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Top 5 Road Trips Every Newcomer In Toronto Must Take

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By Lisa EvansFor recent immigrants, a good old-fashioned road trip is the perfect way to really discover Canada. Here are 5 trips to get you Torontonians started!

1. The “Fall in love with Canada” trip — Toronto to Niagara Falls

Distance: 130 kilometresOne of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions, Niagara Falls is a must-see destination for newcomers. While the natural wonder itself is spectacular, there’s plenty to see and do beyond the Falls.
niagara falls road trip
Starting point: From Toronto, take the 427 South to the QEW West. To get to the Falls, exit the QEW at McLeod Road. Turn east and follow the road to the entrance to Marineland. Turn left onto Upper Rapids Boulevard then turn left onto the Niagara Parkway.Stops along the way: Once past Hamilton, you have the option to take a more scenic route by getting off the QEW at Fifty Road or Casablanca Boulevard and take Highway 81 through the towns of Beamsville and Jordan, home to many of the region’s greatest wineries. Angels Gate and Thirty Bench in Beamsville and Cave Springs in Jordan Stop are some tourist favourites.

At your destination: There are plenty of ways to see the Falls after you arrive. Take the classic Maid of the Mist boat ride to admire them from below. Adrenaline junkies will want to board the Whirlpool Jet Boat. Go behind the falls where you’ll walk through tunnels and emerge from observation decks located at the foot of the falls for a view from below or head up to the top of the Skylon Tower for an overhead perspective.

You can also stop in at the Niagara Botanical Gardens. Located along the scenic Niagara Parkway, a 10-minute drive from the Falls, the botanical gardens are home to 40 hectares of beautifully maintained gardens as well as the butterfly conservatory featuring more than over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies.

Also visit Niagara-on-the-Lake. Cross the Rainbow Bridge then follow the signs on the Niagara Parkway to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Take a horse and carriage ride around the old town, see a play at the historic Shaw Theatre or shop in the historic district. Don’t forget to visit Maple Leaf Fudge. This classic treat is made fresh daily using the old-fashioned method in copper kettles and creamed on marble slabs right in front of you.

2. “A capital journey”— Toronto to Ottawa

Distance: 450 kilometresCanada’s capital city, Ottawa, is a family-friendly destination offering everything from museums to nature.
Rideau-Canal-ottawaStarting point: Get onto the Don Valley Parkway North. Take the 401 East Exit. Take Exit 721 A to merge onto ON-416N then take Exit 75B to merge onto ON-417 Trans-Canada Highway to Ottawa.Stops along the way: If it’s a warm day, stop in Belleville just off the 401 for an ice cream at Reid’s Dairy, located behind the Quinte Mall.

From the 401, you can see a giant apple on route to Colborne. The Big Apple restaurant is a great place to stop for lunch. Climb 25 feet to the Big Apple’s observation deck for a 360-degree view of the village of Colborne and Lake Ontario. Don’t forget to try their famous apple pie.

At your destination: Parliament Hill, the site of Canada’s federal government, is Ottawa’s most visited attraction. Take a free guided tour or walk around the scenic grounds overlooking the Ottawa River. During the summer, the front lawn of Parliament Hill is the setting for the changing of the guard ceremony.

Just east of Parliament Hill is Byward Market, a historic farmers’ market and shopping district by day. Don’t miss out on trying Ottawa’s most famous pastry, BeaverTails, at the entrance to the market.

If you’re visiting Ottawa in the winter, skate the Rideau Canal — lace up your skates (or rent some) and visit the world’s largest ice rink. Take a break at the rest stops stationed along the 7.8 kilometre canal for hot drinks and tasty snacks.

3. “You don’t need to own a cottage to Visit Cottage Country” — Toronto to Muskoka

Distance: 200 kilometresWhen Canadians say “Cottage Country,” they’re referring to a region called Muskoka. Whether renting a cottage, staying in the luxurious JW Marriott on the shore of Lake Rousseau or camping, Muskoka is a relaxation haven full of quirky shops, interesting museums and great restaurants.
muskoka- road-tripStarting point: Take the 400 North to Gravenhurst. Exit and follow the signs to Highway 169. Once you see the world’s largest Muskoka chair, you’ll know you’ve arrived.Stops along the way: Experience true Canadiana in Bala, located off Highway 169, where Anne of Green Gables fans will want to visit the Bala Museum, which commemorates the summer of 1922 when author Lucy Maude Montgomery came to town. Montgomery’s time here led to her book The Blue Castle, the only one of her novels set outside Prince Edward Island.

