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The Toronto Podcast and nearby Niagara Falls

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The Toronto Podcast and nearby Niagara Falls

 
 
 

THE TORONTO PODCAST

In the most polite of countries, and in one of its most buzzing of countries, the Ukulele Road Trips Podcast has joined up with a few hearty locals that embody the soul of Toronto, in one friendly couch conversation.

Click here to listen to/download the Toronto Podcast

From left to right, Adi, Augustin and Canadian Ben ! The smiling guests of the Toronto Podcast

From left to right, Adi, Augustin and Canadian Ben ! The smiling guests of the Toronto Podcast

 

One of the topics discussed in the Toronto Podcast, is that Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with around half of its inhabitant being foreign-born.

Adi, on the left of the couch is from India and has been living in Canada for a few years already. Augustin, from Mexico, seated in the middle, having studied in Canada is waiting for a permit of permanent residence (or something like that, he explains it better than I do), and Candian Ben, on the right, as his name suggests, is Canadian, 'born and raised' in Ottawa, the capital.

A view on the Canadian Natinal (C.N.) Tower, also a topic in the  pod

A view on the Canadian Natinal (C.N.) Tower, also a topic in the pod

 

So it's with the perfect panel that all Toronto-nian things are discussed, with songs and hard hitting questions such as "who is your favourite Justin?" and "Why are you so nice?".

Click here to listen to/download the Toronto Podcast

Post-podcast self-congratulory selfies all around !!

Post-podcast self-congratulory selfies all around !!

 

A WALK AND AN ARREST BY NIAGARA FALLS

The Niagara falls being not too far from Toronto, I seized what feels like a chance in a lifetime to see the glorious water falls. A short drive away from the busy city, and through the suburbs along Lake Ontario, and you're there !

Almost there !

Almost there !

Small confession, I had had a poster of the falls in my room as a child, and I imagined them surrounded by wild nature, green trees, lions and funny looking birds (yes, I also thought they were somewhere in Africa...). It's not exaclty how you'll discover the falls though. They're actually rather surrounded by buildings and skyscrapers. If you're into beautiful water falls, casinos and 3D cinemas, you're in for a treat !

the view to the left of the falls. The other side is the US !

the view to the left of the falls. The other side is the US !

 

I didn't really have the time for 3D cinema, so I decided to get closer to the thundering waters. What music! The bare roaring power of nature. But the sound of cameras and a pigeon getting in the way made me decide to get closer.

Who? Me?

Who? Me?

 

Getting closer, meaning in this case, to jump over the railing and sit down on the grass right next to nature's temple..

Behind the signs saying "do not go beyond this sign", the falls look more or less like this:

 
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From there, you can almost imagine the amazement and awe of the first native tribes discovering these Niagara Falls. Though you may have to face some consequences of your trespassing.

Alex Taccinelli and Ben from Ukulele Road Trips - a souvenir picture

Alex Taccinelli and Ben from Ukulele Road Trips - a souvenir picture

 

Meet Alex. Alex is a policeman by the Niagara Falls. And protecting everybody's safety, in this case meant Alex had to arrest me.

However, luckily for me, Alex was very friendly, courteous, and more concerned about my safety than wanting to issue a punishment of any kind. So friendly in fact, that he agreed to answer a few questions, and to talk a little bit about what it's like like being in the force, and living next to the glorious natural landmarks, an interview which features in the pod!

Stay safe, and there are some less dangerous ways of getting close up to the falls you know.

4D, I'm guessing, is 3D, with actual water.

4D, I'm guessing, is 3D, with actual water.

 

ONWARD

And it's with the final note of this friendly podcast that Ukulele Road Trips heads off to new Northern horizons. The flight is booked and everything ! But not before a bit of editing on the Canadian content, from a Starbucks downtown (coffee ordered in an actual mug!).

 
click click tap tap tap tap, piano piano, and boum, an edited ukulele road trips video !

click click tap tap tap tap, piano piano, and boum, an edited ukulele road trips video !

 

This happy bunch of Backpack, Ukulele player, and ukuleles are helped on their way by CloudMusic Ukuleles, whose ukes you can check out on here !

If you wish to sustain the traveller, with coffee and trailer mix nuts, you can donate top right of this page, or hop over to the Patreon of Ukulele Road Trips ! Yay !

