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Canada Travel news and opinion

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    By Shereen Mohammed

    Whenever trips are being planned travelers debate, do they plan their own vacation or get the help of a tour company to take in all destinations beat features. You don't have to travel really far to experience some winter fun that you'll never forget. Canada is filled with endless amount of local tours. From the corners of the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between, there are amazing locals who have built businesses dedicated to showing off what their destinations have to offer. Whether you're a tourist or a local, local tours are great for everyone.

    Here are five types of tours that should be on your bucket list this year.

    1. Adventurous Wildlife Tours

    2016-01-18-1453132518-4009404-travelalbertanorthernlights.jpg

    img source: flickr.com


    Canada is known for its wildlife and animals that no other country has. Regardless of what type of adventure lover you are, there are countless tours for everyone. There are tours across Canada where you can go bear watching, whale watching, kayaking and bird watching, just to name a few. With a guided wildlife tour, there are professional trained guides that ensure safety and explain all the important facts related to the tour.

    2. Food, Wine & Beer Tours

    2016-01-18-1453132341-6653862-Culinaryadventureco.jpg
    Photo Credit: culinaryadventureco.com


    Food is a really important part of a trip which is why so much of a city can be explained by its food. We can learn so much from the type of people that prepare the food as well as the food itself. Whenever someone travels, people often remember the most tasty and delicious meals they've had. And it's something people tend to ask about as well. There are some amazing food tours that give a glimpse into the food specialties of each city.

    3. Day Tours

    Planning out a day full of activities and transportation to see as much as possible in a destination can be quite challenging and sometimes even stressful. With the help of larger tour companies, you have the peace of mind knowing that there will be an expert guide, often with transportation provided to take you to all the main attractions and provide background information on why each place is significant. An assumption with these tour companies is that they are rushed and you can't do things on your own time but in reality, the tour companies plan the tour in such a way giving everyone enough time to enjoy the all the stops throughout the day.

    4. Walking & Segway Tours
    2016-01-18-1453132250-1752438-segwayonterio.jpg
    Photo Credit: segwayofontario.com


    City walking and segway tours are an ideal option for tourists to get insight into a city's history, culture and significant landmarks that you might not learn just from walking by. Tour guides often know the background stories behind what makes a city as great as it is. All big cities in Canada have amazing walking tours that meet at a central location. Segway tours are becoming increasingly popular as quicker way to get around other than just walking.

    5. River Cruises

    River cruises are a great way to learn about a city by boat on medium sized cruise ships. River tours are a relaxing way to kick back and enjoy a city by taking in some of the most stunning views along the water. Some tours offer meals or take you to a must-see attraction. River tours are a relaxing way to kick back and enjoy.

    Regardless of your a wine lover, a foodie or an adventure lover there's a tour for everyone. Canadians take such great passion in what makes their destination so amazing. For a full list of 50 amazing local tours that everyone should check out, see Flight Network's list of Top 50 Tours in Canada

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    Paying extra for a fancy hotel often gives you a lot of perks like better a location, a bigger space or more amenities, but what about cleanliness?

    A new report from Travel Math, says many areas in 5-star hotel rooms contain more germs than equivalent three and four star spaces.

    The trip calculator site teamed up with EmLab P&K to examine swabs taken from the remote, bathroom counter, desk, and phone at nine different hotels.

    While the germiest spots changed depending on the star rating of the hotels, the lab results showed that the bathroom counter and remote control were by far the most germ-covered surfaces in all nine hotel rooms.

    The germs ranged from Bacillus spp, which is linked to various infections, to cocci, which is linked to skin infections. Of course, the healthier you are, the better chance your body has to fight off these types of bacteria.

    And you can help fight the bad bacteria before it even begins to affect your body by disinfecting areas like doorknobs, counters, faucets, light switches, remotes and telephones as soon as you arrive.

    Check out the infographic below for a closer look at the bacteria distribution in your hotel room.

    hotel germs

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    A whimsical little house nestled in B.C.'s Gulf Islands has clinched the 4th spot on Airbnb's list of most-desired rental properties — and it's easy to see why.

    The Mayne Island property, known as the "Cob Cottage," is the picture of peace and quiet, sitting on a property with orchards, gardens, and sheep, according to its listing.

    Sculpted with natural, sustainable materials, the home is also — quite frankly — adorable.

    mayne island airbnb

    "Most of the top wish-listed properties are not expansive villas, but compact places with unique design, such as the Cob Cottage in Canada," said a release from the rental company.

    mayne island bc

    mayne island bc

    mayne island bc

    The one-bedroom, one-bathroom space, which is a ferry ride away from Vancouver, has space for two people and is just a few minutes' walk from the beach.

    The interior has a rustic look, with wooden beams and a unique staircase at its centre.

    The cottage also has a five-star rating from over 100 voters.

    (TL:DR; Book it now.)

    Here are more of the top 10 "most wish-listed" properties to feed your wanderlust:

    1. Secluded Intown Treehouse in Atlanta, Georgia


    2. The Seashell House ~ Casa Caracol in Mexico


    3. casaBARTHEL in Tuscany, Italy


    4. Unique Cob Cottage in Mayne Island, BC, Canada


    5. Aroma(n)tica TreehouseinMonferrato in San Salvatore Monferrato, Alessandria, Italy


    6. Mushroom Dome Cabin in Aptos, CA


    7. Pirates of the Caribbean Getaway in Topanga Canyon, CA


    8. Balian Treehouse with private pool in Bali


    9. Brand New Mini Loft in Rome, Italy


    10. Off the Gridit House, in Pioneertown, CA


    (h/t CTV News)

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    The economy is in flux and worry is bearing down on everyone right now.

    It's a perfect time for an escape. And you can do that at this small, private island in Florida, which you can rent out for around $1,500 per night (US$1,000).

    east sister rock island

    A three-minute boat ride off shore takes you to East Sister Rock Island in the Florida Keys.

    The 1.37-acre island, which is located on a coral reef, has a 2,500-square-foot Bahamian house where you can enter or exit through 19 sliding glass doors.



    There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open kitchen, and an entertainment area with a TV that has access to almost 100 channels.

    The home is also powered entirely through solar and wind electricity.



    It can be rented in full for US$7,000 a week throughout the year, although it's $7,500 during Spring Break and other holidays. A stay over New Year's will set a renter back $9,000 per week.

    But if renting doesn't suit you, there's also an option to buy it, if your pockets are deep enough.

    East Sister Rock Island was listed on Zillow for $8.5 million in December, although it was re-listed for $11 million (around C$16 million) earlier this month.

