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Canada Travel news and blog articles from The Huffington Post

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    Stephen Underhay hasn't been in the photography game for very long, but what he's captured so far is very impressive.

    He picked up his first DSLR camera last year, in advance of a trip to Africa, and hasn't put it down since.

    The firefighter, who currently calls Red Deer home, says he rarely spends time inside — rather, Underhay likes to get outside to travel, hike and enjoy the allure of the natural world around him. And that philosophy is evident in his breathtaking photos, which capture a still and tranquil beauty that anyone who knows Alberta has certainly experienced on a mountaintop or in the middle of a prairie field.

    Stephen was kind enough to answer some questions for us and share a few of his photos:

    Q: Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

    A: I grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I went to college in Vermilion, Alberta in 2010 and have lived in this province ever since! I’ve spent time working in the Hinton/Jasper area, several years working in northern Alberta and moved to Red Deer in 2013 to start working for the Red Deer Fire Department.

    Q: How long have you been shooting photos?

    A: I started quite recently! I bought my first second-hand DSLR in October of last year in preparation for a trip to Africa. I’ve done a lot of travelling, but with my family and friends being so concerned going to that part of the world I wanted to do my best to convey the beauty of it’s people, landscapes and wildlife. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Check out more of Stephen's work. Interview continues below:

    Q: Where is your favorite place to shoot photos?

    A: Locally, I’ve been spending a lot of time along the David Thompson Highway. The Abraham Lake area has so much to offer and is explored so little that I’m having a blast capturing my time hiking and camping there.

    Q: What about Alberta inspires you?

    A: Alberta’s diverse landscapes inspire me the most. I’ve had great opportunities to explore a lot of places and from the boreal forests to the north, great plains to the south, prairies to the east and the Rockies to the west, all four corners have something different and unique to offer.

    Q: What's the most unusual, remarkable thing you've ever had happen while taking photos?

    A: Seeing how camerawork can bring people together has been the most remarkable thing I’ve learned so far. Finding that people excited to bundle up and join you for a sleepless night of watching the stars to connecting with you from across the world for a moment you’ve captured. That was something I didn’t expect when I first picked up a camera.

    Q: Have you ever found yourself if a scary situation while shooting?

    A: I think any time you’re photographing wildlife there’s the possibility to become a little nervous. A lion in the middle of the road that refused to move created an uncomfortable standoff. Getting charged by a bighorn sheep on Mount Ernest Ross a few weeks ago definitely got my blood pumping too.

    Q: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to up their photography game?

    A: Broaden your style! Try everything: portraits, wildlife, landscape, astrophotography. Applying techniques from all types of photography will help you develop your own style.

    Q: What do you like to do when you're not taking photos?

    A: I spend as much time as I can outside. Whether it’s travelling halfway across the world for safari or surfing, a few hours into the Rockies for a weekend of hiking, or even taking in a beautiful sunrise over a cup of coffee near the city.

    Q: Is there anything else we should know?

    A: While I’ve mostly been developing my skills through adventure and night photography, I’m starting to experiment shooting portraits, events and am even the second shooter on several weddings this summer!

    You can check out more of Stephen's work on Instagram.

    Are you interested in being Alberta's Photographer of the Month? Email us and we can chat!

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    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Nassau Bahamas is one of those destinations you want to return to again and again. It's my third time visiting the island and the second time going with my son Noah, age nine. I carefully plan our itinerary to maximize our four-night stay -- one adventure per day! It's the perfect destination for an extended long weekend.

    People To People

    When I travel I want to learn about the culture and individual people that surround me in the destination I have suddenly landed in. Hopefully this curiosity is something my little traveler will also grow to appreciate. I was eager to participate in Bahama's People To People. This free program allows visitors to experience Bahamian culture and learn about the history of the land directly from the people, in this case a volunteer ambassador. The program provides visitors with a rich cultural experience off the beaten path. Noah and I are vegan and are fortunate to be paired up with a veggie family -- in fact, they own a veggie restaurants in Nassau called Better Living. From the moment we meet our extremely kind host we like her. She happily teaches us about the 700 islands; the many dialects of the approximately 32 that are inhabited; the new farming agriculture; her personal family history; incredible beaches; cuisine; and the generosity of those that live here. We are invited to her mom's house for lunch where we meet her extended family; she is one of eleven children. It's like visiting long lost relatives and getting caught up. Noah and I eagerly devour a delicious authentic Bahamian meal including vegan corn bread! We sit around a large wood table and learn about each other's lives. Noah interacts with the kids and I speak with the adults about life in Nassau. We are sad to leave but Noah is comforted with a parting gift -- scrumptious corn bread to bring home -- and the promise that we are welcome back another time.


    Nassau Straw Market

    Simply hop in a cab and ask for the straw market. It's world famous and known throughout the island. Located on popular Bay Street in downtown Nassau, it's ironically smack in the middle of high-end shops. But Noah and I prefer authentic Bahamian crafts, baskets, bracelets, straw hats, and woodcarvings over diamonds, Gucci and Prada any day. We walk up and down the aisles as everyone tries selling us their merchandise. It's Noah's first time in a market like this but he quickly gets the hang of it -- if you look at anything for longer than a few seconds someone will try to sell it to you. We meet a kind jolly man making woodcarvings and he offers us a massive wooden fish that would never fit in the airline's carry on baggage allowance. I politely decline but talk to him instead. The straw market is a great place to purchase gifts and support the local industry. Noah selects homemade treasures for everyone on our list. But I am a nervous and shy negotiator so chances are you can get a better deal than I did on our colorful Bahamian woven bracelets and straw baskets.


    Pirates Of Nassau

    Lets face it, pirates are cool, especially if you are a kid. Eye patches, swords, hidden gold, and stories at sea are captivating. The Pirates of Nassau is an interactive museum for kids and adults. It reveals the history of the golden age of piracy starting in 1690 and the legendary pirate Blackbeard that impacted Nassau's past. We begin on a moonlit dock, board a replica ship called "Revenge," explore lower decks, catch glimpses of artwork and life like images recreating pirate history, and check out real objects on display relating to piracy. The self-guided tour takes 30 to 45 minutes, or faster if your child is scared of pirates and very dark hallways that resemble "the scariest haunted place ever." Ahoy Mate!



