170922 Ottawa to Toronto

The Fairmont Royal York has welcomed royals, presidents and dignitaries alike, and today it will also welcome us for a two night stay.

As our day was a longish travelling day, there is not that much to report. We head south. The leaves are showing more colour and it is getting much warmer. Today, Saturday, it is to be 37 in Toronto but the locals are saying this warm weather is so unseasonal for the area. We are happy, though, coming out of winter back home. I managed to take a few naps on the coach, which was good.

After breakfast, we headed towards the “thousand islands”. This is where you may purchase your own island and set up your own space without too much hassle from the authorities. Some islands have a small shack and a tree and that’s all that fits. Others have castle like dwellings. Values? Starting prices are over the first million dollars you may have lying around.

Our first stop was around 11:30am for a long lunch break at the town of Kingston. Although this is a town of some 140,000 residents, it is a mecca for the holiday makers in summer. There are many retirees here, some living in multi-level appartments of some 10 or 11 levels. The town had a good feel about it with many eating houses for the many tourists that come this way.

We have all heard of “the BIG apple”, New York, but few of us have heard of “the BIG Apple”, Canada. This is a side of the highway stop; well known for everything apple. Not the technology apple, the farmed apple. Even apple laced coffee. I had an apple churio and an apple turnover which is unusual for me, but sure was good tasting.

As we approached Toronto, the traffic became more heavy and we slowed to a crawl the last 30km in 4-5 lanes of vehicles. We could see the CN Communications Tower for quite some time before arriving at downtown Toronto. The Fairmont Royal York is right opposite the busy Toronto train station and we are on the 8th level with a view of the station. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team are playing the New York Mets and with the games on too, the Hotel is full to capacity with lots of dignitaries and paparazzi trailing around.

Well, this is all new to all of us; having Royals staying in the same hotel. Prince Harry is here to open the Invictus Games for the war wounded. The opening ceremony is happening on Saturday evening and we just may turn up for the live viewing. Princess Diana became involved with the war wounded just prior to her death and now her son is part of remembering that by organising and being patron of these games.

Tomorrow, we climb the CN Communications Tower and take a city tour.