    It had previously hit the market for US$12 million in 2011, Curbed reported.

    So there's plenty of relaxation (and even a revenue opportunity) available out there in the Florida Keys. If you can afford it, that is.

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    2016-01-20-1453253274-1761374-1280MurphysDevilsChicken.jpg
    Come for the beach, stay for the food. While the cuisine may not be the initial draw to Jamaica, it's an excellent reason to stick around and explore the island -- both on and off the resort.

    Jamaica is a gastronomic playground, offering food cultures inspired by its inhabitants over the last few centuries. The island's cuisine has been heavily influenced by the cooking traditions and practices of the Indigenous peoples, Spanish, British, and Asian settlers, and African slaves and their descendants. From roadside grills to five-star eateries, expect to taste a melting pot of flavours in Jamaica. Here are six fabulous foodie experiences for your next visit to Jamaica:

    Jerk Galore
    2016-01-20-1453254196-2993267-3.CookingclassJerkchickenLisaJackson.JPG
    Probably the most notable Jamaican dish is jerk -- a spice rub reportedly concocted by runaway slaves while hiding in the hills in the 1600s. As the story goes, the African slaves used freshly picked herbs to season pork or chicken, and then smoked the meat at a high heat under the trees to prevent detection.

    Today, Jamaica has so many places to eat jerk, but many locals swear by Scotchies, a local joint that makes savoury pork and chicken smoked over pimento wood.

    Jamaican Eats and Beats
    2016-01-20-1453254338-3002898-1280RockHouse2.jpg
    On the island's west side, Negril has a slew of spots for tasty Jamaican cuisine. For a sit-down dinner, head to the nearby Pushcart Restaurant at the legendary Rock House Hotel (above). This boutique resort was once a hangout for Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, but today, it's popular among tourists and locals alike for the food and live music.

    On the menu is Curry Conch -- a type of sea snail that's slow roasted in West Indian curry and root vegetables - as well as hot peppa shrimp that "you've gotta work for." Faced with a heaping plate, we pick off the shell and gobble up the spicy pieces of meat by the dozen.

    Festival at Murphy's
    2016-01-20-1453253374-6855953-1280MurphysLobster.jpg
    On the roadside near Rock House, there's Murphy's -- a tiny shack that doesn't look like an eatery at all. But venture inside for the meal of your life: huge grilled lobsters, halved and spiced, along with a finger-licking "Devil's Chicken," thick with a sweet and spicy sauce.

    Chef Murphy also brings out a plate of "festival" -- corn bread fritters used to sop up sauces (below). Murphy has added a special twist, making a dessert version that tastes like a hot cinnamon bun. And in case you're wondering, locals dubbed this beloved dish "festival" because your mouth celebrates upon first bite.
    2016-01-20-1453253437-8623240-1280MurphysFestival.jpg

    "Are You Tastee or Juici?"
    The culinary craze extends to Jamaica's fast food scene. There's a heated rivalry between the two Jamaican chain restaurants for best patty. Locals line up at lunch hour for flaky patties filled with ground beef, vegetables, chicken or cheese. It's almost like a religion: ask any islander, and they will tell you if their loyalties lie with Tastee or Juici.

    Smorgasbords and Secret Speakeasies
    2016-01-20-1453253842-1139846-12.SandalsLisaJackson.JPG
    Continue the feeding frenzy at the luxurious Sandals Ochi Beach Resort. This all-inclusive beachside resort boasts 16 restaurants and 13 bars, including a jerk shack, a Southern-inspired eatery, a Spanish tapas bar, Japanese teppanyaki and sushi bar, and several Caribbean inspired bistros. And some nights, the resort hosts an all-you-can eat chocolate buffet, complete with chocolate fountain.

    2016-01-20-1453254397-9422285-SpeakeasySinger.jpg

    The resort also has a hidden amenity: it houses the Caribbean's first speakeasy, a secret club that serves fancy cocktails inspired by the 1920s Prohibition era. Inside The Rabbit Hole, there's an amazing live jazz singer who belongs on Broadway and old-fashioned drinks made from special liquors.

    But you need a password to get into the bar (seriously, admission will be denied without it). Ask the concierge or your personal butler.

    Get Cooking!
    2016-01-20-1453254108-4713566-1.CookingClassCreditMaryApesos.jpg
    (Photo courtesy of Mary Apesos)

    If you really want to immerse yourself in Jamaican cookery, take an intensive culinary class at the stunning Prospect Plantation. Overlooking the ocean and flowering gardens, Chef Abra teaches the art of mastering jerk chicken (below) over a pimento wood fire ("Massage your meat!").
    2016-01-20-1453254458-5247101-1280Cookingclassjerkchicken.jpg
    Students also get a taste (literally) of other traditional Jamaican dishes, such as steamed callaloo (Jamaica's spinach), shrimp in coconut sauce, banana fritters, and festival.

    But no matter where you go in Jamaica, you won't leave this island hungry!
    2016-01-20-1453254494-3565933-1280Eatingamango.jpg
    For more travel inspiration and advice, mosey on over to Eat Drink Travel Magazine. Get more ideas for planning your trip at Visit Jamaica.
    All photos courtesy of Lisa Jackson.


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    When the December holidays officially came to a close, markets and big box stores packed their shelves with cards, chocolates and stuffed teddy bears. February may seem decades away, especially since it sits on the other side of frigid January, but Valentine's Day always comes quickly and without much warning.

    Wow your loved one with a special getaway this February 14th. These five U.S. cities are loaded with swoon-worthy restaurants, romantic backdrops and plenty of places to cozy up and escape the cold together.

    1. San Francisco, California

    2016-01-20-1453311418-8027236-15365312739_a157b11582_z.jpg

    Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond


    Photo ops in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, chilly mornings on Ocean Beach and some of the best restaurants in the world are just a few of the features that make San Francisco a Valentine's Day hotspot. The city's unique location just over an hour's drive from Napa Valley makes it an ideal home base for couples day trips. Don't forget to choose a waterfront restaurant with views of the iconic big red bridge for the ultimate meal on the big day.

    2. Charleston, South Carolina

    2016-01-20-1453311559-8611005-13664513393_8ede3164dd_z.jpg
    Photo credit: Barry Peters


    It's impossible to visit historic Charleston, S.C., without feeling a bit romantic. The architecture dating back to our country's earliest years, ancient oak trees lining the streets, quaint southern shops, horse-drawn carriages and a selection of restaurants praised for their world-renowned chefs make Charleston an easy place to settle for Valentine's Day.

