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Articles on this Page
- 08/25/14--17:06: _'20 Types Of People...
- 08/25/14--14:09: _United Airlines Fli...
- 08/26/14--07:10: _BuzzBuzzHome: Posh ...
- 08/26/14--08:57: _Learning to Rely Up...
- 08/26/14--13:36: _Ladies, Be Warned: ...
- 08/27/14--06:22: _'Amazing Race Canad...
- 08/27/14--09:33: _I Flew Across the C...
- 08/27/14--17:07: _Knee Defenders Don'...
- 08/27/14--18:53: _Disruptive Passenge...
- 08/28/14--07:33: _Italian Gelato Univ...
- 08/28/14--13:53: _The Corner Gas Movi...
- 08/28/14--15:22: _Surfing In Calgary,...
- 08/29/14--09:36: _Montreal's Abandone...
- 08/29/14--13:16: _A Weekend in Montre...
- 08/30/14--14:33: _A Marathon At The E...
- 09/02/14--09:15: _PGA Champions Tour ...
- 09/02/14--09:26: _App and Away! Three...
- 09/02/14--11:09: _Rio Rising: Why Thi...
- 09/02/14--11:16: _Scenic Routes: Amaz...
- 09/02/14--13:31: _Create Your Own TIF...
- 08/25/14--17:06: '20 Types Of People On The Skytrain' Is Hilariously Accurate (VIDEO)
- 08/26/14--08:57: Learning to Rely Upon the Kindness of Strangers in Georgian Bay
- 08/26/14--13:36: Ladies, Be Warned: There's Trouble in Parisian Paradise
- 08/27/14--09:33: I Flew Across the Country to Find Quiet
- 08/27/14--17:07: Knee Defenders Don't Fly With Canada's Major Airlines (POLL)
- 08/28/14--07:33: Italian Gelato University Comes To Vancouver
- 08/28/14--13:53: The Corner Gas Movie Loves That Saskatchewan Life
- 08/28/14--15:22: Surfing In Calgary, Brought To You By The 2013 Flood (VIDEO, TWEETS)
- 08/29/14--13:16: A Weekend in Montreal: Food, Fun and Fabergé
- 08/30/14--14:33: A Marathon At The Edge of the World
- 09/02/14--09:15: PGA Champions Tour A Hit In Quebec City
- 09/02/14--09:26: App and Away! Three Travel Apps to Simplify Your Life on the Go
- 09/02/14--11:16: Scenic Routes: Amazing Country Roads For A Family Drive
Ah, public transit.
It is often a necessity to get you from place to place, but that doesn't mean travelling by Skytrain is always pleasant. Whether somebody is talking loudly on the phone or just sitting way too close to you, there are plenty of ways a person can annoy you on the bus or train.
Local actor/director Leenda Dong of LeendaDProductions made a YouTube video that hilariously highlights the different types of people you encounter on transit, and we have to admit it's pretty accurate.
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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Airline passengers have come to expect a tiny escape from the confined space of today's packed planes: the ability to recline their seat a few inches. When one passenger was denied that bit of personal space Sunday, it led to a heated argument and the unscheduled landing of their plane, just halfway to its destination.
The fight started on a United Airlines flight because one passenger was using the Knee Defender, a $21.95 gadget that attaches to a passenger's tray table and prevents the person in front of them from reclining.
The Federal Aviation Administration leaves it up to individual airlines to set rules about the device. United Airlines said it prohibits use of the device, like all major U.S. airlines. Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air take the reclining mechanisms out of their seats, leaving them permanently upright.
The dispute on United Flight 1462 from Newark, New Jersey to Denver escalated to the point where the airline decided to divert to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, according to Transportation Security Administration spokesman Ross Feinstein.
Chicago Police and TSA officers met the flight, spoke to the passengers — a man and a woman, both 48 — and "deemed it a customer service issue," Feinstein said. The TSA would not name the passengers.
The plane then continued to Denver without them, arriving 1 hour and 38 minutes late, according to the airline's website.
The Federal Aviation Administration can impose a civil fine of up to $25,000 for passengers who are unruly. In this case, no arrest was made, according to airport spokesman Gregg Cunningham.
The fight started when the male passenger, seated in a middle seat of row 12, used the Knee Defender to stop the woman in front of him from reclining while he was on his laptop, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak.
A flight attendant asked him to remove the device and he refused. The woman then stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him, the official says. That's when United decided to land in Chicago. The two passengers were not allowed to continue to Denver.
Both passengers were sitting in United's Economy Plus section, the part of the plane that has four more inches of legroom than the rest of coach.
Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott.
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BuzzBuzzHome: Nothing says ‘living the high life’ like living in your building’s highest home.
We don’t know exactly how much the suite above is worth, but we can tell you that it overlooks Hong Kong — the world’s most most expensive real estate market. So probably a lot.
Photos: Corinthia Hotel
Amenities at the Musician’s Penthouse in London’s Corinthia Hotel include 24-hour butler service, a personal shopper and access to an “extensive private wine collection.”
An open concept penthouse in London’s St Pancras Chambers. Need privacy in the bedroom? That’s what the retractable wall curtains are for.
Photos: Joel Sanders Architect
Affluent exhibitionist? You’ll enjoy the outdoor shower at Brooklyn’s Broadway Penthouse.
An entire wall of this Beirut penthouse is a window that completely opens up to the outside. Enjoy the views from the “bridge” balcony.
The Lansdowne Court penthouse in London is a space-age solarium with a rooftop garden. Buy it for $21 million.
Love the glass floors in this Israeli penthouse? Then you’ll dig this.
It’s all about the view in St. Lucia’s Ladera Resort penthouse hotel room.
See many more cool penthouses at BuzzBuzzHome.
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On my Sea-Doo ride around Georgian Bay this summer, I was struck with the truth that restoration can happen through the kindness of humans. Being a weary traveler with few provisions and in need of food, gas and a bed meant meeting people and frequently begging something: help, knowledge, fuel, respite, laughter or a bed...the journey strung together disparate people and incredible stories. Many, many times we would have been up the creek without a paddle if not for the quirky and kind humans that graced our path. Some for a reason, others for a season and a few for a lifetime...here's a snippet...
Georgian bay is known for its tempestuous nature and Emmaline's story of tenacity and blueberries is a perfect example. She and her husband raised 6 kids at remote Point au Baril in a lighthouse. The saga of how she lost her husband and her job when it was decided to unman the lighthouse is heartbreakingly real but the soar of how her job was reinstated and she returned solo to add blueberry picking and baking incredible pies to her repertoire of skills and income is nothing short of historic.
