Discovering Niagara-on-the-Lake with Honda Odyssey. A Great Driving Experience

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey: Cruising on Land

The current and fifth generation, Honda Odyssey, was launched in 2018. In production since 1994, Honda’s spacious minivan means a comfortable ride with big families or small groups of up to 8 people including the driver.

Even if SUVs capture a bigger and bigger market share in every category, minivans are still the better alternative when you carry people and their luggage in style and comfort. When talking about minivans, I appreciate the consistent model policy of Crysler, Honda, Toyota and Kia, manufacturers that always kept this category in their portfolio.

In North America, except for Chrysler, which is the inventor and leader in this segment, Ford and GM discontinued their minivan offerings almost a decade ago.

The instrument cluster, the dashboard with the infotainment screen is well-designed and built. The relatively small screen reveals that the Odyssey is aging gracefully and the next generation is not far away
Comfortable leather front seats with a wide and deep centre console in between offer plenty of space for your stuff
The third row can quite comfortably sit three people with relatively easy access. The second row can be configured as having three seats or the middle seat can be converted to the centre console.
Even with the third row in use, the Odyssey offers a deep, spacious cargo area almost no midsize SUV can offer

At the end of a long day and after more than 300 kilometres, my guests, six adults, were very satisfied with the comfortable, smooth and silent ride of this Japanese minivan.

Earlier we had a comprehensive review of the 2022 Honda Odyssey and you can read this article at:

Discovering the Beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake

This time, we took the Odyssey for a discovery trip with our guests to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the historic and beautiful town in the Niagara Region, where the Niagara River merges into Lake Ontario.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of the two most visited places in the Peninsula can be reached from Toronto in a single day and this is exactly what we did with our guests from the USA.

At NOTL, the 58-kilometre-long Niagara River merges with Lake Ontario. The other side is Youngstown, NY with the historic Fort Niagara

Departing from Downtown Toronto, we hit the road toward Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL). For three couples plus myself as a driver, the Odyssey was the ideal vehicle for a long day trip. Access to the third row was easy thanks to the second-row seats, that slide and collapse to the front with the touch of a button. Easy getting in and out is especially important when you have several stops on the way. apart from power sliding doors, the second-row captain seats were supportive and comfortable. The centre console in the second row can be configured as the third seat which provides space for seven passengers. A nice space to host guests for a full day.

On our way to the Niagara Peninsula, we and my guests enjoyed the quiet cabin and very smooth ride.

Over the generations, the Odyssey became more refined and more comfortable and remains one of the best options for minivan fans. The current generation is a perfect choice for long drives in particular.

After a relaxed cruising on the QEW and taking advantage of the HOV lane from Oakville to Burlington, we took Exit 89 a few kilometres after the Garden City Skyway over the Welland Canal. Following Glendon Avenue and York Road, turned left to Concession Road 6 towards Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Caroline Cellars is a reputable family estate winery where you can have a wine-tasting session followed by lunch at their in-house cafe

We had a wine-tasting session at the Caroline Cellars, followed by a light lunch at the Farmhouse Cafe of the same place. Rick and Frieda Lakeit, a young couple in their twenties purchased a 50-acre land to grow their own grapes and founded the winery after 20 years. It is a popular place among many wineries around the town. Caroline Cellars has been a family-owned and operated business from the beginning. After this enjoyable stop, we went to the historic downtown and visited the Niagara on the Lake Museum.

The Legay of Mrs. Janet Carnochan

Mrs. Hanet Carnochan, who taught in NOTL for more than 30 years in elementary and secondary schools in town, laid the foundation of the Niagara on the Lake Museum. She greatly contributed not only as a teacher but also as a historian. Her efforts paid off and she would be so happy to see this museum today.

Respectfully remembering Janet Carnochan, the teacher who laid the foundation of the museum

History of the Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the Lake was the first capital of Upper Canada, the former name of Ontario. The beautiful Loyalist town was destroyed by the American Army during the War of 1812 and was rebuilt in the early 19. Century.

Two hundred and ten years ago, after the war that broke out between Canada and the United States, which began with the attempt of the “young and fiery” country of America to swallow Canada or to purge it of the British, and ended in “togetherness” two years later, the Niagara River was recognized as the natural and official border between the two countries and maintained this feature to this day.

With its well-preserved 19. Century Victorian architecture attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from Canada, the USA and all over the world. The famous Shaw Theater Festival, celebrating its 60. anniversary returned this year after the involuntary two-year pandemic break.

Niagara on the Lake Museum

Niagara on the Lake Museum is a great place for a deeper understanding of not only the history of this town but also of Canada
Niagara on the Lake MuseumTL Museum
The museum is compact and well-organized

Over the last 10 years, I have been to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the beautiful town at the confluence of the Niagara River to Lake Ontario several times.

However, I did not have the opportunity to visit the museum in town. Several of my previous visits were not more than a stopover as a tour guide with a group of tourists and hence I could not visit this place until now.

This time though, it was pleasantly different. As this was a private visit, we did have sufficient time and I had the opportunity for a better, deeper understanding of the history and identity of NOTL.

Janet Carnochan was an educator who taught at elementary and secondary schools in Niagara-on-the-Lake for more than 30 years. However, more than being an educator, she served as a historian and founded the Niagara Historical Society and became its first president between 1895 and 1925. As a historical preservationist, she wrote and edited numerous historical works and campaigned for the construction of Memorial Hall, which was the first museum of Ontario. In 1949, the town’s former high school was incorporated into the complex and was renamed Janet Carnochan Hall.

The Museum of Niagara-on-the-Lake today is a perfect place to understand the history of not only the town but also the Niagara Region and beyond. The museum is well-designed, compact and easy to navigate without getting bored or lost. Beyond the several easy-to-read informational texts and photos, the period’s artifacts give an enjoyable experience and help to understand the history and identity of not only the Niagara Region but also provide a background to understand the history of British North America.

Destroyed at the end of the War of 1812, Niagara-on-the-Lake is now a prosperous town and a tourist magnet for visitors not only from Canada and the USA but also from all over the world.

At one of my previous visits, while guiding a couple from the USA, I remember saying: “Peace is good. About 200 years ago, your ancestors destroyed this town. Today tens of thousands of visitors from the USA, whether for the Shaw Theater Festival, for winetasting or for a pleasant weekend escape at one of the luxury bed-and-breakfast hotels, contribute to the wealth and prosperity of the Loyalist town across Toronto.”

For more information of the museum, please visit:

Home – Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum (

For more detailed information on the Odyssey, please visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *