& Where: Straddling the British
Columbia/Alberta border, this mountain
chain runs from the U.S. border to the
northern end of British Columbia.
Within the Canadian Rockies is some of
the most beautiful, serene and, at the
same time, breathtaking scenery on the
earth’s surface. These mountain
jewels are distinct from the American
Rockies as they have been very heavily
glaciated, resulting in sharply pointed
mountains separated by wide, U-shaped
valleys gouged by glaciers, whereas the
American Rockies are more rounded. That’s
why, even though the Rocky Mountain Range
runs from Northern British Columbia to
New Mexico, Canada can claim their very
own “Rockies” as a distinct
By car through the national parks of Banff
and Jasper – from the town of Banff
to the town of Jasper, or v.v. Starting
point: Calgary or Edmonton.
Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Mount Robson,
Mt. Edith Cavell., Maligne Lake, Banff
& Where: Niagara Falls is actually three
separate, massive waterfalls located on the
Niagara River at the southern tip of Ontario,
on the border between Canada and the United
States: The Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls,
and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. The
crescent-shaped Horseshoe Falls is also known
as the Canadian Falls as it is mostly in Canada.
The Falls are one of the truly natural wonders
of the world. The sight and thunderous sound
of the cascading waters are mesmerizing and
the mystic power of the falls will always stay
There are 4 international airports within an
hour's drive of Niagara: To the north, Toronto
is a little over an hour's drive away and Hamilton
is a ½ hour drive. To the south (U.S.)
Buffalo is a ½ hour drive and Niagara
Falls, N.Y. is just a 15 min. drive away. Coming
from the U.S. remember to allow time for border
crossing. Niagara is also serviced by train
(VIA Rail) and bus (Greyhound and Trentway).
Take one of the ”Maid of the Mist”
boats to experience the Falls up close.
Climb the stairs to the lookout atop the Brock
Monument at Queenston Heights (where Laura Secord
made her historic trek). You can see the
entire Niagara Peninsula with its orchards and
wineries, out to Lake Ontario and even across
the lake to the Toronto skyline.
A visit in the winter. The ice bridge is a marvel,
but nothing tops the sun shining on the ice
created by the mist. A real fairy land.
Falls & Region
Pacific Rim National Park
& Where: Located on Vancouver Island’s
rugged west coast, the park encompasses Long
Beach, which is actually a 40-km stretch of
wide, sandy beaches on the west coast of Vancouver
Island between Ucuelet and Tofino.
The park provides access to nature at its
rawest: Wet, wild and dramatic scenery that
can be observed from the comfort of warm, luxurious
hotels that dot the coastline. It’s also
a surfers paradise!
The easiest way to get here is by car from Nanaimo
or Victoria via Port Alberni. Recommend staying
in one of the lodges/hotels on the northern
half of Long Beach. PS! This is a popular destination
year-round: Book early!
Whale watching in March-April.
Storm-watching in late autumn and winter.
A visit to the quaint and beautiful coastal
towns of Tofino and Ucuelet.
Hot Springs Cove, the only hot spring on Vancouver
Island, is located north of Tofino and is accessible
by boat or seaplane.
West Coast Trail: A rugged, wild and remote
75-km trail that that sneaks its way through
Pacific rainforest, closely hugging the coastline
between Bamfield and Port Renfrew. It was carved
out of the rainforest in 1906 to provide a refuge
and way out for mariners shipwrecked along a
stretch of coastline so dangerous it was dubbed,
"The Graveyard of the Pacific."
LINKS - Vancouver
Island hiking trails ::: Pacific
Cabot Trail (Nova Scotia)
& Where: This 300 km trail through
the highlands of Nova Scotia’s Cape
Breton, on Canada’s east coast,
is actually a drive; a beautiful, scenic
loop carved into the side of mountains
that rise high above the waters of the
Gulf of St. Lawrence. It winds around
Cape Breton’s northern shore, ascending
to the plateaus of Cape Breton Highlands
Cape Breton has been rated one of the
best Island destinations in the world
and this is in no small part to the Cabot
Trail that offers breathtaking vistas
of Cape Breton’s rugged coastline,
where pods of whales and bald eagles are
a common sight. Cape Bretoners are unusually
hospitable and welcome you with their
“100,000 welcomes”, or “Ciad
Mile Failte” as they say in Gaelic.
Cape Breton’s most famous resident,
Alexander Graham Bell, once said “I
have travelled around the globe. I have
seen the Canadian and American Rockies,
the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands
of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape
Breton outrivals them all.”.
The best ways to experience the Cabot Trail
are by car, bicycle or sea kayak. From abroad:
By air through Halifax Int’l. Airport;
alternatively by ferry into Yarmouth from Portland
or Bar Harbor in Maine (USA). There are also
ferry services to Nova Scotia from the Canadian
provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and
Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.).
