Grand Northern 2014 – Toronto & Niagara Falls

Thursday 29th May/ Friday 30th May/ Saturday 31st May

Today we left Montreal for Toronto.

Not far out of Montreal though, we stopped in at a little town, Gananoque where the contiki optional ‘1000 Island Boat Cruise’ is held.

I decided not to sign up for this as well as maybe 20 or so others. We sat on the grassy knoll by the water and wached the boat sail off. I played some music through my phone and sunbaked while a few of the guys threw a football around. It was nice to relax outdoors for a bit before getting back on the bus after the boat cruise had finished, and we continued onto Toronto.

By mid afternoon, we were checked into our hotel, The Bond Place Hotel. This place was so cute! I loved it ❤

We showered and changed for our contiki included dinner at The Pickel Barrel after a tour in the bus of the city! It reminded my of New York, but a Canadian version I guess.



Oh my! The food at The Pickle Barrel was amazing! It was by far the best food that I had had on tour. The cocktails of course were reasonably priced, so we had one or two!

By now I am sure that it was suggested that we start attending A.A meetings haha.

After a mouthwatering dinner, we wandered over to a karaoke bar, Crocodile Rock.

I am certain that a few of us had gained a little bit of liquid courage from the cheap shots to grace our prescence on stage to belt out the classic ballads. So much contiki bonding! haha. I entertained our contiki group with rendition of “Man, I feel like a woman”, by Shania Twain. We danced and sang and played pool all night until we were kicked out at closing time.

The following morning was rusty for most of us to say the least. I opted for a rest day and went to find a spa to get a good massage. The time on the bus had started to take its toll and my back wasn’t in the best shape.

After lunch, I headed to down town Toronto on my own to check out the CN Tower and the aquarium. I didn’t end up going up to the top of the tower, but I wish I had.

Next time 😉

That night, we had a school bus pub crawl organised. A contiki optional was to go to the Second City Comedy Show, where the bus would pick us up. Myself and a new friend of mine, Elissa, hadn’t gone to the show.

So instead we had dinner from the hotel in our room before getting ready for the night. We hopped on the bus from the hotel and went to pick everyone else from the comedy show to begin the pub crawl.


The first stop of the bus tour was McVeigh’s Irish Pub!


Thank god that the next place, Cube bar wasn’t far from the hotel. Myself and another girl ran back to the hotel to change out of our stinking heels and into party flats. I’m really not a fan of heels anyway!

Finally we ended the night at Gravity Soundbar where I received the most uncomfortable patdown by the female security guard. I get it, they dont want things snuck in, but Wow! This place is no longer open now and I probably wouldn’t rate it anyway. The music was good but the place was pretty rundown, especially the toilets downstairs and the drinks were extremely overpriced.

Still a good night had by all! Lots of contiki bonding and a bit of home sickness in there as well.

By 2am, the bus was ready to take back whoever was ready to leave. So back on we went and found a late night feed somewhere near the hotel.

The next day, Saturday May 31st, Niagara Falls was our next destination!

On the hour and a half drive from Toronto to Niagara, every single person slept to recover from the night before and we all stocked up on gatorade. Dehydration had begun to set in.

The power nap was just what I needed and when we got off the bus and walked down to the dock for the boat tour, I had began to feel as good as new!

The night before, I had worn shorts on the pub crawl and a few people had noticed my scars by then. Up until then, I hadn’t really showed them off. It’s not that I am emabarrased or ashamed of my scars, but typically with new people, I can be a little more hesitant about people seeing the scars. But the contiki bonding that had formed over the last few days, made me feel a lot more comfortable. I got a few questions along the way to the boat cruise, which I was more than happy to answer. I would much prefer it over the people that just stare.

When we reached the dock, we waited in line where rain ponchos were handed out to us. On the boat, it was such spectacular scenery. We got sprayed a few times from the mist of the falls but I really enjoyed it. Another one ticked off of the bucket list 🙂


During the afternoon after the boat cruise, we still had a few hours before the bus was coming back to pick us up so we got lunch up town and explored the quirky town of Niagara. The main street was full of ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’s, wax museums, game arcades, bowling alleys and putt putt golf courses. It was huge for the tourists after the falls being the main attraction of course.

For dinner that evening, we headed back into Toronto for yet another contiki included dinner (YES! my back account thanks you haha) at Spring Rolls in down town Toronto. Still to this day was some of the best sushi I have ever had. Yum Yum!

Where to next? Back to the mighty United States of America – Grand Northern 2014 – Cleveland & Chicago

#noregrets Contiki Grand Northern 2014


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