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Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Dufferin Islands

Dufferin Islands Bridge Niagara Falls

 Location:
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Address: Dufferin Islands
Date: Jan 2022
Website: www.niagaraparks.com

   Dufferin Islands is a secluded area tucked away from the roar of Niagara Falls.  It is a series of waterways and islands located south of The Falls as you travel along the Niagara Parkway.  It is a great spot to escape from the flashing lights and crowds of the more touristy areas of Niagara.

Moose Christmas Lights Niagara Falls

   In the winter time,  the Niagara Parkway is filled with magical light displays.  The lights continue into Dufferin Islands and along the road that wraps through the islands.  Dufferin Islands is also the point where you can leave a donation to show your appreciation for all the work that goes into creating this show each year.

Waterfowl Dufferin Islands Niagara Falls.

  If you are looking to do some bird watching then Dufferin Islands is the place for you.  No matter what the season, the water is teeming with various geese and ducks.

Dufferin Islands

  The area is the perfect habitat to sustain a variety of wildlife.  You can take an enjoyable stroll through the island pathways connected by various bridges.

Niagara River Rapids From Dufferin Islands

  If you follow the water eventually you will find yourself headed towards the Niagara River where the upper rapids rush towards the falls.

Scow Stuck In Niagara River Rapids.

    If you look out into the Niagara River, almost directly from Dufferin Islands, you can see what looks like a rusty boat stuck in the rapids.  This is a scow which is used in dredging operations.  Back in 1918 two men were trapped on this scow when it came loose from the tugboat that was pulling it further up river.  A day later they were finally rescued using a canvas sling suspended from pulleys.  The men escaped without harm, but the scow has remained here for over 100 years.

Niagara River Rapids.

  You can see how powerful the water of the Niagara River is even before it reaches the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.

Niagara Falls Table Rock and Skylon Tower.

    From this angle you can also look past the edge of the Horseshoe Falls and see where the mist rises as the water plummets over the edge.  In the photo above is Table Rock on the far left.  Table Rock is  right at the top edge of the falls and is the best spot to watch the water as it starts its descent.  The Skylon tower can also be seen on the right hand side.

Inukshuks At Dufferin Islands

    Once you have had enough of the rush of the falls you can walk back to Dufferin Islands and try to spot some of the light displays that remain set up year round. 

Canada Geese, Seagulls, Ducks And More Dufferin Islands

    While the islands are normally full of the usual waterfowl, once in a while there are other birds in amongst the Canada geese, mallards and seagulls.  It may just be a challenge to spot them.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Niagara Falls

  Visitors come from far and wide to see Niagara Falls and this duck is no exception.  We had heard of a rare visitor to the islands.  It still took us a while to finally find him despite the fact he had been right in front of us the whole time.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Walking Niagara Falls

    This rare visitor is a black-bellied whistling duck.  They normally live in South and Central America only coming as far north as southern Texas in order to breed.  This duck had travelled even further north to find itself up in southern Ontario, Canada.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Curled Up Niagara Falls

    This duck had been reported as visiting the islands in the summer.  When we visited in January the duck was still there despite the weather being about -20 C.  We imagine it was dreaming of warmer climates as it tucked its head beneath its wings.  We also know many human visitors rethink their clothing choices as they visit Niagara Falls during a Canadian winter.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck And Seagull.

  At least as the duck climbed up onto the bank it was not alone.  A seagull walked over to join it.  A bit later a female mallard also came over to be near this special visitor. It reminded us of Niagara Falls and the Dufferin Islands.  A place where people from all over can come together and marvel at the beauty and power of nature.

Buffalo Lights Niagara Falls

Map of Our World
Dufferin Islands
1918 Dumping Scow Barge


Post # 307

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Elephants of Toronto

Toronto Zoo Elephant

   In 2013 the last African elephants left the Toronto Zoo. They were headed to California to live out their days in a larger space away from cold Canadian winters. We miss the elephants when we visit the zoo.  But don't worry, if you know where to look you can still find elephants hidden around Toronto.  Below is a list of places to include on your search. If you know of any more, please let us know.

