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Posted by Maplelea Staff on

Meet the Mendelson family, the winners of our first ever Maplelea Family Model Search. 

Alice, Simon, Emet, Kol, Naomi and Baila Mendelson recently travelled from their hometown of Hamilton, to Newmarket, to do the photo shoot for our new, upcoming Canadian Moose Pyjamas.  They are a delightful family, full of energy and laughter. We had a blast at the photo shoot, especially when we added a dog to the group to model the matching Bandana for Dogs.  We can’t wait to show you the photos in our upcoming catalogue, due out in September.

During the photo shoot, the family happened to mention that they were going on a road trip this summer to Eastern Canada and were taking Maplelea along with them.  They wondered if we would be interested in some photos.  Of course we are!  Starting today, we will be following the Mendelson family, along with Jenna and Léonie, on their journey as they explore the sights from Ontario to the East Coast.


The first leg of the trip saw them travelling from their hometown of Hamilton, ON to the big city of Toronto.

Jenna loved her visit to the CN Tower where they had a fantastic view of the whole city. Léonie, Naomi, Jenna and Baila also did some sightseeing near the CN Tower. They were all amazed at the funky building on stilts that houses the OCAD, Canada’s biggest and oldest art and design university. Then they enjoyed watching Toronto’s iconic red streetcars.


Léonie was fascinated with the herons in Grenadier Pond in High Park, Toronto Ontario, and then a stroll along the waterfront finished off their time in Toronto.  You can see the CN Tower in the distance too! 


Outside of Toronto, the Mendelson kids stop for a picnic lunch at a lavender farm.

 Léonie enjoyed smelling the lavender flowers while Naomi watched out for bees! Jenna and Léonie thought the fragrance was wonderful.



In Kingston, Léonie, Jenna and the Mendelson family visited the Royal Military College of Canada.  

The Royal Military College of Canada is where members of the Canadian Armed Forces are trained as commissioned officers. Léonie and Jenna pick flowers along the Saint Lawrence River with the red roofed Murney Towner in the background.  The Murney Tower was built in 1846 as part of the defensive fortifications of Kingston. 

With flowers in her hair, Léonie waits patiently for her Thousand Island cruise boat to arrive on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River.

The Mendelson family timed their trip perfectly to be on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Canada Day!


Everybody is waving flags for Canada Day!  At the Canadian Museum of History in Hull, QC, the family rambled through thousands of years of Canada's past and were particularly fascinated by the Great Hall with its magnificent Indigenous artifacts.


Next stop: Montréal, Québec!

Jenna and Léonie enjoy a long Boardwalk at the old port in Montreal, Québec.  The Jacques Cartier Bridge, spanning the St. Lawrence River, can be seen in the background.

Léonie is getting ready to climb the steps of Saint Josephs’s Oratory,  Canada's largest church. Léonie says it is supposed to have one of the largest domes in the world.
Jenna is telling Léonie all about the Montréal Clock Tower.  It was built between 1919 and 1922 from a design by a Montréal-based engineer, based on the Big Ben in London.  It is legendary for its accuracy –sailors would set their own time pieces by it.   The clocktower was important as the port’s time keeper in a era when wrist watches were not yet common.  If, on the rare occasion the clock stopped working, port employees would not know the time and reported late for work!

Jenna and Léonie are looking forward to the next stop on their road trip.  Léonie is thrilled to be heading for her home town—Québec City! 

Léonie loved showing Jenna and the Mendelson Family around her hometown of Québec City!


Jenna and Léonie stand below the Château Frontenac, Québec City’s most recognized building. The Mendelson girls were surprised to learn that, in spite of its name, Château Frontenac was never a real château (palace)!


Léonie loved taking Jenna on a tour of the old city in her home town of Québec City! They were so excited - they couldn’t figure out what to see first! Kol, Jenna and Léonie enjoyed a street festival in the Old Quarter.

 Above, Léonie shows Baila and Jenna one of her favourite quiet spots in Québec City, the Old Port, which hasn’t changed too much in 100 years! Then, Léonie and Jenna took a walk on the Plains of Abraham in Québec, an historic battlefield and now a fantastic urban park and playground.


The whole family, with Jenna and Léonie, in the Old Quarter of Québec City, a UNESCO heritage site! Thank goodness there was a stroller for poor Baila--she broke her leg on the first day of the trip!
Léonie couldn’t wait to show the Mendelson family the Changing of the Guard ceremony at La Citadelle in Québec City! 

