ELLE (Canada) - - Escape -

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.


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

ghost town.

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!


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.

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