At the top of this very large body of water that took 10 days to traverse is Killarney lodge which has created summers full of memories for decades. Maury East is in his 6th decade here as owner operator and as seen the world shift but the seeking of peace and community and good food remain. Andy Lowe has entertained many at the Carousel Lounge overlooking the pool and the bay for 15 years.
He takes shouted requests, tunes his guitar and places songs upon hearts and lips nightly. Andy is a big part of everyone's summer paradise, and so is the pickerel served in the quintessential dining hall. Year after year and generation after generation, folks gather to share memories and make new ones.
More than once we ran dangerously low on gas and had to rely upon the kindness of strangers. The most intense example was when we pulled into a marina that Google maps directed us to on a First Nations community on Manitoulin island. It turned out to be a barren, broken down dock bereft the fuel we needed to make safe harbour for the night. A kind couple named Connie and Tim happened by and took us in their car, let us borrow their gas can and found fuel at a station on the reserve. They helped us refuel, shared a few truths about their way of life and wished us well. If not for their open hearted generosity, I could have been stranded somewhere between Manitoulin and Tobermory, Ontario fighting the bears for the blueberries instead of warmly recalling the humanity.
Another family, the Elliots are in the more populated area of Sans Souci but have seen generations of boaters, aviators and travelers wash up on their humble shore for a meal of fish and chips. Henry's was chosen as one of Saveur Magazine's top places in the world to travel for fish and chips. We were fed truly delicious pickerel while Manager Sarah helped me figure out Facebook and I encouraged her to use twitter. Who knew that small business networking could happen way out here?
By far the quirkiest experience that foreshadowed my best strategy for survival was at the Honey Harbour Hideaway B and B. When I arrived, on the first night of the trip it was just sinking in that 10 days of bouncing and lake spray were ahead of me, my sea legs were more like sore spaghetti and I simply wanted a bath and a bed. Gregarious owners, Susan and Marcel, greeted us from the front porch along with other uniquely outgoing guests and before I knew it instead of a bed, I was in the middle of a chef smack down dinner party. The way they took us in and at face value set the tone for a new tenet: whatever waits around the next bend is the thing to embrace.
On the streets of Paris, one survives on wine, baguettes, and irresistible bohemian French men.
What no one ever told me was that these dashing men exist amongst an array of trashy crude catcallers who tend to prey on twenty-something, English-speaking women. To my dismay, I learned this in the worst possible way.
It was just after 10 o'clock on a hot summer Sunday night, when I hopped onto the metro from the city's quaint Montmartre neighbourhood, heading to watch the Eiffel Tower light up.
Having grown up in a big city, I've never been fearful of venturing out on my own, in places known or unknown. Confidently, I might add.
This, this was different. I was in France. Bonjour and merci were the extent of my lingual capabilities in this city.
I stepped onto the train and took a seat. Immediately, I noticed two men sitting a few rows in front of me - one of whom bent his head underneath the silver handrail that was impeding his view of my eyes.
I did what most women in this situation do: looked away. But I could now see both men in my peripheral, heads bent under that handrail, staring. I counted four station stops go by, and still they hadn't shifted their gaze.
Admittedly, I was a little uncomfortable, feeling pretty sure they knew at least two things: I was alone, and I was a tourist. The last thing I wanted to do was confirm the latter.
I decided against saying anything at all; but I still wanted them to know I was aware of what was happening. I turned my head to face theirs, locking eyes with one, assuming he'd feel shameful and finally stop staring. In my experience, that's always worked. I searched for an apologetic look on his face in that moment, but instead his eyes remained locked.
This is when I started to worry, and I knew I had to make a move. Just before the doors were about to close at the next stop, I jumped up from my seat, dashed out of the car, and hopped onto the car just ahead, on the very same train.
I sat down, feeling relieved and finally at ease. My heart had been racing. I remember mentally congratulating myself for dodging what could have been an awful situation.
But just then, the train made its next stop. The two men appeared from the doors, grinning from ear to ear. They were leaning over those silver handrails, holding their waists, panting. I could tell exactly what they were thinking in that moment: "We've got you."
The doors behind them closed shut, and all of a sudden I was back where I had started. But this time, the stakes were higher - it was clear now they were following me. I was a pawn in some sort of sick game.
That, my friends, is Paris' most unfortunate truth. The romanticism we expect from the loveliest city in the world is so often washed out by the very real dangers young women traveling are vulnerable to. I didn't care about foie gras, or the finest French malbec anymore. I just wanted them to leave me alone.
On this car, the men were further away from me than the first time. I made eye contact with one, and then rolled my eyes, attempting one last time to show that I was in control of the situation.
To no avail. I counted six more stops before I just couldn't bear it anymore. I could feel their eyes fixated on me, and it was disgusting.
I scoured the train, noticing a well-groomed man in a button down shirt with a laptop bag occupying the seat beside him. He wore a gold band on his left hand. I proceeded to make two crucial assumptions: he must have a professional job, which means he should be able to understand English; and he's married, so he must be somewhat trustworthy.
I moved his bag and took the seat beside him, explaining my situation in a soft whisper, using my eyes to motion towards the two men who followed me in.
Now that I think about it, I never even asked the man for his name. He told me not to worry, and that he'd accompany me to where I needed to go. I began to think maybe this guy was trouble too.
Before I could dwell on that, the two men took a seat in front of us.
This was a bold move. It was the closest I'd been to them. They seemed older than I'd initially thought. The one on the right had some grey facial hair. I remember thinking I could probably outrun him, if it got to that. The younger one looked to be in his late twenties, wearing a UK football jersey and a ball cap.
I nodded my head in their direction, keeping my eyes fixed on the man beside me, before a war of words began on the train. I sat there - while the three yelled at each other back and forth for about six or seven minutes; I understood little of what was being said. At the end of it, the man beside me turned over and told me I'm free to go, and that the two will no longer be trailing behind me.
My station arrived, and once again, just before the doors closed, I ran through them as fast as I could without looking back. I was on the other side now, and as the doors shut in front of me, I locked eyes with the younger man in the jersey who was firmly seated where I'd left him. I pointed, and yelled, "You should never treat a woman that way!"
The doors closed, the train went on, and that was the last I saw of them.
I was safe again. My knees buckled, I crumbled to the ground in the middle of the platform, and I could feel hot tears running down my face. I had never been so frightened.
I have thought about that night many times, wondering if there was something I could have done differently, whether it'd been carrying pepper spray in my purse or knowing a few French curse words.
Ultimately I've come to understand why Parisian women are known to be abrasive and impolite sometimes: because they can't afford not to be, if these are the situations they have to contend with.
