Car Ride to Toronto

Time for more Canada related posts…

With a twist of luck, we got to know this Chinese lady who is working in the University that our research institute is affliated to. And she was kind enough to extend an offer to share a car ride with us to allow us explore Toronto over a weekend. Seeing that this would greatly reduce the cost of transportation, the four of us agreed to the plan immediately. There was this one catch though, she had not been driving for the past three years and she had never drove up to Toronto by herself before.


Since the others had no confidence in the trip after the announcement, I volunteered myself to be the “vehicle commander”. In Singapore Armed Forces lingo, this meant that I would be the one seated beside the driver, and my role is to guide the vehicle to the destination safely. “This shouldn’t be too difficult…” So on the evening of May 30, we started the ride up north…

nzj before the car ride

The journey was around 200km long and I planned and printed the route while I was still in the office. But I forgot how difficult it was to be the vehicle commander. I have to guide her to switch lanes, to acclerate and deccelerate, attend to her needs, and I have to keep churning topics in my brain so that I can maintain a conversation with the driver (A driver who is sleeping mentally or physically is never good). And I barely know this hyperactive lady. Haha…

Fortunately, after approximately 2.5 hours and a few minor hiccups, we were done. But my brain was left exhausted and all I could manage was to take a photo of the restaurant where we packed our dinner.


We were then brought to a “temple” which would be our accommodation for the weekend. I had nothing to complain because this too saved us a lot on accommodation. Then dinner… shower (which was a little dysfunctional)… sleep…

I woke up the earliest as usual. I believe the four of us were suppose to gather at 9am, but… Anyways, I decided to explore the neighborhood myself while the others continue to sleep. But first, I had a good look of the temple that I had slept a night over in.

Wow.. Entrance to the temple...

Toronto streets were still relatively empty in the early Saturday morning, only Chinatown was buzzing with activities. The gang was still sleeping when I got back. So I chose to have a good conversation/lecture with a master of the temple. The conversation was interesting and the master was a very good and experienced speaker. I debated with his ideas once in a while but he was able to steer the conversation most of the time. By the time my friends were ready, it was almost 11.30am… Time for brunch I guess… Ha missed the Chinese food that we had the other time we were in Toronto. And so we went back to the restaurant in Chinatown.

North-East Chinese Restaurant, Toronto

We had the whole day planned, so there was no time to lose~! Moving on to the first destination after lunch… But there were too much distractions along the route. Heh~

Random statue near Queens Park

Nice building

A major distraction was the Legislative Building where we spent one hour. It came with a guided tour of the building too. At least I improved my knowledge of Canada’s political scene by that tiny little bit.

The four of us @ Legislative building

It was already 2.30pm by the time we reached our first planned destination. WHAT?! Royal Ontario Museum, CN Tower, Vietnamese dinner and more to come, in a later post…


  • Why do I usually flatten my lips when I 自拍?
  • I admit that I went into the conversation with the master with my defences fully up.
  • The conversation involved a blackboard and it was full with text at the end of it. But I was too embarrassed to ask if I could take a picture of it for my blog. Haha…
  • Comparing and contrasting the churches and temples we have in Singapore versus the ones found in Canada, I found a similarity. As much as the churches in Singapore are less elaborated versions of those in Canada, temples found in Canada are less elaborated then those in Singapore. It’s almost like a dilution of the physical representation of a place of worship. Hmm… I wonder why such phenomenon exists.
  • Thi loves to be in my photos.
  • We walked past the faculty of law of the University of Toronto. The building looked awesome. How I wish NUS has buildings like this.
  • Toronto has an extremely interesting mix of ancient and modern buildings. Look how the church occupies one corner of the street and how the hotel(?) behind it envelops around the church.

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