Monday, June 20, 2005

A few notes from Hamilton

My parents live in Hamilton, and last year I leased a car in Brantford (Wayne Gretsky's home town, if you're counting). Hamilton falls neatly between Brantford and Toronto, so I killed two birds with one stone and dropped in on my folks for a short visit while I took my car in for servicing. Since I had Friday off, I showed up at their place in the afternoon.

Dad and I, and my cousin Doug and his family, took off in the evening to go to a race trace on the Six Nations Reserve in Brant County (Joseph Brant, for whom the county and Brantford are named, was an Iroquois Loyalist who sided with the British in the American Revolution, and brought his people to Ontario afterwards). The town of Ohskewen is on the reserve, and that's where the track is. The race featured two different kinds of racing... real, honest-to-God stock car racing, populated by real honest-to-God cars that were once on the road... none of that pretentious NASCAR pretty boy stuff... and something called "dirt sport" cars. Aptly named. The stock car racing was slower and less disruptive. The dirt sport cars covered us with dust each and every time they went by. We started joking that we were going to get in trouble when we left because we figured between the six of us, we were leaving with the land of at least three of the nations on our clothes. It's the first time I can remember having sand in my ears since I was a kid on the beach in Nova Scotia.

Ohsweken Speedway bill of fare

Saturday morning my folks drove in with me to Brantford. Actually, I followed them in my car. We figured we'd catch some breakfast while the dealship did the work. We went to a nice family restaurant just up the road, called The Sherwood. It's a great place; good food and really good prices (in my opinion); nice decore, and very popular. Just popular enough that you know it's good, but not so popular you have to wait to be seated. The perfect mix. If you happen to find yourself in Brantford, definitely make a stop there. I mention the place not just to recommend the food but to remark on something that struck me funny. When I was paying the bill, I happened to noticed they had an unusual way of referring to the taxes. Typically, such a bill will list PST (provincial sales tax, 8% in Ontario) and GST (Goods and Services Tax, 7% federally). But in this case, the restaurant stuck them to the people in charge... "Dalton's tax", which refers to Ontario's premier, Dalton McGuinty, and "Paul's tax", referring to the prime minister, Paul Martin... click to enlarge the image. I think it's funny. :)

Debt and taxes

Twenty bucks for three people? Even adding in the tip, you won't hear me complaining.

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