WINNIPEG – There’s a ton to see in Winnipeg. I was there last week for a Canadian Tourism Commission and found several very cool areas. The downtown is still spotty, but things are definitely looking up. I didn’t know a thing about Assiniboine Park before going to Winnipeg for the first time last week. I took a stroll through the English gardens and a sculpture garden and was blown away by the fountains and floral displays. The flowers are as pretty as any beds I’ve seen in Canada or the U.S. The park was designed by a student of Frederick […]

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SASKATOON – There are so many changes going on in this great Saskatchewan city. Here’s a look at a few highlights from my trip this week. Saskatoon has smartly invested in a massive riverside park system. There are some 70 km’s of trails for biking and walking, and they’re adding a cool new art museum to the mix. Stunning views of the city and, in summer, great spots for swimming or boating. Riversdale is an area of the city undergoing a huge transformation. Buy a perfect iced coffee at Collective Coffee and sit outside on the sidewalk and watch the […]

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Jim Byers photo The James Hotel in Saskatoon offers fabulous views of the city and the S. Saskatchewan River. SASKATOON – In May of this year I was pleasantly surprised by new businesses and cool restaurants in Edmonton in my first visit in a couple years. This time, I made my first ever touch down (pardon the Riders speak) in Saskatoon . And was nearly blown away. If Edmonton is showing signs of a cool, new vibe, it’s in full flight in Saskatoon, which locals tell me has undergone a sea change. How much of a change? Enough that I’d […]

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Jim Byers photo Pull up a Muskoka chair at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and watch the boats go by in the channel. KILLARNEY, ONTARIO – Low-key, country charm and a dash of city glam. Folks heading to fabulous Killarney, Ontario are lucky to have several places to stay. I tested out two outstanding – and very different – properties during my visit. Killarney Mountain Lodge is a low-rise, old-fashioned kind of country spot with a big, screened-in porch, a central unit with several rooms and a series of small, wooden cottages spread over acres of grass and lovingly tended, colourful […]

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Jim Byers photo Stunning George Lake is an easily accessible lake in Killarney Provincial Park, with campgrounds and nice beaches just off the main road. KILLARNEY PROVINCIAL PARK – Some of the best hiking in Canada. Incredible kayaking and canoeing in pristine lakes surrounded by white quartz mountains and pale red rock. And brilliant sunsets over glorious Georgian Bay. There’s no place like this in Ontario. There’s probably no place like it anywhere in the world, for that matter. I had the good fortune to spend a few summer days in the town of Killarney and in the park, about […]

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Jim Byers photo A boat leaving the pretty harbour in Port Dover. It’s a fabulous town that’s only 90 minutes from Toronto. ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE OF ONTARIO – A kayak ride on what’s called the Canadian Amazon. A great story about one of Hollywood’s top actresses. And more fantastic food and wine. My final 24 hours driving the Lake Erie shoreline couldn’t have been any better. From top to bottom, it was extraordinary; with new sights and constant surprises that leave me very much wanting to go back. I started the final stretch of my road trip with […]

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Canadians are far more willing to unplug on holidays than most folks in the world. We’re also less likely to exaggerate our vacation experiences than residents of other countries. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Canadians place deodorant ninth on their list of things they find most important to pack, behind their passport, travel insurance and even a razor. Then again, this is the country that brought the phrase “playoff beard” into the global lexicon, so the latter may not be surprising. In a wonderful study issued today by hotels.com , it was found that folks from […]

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