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After the War of , there was a fear that there could be yet another war with the Americans. Kids will love the touch tanks full of sea creatures, and the seals fed at 11am and 4pm. Shediac Bay Cruises , ; Pointe-du-Chene wharf has a unique concept. Take Rte 3 north from St Stephen then bear left on Rte to reach the park gate. Portage Store , ; www. There is a Beach Shuttle ; www.
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The mining and logging industries operate on a global scale. The infinite expanses of forest have made Canada the number one provider of timber in the world. About , people live in the entire region, and only two towns have over , citizens Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
Most people who inhabit the north come from mining or logging families. Recent years have seen a surge in nature enthusiasts, although the population continues to dwindle as jobs become scarce.
The drive between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the country. Misty fjord-like passages hide isolated beaches amongst dense thickets of pine, cedar and birch. Prevailing mists cast a primeval haze over the churning waters. The new state-of-the-art visitor center offers an informed perspective on the dramatic topography and its accompanying history.
The park is about 30km northwest of Parry Sound on Hwy This far-flung area offers access to the isolated James Bay. Then, the section follows Hwy 11 back east as it cuts through the far north, passing Cochrane and Temagami before ultimately reaching North Bay. Return to beginning of chapter SUDBURY pop , From the right angles, radioactive Sudbury is a pulsing oasis of cultured hipsters, offering a surprising selection of trendy dining and entertainment options. Toasty sunsets are enriched by the puff of nearby industrial chemicals, morphing the evening blazes into ethereal flares.
Then, like a flickering switchboard, the industrial lights mimic the stars above. When the Canadian Pacific Railway plowed through in , a mother lode of nickel-copper ore was discovered, transforming the dreary region into the biggest nickel producer on the globe. The rest of the city sprawls into the horizon and major attractions are widely dispersed. Try www. Chamber of Commerce ; www. Rainbow Country Travel Association , ; www.
After passing through a tunnel dug deep within the 2. Wander through a living butterfly garden, explore rocks through a microscope, build an empire out of Lego, or fly away on a bushplane simulator. The blue-coated staff is exceptionally friendly and can tackle the most obscure questions about the displays. The main attraction is the underground tour with a simulated dynamite blast , and visitors will enjoy the extensive geologically themed exhibits.
It tells the story of the three flour silos on Notre Dame Ave. Activities Sudbury is home to one of the best-known mini-putt golf courses in North America.
Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf ; www. Sundog Outfitters ; www. Another great option, Wild Women Expeditions , ; wildwomenexp. During the summer, paddling trips and cycling tours meander through the dense wilderness areas of Killarney, Temagami, Mississagi and Manitoulin Island. Throughout the rest of the year, intriguing programming, such as drumming, yoga and landscape painting, is offered at the base camp 45km west of Sudbury near Narin Centre.
Belmont Inn , ; www. Ask for a newly refurbished room. Parker House Inn , ; www. Elegant suites overflow into a second cottage across the street.
Days Inn , ; www. The central location is a plus. Auberge du Village , ; www. McDonalds has fast food; Deluxe offers swift service.
Notice a pattern? Slip out to the crimson-brick courtyard and enjoy your casual lunch or late-night cocktails weather permitting, of course. Dish recommendations are virtually impossible as the ever-shifting menu promises bursting flavors with every bite.
Weekends are standing room only, so strap on the dance shoes and prepare to get down. Drop by on hockey nights to catch northern Ontarians in their natural environment as they hoot for the home team while swigging a dark draught. Several car-rental options are available at the airport, including Enterprise and National Ontario Northland and Greyhound Canada use the same bus depot ; Notre Dame Ave about 3km north of the downtown core.
Sometimes Greyhound will make a courtesy stop at the transit center downtown so passengers may connect to the city bus system. Most trains pull in to Sudbury Junction Train Station ; Lasalle Blvd , which is about 10km northeast of the town center. Passengers heading east toward Ottawa must catch a connecting train through Toronto. Over 50 city buses roam the downtown region connecting the major attractions. Before crossing the town off your itinerary, head to the Fire Tower Lookout, about 3km northeast of town, and let the grand majesty of the dense evergreens wash over you.
Several hands-on displays present the history of mining in the region with a special focus on the uranium mine decommissioning process and the subsequent impact on the environment. The town has but two uninspired options for accommodations. The better choice is the Fireside Inn , ; www.
Canoeing buffs should pick up the Area Canoe Routes brochure at the welcome center in Elliot Lake see above. The pamphlet details seven unique portages around the park including the day-long Cobre Lake Loop, which can be interspersed with captivating hikes.
For camping reservations call Ontario Parks , ; www. Note that none of the campsites have electricity and the limited facilities on Semiwite Lake the gatehouse and toilets are solar-powered. Sleepy St Joseph is actually the second-largest freshwater island in the world and the largest producer of maple syrup in Ontario.
At one time the fort was the most remote outpost of the British land-hold in North America. Take a piece of St Joseph Island home with you and visit the artisans at Puddingstone Creations , ; www.
Unique to the island, puddingstone is a rare rock covered with crimson flecks that was formed through a billion years of seismic activity. Call the workshop in advance if you plan to stop by.
Consider basing yourself in Sault Ste Marie, 50km west, and spend a quiet afternoon exploring. The island is reachable by the toll-free bridge off Hwy A surplus of accommodations, dining and shopping options can be found just north of the city center along Great Northern Rd. The pass can be purchased at any of these locations. A couple of decades later, the region was explored by the Group of Seven, who immortalized the unspoiled scenery through vivid landscape tableaux.
Today, the railway is largely used for passenger transportation and tours. The half-loop rejoins Hwy 17 at Iron Bridge for a total of about km. The road is narrow and hilly in parts, and you should allow up to three hours of driving time plus stops. Pick up a Deer Trail brochure at the Elliot Lake information office to annotate your trek. From mid-June to mid-October, a daily train shuttles passengers along the pristine lakes and jagged granite of the Canadian Shield.
The best time for a ride is during the last two weeks of September or the first week of October when the blazing autumn foliage turns a brilliant red and yellow. Trains depart at 8am and return at pm, with a two-hour layover in the lush Agawa Canyon, km north of Sault Ste Marie. Every Saturday from the end of January to the middle of March, the Snow Train cuts a path deep within the Algoma Central country offering unforgettable views of crystalline snowfields.
Due to extreme temperatures and perpetual snowfall, passengers are unable to disembark at any point along the journey. A final option is the rustic trek to the end of the line at Hearst, known as the Tour of the Line. All trains depart from the train station Bay St , which also sells tickets.
Check with your local accommodations before booking tickets as they may offer discount package deals. A minute film explains the importance of bushplanes in northern Ontario as several remote communities are not accessible by road. The jiving soundtrack captures the sense of adventure associated with this oft-used form of transportation. Stroll amongst retired bushplanes to get a sense of how tiny these flyers really are. A new flight simulator takes passengers on a spirited ride along sapphire lakes and towering pines you might even get a little wet!
This scenic and informative cruise offers a unique perspective on one of the most heavily trafficked canal systems in the world. There are several trips daily from June to August, and fewer in spring and fall.
The two-hour tours pass through both the Canadian and American locks. The meandering path winds through wooded knolls, encircles the trench-like locks, and dips under the International Bridge, allowing visitors to grasp the interesting juxtaposition of nature and industry.
Beyond the exhibits, the structure is itself an important historical tribute to the early s, when little Sault Ste Marie emerged from obscurity. Although dwarfed by the casino across the border in Michigan, the gambling hall holds its own with two-dozen gaming tables and a large restaurant. Join the team of experienced nature-lovers on a variety of kayaking expeditions, from one day to one week, along the northern crest of Lake Superior.
Sleeping While the bulk of motels and chain accommodations gather further north along Great Northern Rd, there are several options peppered around the downtown core, mostly along the waterfront. Algonquin Hotel , ; www. Just be prepared to share your well-worn wood-paneled room with the spirits of drunken derelicts that called the place home some 50 years ago.
Satelite Motel , ; www. Brockwell Chambers ; www. Take a giant step back to the early s and enjoy the delicate floral patterns, burnished candelabras and lacquered hutches.
Water Tower Inn , ; www. Eating The list of tasty venues is surprisingly long in this quiet burg. Going Italian is the best bet for a savory meal as most of the locals can trace their lineage back to the Boot-land.
The club sandwich with gravy-drenched fries is the local fave. The modern menu is echoed in the smooth, minimalist decor as though Panna were plucked from a trendy urban center and plopped down amongst homely neighbors. Pick up a free copy of Fresh magazine for the latest happenings around town.
Loplops ; www. Grab a glass of imported wine from the glittering steel bar and enjoy an evening amid strumming guitars while eavesdropping on the restless murmurs of tortured artists. Unleash your inner diva at one of the many open mic nights or catch the latest folk and jazz music from local and visiting artists. This lively joint squats below a nondescript restaurant that shares its name.
The ample riverside patio seating makes this lodge-like hangout a favorite amongst the local somethings. Besides getting top marks at high school, she was athlete of the year in her graduation year.
For fun, she parachuted and got her scuba-diving certification. Of course when the National Research Council of Canada decided to begin a space program, Bondar put her hand up, along with other Canadians.
