Where are we now?

Where are we now?

Where are we now?

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Welcome to Newfoundland & Labrador – Travelogue

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St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador of course! After riding and logging 416,000kms we have officially passed the finish line. And some of our cyclists are taking a break by wading into the Atlantic Ocean just to prove the point. We have arrived! All puffin’ like Puffins

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So go get some cod tongues or maybe some lobster. Get yourself screeched in. Take a whale watching tour.

And by all means take a break. You deserve it. Not only have we logged the equivalent of cycling all the paved roads in Canada; we also raised $45, 000 for the Georgetown Hospital Foundation.

Celebrations and cheque presentation on Wed Oct. 18th  5:00pm to 6pm at Ollie’s Cycle and Ski, 30 Main St. S. Georgetown. Come see the money change hands and enjoy some delicious cake.


Welcome to Nova Scotia – Travelogue

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Our journey through Nova Scotia is focused on the sea. This comes as no surprise since one is never more than 60 kms away from the coast when one is in Nova Scotia.

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Did you know that:

  • The population of Nova Scotia is approximately 940,000
  • Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi’kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived.
  • French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in 1605 at Port Royal which became known as Acadia.
  • Nova Scotia was one of the founding four provinces to join Confederation with Canada in 1867.
  • Halifax boasts the second largest ice-free natural harbour in the world after Sydney, Australia.
  • The Vikings first visited around the year 990.
  • Anne Murray, a singer, and songwriter is from Springhill, Nova Scotia
  • Lobsters from N.S. are shipped all across Canada and around the world
  • There are 18,100 kms of paved roads in Nova Scotia

OLD TOWN LUNENBURG

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This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site – with its narrow streets and unique architecture – is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nova Scotia and with good reason.

You can ride your bike around Old Town Lunenburg’s distinctive waterfront with its colourful historic buildings.  Discover what life is like on the open ocean when you visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on the Lunenburg waterfront.

BLUENOSE II

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The Bluenose is instantly recognizable since it graces the Canadian dime.  It was a fishing schooner that became famous for speed and perseverance.

It was said the Bluenose could skip across the ocean top, cutting through waves like no other ship on the sea. As a racing schooner, she was undefeated in her 18-year career and became a Canadian icon. Today, her spirit lives on in the Bluenose II – Nova Scotia’s tribute to our shipbuilding heritage. You can go for a sailing tour aboard the Bluenose II from her home port of Lunenburg. But hurry because the last sail of the season is September 30.

DIGBY – GILBERT’S BAY LIGHTHOUSE 

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What better way to cool off after a long bike ride than to hop into a kayak and search for whales along the Digby coast or explore one of many historic lighthouses?

Gilbert’s Cove just 18 – 20 km west of Digby on the 101 Highway is just such a spot. If you enjoy historic buildings, you can wonder around inside the old lighthouse itself. It was built in 1904 and had only two light-keepers throughout its years of service. This is also a good spot to sit around in the evening and watch the sun as it sets over Saint Mary’s Bay and Digby Neck, the sunsets are spectacular. Top off your day by digging some clams, the local specialty of Digby.

HALIFAX SEAPORT FARMERS’ MARKET

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The Halifax Farmers’ Market was created by Royal Proclamation in June of 1750, a year after the founding of Halifax. Wandering around the Market you can appreciate the quality of the food actually produced in Nova Scotia.

The Market has operated in several locations across the city, but moved to the Halifax Seaport 7 years ago and is now known as the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market – the longest continuously running Market in North America and proudly hosting over 250 vendors!

CABOT TRAIL – CAPE BRETON ISLAND

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Take a scenic ride on Cabot Trail, a 298 km (185 mi) loop around the island’s northern section. Named after famed explorer John Cabot, the roadway was NS_06built in the 1930s. You can cycle through the picturesque Cape Breton Highlands on a route offering a staggering views overlooking mountains and sweeping ocean vistas.

