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Kitsch Fixes

Kitsch Fix #72: Niagara in Technicolor

A giant statue of a Mounty (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

Giant statue of a Mounty (a.k.a., a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

On a recent trip to visit family in Toronto, I had the opportunity to see Niagara Falls for the very first time. I was quite literally left breathless at the sight of these giant waterfalls, which were engulfed in a thick mist that created a new rainbow to marvel at every few minutes. I also couldn’t help being struck by the majestic beauty of Niagara Falls juxtaposed with the kitsch of the tourist traps surrounding the area. Here are a few of my favorite tourist trappings…

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Art and Architecture, Travel

Something Old, Something New

1914 structure of the Royal Ontario Mueseum and Daniel Libeskind’s 2007 addition known as the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

We traveled to Toronto for a wedding this weekend, which was my first time in this bustling Canadian metropolis. I got to enjoy some of the things I expected there, like sipping coffee in outdoor cafes and staring up at road signs that bore equal parts French and English, but the most delightfully unexpected part of our trip was the architecture. Toronto is a big city as well as an old one, which means it is constantly supplementing it’s 18th century architecture with modern structures to accommodate its population of approximately 2.5 million. This means the streets are packed with a blend of Gothic and Victorian brick buildings as well as new glass towers that crop up every day. My favorite such blending is the Royal Ontario Museum which features several brick-and-terracotta galleries built in the early 1900s and a recent addition designed by celebrated modern architect, Daniel Libeskind…

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