She was one of the six picked. As a payload scientist on board the shuttle Discovery in , she studied the effects of weightlessness on the human body. Upon returning to terra firma, she wrote a book about her experiences, Touching the Earth, which included many of her own photographs.
She now earns a living through photography and as a motivational speaker based in Toronto. In Canada: Landscape of Dreams, her photographs accompany the words of famous Canadians discussing what the country means to them.
The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre displays artifacts from her Discovery mission, and the Roberta Bondar Pavilion in the waterfront area is named after her. If you catch her summering in the family cottage just northwest of the city, she might even autograph one of those books for you.
There are several car-rental options at the airport including Enterprise and Budget. Check with your hotel before arrival as it might offer complimentary pickup service. The bus station ; 73 Brock St is downtown and serves as a terminus for local, domestic and international ground transportation. Call for more information and route details. The sq-km park is one of the most scenic areas along the lake, offering misty fjord-like passages, thick evergreens, and empty beaches that could have been lifted from the Caribbean.
The outdoorsy staff members are an excellent resource for making the most of your visit, however long it may be. Culture junkies should make a pit stop at the Agama Rock Pictographs. These animal and anthropomorphic images, painted in red ochre, are roughly to years old. A short-but-rugged m trail connects the visitor parking lot to a rock ledge where, if the lake is calm, the mysterious sketches can be viewed. For those who have a bit more time, there are 11 excellent hiking trails to explore.
There are five road access points for those who wish to do a smaller section. Try the Nokomis Trail 5km , which loops around the iconic Old Woman Bay so named because it is said you can see the face of an old woman in the cliffs.
Lake Superior Park also hosts a burgeoning paddling culture. Eight charted inland routes range from the mild 16km Fenton-Treeby loop with 11 short portages , to challenging routes accessible only via the Algoma Central Railway. Naturally Superior Adventures and Caribou Expeditions run extensive paddling programs in and around the park. Bookings must be made through Ontario Parks ; www.
Keep an eye out for scraggly moose along the highway, especially at dusk or dawn. After years of prosperity as a gold and iron-ore mining town, modern-day Wawa has shifted its focus toward outdoor tourism. There are actually two other giant geese in town: a noticeably decrepit and anatomically incorrect goose lingers just up the street on the opposite side of the road, and the third bird flaps its wings above the Wawa Motor Inn.
The latter has a popular picnic area, and the two misty chutes are linked by a short section of the long-distance Voyageur Trail. Naturally Superior Adventures , ; www. Its lodge quietly sits along Lake Superior between a craggy expanse of stone and smooth sandy beach. A day on the grounds is itself a memorable experience as cool mists roll through in the afternoon and the evening sun gently melts into the lake. These trips are suitable for total beginners.
The three basic rooms are spotless, comfortable, and offer views of the lake. Parkway Motel , ; www. The comfortable motel is 5km south of Wawa along the highway. Wawa Motor Inn , ; www. Log-cabin-like rooms out back are the perfect place to unleash your inner lumberjack.
Food from Trinidad, mon! Add some spice to your trip and try the baked pork or the stewed catfish. For information, check out www. Several outfitters operate at various points along the river including Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters ; www.
The park ext ; www. Pukaskwa offers many of the same topographical features as Lake Superior Provincial Park and includes a small herd of elusive caribou. There are two ways to explore this majestic hinterland. For many years, White River was known as the coldest place in Ontario. A large kitschy thermometer was erected in town displaying the ungodly temperatures.
It all started in when a trapper brought a baby black cub to White River after an extended hunting trip. Since Disney owns the rights to the furry bear, the giant statue in White River had to be slightly altered to avoid copyright infringement. The Visitor Centre 9am-4pm Jul-Aug offers a wealth of information about local wildlife and the boreal forest. On most summer evenings starting around 7pm there are guided hikes and activities departing from the center.
Three short trails depart from the campground area, offering glimpses of the pristine setting. The popular Southern Headland Trail 2.
The track also acquaints hikers with bonsai-esque trees, severely stunted by harsh winds blowing off the lake. The Halfway Lake Trail 2. Informative signs, dotted along the path, annotate the trek by offering an informed perspective on the inner workings of the ecosystem.
A third route, the Beach Trail 1. Hattie Cove and Halfway Lake offer tranquil day-long paddling options as well. Many fit hikers opt to traverse the first 7. The trek is arduous, even wet, and you must return the way you came making it a 15km total , but few will complain about the stunning surroundings.
McCuaig Marine Services ; mccuaigk onlink. Rocky Neys Provincial Park , , just west of Marathon, has craggy beaches, furry caribou, and sunsets that make for a perfect Kodak moment. Drop by the town of Terrace Bay and catch a boat to the Slate Islands, home to the largest herd of woodland caribou in the world. The Rossport Inn ; www. Even the wallpaper peels in the most charming of ways. Up the road, the neon-green Serendipity Guest House ; www.
Ouimet wee-met canyon, just 12km off the highway, is a treacherous crevasse scoured out by ice and wind during the last Ice Age. A microclimate has formed at the bottom, m below, which supports a small collection of rare arctic-alpine plants.
A 1km loop hugs the jagged bluffs offering views that will make your knees tremble. Camping is prohibited. Pleasant campgrounds and a m ice wall keep this place busy year-round. Both canyons are 45km west of Nipigon and 73km northeast of Thunder Bay. The park is rugged enough to offer backcountry camping, while compact enough for a fulfilling day trip. The three-day Kabeyun Trail follows the dramatic west coast of the peninsula.
Shorter hikes will also allow you to mingle with white-tailed deer, moose and porcupines. For camping reservations, contact Ontario Parks ; www. After hours of driving between an ethereal coastline and majestic forests, the concrete collection of industrial relics feels quite out of place. The two distinct downtown cores act like polar magnets repelling attempts at gentrification. However, below the gritty surface, expansive Thunder Bay has a warm small-town vibe.
The Ojibwe have inhabited the region for centuries, even millennia. Soon after, a rival settlement popped up 5km up the road. Port Arthur was more mining-centric, until it became a shipping center for prairie grain. The metallic granaries continue to line the seaboard. The gigantic wasteland of tarred parking lots in between is known as Intercity. Consider renting a car from one of the many dealerships in the stretch of commercial zoning known as Intercity.
The memorial honors the young Terry Fox, a native of British Columbia, who lost his leg and eventually his life to cancer. Before passing on, he left a powerful legacy by attempting to walk across Canada with an artificial leg to raise money for cancer research.
On September 1, he arrived in Thunder Bay after traveling km, but was forced to stop as his illness worsened. The spectacular 40m waterfall is the source of many local legends. The moody chute is at its best after the thaw in early spring and it gushes year-round after heavy rains. Today, the large heritage center offers 42 historic buildings stuffed with entertaining and antiquated props like muskets, pelts and birch-bark canoes. The use of natural imagery, haunting masks and scorching primary colors will leave lasting impressions on visitors.
The lookout is part of the Fort William First Nation ; www. A walking trail leads from the viewing area to the top of the mountain. The same folks also run Wabakimi Canoe Outfitters ; www. Expeditions focus on the thick stretch of dense boreal forest known as Wabakimi Provincial Park Superiorfinn Juhannus Arts Festival ; mid-Jun A long day of celebrating the summer solstice and Finnish heritage here in the land of the almost-midnight sun.
Festa Italiana ; www. Anishnawbe Keeshigun ; www. Sleeping As a common layover during trans-Canadian treks, Thunder Bay boasts a wide variety of lodging options. A large selection of chain motels gathers around the intersection of Hwys and Thunder Bay International Hostel ; www. The charismatic owners, Lloyd and Willa Jones, champion the backpacking lifestyle; in fact two of their children run hostels as well.
A night here is in itself an experience to be remembered. The hostel is 25km east of town. Sleeping Giant Guesthouse , ; hostelscanada yahoo. She might even take you to the local dump to check out the bear that clomp around looking for food. Rooms are stocked with wooden bunk beds and pastel linoleum floors. Free bikes provide an extra bonus for those who want to explore the waterfront nearby. Thunder Bay Inn , ; www.
This is your place. McVicar Manor ; www. Chocolate and roses abound, wine flows in the evening, sunflowers cheer the kitchen, and the perfect homemade breakfast greets you in the stately, uncluttered dining room. Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel , ; www.
The waterfront property has gone through its fair share of renovations, but the cherry-brick exterior and rickety elevator retain the old-school charm. Splurge for a room with placid views of Sleeping Giant across the bay. Eating Hoito Restaurant ; www. Hefty carnivorous portions are dished out amid ranch-like curios.
The infamous prime rib will give your arteries a workout. Bistro One ; www. The facade positively reeks of franchise banality, however, the inside is filled with one-of-a-kind touches like white-clothed tables and designer stemware. Magnus Theatre ; www. Entry to the theater is off Waverley St. The airport is about 3km southwest of the city, at the junction of Hwy 17 and Hwy The Greyhound bus depot ; Fort William Rd lies between the two downtown areas near the Intercity Mall.
Getting Around Car-rental chains are well represented at the airport and in the commercial zoning area known as Intercity, located between the two downtown regions. The major hotels, including the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel, offer airport shuttles for their guests.
