July 21 – Parliament Building of Quebec in Quebec City

Quebec City is our sixth stop at a provincial capital visiting the provincial legislature buildings. Now we are more than half way there in our quest to visit all ten provincial capitals. We have been welcomed by a Provincial Minister in Regina and a Special Assistant to a Minister in Winnipeg and had photos with those folks, sometimes on the steps of the building and sometimes inside the building, with our Canada Flag.

 This beautiful city is very easy to enjoy the old charm of Europe. We stayed in a real nice quaint boutique hotel only a short walk through the old city gates to the provincial legislature buildings.

As we had found in Victoria, there was some construction on the legislature building so we were not able to go right up to the steps at the front entrance.  Our Canada Flag photo was taken outside the construction fencing. The work should be completed for next year’s tourist season.

In Quebec, the provincial legislature building is called the Parliament Building of Quebec and houses the National Assembly of Quebec.

We walked around to the west side of the building to the entrance that was open for public access. Like the other legislature buildings, security screening is in place prior to entrance, much like airport security.

The folks at security were very pleasant and I mentioned our trip across the country and the photo ops with our Canada Flag at the other legislature buildings. I had been carrying the flag in a “flag bag” (sometimes known as a “Man Purse” or “Murse”) and motioned to the security of my intention to take a photo of the Canada Flag inside the building in the legislature chamber. We were informed very emphatically that we were not allowed to display our Canada Flag inside the building nor to photograph the Canada Flag inside the building. The discussion seemed to be less positive as it had been at first.

A guided tour was offered, however we decided we could see as much of the building as we wanted in our own time.

 

 

  

There was a Quebec provincial flag but no Canada Flag.

The National Assembly had a Crucifix on the wall behind the seat of the Speaker. 

The only Canada Flag that we saw in the building was in the Senate Chamber.

 

Our observations of the Canada Flag and the crucifix causes one to reflect on the meaning of “Canadian” and the structure of government including separation of “church and state”.

 

 

July 20 – St. Hubert to Quebec City

Quebec is another big province so this leg was all within Quebec.

There were thunderstorms in the area and along our planned route so our departure was delayed to allow them to move on. 

We stayed low along the Saint Lawrence River 

farm fields long and narrow, initially layer out that way to give each farmer access to th river.

 

The airport at Quebec is one big construction site. The main runway is closed for maintenance and repair.

For overnight parking we taxied to AVJet, an upscale FBO with excellent service.

Two men flying a Robinson R44 helicopter around the world. We had previously crossed paths in Bellingham when we were at Customs parking.

 

 

July 19 – Brantford to Cornwall then to St. Hubert, Quebec

Today we left Brantford and continued our journey eastward to Cornwall. Toronto Terminal kept us low at 2000 feet then were switched to City Centre Tower.

Due to traffic departing westbound  we were asked to remain north of the CN Tower and descend to 1500 feet. That routing gave us a view of the observation deck as we flew past the CN Tower. It must have given the folks on the observation deck a bit of a surprise.

We continued along the north shore of Lake Ontario past Oshawa and Trenton then along the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall. Approaching Cornwall the radio communications were now bilingual, for eastern Ontario and Quebec.

Cornwall Aviation seemed quite busy with three Piper Seminoles coming and going on a regular basis. Hoping to check the weather on my iPad through their WiFi access, I asked for their password and was informed “No –  we do not give out the password”. That was different and certainly not normal for flying schools or FBOs these days. Not very encouraging customer service. I have received much better customer service and attitude at all other operators visited on the journey across Canada.

We were able to meet up with Barry Franklin at the Cornwall airport. Barry was an Air Cadet in the 1960’s and obtained his pilot licence on a Flying Scholarship as did I. He is also a very active member of COPA for many years.

Cornwall to St. Hubert was a short flight and a quick taxi to Air Richelieu for fuel and parking. The flying school is training the Air Cadets this summer and we met with them and had a photo with the Arrow. It was nice to meet with enthusiastic young men, some we hope will be in the aviation industry for years to come.

 

 

July 18 – CN Tower and Legislative Assembly of Ontario

The drive from Brantford to Toronto was quite busy but uneventful. Finally we visited the CN Tower for views of the city and surrounding areas.

After flying for so many years the views from the tower seemed less interesting than they might have been earlier.

 

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario was about a 30 minute walk up University Avenue. I hadn’t realized how many hospitals and medical facilities were located on University Avenue.

We had one of the security guards as our photographer for the shots with the Canada Flag.

The drive back to Brantford was over two hours and reaffirmed that I don’t miss the workday commute.

Joining us for dinner with Lyn and Randy was Hector, our long time friend. Hector was on of my first passengers in a Piper Colt in the late ’60s. We had several flights to Niagara Falls and around the Niagara Peninsula, and Hector always liked to do spins.