    The city's riverfront walkways and proximity to the ocean also mean you can enjoy the beauty of the lowcountry waters on your visit. Don't forget to opt for one of the city's many historic inns over the more conventional chain hotels for an extra dose of southern charm and romance.

    3. Portland, Oregon

    Portland is a place for couples who want to spend a lot of time out and about. The city bustles with Valentine's Day events, ranging from brunches and dinners at trendy restaurants to free brewery tours, Valentine's Day theater, tantra workshops and tours of the city's sinful past. Whether you're looking to embrace Valentine's Day with a special someone or are seeking some anti-Valentine's Day fun, Portland is a place where you can do it all.

    4. Honolulu, Hawaii

    2016-01-20-1453311625-3870592-16022395537_7565b7ab2c_z.jpg
    Photo credit: Edmund Garman


    There are few ideas more romantic than escaping to a tropical paradise with someone you love. Hawaii is America's very own tropical paradise, and Honolulu offers everything from nighttime swims in bathtub-warm waters to some of the world's best sunsets and four-star dining at the famous La Mer restaurant. Visitors can create their own romantic experiences with beach picnics, mountain hikes, local Hawaiian spa treatments or days spent exploring Oahu's iconic shores.

    5. New York City, New York

    New York is at its most romantic in the winter months. Visitors can hit the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, cocktail at swanky NYC hotels, take carriage rides through Central Park, attend Broadway shows and dine everywhere from famous delis to restaurants owned by Gordon Ramsay and other multi-Michelin-starred chefs. New York City's close proximity to Canada also means that you can feel like you've travelled to a faraway place without the long, expensive flights.

    There's no doubt it will be difficult to choose the perfect place to spend Valentine's Day with the one you love, but wherever you find yourself across the U.S., you're guaranteed to find a city that encourages romance nearby.

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    BERLIN, Germany If I told you that Berlin, the German capital, has all it takes to be the next foodie destination of Europe, would you think I'm nuts?

    Well, its restaurants might be at the avant-garde of what's best in restaurants, right now.

    Lately, one of the great foodie trends is to pair local ingredients with techniques from around the world. These techniques and recipes are sometimes complemented with some of the most classic recipes of the hosting city. Of course everybody knows that Germany has a great culinary history, including the mastering of the world of charcuterie and sausage-making.

    Today, Berlin wants to eat. That's the reason why many of the great chefs have decided to go there to work. This newly discovered attention to the German capital has allowed us to find and rediscover some of the best German chefs.

    In the German capital, here's how one can have a real luxurious foodie trip!


    Hotel: Ritz-Carlton

    Because we're going to make a real restaurant tour, we need a real hotel. In order to sleep properly on a full belly, one needs a great bed! Ritz-Carlon Berlin has everything needed to cuddle and nurture that stomach that will spend the week getting assaulted -- in the best possible sense of the term -- from all sides, including a restaurant, Brasserie Desbrosses!


    Restaurant: Tim Raue

    Let's take the plunge: the best-rated restaurant of all Berlin, with its two Michelin stars, 19 Gault-Millau points, and with its 52nd place on the San Pellegrino list, is Tim Raue. The chef and his eponymous restaurant offer a true intellectual food experience. There is no foodie on this planet that will not be surprised -- and maybe shocked! --by the dishes, the service, the wines.


    Restaurant: Cinco Paco Perez

    Although there is no other restaurant better rated than Tim Raue, another chef can hog the spotlight. Paco Perez is an El Bulli veteran, disciple of the Ferran brothers, and has become as known as his masters. Cinco -- for the five senses, all called upon in this restaurant -- is in the spectacular Das Stue Hotel, in Berlin's Tiergarten. And the equally spectacular meal that lasted almost six hours is explained in great detail on my blog, Continents & Condiments. This meal is meta-travel!


    Restaurant: Horvath

    Tim Raue et Paco Perez are exceptional chefs that lead exceptional kitchens, and Sebastian Frank absolutely deserves to find himself in the same sentence.

    Chef of a small restaurant in the hip neighborhood of Kreuzberg, chef Frank, 34, has received his second Michelin star in 2015. That's quite the feat.

    Horvath's dishes are 100 per cent inspired by Austria.


    Hotel: Hotel am Steinplatz
    You'll really need more than a few days to visit the all-new foodie Berlin.

    Might as well try more than one hotel!

    Hotel am Steinplatz is brand new and feeds upon the ambiance and feel of the 1920s. The building hosted a hotel back then and has now been renovated from roof to basement. It's a modern hotel and the great rooms and new technologies combined with the vintage side of the concept go very well together.

    Restaurant: Reinstoff

    Eat, drink: the theme of this article. Next stop: Reinstoff, another establishment that's been awarded two stars by the Michelin guide.

    Here, the tastes are clearly on the classic side, as opposed to Tim Raue's, for example.

    However this doesn't mean that they're not any good. Quite the contrary. Attention to detail, finesse, artful presentation, subtle flavours, perfectly mastered dishes overall play nice with the elegant and sober design of the restaurant. And it's located in an old factory in the Mitte district. Awesome.


    Snacks and lunch: Curry36, Max und Moritz

    A true, real, thorough foodie tour can't be complete without delving into the culinary traditions of a destination. And Germany as a whole has a serious food history!

    Curry36 is a simple sausage stand like the ones found on each corner in Prague or Vienna. However in Berlin, the specialty is currywurst, a white sausage covered with ketchup mixed with yellow curry powder. It's usually washed down with one of the many exceptional German beers. That,s a great snack!

    Max und Moritz is a classic German restaurant with the traditional dishes of the country. An old-timey décor and comfort food -- pork and potatoes, mostly -- are found within the walls of this restaurant.

    Curry36
    Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin

    Max und Moritz
    Oranienstraße 162, 10969 Berlin


    Hotel: Regent

    Since luxury never comes alone, it's important to know luxury when we see it and stay at the Regent.

    The Regency-era decor, opulent and rich, is mandatory in all the Regent hotels of the world. And the lobby at Berlin's Regent hotel has what it takes to wow fans of this type of thing.

    Obviously, since this is a luxurious hotel, service is excellent. Of course.

    A good night's sleep is needed, because any good foodie doesn't take breaks. Let's eat!


    Restaurant: Borchardt

    Classic among classics, Borchardt's dining room is large, has big columns and sports mosaics on the walls. Food has been sold there one way or the other for more than 200 years! German and French classics are served, but Borchardt's real signature dish is the schnitzel. The restaurant is located around the block from Checkpoint Charlie, one of the tourist attractions most visited in town, so it's not rare for Borchardt to be full of tourists!