Suffice it to say, Paris isn't always a paradise.
WARNING: Spoiler Alert! Do not read on unless you've seen "Amazing Race Canada" Season 2, Episode 8. Unless you like spoilers, then go right ahead!
Note to all future racers: don't "[blow] up" Quebec.
It's "À bientôt" for twins Pierre and Michel, whose overly aggressive strategy came to bite them on the derriere in Paris. The butchers from Terrebonne, Que. opted to U-Turn fellow Quebecers Alain and Audrey, even after they agreed to an admittedly shaky (and possibly fake) alliance with the couple. However, the two faced their comeuppance at a brutal abstract art Roadblock, which took Michel over seven hours to complete.
"We love Quebec, but we came here to win," said Pierre, after agreeing to the phony truce earlier in the episode.
Hours later, when the brothers arrived at the Roadblock, joining the unstoppable Olympians Meaghan and Natalie, they boasted about their U-Turn choice and betrayal.
"Pierre is quoting 'The Godfather' about how he U-Turned Alain and Audrey," said Meaghan, in disbelief.
"Quebec is blowing up!" said Natalie.
Sadly, the twins ended up putting a hit on themselves, and would not get their chance to stand at the podium — despite their constant use of misdirection to keep the other teams off their tail.
Tensions amongst the racers were brought to light in an episode cluttered with product placement that not only included several shameless Scotiabank Gold American Express Card mentions, but also a Mentos-themed task. Fearing revenge, or envy, the hockey players started the day defensively.
"Having won five of the last seven legs, it puts a target on our backs," said Natalie, referring to the first clue of the episode, which warned of a Double U-Turn ahead. Meanwhile, bartenders Ryan and Rob were seeking redemption after nearly getting the boot in last week's non-elimination.
From Normandy, the teams travelled to Paris' Arc de Triomphe by train, and subsequently, the local landmark, Place du Canada. Synergy! Here, the pairs were hit with a Detour choice: Haute Couture (attending a couturier school and pinning fabric to a dress form) or Plat du Jour (navigating through cobblestone roads to find three cafes with chalkboards, then purchasing and memorizing a specific food order). Though most chose Plat du Jour originally and finished quickly, Alain and Audrey switched to complete Haute Couture. Who knows why? Perhaps they were inspired by the shot of Jon Montgomery's Tim Gunn-inspired ensemble. If you're curious, he made it work.
The dating twosome's glee at completing the Detour did not last long when they met their U-Turn fate, which forced them to turn around and complete the opposite Detour before moving on.
"No class," said Alain, referring to Pierre and Michel's reneging of their deal. Ryan and Rob, who were sent back by Sukhi and Jinder, had to finish not only the other Detour, but their Speed Bump too.
"I wish I was pinning this to Sukhi's skin," said Ryan, as he gritted his teeth while constructing "Haute Couture."
Except Sukhi's reign of terror for this leg started as soon as the siblings landed in Paris:
Slam a taxi door into a parking meter? Check.
Orally referring to her mnemonic means of memorizing a word as commonplace as charcuterie? Check.
Lying to Ryan and Rob's faces, and forcing brother Jinder to turn around when they asked for navigation help at the Plat du Jour Detour? Check.
Saying, "You're last, you know that right?" to the bartenders when they arrive at the Roadblock after completing two Detours, and a Speed Bump, and then following that up with a begrudging apology? Check check check.
Following the Detour, each duo visited the "Who loves [candy]?" Roadblock, where one racer was responsible for reproducing a work of pop art using multicoloured Mentos as their medium. Of course, because how else do you "refresh these pieces"? Groan.
Nearly 100 minutes later, Natalie completed the challenge first after realizing she was confusing the yellow and orange pieces. Michel, who arrived at the challenge in second place, was struggling early. As other teams caught up to him and faced similar frustration, they were able to step back from the art piece and find their mistakes. Michel never asked for assistance, while the other teammates moved forward to the mat.
Finally finishing after the struggling Ryan and Rob, Pierre greeted Michel with a warm embrace, and touching hug, which is a sentiment they shared in a post-elimination interview.
"When you have twins, anything can happen, but you cannot be alone."
With togetherness in mind, and the Love Lock Bridge as their backdrop, Alain celebrated his fourth-place finish by proposing to Audrey. Accepting in both English and French, Audrey pointed out, "Our names are going to change [from 'Dating' to 'Engaged'], we're engaged now!"
Naturally, the team identifier changed immediately.
Up next -- the teams will transfer their knowledge of French culture back to Canadian soil and compete in Montreal.
Episode 7 Recap
Episode 6 Recap
Episode 5 Recap
Episode 4 Recap
Episode 3 Recap
Episode 2 Recap
Episode 1 Recap
Episode 1 Review
"Amazing Race Canada" Season 2 airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
I was on the road between Eugene and Portland. The phone was flashing an "E", seeking data, those bits and bytes that connect us. Content to save the battery, I put the phone on airplane mode. I did the same again a day later as I entered a trail in Portland, emerging from the forest more than five hours later. Just me, my thoughts and my legs.
The past few days I've been surrounded by quiet. From the moment I landed in Eugene, I barely had a conversation with anyone, save two waitresses, a hotel concierge and a taxi driver. The driver relayed to me how laid back it was there. "Is it quiet on a Sunday?" I asked. "Yes." Good.
I flew across the country to find the quiet. True, I came for the trails, the coffee and food, to see yet another city on my list of cities to see, but I got on two planes so I could find that thing we all seek, in bits here, a bite of it when we can: some time.
Don't worry, I told my coworker when she heard I was going to Portland the other day that I'm not doing the Into The Wild. I would not grow out my hair, seek north with no destination in mind other than self-discovery. She laughed, but now, three days later, I was sitting on an Amtrak bus, writing while peering ahead at the young man in the seat in front of me. He had three studded earrings on his left ear, one bearing a white and black peace sign, the ear he pressed against the window after trying for 30 minutes to make it through the introduction of Short Stories By Leo Tolstoy. I watched him underline sentences with a borrowed pen and felt sympathy. Outside, far more interesting, I watched the mountain ranges go by, a hitchhiker waving his arms as if he's flagging down a cab instead of asking for a free ride. And I was on a bus, not having checked work e-mail in two days, social media for more than a few hours, feeling the urge to write as I watched the dust bowl of a farmfield, stirred up by a tractor in this unseasonably dry and warm summer. In my 2.5 hour ride up to Portland, I suppressed the urge to turn on the phone.
