ALBERTA The new Glacier Skywalk on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper will open to the public next spring. The design was honoured with a 1st prize award at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. Highlighted vistas and interpretive stations will lead guests to the grand finale of the Glacier Skywalk experience: a glass floored walkway 280 metres (918 feet) over the breathtaking Sunwapta Valley, complete with cascading waterfalls and active wildlife below.
BRITISH COLUMBIA Vancouver will host the CFL’s Grey Cup on Nov. 30 at BC Place. No worries about snow and ice this year, at least not on the playing surface inside the dome.
MANITOBA The Canadian Museum of Human Rights should open in September in Winnipeg. Early reviews of the architecture are hugely positive, and it’s the first national museum to be established in Canada since 1967.
NOVA SCOTIA The province has signed a deal that will see a new cruise ferry link the southwestern town of Yarmouth with the state of Maine, a big deal for Nova Scotia tourism. Look for ships to start running the route sometime in May.
ONTARIO The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors opens at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on March 8. Approximately 250 rare objects will travel to the ROM from Beijing’s Palace Museum, the name given to the Forbidden City in 1925. Many of these objects are Chinese national treasures never before seen in North America, and several have never travelled outside the walls of The Forbidden City. Exquisite gold, silver and jade objects, paintings, textiles and stunning imperial furnishings comprise the extraordinary collection which, coupled with the ROM’s exceptional storytelling abilities, reveal the sumptuous, dramatic world of later imperial life in China.
This year, of course, marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Look for special ceremonies in Ottawa, naturally, as well as Fort Henry in Kingston, and check for events leading up to Remembrance Day in November.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND This year marks the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference – the event that led to Canadian Confederation. Year-long, province-wide celebrations will pay tribute to one of the most important events in our nation’s history with more than150 festivals, events and activities throughout 2014.
QUEBEC Montreal will take centre stage at the 15th anniversary of Montréal en Lumière, February 20- March 2. Montrealers’ favourite neighbourhood bistros will join the city’s top restaurants to create a culinary map for food-lovers to explore. Local hotels will offer special festival rates and nine new fine dining series will be introduced. The Planete Montreal will pair Montreal chefs with well-known singers, musicians and star athletes. Internationally-known chefs will join their Montreal counterparts for a new series called Amitiés Gourmandes.
Also in Quebec, the site historique maritime de la Pointe-Au-Père will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland near Rimouski on May 29 1914, an accident that took 1,012 lives).
NON CANADIAN SPOTS TO WATCH
The Philippines: Expect good deals in the wake of last year’s storms.
New York City: The hotel boom continues in Brookly and Queens and in Manhattan, with luscious new properties coming on line in 2014.
Egypt: Continued political unrest is bad for the economy in general but good for tourists looking for bargains. This also could be the case in Turkey and perhaps even Thailand.
Berlin: The coming year marks the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Hard to believe.
Brazil. World Cup prices have skyrocketed into the stratosphere. Might be best to give this country a pass in 2014.
Bali and India: My friend Pauline Frommer points out in the Saturday Toronto Star travel section that the currencies for both countries have fallen dramatically compared to the Canadian dollar. It’s expensive to get to both places, and it’s a long trip, but the currency exchange and generally cheap prices can make up for it. I’d bet that you that a week in Bali or in Thailand, which is easier to reach, would cost less than a week at a nice resort in many Caribbean countries.