8 NEW THINGS TO DO IN CANADA: STAY
1. GET THEATRICAL. Ready for some summer drama? Each of the 25 rooms at the Bruce Hotel in Stratford, Ont., is inspired by a Shakespearean character. Book one of the four King Lear rooms (with its Juliet balcony, the Cordelia is the prettiest) and get tickets to the Stratford Festival’s corresponding play, on through October 10. 2. BE A HAPPY CAMPER. Just what is an oTENTik? Amp up your camping style with a stay in one of these hybrid cabin-tent campsites—with real beds—available at more than a dozen national parks and historic sites, including Jasper, where a walk on the 280-metre-high glass-floored Glacier Skywalk will send your adrenalin level over the top.
IS FOR GROS MORNE Photos of Gros Morne National Park’s magnificent saddleback mountains make them seem remote and hard to reach,
but they’re actually accessible from Corner Brook, N.L. Stay in the town of
Woody Point—you’ll be glad you did.
IS FOR KISSING BRIDGES Like the weathered grain elevators of the Prairies, New Brunswick’s many covered bridges are a fine example of “unintentional beauty.” Even better, they provide the perfect hideaway for a quick smooch.
IS FOR HOPEWELL ROCKS The Bay of Fundy has the highest and strongest tides in the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in the towering “flowerpots” at Hopewell, N.B., revealed in spectacular fashion at low tide.
IS FOR L’ANSE AUX MEADOWS At the northern tip of Newfoundland, with icebergs as a backdrop, lies the only proven Viking settlement in North America. It dates back to 500 years before Columbus.
IS FOR JUMBO Of all the many large objects
to see along the road— giant nickels, geese and Ukrainian Easter eggs—my favourite by far is the monument to Jumbo the Elephant
in St. Thomas, Ont.
IS FOR SILVER ISLET
The Sleeping Giant headlands at Thunder Bay, Ont., lead to a small enclave of mining cabins now gentrified as summer homes, with the full might of Lake Superior at their back doors. It’s a fascinating community.
IS FOR MOOSE JAW A city once rife with bootleggers and rum-runners, Moose Jaw, Sask., today is a lively spot featuring tunnel tours and the Temple Gardens spa, which has thermal-fed mineral waters. h
IS FOR NIKKA YUKO When my Japanese wife gets homesick, we drive south to Lethbridge, Alta., to the city’s authentic and beautiful Japanese garden oasis on the prairies, complete with pagoda, Zen
rock garden and tatami-mat tea room.
IS FOR QUEBEC CITY Ah, the romance of Old Quebec. This is my favourite city in Canada—from the castle-like Château Frontenac to the breakneck stairs of the Lower Town to the outdoor cafés and carriages. C’est beau!
IS FOR SUMMERSIDE “Why, you live on the summer side of the island!” So said a visitor to PEI’s south shore, and the name stuck. With mansions of former fox-fur magnates, boardwalks, sailboats and Highland games, what more could one ask for?
IS FOR OGOPOGO Canada’s answer to the Loch Ness monster, Ogopogo can (maybe) be seen splashing about in Okanagan Lake, in the B.C. interior—a scenic valley of apple orchards, vineyards and sailing. IS FOR POLAR BEARS Churchill, Man., “Polar Bear Capital of theWorld,” offers a unique and up-close encounter with the world’s largest land carnivore. Tundra buggy tours take you to the bear-ridden shores of Hudson Bay, Canada’s great inland sea.
IS FOR RUNNING WITH THE BULLS The Calgary Stampede may bill itself as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” but the nearby town of Strathmore, Alta., features Canada’s only “running with the bulls” at its rodeo every August.
IS FOR TORONTO... PEI, THAT IS Did you think Hamilton was in Ontario? Victoria in B.C.? Fredericton in New Brunswick? Guess again. Driving the back roads of PEI, you’ll find towns by all of those names, plus Alaska, Norway, two Brooklyns and, yes, Toronto too. It’s just down the road from Green Gables, in fact. h
IS FOR VAL- JALBERT Once a thriving mill town with shops, a convent school and a dock, Val-Jalbert,
near the quiet shores of Lac SaintJean, Que., is now Canada’s bestpreserved and most beautiful
IS FOR X MARKS THE SPOT Nova Scotia’s Oak Island, the rumoured burial site of Captain Kidd’s gold, has been attracting treasure hunters since the 1700s. You can’t go on the island itself, but you can peer across from the shores of Mahone Bay and dream.
IS FOR FORT YORK Sometimes the best attractions are hiding in plain
sight. I lived in Toronto for four years but only visited historic Fort York after I left. It’s fascinating and worth includ
ing in your itinerary. No excuses!
IS FOR MILE ZERO
The Trans-Canada Highway begins and ends at two separate mile 0s:
one in a quiet park in Victoria, the other outside
the St. John’s City Hall. Two cities, as distinct from each other as they could possibly be. Both undeniably Canadian. ■
IS FOR UCHUCK One of the most memorable trips I’ve taken was up the rainforest outer coast of Vancouver Island on board the Uchuck III, a working freighter that runs supplies and passengers to native villages and logging camps.
IS FOR WHITEHORSE RAPIDS The city was named for its stallion-like white waters, which sank hundreds of rafts during the Klondike Gold Rush. Today the rapids are tame, and adventurous visitors can paddle their way through.