When I stop and think about it, I haven’t really seen that much of Canada. Canada’s the second largest country in the world, and I’ve only been to 4 of its 10 provinces, and none of the territories. I live in Ontario, and I’ve never been west of Ontario. When it comes right down to it, I guess I haven't even really seen that much of Ontario. It seems like multiple times a week I learn of a place in my own home province that I’d never heard of before, and it hits me: Canada is really freaking huge.
There are a ton of places I love in Canada, and I’ll talk about a few of them, but I want to spotlight Toronto, since it’s the city I know the best and have been to the most.
For years, I hated Toronto. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 1992, he was sent to the cancer hospital in Toronto (2 hours west of where I live), and for the next two years, he went back and forth for treatments. At one point, he was there for three whole months. As a kid, Toronto seemed like a really scary place. It was huge, busy, noisy, smelly, and it seemed like every time I turned on the TV or radio, I heard about another shooting or stabbing. To top things off, my dad died in the hospital in Toronto. I never wanted to go back, but unfortunately I didn’t have a choice - living so close, we took school trips there, and eventually I started going for pleasure, and learned to love the city. Nothing will ever erase the memories of the two hellish years spent going back and forth to Toronto, but I’ve made a lot of happy memories there, too.
Why I love Toronto
The CN Tower: I always get ridiculously excited when I see the CN Tower. I don’t know why - I guess it’s just so iconic to me. Last July, after years of visiting Toronto, I finally got to go up in the CN Tower. Being 1,850 feet above Toronto was incredible. It took my sister-in-law and me awhile, but we finally gathered the courage to stand on the glass floor. It was terrifying but amazing.
Events and Concerts: I’ve been to quite a few events and concerts in Toronto. I saw Beauty and the Beast there (that was 11 years ago, and I’d give anything to see it again - it was fantastic), and I’ve seen Stars on Ice a few times (I adore Kurt Browning). I saw The Killers at The Molson Amphitheatre during their first Canadian show. I saw the Backstreet Boys a few years later at the same place. I had a lifelong dream come true in 2008 when I got to see New Kids on the Block during their reunion tour at the Air Canada Centre. The first time I saw U2 (my favourite band) was at the Air Canada Centre, and the third time was at the Rogers Centre (that was July 11th, 2011 - we had General Admission tickets, and spent 12 hours in line to get into the third row - best night ever). I was also lucky enough to see the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre a couple years ago - it was a dream come true for this Harry Potter fan, let me tell you!
Toronto is just a fun place to visit, and there’s something for everyone. Whether you want to go to the beach, shop, eat at a huge selection of great restaurants, check out the nightlife, go to a baseball game at the Rogers Centre, visit the amazing museums (the Royal Ontario Museum is my favourite), get a dose of culture and be transported to another country in any of the many ethnic neighbourhoods (Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown, etc), spend a day at Canada’s Wonderland, visit Toronto Zoo, be dazzled by celebs at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, or learn something new at the Ontario Science Centre, there’s an endless variety of activities for people of all ages.
Other places I love in Canada:
This past April, I talked about why I love Toronto, Kingston, Niagara Falls, and Ottawa in this post during the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
For this post, I started out writing why I loved each of these places, but then I realize this post would never end, so I’m just going to mention a few and include links for anyone who’s interested in learning more about these places.
One thing I will say about Kingston is that if you’re a supernatural enthusiast, Kingston is famous for being haunted (limestone is supposed to increase paranormal activity, because it holds onto residual energy), and the Haunted Walk of Kingston is a lot of fun to do. I did the special Halloween one a few years ago and it was so creepy and fun.
The town where my dad was born and raised. He was the youngest of 16 children, so if you run into a Landry there, chances are I’m related to them somehow! A couple of my uncles and cousins run businesses there, and one of my uncles owns the Centreville Mall downtown. Shediac is the Lobster Capital of the World and they have a giant lobster in Rotary Park where you can pose for pictures. Most people think of Quebec being the only French-speaking province in Canada, but a large portion of New Brunswick is French-speaking, including Shediac.
The place to be for fans of Anne of Green Gables.
These are just some of the many places I love in Canada. I can't wait to visit the rest of the provinces and add to my list!
What's your favourite place in Canada? If you've never been here, where's somewhere you'd like to visit?
This post has been part of the Canadian Spotlight Month. Click the graphic below to check out the schedule and all things Canadian here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.