    Come on, all of these calories need to be burned somehow. What about a jog around the Tiergarten?

    In this series, Cédric Lizotte visits some of Europe's best restaurants. On his blog, Continents & Condiments, he shares his inside knowledge about the best places to sample the delights of some of the best chefs on the planet. Follow his gastronomical journey on social media with the hashtag #CedricInEurope.

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    Airbnb's appeal is that it's better and cheaper than a hotel.

    But a competitor is out to show people there are serious downsides to the sharing economy.

    Vacation rental website HomeAway released an ad Monday showing the drawbacks of sharing space with people you don't know.

    Narrated by Nick Offerman, it shows people sitting on a couch while another man clips his toenails in front of them, a bar of soap covered in hair, and a hairy man in a Speedo approaching a couple poolside.

    Airbnb allows hosts to share their properties with travellers by renting rooms in their houses, sometimes to multiple guests at a time.

    (It's an arrangement that didn't work out so well for this Montreal couple).

    HomeAway works differently — it rents out entire homes to vacationers with no risk of running into a stranger.

    The ad doesn't mention Airbnb, but it's fairly obvious who's being targeted here.

    "There is an ugly side to the sharing-economy and something for people to think about ... that is something we want to distance ourselves from," HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples told The Wall Street Journal.

    It's unlikely that the ad will turn people off Airbnb altogether. But there's little doubt that shared space has its challenges.

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    Getting the kids out on the slopes early is a terrific way to set your family up for awesome family adventures and vacations for years to come. And while many parents look most forward to the après part of their ski trip most, with some pre-planning, getting the kids out there on the hill for the first time can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.

    How early can you start? Most ski camps and programs will take kids as young as three years old; some even younger. If you're planning that first trip with kids, make sure to follow this check list to get the most from your ski holiday.

    1. Check out the Kids Ski Programs at the mountain. Many have all-inclusive programs, but may be age restrictive (for example from three years to 16). If you're interested, most will also offer private lessons, but naturally at a higher cost. It is worth the investment to have a professional teach your kids at the beginning.

    2. If you're not sure you want to make the investment in ski equipment for your kids, it can be a good idea to rent from the resort. They'll often have "ski (or snowboard) packages" which will include boots, poles, skis, and a helmet. Helmets are mandatory (not to mention an excellent idea) for kids on most hills. Kids grow quickly also, so look into "Ski Swaps" to buy gently used equipment, and for trades next year.

    3. Keep them warm. Check the weather conditions before you go, and make sure everyone has appropriate snow pants, jacket, mittens (which keep hands warmer than gloves), thermal underwear, both top and bottom, ski socks (found at most sporting outlets) and a balaclava or face wrap. It doesn't hurt to pick up some hand and toe warmers as well. Additionally, think about warm wear when you're off the hill and strolling through the village; pack a hat and some good winter snow boots.

    4. If you're looking at a multi-day ski trip, plan to have some downtime. Likely the mountain will have hotels which offer outdoor hot tubs, swimming pools, activity centres, shopping and restaurants. Take in the whole ski experience, a lot of which happens off the hill.

    5. At the end of their lessons, it's fun to go out as a family for some "free skiing" time. But if you are a more experienced skier, don't be tempted to take them down harder runs than they've been doing with their instructor. They might injure themselves, or get intimidated and scared, which can bother them for a while.

    6. Take the time to stay and watch a little bit of their lesson, after the first day, so they can show off a bit. Kids pick up skiing and snowboarding incredibly quickly; they'll likely be able to show you how they can get down the beginner hill after the first day. But don't stay too long; they'll want Mom and Dad there every day, which will take away from your own ski experience.

    7. Don't try to undo the teaching the instructors have done. Times and skis and snowboards have likely changed since you started skiing or boarding; their teaching techniques should be proven to work with kids just learning.

    Above all, remember that the ski trip is a family vacation, not a working holiday. Have fun and good luck on the slopes! (I won't tell you to break a leg.)

    This post originally ran on Flight Network.

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    If you're single, you probably spend at least some time wondering about where to meet people. There's always the option of going online, but Tinder and OKCupid aren't for everyone. You could ask friends to set you up, but blind dates can be awkward and who needs that? So where does that leave you? If you like to travel, why not try your pick-up luck at the airport or, more specifically, an airport bar? Whether you're looking for a skiier, a surfer or a C-list celeb, Cheapflights.ca has the scoop on some of the best airport bars for making a connection while waiting for one.

    Powderhounds: Monk's Grill, Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver, British Columbia
    2016-01-22-1453487615-8280241-1Vancouver.jpg
    Image: Joe Shlabotnik, Glacier Express via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    If you're looking to meet a ski bum this winter, one of the best places to do it might just be at YVR. Despite the fact that Vancouver itself doesn't get a lot of snow, it's still home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in North America, including Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour. And, of course, Vancouver is also the jumping off point to the great skiing at Whistler Blackcomb. So get yourself to Monk's Grill in the domestic terminal at Vancouver International and see who's sporting ski tags on their jacket. Sometimes black diamonds are a girl's (or guy's) best friend.

    C-list celeb: Petrossian, Los Angeles International, Los Angeles, California
    2016-01-22-1453487649-7874861-2LA.jpg
    Image: Yi Wang, champagne via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

    There's no better place to run into a celebrity than LAX and, while the A-list stars won't be slumming it in an airport bar, who says you won't be able to bag yourself a C or D-list celebrity? If that piques your interest, think about whiling away time before your flight at Petrossian in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. It's a caviar and champagne bar that is just fancy enough to attract a few smaller-tier stars. Order up a glass of bubbly and keep your eyes peeled. Go-to pick up line: Do I know you from somewhere?

    Cowboy or girl: Montana's Cookhouse Saloon, Calgary International Airport, Calgary, Alberta
    2016-01-22-1453487684-8989689-3Calgary.jpg
    Image: LASZLO ILYES, That's a lot of bull via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    Does the thought of meeting someone in a cowboy hat and boots set your pulse racing? Calgary International Airport is a good place to wrangle yourself a keeper, especially during the Calgary Stampede, when you'll likely find yourself in a sea of cowboy hats. Sidle up to the bar at Montana's Cookhouse Saloon on the departures level and see if you can catch someone's eye with a friendly wink.

