Archive for July, 2012

BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

One of our weekly (weekend) events is a trip to a local Nightclub; after all, our hostel is located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District.

As much as possible, we try to arrange different venues so we vary the club destination as much as possible. We also arrange for our guests to be put on a VIP List where the club will waive cover charge.

viagra cheap viagra This Friday, we will be going to the same club we took our guests to last week. It was re-chosen due to popular demand.

The nightclubs in all major cities have several common (and rather unpleasant) features. One are the Neanderthal “Doormen” (read: Bouncers) who often appear as if they would relish an excuse for an altercation.

Virtually all of the clubs are crowded and very, very noisy. In short it is party time for a largely adolescent crowd19 year olds (or younger with suitable fake I.D.)

Vera our party-animal staff member who organizes these excursions recently “discovered” the C Lounge. It has been a mega hit with hostel guests.

It is a very upscale adult-type venue. The “C” stands for “Celebrity” and Hollywood A-listers are known to frequent the venue when they are filming in Toronto.

Due to Vera’s efforts, the usual cover-charge of $20 for entry is waived and our guests can enjoy a drink or two in a civilized, relaxed. safe and upmarket musical venue.

This is where many of the city’s Fashonistas go to be “seen”. As a result, a dress code is in effect. Check out the attached pics then check with Vera to learn of dress code.

C LOUNGE Website: http://www.libertygroup.com/c_lounge/c_lounge.html

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C Lounge - Canadiana Backpackers hostel in toronto budget hotels toronto

Sail away…sail away…sail away.

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

We meet a lot of fascinating souls in our backpackers inn in Toronto.

In the 21st Century people are more mobile in a world shrinking from technology. We have instant email contact between virtually an two places in the world. And the cellphone allows you to be reached wherever you may be on this planet.

Today, ubiquitious young backpackers can be found from Katmandu to Kyoto, from Kamloops to Kalamazoo. But two of the most adventurous travelers we have ever encountered have been travelers with disabilities.

Tony the Tiger is a British traveler/author who has set foot on every continent in this world and has written a book on his travels. He is blind and 80% deaf; but, it has not proved to an impendiment in the least. (Search: “Tony the Tiger” on this blog).

Kris is another visually impaired traveler. He hails from the U.S. where he was active in the development of a sailing program for the blind. He is in Canada at the invitation of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) to advise on the start up of a similar program in Canada.

Kris is an example of a disabled athlete who not only pursues a highly technical sport but excels at it. He would qualify as an expert sailor whether sighted or blind!

He spent several days in our hostel exploring Toronto before heading for the CNIB Camp on Lake Joseph in the Muskoka Region of Ontario where he will aid in the implementation of the CNIB’s sailing program in Canada.

 

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Kris, blind sailing instructor from Florida, contracted to advise the CNIB Sailing Program.

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The legendary, traveler extrordinaire “Tony the Tiger”.

TELL ME A STORY

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

One very popular event at our hostel in Toronto is our Friday “Wine and Cheese” evening.

Out on our patio, we treat our guests to a cup of wine and some samples of cheeses purchased that very day in Kensington Market. It’s a good opportunity for guests to meet and mingle.

Last Friday, Vera (our staff member who hosts the event) added a new twist. She discovered that one of our guests, Terry Howey (a firey red-head from the U.K.) is a professional “Story Teller”.

If you’ve never heard (or seen) a professional story teller (we had not) you would be in for a rather plesant surprise (as we discovered).

Story Telling is, quite simply, a very entertaining form of performance art. Our resident performer, bills herself (rather appropriately) as “Red Pheonix”.

She held our oneophile guests in rapt attention as she told her stories with passion and emotion.”Red Phoenix” is also pretty easy on the eyes as she stood on a table and related her tales.

Good looks, flame-red locks and a trim figure go a long way to help command attention.

She had to end things after her third performance (she has a repertoire of over 400 stories) so that guest could prepare for our post wine-and-cheese visit to a nearby upscale night-club.

The hostel arranges for our guests to go to a nightclub free of cover charge. This evening, they went to the exclusive C-Lounge, with its palm trees and roof-deck. The cover charge is normally $20 which was waived for our hostel’s guests.

The performance by “Red Phoenix” was a real hit and will likely prove a difficult act to follow. Let’s see what Vera can come up with next.

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CYCLING UP THE MISSISSIPPI

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Most people can tell you where the mouth of the Mississippi River is located. It is where the Mardi Gras city of New Orleans sees the river waters flow into the Caribbean.

Anybody know where the source of this mighty river is to be found?

It begins over 4000 kilometers north in a lake in northern Minnisota. This largest river system in North America flows virtually the entire length of the United States.

