This was a great premiere season for the Amazing Race Canada and I think we made the parent program proud. Although Wayne and I weren't part of the competition this year, there's always next season, and yes there will be a next season and probably more after that. I'm almost certain that Wayne and I would have made it to the final three and I'm pretty sure we would have beaten the Timmies to that final mat. Then again I could be wrong. Perhaps that will be put to the test next season.
The oldest still standing and operational lighthouse in Canada at the easternmost point of the country in Cape Spear overlooks the start of the last leg as all three teams head west to Toronto, the largest city in Canada. Not the nicest, just the largest. Everyone in Toronto is now sending me nasty comments but let's be serious if you live there you like it, if you live somewhere else you like that. Relax.
Jody & Cory with their usual focus are the first out followed closely by Vanessa & Celina who managed to find their way back to the mat, and just behind them are the ever so lucky Timmies who've managed to avoid being eliminated twice . . . third times the charm.
As is usually the case the teams all meet up at the airport where they get to wait for their flight. Cory tries to get the Air Canada attendant to book the girls flight to Toronto via London, England. They just laugh it off but I'm pretty sure he was serious. It's a nice touch that Air Canada congratulated all three finalists by giving them all an upgrade to first class for the flight, which includes a lot more space and real food.
When the teams arrive in Toronto they need to find a woman with a maple leaf ball cap who will give them their next clue. She looked to be pretty easy to find but Pearson Airport is pretty large and this could have been just edited to look a lot quicker than it was. Regardless all three teams found her pretty much at the same time and got their next clue which led them to the heart of Toronto where there are more skyscrapers being built today than anywhere else in North America. Why? Who the heck knows. Apparently people in Toronto like to live in glass houses, but I digress. The teams need to locate the L Tower to find their next clue.
The L Tower is 57 stories of under construction luxury and the future home to 600 suites for those of you who want to move to Toronto. The Timmies don't want to move to Toronto but they are the first to the clue box and this weeks Roadblock, followed very closely by the other teams.
This is actually a pretty easy Roadblock as long as you're not scared of heights. One team member must ascend via elevator to the 44 floor, get strapped in and then rappel face first down the side of the tower to the clue box below. How easy is that? I mean, even if you slip you're still going down. Jody, Tim Jr and Vanessa all choose to do this task and I love Jody's comment "it's a little higher than I'm used to." Tim's pumped, Vanessa looks about to panic and Jody's concerned about the suction on his prosthetic legs. Meanwhile at the bottom Cory says, "if it comes down it's not going to survive the fall, that's for sure." Not sure if he's referring to the teammates, the elevator, or the prosthetics.
The attendant at the top says, "What ever you do don't let go of that little green rope at all costs." Yeah, that's encouraging. It's a bit scary taking the first step over the edge but once you've done that it's all downhill from there and a fairly easy Roadblock as they all come down together, land at the bottom and grab their next clue which tells them to find the Cadbury factory.
The Cadbury Chocolate factory is one of the oldest working factories in Toronto and home to the Caramilk secret. Once there (at 277 Gladstone for those of you hoping for a tour) they must find the golden bar then make their way to the presidents office to exchange the golden bar for the golden key to the golden safe which holds their next clue. Shades of Willy Wonka here but I like the task. The girls find someone on the street to ask the location and are thus the first team to grab a cab and head off to the Cadbury factory.
The Timmies find a cab driver who doesn't know where the factory is while the brothers head in to a nearby hotel to search for the address. Since the cabbie is of no help "I don't know what that is, I need address" the Timmies also head in to the hotel for directions. Cory as per usual gets all upset that the Timmies have followed them in to the same hotel and got the same information at the same time. Cory really needs to relax. Sure it's an important leg but this was the nearest hotel. At least the Timmies had enough sense to have their cabdriver waiting outside for them.
The way this is edited it looks like the girls have already arrived at the factory before either of the other teams even get an address. Upon arrival they are outfitted for the chocolate floor and Vanessa is told she needs to use gloves because of her nail polish. This becomes a bit more of a challenge because Vanessa can't open the chocolate bar wrappers with the gloves on.
While the girls continue to struggle and lose their lead the boys all catch up and soon everyone is ripping open perfectly good chocolate bars to find the golden bar. Cory has discovered the quickest way to open the wrapper, while Tim Sr struggles with his Parkinsons to control his left hand. This seems to be the only task where he's actually had any problem because of it.
Jody says he's been unwrapping chocolate since before Vanesa was born and her reply is "I was born chocolate." "Touché." What else can he say to that right? The girls compare the experience to looking for men, "so many bad ones and only one will give you $250,000.00." As everyone continues grabbing boxes to find the right one the Timmies once again get lucky and find the first golden bar. Up they go to the presidents office (I love the tophat) and exchange their golden bar for the golden key, open the golden safe and there's their next clue.
They're off and heading 40 kilometres across town to the Toronto Zoo which features over 5000 animals representing over 450 species and is one of the largest zoos in the world. Spread out over 287 hectares and over 10 kilometres of walking trails they will find their next clue somewhere on the grounds. While the Timmies take the lead Cory starts worrying about getting caught up in rush hour traffic depending on where they need to go next.
The Timmies arrive at the zoo and I don't know about you but wouldn't you start with the zoo's key exhibit. Well that's exactly what the Timmies think so they head off to find the Giant Panda Exhibit. Tim Jr just wants to check in front of it and avoid going inside and I'm thinking to myself "what the hell is wrong with you boy?" Big mistake. No clue box on the outside so they decide to look at the Canadian Domain.
