I was recently tagged by @turnipseedtravel to be part of the #MyCanada bloggers’ roulette, and I’m happy that I get a chance to contribute.
The concept is that Canadian bloggers write a post about why they love Canada, and what they think travelers should do when they visit Canada.
This exercise has given me the opportunity to really think about what Canada means to me. My job involves quite a bit of travelling around Canada, and it’s been nice to think about what this means. Rather than wish I was travelling abroad, this is a good chance for me to look at all that I get to do here.
As you can see on this map, I have been lucky enough to travel across Canada. I’ve done this more than once – I’ve flown, driven and trained from end to end.
Coming to Canada for the first time, or living in Canada and wondering where to staycation? Here are some favourites!
1. Take the train or drive where you’re going
I’ve taken the train from Vancouver to Ottawa, and from Ottawa to Halifax. I’ve also driven from Halifax to Ottawa, and from Ottawa to Vancouver. The train and the highway take different routes, so they both allow you to see different things. I feel like I’m the only one who thinks this, but my favourite part of the cross-country journey has always been the prairies. On my latest drive across, it took me forever to get from Winnipeg to Regina, because I kept stopping to take pictures.
2. The East Coast
By far, the East Coast is my favourite region in Canada. Rough atlantic ocean, mild winters, and the friendliest people you will ever meet. The towns are small and colourful, and there is so much to see everywhere you turn. In Nova Scotia, make sure to check out Halifax (my #1 city in Canada), Lunenburg and Wolfville (where I hope to live one day). And if you’re in NS, you need – need! – to make the trip up to Prince Edward Island!
This is where I’m from, and it’s always harder to identify great things about your hometown. I have two favourites around the Capital region – walking around parliament, which offers amazing views of the river and Gatineau, and a drive through Gatineau Park to go to Champlain Lookout. When I first started driving, this is where I would go whenever I could. Toronto is also worth checking out – a lot of people don’t love Toronto, but I actually do. If you have time, you can walk everywhere, and it really doesn’t feel busy for a big city, more like a lot of little neighbourhoods all stuck together. Our region is also renowned for beautiful fall colours. If ever you are around in the fall, make sure to check out the forests. Ontario is also bordered to the South by the Great Lakes. I really feel like these are underrated. I drove by Lake Superior on my way across in October, and it was really incredible.
For those of you who don’t know, the ‘middle’ is Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Yes, I love the Prairies. I think that they’re beautiful. Unfortunately, I have yet to fall in love with any of the cities there. I’m going back to Saskatoon next week, and Winnipeg in April, maybe that’ll help. In the meantime, if you’re in this area, I’m going to invite you to check out McNally Robinson, Canada’s biggest independent bookstore. It’s actually the best.
5. The West
And we’ve reached the other end of Canada! I am lucky to call this place home at the moment, but I don’t see myself living here forever. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy – and invite you to enjoy – the immense beauty of this place. Go see the mountains – walk, bike, or fly across. Spend time outside, by the ocean. Go into the forest, see the giant trees. And Vancouver really is a beautiful, beautiful city.
I want to thank Vanessa for inviting me to take this journey across Canada! Every time I think about everywhere I’ve been, I think about how lucky I am that I’ve gotten to see all of these places. You should to, when you get the chance!
At this point, there is no one for me to tag, but I am hoping that my buddy Christie will take up the subject on her blog – she’s from the Prairies, and I’d love to hear about the part of Canada that I know the least. I also want you guys to check out this guy. If these pictures don’t make you want to go to Canada, or take up hiking, or photography, nothing ever will!