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August 2016

HAMILTON – It had never occurred to me. Like many Ontario residents, and a lot of other folks, I’ve driven along or over the Niagara Escarpment hundreds upon hundreds of times. I’ve always enjoyed gazing up at the rock face and admired the way the escarpment snakes its way through southern Ontario. I’ve skied on it and walked on it and driven over it on countless occasions. But I’d never taken a minute to think about what happens when it rains on the escarpment. Naturally, the water collects in small creeks and streams and even small rivers, right? Just like ... continue reading →

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WINDSOR – I was following my Google maps and heading into central Windsor to meet a fellow for a bike tour that would take us to a couple craft breweries and one of Canada’s best burger places. I wasn’t paying much attention to the surroundings, but was instead concentrating on making the turns that my iPhone kept reminding me to take. When I finally stopped the car and really looked around I was in a gorgeous neighborhood surrounded by deep red, brick homes with lush, vibrant gardens. The pale green and white hostas seemed to glimmer that extra bit and ... continue reading →

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TORONTO – Sumptuous rooms with wonderful views. One of the city’s best patios. And one seriously sensational restaurant. I had a night recently at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto, where I hadn’t stayed in years. And I’m happy to report it exceeded expectations on all fronts. I don’t recall the old room style so much, but I loved the feel of the one we had. A lot of modern hotel rooms these days are cold and impersonal, but the one my wife and I shared was warm and inviting, yet quite luxurious. The room had deep, dark wood that was ... continue reading →

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN – I’m rattling down the Garden State Parkway out of busy Newark Airport for a trip to New Jersey and New York City. It’s a confusing roadway with tolls and overlapping lanes and changes in direction, so I open the Google Maps app on my iPhone and head on down the road, feeling a bit of Bruce Springsteen in me. A couple days later I need to find the address for the Circle Line boat tour group that takes you out on the Hudson and East Rivers for great views of New York City. No problem. ... continue reading →

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TORONTO – I walk up a flight of stairs and emerge into a wonderland. Swirling, intricately carved arches of brilliant white stone dance around my head. Soft blue lighting infuses the room with a deep glow, then turns green and yellow and soft orange. The light seeps around corners and plays onto brilliant white pillars that rise towards a series of equally stunning ceiling panels. I’m not a religious person, but the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is what I imagine the halls of heaven must look like; with so much purity and soft yet brilliant light that bathes the body ... continue reading →

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