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BRAVE / PRAXIS: Tour Deh Canada

Tour Deh Canada

29 November 2012, 16:54

I recently made a trip out to the great north to visit some family in Ottawa, Canada. With the 10 days I had, I was able to make time to drive out to Montreal and Toronto (pronounced Torono). The three cities were very distinct and had many qualities that set them apart.


The nation’s capital, Ottawa, is home to Parliament Hill, many national museums, and the world’s largest ice skating rink (Rideau Canal). However, compared to Washington D.C., the scale of the architecture and tourism is dwarfed by it’s U.S. counterpart. Ottawa is the smallest of the three (just over 800,000) and the most beautiful. It sits on the border of Ontario and Quebec, separated by the Ottawa River, bringing a lot of French influence into the city. I made some time to walk the streets, have some Poutine, visit the National Gallery and browse around the famous Byward Market district.


Driving from Ottawa to Montreal was a pleasant 2 hour drive. Driving IN Montreal is a different monster. Perhaps due to the really long street names, narrow lanes, or just the fact that everything was in French. However, once out of the car, the city became a lot more pleasant and made me truly realize that I was in another country. French is the predominant language here and therefore almost all establishments are bilingual. There is also a much more relaxed vibe from the French Canadians (as opposed to the government employees of Ottawa). My visit was short, but I made a quick stop to Parc Olympique (1976) to see the Montreal tower and Olympic stadium up close.


Toronto is the largest city in Canada…and its HUGE. As I arrived, I immediately recognized that the cultural diversity in Toronto is much different with the majority of being from South Asia and China. Like most large cities, tourists and locals flood the streets whether by foot, cable car, train, or bus. Getting there, on the other hand, seems to be a bit of a problem these days. Traffic congestion, due to the rapidly growing population and on going construction, is a real problem here. However, as you venture away from downtown and closer to the coast of Lake Ontario, the scene completely changes and you’re looking over the vast coastline among the variety of plants and vegetation, including the ever so popular, Maple trees.

I forgot to mention…Canada is infatuated with President Obama.

St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal Montreal - Olympic Stadium / Tower Montreal - Olympic Village