June 2017

Banff is beautiful. Montreal is marvellous. And Whistler is wonderful. Everyone knows about those places. But what about the nitty gritty places, the out of the way towns and goofy sights that folks like to explore? I’ve been a full-time travel writer in Canada for nearly nine years, and in that time I’ve had the chance to check out more than a few out-of-the-way or lesser known spots. With that in mind, here’s a look at some Canadian alternative spots for great food or goofy Instagram photos or just plain good times. Because it’s our 150th birthday on Saturday, I’m ... continue reading →


Nice to see some love coming Canada’s way as we get ready for our 150th birthday party on the weekend. Just in time for Canada Day (July 1 for those of you keeping score at home), a number of travel companies are offering special deals for travel to and from Canada. One of the best is a Canada 150 deal from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which is rolling back prices on 20 voyages to the year 2012, when the Canadian dollar and the U.S. greenback were at par. That’s a huge savings versus today, when the Canadian dollar is trading ... continue reading →


NORFOLK COUNTY, ONTARIO – “A lot of agriculture is dominated by men,” says Susan Judd, marketing manager at Burning Kiln Winery. “When it’s all women like we have here a kind of magic happens, and it’s a very special bond.” Farming in general, and growing grapes in particular, have traditionally been a male concern. But at Burning Kiln , which sits on a bluff high above Lake Erie, the six people at the top of the management ladder are all women. They didn’t plan it that way. But neither are they overly concerned at upsetting the gender balance cart. “It’s ... continue reading →


KINGSVILLE, ONTARIO – Henry Noestheden and Cor Boon had hoped to start things slow. Maybe ease into their chocolate-making business a little, as a pair of guys aged 68 and 75, respectively, might want to do. But on their second day of business at ODG Chocolates (it stands for Old Dutch Guys) they sold one of their bird-shaped chocolates to a journalist who was heading to nearby Pelee Island and wanted to give a gift to a bird-loving author who spends her summers there. Yeah, a certain Canadian writer named Margaret Atwood. “She loved the bird so much she put ... continue reading →

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PELEE ISLAND, LAKE ERIE – I’ve only been in the Anchor and Wheel Inn restaurant for two minutes and I’m already in love. There are pirate flags and colourful, wooden fish and bright orange buoys hanging on the walls. There’s reggae music and Jimmy Buffett tunes floating over the speakers. Owner and head chef Mark Emrich walks by and I compliment him on the décor and the music. “Welcome to the Canadian Keys,” he says with a grin. Emrich loads my plate with two huge pieces of blackened pickerel, as well as steamed green beans done just right and a ... continue reading →