    Surfer: Lobby Bar, Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida
    2016-01-22-1453488170-3265830-4Orlando.jpg
    Image: ms.akr, Surfer via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    There's no doubt about it, surfing is an exciting sport, which in turn makes it a sexy one. We wouldn't blame you if you had your sights set on making a love connection with someone who spends their days riding the waves. Cocoa Beach, about 45 minutes from Orlando International Airport, is a popular surfing spot in the U.S. so you might just find yourself a surfer if you spend some time at MCO sipping a drink at Lobby Bar in East Hall. Keep an eye out for anyone who looks like they still have sand in their hair and ask if they've seen the new "Point Break" remake.

    Country musician: Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Nashville International Airport, Nashville, Tennessee
    2016-01-22-1453488200-5829420-5Nashville.jpg
    Image: Alex Ford, Country band via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    Country music fans are likely to also harbour crushes on country music's biggest stars. While you might not score a date with Luke Bryan or Carrie Underwood, there's still hope to bag yourself a country crooner. A trip through Nashville International Airport could be your ticket to a date with an up-and-coming country musician. The best place to look is Tootsies Orchid Lounge at Concourse C, before security, where they even have live music. Who knows, you might just make a connection with someone playing a set. The flagship location of Tootsies is known as one of the best country bars in the city.

    Hipster: Laurelwood Brewing Co., Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon
    2016-01-22-1453488241-2825831-6Oregon.jpg
    Image: Jeff Djevdet, Hipster Scrabble via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    Anyone looking to pick up a hipster while in transit will have a good shot at Portland International Airport. The city is known for its large hipster population, something the show "Portlandia" hilariously pokes fun at. The airport bar you'll want to situate yourself at is Laurelwood Brewing Co. located at Concourses A and E. You can sip on a microbrew while striking up a conversation about an obscure band you just discovered.

    Outdoors enthusiast: Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado
    2016-01-22-1453488300-5938901-7Denver.jpg
    Image: MAD Hippies Life, Winter Camping via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

    Some of us like a person to be polished, while others are attracted to a more rugged, outdoorsy type. If that's your preference, the airport bar for you is at Denver International Airport. Colorado is filled with amazing places to hike, camp and be one with nature. And Denver is the hub for all of that outdoor living, making the airport a perfect place to look for the mountain man or woman of your dreams. Try your luck at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery near gate C32. Order a handcrafted microbrew or something garnished with bacon and chat up the cutie next to you about your favourite brand of hiking boots.

    Golfer: 12th Fairway Bar and Grill, Palm Springs International Airport, Palm Springs, California
    2016-01-22-1453488337-7398547-8PalmSprings.jpg
    Image: Ashton Photo, Back on the cart path via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    How's your golf swing? If the thought of going out with a golfer puts a smile on your face, grabbing a seat and a drink at a bar at Palm Springs International Airport should be a hole in one. Palm Springs is a premier golfing destination so it shouldn't be hard to find someone to talk tee times with. Put on your best polo and make your way to 12th Fairway Bar and Grill, located in the Bono Concourse.

    Entrepreneur: Cisco Brewers, Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts
    2016-01-22-1453488365-3356943-9Boston.jpg
    Image: Alan Levine, Beer Actor via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    Looking to nab yourself a self-made man or woman? Head to Logan International Airport in search of an entrepreneur. Boston is giving San Francisco a run for its money when it comes to startups, especially in the biotech industry. While there are many options in terms of the best pickup spots at Logan, we suggest testing out your best pickup lines at Cisco Brewers in Terminal B. This is where you'll find beers, wines and spirits created on Nantucket.

    Foodie: Saison, Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey
    2016-01-22-1453488398-4000001-10Newark.jpg
    Image: Simon Cocks, Glass of wine via Flickr CC BY 2.0

    Newark Liberty has recently stepped up its game where food is concerned. A multimillion dollar renovation to Terminal C has brought some noteworthy New York chefs to the airport, making Newark a good place to pick up a foodie. Head straight for Saison, a French bistro that Alain Ducasse helped create. Grab yourself a glass of wine as you scan your surroundings for a fellow foodie.

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    Canadians know all about keeping a good sense of humour when the snow is coming down.

    So it's easy to salute a clever New Yorker who used one of the city's worst snowstorms as a chance to build an igloo — and rent it out on Airbnb for US$200 per night.







    Art director Patrick Horton built the igloo with his roommates in about six hours and advertised it on the vacation rental site on Sunday, ABC News reported.

    The Brooklyn listing was described as "dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura."

    View post on imgur.com


    "Hand-crafted, and built using only natural elements — we're offering the experience of a lifetime in this chic dome-style bungalow for you and bae," the description continues.

    Horton was eager to rent it out, until this happened.




    "We are happy to see that you guys are staying busy and having fun during Blizpocalypse," Airbnb wrote to Horton. "Unfortunately, your igloo, while very well constructed, has failed to meet our occupancy standards and has been removed from search results."

    Anyone disappointed they can't stay in this boutique igloo can check out this one, spotted by New York Magazine.




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    2016-01-25-1453733372-9538891-16487501869_bb29a19eb3_z.jpg

    Credit: FancyLady


    Making it through the long winter season in good spirits isn't always easy. Shoveling snow into towering piles can give anyone the blues after a couple of months. However, you don't have to let the cold weather and frequent snowfall get the best of you this year. Make the most of winter, and help the season fly by faster, with these four Canadian weekend getaways that are guaranteed to kill the winter blues.

    Banff, Alberta

    Banff is a town that will encourage you to embrace winter instead of despise it. This stunning town in Banff National Park offers some of Canada's top ski resorts, including Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and more. Although, you don't have to be an avid skier to enjoy Banff in the winter months. The town offers everything from premier spas to hot springs, museums, galleries, world-renowned restaurants and countless outdoor activities for adults and kids.

    Outdoor ice skating, ice fishing, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, dogsledding and scenic gondola rides are just a handful of the many activities that will lure you into the great outdoors and make you appreciate the area's abundance of snow.

    Niagara Falls, Ontario

    2016-01-25-1453733492-2098250-11790785215_b38d5cea42_z.jpg
    Photo credit: Shaheen Karolia


    If you thought Niagara Falls was stunning in the summer months, prepare to be amazed by what you see in winter. The crowds thin drastically this time of year, but if you bring your camera and bundle up, you'll be blown away by the frozen winter spray that traps buildings, trees and walls in ice to create stunning, impromptu ice sculptures. Niagara Falls' Winter Festival of Lights takes place until the end of January, so there's still time to admire the show without the heavy holiday traffic.

