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Toronto et Montréal, vues par des touristes anglais....







"LOOK," I said. "We can't sit in the lobby all day in case he walks past." "Please," replied my wife, "just a little longer."


My wife, Lyn, and I were staying at Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada.


We were in town the same time that the international film festival was on and earlier that day some excitable American women had told us George Clooney had been spotted at our hotel and Lyn had decided we would station ourselves at the lobby doors in case his gorgeousness should come by.


Sadly, there was no sign of George but Toronto's charms soon made up for his absence.


We had arrived earlier that day and began by taking a stroll around the downtown area, ending up at lovely Lake Ontario, the smallest of the Great Lakes at a mere 193 miles long and 53 miles wide.


58 We bought a coffee and sat for a long time watching the sun sparkle off the blue waters and sailing boats a n d f e r r i e s pottering back and forth. Lake Ontario is more than just a stunning attraction. Because it is so vast it does not completely freeze and retains heat, protecting Toronto from some of the worst excesses of the Canadian winter.


We went back through downtown Toronto, which has the energy and big city vibe of London or New York.


As we wandered around we noticed the city has a thriving arts and culture scene. Toronto is very culturally diverse with almost any type of ethnic restaurant available.


Which was handy as all that walking and exploring had made us hungry, so we headed over to the CN Tower for a meal.


The 1,815ft tower, visible from virtually all over the city, is the world's second tallest free-standing structure and has a fine restaurant at the top.


A glass fronted lift travelling on the outside of the structure whisked us to the top in just 58 seconds.


Once there we waited for our stomachs to rejoin us before moving into the restaurant, which boasts spectacular views across the city and beyond.


On a clear day you can see for 100 miles and really get the impression of the size of Lake Ontario, which stretches away as far as the eye can see.


The restaurant slowly revolves so we got a breathtaking view across the lake and sunset over the city.


Once we tore ourselves away from the view we turned our attention to the food which was just as spectacular.


Lyn had Japanese Kobe Beef with wilted spinach and gold mashed potatoes while I had breast of Peking duck with French bean salad.


of We washed this down with a local Niagara red wine taken from the world's highest wine cellar.


We also managed to squeeze in two naughty puddings.


Afterwards we went down one floor to the observation deck, which has a glass floor. Our waiter suggested a way of amusing our fellow tourists is to jump up and down on the glass.


Perhaps not.


The following day we took an all day excursion to Niagara Falls and the surrounding region.


Our guide David picked us up from our hotel and provided an interesting and amusing commentary of the history of the region on the drive there.


Our first stop was the Whirlpool Rapids downstream from the falls.


This is the narrowest part of the Niagara River and because it does an abrupt right turn it creates an astonishingly huge whirlpool.


We thought ourselves brave to take the creaky old cable car which travels right over the top of the rapids.


Next on to Niagara Falls themselves. Two things surprised me about the falls.


One is that there are actually two waterfalls.


The smaller American Falls are on the US side of the river in New York State while the bigger Horseshoe Falls are on the Canadian side.


The second thing is that I expected Niagara Falls to be in some kind of hardy wilderness.


In fact Niagara Falls is a reasonable sized town with plush hotels and swanky restaurants.


All this, however, doesn't detract from the absolute splendour of the falls.


To stand before such a marvel of nature that you've seen a million times in photographs and on film is humbling and strangely moving.


You can lean on a railing literally right next to the falls and we spent a long time looking in awe before our guide called us to go to lunch.


As part of our tour lunch was arranged at the Riverview restaurant overlooking the falls.


The restaurant has a marvellous all you can eat buffet - frankly, it's a glutton's delight. After lunch we were taken to the jetty for the Maid of the Mist boat ride up to the base of the falls.


We were handed blue bin-liner type ponchos to keep us dry. The boat travels up the river to the bottom of the falls and you get a real sense of the enormous power of the water, plus a good soaking.


Our tour continued with a visit to Niagara-On-The-Lake, an impossibly attractive town that somehow developers have passed by leaving it with the most original 18th century buildings in the province of Ontario.


