Category Archives: Canada

Popular Bird Watching spots in Vancouver, Canada

Thanks to its temperate rainforest, alpine landscape, giant mountains, waterways and most importantly, the coastal location, Vancouver is a city rich in birdlife.

Vancouver

From eagles to owls to jays to sandpipers to Spruce grouse to more endangered species of birds, this stunning coastal paradise is an ideal place to spot beautiful winged creatures. For bird watching is an interesting activity here, take a look at the list of popular places to spot colourful birds in their natural habitat.

Stanley Park Herons

Designated an ‘Important Bird Area’, Stanley Park’s Herons is home to the urban great blue heron (Ardea Herodias Fannini). With a dense population of other bird species as well, including the nestling pair of bald eagles, the park remains a major tourist attraction in the city. Usually the spring months are considered the best time to spot these winged creatures.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Established in 1963, George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is one of the top attractions in the city. The sanctuary is home to a large population of native and migratory birds including sandhill, cranes, bald eagles, lesser snow geese, greater and lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitchers, and the western sandpipers. The months from December to April are usually considered the best period to spot these birds in their natural habitat before they fly back to the north of Siberia.

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

With a population of over 3700 bald eagles including the giant Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is a terrific place to spot wild eagles. For those of you who are serious about eagle watching, the annual Winter Eagle Festival and Count, held in January, and the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, usually held in November, are must attend. Apart from eagle watching, fishing and game viewing can also be enjoyed in the park.

Boundary Bay

Home to rare species of birds and other interesting creatures, Boundary Bay is a popular attraction in Vancouver. The bay is known for being home to a diverse selection of waterfowl including anseriformes, duck, geese and swans. Eagles, hawks, owls and other migratory birds can also be spotted in this area. Apart from bird spotting, visitors can enjoy exciting water sports and activities such as hiking, trekking and camping in and around the bay.

Attention beer lovers! Here are top breweries in Vancouver

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Often referred to as heaven for beer lovers, Vancouver, a busy seaport in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the best destinations to enjoy freshly crafted beers from ancient craft breweries. Here is a list of the top beer breweries for you to keep in mind for whenever you are in the city next!

Strange Fellows Brewing

Don’t go by the name, there’s nothing strange about this old world inspired brewery in Vancouver. Located in Clark Drive, Strange Fellow is known for crafting beer using traditional methods and modern creativity. Keeping in mind the diverse taste and preferences, around 20 beers are prepared here using a range of seasonal ingredients and authentic flavours. The in-house tasting room is an ideal place to enjoy the beer as the exchange of ideas and thoughts take place. To keep the fun spirit alive, events are organised here regularly.  If you like any of the beers, fill up your growlers or take a packaged bottled home.

33 Acres Brewing Company

Located on Main Street, 33 Acres brewing is a well-known brewery in Vancouver. It is an ideal place for hanging out with friends and family. Crafted out of natural ingredients and organic elements, beers at 33 Acres are among the best in town. Nine different flavours of hand-crafted beers are available at the brewery. The perfectly balanced beers are served with in-house delicacies. Beer tasting events and food trucks are a regular phenomenon here.

Red Collar Brewing

A famous family run brewery, Red Collar is among the oldest breweries in Vancouver. Located in Downtown Kamloops, the famous beer-lovers’ hub offers an exclusive range of over 25 beers produced and manufactured using authentic ingredients from the country and beyond. Interestingly, some of the raw materials are procured from far off European countries. An 80-seat tasting room is available within the complex. Beer festivals, activities and events are scheduled here regularly.

Off the Rail Brewing

Off the Rail Brewing is one of the recent additions to the list of breweries in the city. Located on Adanac Street, the popular brewery is known for featuring over 15 beers crafted and manufactured using organic ingredients and fresh flavours. There’s a bright and cozy tasting room for you to enjoy fresh beer anytime. You also have the option of filling up your growlers with beer or take home the best one as per your choice and taste. Beer festivals and other interesting fun events are held regularly at Off the Rail.

Brassneck Brewery

Brassneck is loved by the locals who come here for get-togethers and outings. The in house Growler Shop and the tasting room offer a wide range of ‘’dangerously drinkable’’ fresh new beers daily. A total of 14 different flavours are available at Brassneck. It sure is a great place to enjoy a glass of wonderful beer and soak in the atmosphere of the place.