1 ) Toronto Zoo

Three Little Elephants Toronto Zoo

   A good place to start your search for elephants is at the Toronto Zoo.  The big elephants may be gone, but these three little ones still remain.  They are near the African Pavilion looking towards the old elephant exhibit.  The exhibit is now home to the zoo's Masai giraffes.

Savanna Snacks

  We also spotted a couple of elephants on the roof of the Savanna Snacks store.  This store is located near the African Zoomobile stop and the old home of the Masai giraffes.

2)  Commerce Court
Tembo Mother of Elephants Commerce Court Toronto

    If you are looking for bigger elephants around the city then Tembo is for you.  Tembo, Mother of Elephants stands in Commerce Court just north of Bay & Wellington. She is over nine feet tall.

Tembo Elephant Calves Toronto

  Behind Tembo are two little elephant calves following their mother.

Tembo Elephants Commerce Court Toronto

  These bronze sculptures bring some extra life and fun to Toronto's financial district.

Tembo Elephants Commerce Court Toronto

    Tembo is small compared to the towers of Toronto's downtown.  If you don't know where to look, you might just miss her.


3)  Toronto Police Museum

Elmer The Safety Elephant

  Elmer the elephant has been around since 1947 teaching school children about safety.  He has been helping keep children safe in playgrounds and on the roads.  This little Elmer (above) can be found in the Toronto Police Museum.  

Elmer Flag On A School In Toronto Canada

  Many schools around the city still fly the flag and participate in the Elmer school program today.

4)  Elephant & Castle

Elephant & Castle Logo

    The Elephant & Castle is the name of a group of pubs.  There used to be a couple of locations in the Toronto area.  The location at Yonge & Gerrard closed. This one (above) is located on King Street West near Roy Thomson Hall.

Elephant & Castle Logo

   The pub is named after an area of London, England.  The logo has an elephant with the turret of a castle on its back.

5)  Yarmouth Road

Elephant Yarmouth Road Toronto

   This next elephant stands on the front lawn of a private house on Yarmouth Road in Toronto.  When we visited it was hiding behind a tree.

6)  My Roti Place
My Roti Place Elephant Toronto

   The elephant painted on the wall of My Roti Place on Queen Street West looks ready to pull the crown right off of your head.  While you are there why not build your own meal served on Indian flatbread?

7)  Starbucks
Starbucks Kenyan Elephant

     A lot of people inside Starbucks don't notice anything besides their cellphone and their coffee.  We noticed this Kenyan elephant on the wall of a location near Leslie & Sheppard.  It was there to show where the different coffee beans come from.  There was also a Sumatran tiger and Guatemalan parrots.


  8)  Utility Boxes


Seaforth Road Utility Box With Elephants

   At the east end of Seaforth Avenue you can find this pair of pachyderms.  More and more utility boxes around the city are being painted by artists.  We liked the colours and style of this elephant pair.

Animal Covered Utility Box Sewells Road Scarborough

   Up on Sewells Road in Scarborough is a utility box that is just full of animals.  And yes, there is an elephant included.

9 ) Pearson Airport

Elephant Deicing Truck At Pearson Airport Toronto

   If you have ever found yourself departing from Toronto's Pearson International Airport in the winter, you may have been in the presence of another Toronto elephant.  These trucks are called elephants after the hoses that are mounted on a crane.  They are used to spray a glycol / water mix that looks like orange Kool-Aid.  The orange spray is de-icer.  Thanks to these elephants, planes are able to take off safely in even the coldest conditions.

10 ) York Cemetery

York Cemetery Elephant Toronto


     In the far back corner of York Cemetery in North York, we found another elephant.

Asian Sculptures In York Cemetery North York

   The elephant was in a section with dragons, sheep, birds and more.  It appeared they were still waiting for the humans that would eventually join them.