    On our Bahamas trip in 2012 my little guy could not be persuaded to dunk his head underwater, let alone venture into the ocean without desperately holding onto me. But now with three years of swimming lessons behind him Noah is ready to dive in. Stuart Cove's Aqua Adventure is a great option for water-based activities. This family operated company believes in sharing the underwater world with others and offers free hotel pick-ups from all Nassau resorts. (Tip: Bring towels, change of clothes, sunblock lotion, snacks, and a waterproof camera!)

    As animal lovers Noah and I never attend Marine Parks or Aquariums so we are excited to see fish in open water -- the humane alternative. Before stepping onto their custom snorkeling boat appropriately called the Zambezi I am asked to sign a release form. I start sweating when I see the word "Sharks!" I ask Noah if he still wants to go but he's already on the boat. (He is the only kid of 23 passengers). To ease my worries I tighten his life vest.


    The tour makes three stops; a shallow reef, another shallow reef or shipwreck, and yeah, you guessed it, a shark location. With my waterproof camera dangling from my wrist and our toes peeking out of our flippers we flop along the deck towards the welcoming ocean. The other passengers dive in like pros. We linger cautiously. The captain is super cool and helps us adjust our masks and snorkels. I ease into the water and it's another ten minutes before Noah dunks in his first flipper, then his second. Finally we are both holding onto the yellow rope attached to the boat and bob along in the majestic Atlantic. When Noah eventually dunks his face in and sees the gentle fish swimming his expression says it all. "I am breathing underwater!" he gurgles excitedly through his snorkel. We hold hands and watch fish swarm around us. Blackies with neon blue strips, aqua greenies, orange fins, and coral -- we invaded Finding Nemo! Our next snorkeling stop is equally as magical and before I know it we are heading to the final destination, and hopefully not our last on earth!

    We have every intention of snorkeling with sharks, but truth be told once we see they are actually, um, sharks, we kind of chicken out. Noah sits on the end of the boat and I "risk my life" leaning over the side snapping photos of the Caribbean Reefs looking for their next meal. Of course these small sharks and even the bigger ones have no intention of eating human flesh, all they want is their natural diet of fish. It is the humans that threaten sharks existence on this planet, not the reverse. I am thrilled that Noah has the opportunity to see them in the ocean where they belong, not in a small tank.


    We already want to go snorkeling again! Maybe next time we will be more daring. Or if I get my wish we'll visit Exuma and swim with wild pigs in the waters surrounding Bahama's Pig Island. As least their snouty teeth are not as sharp.


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Years ago, when I was young and reckless, I backpacked solo through Syria. One morning, at the bus station in Homs, I had to make a spur of the moment decision; I could go west, towards the sea and Lebanon, or I could go east, to the ancient city of Palmyra.

    I was feeling low, constipated, lonely. Syria was a challenging place to travel even then, particularly when you're alone and female.

    I turned west. I never saw Palmyra.

    The 2000 year old city is now in the hands of ISIS, who have shown their inhumanity in the wanton destruction of priceless artifacts across the Middle East. I could never have known, that cold and drizzly morning, that a cultural jewel like Palmyra could cease to exist. How could I have known that would be my only chance.

    Most of us endeavour to live a life without regret, and this decision will forever be one of mine.

    While Palmyra's fate still hangs in the balance, there are other treasures that are already gone, but ones I was lucky enough to see and experience first hand.

    This story is a snapshot of what I saw, what I felt, and what you'll never get a chance to know for yourself.

    Mid-winter, 2006, a week after my 23rd birthday, I cross the Turkish border into Syria, heading for the country's second largest city, Aleppo.

    I feel like I'm embarking on a true adventure, going places my friends and family are unlikely to follow me. Little do I know that nine years later following in my footsteps won't just be audacious, it will be impossible.

    That first day in Syria I wander through the medieval market, the souk al-Madina. I try but fail, to hide my wonder and astonishment from the locals. In the meat souk the entrails of unknown animals are displayed in clear bowls, ready to be dangled into ordinary plastic shopping bags for a waiting customer. A cow carcass, stripped down to the bloody bone, hangs by its pelvis next to the street while a woman in a black chador walks past without giving it a second glance.


    In late September, 2012, a large part of the souk al-Madina, which was the largest covered market in the world, was destroyed by fire as a result of fighting between rebels and the government forces of Bashar al-Assad.

    I wander through the spice souk where new, intoxicating smells dance across my skin and invite me to follow them. In the gold souk the shops radiate with the brilliance of a pirate's buried treasure. Under the antique stone vaults men in thick sweaters smoke constantly while presiding over their display cabinets. In the enclosed, 15th century market time has paused in a moment that passed into history long ago.

    But even without a view of the sky I can tell it's getting late, and I'm getting progressively more lost.

    Finally, I find an exit and I emerge from the labyrinthine market into the deepening dusk close to the city's Great Mosque. It's pearl-coloured walls are illuminated from below so that it seems like a serene, opalescent ship gliding through the otherwise grey city.

    Rising above the mosque's courtyard, the 50 foot Seljuk minaret stands watch. From the tower's elegantly carved windows the salat al-maghrib, the sunset call to prayer, has just rung out over Aleppo's rooftops.

    In March, 2013, the tower was damaged by artillery fire and it collapsed into rubble. The minaret was built in 1095; it stood over the city for 918 years.


    Over the last five years, across this complicated country, it's history has been ravaged. The Roman ruins at Apamea, which once felt the footsteps of Cleopatra, have been damaged and looted by treasure hunters. The 900-year-old Crusader castle, Krak des Chevaliers, has been hit by airstrikes and its architecture marred by bullet holes.

    Priceless, irreplaceable, pieces of a country's cultural heart; I saw these beautiful places before war scarred them or erased them from existence.

    And every day I consider myself damn lucky.

    At first, when I read about the destruction of Syria's treasures in the news, the collateral damage of a grim and punishing civil war, I felt relieved that my home, my treasures were safe.

    But that's a lie. The inspiration and the drive to create things beyond ourselves is an instinct that lives within everyone, regardless of geography. Building monuments to honour that which is divine, the passion to shape the world according to our own ideas of harmony and beauty; this too is common to all people.

    Eventually, I realized that what I read about in the news wasn't distant or irrelevant, but the destruction of my home, my treasures. It sounds trite and obvious but the true understanding of that relationship hit me like a thunderbolt.