Still unwrapping the girls find the next golden bar and race out of the factory to find a cab and catch up to the Timmies.
Oh look dad, maybe it's over there with the grizzlies. Nope. Keep on walking.
Finally Cory finds another golden bar and they're off to catch the other teams. The girls get stuck in traffic while the boys manage to somehow avoid it and yet they both arrive at the zoo at the same time.
How about near the Bison? Nothing. Oh I know dad, let's check the Tundra.
The girls cab driver informs them that the Giant Panda exhibit is the big thing to see at the zoo so they decide that's where they should head first and as they arrive they find Jody & Cory right on their tail at the gate. I find it interesting that Cory gets all upset when a team follows them but doesn't seem to mind following the girls all the way to the Pandas and the clue box. Both teams now race to find the Giant Panda exhibit and . . . well whaddaya know . . . they go into the exhibit and find their next clue. Maybe it's just the way it was edited but even the girls mention it as they race out to their cab. Of course, they thought they had gone to a Koala exhibit so . . . .
Both teams are now off to the Evergreen Brickworks, a centuries old heritage site that once produced the bricks that built Toronto. Once there they'll get their next clue. Meanwhile, while Vanessa & Celina and Jody & Cory head off to the brickworks, the Timmies continue to saunter about the Toronto Zoo. Looks like a nice place for a visit, if you weren't in a race.
The girls are back in the lead as they arrive at the Evergreen Brickworks for a second Roadblock and final challenge. Teams need to match the provincial/territorial flags and flowers from each of the Pit Stops throughout the race. If they were observant they might have noticed that each Pit Stop clue had the flag at the top and each greeter alongside Jon was wearing the local flower. I'd have noticed this right from the start, but I'm not sure I'd remember them all. Flags are easy as I've done more than my share of recreating the various flags for different projects.
Because Vanessa rappeled down the L Tower Celina needs to do this last Roadblock and she feels secure that she knows them all, until she gets to the map. Cory arrives soon after and also feels pretty good about this task. Of course he also felt good about signing his name for the wrong flight before too. He's not concerned about the flags but a little concerned about the flowers, as is Vanessa.
Tim & Tim have circled the entire zoo only to arrive back at the Giant Pandas and find the clue. They wasted 90 minutes looking for that clue but they're back in the race and off to the brickworks. Too little too late? Maybe.
Cory's first attempt at the task gets him 4/10. Celina's first attempt however is worse with only 1/10. While Jody and Vanessa discuss how far ahead the Timmies are Jody half heartedly mentions they could be behind them and when they show up Jody is so surprised. Here we go again with everyone caught up. Tim Sr gets the task and isn't surprised as he'd been expecting this one and had made notes throughout the race, unfortunately he couldn't use those notes.
Tim Sr starts quickly getting the flags and flowers in place to catch up to the others. Cory's 8th attempt gets him 5/10, he's getting better. On her 11th attempt Celina is still only at 1/10 and by her 16th hasn't really changed that. Tim Sr just keeps plugging away. Celina wants to take a time penalty but her sister yells at her that "Tim and Tim were locked in the zoo for over an hour and you're giving up over flowers?" Vanessa is not impressed and Jody just smiles. Cory's 17th attempt moves him closer with 6/10.
Tim Sr gets down to the last two flowers and calls over the judge but misses his first attempt with only 8/10. He quickly switches the flowers, calls the judge back over and he's done. Back in the lead and off they go with their next clue. The Finish Line.
Teams need to make their way to Olympic Island, one of the islands across from the downtown core. They need to make it to the center island ferry, which runs every 30 minutes, before the other teams. During the cab drive Tim Sr says "you only need to win one leg" and this is it. Cory makes a few switches and they're out of the brickworks and trailing the Timmies.
8 Minutes. These are probably the longest 8 minutes the Timmies have ever had to experience. Waiting on the deck of the ferry for it to leave, hopefully without any other teams. You can just feel their tension.
Once again the Timmies incredible luck has held and they were the only team on that ferry and the first winners of the Amazing Race Canada. 7 provinces, 3 territories, 15 cities and over 23,000 kilometres to win $250.000.00, matching 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes, Executive First Class Travel for one year from Air Canada anywhere in the world they fly.
Jon gets lots of time to chat with them at the mat because the other two teams are at least 30 minutes behind. Tim Sr hopes to be an inspiration to others with Parkinsons to simply get off their ass and not let the disease take their life away. I think he's done that not just for Parkinsons sufferers but for everyone who has any disease they're struggling against.
The final two teams eventually make it to the map with Jody & Cory beating Vanessa & Celina there. No surprise. The usual wrap up speeches with the final three teams and everyone admits to being able to do so much more than they thought they could do. As Tim Jr says, "You can do a lot more than you think you can do you just have to be willing to try." And that's Tim Time.
It was a great premiere season and I'm really glad that the Timmies won. Being a former Winnipeger myself I'm especially proud of their performance. Everyone seemed genuinely happy with the end results and let's be honest there were no bad teams. Even if you felt like you needed to hate the doctors, or didn't like the hippies tree hugger attitude, or just couldn't stand Jet and Dave joking around . . . they were all great teams.
I look forward to auditioning for the next season of Amazing Race Canada and I'm pretty sure Wayne and I will do everything we can to u-turn, misdirect and manipulate all the other teams to our advantage to be the second season winners. Of course, if we're not picked for season two we'll be right here blogging about it as we cry in our beers.
In the meantime we have decided to continue our blog site to blog about the US version that starts next week. We may also use this site to blog about other reality programs we watch but that'll depend on who wants to listen to our opinions. See you all next week.