Toronto Fringe Festival- All You need to Know

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The stage is set and the city is ready to launch the 2017 edition of Toronto Fringe Festival. A one of its kind event in the city, Toronto Fringe will kick off on the 5th of July and continue till 16th July. Promising 10 days of fun and entertainment, the festival will have a lot on offer. Take a look.

Fringe Background

Originally started in 1989 by a group of theatre artists, Toronto Fringe has transformed itself to one of its kind theatre festivals in Canada. A perfect arts extravaganza, the Fringe is known for featuring several theatre performances both by famous and upcoming artists from different schools and genres. Serving as a platform for budding artists and an improvising stage for the established lot, Fringe Festival has worked as a career guide for many artists across Canada.

More about Fringe

Launched as a platform for aspiring artists and performers, Toronto Fringe presently hosts over 150 shows across more than 30 venues in the country. Popularly regarded as a ‘theatre festival’, the Fringe is known for hosting several music, dance, visual arts, comedy and other events. Site-specific performances and musicals are among the top highlighted events at the festival. Events and shows at the festival focus on people of all age groups. Fringe Kids, Visual Fringe and shed shows are the popular segments of the festival.

Shows at Fringe

The 2017 edition of Toronto Fringe is all set to host a series of theatre shows and comedy periodicals. Popular shows debuted at the Fringe in the past include The Drowsy Chaperone, Kim’s Convenience, ‘da Kink in My Hair, Mump and Smoot and My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding. Shows such as Bright Lights, Cam Baby and Life After have been very well received by the audiences. Musicals and comedy solo shows targeted to different age groups are a major attraction at the Fringe.

New Play Contest

Open to all playwrights and scriptwriters who are permanent residents of Canada, Open Play Contest is one of the talked about activities at the Toronto Fringe. As a procedure of the festival, each of the participants submits their original piece of work to the festival community. If your submission fits the criteria, you get a free spot at the Toronto Fringe and many other promotional opportunities.

Add-Ons

Toronto Fringe is an ideal opportunity for the ones looking to explore the city along with its list of events and festivities. For those willing to be a part of the show, try volunteering at the festival. Scattered over 34 venues across the country, Toronto Fringe is an ideal place to have a one-on-one interaction with the guests.

Art and History in Montréal: The Best Museums of the Canadian City

Originally known as ‘City of Mary’, Montreal is one of the largest cities in Canada. A former industrial and financial centre of Canada, the city today is famous for its rich history, culture and traditions.

Art-and-History-Montreal

Along with being home to age old factories, warehouses, mills and refineries, Montreal has several museums and cultural sites, much to the delight of culture vultures visiting it. Here are some of the city’s most famous museums.

Centre d’histoire de Montréal

Located in the borough of Ville – Marie, Centre d’histoire de Montréal is a well-known museum in Montreal. Established in 1983, the museum is known for featuring over 4000 artefacts dating back to the early 12th century. Some of the prominent exhibits here include old maps, photographs and a collection of unique antiques from across the world. The original sculpture of Admiral Horatio Nelson is the most popular attraction at the museum.

Château Ramezay

Located on the Notre-Dame Street, Château Ramezay is a famous historical building in Montreal. The former residence of the then Governor General was built in 1705. Today it is a museum which features a total of 30,000 exhibits, including manuscripts, textbooks, printed works, numismatics items, inscriptions and furniture dating back to the early 18th century. Historical figures of prominent personalities and paintings depicting important events in the history of the city are a major attraction among the tourists.

Maison Saint-Gabriel

Established in 1966, Maison Saint-Gabriel is dedicated to the preservation of artefacts dating back to the early 17th century. Presently, the museum is home to more than 15000 artefacts including paintings, decorative artwork, letters, agricultural and trade tools. Several domestic household objects including furniture, clothing accessories and remains of textiles can also be seen in the museum.

McCord Museum

Located in downtown Montreal, McCord Museum is a well known landmark of the city. Founded in 1921 by David Ross McCord, the museum is known for featuring a wide range of exhibits and artefacts dating back to the early 19th century. A number of artefacts and collectables at the museum portray the lifestyle, culture and tradition of the Aboriginal people of Canada. More than 7000 artefacts, including hunting weapons, baskets, tools and other objects, dating back to the early 1800s can be spotted at the museum.

