I had the honor of taking my father’s ashes up to the cemetery in his childhood home of Ayr, Ontario this past weekend. Ayr is about 90 minutes west of Toronto, one of my favorite cities. As somber a task as it was, my wife and I made the most of it, seeing the theatrical production of Lord of the Rings, and having brunch at 1000 ft at 360, the revolving restaurant in the CN Tower.

We flew up on Friday afternoon. That evening, we had dinner with my great Uncle Ric. Uncle Ric is 91, but still very with it. You have to respect a guy who landed with the allied forces at Normandy during WWII. Saturday morning we headed out to the cemetery, but we stopped off at a relative’s home in a nearby town. After all, I had absolutely no idea where I was going.

I had a map from the rental car company, but it only showed major roads outside of the Toronto metropolitan area and was useless once you got off the 401. Fortunately, I had by trusty BlackBerry with me (ironic, since RIM is headquartered in nearby Waterloo, Ontario). I had loaded Google Maps Mobile on it shortly after it became available. And short of having GPS in the rental (something I may look for the next time I’m in unfamiliar territory), Google Maps did right by us. It had amazingly accurate detail and I was able to get to my relative’s house in St. George easily.

Once my wife and I arrived, we sat and caught up for a brief time. The house was on a crystal clear lake, and with a bright blue sky overhead, the natural beauty of the area was not lost on me. We then caravanned for about 15 minutes over to the cemetery in Ayr, where we laid by father to rest by the grave of his grandfather and great-grandfather (his father was buried in Spain, a long story behind that).

We then came back to Toronto, where we had the next day and half to kick back and decompress. It was my, cough, cough, 38th birthday on Sunday, so we celebrated that in style. Toronto is a great city, and I’m sure I’ll return when I can spend some more time exploring all it has to offer.

[tags]rim,toronto,wwii,ayr,ontario,cn tower,normandy,google maps mobile[/tags]