Archive for Ontario

Big news

Posted in Alberta, Christmas, Costa Rica, Edmonton, Elk Island National Park, Great Sandhills, Job offer, Moving, North Battleford, Ontario, Saskatchewan with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2017 by Amanda

I was going to write this post a bit earlier this evening but was interrupted by the fire alarm going off in my building.  It was nothing; some idiot probably pulled it.  Anyway, I have some big news: I will be starting a new job in Ontario on August 1.  I am definitely ready for this change as I’ve been in North Battleford, SK for nearly four and a half years.  I am not really looking forward to clearing out this apartment though!

I have (obviously) completed ignored this blog this year.  Until now, it has not been the most exciting year but a few things have happened.  I will really try to write posts to make up for this soon.  If not, here is a summary:

  • I was home for Christmas/New Years
  • I went on a trip to Costa Rica in March
  • On Victoria Day Weekend, I went to Elk Island National Park and Edmonton
  • I visited the Great Sandhills yesterday

Last month’s visit home

Posted in Ball's Falls, Cemeteries, Home, Niagara, Ontario, Rural, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Travel, Vacation with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2016 by Amanda

With my next trip rapidly approaching, I figured I should finally write about my last trip.  Clearly, I’ve been even lazier than usual of late!  Anyway, in mid-July I headed back to Ontario for a few days.  Of course just a few days after buying flights on Air Canada, albeit at a pretty good price for that airline, New Leaf finally started selling flights.  At least, my trip was a little bit before they actually started flying.

In addition to shopping in Toronto, I went on a free walking tour.  It was interesting but also a bit depressing as I hadn’t really thought about just how few historic buildings they have now.  I also hadn’t realized how huge a problem cholera and typhoid once were there and that there is a park with like 20,000 people buried and that bones periodically just appear.  There were other interesting stories but I can’t remember them now.  I guess this is why I shouldn’t wait over a month to write about something!  I also went to a vegan restaurant as I don’t have the opportunity to do that very often.  It was good but the “cheese” was a reminder of why I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian rather than a vegan

In Niagara, I mostly just visited with my family.  However, I also went to Ball’s Falls with my mom and we found that the falls were lacking in water.  I actually couldn’t believe just how dry everything in Niagara was!


Ball’s Falls


We also visited an old family cemetery that I hadn’t been to since I was a kid.  It is quite far off the road and I don’t think anyone would ever find it if they weren’t specifically looking for it; this really made me wonder just how many places like this exist but that hardly anyone knows about.  We also stopped by another, newer, cemetery nearby.  We were also related to more than half the people buried there.  My mom also pointed out where the one-room school she’d attended had been (“between those two houses over there”).  In Saskatchewan, ,many old schools still stand and even more have signs marking there location.  I’ve never seen a sign like that in Ontario which I think is kind of sad.  What I grew up thinking was the middle of nowhere I now find pretty densely population and not at all remote.  Rural southern Ontario really can’t be compared to rural Saskatchewan.  It is also amazing how much nicer some rural roads are in Ontario than some “major” highways are in Saskatchewan.  There are now windmills scattered all over the place which was kind of strange to see.


Family cemetery

A slightly belated post

Posted in Driving, Home, New York, Niagara Falls, Ontario, thorold, Travel, Wedding with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by Amanda

I really intended to write this post two or three days ago. Somehow, it just didn’t end up happening.

Late last Thursday (July 16) evening, I left for the airport for my stupidly timed flight the next morning (12:35 am scheduled departure time). I was a bit tired when I left my place but something happened on the drive there that completely woke me up. Suddenly, something brown (which I’m sure must have been a deer given its size) ran in front of me. It was so quick and couldn’t have been more than a car length in front of me; I didn’t really recognize what happened until it was over. I was going about 120 so I think hitting the deer would not have been good at all. Anyway, I did end up making it to the airport okay.

The main purpose of my visit was my sister’s wedding but I did also arrive on the day of my mom’s birthday (the 17th) which was the day before the wedding. I still really don’t see the point of weddings but it wasn’t really that bad. The weather ended up being very nice which was good as it was outside.

I didn’t leave until Tuesday. I, therefore, had time to shop a bit. I also finally got around to walking over the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls, NY with my mom. I’d planned to do this on my last couple of visits but it didn’t end up happening. It turned out it be a super easy way to cross the border; there was absolutely no line and few questions. I guess they figured we couldn’t possibly be taking much stuff with us and we just had small purses! We spent a few hours walking around over there near the falls. It was really nice and I really wondered why I’d never done this before.IMG_1512

On Tuesday, I ended up at the airport quite early. With the HOV lanes added and made stricter (3 versus 2 people minimum) for the Pan Am Games, we made to the airport in record time. It really is too bad this is temporary!

A week in Ontario

Posted in Home, Saskatchewan, Shopping, thorold, Toronto, Travel, Vacation, Weather with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by Amanda

I flew from Saskatoon to Toronto on the evening of Friday the 13th.  The plane was probably about half full but even less full in the seats near me.  With the exception of a couple of super short half-hour flights, I don’t think I’ve been on a flight this empty in the last five years.  I’m thinking there must be some truth to many people avoiding Friday the 13th flights.  Anyway, it was nice to be on a non-crowded plane. Sadly, I was leaving very nice weather in Saskatchewan and heading to not so nice (rainy) weather in Ontario.

