The Phoenix Nest

Milton Heights Campground, near Toronto, Ontario

Milton Heights Campground, near Toronto, Ontario

A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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A Message from the Phoenix

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Abstract

I spent a week at Milton Heights Campground, near Toronto, Ontario. It was a fitting end to the Canadian swing of the Grand Fossil Tour, and it enabled me to visit the Royal Ontario Museum.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0918
Title Milton Heights Campground, near Toronto, Ontario
Subtitle A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Toronto, Ontario, Milton Heights Campground, Royal Ontario Museum
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2018
Status Development Began: 2018/2/19
Last Revised 2018-10-21

Toronto, Ontario

Arrived 2018/9/18
Day of Tour 423
Nights Stayed 7
Departed 2018/9/25
Map miles from last stop 274
Mileage on arrival 43,552
Actual miles from last stop 431
Accumulated miles for trip 25,035

I spent a week at Milton Heights Campground, near Toronto, Ontario. It was a fitting end to the Canadian swing of the Grand Fossil Tour, and it enabled me to visit the Royal Ontario Museum.

Page Contents

Toronto, Ontario

In my report of Montreal, I said, "In some superficial ways it is to the capital, Quebec City, as New York is to Boston." I need to revise that analogy, retaining its superficiality:

  • Quebec City remains the Boston of Canada, steeped in the history it celebrates.
  • Ottawa is the Washington, D.C., of Canada, with its architecture designed to present power.
  • Montreal is the Chicago of Canada, an industrial powerhouse.
  • Toronto is the New York of Canada, with huge skyscrapers vacuuming wealth to the powerful.

Or at least that's how it seemed to me on my brief visit. The fact is, though, that I don't find cities of any of these types appealing, and would rather see a few important sites, such as natural history museums, and get out as fast as I can.

The Journey to Toronto

It was a long ride from Ottawa to Toronto for my last week in Canada on this trip. The 480 km (300 mi) took over eight hours, much of it on 80 kph (50 mph) two-lane roads.

Because my phone couldn't connect to the wifi at my previous campground, I was unable to load a map for my GPS. So I made notes about the map on my computer. For the most part, they worked; only a couple of time-consuming mistakes.

The route took me out of the flatlands around the St. Lawrence and over some of Ontario's lower foothills. Saw lots of eye-catching cuttings through various rock types, ranging from black shale to almost white limestone. I even saw a couple of wild turkeys beside the road.

Map of Journey to Toronto

Map to Toronto
Route of Journey to Toronto, Ontario, from Ottawa, Ontario

Around Toronto

I learned from my mistakes in Montreal and Ottawa, and did not even attempt to find parking in downtown Toronto. I did take a bus tour of the city, but I used public transportation (bus in, train out) between Milton and Toronto.

The tour was not particularly impressive. The guides knew the names of the buildings, but not so much the deep story, or the gossip, behind the city. Besides, I had already been awestruck by the deep glass canyons that are the basis of my comparing Toronto to New York. The tour did get me to the Royal Ontario Museum, which was my principal reason for coming here.

Photo Gallery for Toronto

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario

Milton Heights Campground

This campground provided everything I needed for my stay in Toronto, but it is definitely showing its age. The sites were paved, but the asphalt was old, cracked and bumpy, after years of weather and heavy vehicles. It took a long time and several attempts to find a spot on the pavement where the pairs of wheels were approximately level, and where the sewer connection wasn't too far away. The road noise from the 401 tollroad, half a kilometer away, was constant.

The campground WiFi was acceptable on my computer, but not on my phone or tablet. In order to load a map to my next stop into my phone's GPS, I had to take it up to the office.

Photo Gallery for Milton Heights Campground

Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Milton Heights Campground
Address 8690 Tremaine Road
Milton ON L9E 0E2
CA
Home Page https://www.miltonheightscampground.com/
Phone (905) 878-6781
Associations
Rate (net US$) $32
Pros
  • Attractive, nicely wooded campground
  • Good suite of family activities
  • 20-minute drive to public transportation to Toronto
Cons
  • Aged concrete pads cracked, buckling, and way out of level
Reviews (as of 2018/1/27)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 7.7 Good 10
Good Sam 8.5 10
KOA n/a 5
Tripadvisor 3.5 5
Phoenix 6 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 8 10
  Ease of Access 7 10
  WiFiPhoenix 6 10

Points of Interest

Aside from checking another city off my bucket list, my main reason for visiting Toronto was to visit the Royal Ontario Museum.

Royal Ontario Museum

I had hoped that the ROM would be the capstone of my visits to Canadian Museums. The country has such a diverse range of natural history:

Where does a Canadian, or a visitor, go to see this rich natural heritage? Not to the national museums in the major cities, it turns out, not Victoria, not Saskatchewan, not Montreal, not Ottawa, not Toronto. Their collections are modest and far from complete, catering to elementary schoolkids fascinated with T-Rex and Triceratops and other Mesozoic monsters, but offering no follow-on bridge to a more comprehensive understanding of the evolution of life, as evidenced in Canada's rocks. The only exception is the Royal Tyrrell Museum, way out in Drumheller, Alberta, which is truly amazing, rivaling the best of American Museums.

So I guess the question is: where did all the Canadian fossils go? Did they sell them all for big bucks to American collectors?

Anyway, I did visit the Royal Ontario Museum, and did my due diligence of photographing much of their collection. I show a few photos here, and will include them all in my planned virtual fossil museum.

Photo Gallery for Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Selenopeltis buchii & Dalmanitina
Trilobites
450 MYA (Late Ordovician Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Eramoscorpius brucensis
Scorpion
430 MYA (Silarian Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Coelophysis bauri
200 MYA (Triassic Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Leptonectes tenuirostris
195 MYA (Early Jurassic Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Squatina acanthoderma
Shark
148 MYA (Late Jurassic Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Prosaurolophus maximus
70 MYA (Late Cretaceous Period)
Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum
Anzu wylei
66 MYA (Late Cretaceous Period)
Royal Ontario Museum

Onward

My next stop after leaving Toronto was Buffalo, New York, from which to visit Buffalo's Museum of Science, as well as Niagara Falls.

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