 


 

Welcome to et Bienvenue a New Brunswick! – Travelogue

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Did you know that…

  • One third of the world’s French Fries come from New Brunswick’s “French Fry Capital”, Florenceville-Bristol. This small town is home to the McCain empire.
  • Charles Thomas “Stompin’ Tom” Connors, one of Canada’s most prolific and well-known folk singers, was born in Saint John on February 9, 1936. And Did you know that Stompin’ Tom actually lived in Ballinafad from 1975 until his death in 2013. The folks in Ballinafad are currently fundraising for a memorial for Tom in the local cemetery where he is buried. Check out this article https://www.southwesternontario.ca/community-story/7509114-ballinafad-plaque-honours-stompin-tom/
  • Moosehead Brewery, in Saint John, is Canada’s oldest independent brewery.
  • The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world. They rise at a rate of one metre (3.3 feet) per hour.
  • The Village of Plaster Rock is known as the home of the annual World Pond Hockey Championships.
  • There are 19,500 kms of paved roads in New Brunswick
  • Ganong Bros. Ltd. in St. Stephen invented the first five-cent chocolate nut bar in North America, and the ever popular pink cinnamon-over-chocolate “chicken bone” candy, a Christmas favourite. Also Ganong was the first in Canada to produce lollipops (1895), to use cellophane packaging (1920), to make peppermint rolls (1926), and to sell Valentine candy in heart-shaped boxes (1932).
  • New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that experienced a decline in population over a five-year period. According to the 2016 census the province’s population dropped last year to 747,101 from 751,171 in 2011
  • The 2016 Census showed that Moncton’s population grew to 72,000 making it the largest city in New Brunswick. Moncton is actually not much bigger than Halton Hills. The 2016 Census pegged us at 61,000.

Cycling Fundy Park

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The Fundy Trail is a coastal access network which includes a low-speed auto parkway with scenic lookouts, a pedestrian/bicycle trail, footpaths to beaches and river estuaries, and an Interpretive Centre.

View the unspoiled beauty of the Fundy coast as you bike along the 16-km (10-mile) trail to Cranberry Brook Lookout. The hilly, multi-use trail runs parallel to the Parkway road; the trail surface is gravel dust.

You’ll find the biking trails perfect for bird watching and photography. You’ll also find water stations and outdoor toilet facilities at rest areas along the trail.

The Old Sow

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One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the power of the tides is found in the Western Passage of the Passamaquoddy Bay towards the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. “Old Sow” is the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere, the second largest in the world – second only to the Maelstrom Whirlpool of Norway.

This powerful whirlpool is formed when the rising tide passes both sides of Indian Island, takes a sharp right turn around the southern tip of Deer Island to flood the Western Passage. A current of over 6 knots (11 km/hr or 6.9 mi/hr) has been experienced off Deer Island Point. In addition to the waters pressing through the narrow straight, the waters are forced along the peaks and valleys of the ocean floor – a trench as deep as 122 meters (400 feet), followed by a reduction in water depth to 36 meters (119 feet) and again followed by a depth of over 107 meters (350 feet). The current of inflowing tributaries within the Passamaquoddy Bay add to the already busy waters.

Rocks and Hopewell Cape

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The Hopewell Rocks is located along the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tides in the world. It offers a unique natural experience of both high and low tides. Enjoy the multi-media exhibit in the Interpretive Centre, scenic walking trails and lookouts.

The Hopewell Rocks is a place to pause and a place to appreciate a remarkable story interwoven through time, tide, and the intricacies of nature. These are the highest tides in the world. And they happen twice a day, every day. These tides can reach up to 50ft (15m), which is the height of a four-story building.

Shediac – Lobster Capital

After a long day of cycling through the rolling hills of Brunswick, end your day in Shediac for a swim in the ocean followed by a feast of fresh juicy lobster.

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Known as The Lobster Capital of the World for lobster fishing, processing plants, live-lobster tanks and the famous Lobster Festival, this is where you’ll find The World’s Largest Lobster – Stop and have your picture taken with it!

Take a dip in the finest saltwater beaches in Eastern Canada! With waters peaking at 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit), it’s some of the warmest water north of Virginia. Boating, windsurfing, golf and hiking are just a few of the attractions on or near its pristine, sprawling beaches.

Ganong Chocolate Museum in St. Stephen

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After your lobster dinner it is time to consider dessert. What better than chocolate when you are in the province where great advances were made in how chocolates are made and sold.

