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Australia/New Zealand/PAC

An item on the Newsday website says that Toronto’s own CN Tower is the 11th most photographed landmark (or at least the 11th most hashtagged landmark) on the planet. That’s a bit surprising in some ways, as it puts what was once the world’s tallest freestanding structure higher on the list than such notable places as The Taj Mahal and even Buckingham Palace. Then again, it IS a very large tower and it’s in a huge city that’s very close to not only millions of Canadians but tens of millions of Americans who want to come up and take advantage ... continue reading →

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Hong Kong makes sense. Certainly Tokyo. But Athens? And how does my home city of Toronto end up fifth best for food in Canada? Booking.com today released a list of the top destinations its travellers enjoy for great food. There are some obvious inclusions and some surprising exclusions, if you ask me. (Which you technically didn’t). Here’s what booking.com customers came up with for a ranking of the food scene in Canada: 1. Vancouver 2. Montreal 3. Halifax 4. Winnipeg 5. Toronto I don’t want to get all parochial here, but there’s not a chance Toronto is only the fifth ... continue reading →

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First they went low. Now they’re going long. It was just 10 days ago or so that Calgary-based WestJet announced they were going to launch Canada’s first ultra-low-cost air carrier, a move that would see them tangle directly with New Leaf Travel in a sort of Canadian version of Ryanair or Easyjet. On Tuesday, the airline zagged in the opposite direction, announcing it will buy up to 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with an eye on grabbing some of Air Canada’s long-distance routes to Asia, Europe and South America. It’s a heckuva plan for a company that still positions itself as ... continue reading →

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Canada’s renewed investment in tourism seems to be working. The low Canadian dollar and U.S. politics also might be helping. Figures released today by Destination Canada show that arrivals into Canada last year jumped 11% to our highest level in 14 years. Visits from the U.S. reached 13,899,814; up 10%, while international arrivals jumped a whopping 16 %. In total, Canada attracted 19,979,334 visitors; the second highest amount ever and the highest since 2002. This year could be even better given it’s our 150th birthday, with parties planned coast to coast, and the continuing low dollar. There also are reports ... continue reading →

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We lost Prince and Glenn Frey of The Eagles and Leonard Cohen. And a certain Twitter-loving business guy of mixed intelligence got elected president of the U.S. But there were some great things for me in the year in travel, including a yodelling shop owner, a sex-crazed marsupial and a chance meeting with the son of one of the fabled Marx Brothers. So here are my annual Jimmy Awards for travel, this time with an eye on the off-kilter, weird and just a little bit strange. Best Rum-Punch-Drinking-Monkey: This fellow (of course, it may have been a lady monkey) at ... continue reading →

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