We had two very adventurous ladies from the Netherlands pitch up to our Toronto Hostel after following the river by bicycle from its mouth to its source. (That’s uphill for the entire journey).

Bernadette Snyders Blok and Yolanda de Waal, both of Amsterdam , are no strangers to long-distance cycling. For years, they have toured much of Europe and have even challenged the roads of Peru.

This latest adventure has taken them from the Mississippi Delta to Northern Ontario and finally to our hostel in Toronto. It has been a trip of just over three months.

Bernadette and Yolanda have been joined in Toronto by three neices who will accompany them on the final leg to Montreal via Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. This final leg will likely involve over 500 more miles by pedal power.

Only one of their neices will join them on their tour via bicycle. Two others have rented a vehicle and will drive the route to Quebec in support of the adventurous cyclists.

Long distance cyclist share certain traits: They possess a unique sense of adventure. And they are extremely fit! Both Yolanda and Bernadette are no exception.

These two ladies have one more thing going for them. They are incredibly lucky. So far on their epic journey (6000 kilometer – and counting) they have had mostly great weather and only one flat tire!

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Cycling missisipi - Canadiana Backpackers Inn - Toronto backpacker hostels in canada

HORSEBACK RIDING

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Most people (and virtually all girls) like the idea of horseback riding.

A lot of males like the idea of riding horses; but, due to inexperience and poor technique, may find the sport a trifle painful (for obvious reasons).

It is a simple fact that females are, on average, much better riders than males. All little girls want a horse. Little boys, want a motorcycle. (And males are usually better motorbike riders as a result).

There are several riding stables in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) but since they are located in semi-rural areas they are difficult to reach by public transport. And the scenery in these areas is often less than spectacular.

Four of us rented a car and drove 1.5 hours north of the city to a ranch near Waubashene in the lower Georgian Bay Area.  This is the picturesque Muskoka Region of Ontario. The car rental worked out to around $120 or $30 per person.

As it turns out, that is less than the cost of a one-hour trail ride. That cost $40 per person but the ride was through some pretty interesting and picturesque countryside.

The riders were Sherri (from Newfoundland), Tracy and Samantha (from Texarkana, U.S.A.), and Davey (a physician from New York City).

Sherri has had some past experience on a horse and our three Americans were all experienced riders. In fact, Sam and Davey would be rated expert riders.

HIGHVIEW FARMS is a 100 acre equestrian facility which boasts excellenty facilities and champion stock. It is owned and operated by Treena Mclelland a former nurse and champion rider. Treena can do it all from show-jumping to dressage to western barrell racing. She is equally at home on an English saddle, Western saddle or bareback.

All of our guests who went on this excursion felt the experience was well worth the cost.

For visitors to our hostel who enjoy riding, Highview Farms is a first-class facility. Here is the link to their website: http://www.highviewfarms.ca/

We highly recommend this fine facility. But call ahead. Advance booking is a must. As are long pants and preferably running shoes.
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Horse Riding - Canadiana backpacker youth hostels in toronto canada cheap hotels

l. to r:  Davey, Sam(antha), Sherri, and Tracy.

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HITCHING ACROSS CANADA

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Hitchiking used to be a very common method of backpacking in North America in the hippy era of the 1960′s and 1970′s.

For many reasons (mostly insalutary) that mode of transformation is not so common in the 21st Century.

To begin with, it is illegal in the Province of Ontario where our hostel is located. And the first leg of a trip to Western Canada is across almost 1300 miles of Ontario. Several days of breaking the law, at best.

Back in the good old 1960′s the small town of Wawa, Ontario (some 700 miles northwest of Toronto) where Trans-Canada Highway 17 converges with the northern cross Ontario route 101 on the north shore of Lake Superior was known as Hitchiker Hell.

Horror stories of early backpacker/hitchers being stranded for days (or even weeks) in Wawa trying to cadge a lift west.

Little Sandra Glatt is a petite, attractive, creative, platinum blond conservationist and tattoo artist from Germany who was a guest at our hostel.  The operative word is “creative”.

The sign this creative little tattoo artist came up with is this:

Sandra - Canadiana Backpackers hostels in tororoto - cheap budget hotels

 

I told you she was creative.

Once you have past Wawa, you  still have thousands of kilometers of Canada’s prairies to cover before Calgary and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Sandra and her friend have endured and are now in the picturesque mountain vilage of Banff, in the National Park eighty miles west of Calgary.  She managed to land two jobs in a matter of hours.

All in all, it is shaping up to be a pretty good summer for Sandra. We wish her continued good fortune.

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