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Tips for the Mint and the Train...


Bits of information about the Royal Canadian Mint...

1. Young or old, it seems as if everyone is interested in how money is produced. Based on our family's reaction, we found this tour perfect for adults as well as children. It's both educational and entertaining. Journeywoman learned that in the past little while comedians, Rick Mercer as well as the CEO of Blackberry stopped in to visit.

2. The Mint is centrally located at 320 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0G8. Website:

3. If you are interested in a tour, reservations are recommended. Tel: (613) 993-8990, or (613) 993-8997 (toll free: 1-800-276-7714) or email:

4. If you're not interested in a tour, entrance to the boutique (open from 9:00am to 6:00pm) is free seven days a week. Collector coins and mint memorabilia are on sale as well as objects connected in some way to money. For example, we bought a pink piggy bank wearing a tutu for my granddaughter and a loop to examine coins for my grandson.

5. Every visitor gets the opportunity to see and touch a gold bar that is worth (at the time of writing) almost $600,000 on display in the Mint's Boutique. Photography is not allowed during the tour but that is understandable. How many other countries will even allow citizens to come into a facility that creates money?

6. Visitors actually see how money is created via large glass window looking down on the production line. If it is not a workday there are excellent videos and display cases explaining each stage of the production.

7. The Mint in Ottawa makes collector coins . The Mint in Winnipeg makes the circulation coins. These are the coins we use for our daily spending. The likeness of Canada's Monarch has appeared on every Canadian coin produced by the Mint since 1908.

8. The medals awarded in the Vancouver 2011 Winter Olympics were crafted at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa.

9. The work of the Canadian Mint is held in high regard. They've produced coinage for over 74 countries — centavos for Cuba, kroner for Norway, fils for Yemen, pesos for Colombia, kroner for Iceland, rupiah for Indonesia, baht forThailand, and a thousand-dollar coin for Hong Kong. Other client nations include Israel, Barbados, New Zealand and Uganda.


Tips on train travel from a child's p.o.v...

My nine-year old granddaughter is named @JWkid on Twitter. I refer to her as Journeywoman Junior. Each year she accompanies me to Ottawa's Winterlude and helps me with ideas to complete my assignments. This year our emphasis was on train travel. I discussed the topic with her and we travelled to Ottawa together via Via Rail Canada. I asked for feedback from her child's point of view. Here is what we agreed upon...

1. If you get motion sick in a car, you might not be as bad in the train. I didn't feel sick once.

2. My cousins drove to Ottawa by car. I think they were a little jealous of me.

3. We had to go on an escalator to get to the train and you need to hold on. So don't try to carry a lot of stuff in your hands. Put your things in your backpack and take them out when you get to your seat.

4. Remember your mom or dad or grandmother has to carry their own stuff. They can't help you so don't pack too much for you to handle by yourself.

5. Carry healthy snacks like little carrots or cut up apples. Don't worry if you forget the carrots. They sell them on the train. My grandma shared chips and gum with me, too.

6. Even if you are angry, don't talk loud on the train. Lots of old people go to sleep.

7. My grandmother brought hand sanitizer so we could clean our hands before we ate.

8. You will be bored because train trips are long. Bring a DS or other games and computers (for videos) and you can plug them into the electrical plugs that the train has at every seat.

9. We played a good game with a magazine. We each took turns looking for pictures beginning with A, then B, C, and going through the alphabet till we used up all the letters. I won!

10. You are lucky if you are a kid because families with kids get to go on the train first. We didn't have to stand in line at all.

P.S. If you want to find out more about trains in Canada you should go to Via Rail Canada's website:




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