Going North - The Story Of My Journey To Toronto, Ontario Canada

Updated on January 5, 2018
Guckenberger profile image

Alex has taught at two public schools, been accepted into two honorary societies, and has traveled the Americas and Europe.

A public domain photograph of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A public domain photograph of Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Source

It was 2017. March the 26th was approaching. My local college would be closed for an entire week! I hadn't left the country in roughly three years. This could lead to a great many ideas, but I had a limited budget to manage with. The last time I had taken a trip outside of the USA had been when I was working two full-time jobs. Despite my dilemma, a wonderful thought popped into my head; I could drive out of the country!

I checked google maps. Going to even the nearest city in Mexico would take far too long, but an adventure to Toronto city in Canada would only take about nine hours. So, I planned to start driving towards my destination, at about 1:00 AM after what was approximately a ten hour shift! And, barely on the 27th of March I did just that.

A view of a citified area in Ontario, Canada
A view of a citified area in Ontario, Canada

One point I would like to make about driving in the earliest hours of the morning is that I love it! There is typically, from my experiences anyway, practically no traffic whatsoever. There exists a kind of peace when driving around North America completely alone. Most people apply so much of their time trying to feel connected to someone else, but there is something beautiful about solitude sometimes.

I always thoroughly enjoy driving through Pennsylvania. I live in Maryland, but a large portion of my drive to Toronto was through PA. There are so many stations with country music to listen to and so much gorgeous landscape!

show route and directions
A markerToronto Canada -
Toronto, ON, Canada
get directions

B markerBufalo New York -
Buffalo, NY, USA
get directions

C markerRainbow bridge -
Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, USA
get directions

I eventually reached New York state. From the southernmost region of New York to Buffalo city was nothing in comparison to the drive through PA. There is a great quantity of farm land in New York.

Whilst driving through the state, I remember seeing the faintest glimmers of sunlight. I could make out large hills with wind turbines on their majestic peaks. The Gnostics are said to believe that salvation comes through experience. Perhaps they were right; some part of me must have been saved in those moments. Even in that darkness, the faintest light of the Sun was enough for me to feel; and, we all need to feel sometimes.

Okay, so I was in Buffalo. My body was growing in concern; or, as much as it could under those circumstances including fatigue and exhaustion. I stopped in the Duty Free Americas store to use the restroom and ask for directions. A young woman helped me out. She was very kind, and she helped to relive any consideration of stress. I bought some chips, went to my car, quickly devoured said chips, and I was on my way.

After making it to Niagara Falls city, I crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I remember the great masses of astonishing mists surrounding the overpass. It was magical.

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With beginnings come ends; and, a momentary break from the romance would have to occur. I had to be inspected by a Canadian officer. I showed the man my passport. After he asked me about me trafficking in any guns, and me assuring the officer that he was more than free to check my vehicle, I was on my way out of the country at last!

I remember the writings on the officer's kiosk being in English and in French. Yup, I was going to Canada. I should note that the Canadian officer never asked me to leave my car, which helped the convenience of my time crossing the boarder.

I began screaming as I came onto Canadian territory! After hours and hours upon hours of driving, I had arrived. I was even more satisfied as I noted that my car possessed kilometers as well as miles on my odometer. The speeds were communicated with the aid of the metric system here.

There were a lot of Tim Hortons within the lands of Canada. I noticed this and minded it thoughtfully, as I even then owned stock in the company. I also placed my attention here as I was very, very hungry.

A photograph of the Toronto Sun newspaper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A photograph of the Toronto Sun newspaper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I eventually stopped and ate in a place called Babaz. Apparently, the food there is all halal. I ordered a falafel wrap with extra cheese. I still feel silly when observing the memory of my person first pausing to eat Middle Eastern food upon my entering into Canada! Anyway, the food was incredible! Even if I had not be so hungered, I would still have loved every piece.

And if my adventures weren't enchanting enough, the wine would continue to pour into my overflowing cup. The entry into the city of Toronto was certainly one of the most spectacular items one can endure. The vast changes in elevation on the roads, shaped around the architectural marvels of antiquity, statues standing with great grandeur; driving into the city was like nothing else I had ever known. Perhaps there is not a single thing else like it in the entire world. Once I have been around the whole world, I will most definitely give my readers such an update.

