Toronto Times 7 – Muskoka

Toronto Times 7 – Muskoka

An MSc student biology is embarking on an adventure to do a research internship in Toronto, Canada. For nine months. A leap of faith into a new world. In nine short, monthly pieces, he gives an impression of what it's like.

Summer break. Once every two to three years; Jeff plans a getaway to northern Ontario with his whole lab. Luckily for me, 2023 happened to be the first chance since the pandemic for this much-anticipated getaway to be organized again. And I could join in. With a group of eleven, we packed our stuff, piled into rental cars, and set our sights northward. I have to confess, my excursions this year have mostly consisted of navigating the concrete jungle of Toronto. So this escape to Muskoka was a breath of fresh air, quite literally.

Muskoka is pretty much the stereotypical Canadian postcard you find in the dollar store: conifers casting reflections in the water, raccoons making appearances along the route (whether alive or as roadkill), maple syrup shops, and kayaks aplenty. What caught me off guard was how much Canada felt like a twin brother of the U.S. — consumer culture, car-centered, barbecues everywhere. On our way back, we stopped at a random hamburger joint, Webers Burgers, right off the highway. The insane queue was worth it.

The cottage also had a small boathouse. There were a couple kayaks inside. Let's just say I gave kayaking my best shot, but I may have resembled a turtle trying to balance on a floating log. It was great.


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