Thunder Bay Transit ; www. Traffic thins out after Kakabeka Falls as highway vistas become noticeably dull. Then, at Shabaqua Corners, the highway forks: the northern route along Hwy 17 plows straight toward Winnipeg, Manitoba, while the southern route Hwy 11 and Hwy 71 takes about two extra hours as it ambles through scenic landscapes. Both routes will shuttle you through prime fishing country; service stations might try to lure you by offering free minnows with your tank of gas.
Signs mark the beginning of a new time zone you save an hour going west. The aptly named Canoe Frontier Expeditions ; www. Northern Route Ignace and Dryden have plenty of motels and basic restaurants but no compelling reason to stop. If you happen to be passing through Dryden at the beginning of July, a stop at the annual Moose Fest is a must.
The biggest and best place to pause is Kenora, a pulp-and-paper town and the unofficial capital of the striking Lake of the Woods region. This local hub services the local tourist activity, which mainly consists of summer vacation cottages and fishing trips. Accommodations options are plentiful as the usual army of franchise motels is stacked along the highway. The visitor center , ; www. Main St and Front St, along the water, host most of the action. Canadian Native Cultural Tours ; www.
The Lake of the Woods Museum ; www. Southern Route Those who choose the longer route between Ontario and Manitoba will be rewarded with spectacular distractions. Atikokan is the first major stop on the southern trail after the highways diverge.
The endless waterlogged preserve has but one small campground, and over km of canoe routes stretching beyond the horizon into unexplored backcountry. Canoe Canada Outfitters ; www. The Fort Frances Museum ; www. Travelers who wish to continue along the Trans-Canada Hwy must follow Hwy 71 north after passing tiny Emo, since Hwy 11 veers south across the border. Before linking back up with Hwy 17, consider making two more scenic pit stops on the eastern realm of Lake of the Woods.
Nestor Falls and Sioux Narrows are serene resort towns, offering a glut of rentable cottages and houseboats. The km of desolate highway offers little more than a shortcut or a less-long-cut from Thunder Bay to Cochrane.
Sans stops, the eight-hour car ride will give you plenty of time to ponder the following: how can there be so much roadkill and yet not another car on the road? Evidence of harsh, long winters is conspicuous in this windswept town, but despite the inhospitable winters, the largely Francophone population is warm and accommodating. The assortment of passengers is a sight in and of itself: locals, trappers, biologists, geologists, tourists, anglers and hard-core paddlers all ride the shuttle one car is specially outfitted to transport canoes.
From September to June, the train is commonly known as the Little Bear. All three were brought into captivity as cubs after poachers sadly shot their mothers. Visitors can meet the friendly bears at daily feedings, or swim with the creatures in a pool divided by a thick sheet of glass. An on-site mock colonial village, stocked with costumed staff, is also included in the price of admission.
Micro-fridges and a lake out back are an extra bonus. Station Inn , ; www. Stop by the gym and whirlpool to get the blood flowing before a lengthy trip to Moosonee. The gorge-worthy ribs are so tasty, they might convince you to plan a second trip to Cochrane.
All services arrive at and depart from the Cochrane Train Station Expeditions further north will undoubtedly involve floatplanes, canoes, snowmobiles, dogsleds or snowshoes. Moose Factory Tourism Association A useful telephone information service. The best way to experience the region is through a tour with the local Moose Cree. In Moose Factory, the Cree Cultural Interpretive Centre Jul-Aug features indoor and outdoor exhibits of artifacts, including bone tools, traditional toys, reusable diapers and dwellings from the pre-contact era.
It is best to explore the center with a guide, as they can relay fascinating details and personal anecdotes about the interesting displays. The goal of the center, 70km east of Moosonee, is to recreate several villages each at different points in history.
One camp has bark-construction dwellings typical of the pre-contact era, and another will feature contact-era canvas tipis. Guests travel between the main base and the villages by canoe, and activities in the area might include demonstrations of trapping and fishing. Practical details and prices had not been established at the time of research, so check the website for the latest information. These highly recommended trips offer a unique opportunity to experience something beyond what many train passengers see.
They share many stories of living off the land and fostering the traditional ways of life of their parents and grandparents. The importance of the family unit and the respect for the elders is paramount. The local community is incredibly friendly and welcoming. Moose Factory is a great place for people to learn about Cree culture. There are a couple of lodging options in Moosonee, although we strongly suggest staying on the island of Moose Factory.
The three rooms are appointed with modern furnishings. Cree Village Ecolodge , ; www. This fascinating place to stay was designed and furnished to reflect traditional Cree values.
The environmentally-conscious design extends to the organic wool and cotton used in the carpets, blankets and bed linen, organic soaps in every room, and some composting toilets. The lodge is also home to the first public library in Moose Factory. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available to guests and nonguests alike, and are served in the Shabotowan Great Hall.
For information on the trains from Cochrane, Click here. In winter the river becomes an ice bridge stable enough for cars and trucks. Return to beginning of chapter TIMMINS pop 43, At one time, Timmins was the most productive gold-mining area in the western hemisphere, and today the city still heavily revolves around its lucrative silver and zinc industry, with a network of over km of subterranean tunnels.
The shockingly large complex showcases her life and music through memorabilia, concert footage and an extensive collection of personal effects. Experienced miners dress visitors up in full digging apparel and take them through the Hollinger mine, 50m underground.
The journey includes a rail ride, liquid gold pouring, and a simulated dynamite blast. Flat shoes and warm clothing are a must. Timmins has the usual crew of chain motels dotted along Algonquin Blvd Hwy Cedar Meadows Wilderness Park , ; www. While the god-fearing pharaohs were commissioning wondrous pyramids, this region of majestic pines and hushed lakes was a thriving network of trading routes.
There are no facilities, and campsites can only be reached by canoe. Nowadays Doug, a semiprofessional photographer, is busiest guiding trips for clients who want to shoot pictures, not animals.
The comfortable motel-style rooms, with full kitchen facilities, make the perfect base for any type of adventure in Temagami. The woodsy lodge is within walking distance of the train station, and Buddy the resident dog will greet you with a friendly lick upon arrival. Regular courses and retreats are offered on a variety of themes including culinary foraging adventures, painting and photography sessions, yoga, and guided paddle-hikes. On-site accommodations are in a timber structure stocked with shaggy quilts and twig furnishings.
The guided dogsledding trips offered by Wolf Within Adventures ; www. Embark on an exhilarating and educational adventure through snow-drenched forests and frozen lakes. Custom-designed adventures are available as well. All bookings at Wolf Within should be made two months in advance.
With an abundance of roadside oddities to lure you off the road, it can be hard to choose where to stretch your legs. The tiny town of Cobalt is your best bet.
At the beginning of the s, this deserted ghost town was a thriving silver mine. For 30 profitable years, the site exploded with a seemingly endless supply of precious metals, attracting over 20, temporary residents. The lucrative lode at Cobalt was rumored to have pulled Canada through the Great Depression and was single-handedly responsible for starting the Toronto Stock Exchange. The highways link up again near Thunder Bay, km away Click here. The rectangular downtown core is between Cassells and Fisher Sts.
North Bay Chamber of Commerce ; www. In fact, the area was rather unremarkable until five little girls briefly turned the city into the most visited destination in Ontario after Niagara Falls. Born during the Great Depression, they were exploited as a tourist attraction by the provincial government.
Their fame became so widespread that they even starred in four Hollywood films. A walk along scenic Lake Nipissing reveals several enjoyable activities including antique carousel rides ; www. In fall, Ontario Northland operates a day-trip train package called the Dream Catcher Express ext ; www.
Evenings can be spent chatting with the affable owner over homemade desserts, or you can snuggle up with a handmade quilt and watch the snow fall in winter.
Sunset Inn , ; www. Spice up your lovelife and get a suite with a retro heart-shaped Jacuzzi. Enjoy tasty fare from the broad menu while staring out over the serene Trout Lake. The bar keeps the gregarious locals around until 1am or 2am.
Cool misty gusts roll over the southern seaboard, and further inland the sweeping expanses of dappled branches offer juicy autumn fruits. For a dose of colonial history, eastern Ontario is tops. Further east, several smaller towns, like Gananoque, Brockville and Prescott, have fostered a genteel Victorian vibe with an abundance of stately inns and estates. Even tiny Merrickville, a former Loyalist stronghold, has barely changed since the American Revolution. These horse-and-buggy townships straddle the stunning Thousand Islands region; a foggy archipelago of lonely isles peppered along the deep St Lawrence Seaway.
Surprisingly, there is still no major highway running directly between Toronto and Ottawa. The speediest option is to take Hwy from Toronto to Prescott, and use Hwy to complete the L-shaped journey. The rural, two-lane Hwy 7 is a pleasant but slower alternative.
An easily accessible outdoor gem, this rugged expanse is a must-see for canoeists and hikers. Orientation The one major road through the park, Hwy 60, runs across a small portion near the southern edge.
Outfitters and accommodations often use the mile-markers when giving directions. The vast, wooded interior of Algonquin is accessible via km of charted canoe routes and intense hiking trails. Several woodsy communities orbit the provincial park in all directions. Information Algonquin Provincial Park is accessible year-round. The Hwy 60 corridor has limited cell-phone coverage for several kilometers on each side of the park, as well as a couple of payphones. Algonquin Visitor Centre ; www. The center also has a bookstore, cafeteria and a lookout with spectacular views.
