Ontario doesn't need an introduction. Internationally, it's known for the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. Nationally, it is known for its politics. It's home to Canada's largest city (Toronto) and Canada's capital city (Ottawa).
However, Ontario's role on the national and international stage stretches much further back than Confederation in 1867. A century before, in 1788, Ontario was under control of the Province of Quebec and was split into four sections. The divisions continued over the next fifty years, and by 1838 Ontario was divided into twenty sections! In 1867, when Canada first became a country, Ontario's borders with the newly acquired "Rupert's Land" came into question. Over the next 40 years there would be many adjustments due to the creation and expansions of new provinces (Manitoba, Quebec) and the adjusting of borders because of conflicts (the Red River Rebellion).
Today, Ontario is split unofficially into two sections: southern Ontario and northern Ontario. The reason for this division is because of the vast geographical differences between the the two. The Great Lakes in southern Ontario help keep the area warm in the winter and are responsible for its summer growing season. Northern Ontario has much less water, and is thus much dryer, creating very long, very cold winters. The majority of Ontario's population lives around the Great Lakes, while a very small minority of people live in northern Ontario.
Ontario has been that province I've had to visit several times during stop-over flights to other destinations, but not one that I've ever visited for fun. However, Ontario is Canada's most popular province for vacationers and tourists, so there is definitely plenty to see there! I've been following several bloggers from Ontario and they have really helped change my opinion of the province, so I too would like to visit it one day! Have you ever been?
A huge thank-you to and1online for the usage of his picture as my cover image. Be sure to give him a follow for more amazing Ontario pictures!
I hope you enjoy part 8 of 13, "Instagramming Canada - Ontario"!
Small Town Life
Algonquin Provincial Park
Lakes and Rivers
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
As this was my first time flying a kite, I'm proud to say I only crashed it about thirty times. Thankfully, my instructor said, the kite wasn't too expensive and was made for crash landings. After one particular sharp nose-dive, however, he came over to show me what I was doing wrong. After a few minor adjustments, I kicked the kite back into the air and managed to do my first loop.
The field we were in was empty that day. Within 24 hours, however, the field would be full of kite enthusiasts from across the world. Many of the kite flyers were from Canada and the United States, but some even came as far away as London, Germany and New Zealand. At only 13 years old, the SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival has become internationally renowned to kite flyers around the world.
When people think of kites, they might think of the classic diamond shaped kite of Charlie Brown. However, these days there are many different kinds of kites, and each with their own unique design and purpose.
Several months ago Ford Canada approached me to review their 2017 Ford Explorer. I wanted to see how it handled grid roads, so I took it to a variety of ghost towns, abandoned houses and empty villages around Saskatchewan. I had a lot of fun with the article, and I guess Ford liked it too because a few months later they invited me to go out to the Sunshine Coast to try out a few other vehicles.
There were a few differences between this trip and the one I did around Saskatchewan. The first difference was that this was in the wooded forests of British Columbia and not the flat prairie of Saskatchewan. Instead of having the vehicle for a week, this would be a 2-day trip from Vancouver to the Painted Boat Resort and back again. Also, instead of traveling solo, I'd be travelling with several lifestyle and travel bloggers from across Western Canada – including the 2015 Saskatchewanderer Ashlyn George from The Lost Girl's Guide to Finding the World.
The vehicle we got on the way up to the resort was the same red Ford Explorer I tried out earlier this year. This worked out great for me as I was already very familiar with the vehicle and its quirks. On the way back Ashlyn drove a white 2017 Ford Edge.
When I was younger, I really loved winter. I loved sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen. One of my favourite pastimes was visiting a little outdoor ice rink a few blocks from my house. Every winter my friends and I would climb over the walls of the rink and goof around on the ice. When we weren't falling over our feet, we'd play hockey with whatever snow chunks we could find. As these events became more frequent, we often talked about playing real hockey on the rink. Eventually, we would end up playing hockey, but we'd settle for the street in front of our houses instead.
Beyond childhood, the only other time I went skating was in high school. Everybody else's ice skating skills had improved with age, but mine were still that of a fourth grader. I remember standing in the rink, struggling to shoot while holding my balance, only to have a classmate swoop in and steal my puck! Ever since then, I've stuck to floor hockey.
As I got older, my love for winter dwindled. Now I find it cold, icy, dark and sometimes miserable. My blog usually slows down in the winter for this very reason. I've been trying to get out and enjoy our longest season of the year, but it's hard. Most days I just want to stay inside.