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By the Banks of Lake Ontario - Toronto, Canada

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By the Banks of Lake Ontario - Toronto, Canada

 
 
 

KPI: Key Performance Indicator - A measurement which evaluates a task's success and tracks progress towards a specific marketing goal.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management - A set of programs which enable companies to organise and personalise customer services and support.

CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost - The calculated overall price of sales and marketing expenses of a set time frame, divided by the number of new customers in that time period.

To Skip Stones: To throw flat(-ish) stones in a spinning manner that will bring them to ricochet along the surface of the water, which inexplicably brings about a sense of pensiveness.

 
 

Toronto is a busy city. And the Toronto life is a fast paced one.

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John, Tim and Steve live such lives, sleep in the suburbs, and work Down Town, "where the iron reaches for the sky". "Tim has his coffee to go and he rushes to work on his morning commute." and "Steve doesn't go out too much, C++ is a quite consuming affair"

As the iron reaches for the sky, thousands of careers reach for new heights

As the iron reaches for the sky, thousands of careers reach for new heights

 

All in all, "KPI CRM and CAC, these things do matter a great deal you see".

And what else but these things, and "API" (Application Programming Interface) should be their focus, if they want to finally get that condo (appartment) that's so much closer to "the company tower" ?

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But in the middle of all this commotion, in the midst of worthwhile gusty winds of professional ambition, some sit down by the banks of Toronto's big Lake Ontario, and ponder.

Like Geoff for example. He "comes alone to think and make a few stones skip" under the late-autumn sun, or once in a while. "He thinks"

A view onto Lake ontario and the Toronto skyline

A view onto Lake ontario and the Toronto skyline

 

"He thinks, there must something more to all this, all the days that fly by in a mist, they just skip off, from the shore of, his life, skip like the stones skip."

Geoff, by Lake Ontario in Oakville

Geoff, by Lake Ontario in Oakville

 

And on the beaches of the city, or by the quieter banks of Lake Ontario in restful suburbs, stones skip, and thoughts are pondered by those who dare sit down, and question the pace of city lives.

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Thanks a bunch scrolling/listening/looking - and if you wanna support this Ukulele Road Trips adventure feel free to donate here or hop over to Patreon.com/ukuleleroadtrips

This #GoingNorth adventure made possible thanks to the generosity and help of many local Torontonians - and Mississaugans - and also thanks to CloudMusic Ukuleles, the ukes I'm carrying/playing/using as note stands on this crazy advenutre

 
do feed the ukulele player

do feed the ukulele player

 

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Sur Les Murs de Québec ! - Québec City, Québec

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Sur Les Murs de Québec ! - Québec City, Québec

 
 
 

There's a huge party on the walls of Québec ! The accordion is starting to play lively melodies in the heart of the city, and the whole town is invited to come and dance !

Viens-t'en ma blonde allez à soir c'est l'parté ! Y-a tout plein d'beau monde sur les ramparts un peu pactés ! Come over here my sweetheart, huge party tonight ! There's lots of good people, a bit drunk, dancing of the walls !

And the historical figures of Québec also cannot resist the sound of drums and flutes, they're off to mingle with the masses, holding hands and skipping to the music.

 
 

All the famed characters of Québec's past, they're here joining in! Lieutenant-Général Montcalm is there, Lord Dufferin as lively as always, Price the architect enjoying the view and of course, the explorer Jacques Cartier, here before everyone else, but still very much around !

The commotion is a-goin' on atop the steep stairs of the  "break-neck stairs" or " Escalier Casse-cou", just above the most European of streets in North America.

The commotion is a-goin' on atop the steep stairs of the "break-neck stairs" or "Escalier Casse-cou", just above the most European of streets in North America.

 

And off to dance we go ! T'es ben jolie dans ton p'tit jupon frisé, si tu m'aimes tu m'suis on va aller drêt-là giguer ! You're well cute in your little crumpled dress, if you love me me, follow me and let's skip away ! Because this is no ordinary party that the city's invited to! The guests of honour being:

GENERAL MONTCALM

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Y'a Montcalm qui perd le sien ! There's Montcalm who's losing his calm ! 