It all began with brothers James and Gilbert Ganong who opened a small retail and grocery business in 1873. At first, buying and selling candy was just a small part of their business. The brothers soon realized they had to specialize in certain products to gain an edge on their competitors. But it was when they began making their own candy that the foundation was set for what is now Canada’s oldest family owned candy-maker. To that they added a distinguishing hallmark that has lasted more than a century: Quality – above all else.

Located in what used to be the original Ganong candy factory, The Chocolate Museum offers an interactive way to learn about candy making in St. Stephen – a tradition that has lasted over a century.

Hartland Covered Bridge – National Historic Site

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Declared a National Historic Site in 1980, and a Provincial Historic Site in 1999, the Longest Covered Bridge in the World is, like all covered bridges in New Brunswick, a “kissing bridge.” Kissing bridges date back to the years of horse and wagon traffic, when young men “trained” their horses to stop about half way across the bridge, wait while the couple shared a couple of kisses, and then continue to the other side of the bridge.

 

The bridge was covered in 1921-22, to considerable opposition and concern, and sermons were even preached in the area, cautioning how a “covered” bridge would destroy the morals of the young people. However, the bridge was covered anyway. For some years after, snow had to be hauled each winter and placed on the bridge floor to allow horses and sleds to travel across it.

 

This 390-m (1,282-ft.) bridge officially opened on July 4, 1901 and was purchased by the government of New Brunswick in 1906. Lighting was installed in 1924 and a side walkway was added to the bridge in 1945. It has suffered some incidents over the years, but it continues on, roadworthy and dependable. When constructed, it was an engineering wonder, much as the Confederation Bridge across the Westmorland Strait is today.

 


 

Bienvenue a Quebec! – Travelogue

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Did you know that…

  • Quebec’s forest covers more than 750,000 km2, which is the size of Sweden and Norway together? It represents 20% of the Canadian forests and 2% of the world’s forests.
  • In Montréal you can see the highest inclined tower in the world : the Olympic Stadium tower.
  • The Château Frontenac in Quebec City is the most photographed hotel in the world?
  • The Baie-James region you can find LG2, the largest underground hydroelectric power plant in the world?
  • The world’s second largest French speaking city is Montreal.
  • Quebec City is the only walled city in Canada. It still has three miles (4.7 km) of walls.
  • There are 81,500 kms of paved roads in Quebec.
  • There are over 8 million people living in Quebec.
  • Quebec is the largest province in Canada by area.
  • In 1995, Quebec almost separated from the Canadian union in a vote that was 49.5% in favour of separating, 50.5% against separating. What a close call!

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Quebec embraced cycling 20 years ago when it adopted the Route Verte plan with the goal of becoming a premier cycling destination. It is now a robust cycling system that opens up vast areas of interest to the intrepid cyclist. Enjoy!

Hotel de Glace

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Located only 4 km from the north end of Québec City, the Hôtel de Glace is a must-see attraction to discover every winter. The only Hôtel de Glace in North America, has seduced over a million people from around the world since its opening in 2001. With its huge snow vaults, its crystalline ice sculptures its 44 rooms and suites, the Hôtel de Glace impresses by its dazzling decor.

Route Verte – One of Canada’s Best Kept Secrets

Based on an idea that originated with Vélo Québec, the Route verte has been under development since 1995, with the collaboration of the Québec ministry of transportation as well as numerous regional partners.

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When completed, the Route verte will comprise 5,300 kilometres of bikeways linking the various regions of Québec. A powerful catalyst for the development of cycling, the Route verte carries on a tradition that has led to development of the world’s greatest cycling routes:

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That’s especially true in Quebec, which has an enviable network of designated roads, bike paths and trails that has grown to span 5,300 kilometres over 20 years. La Route verte, as it’s called, crisscrosses 393 Quebec municipalities, from Val d’Or to Percé, Baie-Comeau to Sutton. Seventy-five per cent of Quebecers live in a town or city that’s on, or less than a kilometre from La Route verte.

