22nd May 2012 - Toronto and Vancouver, Canada
Bowmanville and rural Ontario
Weather forecasts for today said that we should expect thunderstorms but it was another hot sunny humid day. We left our Bowmanville hotel at 11am to look around the town which is 40 minutes east of Toronto. We parked on King Street which is the main shopping street. Although the town is not a tourist destination it has an unusually large number of gift shops. It calls itself a historic town having been settled in the mid 19th century, and a lot of the shops are called olde this or shoppe that. The main street also boasts a large number of pampering style shops like massage/therapy centres. I also found a vinyl record shop based in a converted front room of a house.
After grabbing a snack in the local mall, we went round to my aunt and uncle's house to chill a while sitting around the pool in their back garden. Their street is in the suburban part of the town, wide and tree lined. They bought the house in the 70's from new. There has been a lot of building in the town since they moved here, but interestingly the town itself has apparently lost some of it's soul, because General Motors or it's associated industries used to be the major employer, but now the town is really just a dormitory town for Toronto.
Old mills and marinas
Later we went for a drive around the local area with my English aunt to visit a local mill called Tyrone Mill built in 1846 where the owner cranked up the mill wheel to show us how they use it to grind corn and plane wood. They also sell local produce including Taunton Cider !! Then we went south to Newcastle on the shores of Lake Ontario where we had a drink in the bar at the local marina. There is actually a small quiet beach here which is a local attraction.
Meal with the rellies
After returning to the hotel to freshen up, we drove to the nearby city of Oshawa to meet up with my cousin, my second cousin, my aunt and uncle for a meal at a local fish restaurant. It was great to meet up with more relations, one of which I had never met before.
Finally back to the hotel after a stop at the local beer store! Beer stores sell beer....period. For anything else like wine etc, you need to find a liquor store (which is not easy). You cannot buy alcohol in supermarkets or convenience stores!
Tomorrow we intend going to a town about an hour away called Peterborough......