Part 9.—What to See in Ontario.
Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, although, as with Quebec, we must remember that the “populous” part is crammed into an area about the size of New Jersey, leaving an area about the size of China to the wandering moose.
The main thing to see in Ontario is Niagara Falls, which was cleverly created by God (a notorious Canada-sympathizer) to suck U. S. tourists across the border to buy souvenir keychains. The thing about Niagara Falls is that you can hear it from New York, but you can really see it only from Ontario. Millions of tourists who say they have been to Canada have never stepped outside the part of Niagara Falls devoted to the themed-indoor-miniature-golf industry.
That is a pity, because if they stepped even a few yards out of that zone, they would discover that much of the rest of the Niagara peninsula is filled with memorials (such as the Brock Monument, above) to Canada’s glorious victory in the War of 1812. Now, every American schoolchild knows that the War of 1812 was really a glorious victory for the United States, in the sense that we did not actually lose anything other than human lives and the city of Washington, which are both expendable; but the polite visitor will refrain from disillusioning his Canadian neighbors. A drive along the border will open the tourist’s eyes to the remarkable number of fortifications that were erected for the purpose of keeping out Yankee invaders. Most of them have now been repurposed as souvenir-keychain emporia.
Toronto is the greatest metropolis in Canada, notable especially for its streetcars. Seven cities in North America never entirely abandoned streetcars (the others being Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, and San Francisco); in Toronto’s case it was thanks largely to one stubborn transit official, who wielded such power in his domain that he could resist the diesel tide that overwhelmed other municipal transit systems. This is a strong argument in favor of the feudal system. Toronto is also the home of the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere (sorry, New York), which is placed so as to give the Toronto skyline the look of a Star Trek matte painting.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and is therefore most notable as the best place to see majestic herds of members of Parliament in their native environment. Be sure to stop in and say hello to the Governor General, dropping off any hats you may wish to forward to Queen Elizabeth. The Governor General will of course present you with a challenge to prove your sincerity, which is why you brought those xylophone mallets.
The Thousand Islands are severely undercounted.