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The Hamilton Family of Acton, Ontario, Canada
March 22, 2007
Heavy Equipment Show

2007 National Heavy Equipment Show, International Centre, Mississauga (Toronto), Michelin Man mascot

I took in the 2007 National Heavy Equipment Show held in the International Centre in Mississauga. While wandering past the vast halls filled with an amazing amount of construction equipment I found the Michelin Man out meeting the peeps. I think this guy might have played the stay puft marshmallow man in the ghostbuster movie.

March 23, 2007
Spring brings nice things

Acton's Prospect Park - Fairy Lake. The tributary of the Black Creek brings some of the recent snow melt into the lake and starts to melt the ice. Ducks and geese take advantage of the open water.

And the best part of spring is the warmer weather. When mixed with bright sunshine then we can start to get over the harsh part of winter. And while we may still get some rough weather and more snow it seems like the worst is over. Below is a video of the birds enjoying the open waters of Fairy Lake - including some ducks that do a nice water landing.

March 25, 2007
Sumac around Frog Pond

Staghorn sumac fuzzy berries by Frog Pond in Acton

The ice is off Frog Pond and the staghorn sumac fuzzy berries have survived the winter. When the kids were younger we used to walk through this area all the time and stop and try the sour tasting berries.

Spring has definitely sprung as the temperature rises and the sun comes out to play in Ontario.

March 31, 2007
Hershey Chocolate Factory

Hershey Chocolate Factory, Smith Falls, Ontario, visitor entrance

It was a superb weekend and we took full advantage of the weather on Saturday when we went east - to Smith Falls and Kingston, then along the St Lawrence River. We had wanted to tour the Hershey Chocolate Factory located in Smith Falls - but we had missed it last time, so this time we set out at 4 in the morning! Joe rented a van so we could all fit and the kids would fought a little less because of the additional space.

The factory will be closed sometime in 2008 and, to our disappointment, the chocolate lines weren't up and running on the weekend.

We drove around Smith Falls, where my younger brother was born, and later went into Kingston. We lived in both of these towns as my dad was in the Canadian army and these places were close to, or in CFB Kingston. The area is also home of the historic Rideau Canal and the many locks in the system.

In Smith Falls there is an old railway lift bridge that has been abandoned - the bridge is up so that ships can pass through the canal. It reminded me of one of the Star Wars walking fighters due to it's size and shape.

Smith Falls abandoned railway lift bridge over Rideau Canal, Ontario

The following picture shows one of the empty locks with the bridge open in the background.

Smith Falls Historic Rideau Canal Locks in winter. Ontario, Canada

After Smith Falls and Kingston we followed the St Lawrence River and the Loyalist Parkway to the west and explored the area including Quinte's Island (reached by ferry) and the mysterious Lake on the Mountain.

April 6, 2007
High Park zoo visit

cardinal bird (red) in tree. High Park zoo, Toronto, Ontario

While spring seems to have retreated in the face of renewed winter weather we find time to explore some more of Toronto. Joe and I visit the High Park zoo where several animals are kept behind fences while chicadees and squirrels and even the red cardinal above remain free.

The park is a large area in Toronto with great paths, treed areas, restaurants and other amenities to make for a great day of exploration - and it is free to visit. There is also a great gathering of dogs in the leash free area. Some of the dogs were dressed in coats and sweaters and the action and cute dogs are an enjoyable diversion. The leash free area has a bill board where we noticed the posting about a dog-napped pet in the picture below.

HIgh Park leash free dog zone, Toronto, Ontario. Billboard, dog-napping posting

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