    On my trip to Syria I touched the soul of a country whose past and suffering I can never understand. I walked in it's sacred places.

    I took pictures.

    And when I was done I got on a plane and came home to a safe, prosperous and ordinary life.

    How lucky am I.



    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    While Vancouver is a nice place to live, it's among the world's most "mind-numbingly boring" cities, says a columnist with The Economist magazine.

    In the outlet's "Gulliver" business travel feature this week, the unidentified writer laments cities losing their edge and adventure because of gentrification, safe streets, and efficient transit systems.

    "Cities strive to become nicer places in which to live. Yet the more they succeed the less interesting they become," says the blog titled "Torporville."

    The writer mentions participating in the Economist's liveability rankings, which has consistently given Vancouver high ratings. The study measures crime, transportation, and housing stock.

    "Vienna, Vancouver and Geneva always seemed to do well. Pleasant cities, yes, but mind-numbingly boring," says the columnist. "What right-minded person would rank Vienna a better city than Rio, or Vancouver preferable to Paris?"

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    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    If travelling gives you a sense of adventure and culture, travelling alone gives you courage, independence and excitement.

    In the video above by Buzzfeed, female travellers recall the trips they took themselves and the impact they had on their lives. Scared, proud, insecure, excited: each woman in the video describes the wide variety of emotions felt while travelling alone.

    "Bad things can happen anywhere, so be prepared, be knowledgeable, but don't psych yourself out of things"

    Regardless of gender, travelling alone can leave a person feeling very vulnerable. In an email to The Huffington Post Canada, travel advisors The Divine Destination Collection, explained travellers can take steps to prevent theft during their trip. From tying luggage with twist ties that act as back up security to taking those Canadian flags off your bags, the trip curators say logos and flags are a clear tip off that you're travelling from another country.

    But if you're still too scared to seek out a solo adventure, discover six more reasons why travelling alone is a terrific idea.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    If you suffer from back issues like I do then your even more conscious on how to stay back healthy while travelling. I usually travel with Pilates stretch bands and have a routine of exercises that I follow. I've also gone for chiropractic treatments if I feel its necessary before embarking on a trip. On the road, uncomfortable car seats to small, cramped spaces on airplanes, buses, or trains, travel puts a serious strain on backs and necks.

    Here are a few travel tips that can work to reduce or avoid back pain and discomfort while travelling:

    Bring Your Own Back Support

    Always be sure to provide support behind your lower back to reduce lower back pain while flying. While you can bring a back roll or lumbar support, it's also possible to create this yourself with a few airplane pillows or your own travel pillow. In a pinch, a jacket, sweater or blanket rolled up can also provide support for the inward curve of the low back.

    Be Careful When Lifting Luggage

    When lifting a heavy item, back strain often occurs near the end of your range of motion. For this reason, experts recommend moving slowly when lifting a heavy piece of luggage and breaking the action into smaller parts whenever possible. For example, when lifting a bag into an overhead bin, it can first be lifted to the top of the seat, then into the bin in a separate motion. Alternatively, you can simply ask for help, especially when grabbing luggage off the baggage claim belt or when lifting carry-on luggage into the overheard compartment of an airplane.

    Keep Your Knees at a Right Angle to Avoid Low Back Stress

    If your feet are not on firm ground while sitting, additional stress is transferred to your low back. Therefore, if your seat is too high, try to rest your feet on a footrest (or something that can act as a footrest) to keep your knees at a right angle and avoid stressing the low back. Having good posture is also important, so be sure your feet, back and neck are always in alignment. This is particularly important during long-haul flights or long car rides.

    Always Pack Light

    A light suitcase with wheels is always the best packing option. Don't pack more than you need, and consider how items can serve double duty while you're on the road. These days, it's even possible to avoid having luggage at all by shipping most of what you'll need ahead of time and carrying just one small bag on your trip.

    Don't Forget to Move Around

    Again, even for perfectly healthy backs and spines, sitting in one position for extended periods of time stiffen the back muscles and can put stress on the spine. While travelling, it's important to get up and move around as much as possible. Stretch your legs on the way to the bathroom or stand for a while (if possible) in the galley area of the plane.

    Movement actually stimulates blood flow, and blood brings important nutrients and oxygen to the structures of the back. This helps prevent soft tissues in the low back from stiffening, which is what causes aching after periods of prolonged sitting.


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  • 05/27/15--09:33: How to Eat in Florence
  • 2015-05-27-1432685416-9765200-IMG_0002.jpg

    Dreamy stories and legendary history as old as mankind itself make up the city of Firenze. Warm and friendly, the suave Florentines are cultured and rather proud of the Italian haute couture.

    Florentine people like to eat well. They love their foods; especially pastas, pizzas and gelato, all prepared simply with local fresh produce yet unbelievably delicious. Walking the streets, it seemed that everyone was enjoying an aromatic coffee of choice with their bite-size patisserie extraordinaire or a gelato in every flavour imaginable. No doubt a "foodie's" paradise! Cafés, trattorias, ristorantes and self-serve eateries continue to line the city streets in abundance. Coffee bars often offer freshly squeezed orange juice and incredible mini sandwiches unparalleled to other cities. Even the bread stuffed with incredibly imaginative fillings taste magical.


    Firenze is proud to have its own cuisine, a few regional specialties. Some of the popular must-try dishes include the ragu, a meat sauce with rabbit and boar topping the list beside the more commonplace beef and lamb. This served on a bed of fresh pappardelle pasta, locally prepared soft pasta made up of egg yolks which deliciously melts in the mouth! One cannot leave Florence without trying their local cheese, stracciatella, (straccia means torn apart), it is made up of yummy strands of torn mozzarella that is soaked in fresh cream. Just imagine this served fresh while it is still warm, oozing with yummy goodness, it can simply leave one breathless for more. Served on savoury puff pastry or pasta, it is generally not matched with a sweet. It can be found within the local charcuterie as it proudly sits there reveling in glory besides the bountiful display of assorted olives, fresh artichokes and roasted local vegetables like the red peppers, zucchini and eggplants. Italian Parma, the king of cured meats, generally dictates the culinary hierarchy of the particular deli one is visiting.