Check it out at https://carto.routeverte.com/en

Montreal celebrates its 375th anniversary

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In 2017, Montréal marks its 375th anniversary, Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 with exciting festivities highlighting the city’s rich history, diversity and vibrant creativity! From east to west, Montréal comes alive with more than 175 events and projects, plus exclusive offers specially designed for the occasion. Come celebrate with us!

Expo 67 put Canada and Montreal on the Map

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Montréal hosted the iconic 1967 International and Universal Exposition – more commonly known as Expo 67 – to celebrate Canada’s centennial year. While the city had long been a choice visitors’ destination, Expo 67 put Montréal on the international map, and influenced the worlds of fashion, science, architecture and entertainment.

You can still visit some of the iconic buildings that have been repurposed.  The American pavilion – a geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller today houses the environmental Biosphere museum.

Old Quebec City

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Old Quebec City was founded in 1608, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only walled city in North America.

Chateau Frontenac

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The Chateau Frontenac is the crown jewel of Quebec City, dominating the view from all directions  from its commanding position above the Old Town .

The Château Frontenac was designed by American architect Bruce Price, as one of a series of “château” style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company (CPR) during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the newer portions of the hotel—including the central tower (1924)—were designed by Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell. CPR’s policy was to promote luxury tourism by appealing to wealthy travellers. The Château Frontenac opened in 1893, six years after the Banff Springs Hotel, which was owned by the same company and is similar in style.

Canadian Museum of History

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This very popular museum is located across the Ottawa River from the Parliament Buildings and offers the most complete and interesting history of Canada.

The Canadian History Hall:

  • Covers a span of some 15,000 years, from the earliest known human habitation to the present day.
  • Occupies more than 4,000 square metres (40,000 square feet) of exhibition space — The largest exhibition about Canadian history ever developed.
  • Displays 1500 authentic artifacts including some of the finest national historical treasures.

Inside the newly opened Canadian History Hall are potent national symbols like an astrolabe said to have belonged to explorer Samuel de Champlain, the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and a T-shirt worn by Terry Fox.


Welcome back to Ontario! – Travelogue

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Did you know that Ontario:

  • Has a population of 13.6 million people
  • That Basketball was invented by Ontario born and bred Dr. James Naismith starting with a soccer ball and 2 peach baskets nailed to the wall.
  • Ontario is larger than Spain and France combined. Over a million square kilometres.
  • There are over 250,000 lakes in Ontario and they account for about 1/3 of the Earth’s fresh water.
  • There are 119.8 kms of paved roads in Ontario!! Please recruit more riders because Ontario is BIG.

Ontario Travelogue

Welcome to north western Ontario starting with some cycling in Kenora where cyclists always get a big welcome.

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One of the best ways to explore the City of Kenora, is by bike! A beautiful tour along the Lake of the Woods waterfront awaits you. Or take advantage of the green and natural areas throughout their neighbourhoods.

A lake tour should be on your list of things to do while visiting Kenora. Whether you hop aboard the MS Kenora or book a guided lake tour with one of the local outfitters, don’t miss an opportunity to see the natural beauty of Lake of the Woods.

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POLAR BEAR PROVINCIAL PARK

The Polar Bear Provincial Park is located on Hudson’s Bay north of James Bay. Sorry, but although there are 119,800 kms of paved roads in Ontario, none of them go anywhere near this park. In fact you won’t find a dirt road going there either.  You can only get there by plane or boat.

There are no visitors’ facilities. Landing permits must be obtained in advance for each of the park’s four airstrips. The only evidence of human habitation in the park is an abandoned radar station, part of a former military defence line. It consists of squat metal buildings, oil tanks, radio towers, and a few radar dishes and a landing airstrip. Visitors to Polar Bear should be prepared for any eventuality. They should bring at least one week’s extra supplies in case their departure is delayed due to bad weather. Tents should not rise any higher than necessary, due to the possibility of strong winds.

So why go there? Maybe you don’t need to go. Maybe it is good enough to know that Ontario has protected this land from human activity.

