Archive for Ontario

Cochrane to Pembroke

Posted in Cochrane, Driving, Iroquois Falls, Latchford, Moving, North Bay, Ontario, Pembroke, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2017 by Amanda

My last day of my drive here was last Sunday.  Today, I’m finally getting around to writing a brief post about it…

Upon leaving my hotel in Cochrane, I noticed that the car beside me had Saskatchewan plates.  I guess that was because I’d previously noted I hadn’t seen other cars with Saskatchewan plates since leaving Manitoba!

Not that far past Cochrane, I stopped at a sign for the 49th parallel.  It is funny how what is considered very north in Ontario is very south out west!


49th parallel sign

I ended up stopping a bit less this day as I kind of just wanted the driving to be over with.  It did take pictures of a giant lumberjack outside of Iroquois Falls and a bridge in Latchford though !


The lumberjack.

When I stopped in North Bay for lunch I was struggling a bit to stay awake but I took my time with lunch and the rest of the drive wasn’t too bad.

Thunder Bay to Cochrane

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Beardmore, Cochrane, Driving, Hearst, Kapuskasing, Longlac, Moonbeam, Moving, Nipigon, Ontario, Smooth Rock Falls, Thunder Bay, Traffic, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2017 by Amanda

Today’s drive was much, much better as there was way less traffic and on the few occasions that I need to pass it was quite easy!

As I was leaving Thunder Bay, I stopped at the Terry Fox Scenic Lookout which was indeed very scenic!  Not long after there was a group of about half a dozen black vehicles obviously traveling together at fairly high-speed; at least a few of them had small green lights at the back.

There looks to be quite a lot of work being done on that bridge in Nipigon that closed the highway (the only way across Canada) a while back.

In a place called Beardmore, I stopped to see the giant snowman holding a fishing pole.  The town has a nice-looking building housing a library and other places but otherwise the town looks rather rundown.


Beardmore’s snowman

I took a picture of an abandoned church in a beautiful location in Longlac.  I saw another couple interesting churches today but didn’t take pictures of them.  I keep finding interesting looking churches for some bizarre reason!

There was a fair bit of construction today but it really didn’t slow me down much as the lights didn’t stay red for long and no more than a handful of vehicles got grouped together.  There were a lot of transport trucks headed the other direction but very few headed my direction.  I saw one truck with Saskatchewan plates but I haven’t seen any other vehicles with Saskatchewan plates since leaving Manitoba though I’ve seen plates from just about everywhere else.

I found an interesting mural on the side of the library in Hearst.

Kapuskasing had a nice looking train station/museum but I looked at it from outside.

I stopped to see the UFO in Moonbeam.  While it certainly isn’t Roswell, it will suffice for now!


Moonbeam’s UFO

In Smooth Rock Falls, I saw the seemingly abandoned Smooth Rock Cafe adjacent to a most definitely abandoned gas station.

Tonight I’m staying in Cochrane which is big on polar bears and even has a polar bear painted on its water tower.  Their whole downtown looks to be under construction but I think it would normally be rather nice.  I had supper at Harvey’s.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this small town had a location.  They really do have the best veggie burgers!  I also noticed that a former Bi-Way location still has a sign after all these years.


Cochrane’s polar bear water tower

Portage la Prairie to Thunder Bay

Posted in Driving, Dryden, Manitoba, Moving, Ontario, Portage la Prairie, Thunder Bay, Travel, Upsala with tags , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by Amanda

I was a bit surprised at how pretty it was along the river as I was leaving Portage la Prairie early this morning.


Portage la Prairie

Just past Portage la Prairie I stopped for gas.  I locked my car because I wanted to not forget to go to pay as I’m so used to using pay at the pump.  I couldn’t get the gas door open and stupidly didn’t connect the locked doors with the problem.  I even had other people trying to help me get it open before we figured out that it just doesn’t open if the doors are locked.  So, I felt pretty stupid after that!  The cashier said they get people there daily that can’t figure out how to use their old-fashioned pumps but knowing that I can do that part without difficulty really didn’t make me feel less stupid.  At least, the gas was only 87.9 cents a litre.

I was asked by an old man at a rest stop in Manitoba if I was running away.  He was quite adamant that I should be moving west rather than east.  I noticed upon leaving that his truck had B.C. plates!

I really tried to be more patient on the undivided highway today.  It helped that there were a fair number of passing zones but there were a couple of cars that still really annoyed me!  I decided that it is definitely better to drive in the winter with its potential ice/snow than the number of annoying summer drivers!

There was an ambulance with its lights flashing parked along the highway in the middle of nowhere.

I was a bit surprised to get a phone call from the manager of the Portage la Prairie Boston Pizza.  He was quite apologetic and said that the girl needed more training.  He said he was perplexed watching the video footage.  Apparently, some sort of gift certificate/card should be forthcoming.

A while before reaching Dryden, I began noticing huge packs of vehicles with considerable space between the packs.  Somehow, it didn’t occur to be that construction was only allowing traffic one way at a time!  They really let a lot of vehicles through at once/made a lot of vehicles wait at once.  Luckily,  this happened not long before Dryden where I had lunch; so, I was able to escape my pack fairly quickly.  After Dryden, the traffic was noticeably lighter.

Just outside of the town of Upsala, I saw an interesting-looking abandoned church.  I actually ended up turning around to have a closer look. There didn’t look to be any road to it and it looked to be on someone’s property so I just took some pictures from afar.


The church near Upsala.

I’m spending the night in Thunder Bay.

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