Canada

We visited Canada surprisingly little – only twice, and for a few days each. We’ve visited three places in Canada. First is Niagara Falls, which we visited on the way to Toronto, our second destination. The third place we visited was Montreal. We drove to Montreal on a long drive from Washington D.C to Buffalo to Montreal on July 4th. We crossed the Peace Bridge from Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario. The view there was spectacular, and I got to see the skyline of Buffalo. From there, we continued our drive until we reached Montreal. We stayed in a hotel near the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, a building with a copper dome and a four sided star base. The rest of the view was pretty good too, as we were in downtown Montreal. 

We then went to the Notre-Dame Basilica. Not the Notre-Dame church in Montreal, nor the Notre-Dame in Paris. Having now seen both, I actually think the more beautiful of the two Notre Dames is the one in Montreal. Why? Though the Notre Dame in France has a more fancy exterior, Montreal’s almost fortlike double tower and wall setup suffices as a beautiful exterior. The interior is the real separator. Paris’s Notre Dame, though quite beautiful on the interior, it feels dull, dominated by stone. In comparison, Montreal’s Notre Dame is lit by color, and is colorful. With blue hues in the background, and reds and whites in the corners, the two churches are on different levels. Plus the Notre Dame in Montreal is way less crowded. 

Afterwards, we went to the 1976 Olympics Stadium. It is an interesting building. You would be doing the building injustice by comparing it to anything because it was just weird. In a way, it looked like a shell connected to a ramp, and in another, it didn’t look like anything. 

In any case, the tower wasn’t there for nothing, as from there, you could go on a cable car ride to the top, which we did. From there, we saw many stadiums, including a baseball, football, and soccer stadium. We also got a great view of the city of Montreal. 

We spent a day at the Montreal Planetarium. The drive there was quite long and tedious, so it took a while to arrive. The fee to the planetarium isn’t low either, at ten to twenty dollars. The view there, however, was worth the fee. We looked around many rooms, but the best was probably the beanbag room. I call it the beanbag room because in its center is a base of beanbags, perfect to sleep and relax in. I didn’t sleep. The movie that played was too engrossing. The lights turned off, and suddenly we were plunged into the darkness of the universe. We watched as a movie suddenly played, exhibiting the stars and galaxies of the universe. It was a stunning show. There were other similar movies, and after watching them, I realized how epic a planetarium experience can be. 

That was our visit to Montreal. It was very short, just a few days, but I had a good time, and it was a good experience.

Out of all the places we’ve ever visited, perhaps our best hotel was in Toronto. It was right next to the CN tower, and so we got a perfect view of the tallest freestanding structure in North America. To get there, we had to take a long drive, and to spice it up, we went to Niagara Falls, from the Canadian side. My dad can confirm it’s better than the American side. Honestly, though, Horseshoe falls is a wonder of nature no matter what country you’re in. The horseshoe wall of water across the border is so beautiful, it is only paralleled by the best of the best. It is truly a wonder. 

We actually didn’t do much other than looking down at the water. We didn’t go on a boat tour, and since we needed to get to Toronto by dusk, we were in a rush. But boy, was our hotel nice. From the window, I could literally see the CN tower from the base to the top. We went to sleep after taking a few photos, but the next day, we were rejuvenated and ready to explore. The first thing we did was go to the top of the CN Tower. The view from the tower was great. We could see most of the largest city in Canada from a single vantage point. How convenient. 

The most fun/scary part of the whole experience was the glass floor. Though the floor can carry 35 moose, for anyone with a fear of heights, this could feel like the end of the world. Luckily, I wasn’t too scared (I hope). 

After that, I watched a football game. I don’t remember anything that happened in the game (or anything about the game at that). Weird. It was six years ago.

After that, we visited central Toronto, where I played near a big train, and we took pictures of the skyscrapers that towered above us. Those skyscrapers looked tiny from the CN tower. 

Then we returned home. We haven’t done too much in Canada, and in a way, that’s good. I can revisit Montreal and Toronto, as well as perhaps a visit to Quebec City, then visit the natural wonders of Banff and Jasper National Parks. After that, I might be able to visit Vancouver. So Canada is still an incomplete nation. 

Tips:

  • Visit the Canadian side of the falls because they look better. My dad would approve. 
  • If you’re interested in astronomy, make sure to visit the Montreal Planetarium, as it’ll really give you an astronaut’s perspective (minus liftoff). 
View of Toronto
Olympics Stadium

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