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Aerial view of Polar Bear Provincial Park

Next stop – Algoma

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One of the most popular train tours in Northern America is the famous Agawa Canyon Tour Train that departs from Algoma’s largest municipality, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This one day rail excursion transports riders along 114 miles through the magnificent wilderness of Algoma. The train travels over the towering trestle at Montreal River, alongside remote northern lakes and rivers and through granite rock formations to the Agawa Canyon.

Moving on to Sudbury – Home of the Bike Nickel and something much more interesting… Science North

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Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province. Science North maintains the second- and eighth-largest science centres in Canada:
Science North, featuring an IMAX® theatre, digital Planetarium, butterfly gallery and Special Exhibits

Manitoulin Island is the largest fresh water lsland in the world.

On Manitoulin Island, you’ll discover Aboriginal Spirit Walks, breathtaking waterfalls like Bridal Veil Falls and scenic trails.

Hiking is spectacular along the cliffs that are an extension of the Niagara Escarpment.

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View from the Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island

Take the ferry Chi- Cheemaun from Manitoulin to Tobermory and start your trip down the Bruce Peninsula to Grey  and Bruce Counties where there are beaches and beach communities all along the shore of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron

The Beaches of Bruce County – Unbelievable!

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Pelee Island

Heading along Lake Erie take another ferry over to Pelee Island.

For bird watchers, Pelee Island is the best!  Spotting 100 species in one day is the norm. Pelee Island is located in the western half of Lake Erie and provides an important resting location for migrating birds. It is also the southernmost populated land in Canada.

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Prothonotary Warbler

Niagara Falls

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12 Million tourists  visit Niagara Falls every year to experience the power and wonder of all that water crashing down to the rocks below. It is a lovely place to ride your bike too.  The multi-use path along the Niagara Gorge is spectacular.

The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an integral part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick. As they advanced southward the ice sheets gouged out the basins of the Great Lakes. Then as they melted northward for the last time they released vast quantities of meltwater into these basins. Our water is “fossil water”; less than one percent of it is renewable on an annual basis, the rest leftover from the ice sheets.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas

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Peterborough is well known as a great cycling destination. You can find trails and country roads that lead you along the historic Trent Severn Waterway. A series of locks allows you to boat from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron.

Peterborough is also home to the Canadian Canoe Museum which is well worth the visit.

Ottawa

Welcome to the nation’s Capital! There couldn’t be a better year to make the trip to Ottawa. There is so much planned this year as we celebrate Canada 150.

How about La Machine!

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Catch the videos of the drama here http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/la-machine-day-1-2-3-4-finale-pictures-video-cbc-live-1.4228012

Cycling in Ottawa is Great!

Ottawa has a broad range of cycling experiences for the recreational rider to the serious racer. The recreational pathway network has more than 170 km of pathways people can ride on free of traffic and along some of the most interesting attractions in the capital and the loop of Gatineau Park is a more challenging route for experienced cyclists.

On Sunday mornings they close the parkways to cars and the citizenry jumps on their bikes and enjoys the spectacular Ottawa River and Rideau Canal with no worries about cars and safety.

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Yoga at Noon on Parliament Hill

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Time to chill out. At noon on any work day people stream out of the surrounding office buildings and relax in this massive yoga class. What a great way to shed some tension with the biggest class you are likely to join.


Manitoba Travelogue – Did you Know?

Welcome to Manitoba – Where Canada’s Heart Beats

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Did you know that:

  • Manitoba has more curling clubs than Ontario and Quebec Combined?
  • Wapusk National Parkin northern Manitoba is the world’s largest denning site for polar bears.
  • Winnipeg boasts one of the longest skating trailsin the world. The rink leads skaters down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of between 6 and 9 km.
  • There are 1.3 million people living in Manitoba
  • The word “Manitoba” means where the spirit lives (in languages of the Aboriginal people who first lived in the region). It could also have been derived from “manitou bou” which is Cree for strait of the Great Spirit.
  • Based on the 2011 census, the top languages spoken in Manitoba are: English, German, French, Tagalog (Filipino), Cree, Ukrainian, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish and Ojibway.
  • You can go beluga whale watching at Churchill Manitoba.
  • Louis Riel, leader of the Metis and the Red River Rebellion is considered to be the Father of Manitoba.

