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Driving Canada: Part 1 - Ontario

Driving Canada: Part 1 - Ontario

I decided to move to Vancouver and knew I had to drive. Getting on a plane to watch a shit movie, have an awkward nap, arrive and call that new place home was just not a thing. 

Canada is big. Toronto to Vancouver is 4,400 km. I wanted to feel what that meant and taking a week to get there felt like an important transition to a seriously new life moment. 

Beyond emotionally needing to feel that distance, I also wanted to see my country. Canadians are the worst. We travel everywhere else, but barely see our own beautiful place. To our credit: it is really fucking big and pretty expensive to get around.

My last month saying goodbye and talking about the drive, the most common reaction was "why would you ever do that to yourself, you crazy woman-girl?". To those doubters: seriously, give up this horrible position. This was one of the best trips of my life. To see your own country and how it changes in landscape and culture, gas prices and road kill is the most epic. There are few other countries you can spend weeks driving through. Canada is big and you should see it.

The first two days were all about Ontario. Even those that praised the drive warned about Ontario and how it never ends and is the worst. To those fools, come on! Ontario is so so beautiful! I never knew! Gorgeous trees and parks and lakes and diners + best humans. 

French River Trading Post, Ontario.

French River Trading Post, Ontario.

Day 1:  we - yes we:  if you are driving over 4,400 km in a week, bring a friend (that you really, really like) - drove to Wawa, once a thriving fur town, now a wee place just past Lake Superiour National Park. Apparently, they have a massive Canada Goose statue. I missed it, but liked it anyways.

If you go: 

stay: at The White Fang. Because: the name! Also just off the highway and you can tell people you slept at The White Fang.

The White Fang.

The White Fang.

eat: Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant. Trinidadian joint across the street from The White Fang. Canadian cottage feel, all wood cabin and warm light with excellent food, a trinidadian drum and an inexplicably signed & prominent Shawn Desman photo. 

Kinniwabi Pines: note the Shawn Desman love.

Kinniwabi Pines: note the Shawn Desman love.

on the way: swim in Old Woman Bay. Because then you can say you swam in Old Woman Bay AND slept at The White Fang and that is basically the perfect use of 24 hours. 

drivin'.

drivin'.

Day 2 we drove all the way to Winnipeg. On the way we stopped in Thunder Bay, which was surprisingly really cool and full of culture and nice looking buildings? But seriously, guys, Thunder Bay. I would go back? They also have the most rad Finnish bath house/ pancake restaurant, which was both confusing and delicious. It is strange to drive 6 hours from awesome Trinidadian food in the middle of a national park to a room full of legit Finns eating legit Finnish food in a small, pretty Northern city. We sat at the bar next to a couple of old dude regulars who shit talked Toronto and made fun of us for photographing our food. "Will you photograph the bill too?" We didn't. But I assure you it was well priced.

Hoito: Finnish pancakes are a yes.

Hoito: Finnish pancakes are a yes.

We ended in Winnipeg, which is fucking far, cold and sketchy, but in a way that is exciting. Like, I may be stabbed and robbed and people look crazy in the eyes, but I also like it! I wished we didn't get there so late to explore more properly & eat at Rae & Jerry's, which apparently has the best steak, but I was satisfied with a terrifying but awesome Irish bar and the best diner food we had all trip. Winnipeg is like a shit hole that is so shitty it produces the best humans. I know so many insanely cool, artistic people from Winnipeg and now I know why? I would go back and like party there for real? Preferrably with a small weapon & a loud whistle, just in case. 

just past the Manitoba border.

just past the Manitoba border.

If you go:

stay: we stayed in a shit house! but stay downtown for sure because outer Winnipeg is pretty rough.

In Winnipeg, elevator beers are a thing.

In Winnipeg, elevator beers are a thing.

IMG_2289.jpg
The Nook was the best ever.

The Nook was the best ever.

what else: the kakabeka falls are on the way just past Thunder Bay and are a totally perfect 10 minute stop. You also have the pleasure of repeating kakaeka falls, over and over, while high on 5 hour energy drinks later in the day, sooooo pretty essential. 

 

That's it for now! More trip stuff soon. x

like Niagara Falls, only smaller and worse! Just Kidding! 

like Niagara Falls, only smaller and worse! Just Kidding! 

Pretty.

Pretty.

Driving Canada: The Flat Bits

Driving Canada: The Flat Bits

Charles Smith Chardonnay Release Party

Charles Smith Chardonnay Release Party