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum

Founded in 1979, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of ‘Shoah’ through the eyes of those who survived it. The museum features over 418 original artefacts, several photographs, videos and films. In order to educate and inspire the public, several educational programmes take place at the museum complex daily.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Located in the historic Golden Square Mile, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in the city and one of the most prominent ones in Canada. Founded in 1860 by Bishop Fulford, the museum is well known for featuring a total of 60 oil paintings and watercolour paintings dating back to the early 1950s. The Desmarais Pavilion at the museum houses works of internationally acclaimed artists and designers.

Canadian Centre for Architecture

Canadian Centre for Architecture is a famous architectural museum in Quebec. Founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert, CCA is known for featuring a vast collection of books, artefacts, paintings and other drawings highlighting the importance of architecture in contemporary society. Specially guided tours to the museum take place on a regular basis for the visitors.

Top Winter Events in Vancouver

Simply because the mercury has dipped and the mountains are covered with snow, doesn’t mean that Vancouver has become quiet and laid back.

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Winters in Vancouver, Canada’s brightest city, are special and packed with a series of festivities, snow activities, events, adventure sports, and lots more. So, warm up the winter season in Vancouver. Here’s how!

Winter Dine Out

Launched in 2002, Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out has become one of the most popular winter dining events in Vancouver. In a city known for culinary delights, Winter Dine Out offers a wide range of discounted menus from 20th January to 5th February. The 17 day scheduled event provides diners and food enthusiasts the option to pick from hundreds of restaurants along with other guided dining adventures such as brunch crawls, cocktail master classes, wine debates, wine and beer tasting, street food markets, and much more. Surely, the event is not to be missed.

Skating in Robson Square

Nothing is more precious than freedom. Give yourself a treat this New Year with free ice skating at Robson Square. Located in the heart of downtown, Robson Square Ice Rink offers free ice skating from 1st January to 28th February. To qualify for the free session, all you need is to carry your own pair of skates. The rink also has a concession stand offering snacks and warm drinks to keep you active.

Snow Activities on Grouse Mountain

Winters in Grouse Mountain are packed with activities and events. Located 20 minutes north of downtown Vancouver, this mountain is no less than a mini epicentre for all snowy winter activities. The popular site hosts numerous year round activities such as skiing, ice skating, and hiking to name a few. Other winter activities here include snowshoe trials, illuminated Light Walk, and sleigh rides.

Winter Festivities

Be prepared to get surprised with never ending events and festivals lined up for this winter season in Vancouver. Celebrate New Year the royal way at top destinations in the city. Furthermore, enjoy the cultural extravaganza at the annual Chinese New Year parade. Over the years, the parade has become one of the most visited events in Vancouver. Enjoy extended New Year celebrations for your next holiday in this beautiful city.

Special Events

A plethora of festivities, activities, and events begin in January and last till the end of the season. Popular annual events in the city include Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge and Annual Polar Bear Swim. One of Vancouver’s signature festivals; PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is held every year in the month of January. The 20-day festivities include live music, theatre performances, dance, and other hybrid performances.

Stop by these Historical Food Markets of Montreal, Canada

The magnificent and vibrant city of Montreal, located in the Canadian province of Quebec is home to some historical yet world-class food markets. These food markets are always thriving with locals who visit the markets to buy local produce.

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These food markets are also frequented by travellers who want to observe the cultural aspect of this city from close quarters. Montreal’s markets are not only places to shop but part of the city’s heritage that have been standing for generations now. There are some markets which open seasonally, while there are some that are open round-the-year. Some of the best historical food markets of Montreal are mentioned below.

Atwater Market

The Atwater Market is one of the most popular food markets in Montreal, Canada. The market is located north of the Lachine Canal and close to the downtown area. While exploring the market, travellers cannot help but notice its 1933-established main art deco structure and the white-and-green clock tower, which is a noted landmark of the city. The market hosts plenty of farm stands offering tarts, bright yellow ground cherries, primordial gourds, and even fresh flowers. The shop ‘La Place Aux Petits Fruits’ sells brightly coloured berries, while the shop ‘Les Vergers Alain Dauphinais’ sells fresh apples, nectarines, and pears. There are shops selling fresh and locally-made jars of honey, jams, and chutneys. The market also has plenty of food stalls offering lip-smacking fire-grilled pork or tofu satay skewers among other delicious preparations.

Jean-Talon Market

Next on every travellers list should be a visit to another popular and age-old food market, the Jean-Talon Market. The market is located at Little Italy in Montreal city. The market is popular for offering a wide variety of culturally diverse products, including exotic fruits and vegetables. The market was opened in 1933 and sells fine cheese, specialty meat, aromatic spices, and the best of wines. This market is open year-round and is also known to be a good place to taste authentic local cuisine.

