Thursday, June 26, 2008

West Jet to Kamloops B.C. New Route December 2008

Finally! West Jet will begin flying to Kamloops, B.C. ! That is the good news. Friends and relatives in Kamloops have been longing for the day that West Jet will come to town to give them a choice in air carriers. Finally! Yes!

The not so good news is the new route, via Calgary Alberta (YYC), is set to begin December 15, 2008. Though this date will undoubtedly gladden the hearts of Christmas travellers, it's a few months too late for the early September trip that my mom has planned.

The closest she can get flying West Jet to Kamloops (YKA) in September is to fly to Kelowna, B.C. (YLW) and either take the bus, or have someone in Kamloops drive down to meet her plane, and then take her back to Kelowna for the return trip. It's about a 2-hour drive each way, and a major inconvenience.

In any event, I went to the West Jet site to see what the current fares were for her September trip. Here's what I found: Total including taxes is $665.00 CAD, just as far as Kelowna (gas or bus fare to Kamloops is extra).

And then over to Air Canada to compare fares. I selected the Tango class (the cheapest) with no meals (you can prepay $6.00 for a meal/snack voucher). Total: $735.35 to Kamloops via Calgary.

Air Canada also flies to Kamloops via Vancouver, but this routing adds another 2 or more hours to total travel time as you retrace your route.

So as it stands now, mom will likely choose to pay the $70 fare difference and take Air Canada so she won't have to worry about buses or having someone transfer her to and from Kelowna. But come next year, she will most likely choose to fly Westjet. We'll decide once we see the routing, the fares and the planes. But if customer satisfaction counts for anything, West Jet should win the route hands down.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mississauga Canada Day Fireworks in Port Credit

June 30 2010 See Paint the Town Red for Fireworks, Parade July 1 2010 AND Canada Day Events - Three fireworks locations: Port Credit, Streetsville, Civic Centre.

Update June 29, 2009
July 1, 2009 Canada Day Fireworks return to Port Credit to mark the end to the day's celebrations! See Paint the Town Red link below for details. Click on the image to see larger size, then hit back button to return to this page :-)

June 2008: Original Post:

For pictures taken on Canada Day 2009 see Canada Day party in Port Credit.

From 2008 Canada Day:
This Canada Day (Tuesday, July 1, 2008) in Mississauga means fireworks and a huge concert at Port Credit Memorial Park (see Waterfront festival blog post for map -- it's the same location).

Here's a picture I took from Memorial Park, looking across the Credit River, south to the Port Credit lighthouse:

And I posted more pictures on July 1 here!

The Canada Day celebrations are billed as Paint the Town Red, and the fun starts at noon a few blocks east of the park on Lakeshore and Wenonah, with Mayor McCallion making the first cut of a giant cake. Fireworks usually start at dusk, and will be at the park. (See update for times, etc on the more pictures link)

See the Paint the Town Red site for all the details, and full concert listings. It's gonna be HUGE!

Now these sort of fun things go on all summer long down here in Port Credit. And I promise to stop going on and on about them all if you'll just pop over to the Port Credit BIA site, and either bookmark it or sign up for their email updates. Incidentally, the BIA offices are actually IN the lighthouse in the photo!

But wait: There are more fireworks in Mississauga on Canada Day!
  • In Streetsville, Canada Day is also the Village in the City's 150 Birthday! with fireworks scheduled for 10 p.m. See Canada Day in Streetsville for all the details.
  • In Mississauga City Centre area at City Hall west of Square One. Events from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. See Canada Day Mississauga for list of entertainers and kid's activities.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Larch Tamarack Trees Among the Beech

As well as copper beech trees (see previous post), there are a number of tamarack trees aka larch, in Mississauga's Rhododendron Gardens. And all these large trees are more than happy with the copious rain this spring.

Tamarack (Larch) Mississauga, Ontario
Tamarack, like beech, stand out from the usual pine northern forests, with their distinctive foliage, looking almost lacy against the broad leafs. Tamarack is a deciduous evergreen : It drops it's leaves in the fall. (To see Fall photos, go to this post

Tamarack (Larch) needles
Lavishly green in spring and summer, these needles will turn yellow and orange come fall.

Grove of tamarack (larch) in Spring
About 50 feet from Lake Ontario's shoreline, is another stand of tamarack. It's as if they all seeded themselves, which most likely they did.

City gardeners and volunteer planters have been very busy planting trees, roses, several hundred rhododendrons, and much else. Rhododendron Gardens is fast becoming one of the City of Mississauga's great gardens. That it is sited along the shores of Lake Ontario, where native Canada geese, ducks and swans bob and dive in the waves, well, you can't BUY a water feature like that!

Update April 2009
I happened to be in Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens today, down by the lake, and saw the tamaracks are sporting their new spring growth. Here are two pictures to show how they look in early Spring.

Close up New Growth Larch / Tamarack

First Hints of Green - Larch in Spring, Ontario
Now I have all four seasons in the cycle of the larch. Well, not actually one for winter, but just imagine no leaves at all, and you have it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Copper Beech - Ontario Trees in Spring

As I write this post, it is now officially the first day of summer. When I took these pictures earlier this afternoon at Rhododendron Gardens in Mississauga, Ontario, it was still Spring.
Copper Beech
There are a number of copper beech trees here in the park. These are the first I had ever seen, as they are not all that common in Canada. Here in southern Ontario, remnants of Carolinian forest can be found, and so we have beech trees.