Information Centres ; www. Other spot-able creatures include deer, beaver, otter, mink and many bird species. There are two small museums in the park, in addition to the rotating gallery at the visitor center.
The excellent Algonquin Logging Museum ; km The displays are spread along a 1. Exhibits at the Algonquin Art Centre ; www. Outfitters offer many opportunities for novice paddlers as well as advanced wilderness adventures for the experienced outdoors person. Self-guided paddling trips are a popular option as well. A quota system governs the number of tourists on each canoe route, so plan ahead. Canoe Lake or Opeongo Lake are popular starting points for beginners, although the launching docks are frequently crowded.
Water taxis can plow through rougher waters, whisking you up to wilder regions beyond Opeongo Lake make reservations through Algonquin Outfitters, below. Scenic horseback riding is also very popular in and around the park. Contact Highland Wilderness Tours , ; www. Algonquin Outfitters , ; www. Great tours are also on offer. Algonquin Portage ; www.
On-site rustic accommodations, shuttle service, food and gas available. Canoe Algonquin , ; www. Opeongo Outfitters ; www. Portage Store , ; www. Bike rentals can be organized at the Lake of Two Rivers Store. Guided tours also available. Tours A seemingly infinite number of guided tours is available to all types of adventurers. A list of specialized tour operators is included below, and it should be noted that several outfitters offer tour packages as well.
All have their own lodge base and offer exciting dogsledding programs in the winter. Call of the Wild , ; www. Northern Edge Algonquin ; www. Voyageur Quest , ; www. Scores of accommodations are available just beyond the protected lands, including resorts, motels and hostels check www. Day-trippers can save some cash and crash in Huntsville or Bracebridge, 43km and 73km from the West Gate, respectively. Both Muskoka towns have a variety of restaurants and grocery stores.
Within the park itself, there are three options: stay at one of the 11 car-accessible grounds either in a tent or a yurt , sleep in the backcountry accessible only by hiking or canoeing , or rest in the lap of luxury at one of the three high-end resorts. You must contact the centralized reservation service for Ontario Parks , ; www. There are a couple of first-come first-served sites, but reservations are strongly recommended.
Algonquin Backpackers Hostel , ; www. Tom, the knowledgeable owner, is a maven, offering invaluable advice for your Algonquin adventure. Magnificent Hill ; www. Wolf Den , ; www. Guests stay in shimmering log cabins scattered around the grounds, and a large central lodge offers a huge kitchen and stunning 2nd-floor lounge.
Dorms are only available during summer. Hikes depart from various mileposts actually kilometer-posts along Hwy 60 between the West Gate km 0 and the East Gate km Dwight Village Motel ; www. Spotless rooms offer all the creature comforts and the friendly owners assure a comfortable stay.
Algonquin Inn , ; www. The complex is 11km west of the park. Each option includes breakfast and dinner in the pricing scheme. Dining rooms are open to nonguests as well.
Bartlett Lodge ; www. Bartlett Lodge is accessed by boat provided for you from a point 23km inside the west gate. Arowhon Pines ; www. The vast wooden dining room with stone pillars has a very good reputation for its food. Killarney Lodge ; www.
Bus service is only available Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Tourists can reach Huntsville on an Ontario Northland bus. Over 60, acres of the densely forested region is part of the Haliburton Forest ; www.
The privately owned woodland, 30km north of Haliburton town, can be accessed through its main office on Kenneisis Lake. A visit to the Wolf Centre is included; here visitors can glimpse a pack of wolves at a safe distance, of course as they meander through their acre enclosure.
The small town of Bancroft www. During the yearly event, geologists lead tours around nearby abandoned mines to scout out stones. The tourist office ; www. Before leaving the green university town for more secluded recesses, have a wander around the quaint city center. Iron railroads scar the urban landscape as they plow their way through, and the impressive hydraulic lift lock is another conspicuous relic of a bygone era. Although the outside looks like a warehouse, the refurbished interior is pure Zen, with dim lighting and the calming sound of a trickling waterfall.
A phenomenal collection of over canoes and kayaks details the lengthy history of water navigation in the region. Serpent Mounds Park ; www. The Whetung Ojibwa Centre ; www. Visit some of the smaller towns in the region, including Lindsay and Fenelon Falls, via km of scenic recreational trails, called the Central Ontario Loop Trail www. The granite formation sharply juts out of Mazinaw Lake and features the largest visible collection of aboriginal pictographs in all of Canada.
The glyphs are best seen from a canoe. For camping reservations and information, contact Ontario Parks , ; www. The entrance and the information center are at Otter Lake, off Rte 19 north of Sydenham. From here, hikers and canoeists venture deep within the park, using the km of trails to spot copious beaver, black bear, coyote and osprey. Overnight camping is only allowed from the end of April to the beginning of October. Both islands also have an intriguing colonial history.
The route runs unbroken for 94km from Trenton to Kingston, save the free five-minute ferry ride connecting the island back to the mainland at Adolphustown. This unvisited, undeveloped section at the end of the beach is unlike anywhere else in Ontario.
The Taste Trail ; www. Two particularly stellar wineries are found on the east side of the island. The white-gabled Waupoos Winery ; www. There are 13 other wineries in Prince Edward County; most congregate near Wellington. Traffic is light on most roads, making the island an excellent cycling destination. In June, visitors can ride around picking luscious strawberries from the vine at numerous farms. A hundred years ago, this km-long aboriginal canoe route bustled with commercial vessels, and today the system is purely recreational.
The other side of the road offers picturesque views over Lake Ontario, hundreds of meters below. The restored Regent Theatre ; www. Camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park is both scenic and stress-free. Sites along the sandy dunes get booked months in advance during summer. Both chalets feature several bedrooms, a working fireplace, satellite TV and a full kitchen.
For all reservations, contact Ontario Parks , ; www. The attractive city continues to maintain its charm with a noticeable lack of modern architectural eyesores. The city has the largest holding of convicts in the country. Princess St, the main drag, cuts diagonally through the city center connecting the downtown district to Hwy , several kilometers away. The walkable downtown district has a predictable checkerboard design with Ontario St running along the harbor.
Indigo ; Princess St; 9ampm Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun Wide-ranging bookstore with an extensive travel section. Kingston Tourism , ; www. Post Office ; www. The postcard-perfect structure is brought to life by colorfully uniformed guards trained in military drills, artillery exercises and the fife-and-drum music of the s.
Friendly red-vested volunteers conduct free tours, revealing colorful stained glass, dozens of portraits, dusty jail cells and an ornate council chamber. Exhibits offer a detailed history of the fascinating vessels constructed at the yard. Today, the warehouse features a variety of steam-powered items, including several engines and model miniatures. It seems the architect was also a drunk, as the Italianate mansion is wholly asymmetrical, a pompous use of bright color abounds, and balconies twist off in various directions.
The enigmatic property also houses a large collection of antiques and has a sun-drenched garden, adding further charm and intrigue to the old manor. Today, the structure houses local and military historical artifacts. The museum, across from the actual penitentiary, has a fascinating collection of weapons and tools confiscated from inmates during attempted escapes.
Tours Confederation Tour Trolley ; www. Haunted Walk ; www. Check out the website, or stop by the Kingston Tourism office in Confederation Park.
Throughout the summer there are two or three trips a day. Kingston Buskers Rendezvous www. Limestone City Blues Festival ; www. Sleeping Accommodations in Kingston are top heavy, with a larger confluence of pricier stays than budget options. Motels are strung along Princess St and along Hwy 2 on each side of town. The knowledgeable staff at the tourism office in Confederation Park can help track down additional options, including on Wolfe Island. The moored vessel pretty much looks the same as it did when it was used to crack the frozen waters of the upper Great Lakes.
Awaken from a restful slumber with a colorful breakfast as Jean dotes over her famous blueberry pancakes. However, the unbeatable downtown location makes this place a worthy option. Green Acres Inn , ; www. Green Acres is the place to be. Three dapper bedrooms, with charming exposed brick, hide behind the navy-blue shutters.
Secret Garden , ; www. Hochelaga Inn , ; www. And speaking of ghouls, it is said that the ghost of a young crying boy haunts the old nursery, which has since been converted into a cheery day spa. But who really cares about atmosphere when the homemade dishes burst with fresh ingredients and come at unbeatable prices?
Sleepless Goat ; www. A self-proclaimed co-op, the restaurant is run by a clan of savvy cooks who churn out the tastiest veggie options in town. Tango ; www. Weekends are dominated by the loosened ties and popped collars of local financiers after a long week at the office. Quieter weekdays have discounted tapas and martini options.
Light and savory lunches fuse unlikely ingredients into palate-pleasing entrees. Gusto ; www. While waiting for your meal, take a moment to read the resto manifesto, promising that each dish is lavished with a generous portion of TLC.
The pasta and fish selections are always a big hit, and the bread is freshly baked down the street at Pan Chancho. Reservations are strongly recommended on weekends. Chien Noir ; www. The menu, featuring a broad assortment of steaks and seafood, will surely leave customers plagued with indecision. The tantalizing brunch menu is a real nail-biter too. Grad Club ; www. Ale House ; www.
Frequent live music draws in swarms of students too. Tir nan Og ; Ontario St Set inside one of the oldest and most charming buildings along the waterfront, this Irish oasis serves up live music and overflowing pints. At the time of our visit, the theater was under extensive renovations with an unclear finish date. There are lovely aromas and a curious assortment of goods and shoppers, including local professors drinking the fresh coffee at the back of the store.
