NOTE­BOOK

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS - by Aaron Kylie

Sur­prise, sur­prise

WE LOVE CANADA. (That’s the royal “we”: this mag­a­zine and pre­sum­ably its read­ers, too.) But many of us also like get­ting away — Cana­di­ans take some 30 mil­lion trips to for­eign coun­tries each year — so Cana­dian Ge­o­graphic Travel has ded­i­cated this is­sue to ex­plor­ing the in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions Cana­di­ans visit. As one would ex­pect, the United States is our num­ber-one des­ti­na­tion, with Cana­di­ans mak­ing nearly 3.5 mil­lion vis­its each year. Per­haps also pre­dictably, we spend the most time in Florida. Count me among those tourists, as I vis­ited Mi­ami last Oc­to­ber to ex­plore the city’s arts and cul­ture scene (see some of the high­lights in “One city,” page 20). Dur­ing my visit, how­ever, I was struck by the Cana­di­ana I came across in the city best known for its Cuban and Latin Amer­i­can in­flu­ences. (I sus­pect many Cana­dian trav­ellers find sim­i­lar pock­ets of their cul­ture in na­tions around the world.) The Cana­dian con­nec­tions kicked off shortly af­ter I ar­rived at Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Air­port: my taxi driver was a for­mer Toron­to­nian, with fam­ily back home in Mis­sis­sauga, Ont. At lunch two days later at the hip Wyn­wood Kitchen + Bar, which over­looks the Wyn­wood Walls out­door graf­fiti gallery, I was star­ing at a wall of art­work by Faile, a New York City-based street art duo, one half of which is Ed­mon­ton-born Pa­trick Mc­neil. Lit­tle over an hour later, while tour­ing the Wyn­wood neigh­bour­hood’s renowned graf­fiti, I ran into street artist Jas9 (Jas­mine Dear­den) — a Mon­trealer — in the midst of cre­at­ing her lat­est mu­ral. (The world’s great­est graf­fiti artists flock to Wyn­wood to strut their stuff. See above.) Two cool Cana­di­ans I wouldn’t have heard of if not for be­ing in Mi­ami. That evening, I went to the New World Cen­ter to see the New World Sym­phony, the world’s only full-time or­ches­tral academy ded­i­cated to groom­ing young mu­si­cians for ca­reers with the planet’s fore­most sym­phony or­ches­tras. The Cana­dian con­nec­tion: the stun­ning, state-of-the-art theatre, which blends into Mi­ami Beach’s art deco ar­chi­tec­ture, was de­signed by renowned ar­chi­tect Frank Gehry. Two days later as I headed back to the air­port, the con­nec­tions came full cir­cle. My driver went on at length about his dreams of vis­it­ing Canada. It seemed a fit­ting con­clu­sion to my trip. As much as it’s a get­away to visit other na­tions, it’s also re­fresh­ing to re­turn home to the land we love.

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