Toronto – Ontario Road Trip 2009 (Blast from the Past)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Ontario 2009

This is a Blast from the Past post. These posts chronicle our travels and other life events before we started blogging!  These posts are usually heavy on the photos, but lighter on the narrative text.  

In 2009, Ken and I took a week long road trip to Ontario, Canada. We drove from our home in Northern Virginia to Niagara Falls, where we spent four nights, followed by three nights in Toronto.

After our time in Niagara Falls, we drove about 80 miles to Toronto, where we planned to spend three nights.

Floral Clock

But, on the way, we made two stops. First was a relatively quick stop at the Floral Clock. It’s a working clock that is surrounded by flowers and other greenery. It was pretty cool, and worth the stop, especially since it was on the way.

Floral clock near Niagara Falls Clock on the way to Toronoto

Riverside Cellars

Our second stop on the drive from Niagara Falls was at a winery. I had learned that Ontario had great wine country! There were many options to try, but we opted for a wine tasting and vineyard tour at Riverview Estate.

Front of Riverview Cellars Winery in Niagara Falls

The tour was fantastic. I learned a lot about the winemaking process, and how Ontario’s famous “Ice Wine” is made.

Riverview Vineyard tour Wine barrels at Riverview Estates Winery Wine making equipment on winery tour in Niagara Falls | Riverview Estate Vineyard at Riverview Cellars | Winery near Niagara Falls Grapes on the vines at winery tour

Inside, the tasting was lovely, and it was accompanied by crackers, cheese, and fruit.

Wine tasting at Riverview Cellars Wine and cheese tasting near Niagara Falls Wines for sale in Niagara Falls

We even got to taste Ice Wine, which is so exceptionally sweet! We purchased a few bottles of wine (including one Ice Wine bottle), and we continued our drive to Toronto.

Ice Wine tasting

CN Tower in Toronto

Our first stop in Toronto was the CN Tower.. I had been there once before when I was just 13 or 14. And my goodness is it a tall structure!

CN Tower in Toronto from Highway CN Tower CN Tower in Toronto

The views of Toronto from the tower observation decks are truly phenomenal!

View of Toronto from CN Tower View of Toronto from CN Tower View of Toronto from CN Tower

We walked around the Observation Deck for quite a while.

Inside the observation deck at the CN Tower

We eventually meandered over to the Glass Floor. Now, I remember being terrified of standing on that floor when I was 13 or 14, but I eventually worked up the courage. It didn’t take Ken nearly as long!

Glass floor at CN Tower Glass floor at CN Tower

But eventually I convinced myself to stand on it for a few seconds. I realize that there’s no risk of the floor breaking, it’s more just the weird sensation of standing on something so clear and being able to see straight down. It makes my stomach do flip flops!

Standing on the glass floor at CN Tower

Then we took another elevator to the “Sky Pod,” an even higher observation deck, 147 stories in the air! It was close and cramped, much like the 102nd floor option at the Empire State Building that we saw in 2013.

Skypod at CN Tower

The windows were smaller, but it was insane to see the tiny “dots” of buildings beneath us from so high up in the air!

People taking photographs in the skypod Windows in Skypod at CN Tower View of Toronto from CN Tower Skypod View from top deck of CN Tower Skypod at CN Tower View of water from CN Tower

Steam Whistle Brewery Tour

After the CN Tower and a quick lunch, we walked to the nearby Steam Whistle Brewery for a tour. I had never been on a brewery tour, so I was pretty excited!

Steam Whistle sign

But first, of cours, I had a few tastes!

Steam whistle tasting Tasting Steam Whistle Beer before tour

The actual tour was very informative and the guide was fantastic. We were able to see so many of the steps of brewing a commercial beer!

Steam Whistle Brewery Tour Steam Whistle Brewery Tour Steam Whistle Brewery Tour Steam Whistle Brewery Tour So many kegs of beer! Boxes of Steam Whistle Beer

And also very fun was the ingredients for beer set out on a table, so we could smell the individual ingredients to see how they each make up beer!

Beer ingredients on table during Steam Whistle Brewery tour in Toronto

Ferry Boat to Centre Island

Another stop for us in Toronto was Centre Island. It was gorgeous, but wow, was it empty. I guess not many folks go there in October. It wasn’t terribly cold or anything, but I’m guessing it must be just a bigger summer destination.

The ferry ride to Centre Island gave fantastic views of the Toronto skyline.

Views of Toronto skyline from ferry to Centre Island

There were stunning parts of Centre Island, like these:

Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto

And then there were times that the area just seemed so empty, like it was abandoned or something! But really, we found it charming and peaceful!

Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto Centre Island Toronto

We planned on having one more full day in Toronto, but the next day, it was just pouring down rain, and it was forecast to continue to rain the rest of the day. So, we called the hotel front desk, and were were able to check out a day early, penalty free.

We began our long drive home to Northern Virginia. Luckily the rain subsided as drove farther south.

Rainy drive in Ontario

We had a blast on our Ontario Road Trip! Have you been to Niagara Falls or Toronto? What did you think?

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