    Pane Toscana is the local bread which is prepared without salt. In the Middle Ages, taxes on salt were so high that it was more expensive than gold! Tuscans stopped adding salt to their food and have carried on this tradition in their bread to date. The crostini is another local favourite. Roughly chopped liver pate is topped with caramelised onions. The other choice of topping being the Bruschetta, fresh sweet cherry tomatoes, basil and chopped onion with olive oil generously drizzled all over. It is simply the fresh produce that makes it worth salivating.


    Cantuccini is a local variation of the biscotti and unusually delightful. Prepared with the secret ingredients of scrapings from the apricot kernel and a touch of orange zest, it is traditionally made with almonds. Variations that are also delicious and worthy of a taste test include baby figs. Not to be mixed up with the Tuscan delicacy Brutti Ma Buoni (literally translated to "ugly but good".) This is a highly regarded cookie and well known for the inclusion of a variety of the locally grown pine nuts, almonds and hazelnuts.

    Florence may be centuries old but the pride and joy of the locals is apparent when you see the city streets being scrubbed as the sun goes down in preparation for the local violinist to serenade you beneath your window at the crack of dawn!


    Despite modern amenities offered to the avid traveller, the city remains romantically charming. From the shops on the Ponte Vecchio displaying their sparkling jewelry in ancient assorted showcases literally padlocked at days end, to the super array of heavily carved polished doors, tall and shiny framing the entrance to old stone buildings dating centuries from an era gone by. Shiny and intricate brass knockers adorn these wooden barks of glory making it almost impossible to choose the most beautiful one.


    The many piazzas remain intact with Piazza Repubblica being the center of focus. It is lined with street artists, musicians, cafes and all sorts of other vendors which create a buzz that is hard to beat, making it the epicenter of Florence. Piazzalle Michelangelo standing high on its table top undoubtedly adorns this magical city.


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Big-name destinations like the Rocky Mountains and Niagara Falls get a lot of attention from visitors to Canada, but there are plenty of other less iconic spots in the country that deserve more love.

    Since the falling dollar will encourage a lot of Canadians to travel in their own country this summer, we thought it would be a good idea to find out what those under-appreciated places are. We asked the people who know the provinces best, representatives of the provincial tourism agencies who can list every nook and cranny within their provinces' borders.

    When asked for their favourite hidden gems, they were passionate with their responses and, in several cases, found it hard to single out just one. Here are their choices:

    British Columbia: Nelson

    Few provinces are as blessed with as many amazing tourist attractions as British Columbia. Canada's western-most province has natural beauty in abundance and Vancouver consistently tops international polls as one of the world's great cities, so what else is there to see and do? Josie Heisig of Tourism BC thinks that one place that is under the radar in her province is the town of Nelson.

    "To me, Nelson oozes charm," said Heisig. "It has such an eclectic mix of residents; young families, true hippies and draft dodgers all live in this uber-picturesque community on the western arm of Kootenay Lake."

    The town in the eastern part of BC boasts some impressive heritage brick buildings and is home to many fine restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops. It's also a great place to go for outdoor adventures during any season and you can relax at hot springs that are a short drive away.

    Alberta: Waterton Lakes

    Banff and Jasper -- and the road connecting the two -- boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, but it can get crowded. If you want the same spectacular scenery without traffic jams, there's another Rocky Mountain spot that doesn't get nearly as much attention. That spot is Waterton Lakes National Park.

    About three hours by car south of Calgary and bordering the United States, many people claim Waterton is like what Banff was 60 years ago. Ashley Meller of Tourism Alberta says it is "pristine, unhurried and naturally gorgeous."

    "With only a single highway leading into the park it's almost unheard of to leave the park without having sighted some kind of fauna first-hand," says Meller.

    Saskatchewan: Northern Saskatchewan

    Most people think Saskatchewan is a boring, flat prairie that you quickly drive across on the way to somewhere else, but the reality is the province has plenty to offer and, once you start heading north, the geography dramatically changes.

    Jodi Holliday of Tourism Saskatchewan votes for Northern Saskatchewan as the province's most under-appreciated region. The top two-thirds of the province is mostly boreal forest and not at all like the stereotypical wheat and canola fields to the south.

    Prince Albert National Park is the crown jewel of the area and is famous for outdoor activities and the location of Grey Owl's cabin. If you like history, you can tour the Loon Lake battlefield where the Northwest Resistance of 1885 came to an end. It was the last military conflict on Canadian soil.

    Music fans also head north for the Ness Creek Music Festival in July and the Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Festival in August.

    Manitoba: Parkland

    Cathy Senecal of Travel Manitoba said there was great debate in their office about what part of the province deserved more love from visitors, but one place that they all believed was under-visited was Parkland, an area in the western part of Manitoba.

    In this land of horse whisperers, you will find the gorgeous natural scenery of Riding Mountain National Park and Duck Mountain Provincial Park. In Inglis, you will find that iconic symbol of the prairies, the grain elevator, but you won't find just one. The town is the site of the last row of five left standing in Canada.

    Many of the people who settled this land were immigrants from eastern Europe and their historic churches dot the Parkland map, including the oldest Ukrainian Catholic church in Canada and the oldest Romanian Church, too.

    Base your exploration of the region in the charming town of Dauphin.

    Story by Mark Stachiew, writer. Read more here.


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Alberta creationist Edgar Nernberg may not believe in the existence of 60-million-year-old fossils, but that's exactly what he came across while excavating a Calgary basement recently.

    Nernberg, who sits on the board of directors of Big Valley’s Creation Science Museum, works for a local excavation company and was digging out a basement in the community of Evanston when he found five fish fossils in a block of sandstone, reports CBC News.

    fossil calgary
    (A look at the basement pit where Nernberg made his discovery. Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary)

    "When the five fish fossils presented themselves to me in the excavator bucket, the first thing I said was you’re coming home with me, the second thing was I better call a paleontologist," Nernberg said in a statement.

    fossil calgary
    (The site where Nernberg made his discovery. Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary)

    Nernberg called Darla Zelenitsky, a paleontologist with the University of Calgary.

    "Most people would have overlooked these — when these were uncovered, Edgar right away recognized them," Zeletinsky told the Calgary Sun.

    "He's apparently interested in fossils, and that's probably how he saw them. An ordinary person might have just seen blobs in the rock."

    fossil calgary
    (Sandstone block containing fossil fish. Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary)

    Nernberg, being the creationist he is, doesn't believe the fossils are that old. Instead, he subscribes to the belief that the Earth is around 6,000 years old.