Buses also stop at various towns including Cornwall and Brockville. Check out www. For car rental, try Enterprise ; Princess St , which offers complimentary pickup and drop-off. Extra trains run during the summer. Getting Around For information on getting around by bus, call Kingston Transit To get to town from the bus terminal, there is a city bus stop across the street; buses depart 15 minutes before and after the hour. From the train station, bus 1 stops on the corner of Princess and John Counter Blvd, just a short walk from the bus station.
Buses do not run on Sundays. Cyclists will be happy to note that the Kingston area is generally flat, and both Hwys 2 and 5 have paved shoulders. Rentals are available at Ahoy Rentals ; www. Hwy known locally as the Renous Hwy cuts across the province through Plaster Rock to the east coast, slicing through forest for nearly its entirety.
It is most tedious, but fast. Watch out for deer and moose. For many, this affection obsession? Twenty rinks are plowed on Roulston Lake, which is ringed by tall evergreens, hot chocolate stands and straw-bale seating for the odd spectators drawn to the four-day event.
The tournament is wildly popular, with amateur four-person teams traveling in from all 13 Canadian provinces and territories, 35 American states to date, and 15 countries as far flung as England, Egypt and the Cayman Islands. Anyone can register to play, but they will have to defeat the Boston Danglers, who scrambled over squads like the Skateful Dead, the Raggedy Ass River Boys and the Boiled Owls to put a lock on the championship trophy several years running.
If you want to play, register early. If you want to watch, pack your long johns and a toque wool hat and book your accommodation asap.
If the motels are full, the organizers keep a list of local folks willing to billet out-of-towners in their homes for the weekend. Nevertheless, it makes a convenient stopover for those traveling east from Quebec.
Here there are 80, plants to brighten your day, all accompanied by classical music! Kids might prefer the insectarium. In summer, simple institutional rooms are available at University of Moncton ; www. Several motels line the Hwy and old Hwy 2 Boul Acadie.
A city landmark since the s, this is a total classic right down to the seasoned, uniformed waitresses. The you-name-it menu includes more-than- acceptable Italian, Chinese, seafood and basic Canadian fare. The bus terminal ; Victoria is across the street from the Bel Air restaurant.
The resort town of St Andrews, the serene Fundy Isles, fine seaside scenery and rich history make this easily one of the most appealing regions of the province. Whale-watching is a thrilling area activity. Most commonly seen are the fin, humpback and minke, and less so, the increasingly rare right whale. Porpoises and dolphins are plentiful. It is home to Ganong, a family-run chocolate business operating since , whose products are known around eastern Canada.
Once a year, during Chocolate Fest ; www. You can walk the main street easily from here. There are also a few run-down motels on the outskirts of town if you are desperate.
In Bangor, immediate connections are available to Boston and New York. They leave from the Angelhom restaurant, but call to confirm the location as this changes. In Bangor, buses use the Greyhound terminal and connect to Bangor airport. Greyhound passes cannot be used from Calais. Blessed with a fine climate and picturesque beauty, it also has a colorful history. Busy with holidaymakers and summer residents in July and August, the rest of the year there are more seagulls than people.
King St is its main cross street. The main tourist office ; www. Sights Huntsman Aquarium Museum ; www. The aquarium features most specimens found in local waters, including seals feedings at 11am and 4pm and sharks.
Kids love the touch pool. The research center also offers week-long summer field courses for amateur enthusiasts both students and adults. His former cottage of 50 rooms and the unusual bathhouse with its tidal swimming pool can be visited at low tide when you can drive on the hard-packed sea floor. Be careful! Two-hour visits, by tour only, run once or twice a day, depending on the tides. You must use your own vehicle. Various changing exhibits run through summer.
Stretching for km along the international border, the forest-ringed Chiputneticook Lakes offer canoeing enthusiasts the chance to slip away into the wild for a few weeks. It includes the St Croix River, a popular three- to four-day paddling route beginning south of the lakes. There are a couple of fishing lodges on Palfrey Lake accessible via Rte Day-trippers can use the scenic lake-shore campsites at Spednik Lake Provincial Park free; maintained by volunteers where there is a hiking trail through the woods, primitive toilets and fire rings.
Bring your own water. Take Rte 3 north from St Stephen then bear left on Rte to reach the park gate. Canoe rentals are available in Saint John and Fredericton. Note: the lakes are not patrolled by the park service, and paddlers should be experienced and well-equipped.
The park is at the northwest end of Water St. Centennial Park, opposite the blockhouse, has a picnic pavilion. Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre ; www.
Activities Eastern Outdoors ; www. Tours Several companies offering boat trips and whale-watching cruises have offices at the Adventure Destinations complex by the wharf at the foot of King St.
Sleeping Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping ; www. Picket Fence Motel ; www. There are ocean views from the garden. No tax, check or cash only. Treadwell Inn , ; www. Fairmont Algonquin Hotel , ; www. Note the doormen dressed in kilts. There are a couple of places for a drink, be it high tea or gin. Sadly, these days, there is nowhere in town to hear live music. Cocktails are available at the Fairmont Algonquin Hotel.
Food-wise, there are several nice choices. Pesto pizza, smoked meat sandwiches and crepes for lunch; crab cakes, salmon and steak for dinner. With grand scenery, colorful fishing wharves tucked into coves, supreme whale-watching, uncluttered walking trails and steaming dishes of seafood, everyday stresses fade away and blood pressure eases.
The three main islands each have a distinct personality. They offer a memorable, gradually absorbed peace. Out of the summer season, all are nearly devoid of visitors and most services are shut. The 16km-by-5km island has been inhabited since , and people live here year-round. Lobster is the main catch and there are half a dozen wharves around the island. Narrow, winding roads run south down each side toward Campobello Island and the ferry drive defensively.
Another massive pound squirms at Northern Harbor. Whales pass occasionally. At the end of Cranberry Head Rd is a deserted beach. Most land on the island is privately owned, so there are no hiking trails. Tours Whales usually arrive in mid-June and stay until October.
Multiday island-jumping camping trips also available. Cash or cheque only and reservations are required. Ask to see Herman, the monster lobster. Deer Island Point Park ; www. The campground is directly above the Campobello ferry landing.
The ferries run year-round every half hour from 7am to 7pm, and hourly from 7pm to 10pm. Get in line early on a busy day. For service to Campobello, Click here. The wealthy have long been enjoying Campobello as a summer retreat. Due to its accessibility and proximity to New England, it feels as much a part of the USA as of Canada, and most of the tourists here are Americans.
Like many moneyed families, the Roosevelts bought property in this peaceful coastal area at the end of the s and it is for this that the island is best known. The southern half of Campobello is almost all park and a golf course occupies still more. They generally use the same bridge to go elsewhere in New Brunswick, as the Deer Island ferry only runs in summer. For further information try the tourist office ; www.
Adjacent Hubbard House admission free , built in , is open to visitors. The grounds around all of these buildings are open all the time, and you can peek through the windows when the doors are closed.
The park is just 2. Unlike the manicured museum area, most of the international park has been left in its natural state to preserve the flora and fauna that Roosevelt appreciated so much. A couple of gravel roads meander through it, leading to beaches and 7. Deer, moose and coyote call it home and seals can sometimes be seen offshore on the ledges near Lower Duck Pond, 6km from the visitors center. Look for eagles, ospreys and loons. This park has another 10km of walking trails as well as a campground and a picnic area on an arching 1.
It makes a fine, picturesque place for lunch. Whales browse offshore and many people sit along the rocky shoreline with a pair of binoculars enjoying the sea breezes. Lupine Lodge ; www. This very casual spot also has sandwiches and burgers. The ferry departs every half hour between am and pm 6pm in June and September. As the ferry from the mainland rounds the northern tip of Grand Manan Island pop , Swallowtail Lighthouse looms into view, poised atop a rocky, moss-covered cliff.
Brightly painted fishing boats bob in the harbor. Up from the ferry dock, the tidy village of North Head spreads out along the shore; a scattering of clapboard houses and shops surrounded by well-tended flower gardens and tall leafy trees. Grand Manan is a peaceful, unspoiled place. There are no fast-food restaurants, no trendy coffee houses or nightclubs, no traffic lights and no traffic.
Just a ruggedly beautiful coastline of high cliffs and sandy coves interspersed with spruce forest and fields of tall grass. Along the eastern shore and joined by a meandering coastal road sit a string of pretty and prosperous fishing villages.
There is plenty of fresh sea air and that rare and precious commodity in the modern world: silence, broken only by the rhythmic ocean surf. Some people make it a day trip, but lingering is recommended. The main road, Rte , runs You can drive from end to end in about 45 minutes.
A hiking trail provides access to this wilderness. For further information on the area try the tourist information office , ; www.
Access is via steep stairs and a slightly swaying suspension bridge. Since the light was automated in , the site has been left to the elements. Nevertheless, the grassy bluff is a stupendous setting for a picnic. It has a wrap-around view of the horizon and seals raiding the heart-shaped fishing weirs below.
