Canada’s 150th birthday is all but wrapped up. It’s been a truly fantastic year all around, with great celebrations, parties, festivals and more from sea to sea to sea. I’m happy to have done by small bit by creating this website and celebrating the best country I know in my own way. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! CANADA’S 150 BEST – A PRELIMINARY LIST TOP SPOTS SO FAR (not in order of preference!) 1. North of Lake Superior 2. Winnie the Pooh 3. The Icefields Parkway 4. Saskatoon 5. Ottawa 6. The Calgary Stampede 7. ... continue reading →


This is getting harder. Now that I’m travelling a lot more (and not tied to the desk as much as when I was the Toronto Star Travel editor, a post I left in August, 2013), my year-end “Jimmy Awards” are proving a little more tricky. I did a fair bit of travelling in Canada this year, hitting all the provinces except Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Which means I have a great many more things to single out than in previous years. Which is why I’m splitting up the Jimmy’s into two categories: Canada and the rest of the world. I’ll ... continue reading →

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ALBERTA – A snazzy and sleek spot in downtown Calgary. And a totally unexpected roadside surprise outside Canmore. I recently spent four days in and around Canmore, an absolutely breathtaking town that seems to me has most definitely emerged from the shadow of big brother Banff. I went dogsledding on a frozen lake and visited a wolf dog sanctuary and rode the gondola up Sulphur Mountain in Banff and soaked my bones in Banff’s Upper Hot Springs  and had a great massage at Solara Resort and Spa, a comfortable, newish property with huge rooms and a good location close to ... continue reading →


The hotel focus in Toronto the past couple years has been on five-star hotels or five-star hope-to-be’s. We’ve seen the opening of the lovely Ritz Carlton and the Shangri-La, which I quite like, as well as the Trump and the new Four Seasons. Now comes one of the few four-star “full-service” hotels to be built in Toronto in years. Delta Hotels and Resorts unveiled its flagship hotel in the city’s South Core neighbourhood during a topping off event on Oct. 8, marking the completion of the hotel’s 46th floor. Scheduled to open in late 2014, the Delta Toronto at Southcore ... continue reading →


By now, I’m hoping you’ve heard about the famous Sour Toe swallow up in Dawson City. For years, they’ve had a grizzled, green, gross-looking preserved toe on display at the Downtown Hotel. Brave souls (I did it) take a drink of pop or whiskey or what have you with the digit floating inside in what’s called the Sour Toe Cocktail. If the toe touches your lips when you drink, you get to join the Sour Toe club and you get your name on a certificate. Mine is not proudly displayed on my mantle but I have it somewhere. They’ve had ... continue reading →