    He told the Calgary Sun his discovery "hasn't changed his mind" about his beliefs.

    "There's no dates stamped on these things," he joked.

    fossil calgary
    (Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary)

    The University of Calgary will unveil the five fossils Thursday. They say the fossils date back to the time just after the dinosaurs were wiped out and are quite a rare and significant find for Alberta.

    fossil calgary
    (Photo courtesy Darla Zelenitsky, University of Calgary)

    According to the U of C, the fossils will eventually make their way to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

    Nernberg, however, says he'll try to snag a cast of one for the Creation Museum.


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    I was recently in Toronto to interview John Tory, the 65th and current mayor of my adoptive hometown. After an interesting and stimulating exchange, I left his office with a greater appreciation of this thriving city.

    Thinking about my return to New York, I couldn't help but make comparisons. An age-old saying came to mind. "The grass is always greener on the other side." In my case, was it greener on the other side of the border?

    Not long ago I discussed this adage with my New York friends who refer to Toronto as, "that clean, friendly city with the crazy mayor" (notably chronicled in the biography, Crazy Town - the Rob Ford Story). Their conversation quickly turned to how "dirty and busy" their city is, before ending with conviction, "But I love it here and would never leave."

    North of the border, Torontonians gush about how much they love New York, especially the ease of getting around, something their city sorely lacks. However, even those frustrated with Toronto's woeful public and expressway systems readily admit, "But I couldn't live anywhere else."

    Loving our city, wherever we are, is the perfect introduction to my interview with Mayor John Tory, as I share my top seven reasons to appreciate Toronto.

    1. Passion
    Mayor Tory, in office since late 2014, is passionate about his city. A successful lawyer, political strategist, and businessman, this new mayor has a mission and is busy planning and executing his vision.

    Our conversation started with a question I'm sure he anticipated. "Did the former mayor, Rob Ford, have any positive impact on Toronto by putting the city on the front page of every major newspaper around the world?" I tentatively asked Mayor Tory.

    "None, whatsoever," he replied. "What I find is that when people raise this matter with me, they either roll their eyes or laugh in disbelief. I'm not sure how much harm it did, but it wasn't good. Bad publicity can hurt you. I don't think it did a lot of harm, but it caused people to wonder how a big city like this could have a person like that -- behaving in such a manner." Listening to Mayor Tory defend his city with such passion reminded me of a father watching out for the well being of his family, especially his children.


    2. Diversity
    With a population of 2.79 million, (5.5 million in the GTA -- Greater Toronto Area) Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Known for its diverse neighbourhoods (140 different languages or dialects) each is proudly named after it's "founding" immigrants: Little Italy, Portugal and India; Greektown and Chinatown are the most prominent. Even those nationalities that have historically been at odds with each other, now share a mutual respect of beliefs, faith, nationality, politics, sexual orientation and social standing.

    Fifty percent of these residents were born outside Canada, many escaping turmoil and prosecution in their own country. Mayor Tory explained, "We live together - people of diverse origins come to Toronto to start a new life. They come here, enriching our society with their vibrant culture."

    This summer more than 250,000 visitors will experience first-hand a real taste of the city's diversity, as Toronto hosts the 2015 Pan American and Parapan Games, the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada.

    3. Living Green
    The Economist ranks Toronto the fourth "most liveable city in the world," based on culture, stability, health care, education, infrastructure and the environment. Siemens Global Website has listed Toronto the ninth among "greenest North American cities."

    Walking around the city, one must agree and applaud the many Torontonians actively involved in Community Environment Day events for recycling or safe disposal. With easily accessible public information sessions put in place by the City of Toronto, this is one of many successful community efforts.

    Toronto ranks fourth in North America for its performance in waste management, with a forty four per cent recycling rate. It is commendable to note that city and community efforts have a proven success rate at a time of global environmental degradation.

    4. An Ambitious Transit Dream
    When I mentioned, on social media, my upcoming interview with Mayor Tory, transit complaints charged with frustration poured in. "The subway is horrible" and "the Gardiner Expressway (informally called 'the Gardiner') is always closed for maintenance," were the most common grievances.

    Wondering if it really was that bad, or that irregular, my question was answered on the drive from the airport to downtown Toronto. Neon signage declared the only direct route to the city, the Gardiner, was closed!

    Asking the Mayor about this "expressway" and whether it will be demolished or not, he answered, "I don't want to do something that will contribute negatively to the people in the city and the traffic. There will be continued deliberations to come."

    In the course of my interview, it became clear the mayor is aware of the situation, beginning his term in office with such an ambitious undertaking. We must be patient as those involved, passionate about the cause, continue the progression into sustainable solutions.

    As for public transportation, the Toronto Transit Commission or TTC, I had already noticed modern new streetcars in operation. Mayor Tory spoke about the TTC subway extensions to outlying areas such as Scarborough and York University. He explained with confidence, "We can say to people that we have made a significant difference, and will continue to do so."

    As a topic of personal interest, I asked about the plan to extend Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. I should note here that their resident airline, Porter, currently flies to a limited number of Canadian and American cities. It is a favourite departure and arrival point for business and vacationers alike, offering hassle free travel minutes from downtown Toronto. Mayor Tory was unable to comment as, "[My] son works for the City Center Airport, and commenting on this matter would be a conflict of interest for me."

    The challenge here lays in the environmental impact of this extension and the noise level for the city, which Porter claims is not an issue. A frequent traveller like myself can only hope the extension is granted, making Toronto even more connected to the rest of the world.

    5. Toronto Police Service : To Serve and Protect
    Continuing my interview further down the road, I sat down with Chris Boddy, Staff Sergeant at Toronto Police Service, and Wendy Drummond, Sergeant at Toronto Police Service, to discuss the merits of social media within the force.

    Answering a question about my observation of the Police Service's friendliness and social media savvy, Staff Sergeant Drummond replied, "We are showing the public that underneath the uniform, we are regular people too. It's a different side that traditionally had not been the persona of a police officer."

    It has become a habit of mine to, every so often, check Staff Sergeant Chris Boddy's Twitter account. His messages are powerful, often conveyed with humor. His holiday season advice, albeit tongue-in-cheek, delivered a strong message: "Remember that Santa Claus doesn't deliver gifts in jail," "Don't drink and drive today."