All of the approximately 30 weirs dotting the waters around Grand Manan are named, some dating back to the 19th century. A tear made by a marauding seal in a net can free an entire catch of herring in a single night. Grand Manan Historical Museum ; www. Its diverse collection of local artifacts provides a quick primer on island history. Here you can see a display on shipwreck lore and the original kerosene lamp from nearby Gannet Rock lighthouse There is also a room stuffed with plus taxidermied birds including the now extinct passenger pigeon.
Much of its charm comes from the fishing boats, wharves and herring smoking sheds clustered around the tidal creek mouth. For a century, smoked herring was king on Grand Manan. A thousand men and women worked splitting, stringing and drying fish in smokehouses up and down the island.
The last smokehouse shut down in Although herring is still big business around here, it is now processed at a modern cannery. Activities Sea Watch Tours , ; www. Reservations are essential. With species of birds, Grand Manan also attracts hard-core birders. Atlantic puffins return in their thousands each year to hatch their young on this isolated slab of rock.
Reservations essential. Seventy kilometers of hiking trails crisscross and circle the island. Stay well away from the cliff edges! Unstable, undercut ground can give away beneath your feet. For an easy hike, try the shoreline path from Long Pond to Red Point 1. The Flock of Sheep trail to Southern Head 2. Alternatively, Adventure High ; www. The Grand Manan Historical Museum presents weekly lectures on local history and culture and runs art courses some weekends.
Notices for church dinners and blueberry teas are posted on bulletin boards in local shops. Get down by the trees to block the wind. Anchorage adjoins some marshes, which comprise a migratory bird sanctuary, and there are several short hiking trails. Hole-in-the-Wall Campground , ; www. These spectacular cliff-top campsites are secluded among the rocks and trees, with fire pits, picnic tables and breathtaking views. Choose an inland site if you sleepwalk or suffer from vertigo.
Showers and laundry facilities are available, as well as a couple of spotless simple cabins, furnished with bunk beds and a microwave. Housed in the old general store, there are bright, airy and clean modern rooms above the restaurant built right on the wharf. Great meals and very convenient for early morning puffin-watching departures. Compass Rose , off-season ; www. Inn at Whale Cove ; www. The main lodge built in and half a dozen vine-covered and shingled cottages retain the charm of that earlier era.
They are fitted with polished pine floors and stone fireplaces, antiques, chintz curtains and well-stocked bookshelves. Some have kitchens. Eating The never abundant options are nearly nonexistent in the off-season from October to early June. That said, there is some fine eating on Grand Manan. Reservations are essential for dinner due to limited table-space island-wide.
Tea on the verandah facing the water is a cherished afternoon tradition. Oven-warm scones are served with homemade rosehip, gooseberry and raspberry jam and pots of hot tea and or rhubarb punch. Credit cards not accepted. Sit at the lunch counter with a coffee and sandwich and watch the parade. Nevertheless, it is one of the few spots open for lunch and year-round, serving filling burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, lifeless salads and ice cream, with a couple of pool tables and televised sports.
The menu changes daily, but includes mouth-watering meals such as curried squash soup or crab cakes followed by salmon crusted with walnut arugula pesto or lobster and spinach risotto with hazelnut creme caramel to-die-for for dessert.
Come early and have a cocktail by the fire in the cozy old-fashioned parlor. The international boundary has never been determined in these waters, and sovereignty over the island is claimed by both the USA and Canada. Canada has maintained a lighthouse on the rocky, isolated outcropping since The island is also claimed by pairs of Atlantic puffins mated for life and pairs of terns who return each summer to hatch and raise their young.
What do you do all day out there in the middle of the Bay of Fundy? A lot of people need to be distracted. Our mandate is to ensure the proper operation of the marine aids. We file weather reports, fix what needs to be fixed. You are getting ready to leave the day you arrive. In recent years, he has witnessed the dramatic decline in the tern breeding colony on the island. A couple of years ago, the terns abandoned their nests just as the eggs were hatching.
The following year, only a handful of pairs returned to nest. Their absence leaves the tiny puffins vulnerable to the predatory black-backed gulls. In July and August especially there can be long queues for vehicles to board, but cyclists and pedestrians can walk on at any time. No ticket is required for the trip over; book and pay for your return trip in North Head the day before you plan to leave for the mainland.
The crossing takes an hour and a half. Watch for harbor porpoises and whales en route. The ferry dock is within walking distance of several hotels, restaurants, shops and tour operators. To explore the whole of the island, you should bring your own car, as there is no rental company on Grand Manan.
You can spend an enjoyable few hours hiking Barnaby Head along a 6km network of nature trails. Extending from this loop is the 2. Drawbacks are the gravel emplacements and traffic noise. It can take a bit of imagination to appreciate this natural beauty, obscured as it is by the smoke stacks of a pulp mill, oil refinery and garden variety urban blight. The city is surrounded by an ugly scurf of industrial detritus and a tangle of concrete overpasses.
But those who push their way through all this to the historic core are rewarded with beautifully preserved redbrick and sandstone 19th-century architecture and glimpses of the sea down steep, narrow side streets. Though Samuel de Champlain landed in , the area remained pretty much a wilderness until , when about people loyal to Britain arrived from republican America.
By the midth century Saint John had become a prosperous industrial town, important particularly for its wooden shipbuilding. In , two-thirds of the city, including most of the mercantile district, was reduced to ashes by fire. It was soon rebuilt. Today, a large percentage of the population works in heavy industry, at the Irving pulp mill, the Irving refinery, the new Irving liquefied natural gas LNG terminal, the Irving gas stations and convenience stores, the Irving home renovation business or the Moosehead brewery.
Kings Sq marks the nucleus of town, and its pathways duplicate the pattern of the Union Jack. Water St borders the redeveloped waterfront area with Market Sq. On Courtenay Bay, to the east, are the dry dock and much heavy industry. North of town is Rockwood Park, a recreational area. Many of the street names in this section of the city are identical to those of Saint John proper, and to avoid confusion, they end in a west designation, such as Charlotte St W.
Ask for the self-guided walking-tour pamphlets. From a modest beginning selling cars, he built up a business Goliath spanning oil refining, shipyards, mass media, transportation, pulp and paper, gas stations, convenience stores and more. The name is everywhere. KC died in , leaving his three sons to carry on the vast Irving Group empire.
Reversing Falls The Bay of Fundy tides and their effects Click here are a predominant regional characteristic. The falls here are part of that and are one of the best-known sites in the province. When the high Bay of Fundy tides rise, the current in the river reverses, causing the water to flow upstream.
When the tides go down, the water flows in the normal way. Generally, it looks like rapids. The Georgian-style place is now a museum, depicting the Loyalist period and contains some fine carpentry. The mood-inducing cemetery, with fading tombstones from as early as , is just off Kings Sq, in a park-style setting in the center of town. For those with vehicles and an appreciation of nature, Irving Nature Park ; west end of Sand Cove Rd; admission free; 8am-dusk early May-early Nov is a must for its rugged, unspoiled coastal topography.
Seals may be seen on the rocks offshore. Seven trails of varying lengths lead around beaches, cliffs, woods, mudflats, marsh and rocks. Good footwear is recommended. Take Hwy 1 west from town and turn south at Exit , Bleury St. Then turn right on Sand Cove Rd and continue for 2km to the entrance. Return to beginning of chapter TOURS Many have asked, but whale-watching is not an attraction in Saint John, save for the very occasional, very wayward minke.
Two tours daily. At am the bus leaves Reversing Falls and takes 15 minutes to get to each of the other two stops. The trip is reversed from pm to 1pm.
The walks have so much flair that locals as well as visitors frequent the fun. Departure locations and hours vary; check with the visitors center. Gibson Creek Canoeing ; www. Count on getting soaked. There are also a couple of upscale chain hotels uptown downtown. Rockwood Park ; www. Sir James Dunn Residence ; www.
Chipman Hill Suites ; www. Chipman has taken 10 historic properties around downtown, renovated them into mini-apartments with kitchens while leaving all the character, and rents them out by the day, week or month. Size and features determine price, but all are a steal. Homeport , ; www. Mahogany Manor , ; www. Apart from the fresh produce stalls and bakeries, there are numerous counters selling a range of delectable prepared meals and foods, even lobster.
Take a picnic and stop along the way at Mispec Beach, where there is swimming and hiking trails in a lovely, sheltered cove. Enjoy it while you can, because the cranes are already at work offshore building the LNG terminal at Mispec Beach. The area around the lighthouse will be the site of the first new oil refinery built in North America since , an Irving Oil project.
To the outrage of local environmentalists, the federal government waived its right or responsibility to conduct a full environmental assessment of the proposed refinery. Critics fear increased air pollution and the increased risk of oil and gas spills in the bay. Supporters welcome the work and its economic spin-offs.
Keep going. All have live music several nights a week and a wide selection of local microbrews and imported beers. For weekly goings on, pick up the free [here] entertainment paper, available around town. Call for schedule and ticket information. Click here for flight info. Leave the city folk behind, continuing on Rte into the bustling community of Hampton, where you pick up Rte , which follows the north side of the Kennebecasis River through farm country and the villages of Norton and Apohaqui into Sussex pop.
Sussex is a working farming community nestled in a green valley dotted with dairy farms. The old-fashioned main street could be a movie set for a heartwarming s coming-of-age story but please, enough with the outdoor murals!