    The town of Niagara Falls, Ontario
    , is also bustling with activities, ranging from helicopter rides over the falls to the Waves Indoor Waterpark, spas, theaters, the Niagara Skywheel and so much more.

    Montreal, Quebec

    Montreal is a city that will transport you halfway around the world in a single weekend. The old world feel of the French-speaking city will make you feel far away from a boring Canadian winter. Dine on some of Canada's best French cuisine, visit the Notre-Dame Basilica, wander Old Montreal's cobblestone streets or indulge in some of the city's countless entertainment options. Travellers looking for a little more late night excitement will love shopping Boulevard Saint-Laurent in the day and hanging around for the bars and nightclubs to come alive at night.

    Vancouver Island, British Columbia

    2016-01-25-1453733492-2098250-11790785215_b38d5cea42_z.jpg
    Photo credit: A.Davey


    Whether you're into snapping photos, backcountry skiing, the arts, snowshoeing, spa days, shopping or whale watching, winter on Vancouver Island offers something for everyone. In fact, many of Vancouver Island's whale watching company's claim to have a success rate of 75 per cent or higher when searching for whales in the winter months.

    Even better, Vancouver Island is known for its year-round mild climate, which is the most temperate in all of British Columbia. Average highs this time of year are in the mid 40s, and if you're willing to throw on a few layers for your Vancouver Island adventure, you'll enjoy steeply discounted accommodation and tour prices. A trip to the wild, artsy and downright cool atmosphere of Vancouver Island may be just what the doctor ordered for your winter blues.

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    2016-01-26-1453835947-9624886-15418525113_f4313f7d8b_z.jpg
    Photo credit: Maëlick

    Staycations get a bad reputation, and contrary to popular belief, staying home for spring break is much more awesome than it sounds. There are a lot of perks you'll notice when you skip the expensive international journey and travel close to home during your spring break holiday. The following are a few reasons why staying close to home may end up creating your most exciting, relaxing and productive spring break yet.

    You Can Adventure with Friends

    Heading to a faraway place for spring break often means leaving your friends behind. When you stay close to home, you can enjoy day trips, weekend adventures and excursions to nearby towns or parks with those you love most. You can also use spring break as a time to enjoy meals and adventures with the family members who live close by. A simple break from school and work gives you more time to embrace the ones you love.

    2016-01-26-1453836032-6938739-11194155433_d83dd3bcce_z.jpg
    Photo credit: Asher Isbrucker

    You Can Make Money Instead of Spending It

    When all of your friends return from spring break to an empty bank account, you'll be stress-free. Whether you pick up odd jobs during your break or simply continue working without taking the expected days away, you'll find yourself with more money to spend when the world's top vacation destinations are no longer overflowing with tourists.

    You Can Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

    Taking a break from work or school in the spring months allows you to enjoy the parts of your city you probably rarely get a chance to see. Spring break is a time when you can check out that new brewery, visit the shops you've been eyeing as you drove by and check out the newest museum or aquarium exhibits with your little ones. Best of all, you're always close to home, so you can relax in the comfort of your house after a long day of exploration.

    2016-01-26-1453836581-7740878-722842782_448efd6cdf_z1.jpg
    Photo credit: Reza Vaziri

    You Can Finally Relax

    A trip to the Caribbean sounds relaxing, but you may find yourself enjoying more downtime at home. After all, you don't have to worry about delayed flights, passing through security, hotel reservations, dinner times or any of the other hassles of escaping during this busy time of year.

    Taking a break from work and school also means you can take a break from the stresses of daily life and take that yoga class you've been meaning to attend or start a book that's been sitting on your shelf for years. There's also no better time to catch up on sleep than when you don't have any obligations to fulfill.

    You Can Be Productive

    If you don't opt to spend your spring break with the kiddos watching Netflix or exploring local attractions, you can use it as a time to catch up on all of the chores you've been wanting to do. Full work and school weeks leave little time to make it to the post office, work in the yard or tackle a number of other errands that have to be completed before the sun sets and offices close. Surprisingly, lounging in the sun on a tropical beach for multiple days in a row can make you feel more stressed about the obligations piling up at home. Stay close to your home this year, and you'll find the stress being lifted as you check a number of items off of your to-do list.

    2016-01-26-1453836687-487990-14252476167_d721c8f919_z.jpg
    Photo credit: David Stanley

    Canada Is the Ultimate Spring Break Destination

    Searching for a spring break destination with postcard-worthy scenery, happening cities or stunning beaches? Canada offers all of the above and much, much more. You don't have to leave the Great White North to enjoy the ultimate family ski vacation or a couple of weeks at the beach. Stay close to home, and you'll find affordable vacation options that your family will never forget.

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    We've all been caught complaining about winter's snow and ice at least once. But as cold and wet as it may be, we must admit it can be quite pretty. Disagree? Check out the Great Ice Show and get back to us.

    The ice sculpture garden, being held in Winnipeg's The Forks Historical Site, has been in the works since 2009 and was inspired by the winter festival in Harbin, China.











    The Canadian show was put together with the help of 50 Chinese sculptors, who carved through 16-inch blocks of ice to make countless statues, paths and buildings, including a 40-foot replica of the Manitoba Legislative Building, complete with a slide and an ice bar that serves everything from crepes to cocktails.

    Manitoba Legislature Slide #thegreaticeshow #winnipeg #exploremb #onlyinthepeg #meetmeattheforks #icefestival

    A photo posted by The Great Ice Show (@thegreaticeshow) on











    The Great Ice Show, which opened on January 25, features life-sized snow, ice and light sculptures, toboggan slopes, sleigh rides, igloos, fireworks, and a DJ, making it a real-life winter wonderland.

    A photo posted by Ryan Jackman (@jackman_r) on











    It is expected to run until mid-February, but the dates are entirely dependent on the weather. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children between the ages of 1 and 17.

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    Destination weddings are an increasingly popular option for Canadian couples, and it’s hard to blame them. Who wouldn’t be excited to combine a winter getaway with their wedding?

    But some of the wedding and honeymoon destinations most popular with Canadians are not a great value right now due to the low dollar, and things aren’t looking like they’ll improve much over 2016.

    destination wedding pin

    That doesn’t mean you have to write off your dream of a destination wedding or elopement, though. Destinations like Cuba are still a good value — both overall and for Canadians in particular. And many all-inclusive deals can still be found, because tour operators often sign deals months in advance and therefore haven’t yet built the weaker Canadian dollar into prices.

    And in general, there are ways to make any destination more budget friendly. Travel in the off-season, for example — Travelzoo says 73 per cent of Canadians are using this strategy to cut costs.

