2013 Convention Trips
July 2 – July 6, 2013
Toronto, a Gesneriad Meeting Place
As you register for the convention we are hoping that you will take advantage of the terrific trips we have planned to make your stay more exciting.
Tuesday afternoon we have planned a bus trip to Oshawa, a city to the east of Toronto to visit the Canadian National Historic Site of Parkwood. It was the palatial home of Samuel McLaughlin who founded General Motors in Canada. We will receive guided tours of the mansion where we will step back in time and experience the lifestyle of an auto baron during the interwar eras. Another tour will take us through the beautifully landscaped formal gardens, which are close to the home then trail out to a huge expanse of lawn. The gardens are linked by theme and function to a greenhouse complex that displays palms, orchids, and tropical plants. A stroll through the grounds rewards at every turn. Magnificent trees and shrubs combined with stunning sculptures and ornaments placed throughout the designed landscape delight the senses.
Saturday night we have planned dinner nearby in the sky-pod of the world famous CN Tower. People who cannot walk the three blocks from the hotel may take a taxi together, which will not be much when shared. The tower elevator ride is included in the price of the dinner at the 360 Restaurant, which revolves giving spectacular views of the city and harbor. After dinner you may go to the lookout level and walk on the glass floor before making your way down. The rest of the evening is entirely up to you. You may continue to HarbourFront where many activities are always taking place or you may wander back to the hotel at your leisure passing the famous Wayne Gretzky restaurant where you may view some of his memorabilia.
Sunday we have arranged a full-day post convention trip to Niagara Falls and the surrounding attractions. You will travel by bus for 1-1/2 hours and arrive in time to take a ride on the Maid of the Mist. This boat takes you as close as it is safe to the bottom of the falls where you experience the deafening thunder of the water from Lake Erie pouring over the cliff edge. The spray will make you wet, but you are given a poncho for this memorable experience. Then you will spend some time at the brink of the falls mingling with tourists from all over the world who visit there each day to witness the force of nature. You will have lunch overlooking the falls before takingthe bus down the river to the whirlpool, then to the historic town of Niagara on the Lake where you may take some time to walk up and down the main street of this quaint town. At Moo Cow, you may taste the best ice cream in Canada. If time permits a wine-tasting session may also be included at one of the many famous wineries that have thrived in recent years.
Come early and stay late – make full use of your visit to Toronto, the Gesneriad Meeting Place! We will be ever so eager to make you feel at home.
Doris Brownlie, Local Convention Co-Chair