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Niagara on the Lake

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE – Alan Doyle is mugging for the audience at the Jackson-Triggs Ampitheatre on a warm summer night under a full moon. “I started playing this one when I was touring with Great Big Sea, back in 1951,” he says with a laugh. His new band, The Beautiful Gypsies, immediately launches into a frenzied, Newfoundland-meets-Nashville tune with powerful guitars, a splendid violin and a swirling accordion backed by drums and bass. Doyle has perfected the “aw shucks” Canadian approach, and it suits him well. Toss in a generous dash of Maritimes/Newfoundland music with lyrics about lost fishermen signing their goodbyes ... continue reading →

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TONGARIKI, EASTER ISLAND – The hour of 7 a.m. is still a nasty rumour. To the east, in a distant sky, the sun is rising over a deserted Pacific Ocean. I’m carefully making my way through a thick field of grass wedged with bits of lava rock, my iPhone flashlight helping point the way in the pre-dawn darkness. Horses that appear to come from a nearby ranch nibble noiselessly in the black morning. I get too close to what looks like a chestnut-coloured colt and it bounds skittishly to its mother a few metres away. The horses aren’t aware of ... continue reading →

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A new report released today says wine tourism is a growing and important part of Canada’s tourism industry. That’s not really news, but the report from the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) finds that wine tourism attracts a whopping 3 million visitors a year and drives $1.2 billion in spending a year for the critical national tourism sector. Canadian wine regions are world-class, not only because of the great wine, but also the hospitality, infrastructure and natural beauty, which we believe can be further promoted to would-be international visitors,” said Dan Paszkowski, President ... continue reading →

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A great Ontario getaway, and a smashing cruise offer. Star Travel columnist Kathryn Folliott has a couple of excellent bargains on offer in her latest Fare Deals column. One great deal she outlines is for significant savings on a cruise with Silversea ; a free suite upgrade and on-board spending credit worth up to $1,000 (U.S.) per suite. I was lucky enough to have a suite on a Silversea ship last year, cruising the Mediterranean. It was an outstanding experience, with a HUGE suite that gave us everything we needed. The bedroom was large and comfortable and the bathroom was ... continue reading →

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  JIM BYERS PHOTO Colaneri winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake looks like something out of Tuscany. Great wines, too. NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE – A wonderful B and B with a Florentine co-owner. An organic Italian gelato place run by the same woman and her husband. And a winery where they make their vino in the Italian style in a series of buildings that look like they were shipped from a sleepy hillside in Tuscany. Sure, you can go to this pretty southern Ontario town and indulge yourself in British (and faux British) hotels and plays and bars. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you also ... continue reading →

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