Unfortunately for the French, things didn't turn out too well in the XVIIIth Century in Nouvelle Franse. Brigadier General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm was sent to Canada by the French crown, having already fought in two wars in Europe. Here in New France, during the seven year war (1756-1763), he lead the line against the English, winning quite a few important battles along the way.

However, faced by an overwhelming opposition, he would see his dear city of Québec besieged and surrounded by the English in 1759. When the English managed to land nearby, Montcalm decided to rush out and attack rather than to wait for reinforcements. On the "Plains of Abraham", that would be his demise. Montcalm lost his calm, and the battle. Wounded during the fights, his imminent death would inspire him this tragic relief:

"That way I won't have to see the English in Québec" he told the surgeon's brother.

"Oh no!"

"Oh no!"

 

LORD DUFFERIN

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Y a un lord qui ronge du frein (Dufferin) ! There's a lord with the bit between his teeth !  

This play on words is a bit tricky, so bare with me. "Ronger [du] frein", to chew a brake, in French, means to be eager to get going. And this Lord "Dufferin" ('du frein') sounds like "Lord of the brake" in French. Hence why this is hilarious. Mainly because Lord Dufferin had a very exciting life.

This charismatic Englishman, Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood had a career as long as his name in Lebanon, Turkey, India... Sent to Canada by the English as Governor General in 1872, he actively oversaw a period of rapid change, politically, and economically. Always at the ready to meet the locals, help the disadvantaged, and see things first hand, he was also a most charming presence in high society, as that facial hair-trimming indicates. He was actually responsible for saving the old Québec city walls from destruction when they started to get hacked down by the council, and even persuaded them to rebuild what they had destroyed. No walls, no party, so thanks where thanks are due.

Fun fact about Frederick, as a young man, he published his witty and successful journal of a cold adventure up North, mainly through Iceland: "Letters from High Latitudes". An eager adventure, Going North, does that ring a bell?

PRICE THE ARCHITECT

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Y a un Price qui dessine bien ! There's a Price who draws well ! 

Unmissable, in the heart of the city, sitting atop the hill of the old town, the Château Frontenac peers over the celebrations. The architect of this famous Québec landmark too, has joined in with the fun below !

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The train companies at the end of the 1800s were building lavish beautiful hotels to advertise train travel. And Bruce Price, an American, was chosen to build the one in Québec after having drawn up the train station of Montréal. Very inspired by the location and in the style of the fortifications built by Lord Dufferin, Price devised the unmistakable landmark. Inaugurated in 1892, the big central tower was however only added a three decades later.

JACQUES CARTIER

Et Jacques Cartier qui se souviens ! And Jacques Cartier who does remember !

Jacques Cartier, remembering his discovery of Québec. Not his actual real face, of which no pictures remain.

Jacques Cartier, remembering his discovery of Québec. Not his actual real face, of which no pictures remain.

 

"Je me souviens" I remember- the official motto of Québec and a sentence you will see on every car, and, everywhere really. The region has come a long way since Montcalm was defeated by the Brits, with Lord Dufferin, and new buildings making up the identity of the city. Still, the French speaking population remembers, they were founded by the French crown. On the animated grey walls of the Québec as in their hearts, lies the blue fleur-de-lis, symbol of the King of France.

 
blue is the colour!

blue is the colour!

 

Jacques Cartier, sailor from Saint-Malo in France, is sent in 1532 by François the 1st, King of France to find a path to Asia through North America. Despite there being quite a walk to the Pacific, Jacques Cartier was funded to travel three times to Canadas (which means in the native's tongue: bunch of huts).

Not too much came of the excursions of Jacques Cartier, but it is the first foot of the French Monarchy in Nouvelle Franse. Only with Samuel de Champlain are then larger viable colonies established. Samuel doesn't feature here, but his maps do in the background ! And it's possible he got his song already

Since you're here,

The dancing cultural and ukulele-ed adventure Ukulele Road Trips tips its hat for your support! You can become a Dufferin of kindness and encourage the discoveries and melodies of this site on the Ukulele Road Trips Patreon Page.

#GoingNorth through the cool breezes of Québec is made possible with the help of Cloud Music Ukuleles whose website you can visit for quality cold-resistant ukes and gear !

 
bye !

bye !

 

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