Chéticamp is a busy fishing village with
a thriving Acadian culture and the centre of
Acadian French heritage in the area. An Acadian
Museum highlights the early Acadian history
of the area.
At St. Ann’s, North America’s only
Gaelic college features displays on the region’s
early Scottish settlers in the Great Hall of
Cape Breton has 4 world-class golf courses set
amidst this beautiful land- and seascape: Highland
Links (ranked 64th in the world by Golf Magazine),
Bell Bay, Le Portage and Dundee. The four collectively
are ranked #29 among Golf Digest’s Best
Camping and/or hiking in Cape Breton Highlands
National Parks 950 km2.
LINKS - Cabot
Trail :: Cape
Breton Highlands National Park
Baffin Island (Oikiqtaaluk)
& Where: Canada’s largest island,
and the fifth largest island in the world, lying
between Greenland and the Canadian mainland,
in the territory of Nunavut. Known to the local
Inuit as Oikiqtaaluk, it was later known to
the Norse as Helluland.
In our ever-shrinking world, Baffin Island still
offers pristine, raw nature at its most beautiful:
Vast vistas of untouched scenery, interrupted
only occasionally by small Inuit villages –
a people that still live with respect for, and
in pact with, their environment. There is an
abundance of wildlife including walrus, several
whale species, caribou, polar bear, arctic fox,
arctic hare, lemming, arctic wolf, seals, migrating
fowl, shore birds, sea birds etc. Since most
of Baffin Island lies above the Arctic Circle
all the communities from Pangnirtung and north
are privilege, and subject to, polar nights
and the midnight sun.
How: Calm Air, Canadian North, and First Air
offer scheduled air service to communities in
Nunavut from gateway cities. Inuit Air, Unaalik
Aviation, Air Nunavut and Ken Borek Air offer
chartered and scheduled service throughout Nunavut.
There are many operators arranging dogsled and/or
snowmobile exhibitions. You can tour deep fiords
or the tundra feeding grounds of Peary caribou.
On some tours, you set up a winter camp, then
watch the amazing Aurora Borealis (northern
lights). Every community in Nunavut has air
service and most tours include a flight back
to your point of origin.
For BASE jumpers Baffin Island is becoming increasingly
popular due to a wide choice of 900 to 1,200
m (3,000 to 4,000 ft) tall cliffs scattered
around the island.
Exploring journeys in Sirmilik National Park.
& Where: Vancouver is a metropolitan
city in the southwest corner of British Columbia,
on Canada’s west coast. Victoria is a
smaller city at the south end of Vancouver Island
– a 1 ½ hr. ferry ride, or a 30-min.
These 2 cities are among the prettiest and
cleanest cities in the world. Vancouver is set
beautifully where the mountains meet the sea
and for large parts of the year you can both
golf, sail, swim and go skiing – all in
the same day! Victoria is set beautifully in
a protected harbour at the south end of Vancouver
Island. British Columbia’s capital, it
is just a very pleasant small city with an old-world
Both cities have international airports.
Alternatively both cities are accessible from
Seattle: Vancouver by car/bus/train, Victoria
Take the ferry from Tsawassen (Vancouver) and
Schwartz Bay (Victoria) – an unforgettable
ride through the beautiful Gulf Islands (ps.
Remember to take the trip in daylight!). Visit
the B.C. Ferries Website From Victoria treat
yourself and take a scheduled sea plane (West
Coast Air) back to Vancouver: Downtown to downtown.
Have high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria.
Then visit the
Royal British Columbia Museum
Butchart Gardens, Victoria - World-famous for
their beauty. Visit
the Buchart Gardens website. Whale watching,
Victoria & Vancouver.
Visit the Prince of Whales website.
Take a gondola ride at the Grouse Mtn. Skyride,
Vancouver :: Tourism
& Where: The prairie is a vast steppe-land
area between the Rocky Mountains in the West
and the Great Lake region in central Canada.
The northern stretches of this region are home
to Canada's boreal forest - one of the earth's
last remaining relatively undisturbed forests
large enought to maintain it's biodiversity.
It’s a state of mind and sense of being
that’s hard to describe. On the prairies
the sky surrounds 180 degrees of your sight
line in all directions. The sight of the highway
disappearing into the horizon against the huge,
pastel-blue of the sky above the golden wheat;
and with only the sound of the wind is a beautiful
sight and a powerful feeling. It gives a whole
new perspective on the earth and peace in the
Although the prairie stretches from northern
British Columbia to western Ontario; both Saskatchewan
and Manitoba are recognized as Canada’s
In Saskatchewan, a driving route known as “Horseshoes
and Dinosaurs” takes you through the Cypress
Hills and to many historic sites.
