Lighthouses in and around Toronto

Toronto, Ontario
March 9 - 11, 2001


Well this is our first lighthouse trip of the new year. Since we couldn't afford to go to Key West or rather someplace warm for "spring break" we decided to at least get out of town for a weekend. The closest big city to Buffalo, NY is to the north...Toronto.

This trip was going to be a little different than lighthouse trips of the past. If you have read our past trips, you realize how much trouble we have had in the past trying to find certain lighthouses, etc...not anymore! What am I talking about, you ask? Global Positioning Systems! That's right, every building on the globe has an "address" or coordinates. With a receiver, you can find any coordinate just by following the maps on the receiver.

We did a little planning, which included figuring out which hotel to stay at and mapping out our route on the mapping software for the GPS system. Once it was all planned, we had decided to stay at the Delta Chelsea in downtown Toronto.

I took a half day on Friday. When we got out of work, we packed up the Jeep and headed off for the Canadian border in downtown Niagara Falls. This was the first good chance I got to test out the Garmin Streepilot GPS. The GPS first led us along the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) towards Burlington, Ontario. The route then got off at Eastport Drive which is exit 93 along the QEW. At the end of the ramp, the route had us take a right onto Eastport Drive. Less than a quarter of a mile up the road was the Burlington Main Lighthouse just to the left of the canal bridge.

Just before the Burlington Canal bridge, there is a sandy spot to pull of the road to get a decent mid-range shot. You can walk up to the top of a little hill to get a shot over the trees and part of the bridge in the picture. Also from this spot you can get a good shot of the Burlington Canal Front Range Light out on the pier. From here, you can continue on Eastport Drive over the canal bridge and back out onto the QEW.

Since we were headed into Downtown Toronto, the GPS had us get back onto the QEW heading towards Toronto. The next light we will stop at will be the Oakville Lighthouse. The GPS had us get off at exit 116 (Dorval Drive) and head east for several blocks. (You will eventually get down to a point where Dorval Drive crosses over Rebecca Street and becomes Margaret Drive.) At the end of Margaret, the GPS had us make a left onto Highway 2 (Lakeshore Road). We continued north on Lakeshore Road until Forsythe Street. The GPS then instructed us to make a right onto Forsythe Street, and then a left onto Francis Street. This will put you at the top of a hill overlooking a park. The Oakville Lighthouse is visible from here.

From here, the GPS instructed us to make a right off of Forsythe Street back onto Lakeshore Road. You will cross over Sixteen Mile Creek and continue on Lakeshore Road. The GPS had us continue along Lakeshore Road until we got to Trafalgar Road. It had us make a left onto it and follow that back up to the QEW. This put us back on the QEW at exit 118 heading north east towards Toronto.

From here, it guided us into Downtown Toronto to our hotel on Gerrard Street. From here we relaxed for the rest of Friday and Saturday. One thing I wanted to do on Saturday was head out to the Toronto Islands to see the two lighthouses out there, but it was really too early in the season for that. There was only one ferry running and the trolleys that usually run out there were all closed for the season. The only way to get around out there would have been to walk, and it wasn't warm out at all.

Sunday morning we got up and checked out of the hotel. From here it was on to the Queen's Wharf Lighthouse. Once again, following the GPS's instructions, we were on our way. The GPS instructed us onto Yonge Street heading towards Lakeshore Blvd. then getting onto Lakeshore Blvd heading southwest. We were following Lakeshore Blvd. for a little bit when we rounded a bend in the road to see the Queen's Wharf Lighthouse sitting in a park by the side of the road where Fleet Street meets Lakeshore Blvd.

After taking several pictures, we went up Strachan Ave to King Street to a few other streets to get back onto Highway 2 (Gardiner Expressway). We then headed back towards Niagara Falls / US Border. This is not the quickest way, the easiest way would have been to turn around and head back northeast on Lakeshore Blvd to its intersection with Highway 2.

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