Tag: Ford Canada

Fitness Swellness: National Take a Hike Day with Ford Canada

Ford Eco Sport hike

Last month, I celebrated National Take a Hike Day with Ford Canada (thanks for the Eco Sport for the week, Ford Canada!).

I wish I lived close to mountains and forests so that hiking were more easily accessible. But for now, I do like living in downtown Toronto (having a ton of great restaurants nearby is a life essential). And while there are some trails in the city that I know of that I can take Billie Jean to either by running to them or via public transit (David Balfour Park is one of them), the better trails tend to be farther afield. So with the Eco Sport filled up with gas, we set out for Hamilton to the Bruce Trail.



Crunch, crunch, crunch. I love the sound of just my footsteps and Billie Jean’s flurry of steps (she adores racing around; I’m sure she ends up doing at least double the distance I hike). I’ve done this particular hike once before, which includes four waterfalls. We had just missed the wonderful autumn leaves on the trees by maybe a week or two, but they still made a pretty glorious setting on the ground dotted with some snow. I hadn’t realized there’d be snow on the trails (the snowfall hadn’t lasted downtown so I’d forgotten any snow had come down). The air was brisk and we encountered few people on the trail; I love when trails are so quiet (except if I am lost, then I want to encounter people!). About four hours later, we finished just at dusk famished and pooped.

Bruce Trail

Because getting out to hike is a favourite for both me and Billie Jean, we headed out again on the Sunday to Rouge National Urban Park to the Woodland Trail. More snow, a pretty creek, very few people and one very happy dog.


Whenever I have access to a car, I try to take advantage of doing things that are too difficult to do without one. Such as going to restaurants further out of the downtown core, and doing shopping errands for bulky items (as much as I’d like to make it a strength workout, I can’t walk the 30 minutes with a giant bag of Billie Jean’s food). With the zippy Eco Sport, I was able to check off trying Tajok-Uzbek cuisine at Chaihana and made full use of the spacious trunk on a shopping outing with a friend.  

eco sport trunk

Someday, I’d love to have a car. It makes so many adventures like camping and hiking and doing chores easier; I truly have never appreciated having one  more than since adopting Billie Jean. The past few years I’ve driven such a variety of cars and it’s helping me learn more about what I like in a vehicle. I now know I prefer SUVs (I find there’s a comfort that comes from sitting up high compared to a car) and the Eco Sport I felt was a good compromise in size for me personally (it’s not so large that I feel uneasy parking or maneuveuring it, but sizeable enough that I could probably go camping with it, and do a road trip in it with Billie Jean). Plus check out the big screen in the Eco Sport (below)! Love it.

This is the first vehicle I’ve driven that has the trunk opening from the side, and I’m not sure what I think about that (would it be harder to open if you had a car or something right behind the car because you’d need more clearance space compared to a trunk that opens upwards?). I also realized that when it comes to paint jobs, I’m pretty conservative when it comes to car colour, gravitating towards black or white, or at most a deep inky navy, instead of more standout shades like the Canyon Ridge of this Eco Sport. (Not that I’d turn down the beyond beautiful red 1957 Mercedes Benz SL that I was fortunate enough to enjoy on Highway 1 in California a few months ago, though!)


Ford Eco Sport screen

Already plotting on where to road trip next to with Billie Jean…debating a long (multi-day) road trip next…What are your favourite things you do with a car? Did you celebrate Take Hike Day? Are there fun mini road trips I’m missing out on? Or things in the city I should check out the next time I’ve got wheels? Would love to hear from you.

Billie Jean in Eco Sport

Leave a Comment December 14, 2018

Fitness Swellness: A day of motorsports with Ford Canada

by Pinpoint National Photography

To help celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day (did you get your dad a gift yet??), Ford Canada invited me to drive a Mustang GT and Ford RS on a race track, and I brought along my good friend Damian (and he’s a dad, so there’s my gift to you, D!). I’ve filed this under Fitness Swellness…’cause it’s a sport, right, kinda sorta?