The people in parts of Canada seem very diverse. I did notice a British Grocer which reminded me of the recent independence of the Canadian denizens from British colonialism; and, to there continued connectivity to their past. It was a suggestion of the long-term effects of socio-historical realities.

I was soon ready to head back home. I was so very tired! But, there was a problem; my phone's GPS had terminated due to my lack of coverage across the country's boarder! I needed wifi to set course on my GPS again. I eventually discovered a lovely grocery store called "Sobeys" at Dupont. My anxieties melted away when I found free access wifi on their premises! The store had so very much maple syrup. Another sign that I was not in the states anymore was the bags of hemp chips near the cash registers.

With only a cold drink in hand, I checked out. The cashier was sweet as can be, and it was apparent that her native language was French and not English. I did my best to make her feel comfortable while I used the rest of the remainder of my energies to simply stand and breath. My GPS had a path home and I was more than prepared at this time to simply go home.

A cross walk sign in the province of Ontario, Canada
A cross walk sign in the province of Ontario, Canada

Crossing the boarder into the United States is not easy, even for someone who is obviously an American. I was interviews whilst in my car for a long while. Then, I was informed where I should park and in what place I should go. I entered a building, exchanged papers, and waited. I was thoroughly and roughly interrogated; I believe they suspected me to be a potential drug smuggler.

Over and over again, I told the officers what I had in my car. I was asked to sit down, and so I did while I pondered what I would do in relation to my business as a shareholder. The officers quickly realized I was an innocent. I write "quickly" as I am the only person whom I recollect actually leaving the station.

Before leaving, I offered one of the officers a high-five as an act of my comprehension for their predicaments and my appreciation for their services, but the officer said that he had to decline. He stated that, although he very much acknowledged my kind notion, he had to refrain for purposes relating to his current position. I've had some prior experience with the police, and my understanding was complete. I still think there is something hilarious and culturally relevant here; the Canadians were trying to keep people from smuggling in guns, and the Americans were attempting to keep anyone from smuggling in drugs!

I am not sure that a man can ever forget such experiences. Even if they remain only as emotional promptings, perhaps they are in some manifest way eternal. With more journeys such as this, no one would ever need dream again. Life can be fantastic, so long as one take the initiative to do something simple yet extraordinary.

© 2018 Alexander James Guckenberger

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    • Guckenberger profile image
      Author

      Alexander James Guckenberger 5 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Mary, I would love to go back up there sometime. :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      That was quite an experience. I would love to hear more of your impression of Toronto.

    • Guckenberger profile image
      Author

      Alexander James Guckenberger 5 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I will probably return. A week up north sounds just lovely! ^_^

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Too bad you did not have a few days to spend once you got to Toronto. I have not been there but did see Niagra Falls from both sides as a kid. As an adult I got to spend 5 days in Vancouver and additional days on Vancouver Island. Loved it!

    • Guckenberger profile image
      Author

      Alexander James Guckenberger 5 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Yeah, Canadian officers seem to be pretty chill. :)

      We're... unique, I suppose! We are beginning to apply the metric system much more though.

      It's cold here, so I don't even know that I want to imagine what it's like up there! It's colder in my city right now, than it is in Kiev, Ukraine!!!

      Cheers buddy.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 5 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I should note that the Canadian officer never asked me to leave my car, which helped the convenience of my time crossing the boarder." - This reminded me of the last time I drove back into Canada from the States. I showed the Canadian officer my Canadian citizenship card from the window of my car and he waved me through. I thought: "There's no way he even saw the photo from that distance." lol

      "The speeds were communicated with the aid of the metric system here." - As they are in most of the world!! Only You (and a handful of other) guys are weirdos on this issue lol

      I'm glad You enjoyed your trip here and it's good You didn't come now. We're so far below the freezing point, it's ridiculous. Well, thanks for the piece of writing and the visit. Cheers!

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