NORM PUTTICK/Straight Talk
We have not defined what a tourist is in Niagara. I state this because over the last several months, RoseMarie and I have had some of the most enjoyable side trips right here in the region.
During July and August we made five trips to Ontario’s north: From Barry’s Bay and Dorset to Halliburton; Lakes Rosseau and Muskoka with the circle route from Bracebridge to Gravenhurst over to Bala and Minett. Great accommodation and awe-inspiring lake and mountain views.
However even though we try to drive north on a Saturday or Sunday to miss some of the weekday traffic at Toronto, we have out of the five trips hit traffic coming home through Toronto and highways 400 and 401 that all but nullified the relaxation we enjoyed.
I am a “tourist” in the north and appreciated by the locals. Likewise RoseMarie and I have made daily trips to sites in Niagara that are equally awe inspiring no matter how many times we visit. A few days ago we drove to Pelham and viewed the fall colours. We zigged and zagged the many hilly roads through Effingham and up Sulphur Spring Road.
We always stop at a wide babbling stream and just listen. Nothing to hear but the ripple of water over rocks. We saw no other cars.
We stop at the pumpkin farm. Side trips have taken us to Crystal Beach and Port Colborne. Fort Erie along the River is a great place to find a restaurant. Wainfleet along the lake is beautiful. Of course we never tire of Port Dalhousie. Niagara-on-the-Lake for Niagara locals is a great daily trip.
Grimsby I learned several years ago has a beach. Welland seeps with history if you look. Lincoln has a women’s clothing store that sells mostly made in Canada. I sit in the car and read while RoseMarie is exploring this shop.
Thorold and its canal lock always pleases.
The Niagara River and Chippawa have history unequalled in many spots in Ontario.
RoseMarie and I make lunch stops and some shopping other than malls as we move about the region.
I guess we are what is called “playing tourist” as listed above. But who knows who we are when we spend money? Isn’t that what tourism is all about?
I often think how many jobs would be created if we just did not advertize “special events in Niagara” but let the areas of Toronto and Hamilton know what we have every day.
If you have not explored Niagara, I suggest you do so. Pick a city or town and go. Buy something in the many shops and have lunch. And don’t forget you are probably within a half-hour from home and there is no hotel room to buy.
It will help the Niagara economy if you play tourist in all of Niagara. I know you will be surprised the enjoyment you will find.
No, I did not forget Niagara Falls, but that is the point. There is more to see in Niagara than just the Falls.
Have fun in all of Niagara.