Two other appealing options, both in rambling 19th-century houses, are Maple Shade Tourist Home ; 43 Church St; www. On a country road in a quiet valley settled by German and Dutch farmers, this place could have been transported beer steins and all from the Black Forest.
The decor is Bavarian hunting lodge, with a low timbered ceilings, heavy wooden furniture and cheerful blue and white checked table cloths. The plates of schnitzel and sausages made on the family farm are plain beautiful, decorated with purple cabbage, fresh-picked greens and creamy white dumplings, with hearty flavors to match. Despite being more-or-less in the middle of nowhere, this place is always packed for dinner, so reservations are recommended.
To get there, pick up the Sussex and Area Regional Map at the tourist information center or ask a local. The views of the valley from Hwy 1 between Hampton and Sussex are also lovely. It stops at Kings Sq in the city center. Another frequent service is bus 15 or 16 to the university.
Avis, Budget, Hertz and National all have car-rental desks at the airport. You can park free at meters on weekends, holidays and in the evening. The city parking lot 11 Sydney St is free on weekends. Indeed, hikers, cyclists, kayakers and all nature lovers will be enchanted by this marvelous coast, edged by dramatic cliffs and tides.
Once a somnolent wooden shipbuilding center, it now draws vacationers to the coastal recreational parkway, opened in River Valley Adventures , ; www.
Yes, there are miniature horses to pet. Now you know you are on holiday. The park features an extensive network of hiking trails. Surprisingly, at last report there were no bicycle rentals in Fundy National Park or in nearby Alma. Contact the visitors centers to find current information on this. Several trails require hikers to ford rivers, so be prepared.
The most popular backpacking route is the Fundy Circuit, a three-day trek of 48km through the heart of the park. Another overnight trek is the Goose River Trail. It joins the Fundy Trail, accessible by road from St Martins. This undeveloped three-day trek is one of the most difficult in the province.
While you can cycle to Goose River, the trail beyond can only be done on foot. Book well in advance. SKIING In the winter, 25km of park trails are groomed for fantastic cross-country skiing, with additional snowshoeing tracks through the forest. Sleeping The park has five campgrounds and 13 wilderness sites. The park entry fee is extra and is paid upon arrival.
However, it has the advantages of a covered cooking area and few other campers. It has accommodations, restaurants, a small gas station, grocery store, liquor outlet and laundromat.
Most facilities close in winter, when it becomes a ghost town. Down on the beach is a statue of Molly Kool, the first female sea captain on the continent. The 11km-long parkway to Big Salmon River put an end to the unspoiled wilderness part.
There is now a lovely stretch of pavement with numerous viewpoints, picnic areas and parking lots. Eventually, it will extend to Fundy National Park. Nova Scotia is visible across the bay.
On Saturday, Sunday and holidays a free hourly shuttle bus operates from noon to 6pm ferrying hikers up and down the trail between the parkway entrance and Big Salmon River.
In the off-season, the main gate is closed, but you can park at the entrance and hike or pedal in. A suspension bridge leads to a vast wilderness hiking area beyond the end of the road.
At last report, no permits or permissions were required to do so. But beyond Big Salmon River, be prepared for wilderness, rocky scree and even a rope ladder or two. Some beach sections are usable only at low tide and the cliffs are unsafe to climb. Call Alonzo Leger for more information. A more prosaic explanation is in the length, depth and gradual funnel shape of the bay itself.
The highest tide ever recorded anywhere was All tides are caused by the rise and fall of the oceans due to the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon. When the moon is full or new, the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are working in concert, and the tides at these two times of the month are higher than average. Local schedules are available at tourist offices.
The casual take-out patio has fish and chips and cold beer. See the lighthouse at the windblown, suitably named Cape Enrage , ; www. The site was restored and is still expertly run by local high school students and volunteer mentors from the area. From mid-July to mid-August literally hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, primarily sandpipers, gather here. Nature trails and boardwalks lead through the dikes and marsh. The interpretive center is open from late June to early September, but you can use the 6.
With a crowded parking lot the size of Fredericton, you have to fight to feel the nature. However, an exploratory walk along the beach at low tide is still worthwhile. Check the tide tables beforehand at any tourist office. Southeast, toward Nova Scotia, are significant historical and bird life attractions.
A few square blocks along Main St in the city center have been prettied up with redbricked sidewalks and planters full of flowers. Apart from that, there is little to detain the visitor. In the s the first Acadians settled, to be followed in by Protestant German immigrants from Pennsylvania. Later, it became a rail center and during WWII the city served as a transportation hub and training facility for pilots from many Allied countries. Moncton is now the fastest growing city in the Maritimes with an economy built on transportation and call centers drawn to set up here by the bilingual workforce.
Adjacent to Jean Coutu Pharmacy. Visitors Information Centre , ; www. You figure it out. Family-oriented attractions include a zoo and water park. Tidal Bore Park east end of Main St; admission free; 24hr The tourist literature talks up the twice-daily return of the waters of the tidal Petitcodiac River.
In theory, the tide comes in as one solid wave, unfurled like a carpet across the muddy riverbed in one dramatic gesture. The height of this oncoming rush can allegedly vary from just a few centimeters to about 1m. The spoiler is the causeway that was built across the Petitcodiac in the s, which the government pledged, in , to remove.
Nibble sweet pastries such as plogues and guaffres while browsing the craft stalls. Look for the yellow roof. Tours Roads to Sea ; www. Sleeping Reservations are a good idea as the city is a major conference destination and often gets packed solid. The five-bunk dorm rooms and private singles and doubles with shared bathroom are nothing fancy, but they are clean and comfortable.
There is a kitchen for guest use and lots of space for lounging on the verandahs. There is a cozy fireplace in the living room and morning coffee is served on the verandah. Auberge au Bois Dormant , ; www. Some rooms have private balconies.
This gay-friendly establishment is on a quiet, tree-lined residential street and puts on a three-course breakfast spread. Alternatively, feast on the wild mushroom and basil pizza with a leafy salad. Of the brews made on the premises, the Muddy River stout is tasty, or try the beer sample tray. Thoughtfully included are wine suggestions to accompany each dish. The decor is a smart and snappy mix of tomato orange, dark chocolate brown wood and fresh creamy linens. Settle in for live after dinner music on summer weekends.
Enjoy the freedom to order anything off the Mexican, Indian, Middle eastern-influenced menu. The natural wood, warm earth colors and burbling fountain create a soothing atmosphere. A polished tone is set by the dark wood paneling and intimately lit dining alcoves set with white linen and china. Chef Stefan Mueller collects accolades for his fine cuisine created with local ingredients.
Start with the brandy-kissed lobster bisque with citrus cream and move onto a chateaubriand of bison or beef with Bouctouche cheese and blueberry port cordial or a filet of Atlantic salmon glazed with ginger-infused molasses. Central Main St and side streets have several bars with a young crowd, live bands and dancing. You can also sip a glass of wine during the interval at the grand Capitol Theatre ; Main St , a vaudeville house that has been restored to its original glory.
It is the venue for concerts and live theater throughout the year. For flight info Click here. Getting Around The airport is served by bus 20 Champlain from Champlain Place nine times on weekdays.
Codiac Transit is the local bus system running daily, except Sunday. The Sackville Waterfowl Park, across the road from the university off East Main St, is on a major bird migration route. Boardwalks with interpretive signs rise over portions of it. Enthusiasts should also see the Tantramar Wetlands Centre ; www. Later it was used as a stronghold during the American Revolution and the War of Only earthworks and stone foundations remain, but the view is excellent, vividly illustrating why these crossroads of the Maritimes were fortified by two empires.
A good part of the population along this coast is French-speaking, and Bouctouche is an Acadian stronghold. Further north, Kouchibouguac National Park protects a large swath of scenic coastal ecosystems. Seventeen kilometers of trails wind through salt marshes, dunes, woods and beach. A four-story lookout provides views of the surroundings and Confederation Bridge.
You can even enjoy it on pizza! The many white lights sprinkled around town all summer lend a festive air. It seems on any hot weekend that half the province is flaked out on the sand at Parlee Beach, turning the color of cooked lobster. Terrific Aboiteau Beach is over 5km of unsupervised sand, while others have all amenities and lifeguards. Shediac Bay Cruises , ; Pointe-du-Chene wharf has a unique concept. Shediac is ringed with shanty-town-like RV campgrounds whose only appeal is their proximity to Parlee Beach.
Sitting on a small island in the Bouctouche River, it consists of a reconstructed historical fishing village. It hosts live music and theatrical shows focused on Acadian history and culture. Irving Eco Centre ; www. The interpretive center has displays on the flora and fauna, but the highlight is the boardwalk that snakes above the sea grass along the dunes for 2km. The peninsula itself is 12km long, taking four to six hours to hike over the loose sand and back.
There are several naturalist-led tours daily. The screened-in porch offers a lovely view of the bay. The sands invite strolling, bird-watching and clam-digging. The park also encompasses acres of forest and salt marshes, crisscrossed or skirted by biking paths, hiking trails and groomed cross-country ski tracks.
For more information try the visitors centre ; www. The calm, shallow water between the shore and the dunes, which run for 25km north and south, makes for a serene morning paddle. The excellent Bog Trail 1. The Cedars Trail 1. The Osprey Trail 5.