    One note of caution: the Zika virus is causing serious caution in many southern parts of the hemisphere, including Brazil, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, because of mounting evidence tying the virus to a rise in cases of microencephaly in infants in affected countries.

    The Canadian government has advised women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy to consider postponing trips to affected countries. If you’re pregnant, hoping to become pregnant, or planning a honeymoon conception, you may want to take this into account.

    With that in mind, here are 12 spots where Canadians can still find good deals for destination weddings or elopements of all different kinds.

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    MONTREAL — Three of Canada's largest airlines are allowing passengers to change bookings to destinations in Central and South America as well as parts of the Caribbean amid concern over the Zika virus.

    The move by the Canadian carriers comes after several global airlines, including United Airlines and American Airlines in the U.S., announced they were offering refunds to passengers concerned about the virus, believed capable of causing serious birth defects.

    westjet
    WestJet is allowing passengers to change or cancel a booking prior to travelling to infected areas. (Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    The Public Health Agency of Canada has warned pregnant women to take precautions against mosquito bites when travelling to areas in Central and South America where there have been Zika outbreaks.

    Since Zika became endemic in Brazil last year, about 4,000 infants have been born with small heads and underdeveloped brains, a condition know as microcephaly.

    WestJet says any passenger can change or cancel a booking prior to travelling to infected areas. No medical notes are required.

    "We are not going to ask someone to prove they are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant," spokeswoman Lauren Stewart wrote in an email.

    The Calgary-based carrier said refunds will be given in the form of future travel credit.

    The operator of Air Transat says pregnant passengers with a medical note and companions in their immediate family can reschedule or change destinations if they were booked to fly to countries that have been listed by the Pan American Health Organization as having the virus.

    The company is not offering refunds and changes are only permitted for those staying in the same hotel room.

    air canada plane
    An Air Canada airplanes about to land at Pearson International Airport. Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    Air Canada is allowing woman and their travel companions to change bookings or receive a refund. The policy applies to those scheduled to travel on a flight operated by the carrier between Jan. 28 and June 26 with a ticket issued no later than Jan. 26.

    The airline says customers will need to provide a doctor's note that says they are at risk if travelling to Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadaloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.

    "The decision to provide a woman with a certificate that she should not travel is at the discretion of her health-care professional," said Air Canada's travel advisory.

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    Written by Brandon Bastaldo

    We can't deny that we all love something about lofty views. One of the greatest things about the Instagram generation is that tourists, amateur photographers and hardcore photo-heads alike have been able to promote and draw attention to their unique perspectives using this viral photo sharing app. What's even more interesting is that these photo junkies have been able to give their friends and strangers the ability to see the world through their eyes.




    This drool-worthy list includes our picks of some of the best Instagram views of 2016, specifically featuring shots from some of our favourite accounts across Canada, showcasing talent, architectural artistry and mind-blowing scenery from many storeys above the cities we roam on a daily basis.



    Vancouver, British Columbia




    This entry comes from Where.ca's snazzy Vancouver Instagram account. What's really great about the first shot is that it nearly perfectly encapsulates the laid back community that is Granville Island. There's a bustling art scene and exploding culinary community that inhabit this gem of a neighbourhood that is tucked deep inside B.C.'s English Bay. With sentiments like "I love you Granville" posted on comments of this expansive photo, it's clear that people and photographers love it there.




    The weather can't decide what it's doing today. #clouds #marina #falsecreek #vancouver #vancouverisawesome # #⛵️

    A photo posted by Where Vancouver magazine (@wherevancouver) on





    Not just focused on Granville's rustic elements, Where.ca's Vancouver Instagram account also features some spectacular shots of highrise construction in the #YVR, like the upcoming Trump Tower.




    Vancouver's Trump Tower, still under construction. #trumptower #trumptowervancouver #buildingsofvancouver #vancouverarchitecture #vancouver

    A photo posted by Where Vancouver magazine (@wherevancouver) on





    The user doesn't forget Granville Island's neighbouring False Creek 'hood. This epic image showcases beautiful B.C. scenery as well as tourist and local hotspot, Burrard Bridge.








    Check out our fun False Creek neighbourhood tour video featuring comedian Julie Kim.



    Calgary, Alberta




    The next on our list comes from...me! I had a BLAST travelling through Calgary, Alberta in August 2015. I specifically found the architecture in Downtown Calgary impressive and quite captivating. Being a true-blooded Eastern Canadian boy, born and raised in Toronto, I'm slightly ashamed to say that like many other Torontonians, I've naturally grown to believe that Toronto is the epicentre of the Canadian universe.


    Visiting Downtown Calgary and the Mission & Cliff Bungalow neighbourhoods, I quickly came to realize that I was very wrong. The Bow building in Downtown Calgary, for example, is a 1.7 million-sq. ft. work of art that shows the great diversity and artistic representation that have come to characterize Calgary's cityscape over the last century. Standing tall at 58 floors, the Bow is currently the tallest office tower in Calgary.




    Baby Blue #yyc #calgary #downtowncalgary #archilovers #cityhall

    A photo posted by Brando (@b_munney) on





    Some of the ongoing construction in Downtown Calgary also lent itself to photo-worthy opportunities:


    Downtown #YYC #calgary #travelalberta #architecture #skyscraper #lookupclub #igerscanada

    A photo posted by Brando (@b_munney) on





    Click here to check out our Downton Calgary neighbourhood tour video featuring Dragons' Den entrepreneur Brett Wilson.




    Edmonton, Alberta




    As Canadians, we've gotten used to "outsiders" and our neighbours to the south seeing the north only for its frigid cold (it's okay, we love it up here and we wouldn't have it any other way). Luckily, our diverse terrain allows for a unique perspective, and that's exactly why CBC video journalist John Robertson's photos make the list of best Instagram views in Canada.
    Robertson's unique perspective presents Edmonton's iconic architecture at some of its finest moments: covered in snow! One has to love the electric mix of Edmonton views that seamlessly blend Robertson's profession with the city's smoky cityscape:



    It's that time of year when people start thinking about the year that was 2015. #FeelingReflective

    A photo posted by John Robertson (@johnrobertsoncbc) on





    Capturing some of Edmonton's most futuristic architecture like the Muttart Conservatory, Robertson has been able to interestingly convey the beauty of this snow-clad city, #AlbertaProud.




    Sundown on the double pyramids, while jet streams unfold overhead #SkyGazing

    A photo posted by John Robertson (@johnrobertsoncbc) on





    Want to see more of Downton Edmonton? Click here to see our neighbourhood tour video featuring Interior Stylist Jenna Pryor.