Copper (purple) Beech leaves
The most striking feature of these trees is their dark leaf color, almost burgundy, though I believe some refer to it as purple. I've seen a type of maple tree with similarly dark colored foliage, but when you look closely at the leaf, you can tell at once it is not a maple leaf.

Copper Beech late May
The picture above was taken during the Rhododendron Gardens tour on May 25. This stand of copper beech is at the top of the hill in the Gardens, and the leaves are indeed coppery in the sunlight. Someone told me that these beech leaves can turn green later on, but if memory serves, they remained the deep color all summer.

Beech Grove Near Lake Ontario
Still in the Gardens, but down the hill from the stand in the above photo, you'll find more beech trees just steps from the waters of Lake Ontario. (There are also a few beech at the entrance at Lakeshore Road and Shawnmarr, on the west side.)

Bark and Trunk - Copper Beech
As well as the striking foliage, and the shape of the leaves, the bark, too, is different from the usual deciduous trees. Very smooth, almost inviting you to reach out and touch it. This year, I'll pay particular attention to color changes, and take pictures when September comes.

Spring has been cooler and rainier than normal, and the trees are lapping up all that moisture. Let's hope it continues. Last summer's near drought stressed many of our forests and gardens.

If you're up for a road trip, or biking the Waterfront Trail through Mississauga this summer, do stop for a while and stroll through Rhododendron Gardens. It's free, there are lots of benches and shady trees, the rose bed is being planted as we speak. There's even what's termed a 'comfort station' - a building housing the restrooms!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aboriginal Heritage Celebration Mississauga

Ever on the lookout for photo ops, I think that this coming Sunday (June 22, 2008), I'll head over to the celebrations in honour of Aboriginal Day Heritage. This free community event will feature elders, dances, song and music, a sacred fire ceremony, storytelling and traditional teachings.

I don't know about you, but this sounds like a good chance to learn something about the history of the the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and the Credit River Metis, the Metis Nation of Ontario, and the Inuit. All in one place, on one day, and it's free!

The Aboriginal Heritage Celebrations run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and take place at the Robinson Adamson Grange Park, 1921 Dundas St. West, in Mississauga (Ontario, Canada).

This is on the north side of Dundas, one block west of Mississauga Road, at the corner of Sir John's Homestead and Dundas Street. Here -- I got the google map for you. Erindale Park is just east of Mississauga Road, so if the weather cooperates, maybe think about making a day of it!

Come to think of it, this location for the Grange is almost within sight of the historic Glenerin Inn (info) and they do a great brunch on Sundays. The Glenerin is north from Dundas on Mississauga Road. Go to the first light (The Collegeway), and turn left.

View Larger Map

Switzerland Zurich Airport Piracy, Hotel News

Bring counterfeit goods into Zurich airport, and you run the risk of having them confiscated. That's the word from Zurich Airport today, advising me in their regular newsletter that even if you are a tourist, or only bringing in goods for personal use, or even in small amounts, counterfeit designer and brand name goods will be confiscated. The amended law is effective July 1, 2008. See full story at Zurich

And of course, the law applies to all Swiizerland. See full details of the Swiss Anti-counterfeiting piracy act (English) at

On a more cheerful note, travellers who want to stay at the Zurich Airport can check out details for a brand new hotel -- the Radisson SAS Zurich Airport, a flagship hotel for the chain, with great amenities and restaurants, and easy access to many luxe shops. See prices, details, at
Radisson SAS Zurich Airport.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Waterfront Festival Port Credit Mississauga Ontario 2008

June 18, 2010
Waterfront Festival parking, shuttle bus, info for this year's MWF (Mississauga Waterfront Festival)

It's time again for Mississauga's Waterfront Festival (June 2008) held in Port Credit, on the shores of Lake Ontario. The main attractions and sales booths are in Memorial Park. Have a look at the map to get your bearings:

View Larger Map

This year the Waterfront Festival promises to be the very best EVER! I for one intend to go see Mississauga's own Suzie McNeil (of Rock Star INXS and We Will Rock You) on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.

A weekend pass costs $15 for adults, and $10 for over 65s and 10 and unders, and in my mind, it's well worth it. A family of four can have a whole lot of fun for $50 - Dora the Explorer, Matthew Good, Colin James, 'Miss Spider' (whoever/whatever she is) and many more.

The full program is posted at
or call 905-891-0002 for info. Tickets are available at participating Shoppers Drug Marts, online at the site, or at the gate.

Parking is always a problem on summer weekends in Port Credit, but there are FREE shuttle buses from the Square One - City Centre area, South Common Mall and Erin Mills Town Centre. If you are coming on the GO train, get off at Port Credit (blue mark on map) and walk about 4 blocks.

There are lots of good restaurants and pubs, the site itself is licenced during certain hours, there's a great ice cream shop just east of the bridge / park, and the weather should be perfect! (NoRainNoRainNoRain, Pleasepleaseplease!)

Events run morning, afternoon and well into the evening - you could spend the weekend and not be bored. And best of all, the Waterfront Festival is on the Lakeshore at the Credit River -- what a fabulous location!

Come Play!

(! Canada Day Fireworks Mississauga 2008 - see
newer post this page.)