Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rattlesnake Point :: Halton Conservation Area

One day last week, I took a drive (on the back roads) about 45 minutes northwest of Mississauga to Rattlesnake Point -- part of the Niagara Escarpment -- just west of Milton. The photo below was take from the upper cliff trail at Pinnacle Point, looking roughly southwest, towards Lake Ontario.

This was my first visit to this conservation area park (admission $5 for the day, though you can get season's passes that include all 5 parks). From the gated entrance, where I picked up a trail guide, I followed the road to the furthest parking area, circling almost back to the entrance. A short walk through primeval woods took me to the amazing views from the top of the rock climbing area.

The stair access to the lower cliff face was blocked off this day as a film shoot was in progress. You can see some of their gear in the photo above.

The Niagara Escarpment is a series of parks with waterfalls (of which Niagara is the best known), woods and wildlife, cut through by the Bruce Trail. See, too, my photos of the waterfalls in the adjoining Conservation Hamilton area.

Update March 2008: More photos on my site for Rattlesnake Point.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chinese Lantern Festival in Toronto

Toronto's waterfront at Ontario Place is once again the site of the Chinese Lantern Festival (July 19- October 7), and I, for one, plan to take it in this year. For sure. Really. If I can find someone to go with me. (Lanterns, by definition, are best viewed at night, and I don't relish the idea of wandering about the waterfront on my own after dark. Not that it's particularly dangerous -- just not a good position to put oneself in.

There are 40 giant lanterns , some of which I have seen through the GO train windows, and those glimpses of fabulous colors and shapes make me want to see more. After all, bigger is better, right? And these ones dwarf most Chinese lanterns, like the ones in the photo below.

I took this photo in Hong Kong, at the Star Ferry terminal promenade area, on a dark and rainy evening. They were easily the loveliest objects on the waterfront, and, given Hong Kong's fabulous skyline, that's saying a lot! Check the festival web site for details.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Waterfront Trail in Mississauga :: Lakeview and Port Credit

Update July 2008 more pictures Waterfront Trail Mississauga- Port Credit.

The other night, my friend Megan (
see June 27 post and photos) and I went for a walk along the Waterfront Trail section east of the Credit River. This was in the midst of a heat wave, and over by the gazebo (in the middle of the photo), the breeze off Lake Ontario felt like air conditioning on full blast! It was a slice of heaven!

After each of us slurping down a fast-melting ice cream in a waffle cone, we drove a few blocks eastward, to Lakefront Promenade, then headed into the park and marina area. The most dramatic view of what's left of the Lakeview Generating Station (that was blown up last week) are from the street where there is no parking or place to stop and take photos. From that angle, the various 'layers' of the implosion run in a row, all neat and tidy.

Though it was getting dark, we climbed the hill just across from the rubble, and got this end shot. It seems so strange to have this 'mountain' where none existed.
The haze whited out the definition, but you get the idea.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mississauga :: Clouds of Summer

Last evening, I set out for a short walk to the park and lakeshore, since it had been a week or so since I had last gone that way, and I wanted to see what, if anything, had changed. Coming out from under the tree canopy part of the trail, I could see the setting sun behind the clouds.

A few minutes later, and accompanied by a scampering chipmunk, I took the second photo when the clouds again shifted.

Later that night, as I was watching the news, I was surprised to learn that those clouds were likely remnants of the heavy rains and thunderstorms earlier that day, just northeast and east of Toronto. Here, to the west of Toronto, it had been dry and mostly sunny.

These widely varied weather conditions within a fairly small geographic area always surprise me: Toronto could be having a day-long driving snowstorm (usually due to lake streamers), yet in Mississauga, only 20 km or so west, it will be bright and sunny. Snow? What snow?

It's supposed to get very hot the next few days. Would that the nearby lake was suitable for swimming!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Traveling to Quebec City This Summer?

If you are heading to the Canadian province of Quebec and plan to take in one of the popular tours de ville -- tours of the historic sights of lovely old Quebec City -- then know that Quebec is serious about its tour guides. Not just anyone can show you around; guides have to know their stuff!

As a matter of fact, it's the law: A Québec City region by-law mandates that local tourist guides working in the territory must obtain a valid permit each year by passing a training course, or qualifying for a certificate of equivalency recognized by two establishments that offer the special tourist guide course. This stipulation guarantees that guides who offer tours of Québec City will provide high-quality information to visitors.

See the Quebec Region site for other information about this historic part of Canada.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Where in the World :: Summer Sunset

Where in the world? Thailand? China? Nope! Though this building appears pagoda-like, even though the eaves are not upturned, it's located on the outskirts of Milton, Ontario, Canada.

Where? Bordering Mississauga, to the west.

I took this photo from the entrance to a area tree farm (Van Dongens), which is on Trafalgar Road, just south of Derry Road.

Coming back from dinner in Milton (the community just west of Mississauga), I had taken Derry Road eastbound to Trafalgar before tourning south. Since the setting sun kept drawing my attention from the fairly busy road, I thought it safer to stop and watch for a while. Sunsets never last all that long, anyhow. May as well enjoy it!

I had taken the lower photo about 5 minutes earlier, while I waited for a traffic signal. Note how many power lines are visible. This area's valuable farmland is being taken over by new housing developments, as land prices are generally much lower than in areas closer to Toronto. Homeowners can have a nice, big, new houses, albeit with a tiny yards and with the neighbours able to look directly in through all your windows. No word yet as to where our food will be grown.