Metro Mont-Royal Market

Visit the Metro Mont-Royal Market, which is a small local market that has been operational since 1983. This quaint little place offers the famed maple syrup of Canada and freshly-picked flowers. The market has become bigger and better over the years and its personality has also changed over time. Travellers visiting Montreal during the holiday season must visit this place at least once to browse through its fresh produce, snacks, and vibrant Christmas trees.

Lufa Farms

Lufa Farms is very unlike a traditional food market. It is more of an agricultural and technology company offering its produce from a huge commercial greenhouse located atop a building in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville neighborhood of Montreal. This urban rooftop market prides itself in selling locally produced items that have been grown using sustainable practices and low volumes of pesticides. Visitors can pick their items fresh on-site or just visit one of its many delivery points.

Marché Fermier

Explore the vibrant Marché Fermier, which is a seasonal pop-up farmer’s market that opens between June and November every year. The market, which was started in the year 2009, is located outside Laurier Metro in the Plateau. The market was established with the aim of selling locally-produced food directly by the producers and removing the middle man. It’s a great place to shop for fresh lettuce or cheese.

The Powell Street Festival of Vancouver is Just Days Away!

The Powell Street Festival of Vancouver is a yearly celebration of Japanese art, culture and tradition. It is a way of recognizing as well as appreciating the contributions of the Japanese Canadian society in the path of nation building. The genesis of the festival dates back to 1977 and since then it has continued to remain the longest arts festival in Lower Mainland.

Vancouver

All about the Festival

The Powell Street Festival, also known as PSF, is an important event in the annual calendar of Vancouver. It is marked by three days of both indoor and outdoor activities and performances attended by huge crowds. Music, dance, martial arts show, sumo tournament, authentic Japanese cuisines, and exhibitions are some of the major highlights of the event. Creations by budding Japanese Canadian artists showcasing their talent and passion are other top draws of the event. Over the years, this festival has served well in promoting the rich heritage and culture of the Japanese besides providing a popular insight into the community’s way of life.

The 2016 Edition

The year, 2016 will witness the 40th edition of the festival from 30th July – 31st July in the Powell Street Area. Oppenheimer Park, Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall and Vancouver Buddhist Temple are the major venues across which various performances and events will be held. This year, the festival promises to be even better with live performances, craft shows, lip smacking Japanese dishes and much more. There will also be an interactive corner in Oppenheimer Park, and street party in Alexander Street. The festival will include performances from the likes of Australian koto virtuoso Miyama McQueen-Tokita and Tutchone-Japanese Tlinget-Scottish folk singer Diyet.

The interactive corner at Oppenheimer Park will allow you to experience Asahi Pitch Game, go on a Buddhist sanctuary tour and take a virtual walk down the historical legacy of the area. The Vancouver Japanese Language School will hold the centre stage during these days with activities, exhibitions, DJs, and enthralling live performances!

How to reach?

There are a host of options to reach Oppenheimer Park. Take a bus, ride a bike or simply walk to the festival arena. The venue is disabled friendly and can be accessed by wheelchairs. The bike valet ensures that you can enjoy the festivities without worrying about your bike.

Top Summer Events and Festivals in Canada

Canada comes alive with sound, music and loads of fun during summer. Scores of tourists flock to the destination to join the different events and festivals held during the season.

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We have listed the top six festivals/events celebrated in Canada during summers.

  1. Caribbean Festival Ontario:  Celebrate the immense diversity, culture, cuisines and music of the Caribbean held in Toronto from July to August. It has attained significance as North America’s most important and anticipated cultural festival. The festival will enter its 48th year this summer.
  2. Jazz Festival at Montreal:  Montreal can proudly claim to be the host of the largest jazz festival in the world. Hundreds of jazz concerts attract revellers in millions and the best part is that most of the concerts don’t require entry tickets. Apart from jazz, the festival also hosts concerts of different genres such as blues, reggae and electronica. This year, it will be held from 29th June to 9th July.
  3. Vancouver Fireworks:  Fireworks, pyrotechnic show and music is what this festival in Vancouver is all about. The sky lights up with a spectacular display of fireworks. This annual celebration of light has since 1990 become one of the best in the world and pits the best designers and competitors against each other. For three nights, Vancouver’s sky dazzles with lights and sound.
  4. Halifax Busker Festival: This festival lasts for 6 days and is held in the month of July and August. The world’s top street performers display their exquisite skills and showcase their talents, leaving the audience enthralled and amused. Musicians, comedians, acrobats and dancers perform to the best of their abilities.
  5. Toronto International Film Festival: The Toronto Film Festival is held every year in the month of September. It is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and ranks only below the Cannes in terms of the presence of film stars. In fact, you are highly likely to spot your favourite film celebrity here.
  6. Cobuerg Sandcastle Festival: This annual festival is held in the month of July and is known for bringing together both amateur and professional sand sculptors. You can learn the nuances of sand sculpting or just laze around treating your eyes to the spectacular creations of the best artists.