College towns like Eugene in summer months are lonely places, where you can hear the calm before the storm that is homecoming. My first walking tour of Eugene had me walking a few miles to Hayward Field, where the Oregon runners flourish and where the field of track dreams are made. Not a soul was present as I peered through the gates at the infield and the stands and took the obligatory picture.
An hour later, I was in my running gear, running a 5 mile loop of Pre's Trail. What stood out for me as I was baking in the sun was the sound of wind, with barely a runner in sight. And also the sound of my footsteps and the bounce of my backpack registering a dull thud on repeat. If this was a Sunday afternoon run in a big city, I would have seen many runners, but here, I had it all to myself. Adjusting to the stillness was odd. I had music in one ear but I really couldn't concentrate. I tore the headphones off.
It seems every summer I'm reading a story or a post about how we need to unplug. Often, social media friends will declare a week or month away from their social accounts. Unplug and remind yourself of the stillness, they say. Unplug and settle your mind, so you can get some thoughts back. Disconnect so you can reduce anxiety, stress and the always-on nature of a connected society.
I watched on TV for a few minutes an infomercial -- a personal trainer was trying to convert two runners into believers in his revolutionary fitness routine. Ten minutes is all you need, he says, in that ridiculous way easy claims sell themselves. Ten minutes can do more than a 30-minute jog (and he called it jog), and that 300 minutes will never get you abs or muscle. The infomercial then turned to a segment with a busy mom who was doing his plyometric program, saying she found it hard to find 10 minutes in her daily life. If she ever had 20, she'd double her workout, she said gleefully showing us her before-after shots.
We all ought to find more than 10 minutes.
We are a distracted generation. We are seeking those signposts that can capture our attention. Some may call it the fear of missing out, or the fear of getting bored, or the fear of feeling alone. What I see when I see a coffee lineup collectively check their smart phones is not the same as disappearing into a book. We look down and are constantly checking, refreshing, launching, liking, reposting. That instant feedback and connection feels good. But is oddly unrewarding.
My colleague showed me a graph of computer device usage the other day. It was tracking the use of smartphone, tablets and desktop through the day. In the morning and evening, mobile use jumps. In the evening, mobile and tablet use rises. Many people are using more than one device at a time. They're watching Netflix and posting status updates about watching Netflix. What the device-use stats don't track are things that are ultimately more valuable. Time spent with your mind at a standstill. Moments of stillness, can we ever get them back?
We all need to find more than 10 minutes. Sometimes, we need to fly away to find it. Sometimes, we just have to shut out the world and hit the ground running. Most times -- in fact, without fail, all the time -- it's minutes well spent when you find the quiet. No texts, no swipes, no sounds but the wind clipping your ear, your sole hitting the ground. Your mind finally starts to wander in the absence of all that noise.
*This blog previously appeared on "a whole lot of soles..."
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Knee Defenders may be all the rage after a brouhaha on United Airlines, but passengers on Canada's major carriers will just have to live and let people lean back.
The devices, which prevent passengers from reclining their seats, are not permitted by either WestJet or Air Canada.
Knee Defenders work by clamping on to tray tables and stopping seats from stretching out.
WestJet lists the devices among items that cannot be attached to seats, alongside booster seats and belt extensions.
Air Canada also doesn't allow them, a company spokesperson told CTV News.
But the device, which is listed at $21.95 on its website, is not banned by either Transport Canada or the Federal Aviation Administration, as both authorities leave it up to airlines to regulate themselves.
The United Airlines incident took place during a flight from Newark to Denver on Sunday.
A male passenger seated in Economy Plus, which has more leg room than in coach, used a Knee Defender and refused to remove it when asked by a flight attendant (the airline doesn't permit them).
The woman sitting in front then threw a cup of water at him. Both passengers were later kicked off the plane during an unscheduled landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Ira Goldman, the inventor of the Knee Defender, told USA Today the device, despite its purpose, still encourages people to accommodate the needs of other passengers.
"... the Knee Defender says right on it: 'Be courteous. Do not hog space. Listen to the flight crew.' Apparently that is not what happened here," said Goldman about the incident.
CNN reports coverage of the story has boosted sales of the Knee Defender but it also sparked a debate on whether the device should be permitted at all.
"It's tailor-made for bullies," claimed a Chicago Sun-Times editorial. "Best we can tell, the most obvious purpose of a Knee Defender ... is to make it possible for one passenger to impose his will on another."
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A Sunwing flight en route to Cuba was forced to turn around and return to Toronto's Pearson Airport Wednesday evening after two disruptive passengers caused a major disturbance.
The pilot of the 737 aircraft, who described the two female passengers as being disruptive "in a serious manner," reported to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) while the plane was in U.S. airspace that the aircraft was "under threat."
Officials with NORAD's Canadian sector in Winnipeg told CBC News that they scrambled two Canadian Forces CF-18 fighters from CFB Bagotville in Quebec to intercept Sunwing Flight 656 and escort it back to Pearson.
Police officers were called to the airport around 8 p.m. ET and the two passengers were arrested when the plane landed, said George Tudos with Peel Regional Police.
"At 7:15 p.m. we received a call that there was a Sunwing flight that was being diverted back to Pearson due to two female parties on board that were quite disruptive," Tudos told CBC News.
"It was escorted by military planes back to Pearson, where it was met by our airport officers. We are continuing the investigation to find out what happened and are speaking to witnesses who were on the flight. We take all situations seriously and we are going to make sure that plane is safe before it leaves the gate."
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A Vancouver gelateria will be home to the first North American branch of a prestigious Italian gelato university.
Carpigiani Gelato University is opening up shop at the new Yaletown location of Bella Gelateria, which is founded by Vancouver gelato maker James Coleridge.
Select graduates from CGU will have a chance to apprentice in the tiny, open kitchen.
"You're actually going to be able to watch and see people making gelato from scratch," enthuses Coleridge.
"Whether they're from Asia or from Australia or South America, they're going to come to Vancouver and we're going to teach them how to do it right."
Coleridge is himself a grad of CGU, and seems to have learned his lessons well.
He's won numerous international awards, including top prizes at the Florence Italy Gelato Festival (2012), International Fair of Artisan Gelato (2014), and Gelato World Tour North America (2014).
Coleridge says the partnership grew out of an overwhelming demand, fuelled by his accolades.
"We're blessed here in Vancouver and [at] Bella Gelateria by having a lot of attention around the world, so we get a lot of requests [for internships]," he says.
That's why Coleridge approached the school to create the new program.
Potential students must first attend all the courses at CGU in Italy.
Then, of the up to 500 students who complete the program each month, Coleridge selects the top three students for internships that last anywhere from 10 days to two months.
After all, Coleridge says, "You can't just walk off the street and learn how to make gelato. It's not an easy process."