    With an active presence on social media, the Toronto Police Service delivers thousands of postings in this effective manner. To quote the late actor Peter Ustinov, "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Indeed it is.

    The Sergeants further explained that their main focus on social media is to raise awareness. Through this approach they hope to encourage the public to stay safe. By coordinating with authorities, when necessary, it is an opportunity to come together as a community, to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

    Through social media, the Toronto Police Service have transitioned from a position of strict governance, at times feared by the general public, to an approachable, results focused service. Amidst real-time global policing policy conflicts, it is hopeful Toronto will be recognized for its successful observation model: establish a peaceful, understanding bond between a protecting body and its citizens.


    6. Growth
    Looking up, one cannot miss the number of cranes heralding the coming of new life to the city. Toronto is experiencing a steady growth with condominiums popping up like mushrooms, reshaping the city skyline.

    Some find this landscape infuriating, questioning the rapid escalation and venting their disbelief, "Half these condos are empty!". Others understand and applaud the growth potential of residents, employment and commerce into a culturally vibrant city.

    While both views are understandable, which side is greener? One cannot deny the fact that Toronto is growing rapidly, and with growth comes responsibility. "Less time to complain, more time to deal with what complaints are about" would be my advice to take.

    7. Friendliness
    Most visitors agree that Toronto is a very easy going city. Keen travellers themselves, Torontonians are happy to share stories, and a beer or two, with those "on the road." Fitting that Toronto was voted "Second Most Pedestrian Friendly City 2013," by Walkscore.

    It's friendly everywhere in Toronto! Bike-Friendly, Child-Friendly, Pet-Friendly, Eco-Friendly and last year, most Youth-Friendly City among 15-29-year-olds.

    It was certainly youth and senior friendly at Mayor Tory's office. In the waiting area I overheard a staff member assisting an elderly woman who was trying to secure housing. As she did not speak English, the City of Toronto provided her with a translator. From the smile on their faces, it was certainly a friendly conversation, with a positive outcome.

    I was warmly greeted by Mayor Tory and his staff, with a genuine feeling of openness felt during our exchange. We also concluded the interview in true 21st century fashion -- with a handshake and a selfie!

    I left the mayor's office thinking that Toronto is much like youth coming of age - discovering, understanding, advancing, and solving -- a journey enriched with knowledge through experience.

    So readers, be kind to your patch of "lawn." Keep it well watered with pride and understanding, and every so often - check to see if the other side is just as green!



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    It was the most tepid of pot shots -- a throwaway line in an article really about New York City: "Vienna, Vancouver and Geneva always seemed to do well" in livability surveys, chirps pseudonymous travel columnist Gulliver in The Economist. "Pleasant cities, yes, but mind-numbingly boring."

    He wasn't even writing about Vancouver alone, yet our local heroes got their dander up in a hurry. The Province called The Economist "long winded" and "British" before defending the city with the illustrious fact that Vancouver's airport has won "best in North America" six years running. Well then.

    "Adventure is in our DNA!" remonstrated Mayor Gregor Robertson, through freshly Botoxed cheeks. "They're experts on boring!" scolded Premier Christy Clark on Twitter. Cynics might be moved to yawn out "the lady doth protest too much," but it's scarcely worth the bother.

    It was a weird response. Perhaps even provincial. Parochial. No one in Vienna or Geneva seemed to care about their allegedly humiliating inclusion in The Economist. So why Vancouver?

    Well, because we're all afraid it's true, aren't we? Celebrations over winning "most livable city" have dampened in recent years as we seem to excel far more at earning "most unaffordable" and "loneliest" urban trophies. The "livability" award has always been strange anyway considering the vast number of people being displaced by Local Area Plans catered to the wealthy; or the fact that the Vancouver school board loses 600 - 700 students every year due to unsustainable housing and child care costs.

    If you can buy a condominium in a trendy neighbourhood for half a million dollars, I suppose the city is quite lovely: you can shop at Nester's, eat out at the Judas Goat and go for runs along the Seawall. But it's hard to quibble with the boring label when that condo was built on the wreckage of a bulldozed heritage building, your favourite restaurant is indistinguishable from any other minimalist exercise in slow food pioneerism, and everyone you ever meet is exactly, exactly like you.

    Gulliver's mournful gestures toward "grit" and "danger" are obnoxious and entitled. But its lack of muggings and assaults is not why Vancouver is boring. It's boring for the same reason it is unaffordable and lonely: the city is built on an ethos of boundless consumerism and simulated, gormless culture.

    The proof is in the Portlandia archetypes that have come to define the city: a Lamborghini with an N in the rear window; a lumbersexual wearing $300 boots; stand-up paddleboard yoga; and, of course, a multi-million dollar house tailored to look like the century-old home it demolished. These clichés are so entrenched it is a cliché to even list them.

    It's hard to deny that Vancouver has taken a hatchet to anything interesting with admirable gusto. Last summer, the RCMP made it a special project to crack down on illicit activity on Wreck Beach, the very illicitness that makes it special. There was that awkwardness when even the artistic entrepreneurs who tried to get along with the developers were themselves evicted by bigger and better connected gentrifiers. Gig venues, galleries, media offices and bookshops are closing with such alarming frequency they don't even merit a mention in the press anymore -- and the independent publications that would normally cover the arts are themselves closing up shop.

    I'm not from Vancouver -- and my family was one of the many priced out of the city last year -- but what excites me about the city isn't the diversity of overpriced restaurants and $10 pints of craft-brewed beer. It's the activism of groups like the famous Woodward squat or Transportation not Deportation, who got Translink to end the despicable practice of turning over undocumented detainees to Canadian Border Services.

    I much prefer to walk down by the banks of the Fraser River in Marpole than the sanitized, varnished Seawall in False Creek. I get excited by vibrant, local media like The Mainlander, Megaphone or SadMag rather than the masturbatory and soulless Vancouver is Awesome. I love impromptu May Day parades and 20 years of marching for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.

    But this city is not built for these things. Indeed, it has become increasingly hostile to their flourishing.

    Vancouver loves to bask in the shine of its immense natural beauty -- and oftentimes "shine" is all the city has. We see it reflected back at us from our mayor's illustrious skin and the bay windows on the mansions dotting the North Shore mountains.