In Manitoba, combine a visit to Winnipeg Beach
Provincial Recreational Park with a visit to
the Icelandic community of Gimli, both on the
southwest shore of Lake Winnipeg, just 65-75
km from the provincial capital of Winnipeg.
LINKS - Saskatchewan:
Horseshoes and Dinosaurs :: Manitoba
The Rocky Mountaineer
& Where: A train vacation experience,
the Rocky Mountaineer travels from the coast
of British Columbia to the Rocky Mountains in
Alberta, and vice versa.
This is truly a trip of a lifetime. Guided train
travel, at a relaxed tempo, through some of
the world's most beautiful and varied scenery.
Quite possibly the best way to see Canadian
wildlife - such as bears, mountain goats, wolves,
elk, big-horned sheep, moose, coyotes etc. etc.
Not without reason the Rocky Mountaineer has
won the prestigious World Travel Award as "World's
Leading Travel Experience by Train" in
both 2005 and 2006.
Take the 2-day, all-daylight trip from either
Whistler to Jasper or from Vancouver to either
Banff or Calgary (or vice versa). We experienced
excellent service, catering and guiding. The
top of the dome car (Gold Leaf Service) is more
expensive but definitely worth the extra cost.
The whole trip - start to finish. . . .
Old Québec City
& Where: Quebec means, 'where the river
narrows', in the native Canadian language of
Alqounquin. Québec City is the capital
of Québec, located on the St. Lawrence
River in Central Canada.
Québec's Old Town (Vieux-Québec)
has an old-world charm unique in North America
and is the only North American fortified city
north of Mexico whose walls still exist. It
was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in
1985, as the "Historic District of Old
Québec". 2008 is an extra good year
to visit as "la vielle capitale" celebrates
its 400th anniversary.
Fly into Québec City's Jean Lesage (Int'l)
Airport, come by train (VIA Rail) or by car
- it's 250 km from Montreal, 775 km from Toronto
and 645 km from Boston.
2008 is the 400th anniversary of the founding
of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. The
celebrations last from Jan. 1st until Oct. 19th
but the BIG party is July 3-6th. Québec
City's 400th anniversary celebrations
Québec Winter Carnival.
· The Montmorency Falls in Parc de la
Chute-Montmorency, 12 km east of downtown Québec.
· A stroll through the city's oldest
neighbourhoods, like Petit Champlain, Place-Royale
and the Old Port.
· A stay at one of the world's only ice-hotels,
that's right, a hotel built entirely of ice.
Open January through March..
Bay of Fundy
& Where: The Bay of Fundy is an ocean
bay stretching between the provinces of New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The Bay has the highest tides in the world and
it's estimated that 100 billion tons of seawater
flow in and out each tide cycle. That's a foot
every 10 minutes. You can literally stand there
and watch the tide rise or fall. The waters
of the bay are populated with approximately
8 species of whales, an abundance of dolphins,
porpoises, fish, seals, seabirds and more. All
this is framed by breathtaking rock cliffs,
eroded sandstone statues, dramatic mud flats
and bountiful marsh plateaus.
By car, bike, kayak or hiking. Starting points:
Saint John, New Brunswick or Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Manan & White Head Islands :: Two scenic
routes in Nova Scotia - the Glooscap Trail and
the Evangeline Trail. Two scenic routes in New
Brunswick - the Reversing Falls and the Flower
of Fundy :: Experience
Bay of Fundy
There are just so many spectacular and wonderful things
to see in Canada. Any one of the following attractions
could just as well have been chosen among the Top
The Northern Lights:
Also known by its latin name "Aurora Borealis",
the Northern Lights are a spectacular, "free"
light show put on in the northern night-time skies
by Mother Nature herself. They have been seen as far
south as the Canada/U.S. border but the farther north
you go the more frequent and spectacular they become.
