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Okay, that headline is a bit dramatic. I mean, Canada has cities like Vancouver and mountains like the Rockies. Not to mention Quebec City. But I’ve felt for years that the people and culture of our Maritime provinces and Newfoundland (I think I’m supposed to call it Atlantic Canada) are perhaps the most unique part of this country, and an area we should be pushing much, much harder. I have ideas about a lot of things, as my family can attest. But one thing that’s often struck me is how different Atlantic Canada is from the USA’s New England. They’re ... continue reading →

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Woe is the Canadian dollar, eh? Hovering below the 70 cent line, and causing many of us who like to vacation in the U.S. no end of worry.The price of oil is seemingly to blame, what with barrels going for an unheard of $30 or so these days. As oil prices have cratered, so has the loonie, sparking all sorts of business headlines about what the government should do. At the risk of repeating an age old mantra of mine, I’m disturbed by the lack of talk about tourism. Oh, sure, there’s the odd story about how our dollar is ... continue reading →

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Quite the week here in Toronto for tourism/travel types. And I haven’t even attended a Christmas party yet! Things kicked off nicely – very nicely – on Thursday when the folks at California Tourism put on a ridiculously tasty lunch at a cooking showcase spot downtown. Southern California chef Suzanne Goin, who owns four restaurants and also has a chef husband who runs a few of his own, made some of the tastiest treats I’ve tried anywhere. Just amazing. Mind you, California has incredible, year-round produce to work with. And Goin used it; luscious red grapes she pounded with a ... continue reading →

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CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA – I pulled into the Nova Scotia tourism centre on the tip of this island and got to chatting with a woman about my two-day visit. We talked about where I was going and what I was writing and where I should stop. And then she paused for a minute. “Have fun,” she said. “Do us proud.” No problem on that front, my dear. Short of landing in a hurricane, I can’t imagine anyone not having nice things to say about this slice of Canadian paradise. Over the course of a little more than 48 hours, ... continue reading →

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ST. JOHN’S – A visitor last here five years ago or so is struck by how much this city has changed. There were signs of good times on Water St. and Duckworth on my last visit. But things have taken a major turn. There are (gasp) condos going up down near the Battery and in other parts of downtown. They’re not large, but still… There also are new, fun shops and restaurants; Basho, a Japanese fusion spot on Duckworth is one, although I didn’t get a chance to try. There’s also Chinched on Queen St., which offers traditional seafood and ... continue reading →

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