An old world art
Coleridge says great gelato takes time.
He hand-chops seasonal ingredients and lets his mixtures of milk, sugars and flavours "mature" in special equipment imported from Italy.
The base is then slowly churned in small freezers based on old world technology.
Gelato typically contains much less fat than commercial ice cream.
Thanks to the slower churn process, gelato is comprised of only 20 per cent air, compared to the 80 per cent of ice-cream.
Coleridge says regardless of the flavour, great gelato must contain one essential ingredient.
"It has to start 100 per cent with passion,' he says. "There is a science you are restricted to. But passion is the only thing you own in this industry."
Bella Gelataria Yaletown officially opens on Aug. 28.
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ROLEAU, SASKATCHEWAN -- It's the second-to-last day of shooting of the highly anticipated movie, Corner Gas. I am ushered into a darkly lit room called the video village to sit and wait out the filming of a scene before I can interview Brent Butt, creator and star of the Corner Gas TV series that is phenomenally popular in Canada.
Margaret, the movie's kind publicist, asks me to take a seat. "Here, sit there in Brent's chair or Kathy Blevins'; go ahead and I will come back for you in a bit," she says. I do as I am told and choose Brent's chair. It's bigger and looks cozy. I relax and look ahead at the three monitors going in front of me. I am peering into the iconic gas station as the actors block, or mark out, where they will stand for an upcoming scene.
I am almost caught red-handed in his chair moments later as Butt enters the video village room to show someone something funny on his phone. I sneakily transition without getting caught to Kathy's chair, avoid embarrassment, and breathe a sigh of relief.
The gas station set in "Dog River," a.k.a. Rouleau, Saskatchewan (approximately 40 kilometres from Regina) remained intact over the past five years since the series wrapped and played host to tours and sold many a souvenir.
But now it's alive with Corner Gas action again. Hank (played by Fred Ewanuick), Brent Leroy's best friend on the series, appears first on stage left followed by Brent and Wanda (played by Nancy Robertson), the quirky gas station cashier, and Butt's real-life wife.
Soon after, the blocking is complete and the scene begins rolling. I peer at the monitors again and admire the on-set action of the rolling cameras and actors delivering seamless lines. After three takes, the scene is nailed. The director, sitting in front of me, yells, "Cut." It's time to sit down and talk shop with Mr. Brent Butt.
Born and raised in Tisdale, the extremely funny comedian and actor known for his dry sense of humour, opened up on growing up in Saskatchewan, travel in Canada and, of course, reuniting with the cast for the Corner Gas movie due out in December 2014.
"It was wonderful. We don't get to see each other a lot and it was great coming back and going through the motions again. It was such a big part of our lives," said Butt in regard to filming again with all his castmates. "It felt like only three weeks had passed."
He said his return to the role of Brent Leroy was easy. "I hardly even look at this as a role to play. Brent Leroy is basically me. I put on a different shirt and a different watch and I am done," shared Butt. Acclimating back to the show also proved to be simple, but he pointed out the major difference was felt in the pacing of the writing, moving from a set scale of 22 Minutes to that of a 90-minute feature film.
So what can viewers expect?
"The stakes are raised; it's a bit of a bigger story," Butt added.
Five years later we find our heroes picking up where the series ended. "The town is in very bad shape and, like a lot of rural communities across the country, they are finding themselves in situation of 'Do we shut everything down and walk away letting it become a ghost town? Or do we dig in our heels and fight for this place where we have lived our lives?'"
The series, which resonated so broadly across all demographic and geographic regions in Canada, had a massive audience averaging over 1-million viewers per episode -- incredibly rare for a show in this country.
We chatted further about why Corner Gas was able to gain such mass appeal. I stated to the actor, speaking on behalf of proud Saskatchewanians, we "just get it," noting the rural nuances we know and love from the series that make it feel like it was made just for us. However, Butt asserted, "Everybody gets it."
"It's not barley jokes. It's about these people and the situation they are in," he went on to say. And, in regard to locale: "It really could have taken place anywhere as the characters are very archetypal, and there's universality to it."
He explained how that "feeling" and appreciation for the show and its people-focused stories has broad appeal that reaches far beyond the borders of the province. "You go to Ontario or Manitoba, or wherever I travel doing stand-up, the number one thing I always hear about is Corner Gas, people want to talk about it."
He acknowledged, of course, there is value added if you are from Saskatchewan. "Saskatchewan is the backdrop; it's the postcard -- because of where it is and what you see [on the show]. You don't have to talk about it a lot. It just kind of is. The horizon is there, the fields are there and that sky is there."
Story by Jenn Smith Nelson, Vacay.ca Writer. To read the rest of the story on Vacay.ca, click here.
Calgarians didn't have to travel thousands of kilometres to sunny resorts to ride the waves this summer.
Instead, surfing came right to them, courtesy of the 2013 flood.
Surfing is nothing new in Alberta but last year's flood helped create a permanent wave in Calgary's Bow River that is bringing several people out to test the waters, CBC News reported.
"A surfer's dream is to get up and surf, go about your day and come back to surf — and that's what I'm doing," Alberta River Surfing Association (ARSA) president Neil Egsgard told the network.
The history of river surfing has been traced back to Munich, Germany in the 1970s, before coming to Alberta in the 2000s, The Calgary Journal reported.
At that time, Jeff Brooks, an ARSA co-founder, learned that you could surf waves in any river with fast flows.
He soon found a two-foot wave beneath the 10th Street bridge in Calgary and discovered that the sport was possible in the province.
Various pictures posted on social media in July and August show people hopping on their boards and riding fast-moving waters in the city.
ARSA has an online guide to places where people can ride waves throughout Alberta.
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Time is running out for the terminal building at Mirabel International Airport.
Facility owner Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) will meet September 16 to award a tender for its destruction despite efforts to see it repurposed as a conference centre, The Canadian Press reported in French.
The site's demolition was announced last May after the owner decided it wasn't economically feasible to keep it going.
At the time, a non-profit group known as the Montreal-Mirabel Corporation, which included Mirabel Mayor Jean Bouchard and former Quebec premier Bernard Landry, began putting together a feasibility study to see if the airport could be used for conferences, CP said.
But as of this week, the corporation hadn't submitted a business plan to support its proposal, ADM spokeswoman Christiane Beaulieu told the news agency.
Furthermore, the terminal building could cost tens of millions of dollars to repair and convert to a new purpose, said CTV News.
Opened in 1975, just prior to the following year's Summer Olympic Games in Montréal, Mirabel was initially intended to replace another airport in Dorval.