    Winnipeg, Manitoba




    Winnipeg is a northernly city that is home to exceptional beauty, diverse architecture and a unique community culture. That explains why Winnipeg's Instagram page for The Forks neighbourhood gets a spot on this list. Similarly to John Robertson's channel, The Forks does a great job of illuminating the snowy beauty of Winnipeg.



    An industrial looking area, The Forks community holds its charm in its serene all-white scenery.



    ❄️Snow {or rain} or shine you are mine!❄️ Perfect #RRMTrail by @robtibbs #MeetMeAtTheForks #exploreMb #fromhereandaway

    A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The Forks (@theforkswinnipeg) on





    The Forks also does a great job of displaying the transformation that this city has undergone, by showcasing some of the jaw-dropping modern architecture that has been built like the Canadian Museum of Human Rights:




    ❄️❄️We aren't the only ones getting excited about the winter weather!❄️❄️ Magical by @uncletrevv #MeetMeAtTheForks #exploreMB #fromhereandaway

    A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The Forks (@theforkswinnipeg) on





    Want to see more of  The Forks? Click here to see our neighbourhood tour video featuring Interior Stylist Lynn Fenwick.



    Toronto, Ontario




    In Toronto, one Instagrammer has become an urban legend of sorts, and if you haven't heard of the infamous Jayscale yet, then you're in for a treat. Jayscale is arguably one of the most popular Instagram photographers to emerge from the Big Smoke, and his dreamy photo captures of the #6ix speak loud and clear as to why this is.


    Photographing some of Toronto's most iconic neighbourhoods like the St. Lawrence Market, Jayscale has upped the ante on urban Internet artistry:



    Count your blessings. #hbouthere

    A photo posted by Toronto (@jayscale) on





    Read more here.



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    NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A plan that could see the American side of Niagara Falls go dry for a short period of time to rebuild two bridges might be a boon to Canadian tourism.



    niagara falls
    New York is planning on stopping the flow of water in order to repair bridges. (Photo: Getty)

    New York State Parks has put forth three proposals to replace two bridges to Goat Island — and two of those proposals recommend stopping the flow of water for five to nine months.


    New York State Parks spokesman Randy Simons says the proposal they are recommending would leave the falls dry from September to April, but it wouldn't happen until 2019 at the earliest and they still need funding.


    Niagara Parks Commission chair Janice Thomson says the dry rock wall would attract tourists like a nearly frozen falls did two years ago. 


    Both Thomson and Simons say the project will have little effect on the environment and a nesting pair of falcons that live on the gorge will be fine. 



    'Once-in-a-lifetime' event

    Ontario Power Generation, which helps control the flow of water over the falls along with its American counterparts, says it won't result in more power for Canada because the turbines are upriver of the falls.


    Simons called the dry falls "a once-in-a-lifetime" event "because beyond fixing these bridges, there is no reason to dewater the falls."


    A 131-page report on the designs, along with a drawings was presented to the public Wednesday night in Niagara Falls, N.Y.


    "The meeting went great," Simons said. "People love the idea to fix the bridges — there was no real opposition."


    The bridges to Goat Island were built in 1901 and needed extensive repairs in 2004, Simons said, but the plan was to find a permanent fix.


    The proposal the park is recommending involves concrete archways that mimic the original bridges. 



    Temporary dam to funnel water to Canadian side

    Engineers would dry the falls for construction by installing a temporary dam — called a cofferdam — just upstream of the island.


    The water would then be funnelled down the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.


    The drying process would be similar to the situation in 1969 when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shut off flow on the American side to examine the stability of the area.


    Both Thomson and Simons say that thousands of tourists came out to check out the dry falls then, too.

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    Amid his packed schedule as an international supermodel and popular actor, Godfrey Gao somehow finds time to return home to Vancouver and unwind.

    The first Asian male model for luxury brand Louis Vuitton, Gao is currently working on China's most anticipated new TV drama "Zhao Zi Long," in which he stars as the warrior Lu Bu.

    godfrey gao

    Born in Taiwan, Gao grew up in North Vancouver and spent much time hiking, snowboarding, and mountain biking. So it's natural that Destination Canada has also tapped him to host a travel program aimed at drumming up interest among visitors from China.

    "I grew up in B.C. It is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. Vancouver is so multicultural and that’s one of the things I enjoyed most while growing up in Vancouver, as you get everything from culture to cuisine," Gao told The Huffington Post B.C.

    "Vancouver has grown a lot since I lived here. Cool things are happening."

    godfrey gao

    Now that we finally caught up with the world traveller, he took the time to fill out our "My B.C." questionnaire. Want to know what his B.C. spirit animal is? His fave restaurants? Check it out:




    my bc


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    When the seasons change and the flakes start to fly, most people will put their bike into storage. But what if there were a way to combine your love of riding with your love of snow? With the fat bike, there is.

    So what exactly is a fat bike? In essence, it’s a mountain bike that has been built to accommodate extremely wide and knobby tires. By running the tires at a low pressure (think 5 – 10 psi), they provide a ride that floats over soft terrain like sand, mud, and snow. Once thought of as a novelty, fat bikes have taken off, with most major bike manufacturers competing head to head with small boutique builders for a growing segment of the two wheeled market.

    If you don’t have your own fat bike to bring to Alberta, many shops have rentals available. Rebound Cycle in Canmore and Smack Cycles in Bragg Creek both have fat bikes to rent, and many other shops may have one or two demo bikes to try out. Your best bet is to call or e-mail ahead to avoid disappointment. It’s also a good idea to ask about local etiquette for fat bikes before hopping on and hitting the trails.

    Thanks to the growing popularity of fat bikes, more and more recreation areas are setting aside space for riding. Canmore Nordic Centre is an excellent place to start, as they have dedicated fat bike routes through the park.
    Elsewhere in the province, riders can get their turns in at the Bragg Creek Ski Trails within an hour of your plane landing in Calgary. All of the all-season and snowshoe trails are open to fat bikes, which provides ample opportunity to create a nearly endless variety of rides.

    Riders from all over Alberta can check out the vibrant fat biking community on Google Plus, which is an excellent resource for up-to-date trail conditions, group rides, and gear recommendations. Rebound Cycle also runs group rides every Wednesday night from 6-9, so you’ll never have to ride alone.

    Now that you know about the what, the how, and the where, there’s no better time to grab a fat bike and embrace winter riding. Just remember that with fat bikes, there's no such thing as an off-season.

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