By Valone and Asshur–
As a New Yorker, we get consumed with our lives so much so that we don’t even realize the small blessings that surround us. One such blessing is the ease of access that we have to Canada.
New York to Toronto by car is a mere 8 hours and a flight will actually take you 1 hour and 11 minutes. Summer is almost coming to an end so why not take a trip up north? Trust us there is much to see and do; from observing the difference between life in upstate New York to making a stop at Niagara Falls, if you travel the Buffalo New York route. You can also go to Thousand Islands, if you take the Kingston route, as Torontonians say.
Niagara Falls should be a must see, especially if you live close to it. It is spectacular at day, and at night it is even more dazzling. On the Canadian side of the falls you will find casinos, hotels, etc. In fact, many Canadians and especially those in Toronto travel there for weekend escapes. It can be compared to our Atlantic City, without a beach and with some huge falls. Furthermore, you do not have to spend the entire day there, you can simply go and see the Falls for a few hours and then continue on your journey to Toronto, Montreal, or wherever your journey takes you.
But if you spend some time at Niagara note that the neighborhood has hotels and motels on every block and corner. There are also IHOP’s (International House of Pancakes) on the ground floor of most of these hotels, which is probably the only few on the East coast of Canada. Guests of these hotels have access to casinos and are given restaurant vouchers to encourage them to return.
|Asshur at Niagara|
Niagara’s Fury is an interactive tour that allows you to feel the rage of Niagara. During Niagara’s Fury, you will get soaked, feel the cold of a winter’s snow, and hear the power of thunder and lightning from the Falls. Then there is the White Water Walk, which is mostly a walking tour that leads to the fall’s powerful waves, crashing against the rocks. On this adventure, you will take an elevator ride down to a tunnel and connect to a boardwalk overlooking a large stretch of rapids.
Note: The Hornblower Niagara Cruise is the main attraction at the Falls, and it takes you up close to this monster. Up close, you will feel its fury, hear its resounding sound and be drenched with its mist.
Furthermore, Niagara Falls at night is a spectacle and is a must see. Every night at 10 PM, for about ten minutes, there is a magical fireworks show. You can get up close to the light show by taking a nighttime cruise.
After stopping at Niagara, if Toronto is your next stop and you want to shop, we recommend Yorkdale Shopping Center. It is a bit outside of downtown Toronto, but you will get everything there. It is trendy, hip and new and seems to be the to go place. If you want to stay downtown, definitely visit Eaton Center, this place is huge and like Yorkdale, it has every shop you may be looking for.
Did we already mention that one of the reasons you should make your way to Canada now is because the US Dollar is stronger than the Canadian Dollar? So your two little pennies, as Caribbean people say, will go so much further. This means that shopping in Canada can pay off, especially when there are major sales. Also, even though there is a 13% sales tax in Toronto, you may not feel it, because you are going there with a stronger dollar.
Like New York, Toronto has a plethora of restaurants and good ones too. One of the restaurants I visited while there was Jack Astor’s. This restaurant is a chain like your Red Lobsters, etc. and it is good. The two times I ate there I had poutine, and on my last visit I had wings, there’s quite a few options to choose from, with poutine. Interestingly a waiter came to our table and shook the wings in its sauce in front of me. I enjoyed engaging her in dance while she tossed my chicken, haha 🙈.
Also, Joey is another good spot to try. The ambiance was really dope and the food was scrumptious. One thing I realized while eating at Joey was that even though the music played, you can hear everyone at your table during a conversation, which is a good thing since some restaurants find it hard to create a balance between the music and conversation guests are supposed to be engaged in with each other. This location of Joey that we went to is close to the Yorkdale Shopping Center so this could be a good chance for you to merge shopping and a night out!
|After Dinner At Joey with friends|
Canada is calling, so don’t delay! Niagara Falls, like Canada, is a melting pot of cultures and can be a great place for families to get away. Also, if you are counting the costs that it will take to travel to an international destination, take it from us, Canada is a cost effective option. SO, DON’T DELAY!