Flights came and went from Mirabel for years but the facility was 50 kilometres away from the city and passengers became tired of the travel it took to arrive there.
Though it continues to accommodate cargo operations, its terminal has sat abandoned and hasn't had a passenger plane since 2004.
Check out photos of Mirabel airport before it faces the wrecking ball:
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One of my favourite times to be in Montreal is in late summer and early fall, when festival frenzy winds down and Montrealers come out to catch the last wave of warm weather. The beat of the city is lush and mellow: flowers are still in bloom, there's time to linger over dinner at a restaurant terrasse, and the mood is purely pleasure-driven.
Montreal is a one of a kind place. Its unusual Feng Shui (it lies on an island with a mountain in the middle; no matter where you are, the mountain is behind you and the water's in front), combined with its position as the second largest city in Canada and the second largest French-speaking city in the world, has sparked a fabulous culture of art, design and interesting things to do.
Tops for fabulosity this season is the blockbuster at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, on until October 5. "Fabulous Fabergé: Jeweller to the Czars" showcases 240 splendid objects commissioned by Russia's imperial family, the Romanovs, from master jeweller Carl Peter Fabergé (1846-1920). On loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, the collection is considered to be the finest outside Russia.
The MMFA show delivers a rare glimpse into a world of over-the-top wealth, privilege and creative perfectionism. This is high-end historical voyeurism.
Most of the pieces are from a 1947 bequest by Lillian Thomas Pratt, the wife of a General Motors executive. She acquired them mainly through A La Vieille Russie in New York and from Armand Hammer, the manufacturing tycoon who bought imperial loot from the Soviets for Western currency in the decades following the Russian revolution.
Along with photo frames, parasol handles, jewelry, tableware and religious iconography, there are four magnificent Easter eggs, exquisitely crafted and displayed alongside the hidden surprises they contained. The marquee object is the lapis lazuli and gold egg that Czar Nicholas II, then the richest man in the world, gave his wife, Alexandra, at Easter 1912. The surprise inside is a double-sided miniature of Czarevich Alexei, the 7-year-old heir to the throne, painted on ivory and framed by an imperial eagle blazing with diamonds.
The show is a visual stunner and, if you need one, a good reason to take a few days and go. Because why not? Montreal is easy to visit and easy to like. It's a chill destination you can get in and out of without planning too far ahead, unless, of course, you decide to go during high season or Grand Prix weekend. I was able to book a room at the Château Versailles, a charming and affordable hotel that's five minutes west of the museum. I stayed in a roomy flat-screen and fireplace suite with high ceilings, elaborate plasterwork and a big bow window looking out on Sherbrooke Street.
The Château Versailles is in a 19th century heritage property repurposed as a hotel some 60 years ago. With the heart of an elegant townhouse and the soul of an upmarket bed and breakfast, it's long been a go-to for those in the know. The CV is LGBT-friendly, pet-friendly and generally all-round friendly, with personalized service and a welcoming attitude. The 65 rooms and suites range in size, layout and décor; they range wildly in price ($99 - $499) and include both a Continental breakfast buffet and afternoon tea.
I cabbed it down to old Montreal for a fun lunch with my friend Christina Riverin on her favourite terrasse at Boris Bistro. It's hidden behind the empty façade of an old stone building with a whiff of bombed-out chic. The next day I had brunch on the upstairs terrasse at Thursday's, a Crescent Street institution, before driving an hour north to spend the afternoon in St-Sauveur des Monts.
St-Sauveur, in the Laurentian Mountains Heartland, is a little town I love to revisit. Even though it's become a poor cousin to the slickly redeveloped Mt. Tremblant, it still retains some magic. Above all, it remains proudly authentic.
I picked up some fresh-baked cheese straws at Boulangerie Pagé, checked out the can't-find-them-anywhere-else selection of original sunglasses and frames at Zyves, a family business led by savvy optometrist Yves David, and stopped in at S. Bourassa to pick up Québec cheeses like La Sauvagine, Riopelle and Frère Jacques at a fraction of Toronto prices.
In nearby Prévost, I made a late afternoon pit stop at the Mini-Golf Restaurant, a hot doggery next to the "Le P'tit Train du Nord" linear park, to get down with Québec's answer to soul food -- an all-dressed steamy dog on a top-loaded bun, sided by the best patates frites in all creation. Last stop? Ste-Anne-des-Lacs' natural spring for cold, clear water to carry us home.
"You're going where?!"
That was the most common question I heard, when I announced to friends in New York City that I was flying over 3,000 miles to Haida Gwaii to run a marathon this summer. A little incredulous, and a lot suspicious, as if there was some ulterior motive involved.
Haida Gwaii: Most New Yorkers have never even heard of it, let alone formed an opinion of it. Heck, most New Yorkers don't like to travel to their neighbouring borough. To a diehard Manhattanite, Brooklyn or Queens is essentially another planet.
And here I was taking off to Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, a misty archipelago off the coast of northwest B.C. Beyond its shores, nothing but thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean. They don't call it the "Edge of the World" for nothing.
"And you're going to do what?!"
That was always the next question. The answer: I was going to run the Totem to Totem, an intimate little 26.2-mile marathon alongside some of the most spectacular coastline on planet Earth. Just a handful of runners, snaking through the historic village of Skidegate, beneath the towering pines and spruces and firs of West Coast forest.
And that, right there, was why I had come so far. It wasn't just any run: It felt more like a sacred trek through territory of the Haida Nation. In fact before the run, race organizer David Seymour had to ask permission from the local chief, for a crew of such sweaty interlopers to traipse through their land. (It was granted, thankfully.)
Most marathons are about cold numbers: A finishing time, a per-mile pace. This one was more about symbols, and stories. Just look at the starting line itself: Nestled in the shadow of the historic totem poles of the Haida Heritage Centre, each one telling its own unique story of clan and spirits.
"Hawaa," Seymour said to the chief -- "thank you," in the endangered Haida language -- and we were off.
As the miles clocked by, I reflected on how challenging this magical place had been to get to. A six-hour redeye flight from NYC, a half-day stopover in Vancouver, then two more hours in an Air Canada flight up the coast. Oh, and then a ferry. (No one told me about the ferry.)
But this trip wasn't about ease. After spending almost 15 years abroad in the U.S., it was about reconnecting with the heart and soul of British Columbia: The vistas of Pacific beaches, the calls of the ravens at daybreak, the natural spirits that populate every curve in the coastline.
It was about meeting people like Guujaaw, longtime head of the Haida nation, who had been involved in the historic logging blockade at Lyell Island so many years ago. It was about sharing a salmon dinner at the community hall with Roy Jones, one of the last remaining speakers of the Haida tongue.