Gear up for the Festivities of Canada Day

Canada will celebrate its 149th birthday on 1st July. Popularly known as Canada Day, the event is marked with lots of fun, complete with music, family events, fireworks and live performances throughout the entire country.

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The day, formerly celebrated as Dominion Day, acquired a more popular character, when it was rechristened as Canada Day later on. It is celebrated as a national holiday across the country.

How is it celebrated?

A host of activities and events are organized by the local governments, which include parades, carnivals, music shows and activities for all age groups. A sense of patriotism engulfs the mood of people and the national flag is on display at all places. Ottawa, being the capital city, celebrates the day in a somewhat more popular and grand manner. Most business establishments and government offices are closed and traffic is minimal. This year is expected to lure around a quarter of a million revellers in Toronto alone to mark the festivities.

If you plan to visit Canada, during this time of the year, then Ottawa is the place to be. Important places like the Parliament Hill and Jacques Carter Park organise huge parties that are flocked by hundreds of people. Cultural activities, entertainment shows and performances are a special feature of the celebrations. The evenings are marked with stellar performances by top artists of the country followed by a thunderous display of fireworks.

Celebrations at Canada Place

Canada Place is one of the most renowned landmarks in the city of Vancouver. The celebrations here are a tribute to the values, heritage and legacy that the country stands for. Watch out for the parade and colourful fireworks later in the evening at the waterfront area of Vancouver. Festivities will include Expo 86, pogo stick demonstrations, food carts, street hockey and a lot more.

Canada Day in Toronto

Like all previous years, this day will be celebrated with much pomp and enthusiasm at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto with live music, performances by dance troupes and brilliant display of fireworks. Also enjoy special water cruises at the harbour or visit Queen’s Park to indulge in a fun filled affair with activities and games.

Top Four Camping Sites in British Columbia

British Columbia, the last unspoiled frontier of North America, is not just any other tourist destination, but offers an experience in itself.

British-Columbia

Camping in this region will gift you with rich memories and also make you a stronger and more resilient person. Here are the top four camping sites in Columbia.

Mount Robson Provincial Park

An ice capped mountain in the heart of the Rockies, Mount Robson stands majestically. With several beautiful lakes like Kinney Lake and Berg Lake in the picturesque landscape, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding your camp site from a range of 77 official camping grounds. The camp sites are open for reservations from May to September. One can catch a flight from London to Vancouver and from there on to Prince George Airport followed by a 300 kilometre drive.

Tofino, Vancouver Island

Canada often conjures images of cold icy terrain which is not entirely true. Tofino, a district located in the Vancouver Island just off the city of Vancouver experiences warm winters and mild summers. Fancy camping along the beach? Tofino is the place for you as it offers a world of other exciting activities too. You may even sight humpback whales cavort in and out of the ocean.

Shuswap Lake Provincial Park

Sandy pebbled beaches, numerous creeks, grassy areas, and hiking and nature trails – all vie for your attention in this extremely popular location, which opens from July till September. If you are lucky, you may even spot the “Shuswaggi”, a serpentine creature. With over 274 camping sites allotted on ‘first come first serve’ basis, this destination should definitely figure in your camping plans. You can easily book a flight from London to Kamloops Airport, from where the lake is just a 1.5 hour drive.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park

Do you find camping in rugged, rough mountains irresistible? If so, you will love the Bowron Lake Park. Turquoise blue lakes and bright sunshine as well as heavy torrents of rain elevate the joy of camping here. An additional attraction is the 116 kilometre canoe circuit through the Cariboo Mountains. Direct flights are available from London to Quesnel airport followed by a 105 kilometre drive.