Thousand Islands to Oshawa, Ontario

Using his 1899 Appleton's guide, Michael Portillo's rail odyssey through eastern Canada continues along the Grand Trunk railway, following the route of the St Lawrence River.

At Brockville, he leaves the tracks for a nautical pilgrimage through the beautiful Thousand Islands. In the port city of Kingston, Ontario, Michael visits Fort Henry and, dressed for the occasion, is entrusted to fire the naval guns that protected the nation's southern border during the 19th century.

Travelling west to Port Hope, he learns of the antics of a celebrated 19th-century high-wire walker known as The Great Farini. And, in the spirit of showmanship, Michael tests his balance with the modern sport of slack lining.

This leg of the journey ends in Oshawa at the opulent home of the McLaughlin family, who helped build a new economy for Canada when they switched from manufacturing carriages to motor cars.

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