A Visit to Toronto

Posted 19 August, 2014 by Trish in Life, Road Trip, Travel / 26 Comments


Haliburton Highlands

Toronto! Ontario! Several months ago my dad told my sisters and me that my grandparents would be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this summer at my uncle’s lake house in Ontario, Canada. I knew it would be quite the undertaking to take the girls up there for a week but I also realize that it might be the last chance we get to visit as we average a visit every 5-7 years. In case you don’t know, I’m half Canadian and lived in a Toronto suburb when I was a child. It’s always such a breath of fresh air to return.


And this trip we were lucky enough to not only stay at my grandparent’s fantastic farm just north of Toronto but also stay the weekend at my uncle’s lakehouse in the Haliburton Highlands.


It was stunning.


Absolutely breathtaking. And peaceful. And relaxing. And with all the eager helping hands of my family, Scott and I were able to escape on kayaks twice during the weekend. I told Scott that the only thing that could have made it better is if I had brought my Nook with me. Of course he gave me an exaggerated eyeroll.


It was so much fun to see my grandparents (the cutest Swiss couple you ever did see…below right with Evie who isn’t thrilled). And of course time with my dad and stepmom (and sister and fiance from California) plus aunts and uncles was such a treat. Elle even caught a fish with her poppop (my dad). Nevermind that she left him with the pole to get a treat and 2 seconds after she left he caught the fish…



Back in the Toronto “suburbs” we spent most of the rest of our time cruising around my grandparent’s farm on ATVs. They have acres of gorgeous gorgeous landscape (my grandpa has the greenest green thumb), and we ate raspberries off the bushes, snapped off peas, pulled carrots, and had fun scaring the Canadian Geese.




Evie loooooved driving the gator and golf cart. And I love how Elle is laughing so hard that she’s a blur.



A tiny snapshot of my grandpa’s gardens. Sadly I waited until the morning we left to take my pictures and it was too soggy to take a tour of the grounds. Next time.



On our final full day in Canada we decided to take the girls to downtown Toronto to take the ferry to Centre Island and a little amusement park called Centreville. It was amazingly perfect. Minus the hotter than expected weather.


The park is aimed at younger kids and there was only one ride that Elle wasn’t tall enough to go on. Evie could only ride a few of the rides but she was content hanging out in her stroller, snoozing in the Ergo carrier, or crawling around on the grass and eating dirt. You know, the usual.

Elle had a blast.


Maybe that’s an understatement…


And the great thing about the park is that it was free to roam–we only had to pay for the ferry over to the Islands and then the price to ride the rides. Perfect.


And as you can see, no sugar at all was consumed…

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Ahhhh Toronto. I’m so glad I was able to take my children to my childhood city. I know they won’t remember this trip and I certainly hope that we’ll be back. My only regret is that I didn’t have extra time to meet some of the awesome Toronto/Canadian bloggers I know.







26 Responses to “A Visit to Toronto”

  1. Oh my, what beautiful pictures! The lake looks so stunning, I love all the pretty reflections.
    I’m glad you had a good time and how lovely that you got to see your grandparents and celebrate their anniversary!

  2. The pics are so pretty. Glad you were able to make in back into Canada (waves from MTL) with the family. You might be surprised at what they will remember. Hopefully you will make it back.

  3. Meg

    Your grandfather’s gardens look absolutely amazing — so cool! I would love to have a garden like that someday. Your trip looks fabulous, and the girls are so cute! Toronto is a very cool city.

  4. Aww, this trip just looks wonderful! I’ve never been to Toronto, but if I plan a trip there I’m going to have to email you for tips!

  5. Your photos are very beautiful! I hope to be able to make it to Canada some day – the closest I have been is to the Niagara Falls. Your uncle’s lakehouse is just so serene and pretty. I agree with you – a book is the only other thing you need there.

  6. Glad you had such a great time. Your photos were lovely. I just got back from a 10 day trip that I stayed unplugged on and it was great!

  7. We travelled to Canada almost every other year when I was growing up. We’d stay at various camps around Lake Nosbonsing around Bonfield – in Ontario. It was great and so many great memories now. Glad you had such a great trip!

  8. Jennygirl

    beautiful photos! glad you were able to share this big event with your family and enjoy each other’s company!

  9. Ti

    Wow…such gorgeous grounds! I am so glad you got to have a little “me” time while visiting, too. A bonus, for sure.

    Evie looks like she likes the driving. Watch out!

    And Elle, her head sure is getting whipped back in that one ride pic! LOL!! She is totally having a blast in that pic.

  10. The internet went out as I tried to post a comment, so I have no idea if it went through…anyway, I was just saying that the trip looked fun, and that I’m excited I’m close to Canada now and will be able to go there for the first time. :)

  11. Lu

    SO beautiful!!! Your grandparents farm looks just lovely and that lake!! It sounds like you all had a great time.

  12. I would love to go there! I love to travel and I totally plan on going to Canada one year. Well… OK so I have been through Canada once. I drove from Anchorage to Haynes, AK and we crossed through Canada to get there. Pretty Pretty! But I want to go to Canada again!

  13. Such a beautiful area – how lucky you are to be able to call it home. I must say, I’d much rather this trip than your trip to the desert! The girls may not remember the trip but how wonderful that your grandparents and the rest of your family got to spend enough time with them to really get to know them. And it’s all a part of the building up of this memory of having had a wonderful childhood even if they can’t remember the specifics.

  14. I keep meaning to comment on this post…

    Does your uncle want to adopt me (and my husband)? ;) His lakehouse property is amazing. So serene and beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of Lake Vermillion (Minnesota) where we stayed many years ago at a resort called Ludlow’s. Were there any loons on the lake? I love the sound of them calling across the lake to each other.

    I really need to plan a trip to Ontario. I was born in Ottawa but haven’t returned since I was a very little girl. I’d love to visit Toronto, as well as Quebec City. We’ve gotten to known B.C. quite well, but not the eastern part of the country. Maybe in another year or two.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful photos, Trish. Looks like it was a memorable vacation.