Archive for the 'Ontario' Category

Cananda: Toronto, Ontario: Come from Away Will Blow You Away

Friday, June 14th, 2019

How would your town (population of only about 10,000) handle it if 38 planes with 6,579 passengers landed on your doorstep unexpectedly? In Newfoundland, they have a local expression about visitors – they call them “the come from aways” – so that’s how the hit Broadway Show Come From Away got its name.

David Hein and Irene Sakoff, Canadian husband and wife librettists and composer-lyricists, took the thousands of stories of passengers and residents on that infamous day, September 11, 2001, when those jets landed in Gander Newfoundland, and turned them into a heartwarming award-winning Broadway musical.

The 90-minute show is drawn from real people’s experiences in Gander on Sept. 11 and on the subsequent days, and  turned them into 12  composite characters: American Airlines Captain Beverley Bass – the first woman captain in the airline’s history, gays, an anxious passenger worried about a missing relative, a man ignored because he looked Mid-Eastern, Southerners, Northerners and foreigners,  These terrified passengers are set down by frightening unexpected circumstances in an unfamiliar land, and are forced to depend on the kindness of strangers.

One can’t even imagine the needs of so many people, besides language, religious and cultural barriers on top of it. Cultures clash and nerves run high, but uneasiness turned into trust when the Newfoundlanders came through with untold hospitality, opening their hearts, their homes, their schools and their stores. When a volunteer went to round up supplies at the town pharmacy, the manager simply said “Take whatever you need off the shelves”.

The dozen in the cast are marvelous, and they somehow 3-D print themselves into a community of people. It’s truly an ensemble, all equally acting and singing their hearts out. To me the superlatives have to go to the set designer, as I’ve never seen chairs star in a show before. Bob Verini of Variety wrote, “passengers and officials…, shuffling set designer Beowulf Boritt’s furniture pieces into a range of evocative public and private spaces”.

Come From Away is now the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history. Producer Corey Brunish said, “It’s about how people respond to tragedy.” It shows, he said, that “there’s hope in the world, there’s hope for us as a human race.” “I can’t imagine a musical we need more right now”, Entertainment reported.

Now that eighteen years have passed, you can google the story and learn that the gratitude grew into enduring friendships, and how the passengers paid it forward.

Come From Away is “celebration best of humankind, and an uplifting piece of art for all our times” said The Daily Beast. Go see it and uplift your life.

Location: Elgin Winter Garden Theatre
Address: 189 Yonge St, Toronto, ON
Dates: til September 29, 2019



Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Two Views of Toronto’s CN Tower

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

The CN Tower and a reflection of the Tower in an office building nearby, The tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa. It still remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario: Views from the CN Tower Toronto

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Until 2009, The CN Tower was the world’s tallest tower but in that year the Canton Tower was built and surpassed it. It’s still in the top 10 free-standing structures in the world, coming in at #9.

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario: CN Tower Toronto

Monday, June 10th, 2019

The CN Tower in Toronto, completed in 1976, is 147 stories high. You can go up and look out on the observation deck on the 114th floor. CN stands for the Canadian National Railway, since the tower was built by the company and is located on former railway land. It remains the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, with more than 2,000,000 visitors zipping up it every year.

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario: Hop on Hop Off Bus in Toronto

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Sightseeing double-decker Toronto tourist bus offers indoor-outdoor live commentary and does the full circuit of Toronto’s sites; A harbor cruise is even included in your ticket.

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Telephone in Casa Loma, Toronto

Monday, June 10th, 2019

High tech telephones can be found in most of the rooms (even his bathroom) of Sir Henry Pellatt’s castle-like home, Casa Loma – and this was in 1913! 

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Ceiling Domes in Casa Loma

Monday, June 10th, 2019

The home of Sir Henry Pellatt was one of the first in America to have recessed lighting installed in the domes of some rooms creating glowing ceilings.

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Casa Loma, Toronto

Monday, June 10th, 2019

The famous Oak Room of the splendid Edwardian era home of Sir Henry Pellatt. The finished panels fruit, flowers, ribbons and birds took 3 years to carve and were so exquisite that in 1913 when they arrived they were first exhibited in Montreal’s Musee des Beaux Arts before being installed in Casa Loma. 

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Canada: Toronto, Ontario – CN Tower Glass Floor

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Standing 113 floors high and looking through a glass floor, you can see the Toronto Raptors Jurassic Park, where fans hang out. In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the  Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.


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Canada – Ottawa, On -Ingenious Ingenium: Canada Science and Technology Museum Re-Opened

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

What can you say about a museum when the 7-year-old you are with stops in her tracks at the entrance because she’s in awe of what she sees? Imagine you are walking thru a video screen of Canadian nature: the aurora borealis, crystals, wheat fields or fire. The museum has been completely re-done, with only two of the all-time favorite exhibits remaining – the crazy kitchen (it’s still so fun watching the video monitor of “drunken” people trying to walk through) and those majestic steam locomotives.

Visiting with a group of kids with an age range of 4-13, all of them were entranced for over 5 hours. Even though it was a busy weekend day, it rarely felt crowded, since there were so many corners to get lost in. One you may not find was a favorite – go past those hulking locomotives and around a corner to look for the soundproof Sounds of Silence room. Nearby, behind those trains, are movable touchable displays called Sound by Design.


The 13-year old liked the wearable technology and how it made the great outdoors easier to enjoy. He got to test a hockey helmets ( you get to whack one with a hammer) and perused the development of beekeepers’ gloves.

At Into the Great Outdoors, I was entranced by the land-water car owned by a family who needed it to drive/float to their chalet on an island.  Though the Zoom room was noted for ages 0-8, all of the kids had fun there – especially on the climbing wall with its secret smells and in the wind tunnel. The 4 year-old was in there for hours. We even saw couples on dates walking around in there with silly grins on.IMG_0167

Medical sensations was scary to one of the young girls, but they enjoyed manipulating facial features and guessing what the colorful patterns were which were captured by microscopes and telescopes.

The Exploratek room is near the cafe. Here the kids can gets creative and build buildings, create tube tracks or work with a robot.  The museum helps you keep costs down by making sure there are tables and cozy couches if you want to bring your own lunch, We’d suggest you do this, sinces the line for hot food in the cafe  moved slowly. There was a good selection of healthy foods.

A few times a day there are live demonstrations – we got lucky and saw one on pyrotechnics, including a rocket firing. Three-Two-One blast-off to this interactive fun learning

Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 5A3
Telephone: 613-991-3044 or toll-free: 1-866-442-4416
Hours: May 1 to September 1: Open daily; September 2 to April 30: Closed Mondays

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