Wapusk National Park

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Let this expansive wilderness fill you with awe as you visit the remote subarctic that is Wapusk National Park. This 11,475 square kilometre park protects one of the largest polar bear maternity denning areas in the world which numbers approximately 1000 bears. Nature lovers watch for arctic foxes, arctic hares, wolves, caribou and wolverine as well as more than 200 bird species.

Icelandic Settlement

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The largest Icelandic settlement outside of Iceland is found in Gimli Manitoba. Each year Icelandic culture is celebrated at the Islendingadagurinn Festival https://www.icelandicfestival.com/

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Gimli Harbour looks pleasant too!

Royal Canadian Mint

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The Royal Canadian Mint produces all of Canada’s circulation coins and currency for 60 governments around the globe. There is a Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.  The Mint in Winnipeg produces all the Canadian currency.  You can tour the Mint while you are in Winnipeg or check out their website here. www.mint.ca

Winnipeg Folk Festival

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When the Bike Challenge passes through Winnipeg in July we will definitely stop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. It all started in 1974 and has never looked back. Every year it wins awards and in 2016 it placed #7 on BizBash Top 100 Events in Canada list.

Lake Winnipeg

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Lake Winnipeg is huge. It is 416 kms long and up to 100 kms wide. Plenty of opportunity for fishing and every water sport you can name.

For more inspiration check out the link below for short video clips that will make you wish you really were in Manitoba.

https://livelearn.ca/article/living-in-manitoba/top-10-manitoba-facts/

 


 

Saskatchewan Travelogue – Did you Know?

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Hello Regina, Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Saskatoon.

Did you know?

  • Saskatchewan has 29,500 kms of paved roads?
  • That Regina is the Capital City
  • That there are only 1.1 million people living in Saskatchewan.
  • It joined Canada in 1905
  • Saskatchewan receives more sunshine than any other province

Saskatchewan is a truly an amazing and surprising province. You would be forgiven for thinking that it is totally flat and has nothing but wheat fields.

In the north, more than 80 million acres of forest open on shimmering lakes, river rapids, canyons and sand cliffs. The middle third is boreal forest and farmland and the great southern plain is where you will find those waving wheat fields.

More than five million acres of national and provincial parks offer perfect places for a family of cyclists.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

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Set in the southwestern corner of the province, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a mix of forests, wetlands and grasslands and is the only interprovincial park in Canada, straddling Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The park is home to the highest point in Saskatchewan – Lookout Point at 1,392 metres above sea level. It has lush forests and lakes. Click on the link to be amazed by the beauty.

Athabasca Sand Dunes

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The Athabasca Sand Dunes, found in the northwest corner of the province near the Northwest Territories, is the most northerly active sand dune formation in the world.

The dunes stretch for approximately 100 kilometres along the south shore of Lake Athabasca. They are the largest active dune fields in Canada, and the largest this far north anywhere in the world.

Mustard for your sandwich?

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Saskatchewan is the king of Mustard. If you are anywhere in the world eating a corn beef on rye sandwich with mustard, chances are the mustard was grown in Saskatchewan.

Although mustard production didn’t start in Saskatchewan until the 1950’s, it has grown to account for about 75 per cent of production in Canada and that is tops in the world.

Lakes

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You might not think of lakes when you think of the prairies but the truth is that Saskatchewan has more than 100,000 lakes. .

Saskatchewan has its own version of the Dead Sea – Manitou Lake southeast of Saskatoon. The briny water of the lake possesses natural therapeutic skin and body care properties only found in a few other places. And it is so buoyant that it impossible to sink.

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The second largest lake – Reindeer Lake – is also the deepest, reaching 710 feet at Deep Bay, which was created by a meteorite some 140 million years ago. Pictured above, it is 230 kms long and is a magnet for fishers from around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saskatchewan Rough Riders and Rider Nation

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There are simply no better fans than the Saskatchewan Rough Rider fans known as Rider Nation. They were ranked the rowdiest fans of any sports team in Canada by MSN Sports, ranking ahead  of the Canadian men’s national junior hockey team and the Montreal Canadiens. Their attendance at away games is legendary.

