I’m not sure a warm-weather person will pick Canada as a top destination spot from now until April, but every city does have some good indoor attractions. However, the beauty of Canada is largely in the scenery. This is off-peak travel time, great for road trips, a little hiking, a little Niagara or Okanagan wine-tasting perhaps.
The 2017/2018 season for performances of all sorts is well underway. Think beyond mainstream theatre, although there’s lots to go around. The ski hills are laying down snow and getting ready to open. The long summer line-ups are gone from the museums and galleries, although for special events on weekends, it’s still possible to run into something uber-popular.
By far most of the Canadian population lives in the south. The day length is roughly comparable to France and Italy, and longer than the UK. It may be a little cold, but it’s not as dark as you may think.
Visiting Canada in winter almost always means walking in snow. You can hate it or embrace it. Warm, dry feet make all the difference. Winter boots that are meant for outdoor walking have a tread, not a smooth, slippery sole. We usually take our boots off just inside the door when visiting someone’s home, because the snow catches between the treads and melts into a puddle indoors.
Walking on snow makes a distinctive sound, but this change with the temperature and moisture of the snow. Listen for anything from slush, slush to a distinctive crinkling sound, sort of like someone crushing plastic food wrap, and all kinds of whispers and trudges in between. Snow can be poetry or music if you have an ear for it.
In Vancouver, B.C., the coastal seaport city of Canada, on New Year’s Day, and elsewhere in Canada, there is a piece of folly called the Polar Bear Swim. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a really cold swim in the nearest piece of open water.
Global warming is a danger to polar bears, so perhaps the Polar Bear Swim is a way of drawing attention to the issue.
If you are visiting any coastal parts of Canada near New Year’s, look around on January 1st and you too may witness this bizarre northern ritual. Hats off to those who took the plunge.
Niagara Falls is one of those iconic Canadian places that a lot of Canadians have never seen.
Apart from the spectacular falls, the surrounding town has a lot of touristy tackiness to it, but the Falls are really something to see. Go on a weekday, try to avoid July, August, and long weekends, and you should be fine.
Niagara Falls is in South Ontario, less than 2 hours drive (about 75 miles, or about 120 kilometres) from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport.
You can get in a famous little boat called The Maid of the Mist and get up close and personal with the falls.
This part of Ontario is one of Canada’s best areas for horticulture. It’s got plants that you typically don’t see elsewhere, a few beautiful gardens, and generally a green feeling.