11 ) Beechwood Cemetery

Beechwood Cemetery Elephants

    Our last elephants can be found at Beechwood Cemetery.  This mother and baby are located a little bit outside of Toronto just north of Jane & Steeles.   We could have stopped our list at ten but we thought it should go to elephan.


Map of Our World
Post # 304

Monday, 20 September 2021

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy.
Date: Dec 2003
Website: www.niagaraparks.com

   Niagara Falls is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls in the world.  The largest waterfall is the Horseshoe Falls.  It is named after the curved shape that was caused by erosion due to the six million cubic feet of water that rush over its edge every minute.  The Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and when it passes over the falls it is a sight to be seen.  We like to visit every chance we get in order to see the power of nature up close.

American, Bridal Veil And Horseshoe Falls.

  The Niagara River divides as it approaches the falls and some of the water goes over the smaller American and Bridal Veil falls (left hand side of picture above) which are located in New York, USA.  The Horseshoe Falls takes on the majority of the water as it plunges over the edge and drops almost 200 feet into the depths below.  It is located almost entirely in Ontario, Canada.

US Edge Of The Horseshoe Falls

  Only a small portion of the falls are considered to be within the United States of America.

Buildings Rise Up Beside Niagara Falls.

    The Canadian side of the falls draws huge amounts of tourists all year long.  There are hotels, casinos and viewing towers like the Skylon that let them stay for a longer look from a higher vantage point.

Incline Railway Niagara Falls.

  There are many ways to get down to the falls for a closer look from the hotels above.  One of the most fun is an incline railway.

The Upper Edge Of Niagara Falls.

    The closest you can get to the falls is at Table Rock.  You can get very close to the water as it rushes over the edge.  Just be prepared to get wet as the mist that comes up as the water crashes down below can make it seem like it is always raining.  

Rainbows Over Nigara Falls.

  On a warm summer day the mist can be refreshing.  On a colder fall day it can make you regret your clothing choices.  On any sunny day, the mist and sun can treat you to a variety of rainbows.

Annie Taylor & Her Barrel.

    Through the years many daredevils have wanted to get an even closer look at the falls.  Annie Taylor (above) was the first person to go over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel.  Annie survived her stunt in 1901.  Since then many others have tried with mixed results.

Rapids At The Top Of The Horseshoe Falls.

   We can't imagine venturing into the rapids of the Niagara River.  

Old Power Plant In Niagara Falls.

    The rapidly flowing water of the Niagara River is diverted to be used for electricity by both the United States and Canada.  Above is an older power station that used to be used for this purpose.  Today over a million people get power by harnessing the force of the water.

Maid Of The Mist.

    While we wouldn't get into the water at the top of the falls, we have ventured into the rapids below.  The Maid Of The Mist boats used to take tourists up as close as they could to the crashing water of the falls.  Today, Hornblower boats have taken over the job.

Niagara Falls From Maid Of The Mist.

   From the boats you can look up at the Horseshoe Falls from a very unique angle.  If you are willing to get completely soaked you can experience the weight of the falls crashing down in front of you.

Journey Behind The Falls.

  If a boat is not your thing, you can also do the Journey Behind The Falls.  Here you can get right down near the bottom of the falls while still staying on dry land.  Well, wet land anyways.   There is also a little hallway with a tiny opening at the end where you are actually behind the falls itself.

The Falls At Night.

    Once the sun goes down, the falls are still entertaining.  In the evenings colourful spotlights bring the falls to life in a whole different way.

Fireworks At Niagara Falls.

       On summer weekends and during special events, fireworks light up the sky over the falls.

Table Rock Frozen In Winter Niagara Falls.

       The falls are still worth seeing in the winter months as the mist rises and freezes wherever it lands.

Niagara Falls In Winter.

      No matter how cold it gets, the falls have never frozen solid.  Even in the coldest winter the water still flows.  There is always something to see at the Horseshoe Falls all year long.  We recommend you visit Niagara Falls at least once in your life.  We try to do it at least once in a year.


Map of Our World
Horseshoe Falls


Post # 303