It’s not a long trip from Niagara to Toronto, skirting the edge of Lake Ontario all the way. Rather than take the freeway, we try to find the coastal route and come across a couple of beautiful views, and a handful of surprising local sites.
First stop is St. Catherine’s, one of the more industrial towns in the region. Instead, we drive through wine country to reach the beach and lighthouse at Port Dalhousie.
Here’s where we start running into surprises: first, we drive through Louth, then Lincoln, and finally Grimsby – all towns familiar from back home. We stop off at Jordan Harbour in Lincoln to see the wreck of “La Grande Hermine”, a ship built in 1914 which was brought to the Niagara area to be a floating casino. After being torched in 2003, it has lain abandoned as a rusting hulk just visible from the main road.
We drive on through Hamilton – another industrial port city which feels rather run down, and then stop for lunch in Oakville, which is a bustling and very picturesque suburb about half an hour outside Toronto.
Finally, we make it into the city and head to our apartment on John Street. It’s very well located: our view is of the CN Tower, the Blue Jays baseball stadium, and the lakefront just a stone’s throw away. Here’s where we’ll spend the next couple of days exploring the thriving city.