Authors' Note: The southern flank of the Canadian province of Ontario, abutting the border with the United States is a watery region comprised primarily of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The names of these lakes, and their order of progression to the Atlantic Ocean, are frequently covered in school curricula.
Apart from flying, coming by ferry is the mode of access to the island province of Newfoundland for citizens of either Canada or the United States. The Confederation Bridge, 13 km in length, linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, has replaced ferry traffic to our smallest province since 1996.
Tourism in most parts of Canada is highly dependent on Americans driving across the border. The industry has suffered a major depression in 2020 owing to restrictions related to the pandemic
docktails: slang for drinks, and/or a cocktail-snack social hour at dockside, as used by North American motorboating cliques
mocktails: abbreviation for mock (non-alcoholic) cocktails
The Trent-Severn Waterway is a system operated by Parks Canada and enjoyed by recreational motorboaters. It meanders for 400 km (250 miles) across southern Ontario, joining L. Ontario's Bay of Quinte and L. Huron's Georgian Bay via intervening smaller lakes, rivers and manmade canals. With over 40 locks en route, the altitude near the system's midpoint reaches a level of 180 m (590 feet) above the starting point. The world's highest liftlock, located at Peterborough, is an impressive piece of engineering and a tourist attraction.
Authors' Note: The first Lieutenant-Governor of the province Of Upper Canada (Ontario), Sir John Simcoe, sought routes leading northward from his new
provincial capital at Toronto, away from the U.S. border.
In 1793, he designed a road, naming it for the British Minister of War, Sir George Yonge, who was also an expert on Roman roads. Yonge Street passes from Lake Ontario north to Lake Simcoe, where it merges into Highway 11, a rural road that extends 1900 km (1200 mi) northwest to the border with the American state of Minnesota.
Sir George, fifth Baronet of Escot, had served as Lord of the Admiralty and master of the mint, and governor of the Cape Colony, but died penniless and heirless, Yonge Street being his only legacy.
Prior to 1999, the Guinness Book of Records mistakenly conflated Yonge Street with Highway 11, and described it as 'the world's longest street’.
Authors' Note: Although specific municipalities often have additional stringent regulations, the building code for the Canadian province of Ontario specifies that any property can have a detached structure measuring up to 10 square meters (108 square feet); plumbing and heating are not allowed in such structures. They may accommodate seasonal use for guests, although off-season or year-round storage of equipment is also a major use. Cottage owners and their guests have come to refer to these detached small buildings, often outfitted with bunk beds, as bunkies.
hidden cactus corner:
Allan Gardens Conservatory, Toronto
Authors' Note: Species of plants belonging to the cactus family are native only to America. Although they are generally heat-loving, a few species of the genus Opuntia are sufficiently cold-tolerant to live in parts of Canada. One of these, the eastern prickly pear, Opuntia humifusa, thrives in the US in dry areas such as along beaches on the Atlantic coastline, and some inland areas. At the northern limit of its range, in areas along the Great Lakes in Ontario (located centrally in Canada), this species has been susceptible to territory loss by severe winter storms and is now considered locally endangered. Three other species of low-growing cacti are still flourishing in the prairie provinces of western Canada.
There's a different story in other parts of the globe, where these and related species were relocated by human activities in the sixteenth century. Owing to their edible summer fruit, prickly pears are tolerated as invasives in parts of South Africa, southern Europe, Polynesia, South America, etc. In Australia, however, they spread quickly and vigorously, taking over a huge chunk of grazing and horticultural terrain in Queensland, and are now prohibited.
Authors' Note: Glacial can be pronounced with either 2 or 3 syllables. Here, the word has the meaning of 'produced by, or related to a glacier’.
Geologists tell us that during the Wisconsin glaciation, the ice-sheet scooped out soft rock and pushed the piled-up debris, sand and gravel, southward towards Lake Iroquois, the precursor of Lake Ontario. Twelve thousand years ago, with the ending of the ice-age, meltwater from the Laurentide Glacier eroded the channels that became the basis of Toronto's system of ravines.
Giorgio Coniglio's poetic efforts, photos and other amusing musings can now be found on Facebook, in his photo-albums, should you care to look.
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