What's strange is that for such an ancient and remote place, Haida Gwaii finds itself at the nexus of so many critical modern debates. Enbridge and oil pipelines. Native land title. Geoengineering to repopulate rivers and oceans. Fukushima, whose debris is still drifting across the ocean onto local shores.
But none of those debates were heard on marathon day, as we churned 13.1 miles up the highway to the turnaround point of St. Mary's Spring. The local legend: If you drink from the spring's waters, you will always come back to the islands.
No sounds of the rest of the world falling apart, either. Nothing about chaos in Ferguson, Mo., or the horrors in the distant Mideast. Just the cool Pacific winds, and the low rhythm of the waves, and the sight of the occasional bald eagle tracing our path.
All marathoners know that you find out a lot about yourself after mile 20. As the saying goes, the first 10 miles are about the fitness of your body, the next 10 are about your mind, and the final 6.2 are about your heart.
When every part of your body feels like it is falling apart, when every ounce of energy has been used up -- then what? Do you have the ability to find some new source deep within, and go on?
Another thing runners know, deep in their core, is that you can't really do it alone. To run that far, and that long, you usually end up appealing for a little supernatural help.
As for me, I leaned heavily on the Haida spirits that day to carry me across the finish line. And they answered. To which I say: Hawaa.
LÉVIS, QUEBEC -- There is a chill in the air and the ground is wet from all the rain we've just had. There's no one else on the golf course except for the odd deer I see in the forests that line the fairways of La Tempete Golf Club in Lévis, near Quebec City.
Everyone else has retreated to the warm confines of the clubhouse for a hot cup of coffee and dry clothes. Although the weather is more indicative of a spring day in Scotland, nothing was going to deter me from finishing my round at La Tempete as I still had four holes to play. After all, this is where the pros from the PGA Champions Tour would be competing in a few days and I wanted to share the same experience -- rain or shine.
If being unable to call it a day and stop playing midway through a round -- even when it's cold and raining -- is the measure of a great golf course then the PGA Champions Tour knows a good thing when they see one. That is why they are returning September 3-7 to the province for the 2014 Quebec Championship, presented by Desjardins.
While this may be the fifth year the PGA Champions Tour has come to La Belle Province, it is the first time the event has ventured to Quebec City. Since 2010, the tournament has been held in Montreal (Fountainebleau in 2010, 2011 and Vallee Du Richelieu in 2012, 2013) but given Quebec City's passion for big-time sporting events, it was just a matter of time before the PGA Champions Tour decided to travel two hours east to the province's other sporting capital.
La Tempete Golf Club ("The Storm", en francais) is arguably Quebec City's best golf course. Designed by Darrell Huxham, this course will surely appeal to the players and fans alike. Sprawled across 200 acres, the La Tempete measures over 7,200 yards from the back tees, but it's unlikely the members of the 50-plus club who comprise the Champions Tour will be asked to compete from this distance. Not only will the players appreciate this leniency, but so too will the fans who will have ample opportunity to get within an arm's length of their favourite players and the rest of the game's all-time greats.
While it's next to impossible to predict the winning score, it's a given that the world's best senior golfers will accumulate plenty of birdies much to the delight of Quebec's golf enthusiasts who are expected to surpass 50,000 for the week. More than 400 volunteers will also be present to partake in this event.
Golf Greats Prepare to Take on Quebec's La Tempete
"This is a big deal for Quebec City," says general manager and PGA of Canada professional Andre Raymond, who has been at La Tempete since the course opened in 2005. "In addition to a great week of golf, we anticipate the economic impact of the tournament to surpass $20 million, a huge benefit for the communities throughout the area."
When asked to describe the course, Raymond was equally passionate. "We have a unique collection of holes here at La Tempete. Holes 1 through 5 are links style; 6,7 and 12-15 are parkland, and the remaining holes are like playing golf in a stadium. The fairways are generous but don't mistake that for being easy. The course is a 'three-in-one experience,' something we're sure the pros and fans will really enjoy."
Story by Grant Fraser, Vacay.ca Writer. To read the rest of the story on Vacay.ca, click here.
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Never fails. After every trip I get wind of some brand new smartphone app that would have made my life easier (or my suitcase lighter). Whether it's destination planning, sharing photos on-the-go, or allowing for a more fluid work flow, here are three amazing new apps you can use to improve life on the go.
Starting with the most annoying of tasks -- packing. Generating a bespoke bundle of of the things one should pack, PackPoint is not another checklist builder. All I need to do is enter the destination, dates, as well as the purpose of the trip...and voila! From there I can edit my agenda to include "morning run," "casual dinner out" and "business meeting" and this handy app tells me what to make room for. packpnt.com
On the go and want access to your media and files stored at home? younity, the personal cloud streaming service is proving to be infinitely useful. Why? Imagine all your devices working as if they were a single device -- allowing access to any file, anytime. younity has made this a reality. Install it on your computers and your music collection, photo albums and video libraries are all there on your iPhone or iPad, regardless of storage. I can show friends in Toronto all of my epic New Zealand panoramas and videos (big files too large for the phone) even when I don't have my laptop with me.
Need one of those images for #FlashbackFriday? No problem. I can easily find the file and post it to Instagram. For those travelling with GoPro cameras, younity is a fantastic way to privately share (peer-to-peer) your videos with family and friends around the world. It's like a digital Swiss Army knife, I can stream my favorite iTunes playlist on the Metro, watch a movie from home at the hotel, print a document at any nearby printer, or email any file at any time. So simple to use and free for any amount of data. getyounity.com
Available for iPhone and Android, Trover was created by the same minds behind Expedia. This "exploration app" helps users discover what's happening around them by using enhanced geo-location technology to curate the best of nearby locations. This app is going to come in handy for taking on Rome during the winter holidays. Taking into account that my partner lived there years ago, navigating one of the world's most beautifully chaotic cities will be a breeze. trover.com
Image courtesy of Photopin.com.
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Brazil. Music, dancing, beaches, and (of course) Carnival. Who hasn’t heard about Brazil? The country has been in the spotlight for the last few years by hosting both the FIFA 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. But Brazil is more than just parties, beaches and supermodels (Hi, Giselle!). It’s also not-so-quietly becoming an economic superpower.
Everyone knows Rio de Janeiro for its Carnival, but Rio is more than that. How much more? We’re glad you asked. Here’s how Brazil is making a statement in every category, including:
Did you know that Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world? It’s bigger than Italy’s! This is according to Brookings, who recently released a report on the country’s economic growth. In the report, it says that Brazil’s economy benefits from a boom in commodity exports, a large amount of regional rivals, and a large network in the developing world.
