my salute to Canada 150
July 1, 2017, marked the 150th birthday of Canada. As so many of my readers are from countries other than Canada, in this tribute post I thought I would salute the diversity of my great country by hi-lighting its different regions.
atlantic region: canada 150
As I just returned from New Brunswick, we’ll begin with Atlantic Canada. That includes the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, as well as the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. On the culinary side, Atlantic Canada is best known for its abundance of fresh shell fish such as lobster and white-fleshed fish such as cod and haddock. The Atlantic Ocean plays a very important role in every aspect of life in Atlantic Canada.
If you’ve never been to the region, allow yourself two weeks to visit New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. If you plan to visit Newfoundland and Labrador, allow yourself two weeks just for this province, as it takes a long time to drive from St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula on the east coast of Newfoundland to Corner Brook and Gros Morne National Park on the western side of the province.
quebec: canada 150
Quebec is unique and diverse in that French is the province’s primary language, and many people who live in rural Quebec do not speak English–which is the primary language of the rest of the country.
The largest province in Canada, Quebec is extremely proud of its French heritage, and while strolling the streets of the old walled city of Quebec, or old town Montreal, you will indeed feel like you are in France rather than Canada. The rest of Montreal is very modern and chic, and is one of Canada’s premiere chocolate destinations. I’m thrilled to be heading back to Montreal, in addition to Mont Tremblant, Oka, and the Eastern Townships in late July, and will be posting about my French-infused adventures shortly after that, so stay tuned!
ontario: canada 150
The second largest province in Canada, Ontario is situated in between Quebec and Manitoba and offers great diversity from the Canadian Shield ruggedness of northwestern Ontario to the largest city in the country (Toronto) and the nation’s capital (Ottawa.) Ontario is also home to Canada’s Great Lakes and a fabulous destination for campers, hikers, and lovers of the great outdoors.
An Ontario highlight for me is visiting the city of Ottawa, for its impressive Parliament Buildings, fantastic museums, world class culinary scene, great chocolate, and an overall level of service that is top-notch due to the cosmopolitan nature of the city.
prairies: canada 150
Next on our path west across the country are the Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. I have lived all of my life in Manitoba, born in the capital city of Winnipeg, but having spent more years living outside of the city than inside it.
To the west of Manitoba is province of Saskatchewan. I love the city of Saskatoon, for its iconic University Bridge–viewable from just about anywhere in the city–and the abundance of walking trails. I also love the literary culture and vibe of the city.
Further west is Alberta, the province best known for its Rocky Mountains. The political capital of Alberta is Edmonton. Its business capital is Calgary, the hub of Canada’s oil industry.
You’ll find British Columbia on the Pacific coast of Canada. The business capital is Vancouver, located in the Lower Mainland region. Victoria is the political capital, situated on Vancouver Island, and though in close proximity to Vancouver, it is a world away.
One of my other favourite BC destinations is the Okanagan Valley, one of Canada’s top wine destinations. I’ve been to the Okanagan several times in all seasons and highly recommend it to anyone who loves fine wine, great cuisine, and the peacefulness on inland lakes.
Canada also includes the northern territories of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. I was briefly in the Yukon while visiting Alaska via the White Pass Rail Line, but have never been to the NWT or Nunavut.
Have you explored Canada coast to coast to coast? What is your favourite part of Canada?
Happy 150th birthday, Canada. You amaze me with your diversity of humans, wildlife, and natural beauty like no other country on earth.