Empty seats on the plane.

Empty seats on the plane.

I spent Friday evening at an airport hotel and then took a bus and subway and then unexpectedly, another bus as part of the subway was closed to reach downtown. I saw advertisements for a new train that will go from the airport to Union Station soon but upon further investigation I found that the price will be nearly $30; so, I’ll be sticking with the $3 TTC option! Anyway, despite the rain I walked around a fair bit. I found an interesting machine at the Eaton Centre that was giving surprise gifts from MasterCard. Just before me it started having issues which was annoying but I eventually received my surprise. It looked like a lot of people were getting gift cards but I only received a notebook. I then took a $2.83 ($1 plus taxes/fees) bus to St. Catharines. I still can’t believe how MegaBus can be!

The MasterCard machine.

The MasterCard machine.

I managed to come down with a bit of a cold and I haven’t had a cold in a few years. So, the rest of the week I was a bit lazier than I would have been otherwise. Still, I did a fair bit of shopping. I went over to the U.S. and the border really wasn’t too busy during March Break (when kids are off school in Ontario); the lower dollar must really be having an effect but I still have a fairly large amount of U.S. dollars so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I also went to a (Canadian) Target that was closing within a week and despite the fact that there was more merchandise there than I anticipated, I still only found a couple of things worth buying. I went out to eat a bit as there are definitely better restaurant options there than here.

I flew back to Saskatoon yesterday morning (because it was cheaper than flying later in the day or today). This turned out to be a good decision for more than financial reasons as we ended up getting quite a bit of snow later in the day and I’m sure the highway wouldn’t have been fun to drive on.

Thanksgiving, Edge Walk, and a surprise $800!

Posted in Air Canada, Edge Walk, Home, Megabus, Ontario, Overbooking, Parking, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Thanksgiving, thorold, Toronto, Travel, Travel voucher, Vacation, Winnipeg with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by Amanda

I am a little belated in writing this post as I’ve been both tired and lazy.

Anyway, on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving in arrived at the Saskatoon airport and spent a while searching for a parking spot. With the exception of short-term and handicapped spots there were practically no parking spots and to make things more annoying there were several almost spots because large trucks were parked in a spot and a quarter or so. I saw about five cars looking for spots. Eventually, I did find a spot but it was a very frustrating experience. Luckily, I was rather early. The woman at the baggage drop-off said they have an overflow lot but they only open it once all the spots in the regular lot were filled. Security was busy by Saskatoon standards which meant there a bit of a line; I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a line there before! When I arrived in Toronto it was insanely busy with people being picked up. I was surprised at how much busier it seemed before Thanksgiving than before Christmas.

I was home for a few days and didn’t do anything terribly notable but it is was nice to have a break and the weather was generally pretty good and I did some shopping and went on a few walks with my mom.

A sidewalk without an entrance located near my parents' house.

A sidewalk without an entrance located near my parents’ house.

I then went to Toronto. As I had planned ahead it cost me all of $2.83 on Megabus to get there! I would really like to be on one of their double decker buses but once again I was on a regular Coach Canada bus but I guess I really shouldn’t be complaining considering how little it cost me.

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Me on the edge of the CN Tower.

When I arrived in Toronto I was able to check into my hotel early which was nice. Later that afternoon, I did Edge Walk which is something I wanted to do for some time now. I was there a bit early and got in an earlier group as they weren’t fully booked. I was amazed at how many staff they have. They checked the harnesses and such like a million times and we had to pass breathalyzer tests; apparently, some people actually fail those. They have had about 60,000 people come and only 30-something of them have chickened-out but apparently it is isn’t that uncommon for people to spend the nearly $200 and then just not show up. The elevator was rather slow as it was pretty windy. I think the wind added to the experience up there! We were lucky enough to get a break in the rain and the weather was very warm. The view was fantastic and it was so nice not to have windows in the way!

My flight to Winnipeg was routine though I didn’t get a seat assigned until the gate (a first for me) but it was a good seat and they ended up leaving with a few empty seats. When I was waiting in Winnipeg for the flight to Saskatoon, the gate agent announced that they were oversold by two seats and were looking for volunteers to spend the night; for spending the night, they gave an $800 travel voucher, a hotel room, meal vouchers, and confirmed seat on the flight the next morning. I took the offer right away but it took her a while to get a second volunteer. I don’t see why others didn’t jump at the offer it seemed more than fair to me, especially since I was back early enough the next morning to get to work on time the next morning! Why does it matter where you sleep? When I was waiting for my flight to Toronto when I left I Saskatoon, there was an announcement for a volunteer on the flight to Winnipeg to put on a later flight. It seems like Saskatoon-Winnipeg is a good route for these opportunities. I’ve never heard any of these offers on Air Canada before this and I’d only ever heard one on Delta once years ago (which people snapped up instantly). The guy at the front desk at the hotel said they had five people there because of overbooking that night and that was still pretty early.


The view from my free hotel room at the Winnipeg airport.