Northern Ontario started and lasted for about a week. I gotta say, driving through these thousands of lakes was a nice sight and I was glad we didn’t skip out this part by going through the States as a lot of people suggested.
Our first stop in Ontario was Kenora, a town that seemed full of life, even at the end of the season. Finding a place to stay was tough and we settled for a motel, the kind you see in old Americans movie, yes. We even got to cook in a bit, not sure if this was allowed really, but at least we had a feast.
Our trip got us to drive along the US border, where once more we saw a border that didn’t look like one. Just a river with the eventual giant bridge and immigration buildings on each side.
Our second stop was in Quetico Provincial Park. We were greeted with a beautiful view next to our campground. We were able to witness Ontario in its glory. Even though our morning sunrise was nothing but grey and wet fog.
This park seems to be more well-known for its canoeing than its trails, and this sight of a couple paddling just completed the picture perfectly.
Passing Thunder Bay, we finally changed timezone! In the middle of the province, which felt bizarre, but hey, I don’t make the rules. Progressively, the weather got worse as we got closer to Lake Superior. Biggest lake on earth, it creates its own ecosystem and acts as a sea. As a result, the lake can sometime be stormy and cause shipwrecks along its shores. We also passed Terry Fox’s memorial, the story of a young Canadian boy who decided to run across Canada in order to shine light on cancer research. He started in Newfoundland and had to stop just before Thunder Bay for medical reasons. It is a big shortcut, but you get the idea for those unfamiliar with this story.
We had to change some of our plans as some parks were closed for the season, which meant we had to trade Pukaskwa National Park for Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. Not the same amazing sights, but we were still grateful to find some green space to welcome us for the night.
The following days were supposed to be spent at Lake Superior Provincial Park but the storm had us stay in a motel for day, where it was thundering at night. We spent the next night in the park, and even though it didn’t rain, the winds were strong and noisy.
A last stop in Killarney National Park, where we saw a small black bear crossing the road, to disappear and finally come back a few seconds to check us out, and we were heading towards the capital, Ottawa. We finally got some sun and blue sky for this last stretch in Ontario and oh my, was it a welcome sight after a week of rain.
Our time was short in Ottawa but we had enough time to stroll around and we even got to visit the parliament. We were there in time to see a debate go on in the House of Commons, where I could unfortunately count the occupied seats. Barely twenty out of more than three hundreds seats, for a debate regarding Indigenous day and its statut as a national holiday. A total of sixty people came in when it was time to vote, and disappeared as quickly, for the next theme to come up. It was disappointing to see these empty seats and I find it hard to look up at the people in charge of making these important social decisions. I understand that every subject does not require everybody’s participation, especially when some of the debate can go for hours with very personal anecdotes told by the participants, but, still. I wish more than 10% were present and I wasn’t told “There aren't many people because you understand, it’s a Monday morning” at 11am.... Another interesting thing was the constant shifting between French and English, which left me with a better image of Canada’s “bilingualism”. It took me a few seconds every time to understand which language was being spoken.
Eventually, our time finished in Ottawa and it was time for us to cross the river and enter our next province, Quebec.