From there we headed on to a local winery where we tasted the local ice wine.


The grapes are picked at night when the temperature has been -10C for three days. They are pressed when frozen, which produces a very sweet thick dessert wine.


Our time in Toronto over, we jumped on a Via Rail train to Montreal in Quebec. A train ride really is the best way appreciate the vastness and beauty of Canada.


Take the sophistication of a large North American city, mix in a dash of French charm and style and you have the beguiling concoction that is Montreal. We checked into the Hotel Delta Centre-Ville in the heart of downtown Montreal and within a few hours of arriving it became one of my favourite cities.


Because it was late and we were hungry we took the advice of the receptionist and walked to the Old Montreal to find a restaurant. WHAT J Sixty per cent of Montreal residents have French as their first language and I thought it might be a chance to impress Lyn with my schoolboy language prowess. Zut alors. Nul points.


We found Restaurant Bonaparte on Saint-Francois-Xavier Street and sat in a greenhouse bursting with plants and enjoyed a good French meal.


In the morning we headed back into Old Montreal and in the daylight we were even more impressed.


It captivated us with its narrow cobbled streets, cafes, bars and galleries all leading down to the quay and the mighty St. Lawrence River.


We found a cafe and bistro called March du Vieux on the corner of Commune Street East. They specialise in the local sandwich called a Viande Fumee.


It's hot bread packed with smoked meats and served with a tomato salad covered in a spicy sauce and is very good.


It's a type of Montreal fast food and the locals were coming in to get them to take away for lunch.


We decided to see a bit more of the city and signed up for a guided bike tour with Montreal On Wheels.


Our guide Louie took us on a three hour tour along mostly flat streets with cycle paths J separated from the traffic. Montreal is regarded as one the best North American cities to cycle in and the huge amount of residents using the cycleways backs this up.


You The trip isn't strenuous and even unfit lardbuckets can manage it as my wife pointed out. Surely she didn't mean me? We t r ave l l e d through the downtown financial district, arty areas, upmarket districts and some more edgy parts plus some stunning parks. I cannot recommend it highly enough as a way to see the real Montreal.


Our trip to Canada was sadly at an end.


We'd had a wonderful time and Toronto and Montreal ticked all the boxes for a perfect two-city break.




NORTH American tours specialist Jetsave's nine-day Canadian Summer Fun Inspirational Journey includes three nights in Toronto and four nights in Montreal.


Prices are EUR1,936pp based on two sharing and include return BA flights from Heathrow departing on July 2, seven nights' hotel accommodation and Via Rail train travel between Toronto and Montreal. Visit http://www.jetsave.com.


Time zone: GMT -5hrs


Currency: Canadian dollar EUR1 = 1.33


Best time to go: Super spring to autumn



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C'est rafraichissant de lire des commentaires d'appréciation qui sont faits au premier degré sur des impressions spontanées et sans aucune référence politique. C'est un peu beaucoup ça le tourisme, des gens qui viennent connaitre par l'expérience vécue des endroits qui auront réussi à les charmer sans autres artifices. Chaque endroit est unique, a ses forces et ses faiblesses et c'est la responsabilité de chaque ville d'améliorer son bilan en développant sa personnalité propre. Ici les deux villes principales du Canada auraient intérêts à mieux coopérer en développant un produit complémentaire plutôt que concurrent. On le fait beaucoup du côté du tourisme français, avec arrivée à Montréal et départ de Toronto (ou l'inverse) et on pourrait ainsi multiplier les circuits venant d'autres pays européens.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Il ya une chance sur deux que ce guide fût votre cher Yarabundi : nous sommes deux Louis à Montréal qui accompagnons les touristes à vélo mais l'autre guide ne travaillent que très rarement ayant un travail régulier (cinq jours par semaine au musée de la fourrure de Lachine).


C'est certainement yarabundi, l'article ne parle pas de poutine!

Évidemment, ça augmente le pourcentage de chance que ce Louis fût votre serviteur !! :rotfl:

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