Stop… in the name of Ontario…

It’s not unusual in Ontario to see a cross intersection with four-way stop signs. 

That’s right.

Everyone has to stop, look at each other, smile, and say, “After you…” before proceeding on their way.

The first car to arrive gets to drive off first. In the rare event that you arrive in a dead heat, the driver to the left gets to go first.  This makes me wonder, though… if the drivers are across the intersection from one another, are they not technically on each other’s left?  I can just picture an “Ontario Stand Off”.

Driver A: “After you…”

Driver B: “No, after you…”

Driver A: “No, really, after you…” and so on. 

In theory, this could continue for some time, given how nice and polite Canadians generally are. 
On reflection, I can see why this has not been attempted in Australia. 

Port Dalhousie

Port Dalhousie sits on Lake Ontario near St Catherine’s, Ontario. It’s a gorgeous place with a beautiful beach, marina and waterfront area that boasts not one, but two, lighthouses. It also has a carousel with a calliope!


We visited fairly late in the afternoon, so the carousel was closed, but we walked along the pier in golden autumn sunshine and watched the sailboats, fishermen in small boats, and windsurfers enjoying the beautiful weather. 

My first impression walking along the pier was that the waterway and marina reminded me a lot of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia, not far from Warrnambool, where I work. It’s another very pretty spot with a marina on the moth of the Moyne River that I have blogged about before

After walking along the pier, we sat on the beach and had the most Canadian of sandwiches: crusty white bread, old cheddar and Montreal smoked beef with mustard. Those sandwiches were incredibly good.

Our picnic was also attended by a lone seagull and a very attentive wasp. Thankfully, we did not provide any food for either one of them. 

Having just finished winter in south-eastern Australia, this was my first opportunity to enjoy time on a beach. It felt so good to get my bare feet in the warm sand and squidge it between my toes.  That’s one of the things I love about summer afternoons, even though I don’t really like hot weather. Yesterday’s 23C was just perfect for a beach picnic. 

Driving out, we passed some lovely pubs and shops that I would love to go and visit sometime. A very old brick building serves as a coffee house that looked incredibly inviting. 

I am already thinking that I’m going to have to make another trip to Canada. 

Damn. That’s just heartbreaking. 

“Meet the Aussie”.

This afternoon a bunch of people came to Sean and Jenn’s for the “Meet the Aussie” pot luck supper.

It was a really great time. Everyone just chilled and chatted and ate – holy Toledo, did we eat. There was so much good food, and a number of things I hadn’t tried before. 

Pumpkin tarts. Oh. My. Goodness.  

Those are amazing. I only had one, mainly because I was minding my manners. I could have eaten ten without any trouble. 

Butter tarts: these would be more aptly named ‘Caramelised buttery fruity deliciousness tarts’. 

These are really good, but the pumpkin tarts were better. 

In return, I made two classic Australian desserts: a pavlova and a chocolate ripple cake. 

Both were a huge hit. I think I scored a million brownie points with the pavlova.  It was pretty darned spectacular, even if I do say so myself. 

And, in a ‘karma smiling on me’ kind of way, we had an extra guest visiting in the yard with us.  This little guy sat on the fence for some time, and kindly did not run away when I wanted to take his picture. 

 All the Canadians thought it was funny that I was so excited about a squirrel, until Sean explained that we don’t have them in Australia. 
The following conversation was all about Australian wildlife and all the dangerous critters we have. That’s more  fun than telling ghost stories around a camp fire because it’s all true. 

As the sun went down and the temperature dropped, people went home and we finished the day very well fed and very tired.