Canada 150 festivities may be wrapping up, but 2018 still offers plenty of reasons to vacation within our own borders.
“From sea to sea” takes on new meaning now that the highway to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories opened in November. It’s the first all-season road in Canada that will allow people to drive all the way to the Arctic Ocean. Prior to that, the only way to get to the northern hamlet was by plane or by ice road in the winter.
Tuktoyaktuk residents are excited to see how the highway transforms the community, but, at the same time, fearful of the disruption it might bring. But while local guides are gearing up for an influx of visitors, the town is still remote enough that it won’t ever become as overtouristed as cities such as Barcelona or Venice. spectacularnwt.com
There’s nothing better than getting outside during a Montreal summer, but if you have already overdosed on festivals and had your fill of celebrating the city’s 375th birthday, we’ve got 10 unique experiences in and around Montreal that will help you get off your couch to try something new.
IN THE AIR
Skydive without a parachute
Unless the engines are on fire, most people would rather not jump out of an airplane, yet there are thousands who strap on parachutes to skydive for fun.
If you’re hesitant to make that jump, the closest thing is to take a leap into the skydiving simulator at SkyVenture, located in Laval’s Centropolis complex.
It’s basically a cylindrical room with a giant fan on the floor that blows air upward with enough force to make you float in the air. Each flight lasts 60 seconds, which is the typical length of a parachutist’s free fall, and children as young as four can do it.
An intro package with two flights costs $68. A four-flight package sells for $93.93, and a 10-flight deal is available for $182.65.
After visiting the only known Viking settlement in North America, we learned to appreciate the struggles that the New World’s first immigrants faced a thousand years ago just to find this place and then to survive in its harsh environment.
We hiked out into the low, scrubby landscape at L’Anse aux Meadows, N.L. to visit the remnants of their seaside settlement, but were underwhelmed to see that it was not much more than a small collection of grassy mounds. That disappointment vanished quickly as our Parks Canada guide brought the story of those mounds to life. He explained how the Vikings smelted iron from the bogs to make nails to repair their ships and struggled to survive at that spot for several years until they eventually abandoned it.
Canadians take winter for granted and start complaining about it after a few months of cold, but when we can experience it through the eyes of someone who doesn’t see snow very often we are reminded how special it is to have four distinct seasons that we can enjoy. Here’s a reminder of how beautiful Canada can be in fall and winter as seen by a Colombian visitor.
Ask any Montrealer to name the city’s most iconic foods and without hesitation, they will answer smoked meat and bagels. But what most probably don’t know is how Jewish immigrants brought those foods here and how they managed to endure as favourites.
One Montrealer who knows that history and is keen to share it with locals and visitors alike is Kat Romanow, the Director of Food Programming at the Museum of Jewish Montreal.
“Jews have lived all over the world and wherever they’ve settled they’ve taken the cuisine of that region and adapted it to the Kosher food laws — so when we talk about Jewish food, we’re talking about a cuisine that is very diverse,” she explains.
Romanow’s enthusiasm for the community’s history is contagious and the perfect starting point to understand how the city’s 93,000 Jews and their cuisine fit into the story of Montreal.
On the day of 9/11, flights to the U.S. were ordered to land at to the nearest airport. Dozens of those flights ended up in the tiny town of Gander. If you’ve ever been to Newfoundland, you’d know that the welcome and hospitality those passengers received would be warm and heartfelt. Watch this video to remember a bright spot from a dark time.
Whether it’s the world’s largest catfish or a replica of the Stanley Cup made out of bacon, Roadside America is a user-generated database of some of the weirdest roadside attractions to be found anywhere in America (and Canada). Check it out before your next road trip.
I was in Kingston, Ontario for a few days last week, interviewing some of the creative people who live and work there. It’s not my first time in the city, but everyone I met had a love for the city that was palpable. It’s really a great place to visit. Here are a few of the shots of the people I talked to and some other photos I took during previous visits.
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