The CFL Rough Riders play out of Taylor Field in Regina. The team itself is publicly owned. It was founded in 1910 making it one of the oldest continuous franchises in professional sports in North America.  They last won the Grey Cup in 2013.

Big Muddy Badlands

Be weary! There be outlaws in them hills!

Or at least there were.Rugged buttes, forbidding cliffs, and eroded sandstone caves greet visitors in Saskatchewan’s Big Muddy badlands. Bad because nothing grows out here, and bad because the caves served as hideouts for legendary outlaws like Dutch Henry, Sam Kelly and the Sundance Kid. You can still visit these caves, learning about horse thieven’ and their battles with the Northwest Mounted Police. Discover ancient aboriginal effigies, and hike up the imposing Castle Butte for a great view over the Big Muddy badlands.

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Castle Butte, Big Muddy Badlands

 

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Bison at Big Muddy Badlands

 

 

The extraordinary Joni Mitchell

 

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Although Joni Mitchell was born in Alberta, she called Saskatoon home and that is where she began her career.
Rolling Stone called Mitchell one of the greatest songwriters ever. And All Music stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century.

Songs like ‘Big Yellow Taxi” “Woodstock”, “Help Me”, and “Free Man in Paris” to name a few have become part of the Canadian cultural history. And it all started in Saskatchewan.

 

 

 


 

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Alberta Travelogue – Did you Know?

  • There are 61,700 kms of paved roads in Alberta
  • More than 4 million people live in Alberta.
  • Its landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests. It has more than 600 lakes, and rich mineral deposits.
  • In the west, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks have glaciers in the Columbia Icefields. The Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is a biosphere reserve that straddles the southern border with the USA.
  • On September 1, 1905, the Canadian government adopted the Saskatchewan Act and the Alberta Act, and two new provinces joined Canada.

The famous Calgary Stampede is the world’s largest outdoor festival

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Millions come to the Stampede every year to celebrate all things ‘cowboy’. The Stampede is in its 104th year.

Calgary – Cleanest City in the World?

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Alberta produces roughly 48% of all Canada’s pollution with the oil sands so Calgary has taken major steps to improve the city to compensate. Calgary created a 31 million dollar composting facility, introduced a $1,000 fine for idling cars and littering and by 2020 will have more than 80% of all garbage diverted away from landfill

The West Edmonton Mall is the Largest Mall In North America

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The West Edmonton Mall is the second largest mall in the world having been beaten out by a mall in Dubai. It still claims the title for the largest mall in North America. Some staggering facts: The mall covers 5.3 million square feet and has a theme park including a wave pool and receives between 90,000 and 200,000 visitors every single day.

Wood Buffalo National Park has the only natural nesting area for the Whooping Crane

Alberta Cool Facts, Coolest Wildlife, Northwest Territories Cool Facts, Parks Canada Cool Facts

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Whooping Cranes

Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta / Northwest Territories – Wood Buffalo National Park was established to protect the free-roaming bison who wander this region between northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. It has wound up playing an important role in protecting the most famous endangered bird in North America – the Whooping Crane.

Each April breeding pairs of Whooping Cranes make their way 4000 miles from Texas to nest here, sometimes flying 10 hours non-stop at a time. Only 22 wild Whooping Cranes were believed to exist in 1941. By 1993 150 birds had been born to 16 decedents of that original group.

At 44,807 sq km, this is Canada’s largest, and one of the world’s largest National Parks. It’s actually larger than Switzerland. The park is 508 km from Fort McMurray, Alberta. It straddles the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories, with the park headquarters  in Fort Smith NT. The actual nesting area is not identified here.

Fort Mac Fires

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Spring of 2016 was a terrible time for residents of Fort McMurray, one of Canada’s largest and most destructive wildfires moved through the city of 80,000 destroying everything in its path. What is more amazing is the fact that an estimated 120,000 people in total were evacuated with wildfire burning all around the roads like the picture above and not a single death was attributed to the fire.

Yes! An aircraft carrier made out of ice!

