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Where Talent meets an audience…

Canada: A World in a World…

on October 6, 2013

Grow outside that little shell, O caterpillar!

The world so vast and wide awaits,

Lined with mindless beauty and praise,

A heaven with depths of grace…

O Canada! Our educated minds offer us promises of the famed Niagara Falls and the CN Tower, but what they fail to mention, that little asterisk at the top, is the promise of utter fulfilment. Let’s go over the promises and compare it with the reality, shall we?

Niagara Falls. A dream in itself. Education teaches us of the horseshoe falls that separates Canada from the United States of America. The reality spells a different tale. The drive past Industrial Hamilton and on to the postcard like Niagara on the Lake winds you like a sucker punch to the solar plexus would. Quaint little tourist homes painted in light pastel colours offering B&B’s line the streets of Niagara on the Lake. White Horse carriages. Flora..

While the actual town is teeming with tourists making their way through the myriad stores offering ever so enticing wares, the bustle thins to a trot as the majestic wine county arrives. Vineyards line the entire boulevard up to the lake itself and the proud owners can boast of more than just a rich grape harvest. With grape wines that threaten to hit the horizon, the expanse of the green carpet is nothing less than mesmerizing!

Jackson Triggs Winery

Coming to the falls. The drive begins with a subtle rustling of what seems to be a distant river. Once the thicket of trees clear, the subtle rustling transforms itself into an imposing roar and the sight is enthralling! What appears to be a field of the most blue water you can perceive, garnished with billows of whipped cream like foam, is the actual build up to the famed Niagara falls. It is entirely hard to be underwhelmed at this juncture. And before you can actually see the massive expanse of tumbling water and the death promising plunge to the eventual bottom of the falls, you lay eyes on God’s own promise: the rainbow, which like a ballet dancer gracefully positions itself in a steady arch of the VIBGYOR chromatic spectrum.

Niagara Falls

That’s when the falls begin to appear slowly, the spray of the descent rising up in a spotless white cloud. And when the picture is finally complete, you realise why it was a dream in the first place! The grandeur of this natural wonder makes the many miles of travel to see it, so completely worth it for every tourist also pushing past and against the safety rails while competing for the best vantage point of the falls for the ultimate picture. A memory. A lifetime experience.

Niagara Falls

The wine county. Yeah, you have to come back for a second glance. It is truly worth the time! Like a shard of a dream, a movie you never thought you would be in. And an actual vineyard? You can reason all you like but nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to eat a grape straight off the vine and then spit out the seeds embedded in it. While the winery and the manufacturing process is engrossing, the dream-like experience is something a movie can never give you.

Jackson Triggs winery

Downtown Toronto. That’s the home to the famed CN tower, if you didn’t already know. It welcomes you from a distance, a landmark of epic proportions. And only when you finally do ascend to the dizzying height of a hundred and fourteen storeys to the glass floor and feel the tingle of fear in your toes, do you begin to appreciate the civil engineering that has gone into its making. While they so confidently encourage you to jump up and down on the glass, as if defying the load bearing capacity of the massively thick glass designed to hold up to five times the capacity it is supposed to handle, courage comes only to the fearless children you see pounding on the glass with their little body weights. And if you read the brochure a little carefully, even the carpeted portion of the glass floor is also made of glass! That is just to give an illusion of solid ground to the faint hearted! Ah, the view! Even the Absolute Condos in distant Mississauga are not to be hidden from this wonder. So you get the gist…

Below the CN Tower, Toronto

But that isn’t all downtown Toronto has on offer for eager tourists to feast their eyes on. Once in, you can’t help but wish you could marry Hollywood royalty to live on that street: The Bridle Path. Home to stars like Jim Carey, The Bridle Path is a must have postage code for the “IT” people in Canada. With the most basic houses starting at a few million dollars, there is no wonder why this neighbourhood is exclusive and fairy-tale like.

The Bridle Path, Toronto

The Toronto harbour cruises. While the jovial tour guide gives a comic introduction and a completely magnetic commentary to the history of downtown Toronto’s metamorphosis from an industrial hub to a commercial metropolis said to house more than 2 million people, the slowly plummeting temperatures are no deterrent to marveling at the beautifully still back waters of the Toronto islands where many a Hollywood movie have been shot. The return to the main land only reminds you that an hour has passed when it felt like minutes instead!

Downtown Toronto

Moving further east is the very stately capital of Canada: Ottawa! While you are left stunned with the sheer magnitude of Parliament Hill, the Peace tower and its many tolling bells and martyrs room leaves you gawking in admiration.

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

And you’re sorely mistaken if you think that Ottawa is just about that! The Cathedral of Notre Dame with its gold leaf design on midnight blue ceiling is so beautiful that it can give you a complementary spondylitis too. Stained glass windows line the huge sides and add a rustic charm to entire decor of the church. That isn’t all either!

Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa

There’s the Natural Gallery of Canada with its Ron weasley terrorising spider up front and massive.  And for those of you who enjoy the peaceful murmur of running water and the associated beauty of marine life, there is always the Rideau Canal and Hog’s Back.

Spider, National Gallery of Canada

Hog's Back, Ottawa

Further east is the capital of Québec, Montreal. While the traffic clogged streets and complicated navigation is a sure minus point, the end result is well worth it! The Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal is majestic in all its humongous glory.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal

St. Joseph’s Oratory at the top of a hill, with its panoramic view of almost all of Montreal is in simple terms: Gorgeous. While the oratory in itself is filled with tourists, some in search of a genuine miracle, a visit to the room of crutches is truly humbling. The dim glow of hundreds of candles doesn’t fail to shed light on the stories of lives attached to all the crutches left in that room by their former owners. Inspirational, if not anything else.

St. Joseph's Oratory, Montreal

Waterloo. No, not the ABBA track. Waterloo, Kitchener. The actual places. Steadily growing and with a rustic beauty of its own, Kitchener is a quiet little town visible for miles from the windows of any high rise in the vicinity. Even a gloomy and cold day can’t reduce the natural beauty of that place.  Waterloo on the other hand is noted for its University, the campus of which is nothing short of incredible and impeccably maintained.

Kitchener

Heard of Mennonites’? yeah, you get a glimpse of Mennonite folks with their horse driven buggies and head scarves and sober clothing. How refreshing! Simplicity, the very definition.

Mennonites, Waterloo

Coming home from all this serves as an eye opener to the world. A world of its own in this massive world we live in. For those lucky enough to have witnessed and felt what I did in that short time will understand the real depth in the above claim. For the rest however, my word is credible enough to merit a chance, a visit, maybe.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”

Saint Augustine

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is the change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

Mary Ritter Beard

Canada- chances

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