Trip to Gananoque, Canada

On my recent trip to Syracuse, New York, I decided I wanted to step on foreign soil for the first time in 17 years.

My trip took me up to Watertown, NY, which was about forty miles from Canada.

As I took Interstate 81 north into Canada, I noticed less and less New York plates and more Ontario plates.

As I paid my toll for the 1000 Islands International Bridge, I grew anxious. The border was very close.

I was only two cars deep when I approached the border agent. The car in front of me breezed right through. I thought to myself, “This is going to be easy.”

The border agent greeted me, “Hello. Bonjour.”

I pulled out my blue passport, and his mannerisms completely changed.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“I plan on going to.. Ganon.. Ganoun.. I’m not sure how to pronounce the city’s name.”

Gananoque?” he asked.

“Yes, that’s it.”

He then proceeded to ask me about arrests, alcohol, or if I had anything in my trunk. Since I was driving a rental, the car was fairly empty.

“Have fun!” he said as he waved me into the country.

The first few signs were of the speed limit (conveniently converted from miles into kilometers). I then followed my iPhone directions to Gananoque.

While there, I ate at a restaurant and checked out a local park. See the end of this post for some pics.

Here are some observations I made about my brief stint into Ontario, Canada:

  • A lot of people around me spoke French.
  • There were a lot of Canada flags everywhere.
  • The town of Gananoque had a drugstore that would have put Walgreens to shame.
  • A lot of young people walk around unaccompanied.
  • Their stores have absolutely no liquor.
  • Canadians drive very fast! I wasn’t about to speed on their highways.

Okay, here are some pics (see the rest at my Flickr account):

Canadian Flag from a Restaurant
Canadian Flag From a Restaurant – Gananoque

Confederation Park
Confederation Park – Gananoque

10 Comments

  1. Sounds like a good trip. What took you to Syracuse?

    Glad you made it safely back.

    cetroyer

  2. hey Ronald, haven’t spoken to you in months. Not that that is a bad thing. Glad to see you survived the trip on foreign international soil. Did you bottle any of it up for a keepsake?

  3. @Cetroyer,

    Work 🙂

    @Jeffro,

    Yeah, I feel bad about it. I’ve been going through a rough personal period and have kinda dropped out. I plan to get back in it soon once things stabilize.

    One tradition I have is to get a shot glass from unique places. I collected a few shot glasses once I made it across the border.

  4. I’ve actually picked up on the same habit. You can always count on gift shops to contain shot glasses depicting the region. I have one or two from Niagra Falls, one from a State Park, and of course, one from Dallas Texas as well as New York as those are both airports I visited during my travels to WordCamp Dallas. I just hope you don’t use the shot glasses 🙂

  5. I’m going there in a few weeks for the first time. Can’t wait!!!!

  6. I just finished working on a case where the opposition was in Canada. It was quite interesting to deal with their attorney. The law firm’s letter had everything written in English and French. Fascinating!

  7. I used to live just South of Buffalo and we used to drive across the peace bridge all the time into Canada. Once a friend of mine and I were going across in his ratty 71 Mustang, the border partol asked all the standard questions and he made a smart remark to the gun question. They had us pull over for a search & when they were done, the seats were out & the door panels were off the doors. It was a lesson that I’ll never forget.

  8. Hi Ronald,

    I’d say welcome to Canada but you’re probably already back home. I’ve spent the last few years of my life crisscrossing the border between Canada and the US covering major Internet conventions for WebmasterRadio.FM/. While there are a lot of differences between the two cultures, (I find a lot of Spanish spoken in the United States, much like you found a lot of French spoken up here), for the most part the people of Canada and the US are very similar.

    Hope you come back up and enjoy yourself on this side of the border next summer. Me, I’m moving south for a year to write a book on American culture, post-financial crash.

    best to ya

  9. Man i want to go back to canada bad, havent been in about 15 years. I did just go to mexico though and that was alot of fun.

  10. Looks like you had lunch at the Golden Apple (now know as Ardell’s). They had a fire Christmas Eve and have had to close down hopefully they will re-open in the spring. Lots of pictures of the Centenial Park, at one time they would put a flock of white swans in the pond. It was fun when we were younger and would take stale bread down to feed them.

    The summer is basically the time when you will hear french spoken and than from tourists who are also visiting our town.

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