    But it takes no imagination to enjoy a city carved out of a Pacific rainforest on the shore of the Coast Mountains. All it takes is inertia.

    And inertia is boring.


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    From spray-painted giants to a giant poodle, there's no question that Vancouver is home to a colourful collection of public art.

    It's debatable if the pieces are equally loved, but they certainly are eye-catching.

    The Guardian's readers certainly think so, anyway. Three Vancouver pieces made it onto the British newspaper's roundup of standout urban art from around the world.

    The city is in good company, making the list alongside other metropolises like Berlin, Chicago, and Istanbul.

    You may recognize the Vancouver installations, but perhaps wonder about their origins or symbolism. So, we put together a handy guide to some of our favourites:

    What did we miss?

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    Good things come in small packages.

    It's a tired cliche, but there's some truth in it when you look at how communities rank in MoneySense's Best Places to Live 2015 report.

    MoneySense drew up its rankings by comparing 209 cities across 34 categories using data from Statistics Canada and Environics Analytics.

    It weighed categories as follows:

    best places to live

    This year's champion is Boucherville, Que., a community of around 43,000 just outside Montreal.

    Here are the best and worst places to live in Canada, according to MoneySense:

    In citing Boucherville, MoneySense lauded its "stellar liveability stats" in almost every category, such as income, affordable housing and population growth.

    The city's median household income is $92,253, its unemployment rate sits at 2.88 per cent and its population grew by 6.4 per cent from 2010 to 2015, it noted.

    In taking the top spot, it knocked out St. Albert, Alta., which fell to fourth place in a year that saw numerous other western cities take a plunge in the rankings as oil prices tanked — though the economy isn't the only reason why they dropped.

    At the other end of the scale, New Glasgow, N.S. ranked the lowest out of any cities in the report. Its population fell by 1.9 per cent from 2010 to 2015 and its unemployment rate sits at 10.72 per cent.

    You can find the full rankings of Canadian cities right here.

    MoneySense also separated cities by categories such as "Richest Places," "Best Places to Raise Kids" and "Best Places for New Immigrants."

    Clearly, there are many metrics by which to determine the best or worst place to live.

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    Few things are better than landing the perfect beach hangout on a hot summer's day. But as the weather heats up, finding a spot to lay your towel down for a sunny siesta can be difficult when everyone else has the same idea.

    So, we've rounded up some of the best beaches in B.C. to help you find the perfect place.

    Whether you're looking to surf, take the kids to a water park, or simply lounge on the sand, the province has a stunning variety of beaches to choose from.


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    TORONTO - Wonder what this summer's forecast will look like? The Weather Network suggests some hints for the future lie in the past.

    The network's summer outlook says that conditions across Canada will be very similar to the ones that prevailed during the same time in 2014.

    Chief meteorologist Chris Scott says this means unusually balmy temperatures for British Columbia and the territories.

    The forecast isn't so sunny for Ontario and Quebec, where Scott says temperatures are expected to be cooler than seasonal norms overall.

    Both the Prairie and Atlantic provinces are forecast to see summer temperatures within seasonal averages, with Alberta trending slightly warmer.

    Scott predicts average to below average precipitation across the country, noting that Atlantic Canada's typically active hurricane season is shaping up to be quieter than normal.

    Scott said expectations for a relatively subdued Atlantic storm track are based on activity on the opposite coast.

    A pool of unusually warm Pacific Ocean water near B.C. combined with an El Nino caused by higher water temperatures off the coast of South America are expected to divert storm activity away from the Atlantic region where they usually unfold at this time of year, he said.

    "Hurricanes love heat, so they're more likely to develop in the Pacific as opposed to the Atlantic," Scott said. "It doesn't mean that we're off the hook entirely, it just means that, statistically, there's less of a chance of getting as many storms as we normally see."

    The warmer waters, however, are not expected to bring much precipitation to B.C., where Scott said rainfall is expected to be below seasonal averages for the area.

    Rainfalls are forecast to be closer to seasonal norms throughout the Prairies, which Scott said are likely to experience typical summer temperatures as well.

    Scott described the area from Alberta through Manitoba as a "natural transition zone" to regions where cooler conditions are forecast to prevail.

    Temperatures are anticipated to be slightly below seasonal norms for Ontario and Quebec, largely replicating the weather that local residents experienced last summer.

    "We have to keep in mind here that with summer, when we say below normal, we don't want to convey that it's bad weather," he said. "It's not cold, it's just it's probably a more pleasant summer than some we can see in places like Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal where we can easily see summer temperatures for days on end that are in the mid 30s."

    Scott conceded that one person's balmy breeze may be another's wintry relic, adding that the timing of seasonal warm spells has much to do with shaping the way Canadians perceive the summer as a whole.

    "How do the long weekends turn out? How does that two-week vacation period that most people tend to be off for — the last two weeks of July and maybe the first couple weeks of August— how does that pan out in each individual location? That will really dictate the perception in most people's minds how the summer goes regardless of the forecast for the three-month period."

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    TORONTO - One of Canada's largest hotel companies is buzzing with efforts to provide more homes for bees.

    Fairmont Hotels & Resorts says it will erect 16 additional so-called bee hotels in several cities across Canada to help give the population of the busy pollinators a space to nest.

    Six of the specially built structures will be at Fairmont properties in Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

    The other 10 will be placed in public spaces in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax.

    Fairmont erected its first five bee hotels last year in the Toronto area, including one atop the Royal York near Union Station in the city's downtown.

    The initiative is being done in partnership with Burt's Bees Canada, which makes a variety of bee-related products, as well as other groups devoted to sustaining the bee population.

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    Montreal during the summer is a fabulous place. Festivals and events are happening constantly — and that’s in addition to all the usual activities you can do any time.

    But the best part? For the most part, you can enjoy the best of the city in the summer without spending a dime, thanks to the dozens of events to do for free. The Huffington Post Quebec has listed some in the slideshow below. Might we suggest bookmarking this page now, and using it as an idea bank for the months to come?

    Did we miss any of the best options? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Many people dream of giving it all up to live on a beach or to help make the world a better place. Earl Cahill managed to do both of those things, all by the age of 36.

