We are now more than half way through our time in Canada. This weekend was a long weekend here (it was Victoria Day - 19th May). We went to Toronto, which is about a two hour flight from Saint John. Toronto is a fantastic city. It is extremely multi-cultural and very vibrant. We chose a good weekend to go as there was lots going on due to the Victoria Day celebrations.
The first place we headed was to the CN tower. If you're in Toronto, this is a "must do". The tower is 553m high. We took the 'Sky Pod' package which cost $23CD, although I beleive the prices have been dropped due to the decrease in tourism caused by the SARS scare. We were whisked up the outside of the building in one of its glass fronted lifts.
The first stop was at the 'Lookout Level' which is at 346m. It was a perfectly clear day and we could see for miles and miles. You can walk around the whole building, so you get the perfect view of the whole city. There is also a viewing deck with a glass floor. It's a very strange sensation to look down at your feet and see the floor 340m away!!
We then went up to the Sky Pod which is another 100m up. It is crowded up there as it is a smaller platform and most people, having gone most of the way up, want to go to the highest viewing point. Everything looks tiny from up there. Even the skyscrapers in the city looked small. The view is fantastic.
We spent the rest of the day walking around the city, looking in the shops. There are excellent stores and a great variety, as you would expect in a big city.
On the Sunday we took an organized tour to Niagara falls. The tour included the bus ride with commentary, a ride on the 'maid of the mist', lunch at a hotel overlooking the falls, some free time at the falls, and a stop at a Niagara on the Lake. The whole day was wonderful, especially the ride on the 'maid of the mist' boat, which takes you as close as you can go below the falls.
On the Monday we went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). It has some impressive collections and is very diverse. There are a wide range of exhibitions including Earth Sciences, Chinese Art, Dinosaurs, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, a Bat Cave, Ancient Egypt, Imperial Rome, Greeks, and more. I found the Earth Sciences and the Dinosaurs the most interesting.
We spent the rest of the day wondering around the city. It was Victoria Day so there were processions through the city and a carnival atmosphere in places. The day is to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday and many people were waving the British flag. The Canadians seem more proud of their British heritage then we are sometimes!