Why does Rio benefit? Because Rio is the country’s financial capital; not Brasilia, the actual capital. (Think Toronto vs. Ottawa.) The money flows through Rio.
Brazil hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup and we won’t talk about that game against the German team, but the country can redeem itself in 2016. That’s when Rio hosts the 2016 Olympics in less than two years. We know that the Brazilians like sports and like to throw a good party.
Construction for the Olympics is in progress and the questions are already being asked. Will Rio be ready in time? The World Cup raised many questions about how large-scale projects could help or harm the impoverished communities; will the Olympics be different?
According to the World Cities Culture Forum, Rio is using the Olympics as an opportunity to revitalize public spaces and improve basic necessities such as water, sewer, and drainage networks, as well as providing housing. Part of the process includes the creation of a new museum called the Rio de Janeiro Art Museum.
Brazil has a very strong arts culture and according to Forbes, a growing market of art and art collectors. Where can you find out more about Brazil’s art scene? In Rio. This year marks the fourth annual ArtRio, and it serves as Rio’s gateway to the international art community. This isn’t simply a local art fair — works are coming from London, New York and Frankfurt, as well as Rio and Sao Paulo.
Brazil is known for its supermodels, but there is far more to the country than that. Rio is giving Sao Paolo some serious competition as the fashion capital of Brazil. The Business of Fashion took a look at the most recent Brazilian Fashion Week and found that the big brands were in attendance, but Brazilian designers were determined to make a mark in their own country in an economy that has seen a decline in sales.
Where Brazil fashion does really well is in swimwear. In a country that is known for beautiful beaches, many designers specialized in swimwear, designing some of the best (and said to be most flattering) swimsuits in the world.
We couldn’t talk about Brazil without mentioning tourism. Between the culture, the Carnival, the beaches and the stunning scenery, you can find always find something to do. Brazil.org says that the country is the most visited in South America. Some of the top tourist attractions are the Amazon and, of course, the beaches. Ecotourism is also becoming a big draw to the country thanks to its biodiversity.
Brazil and Rio are going to be in the news a lot for the next two years. If you’re planning to visit, now is the time to book your trip!
Sometimes your destination isn’t the only thing to look forward to while on the road, as the picturesque views along the way can make the travel that much more exciting. Some of the best and most memorable road trips can take you to places you hadn’t even thought of.
Often, just driving around, getting lost, or heading somewhere new and unexplored is just as thrilling as some of the most popular destinations. Here are a few places where you can just enjoy the ride and go cruising:
In the southeastern corridor of Alberta, there lies a hotbed of paleontological intrigue and awesome. This area of the province is known for its rugged terrain and is home to some of the most important and famous dinosaur fossil discoveries. Adventure and excitement are practically built into the trek around the region. It runs along the Red Deer River, which, in spite of the rust-coloured craggy views, eventually leads you to a quiet spot down by the river. Drive along roads with curved rock formations that are both ominous and cool looking. It makes it easy to imagine what it was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth!
The road to Algonquin Park, Ontario’s provincial playground for city and small town folk alike, is both serene and incredibly rich. The Zen feeling of cottage country may be on the horizon as you drive past roads lined with thickets of trees, brush, and small lakes and rivers. Weathered rock formations and dirt paths mark your journey as you head through quaint small towns and experience Northern Ontario’s unique beauty. It’s easy to get lost in this backcountry by taking one wrong turn, but it’ll likely just add to your adventure.
The hubbub around Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge and its tech-booming businesses have many flocking to its suburban sprawl. While the cities may be a haven for new business and new families, a short trip outside the city limits will bring you to the wonders of Wellington County and its plush farmlands. This day escape is just east of Waterloo County, where the northern part is home to old-country Mennonite families and farmers, and has the same sort of rural texture. It feels untouched; unmarred by the towns around it. One turn off the highway can take you into its green glory and the next turn can take you right back to city life.
Stretching across the province of Ontario from one Great Lake (Ontario) to another (Huron) the Niagara Escarpment encompasses so much to see and do. Driving along highway 401 and QEW can feel routine, so head west to Orangeville and take a couple of turns off the highway to experience lush Southwestern Ontario countryside. If you’d rather head south you’ll discover the hidden brushes and valleys of Niagara-on-the-Lake, where you can weave through the vineyards that pepper the escarpment.
Film festivals aren't for everyone, we understand. Luckily Netflix Canada understands, too.
The Toronto Film Festival starts up again this week, and the city's streets are about to be filled with celebrities, film buffs and
stalkers festival enthusiasts. This is obviously not the ideal place to be if you hate crowds and lineups. Ditto if you live on the other side of Canada -- it's not exactly easy (or cheap) to hop on a plane and come to the city.
Netflix Canada has a bunch of past TIFF films (some of which even went on to win Oscars) ready for streaming. We've partnered up to showcase them for you, especially if you'd rather enjoy some high-calibre films from the comfort of your own home. Trust us, we do not blame you.
(For complete and total TIFF coverage, head over to Moviefone Canada -- we'll be covering the Fest from top to bottom.)
"American Beauty" (Available Sept. 1)
While struggling to endure his tightly wound wife, an unfulfilling job and a surly teen, a man becomes obsessed with one of his daughter's friends.
As Cindy and Dean muddle through their languishing marriage, they hearken back to the golden days when life was filled with possibility and romance.
"12 Years a Slave" (Available Sept. 1)
The autobiography of a black man who was abducted from New York and sold into slavery in the mid-1800s serves as the basis for this historical drama.
Ambitious New York City ballet dancer Nina lands the lead in "Swan Lake" but soon thinks her dreams of stardom are threatened by a rival ballerina.
When a cantankerous old boozer thinks he's won a magazine sweepstakes prize, his son reluctantly takes a road trip with him to claim the fortune.
A Hollywood stuntman/getaway driver is lured from his isolated life by a lovely neighbour -- until her violent husband is released from prison.
A pair of actors tests their friendship when they set off on a foodie road trip across England.
Sex-addicted Brandon struggles to control his ever-desperate behaviour when his younger, unstable sister invades his life.
A family man, determined to protect his wife and deaf daughter from impending disaster, builds an impenetrable storm shelter in his backyard.
Years after being reunited, multinational lovers Jesse and Celine struggle with their faded romance in this second sequel to the drama "Before Sunrise."
After four college girls rob a restaurant to fund their spring break in Florida, they get entangled with a weird dude with his own criminal agenda.
Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but events soon conspire against the couple, and their dream RV holiday takes a very wrong turn.
See what else is streaming on Netflix Canada in September