La Citadelle is the oldest military building in Canada and forms part of the walls or fortifications that surround the old part of Québec City. The girls anxiously waited for the rest of guards from the 22nd Battalion to arrive.  They also tried to get this guard to say hello, but he was busy with his guard duties! After waiting very patiently, they saw the guards put on their raincoats and sadly learned that the Changing of the Guard Ceremony would be postponed. 

For their time in New Brunswick, the Mendelson family chose a remote log cabin near Miramichi.  To access it they had to take a 20 minute ride in an all-terrain vehicle, which sometimes had to travel through water!



During a hike along the Miramichi river, Baila discovered a moose antler! She was surprised to learn that this antler belonged to a very large moose - a local hiker told her that an older moose (male) has more points and heavier antlers than a young buck. 


The Mendelsons had so much fun looking for the famous the Ruby-throated Hummingbird which is only found in the east coast. Kol spent hours waiting with his camera and finally caught this unique hummingbird in flight! Here, Baila, Jenna and Léonie show a hummingbird wind chime they found in Moncton.
The Mendelsons were able to explore spectacular Sackville, New Brunswick.  Here, close to Mount Allison university, Jenna takes a ride on Kol’s shoulder for a hike around campus.

Jenna was anxious to run along the trail at the Sackville Waterfowl Park. They met so many joggers and walkers along the route who told the family where the best spots to find baby ducklings were.  Sure enough, they found a duck family and they were sure to stay far enough away from these gorgeous baby ducklings so that they felt safe.

On this day, the family forgot to bring their backpacks for Jenna and Léonie, who (like Naomi) soon became tired. Luckily, Dad had the perfect spot for them to perch and watch for spectacular birds! 

Baila and Léonie were amazed at the elevated walkway along the marsh - they were able to see all of the marsh’s wildlife come “to life” right below their feet! They needed to rest along this covered bridge while Jenna continued to look for for fuzzy, zebra-striped young grebes which we could hear begging noisily to be fed.  The visitors centre told us that grebes can be seen hitching a ride on their parents’ back just like Naomi! When the day turned to dusk, we could see dozens of Tree Swallows, Bank Swallows and even a few Barn Swallows. The sounds of the frogs and birds made quite a symphony for us! Naomi was shocked at how loud a sound they made. 

Bouctouche, New Brunswick

They spent the day in Bouctouche, New Brunswick.  Bouctouche was founded by a few Acadian families in the 1700s and retains its French language and culture today so Léonie felt right at home!

Bouctouche is in Micmac territory and was originally named Tjipogtotjg (pronounced Chebooktoosk), a Mi'kmaq word meaning "Great Little Harbour".  It is an amazing town that is proud of its heritage. Many people spoke with the family in French in Bouctouche—most were worried about Baila’s broken leg and offered lots of suggestions for short, flat walks in the area.  This boardwalk along the dunes was a perfect short walk and picnic spot!

This dune at Bouctouche Bay is 2,000-years old and is always changing. Emet and Kol were surprised at how much the dune has changed in the last 20 years.  There are pictures in the visitors centre that show how even a storm changes the look of the dunes overnight!

Bouctouche Bay has 12 kilometres of fine sand where locals and visitors love to spend the day and watch wildlife.  While they were there, another family caught a live lobster by scooping it up with the bucket they were using to make sandcastles.  The wildlife in Bouctouche Bay is protected, so the lobster (and all other plant and wildlife) stayed safe and sound. The walkway in Bouctouche overlooks everyone on the shore.  While the Mendelsons were there, they saw a live lobster! Because the dunes are a special habitat for a wide variety of aquatic plants and animals, they were sure to respect the ecological site and left this friendly lobster in his home.


Next up...Halifax, Nova Scotia! 


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  • Great photos!
    Our family enjoyed a trip along the East coast this summer as well. We left Cambridge ON and traveled for three weeks to Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. We brought along Saila our daughters Maplelea doll from Iqaluit. What an amazing adventure!!

    Beatrice Benian on

  • I love these photos! And their explanatory comments, too. Thank you, Mendelson family and Maplelea, for sharing these with us!! You can be sure I’ll keep checking back for more (if there are more – this might be the whole trip here). If you’re still travelling, enjoy your trip! You look like a great family!

    Julie Naidich on

  • Such an awesome family. I am really enjoying your Canadian Eastern Canada holiday with the Maplelea dolls.

    Shannon Gair on

  • Beautiful family including your Maplelea family. Enjoy your trip!

    Cheryl Brown on

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