tattered and in need of renovation; after many generations of the property being 'in the family', The Briars was sold to a Mr. Lu from China - from the story HERE, I suspect a continuation of the traditional resort and hopefully improvements. Dave :)

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  7. suenc

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    I enjoyed The Briars--laid-back, not fussy. Excellent food and amenities. I agree that parts of it need updating. The lakefront area provided lots of opportunities to relax.
     
  8. giradman

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    Lake Simcoe - The Briars - Part 2

    Lake Simcoe is a beautiful lake - more details in the first two quotes; first map below shows the towns - we explored the southern and eastern coasts by car w/ stops in several towns and a delightful lunch on the water one day. Second map shows Georgina Island, ferry stop a short drive from the Briars Resort - we did not go onto the popularly visited island, most famous for the Nanabush Trails.

    Numerous water activities are available on the lake - of course, fishing is one of the highlights, all year around including 'ice fishing' in the winter (according to our boat guide, dozens of ice huts are on the frozen lake at that time of the year - as shown in one pic). The lake has a broad assortment of fish (see the third quote) - a dining room special one night was a fresh fish from Lake Simcoe, which I ordered - delicious! Dave :)

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  9. giradman

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    Lake Simcoe - Salem Alpacas

    Susan & I love visiting unusual farms when travelling (especially South American camelids - see quote below). Apparently, Ontario has several dozen (or more?) farms and an organization called Alpaca Ontario - so, doing some web & brochure searching, we found a farm just 40 minutes from the resort in Manilla, Ontario - Salem Alpacas - see video below - their gift shop offers a wide variety of alpaca fiber products, both local and made elsewhere (e.g. Peru - we bought a cute alpaca teddy bear made there); duvets are a local specialty - check the link if interested.

    We took a tour w/ Kathleen - they have about 44 alpacas (2/3 or more females); the minority are males, but only two are used for breeding (genetic testing is done to determine breeding pairs) - the gestation period is 11 months, probably giving ladies on the tour a sigh of relief. For those interested, alpaca manure is also sold and is apparently a desirable product (had to look that one up HERE) - :)

    Pics below - Dave

    Next - onto TORONTO!

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  10. giradman

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    Toronto - Introduction

    Toronto is the largest city in Canada (and 4th in population in North America - see quotes below); the Greater Toronto Area is huge in size, consisting of many contiguous cities and in the number of inhabitants (see maps and third quote). We were able to check into our hotel by noon (Shangri-La on third map - located near the Osgoode Subway Station) - we purchased one-week subway cards and were off to Union Station for our first attraction, i.e. the CN Tower (coming up soon) - some pics of Toronto from the Harbourfront and looking west - the CN Tower always dominating the skyline. Dave :)

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    #10 giradman, Jul 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017

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