As of late, many of my university friends are packing up and moving to new cities for jobs, adventure and love. While it is sad to see them move to another postal code, it gives me a great reason to visit and explore another city. I love visiting Canadian cities! Big and small. The more I see, the more I understand the diversity of Canadians and how they live. Even if trip advisor’s activity suggestions are limited for that city, I am happy just to walk downtown, visit a restaurant, smell the air and meet a few locals. Still, I find that if you look hard enough, every city has a unique gem to offer tourists. If you can also tie in visiting one of your best friends, then you have the makings of a fantastic weekend!
This year my friend Brit moved to St. Thomas, Ontario, (population 38,000) so Kathleen, Sharon and I decided to take a road trip southwest on the 401 and cross St. Thomas off our lists.
The majority of our mini vacation involved taking cat beard photos with Brit’s new feline Morgan, spinning beats on DJ Hero and sipping homemade Sangria – good friends just hanging out. However a first time visit to St. Thomas would not be complete with out going to see the main tourist attraction, Jumbo, a 38 ton, life sized statue of an elephant.
In 1885, the Barnum & Bailey Circus came to St. Thomas and Jumbo”The King of Elephants” was their star. One night, Jumbo was tragically killed by an unexpected locomotive on a train track near the circus grounds. The statue (as seen above) was erected in Jumbo’s honour. Brit explained that Jumbo is the cities main tourist attraction, and made sure that we stopped to visit him on our way to dinner.
A few meters behind Jumbo there is a tourist information booth built to look like a train caboose. A few of the locals pointed out that poor Jumbo will eternally have a train on his heels. You can learn more about Jumbo and that tragic day on Wikipedia.
Rest in Peace Jumbo.