My family come to Canada (ma famille viennent au Canada)…

Depuis la dernière semaine, my parents and sister have been on holiday in Canada, and we’ve been touring the country’s East side together…

We met in Toronto on the 6th July and started our holiday with a visit to the CN Tower and some other awesome locations in the big T. Toronto’s like my second home now.

Following this, we embarked on an escorted bus tour that involved travel between the major Eastern cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. Each night we slept in a different hotel and each morning woke up at 6am to commence that day’s action-packed schedule. We’ve done so much in the last week! With tuition from our seriously funny and highly informed tour director called Paul, I have to say I’ve learnt loads about Canadian culture, history, society and nature! Each of the cities we visited were so different from each other, and maybe the best way to catch that is by this whirlwind method of touring. Below I just summarise some of the highlights of our trip…

No caption needed!

View from the CN Tower

The sky is the limit…

Toronto by night

From Toronto, we first travelled to Niagara Falls (Sunday) and did the Maid of the Mist cruise, where a boat takes you really close to the waterfalls. Trust me you get wet!!! My Dad particularly wanted to do this because Jack and Victor did it in the legendary Scottish comedy Still Game.

The mighty Niagara Falls!!

Me and Ara after the Maid of the Mist Tour. The blue anoraks kept us a bit dry, but not much!

Life on the lake…

We stayed the first night of the tour in Toronto, before travelling to Ottawa on the Monday. The bus journeys were pretty long, but we stopped every 1.5 hours for food and drinks so it wasn’t too bad, and the banter from Paul kept us from sleeping (too long!)

In Ottawa, we saw the house of Stephen Harper and the parliament and stayed one night in a hotel there. Ottawa seemed kinda small to be the capital city, but I guess it’s because the major politics go down there!

Ottawa by night

On Day 3 we were on our way back to my “home” in French Canada. The journey back to Quebec City was filled with lots of history about the battles between the French and the British for Canada. Most people reading this will probably know that Canada was French before it was English. The big battle for Quebec – which actually comes from Indian meaning “where the river narrows” – didn’t take place in Montreal but in Quebec City, lasting just 17 minutes on the Plains of Abraham. Really interesting stuff!

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in Quebec City, and my family loved the architecture and the Plains. As the festival d’été is on right now, the streets are crazy busy and this is probably the best time of the year to be in Quebec. I’ll be back on the Plains (in more peaceful circumstances) on Saturday night to see Danko Jones, and again on Sunday to see em…

Stevie Wonder… 😉

Downtown QC

Quebec City from the port

On the Wednesday, we went whale-watching in Tadoussac. This was probably my highlight of the trip. I went there in May 2012, but didn’t see much, and they said that it was the wrong season. This time, in July, we saw loads of marine mammals! Cetaceans of different species; minke, fin, humpback, harbour porpoise, and groups of seals. We saw two humpbacks, named Tic-Tac-Toe and Snow White, which were seriously impressive, as they bring their whole tail out of the water when they dive.

Fin whale surfacing near our boat at Tadoussac

Tic-Tac-Toe, the humpback whale…

On the Thursday we left Quebec City for Montreal seeing Montmorency waterfall on the way. This is supposedly taller than Niagara Falls. It was spectacular, but I really want to see what it looks like in the winter!

Time again for another massive transition in scenery and we’re in Montreal city. Arriving there on Thursday afternoon, we did a stop at the Olympic Stadium. Pretty impressive from far away, and even more so right up. At night, we went to a nice Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.

Hungry raccoon in Montreal…

No hours of sleep later, and it’s already the last day of the trip! By this point, I’m feeling waking up at any hour other time than 6am. Back to Toronto!! On the way, we jumped on a boat at 1000 Islands and sailed around some more castles. I wondered if we will ever be rich enough to live there and decided probably not.

The bus trip’s been educational, beautiful, inspirational and entertaining all at the same time. Something which has really hit home on this trip is how incorrect it is to say that Canada is a bilingual country. In Ottawa and definitely in Toronto, which are not really that far from the Quebec province, very little French seems to be written or spoken anywhere. English and French really come together in Montreal, and French is definitely more prevalent there than in Ontario, but you still hear English everywhere you go in Montreal. I was in Burger King and almost everyone ordered in English. Not how it is in Quebec City. You don’t have to go far from Montreal before you’ll be in towns and villages where speaking English will draw a blank expression. How can a country be bilingual when most of the people in it aren’t? I’m definitely beginning to appreciate the need to protect the French language in Quebec.

As we approach the end of the holiday, my family is flying back to Quebec City again tomorrow, to see how I’m living (daunting prospect), and to catch the end of the festival!

La joie de vivre! Keep it krill!!

Too krill…


Comments (5)
  • Ali (mum)

    July 12, 2013

    Love this Jordan! The photos are great but just being here with you is the best!!, xxxx

  • Karen

    July 13, 2013

    Fantastic update, Jordy! And… I just watched that episode of Jack and Victor at Niagra Falls last month. Great minds… 😉

  • Auntie c

    July 19, 2013

    Hello Jordan

    These are amazing you look great,

    Miss you lots xxx

  • David (Dad)

    August 24, 2013

    Read this shortly after you posted it Jordy but reading again as it brings back happy memories. See you soon x

  • Name*granny mac

    August 24, 2013

    Message*Hi Jordy,, Mum just showed me this blog – loved it,, Am always thinking of you and now looking forward to seeing you at Christmas,,,and meeting Sophie xxx. Miss you,, Love Granny xxxxx

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