Calling all Ontario gerbils

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Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:36 am

OK, so I'm going to the MLB hall of fame induction in Cooperstown, NY in late July. If my buddy gets his passport lined up, the plan is to drive back through Canada. We would cross over into Canada at Niagra Falls, and head west down the northern shore of Lake Erie to Windsor/Detroit. My question is, what is there to see in there? We're definitely stopping for a day or two in London (seems to be a decent bit to do there), and also some time in Niagra Falls. Other than those two (or if you have some reccomendations for those two areas), what do you recommend? We're looking mostly for historical sites, graves of famous people (we once drove an hour out of our way on a road trip to see the grave of Burl Ives) or the sort of stuff that's on Roadside America, like the Mug Tree.

So, any help would be appreciated
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idchafee
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:48 am

I like the butterfly conservatory near Niagara Falls, but it's apparently not everyone's thing.

The 401 stretch between London and Windsor is a whole lotta nothing. The most interesting thing I can remember about Windsor is the bridge. :P
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:09 am

Toronto is only about 1 hour out of your way once you are in Niagara Falls. It would a mistake not to visit.
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:18 am

Honestly, I wouldn't bother. Unless you go out of your way to see Toronto (which is 1 to 1.5 hours east of Niagara Falls).
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:35 am

1. Make sure you see the Falls from the Canadian side also, it has the better view (meaning the stuff is actually on the US side).
2. Historic stuff near the Falls you probably should go to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Shaw Festival, buildings, etc.
3. May be get some ice wine while you are at NotL
4. London, ON may have some places to visit.
5. Agreed with above: between London and Windsor is a whole lot of nothing. 401 is straight and mostly flat, try not to fall asleep. ;)
6. Chatham is the largest city between London and Windsor. Just read about the Underground Railroad thing on wikipedia so that may be interesting. The one thing I remember is once you see the Chatham sign on 401, try not to speed too much as the OPP seems to need $ there.
7. Before reaching Windsor, you may stop by Leamington and try some tomotoes. Not sure if you can bring them over though.
8. There are a few historical sites to visit in Windsor, but if short on time I would just focus on the bridge/tunnel and take a picture of the Detroit skyline on the riverside. Zooming in on the Joe Louis Arena sign was a decent test of your camera equipment. Day vs night can be different as well. If you choose to cross over the Ambassador bridge, be prepared to wait along Huron Church Road (consistently voted as one of the worst roads in the province, road conditions wise). There may be a few "open solicitations" on rooftops/roadsides along the road aimed at the bored truckers. :o

Should you decide to make a detour to Toronto, that's a whole different game. Let us know and we can give more relevant info. Will there be kids?
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:48 am

No kids. Just me and a couple other baseball fans. Toronto is off the table at the moment, but I might be persuaded otherwise. Time is a factor there. I don't wanna burn ALL my vacation days on this trip!
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:54 am

According to the Blue Jay's schedule, 7/18 - 7/24 they will be playing the Rangers and Red Sox. After that they will be on the road (they are at Yankees 7/25-7/27 though). So perhaps nothing much for you to see there.
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:02 pm

Don't forget to stop at our gas stations for our $5.30/gal fuel and liquor stores for 40oz bottle for $40+ ;)

I'm from what southern Ontario people call igloo land :| since they consider Barrie north and anything 1 hr north of Barrie cottage country and anything north of that the boonies.

If you will be coming later in July, Niagara on the lake is nice, should be lots of fresh produce out around then also, great wolf lodge is nice if you have kids (but $$), around St.Catharine's and area you can see the locks in the Welland canal, with some raising bridges and stuff.

If you're going to travel along the lake not sure if you would want to stop at Port Dover or any of the others for pics of whatever. If you're close to Leamington, Point Pelee provincial park is right there also, which is pretty much the most southern point in Canada lol

I heard London ON is nice, but haven't been there.

If you ever come further north you can see cool stuff like this ;)

http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_S ... ing04.html

edit - https://www.ec.gc.ca/eaudouce-freshwate ... D72B6AF9-1
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Oh yeah - Rainbow Bridge (the border crossing that's right at the Falls) is usually pretty congested, so make sure to take that into account in your itinerary. You can check wait times here. And fill your tank before you cross. :P
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:12 pm

In the east side of Hamilton (along your way) there is the HMCS Haida, the last surviving Tribal-class destroyer.
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:45 pm

stephenl wrote:Toronto is only about 1 hour out of your way once you are in Niagara Falls. It would a mistake not to visit.


Actually the route they are driving Toronto is only 30 minutes out of the way. But beware that traffic and construction will kill ya.

You are passing through Ontario Wine Country. There are literally hundreds of wineries. There is also a good set of Craft breweries.

St Jacobs is a nice quaint area (like Niagara on the Lake) though NotL has more to see.
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Re: Calling all Ontario gerbils

Postposted on Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:26 pm

North side of Lake Erie is sleepy little beach towns and a couple of wineries. 4 guys on a high speed road trip aren't going to have any kind of interest in that kind of thing. I would do the south side of Lake Erie instead. Presque Isle in Erie, PA is great. Cedar Point in Sandusky is also worth a full day. Sounds like you don't want to spend any time driving out of your way--both those destinations are on your path.
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