Portage la Prairie in Manitoba

24 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  17 minutes

Municipal Building National Historic Site © Amqui/cc-by-sa-3.0

Municipal Building National Historic Site © Amqui/cc-by-sa-3.0

Portage la Prairie is a small city in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada. As of 2016, the population was 13,304 and the land area of the city was 24.68 square kilometres (9.53 sq mi). Portage la Prairie is approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of Winnipeg, along the Trans-Canada Highway (exactly halfway between the provincial boundaries of Saskatchewan and Ontario). The community sits on the Assiniboine River, which flooded the town persistently until a diversion channel north to Lake Manitoba (the Portage Diversion) was built to divert the flood waters. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Portage la Prairie has the most sunny days during the warm months in Canada. It is the administrative headquarters of the Dakota Tipi First Nations reserve.   read more…

St. John’s in Newfoundland

22 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill © flickr.com - Michel Rathwell/cc-by-2.0

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill © flickr.com – Michel Rathwell/cc-by-2.0

St. John’s is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. The city spans 446.04 km² (172.22 sq mi) and is the easternmost city in North America (excluding Greenland). Its name has been attributed to the belief that John Cabot sailed into the harbour on the Nativity of John the Baptist in 1497, although it is most likely a legend that came with British settlement. A more realistic possibility is that a fishing village with the same name existed without a permanent settlement for most of the 16th century. Indicated as São João on a Portuguese map from 1519, it is one of the oldest cities in North America. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1888. With a metropolitan population of approximately 212,579 (as of February 9, 2022), the St. John’s Metropolitan Area is Canada’s 20th-largest metropolitan area and the second-largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Atlantic Canada, after Halifax. The city has a rich history, having played a role in the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in St. John’s. Its history and culture have made it into an important tourist destination. St. John’s was referred to in Irish as Baile Sheáin (Johnstown), in the poetry of Donnchadh Ruadh Mac Conmara (1715–1810), and among speakers of the Irish language in Newfoundland.   read more…

Kitchener in Ontario

13 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Water Street © flickr.com - Allie_Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Water Street © flickr.com – Allie_Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Kitchener is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario, about 100 km (62 mi) west of Toronto. It is one of three cities that make up the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and is the regional seat. Kitchener was known as Berlin until a 1916 referendum changed its name. The city covers an area of 136.86 km², and had a population of 256,885 at the time of the 2021 Canadian census. The Regional Municipality of Waterloo has 575,847 people, making it the 10th-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada and the fourth-largest CMA in Ontario. Kitchener and Waterloo are considered “twin cities”, which are often referred to jointly as “Kitchener–Waterloo” (K–W), although they have separate municipal governments.   read more…

Distillery District in Toronto

1 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  12 minutes

© flickr.com - mark.watmough/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – mark.watmough/cc-by-2.0

The Distillery District is a commercial and residential district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located east of downtown, it contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. The Toronto Christmas Market has been an annual outdoor tradition run within the Distillery District since 2010. The market includes “Santa’s house”, an Indigo pop-up shop, pet photos with Santa, a Ferris wheel and themed entertainment each day. There are food vendors and dining locations that are popular tourist attractions. The 2020 edition of the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. The event returned for its 2021 edition from November 19 to December 31 2021 under the new moniker “The Distillery Winter Village”.   read more…

Railway adventure trips with Rocky Mountaineer

8 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  9 minutes

Rocky Mountaineer with Rockies in the background © The Land/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rocky Mountaineer with Rockies in the background © The Land/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian rail-tour company in Western Canada that operates trains on three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta. Rocky Mountaineer trains operate exclusively during the day to maximize scenic views, therefore, no sleeper service is offered. All trips include overnight stops at which passengers disembark and stay in hotels. As Rocky Mountaineer is primarily a railtour service, not an intercity passenger train, all journeys are end-to-end. Between their origin and destination, trains only stop for overnight layovers, and no passengers may begin or end their journeys at these stations. The one exception to these provisions is the First Passage to the West route, which has an intermediate stop at Lake Louise where westbound passengers may board and eastbound passengers may disembark. No tickets are sold solely for the Banff-Lake Louise portion of the trip. Trains only operate in the tourist season of April to October.   read more…

Downtown Ottawa

30 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Confederation Square, with National War Memorial in its centre © Skeezix1000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Confederation Square, with National War Memorial in its centre © Skeezix1000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Downtown Ottawa (French: Centre-Ville d’Ottawa) is the central area of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Like other downtowns it is the commercial and economic centre of the city. It is sometimes referred to as the Central Business District and contains Ottawa’s financial district. It is bordered by the Ottawa River to the north, the Rideau Canal to the east, Gloucester Street to the south and Bronson Avenue to the west. This area and the residential neighbourhood to the south are also known locally as ‘Centretown’. The total population of the area is 5,000.   read more…

Parliament Hill in Ottawa

2 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Coolcaesar/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Coolcaesar/cc-by-sa-3.0

Parliament Hill (French: Colline du Parlement), colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings is the home of the Parliament of Canada and has architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year. Law enforcement on Parliament Hill and in the parliamentary precinct is the responsibility of the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS).   read more…

Downtown Toronto

24 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  15 minutes

Downtown Toronto seen from Toronto Islands © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Toronto seen from Toronto Islands © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Toronto is the main central business district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located entirely within the district of Old Toronto (neighbourhoods in Toronto), it is approximately 17 square kilometres in area, bounded by Bloor Street to the northeast and Dupont Street to the northwest, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don Valley to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west. It is also the location of the municipal government of Toronto and the Government of Ontario. The area is made up of Canada’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses that form Toronto’s skyline. Downtown Toronto has the third most skyscrapers in North America exceeding 200 metres (656 ft) in height, behind New York City and Chicago.   read more…

Hudson Bay in Canada

20 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Polar bear walking © flickr.com - Emma/cc-by-2.0

Polar bear walking © flickr.com – Emma/cc-by-2.0

Hudson Bay (sometimes called Hudson’s Bay, usually historically) is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada with a surface area of 1,230,000 km² (470,000 sq mi). Although not geographically apparent, it is for climatic reasons considered to be a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It drains a very large area, about 3,861,400 km² (1,490,900 sq mi), that includes parts of southeastern Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, all of Manitoba and indirectly through smaller passages of water parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Hudson Bay’s southern arm is called James Bay. The Eastern Cree name for Hudson and James Bay is Wînipekw (Southern dialect) or Wînipâkw (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water. Lake Winnipeg is similarly named by the local Cree, as is the location for the city of Winnipeg.   read more…

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