I discovered Tucson and a cool new area of Florida. I had the dreamiest boat ride of my life in Kauai. I even met the son of one of the fabled Marx Brothers at a golf course surrounded by a trailer park in suburban Palm Springs. It was quite the year for travel to the U.S. for this cowboy, with trips to Florida, Hawaii, California, Vegas, Arizona, New York and more. Here are some highlights for my 2016 U.S.A. Jimmy Awards. BEST CITY DISCOVERY: I had never spent any time in downtown Tucson until November. I fell in love with ... continue reading →


VANCOUVER – This is one of the world’s favourite cities, a perennial list-topper with gorgeous scenery, fantastic food and a wealth of great things to do. Here are a few favourites. STANLEY PARK This is Canada’s top urban park, and one of the best in the world. Nestled at the northwest tip of downtown, the park bulges out into the Burrard Inlet like a giant green thumb. You’ll find centuries-old, sweet-smelling cedars, towering firs and deep, dark forests. There’s an 8.8 km long walking and cycling path around the perimeter, but you’ll miss the essence of the park if you ... continue reading →


Had a chance to catch up with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, while he was in Toronto yesterday talking up his great state, which technically is known as a Commonwealth and not a state. Just so you know. It was quite a hoot, actually, as he’s a hugely entertaining fellow who tells a good story and has got a lot of get-up-and-go. “Last year we had 40 million visitors. We shattered our old records last year in the Commonwealth. We noted the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War this year. Right now as we speak we ... continue reading →


GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO – In one corner is a mock-up of the glorious Segwun steamship, symbol of Muskoka. In the other corner is a fabulous re-creation of an old-time Muskoka resort, complete with a front porch. In the middle are wonderful old-style postcards and a gleaming wooden boat from the days when craftsmanship was more than a marketing buzzword. Mary Patterson, a delightful historian, is giving me a tour of the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre on the Gravenhurst waterfront. It’s a fun spot with interactive displays that not only show wonderful wares but tells great stories of both society’s elite ... continue reading →


I still remember the feeling. It was my first-ever trip to Europe, way back in 1979, and I’d taken an overnight flight from San Francisco to London and had my passport stamped at customs at Heathrow Airport in London. I took a train to the city centre and then transferred on the Tube to the Russell Square station. I walked out and there it was. A red, British telephone box. Just like in the movies, I thought, with breathless wonder. And then I dropped in some coins and, like a good son, called my parents to let them know I’d ... continue reading →

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