At your destination: After snapping a photo of the giant Muskoka chair, turn toward the wharf and Gravenhurst. A former shipyard, this area was the arrival point for rail passengers who transferred to steamships that carried them to their lakeside resorts. Steamships still depart from here and host cruises for lunch or dinner.

You can also visit Port Carling, called “the Hub of the Lakes,” where Lake Rousseau and Lake Muskoka meet. Browse downtown boutiques and art studios and stop in the Muskoka Lake Museum where you’ll see a pioneer cabin, traditional canoes and learn about the history of the region.

Or feeling up for some nature worshipping? Pack your hiking boots and hit one of Muskoka’s many scenic hiking trails.

4. “A Shakespearean adventure” — Toronto to Stratford

Distance: 151 kilometresCanada’s premier arts town, Stratford is home to the Stratford Festival and is well known for its garden city landscape and well-conserved Victorian architecture.
stratfordStarting point: Take Highway 401 West, take Exit 278 to Highway 8 Kitchener. Follow Highway 8 West to join Highway 7 to Stratford.Stops along the way: Pick up all the fixings for a perfect picnic lunch at St. Jacob’s, Canada’s largest farmer’s market located in the middle of Mennonite country.

Still hungry? Stop at the Best Little Pork Shop — you’ll want to carry a cooler in your car for this pit stop. The sign of the giant pig is the ultimate destination for those seeking high-quality port chops, ribs and bacon.

At your destination: One of the most prominent theatre festivals in Canada, the Stratford Festival runs from April to November and is best known for its Shakespeare productions.

Stratford is home to many prize-winning gardens as well, including the Shakespearean Gardens, which contain 60 varieties of herbs, flowers and shrubs that Shakespeare mentions in his plays.

Watching the swans swim along the Avon River is a favourite pastime of Stratford residents and guests. These regal creatures have been raised in Stratford since 1918. Since the swans can’t survive on the water all year round, they’re taken to their indoor pens in the winter and are released back into the water in early April to the pomp and circumstance of the Stratford Police Services Band in what the town calls the Annual Parade of the Swans.

5. “A taste of Quebec history” — Toronto to Montreal to Quebec City

Distance: 766 kilometresCross over the Ontario border into Quebec for a visit to Montreal. The city boasts 50 national historic sites, more than any other city in Canada. Then keep going to Quebec City, located on the cliffs overlooking the St. Laurence Seaway. The old town is a UNESCO heritage site and the only fortified city in North America with its original city walls still intact.
Quebec-road-tripStarting point: Take Highway 401 East to Highway 20.Stops along the way: Take Exit 522 on Highway 401 to Woolner Road South and immerse yourself in the culinary delight of Prince Edward County. This area produces award-winning wine and grows prize-winning produce; all the makings for a perfect picnic lunch.

Next, take Exit 623 (Country Road 15) off Highway 401 and turn right on County Road 2 to learn about Canada’s military history at Fort Henry. This British fort protected the entrance of the Rideau Canal and the town of Kingston. Peek into 19th-century military life and view military demonstrations performed by university students acting as Fort Henry guardsmen.

At your first destination: Take a glimpse of French-Canadian history — stroll the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal by foot or by horse-drawn carriage and marvel at the still-preserved 19th-century architecture.

Basilique Notre-Dame is probably the most significant landmark and architectural gem of Old Montreal. This Catholic Church has a stunning medieval-style interior, stained-glass windows and one of the largest organs in North America.

For something sweet, visit Canadian Maple Delights. The shop offers a free maple museum tour in the basement where you’ll learn about the history of maple syrup and how it’s made.

At your second destination: After departing Montreal, stop at Drummondville along Highway 20 for a visit to Fromagerie Lemaire. This cheese-making boutique sells cheese curds and serves up a great plate of authentic poutine.

While eating your first poutine might seem like a spiritual experience, you can also stop at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre shrine. This neo-Roman style basilica has been a site of miracles for the past 350 years. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it’s worth a visit for its stunning architecture.

If visiting in the winter, you won’t want to miss North America’s only ice hotel. Made of blocks of ice, the hotel melts in the spring and is rebuilt each year.

Canadian News

Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory take part in a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in Sunday's shooting attack, and 13 other people were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.

While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.

At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.

We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.

Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.

We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.

A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.

Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.

We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.

We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.

We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.

Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.

Our emergency services keep people safe.

Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.

Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.

Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.

We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.

With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”

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Canadian News

Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality

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Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.

Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.

Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.

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Canadian News

Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?

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The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture.  That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries.  Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.

Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.

Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response.  However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.

Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth.  Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.

In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide?  Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed?  However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.

The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?

Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.

Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.

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