So we drove out to Toronto Motorsports Park, and it was both of our first times driving on a race track. I was kind of nervous…here I am thinking, “Uh…can I do this?!?”

by Pinpoint National Photography

I let Damian go first since I was a bit unsure about getting on the track, but soon enough it was my turn.  Got into the Ford RS and our Ford instructor Malcolm took me out on a recon lap. I only realized once we started out that the car was standard, and I wasn’t confident I could get the car into third gear (I’ve tried to learn to drive standard a few times and it has not gone well, it really stresses me out!), so I didn’t do laps around the track in this car, but instead tried to commit to memory the turns and paid attention to how to handle them based on Malcolm’s talking me through the process as he drove. Turns out, for me anyhow, it’s hard to memorize the curvy track! I did get a feel for the car, though, and felt very safe (those Michelin Cup 2 Track summer tires never felt like we were sliding all of the track). I’m not a car geek, but if you’re wondering the Ford RS has Ford Performance all-wheel drive system with Dynamic Torque Vectoring, turbocharged eco-boost engine and you can select from Normal, Sport, Track and Drift modes.

by Pinpoint National Photography

Next was my turn to drive the Mustang GT. I did three (or was it two–the laps are all blurring together now) and it was fun! It’s hard hugging those corners the way you’re supposed to and always looking a step ahead for the next pylon so as to plan where you’re maneuvering the car! The GT, like the Ford RS, has modes you can select (Normal, Snow/Wet, Sport or Track), and 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.  It also has blind-spot info system (which I didn’t have to use on the track!), and I wish I could tell you how fast I drove it on the straightaways but I kept my eyes on the track and peeled for the next pylon so I could make my turns.

Here’s a pretty funny video of our track adventure that Ford put together:

To end our track adventure, we each got to sit in the car as the instructor did a hot lap, and I got to see how I should’ve been getting the GT around the track! It was way, way, way faster than what I drove but I probably didn’t have to tell you that.

Thanks for the fun afternoon, Ford Canada! Now I can check “race a car on a track” off my bucket list!

by Pinpoint National Photography


Leave a Comment June 16, 2017

Travel Swellness: Escape and discover with Ford Canada


In the summer, I was invited last-minute on a fun “Escape and Discover” getaway with Ford Canada…in their Ford Escape (duh). Except a little road trip from Toronto wasn’t the big surprise. The dozen of us were told to pack only the small duffle bag we’d been given and although I think we all thought we were just driving up to cottage country, instead we were divided into four teams and all took off on flights that morning to different destinations in Ontario.


My team ended up flying to Ottawa, where I haven’t been since I ran my first half-marathon there in 2008. We got into our shiny new Escape at the airport and went straight to lunch at the very tasty gastropub Murray Street. I’ve been to Ottawa a few times but have never had a chance to check out its food scene much, and would definitely make a point of going back here.


From here, we wandered a bit then got back into our Escape to get around the city quickly, fitting as much as possible into our afternoon. First, a stop outside and then inside the National Gallery of Canada, and here by the Supreme Court of Canada. Then we popped over to Hog’s Back Falls, and I think this was my favourite stop. I have this thing with waterfalls, OK?

at Hog's Back Falls

Then because we had an itinerary to stick to, we started to head to our evening destination, Kingston, but not before I insisted we stop that car to check out these adorable sheep! (Sigh. I had many more pics of these cuties, and of the rest of the trip but I lost all the photos from my smartphone recently, so this is all I’ve got left!)


With WIFI in the Escape, I got to catch up on emails and social media while one of my teammates drove us to Kingston. It was a smooth drive; having driven the Escape myself before, it handles well and this jaunt, I got a chance to take it easy as a passenger in the backseat and hello, loads of leg room.


Once in Kingston, we checked into the very lovely Rosemount Inn & Spa. Would you believe this is the first time I’d been to Kingston? I’ve driven by it a million times on my way back and forth to Montreal, but thanks to this Escape, I finally got the chance to check it out. We feasted on the lovely patio at Chez Piggy, and then, even though none of us were super early birds, we did want a chance to take the car out again in Kingston, so we met up at sunrise and checked out City Hall, parked by the waterfront and soaked up as much of this quaint city before having breakfast.

Then it was time to hand back the keys of our Escape and we were off to the airport to be flown home to Toronto. I spend a lot of my time traveling, and I’ve driven more this year than ever, and having an Escape to discover gems I wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to check out, well, that’s what I love most about adventures like this Escape and Discover weekend. Thanks, Ford Escape, for the opportunity to learn a little more about what cities in Canada have to offer (it was cool to see what the other three teams got to check out in cities like Sarnia and North Bay!), ones I haven’t taken the time to explore. And there were so many other spots in both Ottawa and Kingston I didn’t get a chance to check out in our whirlwind trip, so next time I’ve got keys to an Escape, I’ll be checking out that sandwich spot in Kingston, and will  visit those sheep again, obviously.


Leave a Comment October 10, 2016

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