    Cahill, a Kingston, Ont. native, is a co-owner of Nicaragua's El Coco Loco Eco-Resort, as well as the president of its associated non-profit arm, Waves of Hope. In 2009, he and friends Jamie Collum and Ben Orton opened this vacation spot near Chinandega with one goal: to simplify their lives, while at the same time, working on a project that excited them.

    The trio had travelled through Guatemala together in 2004 after university, and along the way had unsurprisingly decided they wanted to stay.

    "We were adventurous and having the time of our lives, but were at a point where traditional careers in the corporate and/or public sector were imminent," Cahill tells the Huffington Post Canada. "The idea of pooling all of our money in order to purchase land, build a small eco-hotel, and establish a permanent life on the beach sounded much more exciting. As we were experiencing first-hand the difficulties associated with poverty and life in the developing world, the plan of including a development project along with our business venture seemed not only like a good idea, but a responsibility."

    First, however, they had to get the start-up money together. They went back home to build the capital, with Cahill working at Corrections Canada and the others in their own office jobs. They continued to make plans, reconvening to find the ideal place to build their resort a few years later, eventually purchasing almost five acres of land in the small northwestern town of El Manzano Uno. They registered Waves of Hope as a Canadian non-profit in 2008, and from the beginning, made it a priority to include the community in their planning.

    "We didn't want to come in too strongly with big ideas of how we could change their lives, but instead we wanted to learn from the local people and listen to what they hoped for their community and how we could support this," explains Cahill.

    coco loco 1

    Waves of Hope, which was launched with goals that included alleviating poverty, educating the youth of the region and improving health care through initiatives like clean water, has raised over $250,000 since 2008. The organization has refurbished several elementary schools and built a high school from the ground up. Meanwhile, the resort is doing brisk business in yoga and surfing retreats, welcoming visitors from all over the world for their holidays.

    For Cahill, who was the last of the co-owners to move to Nicaragua with his wife and two children, the transition from vacation to life on the beach was more difficult than he expected.

    "We had gotten quite comfortable in our life in Kingston, and although trips of several weeks or even months made the transition gradual, the actual move and introduction into our new life took some courage," he recalls. "Cold-water showers, composting toilets, a steady diet of rice and beans are all regular parts of our daily life now."

    el coco 3

    And of course, building a house on the beach in a foreign country was another challenge altogether.

    "When we arrived in early August 2014, [our house] was livable, but still far from complete," he says. "We quickly realized that we must have built directly on top of a major anthill, as they seemed to be everywhere! With two small kids, keeping the floors free from crumbs and spills is nearly impossible. Ants would parade in under our doors, over our walls, and even out from our outlets. Regardless, we remained excited and continued to believe in our decisions. After all, what family home isn’t in need of a little work?"

    Though their families at home seemed initially dubious about the decision (and the distance from their grandchildren), Cahill credits them with truly helping to get the idea — especially Waves of Hope — off the ground.

    "It was our friends and families who early on really made Waves of Hope work," he says. "They were the ones who came out to our early fundraisers, gave their time and donated their dinero. Without that initial support we would not have been able to offer any support to our community."

    And as for their own journey, Cahill doesn't regret it for one moment, anthills or not.

    "In a professional sense, I left an often thankless job of watching over hundreds of federal inmates and became a vendor of wellness, offering a fun-filled, relaxing change of pace where expressions of gratitude are plentiful and most people don’t want to leave," says Cahill. "The deep connection we've been able to establish with our community through Waves of Hope also provides a strong sense of purpose and accomplishment."

    el coco 2

    It's taken more than 10 years, but now the three families are living the life they planned out all those years ago.

    "As the business and non-profit have both continued to develop and become successful, we have been able to devote more time to our families, and ourselves, and really have come to enjoy the life that we all dreamed of," says Cahill. "Ben, Jamie and I have developed a system where we all share in the administrative duties, regular maintenance and upkeep of our infrastructure, and guest relations. This allows us to start most days with our four dogs on the beach or even in the surf, catching waves."

    If you know of someone committed to improving the lives of others by giving, we want to hear about it. To submit a Go Giver nomination, email


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    The tourist who was mauled to death by a lion in South Africa has been identified as Katherine Chappell, who worked in Vancouver as a visual effects editor.

    Chappell, 29, grew up in New York and moved to B.C. in 2013, reported NBC News.

    katherine chappell

    She worked in the Vancouver office of Oscar-nominated Scanline VFX, which produces effects for HBO's "Game of Thrones." The company also had a hand in blockbusters including "The Avengers" and "Godzilla."

    Chappell was part of the team that won an Emmy for an episode of "Game of Thrones" in 2014.

    She arrived in South Africa last week to raise money for an anti-poaching program, said US Magazine.

    katherine chappell

    Chappell was in a safari vehicle taking photos of a lionness through an open window when the animal attacked.

    Her guide, Pierre Potgieter, denied allegations he broke rules at Lion Park by driving with the windows open. A statement released to the Daily Mail Online claims Chappell opened the window "of her own accord."

    Potgeiter is in hospital recovering from a heart attack he said he suffered during the incident.

    Police are examining Chappell's camera and interviewing witnesses who were at the popular tourist attraction, outside of Johannesburg, reported The Telegraph.

    The lion in the attack will not be euthanized, said a park official.

    A memorial for Chappell will be held in Rye, New York. Her sister, Jennifer Chappell, wrote on Facebook:

    "We are broken-hearted to share this news with our friends and family: Yesterday morning, while on a volunteer mission to protect wildlife in South Africa, Kate Chappell was involved in a tragic and fatal accident.

    Katie was a brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman. Her energy and passion could not be contained by mere continents or oceans. She was very much loved and shared her love for life with those she met.

    We cannot thank everyone enough for the kind words and support. It means the world to us during this difficult time.”

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    We're halfway through the year already, and if you haven't had a chance to take a vacation yet, you might be itching to do it soon.

    But before you book your flight and start packing your suitcase, you might want check out the infographic below by the Baltic Travel Company. In it, the trip experts share 21 travelling hacks that will help you get from point A to point B with ease.

    These aren't just confined to your average packing tips either — from transportation to the best time for travel and even anti-thieving tricks, the infographic has all sorts of suggestions to make your time away from home more enjoyable.

    Check out the infographic below for all 21 tips and let us know in the comments below your golden rule for travelling.

    travel tips


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