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Project Habakkuk was carried out in Alberta’s Lake Louise, in true Canadian fashion the super secret project was to build an aircraft carrier our of ice, wood pulp and steel to float in the Atlantic ocean to be used by the Allied forces to combat Germany. The carrier would not need fuel and would self propel, temperatures were right enough to keep the mixture of ice and pulp solid all year. A scale model was built on Lake Louise for testing before the project was scrapped due to the end of WWII. Perhaps someday the great Canadian ice carrier will become a reality.

Drumheller, Alberta boasts a wealth of museums and historic sites where you can relive history. As the Dinosaur Capital of the World, they like to live up to their reputation with rich abundance of dinosaur fossils at the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

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See the World’s Largest Dinosaur

Stand 86 feet high in the mouth of the World’s Largest Dinosaur and see the view from behind her pearly whites (don’t forget your camera). Visit website for more info.

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Check out the Badlands of Drumheller

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Banff National Park was Canada’s first National Park

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Banff Springs History

“Since we can’t export the scenery, we’ll have to import the tourists.” – William Cornelius Van Horne

Fairmont Banff Springs is an internationally recognized symbol of Canadian hospitality. William Cornelius Van Horne, the appointed general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has been credited with recognizing the tourism potential of the Canadian west and his philosophy reflected this awareness. To enhance traffic on the CPR, Van Horne envisioned a succession of lavish resort hotels along the railway line through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains.

Now a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fairmont Banff Springs continues to cater to travelers from all around the world.

Speaking of beautiful Banff – Why not go mountain climbing on iconic Mount Rundle?

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Jasper National Park – Largest Park in the Rocky Mountains

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Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park

This year you can get your free pass to Canada’s National Parks by following this link http://www.parksorders.ca/


 

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Did you know that?

There are 48,200 kms of paved roads in British Columbia!

The last spike of the first transcontinental railway was placed on November 7, 1885 in Craigellachie, BC. For the first time ever, anyone could journey across the new country of Canada by rail. That was the key to opening up the new land and primed our economic engine.  To further understand the enormous difficulties faced by the project leader, read Pierre Berton’s The Last Spike.

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Sasquatch sightings in BC go back over 200 years. Check out this website for more information and where to go to look for sasquatch.

http://blog.travel-british-columbia.com/places-in-british-columbia-where-bigfoot-hangs-out/

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The largest tin soldier in the world is located in New Westminster.

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The great sport of Bathtub Racing was started in Nanaimo, BC.

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Ocean Falls, BC has on average 330 days of rain per year. Check out this weather forecast for Ocean Falls.  https://www.google.ca/#q=ocean+falls+bc+weather&spf=123  It is probably raining right now.

The world’s largest hockey stick resides in Duncan, and measures 205 feet long and 61,000 pounds. The mammoth symbol of hockey was created for Expo 86 and acquired by the city of Duncan afterwards.

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Below is Duncan’s harbour so appartenly there is more than one reason to vsit Duncan, located just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

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The world’s strongest current is found in the Nakwakto Rapids at Slingsby Channel, BC. which has been measured at speeds up to 18.4 miles per hour. Check out this website to find it on the map. http://www.geodata.us/canada_names_maps/maps.php?featureid=JBWGE&f=301

Check out this website to find cycling trails along the Transcanada trail. http://bctrail.ca/trips/grandforks/

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British Columbia has a rich indigenous history. The west coast nations produced and still produce stunningly beautiful works of art. Today, there are approximately 200,000 Aboriginal people in British Columbia. They include First Nations, Inuit and Métis. There are 198 distinct First Nations in B.C., each with their own unique traditions and history.

BC has the greatest diversity of Aboriginal cultures in Canada. For example, seven of Canada’s 11 unique language families are located exclusively in BC – more than 60% of the country’s First Nations languages.

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On April 25th we started our journey in Whitehorse Yukon. There are 2,200 kms of paved roads in Yukon and 900 kms in the North West Territories. The days are getting longer in the land of the midnight sun. It shouldn’t take The Halton Hills Bike Challenge team long to complete this first section of the ride. How long do you think it will take to log 3,100 kms?

Did you know that although Whitehorse is the capitol of the Yukon, it has a population of 30,000 making it smaller than Georgetown which is about 40,000?

Check out Canada Trivia for more fun facts.