Vacations - Yellowknife, NWT. :: Churchill
Northern Studies Center
The Viking Trail:This
themed highway stretches from Newfoundland's west
coast to southern Labrador and is a route to the UNESCO
World Heritage sites at Gros Morne National Park of
Canada and L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
of Canada. Winding through northern coastline environments
it is dotted with scenic fishing communities giving
views of 10,000 year-old icebergs on the horizons
and whales migrating in their wake. This "trail",
has always had a maritime culture, beginning with
the aboriginal groups who first populated these shores
centuries ago. This is the land the Vikings discovered
a thousand years ago, the land utilized by 16th century
Basque whalers and Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical
missionary of the early 20th century. There are ongoing
archaeological digs, modern exhibits and interpretation
centres operated by Parks Canada and others. Viking
Trail Tourism Association :: L'anse
aux Meadows National Park
Saguenay Fjord, Quebec: The
Saguenay Fjord is about 200 km directly north of Québec
City, at the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence
Rivers.The region has a unique natural environment
caused by the waters of the world's largest estuary
mingling with those of the longest fjord in Eastern
Canada. The best way to experience the parks is on
foot, by snowshoes (winter) or by kayak. Parc
national du Saguenay :: Saguenay-St.Lawrence
Nahanni National Park, Northwest Territories:
It's remote and not very accessible and that's what
makes it so special. It's remoteness is a guarantee
for it staying pristine and that it will also be uncrowded
when you get there. Nahanni National Park Reserve
of Canada protects a portion of the Mackenzie Mountains
Natural Region. The park was inscribed on UNESCO's
World Heritage List in 1978. Nahanni
National Park Reserve of Canada
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta: In
addition to its particularly beautiful scenery amid
the unique landscape of the badlands, Dinosaur Provincial
Park contains some of the most important fossil discoveries
ever made from the 'Age of Reptiles', in particular
about 35 species of dinosaur, dating back some 75
million years. More than 300 first-quality dinosaur
skeletons have been pulled from a 27-kilometre stretch
along the Red Deer River since digging began there
in the 1880s. Since 1985 the largest collection of
treasures from the park has been housed in the Royal
Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, in Drumheller, a
two-hour drive northwest of the park. Dinosaur
Provincial Park :: Royal
Tyrrell Museum :: Canadian
National Parks of Canada: National
parks are established to protect and present outstanding
representative examples of natural landscapes and
natural phenomena that occur in Canada's 39 natural
regions. National parks are located on the Atlantic,
Pacific and Arctic coasts, across the interior mountains
and plains and Great Lakes, reaching as far north
and south as Canada goes. They range in size from
just under 9 km2 (St Lawrence Islands National Park
of Canada) to almost 45,000 km2 (Wood Buffalo National
Park of Canada) and they include world-renowned names
such as Banff and Jasper, as well as more recently
established Ivvavik and Vuntut. National
Parks of Canada
Vancouver Island: Vancouver
Island has everything from old-world charm and hospitality
to rugged natural beauty at its rawest. Voted Best
Island Destination in N. America several years running
by the renowned travel magazine Condé Nast.
A great vacation spot whether tourist or adventurer.
Visit an NHL Hockey Game: Canada
is hockey and hockey is Canada. Where else to enjoy
the world's fastest game? There are NHL teams in
Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and
Montreal. If you're a hockey buff and you're in
Toronto, a pilgrimage to the Hockey Hall of Fame is
Hall of Fame
Tatshenshini River, Yukon: The
great Canadian poet Robert Service said about the
"Its the great, big, broad land' way up yonder
It's the forests where silence has lease
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder
It's the stillness that fills me with peace"
A rafting ride through the wilds of the Yukon is really
an unforgettable journey. Tatshenshini
CN Tower, Toronto: It's
still the world's tallest building at 553 m in height
and it offers a spectacular view of southern Ontario
that just can't be beat! :: CN
Green Gables, Charlettetown/PEI: Lucy
Maud Montgomery's classic novel "Anne of Green
Gables" and the tv-series of the same name have
made this one of Canada's most popular tourist destinations.
2008 will be a special year here as they celebrate
the 100th anniversary of the novels publication.
of Green Gables 100 years :: Prince
Edward Island (PEI)
Butchart Gardens, Victoria/B.C.: In
1904, Jennie Butchart began to beautify a worked-out
quarry site left behind from her husband's pioneering
efforts. It has been expanded and beautified continually
for the last 100 years. From the exquisite Sunken
Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this not only
hugely popular among tourists it is also a beloved
place to for locals to spend an evening or go for
a Sunday stroll. :: Butchart
In addition to being a great spot to view the Northern
Lights, Churchill also is a great place to experience
polar bears in their natural habitat (autumn only)
and Inuit culture. Churchill
Calgary Stampede: Not
only the world's largest rodeo, this annual event
is also a huge, 2-week "feel-good" party.
Fun and hospitality are what it's all about. Please:
If you've never been in this part of the world before,
make sure you add an outing to Banff to your schedule.
Previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands,
this archipelago is a unique ecological refuge lying
off the northwest coast of B.C. is rich with Haida culture
and old-growth rainforest. Probably because parts of
the islands were not completely glaciated during the
last ice age, distinct flora and fauna have evolved
here for thousands of years, giving the islands the
nickname, "the Galapagos of the north." It
is also a world-class fishing destination that hosts
all five species of Pacific salmon. SGang Gwaay (Anthony
Island), is the location of standing Haida mortuary
(totem) poles, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
about Haida Gwaii