 

July 17 – Getting Ready to Head East

After spending a few days being tourists it was time to get ready for continuing our journey eastward. We drove to the Brantford Airport to  ready the Arrow for flight, refuelling and cleaning up the interior. It’s amazing how you can make such a mess in such a small cockpit.

The Brantford Flight Centre is home to the Brantford Flying Club. The club has a nice little restaurant and a fuel truck to make that chore a little easier. You don’t have to taxi to the fuel pumps. I find it interesting how few airports have a convenient coffee shop or restaurant on site.

For the last several years I have been using an iPad 2 for all my pre-fight and in-flight references. Normally I fly VFR and IFR with only the iPad; I do not carry any paper charts nor any instrument approach plates. This spring I bought a new iPad and since it is smaller than the iPad 2, it doesn’t fit the RAM mount on the control column.

Aircraft Spruce has a new facility at the Brantford Airport and I wanted to visit them to look for a new RAM mount for my new iPad. Since Aircraft Spruce was some distance away, the good folks at the flying club offered us a ride in their golf cart; much appreciated. Sure enough, there was a RAM mount for my new iPad in stock so I bought it and quickly installed in on the left control column. Both iPads are onboard just in case I need the second one as backup.

 

After getting the Arrow fuelled and ready to continue the journey we visited my older brother Eric, and his wife Joanne, for dinner. We spent the evening reflecting on the past, sharing the present, and wondering about the future.

Returning to Lyn’s in Brantford we ended our day winding down with Lyn and Randy.

 

July 16 – Connecting with past Friends and Relatives

Valerie had been on Facebook and met up with her cousin Randie whom she hadn’t seen in many years. They had grown up together as little girls in Hamilton and, as it happens with many families, drifted apart for no particular reason as life happens. We made a special effort to visit cousin Randie in Hamilton, and her friend Eddie.

Randie has a special interest in cats. In her back yard she has an elevated hot tub and in the space around the tub has created a home away from home for cats that happen by. Randie makes sure that there are enough blankets for the cats to cuddle up in and puts out enough food to keep them well fed.

I think Eddie is the one behind the actual construction of this inner-city oasis.

Randie insisted that she take a photo with our Canada Flag.

 

I also had made a connection on Facebook with someone from the past. I had worked as a flight instructor in Hamilton during the late 70’s and one of my students reached out a couple of years ago to connect. We met 37 years ago when Dave Nusca was my student for most of his training. Dave had all of his pilot training completed and considered a career in aviation, however he chose to have a career in the steel industry of Hamilton. Like many people, life happens, you get married and have a family and your interest change. Dave was away from aviation for many years and has now retired. Now with more time on his hands, he has recently returned to aviation and is the proud owner of a Rockwell Commander 114, flying as much as he can.

We met up with Dave, and his wife Lorie, at their lovely home in Hamilton. You can tell you have a good friend when many years past by since you last saw them and when you do meet it seem like it was no so long ago that you shared your life experiences. So today, we shared a meal and had a wonderful time chatting about past times flying, our families, and what may lie ahead in the future. I would like to think that we will meet again in the not too distant future.

 

July 15 – Saturday BBQ – Beer Can Chicken

After travelling for the last two weeks with all the flying, aircraft issues, weather challenges and meeting so many nice folks along the way it was time to spend a quiet Saturday with Lyn and Randy. We had more of a normal day; slept in, went grocery shopping, went to the beer store, then had a few enjoying the warm sunshine.

Then it was time to fire up the BBQ for Beer Can Chicken. Valerie made a great salad and I was there to ensure all went well.

Randy and Lyn have mastered their BBQ skills

So…….. tasty.

After sunset the backyard fireplace kept us engaged while we talked away the evening.

 

July 14 – Burlington, Ontario

We spent a few days taking a break from the travelling and flying to spend a little time in Ontario where Valerie and I were grew up. With Canada being such a big country and people moving from place to place, it’s always worthwhile spending time catching up with friends and relatives.

Valerie’s brother Bill, and his wife Provie, live in Burlington so we spent most of the day enjoying their company. For a nostalgic tour of the Burlington area we drove past houses and neighbourhoods of years long past. It is always interesting to see how things that you remember from your youth change and evolve, and sometimes disappear.

At the western end of Lake Ontario, the lakeshore at Burlington has been nicely developed into a very enjoyable family park. From this view one is looking eastward on Lake Ontario which stretches for about 160 nautical miles. The lake is as big as some salt water seas. As a comparison, Lake Ontario is about two thirds the length of Vancouver Island. That’s a lot of fresh water.

Valerie was walking along the pathway and about 10 minutes after this photo was taken she stumbled on some raised up concrete and hurt her knees.

Let’s hope the discomfort doesn’t last too long and take away from the enjoyment of the journey.

It was then off to Mother Tucker’s where we ate far too much, again.