Canoes....and more canoes

Trip Start Sep 26, 2012
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Trip End Nov 16, 2012


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Where I stayed
Liz's Uncles House

Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Took us six hours or so to drive here yesterday including crossing the border into Canada and visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake. This is a pretty old town situated where the Niagara river flows into Lake Ontario.  It was called Newark, and was the capital town, until the British got nervous of the closeness of the French and moved the capital to Toronto (which was called York back then) and the French promptly sacked Newark and burnt it down. So the British came back and rebuilt it and its now a pretty, touristy town with lots of old buildings.
Anyway, Liz's uncle lives in a modern condo in the little town of Lakefield a few miles from Peterborough, north west of Toronto.
The area doesn't possess a wealth of things worth seeing but we went to see the Lift Lock (a lock on a canal that isn't like gates you open and close yourself but a huge machine that you drive your boat into and it takes you down 100 feet or so to the lower level (or vice versa) and off you go again. Well that's the theory - but it being autumn and cold nothing was moving so it wasn't about to go up and down. The trees were pretty though.
Then off to the Canadian Canoe Museum, which contains 160 canoes and has another 600 in its back-up storage. And I can hear you yawning already!  But actually it was fascinating as it really told the story of Canada before the Europeans and then the arrival of Fench and English traders and the way they travelled around (in canoes - needless to say!) with fascinating facts like the number of paddle strokes these traders made each day in their big trading canoes (50 strokes a minute, 30,000 a day - which is why they ate pounds of pemmican a day, euivalent to 11 Big Macs.
Interesting enough walking round the small town, visiting the post office to send off the response to my speeding summons and to hear Uncle Michael'story and how he copes with the extremes of weather (snow on the way!) supported by visits from his three daughters and his grandchildren.
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