When you reach the beach, turn right and hike 6km to the end of the dune. Take drinking water. The camping season is from mid-May to mid-October and the park is very busy throughout July and August, especially on weekends.
Camping reservations ; www. The park entry fee is extra. There is water and vault toilets, but no showers. Some sites are on the shore, others nestled among the trees, with a dozen walk-in sites meters, wheel barrows provided for luggage for those who want a car-free environment.
The Osprey hiking trail starts from here. The three primitive campgrounds have only vault toilets. Sipu and Petit-Large have water pumps. Note that Pointe-a-Maxime is the most difficult to get to access by water only , but this does not translate into remote seclusion.
There is a constant stream of passing motorized boat traffic from the fishing wharf nearby. There are a couple of snack bars and a restaurant in the park, but you should stock up on groceries in nearby St-Louis de Kent. The distance from the park gate to the campgrounds and beaches is at least 10km.
The nearest bus stop is in Rexton, 16km south of the park, where Acadian Bus Lines stops at the Irving convenience store ; Main St. The spell the region casts emanates partially from the Acadian and Irish mix of folklore, legends, superstitions and tales of ghosts.
It also seeps from the dense forests and wilderness of the area and from the character of the residents who wrestle a livelihood from these natural resources. The fabled river adds its serpentine cross-country course, crystal tributaries and world-renowned salmon fishing.
The region produces some wonderful rootsy music and inspires artists including noted writer David Adams Richards, whose work skillfully mines the temper of the region. Miramichi City, with its Irish background, is an English-speaking enclave in the middle of a predominantly French-speaking region. Though surrounded by two paper mills and sawmills, central Newcastle is pleasant.
His ashes lie under the statue presented as a memorial to him by the town. Miramichi City is a mill town, not a tourist center, but traditional folk music enthusiasts might want to pay a visit for the Irish Festival www. This riverside park includes a nice wooded area with spacious quasi-wilderness sites for tenters. The main branch, the km-long Southwest Miramichi River, flows from near Hartland through forest to Miramichi City where it meets the other main fork, the Northwest Miramichi.
For over years, the entire system has inspired reverent awe for its tranquil beauty and incredible Atlantic salmon fly-fishing. Famous business tycoons, international politicians, sports and entertainment stars and Prince Charles have all wet lines here.
Even Marilyn Monroe is said to have dipped her legs. The legendary fishery has had some ups and downs with over-fishing, poaching and unknown causes perhaps global warming affecting stocks, but they now seem back at sustainable levels. The tourist office ; www. Get a hands-on education at the Atlantic Salmon Museum , ; www. You are accompanied by a guide. Note that children must be old enough to sit quietly for the whole two hour observation period.
Licenses are required and all anglers must employ a registered guide. All fish over 63cm must be released. For more, see www. Salmon fishing on the Miramichi is primarily hook and release, a conservation measure in place to preserve the precious and endangered species.
Most of the salmon served up in the province is, in fact, salmon farmed in the Bay of Fundy. It sells a staggering number of flies annually, some made on the premises. A wander through here will certainly get an angler pumped. Despite the presence of the king of freshwaters, there are other pastimes to enjoy.
The Miramichi Trail, a walking and cycling path along an abandoned rail line, is now partially complete, with 75km of the projected km useable. Several outfitters in Doaktown and Blackville offer equipment rentals, shuttle services and guided trips for leisurely canoe, kayak or even tubing trips along the river.
Check out www. The coastal road north from Miramichi City, around the Acadian Peninsula and along the Bay of Chaleur to Campbellton passes through small fishing settlements and peaceful ocean vistas. Behind it, stretching hundreds of miles into the interior of the province is a vast, trackless wilderness of rivers and dense forest, rarely explored.
It draws , visitors; over performers including singers, musicians, actors, dancers from Acadia and other French regions some from overseas entertain. Especially picturesque is the annual blessing of the fleet, when a flotilla of fishing vessels cruises the harbor with ribbons and flags streaming from their rigging. The culminating Tintamarre Parade is a real blowout.
The rambling, antique-filled house holds 11 rooms with shared bathrooms. There are five minuscule bed butts up against the fridge but bright and clean cabins with private bathrooms and cooking facilities in the backyard, a small field for RVs beyond that, and a quiet, tree-shaded campground for tenters.
Kids will love the touch tanks full of sea creatures, and the seals fed at 11am and 4pm. Rte continues north to Miscou Island. Stop to walk the boardwalk trail over a blueberry bog before the road dead-ends at the lighthouse. The original Albert stood on the main street in Caraquet until it was destroyed by fire in Packages are available including dinner in the period dining room downstairs and a tool around in a model T Ford.
Hotel Paulin , ; www. This seaside resort hotel overlooking the bay was built in and has been run by the Paulin family since The rooms are sunny and polished, done up in crisp white linens, lace and antiques. If you are staying elsewhere, make reservations for dinner; the hotel has earned a reputation for fine cuisine. A crisp avocado, dark chocolate and cream color scheme is accented by original artwork.
Local residents wishing to connect with the bus or train in Miramichi or Bathurst use a couple of van shuttles. Ask for details at the tourist office.
There are really only two reasons to come here: transiting to or from Quebec; or to hike, ski and camp at Sugarloaf Provincial Park. The Bay of Chaleur is on one side and dramatic rolling hills surround the town on the remaining sides. Another trail leads around the bottom of the hill. The Battle of Restigouche marked the conclusion of the long struggle for Canada by Britain and France.
You can also crash comfortably at Campbellton Lighthouse Hostel ; campbellton hihostels. The weeds and wilderness have been tamed to create a pastoral green patchwork of rolling potato fields, tidy gabled farmhouses and seaside villages.
The whole of it is rimmed with miles of vivid red cliffs, sand dunes and fabulous beaches. As you wind along country roads, there is little chance that your eyes will alight on any ugliness or mess. The people are friendly, life is slowed to a civilized pace and the down-home hospitality and country charm are genuine.
About the only thing lacking authenticity are the orange nylon braids of the current Anne of Green Gables. This is the most visited part of the province, holding both the capital city Charlottetown and the major tourist areas along the seashore around Prince Edward Island National Park. Eastern PEI boasts secluded beaches and fishing villages; its wealth of stunning routes has earned it an international reputation as a cycling destination.
The peak tourism season is short, with most services shut between mid-September and mid-June. The margins of this season are great times to visit, when the weather is still warm and the crowds of July and August are missing.
Britain was officially granted the island in the Treaty of Paris of To encourage settlement, the British divided the island into 67 lots and held a lottery to give away the land. The questionable actions of these absentee landlords hindered population growth and caused incredible unrest among islanders. One of the major reasons PEI did not become part of Canada in was because union did not offer a solution to the land problem.
But foreign land ownership is still a sensitive issue in the province. The population has remained stable, at around ,, since the s. Most islanders, however, trace their heritage to the British Isles. The island is a low-lying hump of iron-rich red sandstone and earth. In winter the snow can be meters deep, but it rarely hinders the major roadways. The last of the white stuff is usually gone by May.
Their locations are marked on the provincial highway maps available at tourist offices. Along with an attractive shoreline, the parks typically have playgrounds, picnic areas and toilets accessible to people in wheelchairs. Opening dates vary, but the parks are typically open from mid-June to late September or October. PEI offers some fine bird-watching, especially around Greenwich. Sunwing ; www.
While your easiest option to get around the island is by car, bicycle is also a fine choice. The flat and well-maintained Confederation Trail runs the length of the island through some beautiful countryside and small towns. The van has a bicycle carrier. There is a Beach Shuttle ; www. The same company makes a daily run from Charlottetown to the evening stage show in Summerside. East Connection , departs Charlottetown daily around noon for Souris, arriving at 1pm in time for the 2pm ferry.
The shuttle van leaves Souris at pm, arriving at Charlottetown an hour later. Head to idyllic Victoria for a day browsing the craft shops and kayaking in the bay, followed by dinner and a play. Wind down with a leisurely day wandering historic Charlottetown. While away the following day exploring the coastal walking trails at Greenwich. Spend a couple of days making a loop around the coast of Eastern PEI. If You Have a Few More Days Collect snaps of the kids in front of all 20 lighthouses on the Island, seven of which are open for a look-see in the summer.
Unfortunately, the 1. The toll is only charged on departure from PEI, and includes all passengers. Click here for car rental information. There are up to nine daily sailings in each direction during the summer, and five in the fall and spring. The ferry operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Her African roots, dating back to Margarita de Castro Y Sousa and the Portuguese royal house, are as legendary as they are controversial. In the surveyor-general decided on Charlottetown because he thought it prudent to bestow the poor side of the island with some privileges.
Befitting the transition is the stark juxtaposition of the house and the modern Confederation Centre of the Arts. The waterfront is the hub of summer activity, hosting various festivals. On the west side of town is the verdant Victoria Park and its sweeping waterfront promenade. Queen Elizabeth Hospital ; 60 Riverside Drive hour emergency room. Visit Charlottetown www. It has all the answers, a plethora of brochures and maps, and free internet access.
Return to beginning of chapter SIGHTS All of the major sights are within the confines of Old Charlottetown, which makes wandering between them as rewarding as wandering through them. The symmetry of design is carried throughout, including two brilliant skylights reaching up through the massive sandstone structure.
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