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Editor’s Note Canada. Say the word to people and it prompts a familiar reaction. A nodding of the head, an ‘‘I need to get there’’ line, often followed by ‘‘I hear it’s an incredible country’’. Why this reaction? Because all those who visit leave as fully signed up ambassadors for this magical place. Without any encouragement, a trip to Canada turns people into lifelong advocates of a country rich in wonderful experiences. From the cosmopolitan, progressive and beautiful cities to nature and wildlife that re-defines the phrase ‘mind-blowing’. Go to Canada and you will know what it is like to have your mind blown by authentic, natural and immersive experiences. It’s why we at Black Tomato are so passionate about it. A country that has such a positive effect on all who visit (and who then subsequently return) has to be a special place. It’s not hard to see why. This Little Black Book on Canada is our love letter, or rather, journal to what we love about the country and why we urge everyone to go. So act upon that nodding head and those wistful lines and take a trip to this beautiful land. You will leave inspired, uplifted and signed up. To what? The fact that this country stands apart in the world when it comes to what providing truly memorable travel experiences is about. You will be an ambassador for life, and the instigator of many more nodding heads. Enjoy. Tom Marchant, Co-Founder Black Tomato






W elcome


C anada

Whether you’re after cosmopolitan city chic or an adventure through Canada’s untouched wilderness, Black Tomato is here to help create the perfect, allencompassing trip to suit your every need. Award winning experts in tailor-made, experiential travel, our team of Canada specialists will ensure that your time in this enchanting country exceeds all your expectations. So, why wait? Let Black Tomato transport you to one of the most exciting places on the planet.

Get in touch today on



C anada






T he P rovinces & T erritories A lberta

N unavut

B ritish C olumbia

O ntario

M anitoba

P rince E dward I sland

N ew B runswick

Q uĂŠbec

N ewfoundland & L abrador

S askatchewan

N orthwest T erritories

Y ukon

N ova S cotia







O ur F rom




spying on grizzlies to a spot of mountain - top yoga ,

check out our favourite


C anadian

experiences …

1 Grizzly Bear Viewing

3 Rocky Mountaineer

Deep in the heart of British Columbia, Knight Inlet Lodge is surrounded by woodland boasting the largest concentration of grizzly bears found in Canada. From April to late-September, grizzly season is in full swing. In peak season up to forty bears roam within easy reach of your boutique home-stay meaning sightings are almost guaranteed. Trust us; catching a glimpse of one of these guys is an experience not to be missed.

Discover Canada’s raw beauty from the comfort of your luxury train compartment as you weave between mountains, forests and cities. Whether you’re hopping on for a few hours or a few days, this is a relaxing and sumptuous way to get around this vast country. Sit back, unwind and allow yourself to be pampered whilst enjoying views over the unspoilt landscapes that roll past your window.

2 Soaring Spirit

4 Snorkel with Belugas

Soaring between mountain peaks on an exhilarating helicopter flight, take in astounding views as you make your way to an isolated shelf high up in the Rockies. Once you’ve landed, experience a feeling of total serenity as your Hatha yoga class gets underway. The stillness and beauty of your surroundings will have you feeling completely relaxed with every breath of the fresh mountain air.

Take to the chilly waters of Churchill in Manitoba and swim with beluga whales for a close view of these gentle giants. These playful and intelligent mammals come to the Churchill River estuary in their thousands every summer forming the world’s largest readily accessible beluga population. Follow the movements of the whales and brace yourself for the icy waters as you join them in their natural habitat.

Train Journey



our top 4 experiences



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To find out more scan here


A rts & C ulture A

year round hive of creativit y , here ’ s a quick guide to our artistic highlights …


THE EAST SIDE CULTURE CRAWL IN VANCOUVER Each November Vancouver hosts The East Side Culture Crawl. This three day festival sees the streets between Victoria Drive and Main Street transformed into a bundle of eclectic exhibitions with pieces from local artists admired by over 15,000 visitors. Exhibitions by photographers, painters, furniture makers, jewellers and glassblowers are all on show and we just love that this festival welcomes artists from all walks of life, so you’re in with a chance of seeing works from internationally acclaimed and emerging artists alike.


arts & culture

Image © Troy Lovegates 9

Image © A’shop

montreal street art Street art can be found all around Montreal so you won’t have to venture too far before you come face to face with vibrant and colourful artwork, adorning walls, garage doors and sidewalks. It’s something the city embraces and there’s even the annual MURAL festival which brings together local and international artists to celebrate creativity and street art. Working under the cover of darkness, the artists who produce these one, two or even four storey high murals add an exciting dimension to this already mesmerising city.


C anadian C ities C anada ’ s

buzzing metropolises offer festival fun and

delectable dining .


H ere ’ s

a sneak peak …

TORONTO As the gateway city to Niagara Falls and Ontario’s epic national parks, Toronto is certainly your ideal ‘outdoorsy’ city. However, don’t stray out of the city limits too fast; the city itself also happens to be the fashion Mecca of Canada. With an exciting array of quirky boutiques and designer outlets to discover, a trip to Toronto offers the perfect combination of cosmopolitan cityscape and vast, untamed wilderness.

VANCOUVER Vancouver is a perfect mix of kooky suburbs, one off eateries and boutique shops. Everything you’d want from a cosmopolitan city, right? We say do like the Vancouverite’s do and make your way over to the fashionable Yaletown neighbourhood for gourmet Canadian cuisine and vibrant nightlife. When you’ve had your fill of urban exploration, it’s time to hop over to Vancouver Island for a slice of coastal culture and a spot of bear watching.



MONTREAL Montreal is the place to go to get your creative juices flowing. With art, light, music and theatre festivals taking place all over the city year round and an exciting mix of districts and suburbs catering to all creative tastes, you’re sure to discover a new talent; be it your own or one of the many that Montreal proudly helps propel to stardom.

EDMONTON Famous as Canada’s ‘festival city’, it goes without saying that Edmonton knows how to throw a great bash and it would seem that not a day goes by without some kind of celebration. The city will leave you mesmerised by its permanently colourful and lively atmosphere and, if you need a quick breather, Edmonton’s Ukrainian district and the North Saskatchewan River Valley – North America’s biggest urban parkland – are close by, ready and waiting to be explored.



W hat ’ s O n F rom

gastronomic celebrations to artistic

appreciation ,

C anada ’ s

events calendar has it all ...




Vancouver Fringe Festival

Carnaval de QuÉbec

Breaking down boundaries between audience and performer since 1895, Vancouver’s Fringe Festival is an 11-day celebration of all things theatrical. Each September, expect vast swathes of actors to descend upon Granville Island to participate in various performances around the city. And how do they decide which productions are staged? Names are drawn from a hat, giving the festival an exciting edge as amateurs and well-seasoned actors perform traditional and experimental productions side by side.

Considered to be one of the world’s largest winter festivals, Carnaval de Québec sees night markets and choir concerts transform the Old Town of Québec into an enchanting winter wonderland. With international snow sculpture competitions, dog sled racing and snow baths taking place to show off Canada’s favourite winter activities, Carnaval de Québec is a truly charming seasonal highlight and one not to be missed.

Image © Dannielle Hayes


what’s on






Of course there just had to be a festival to celebrate Canada’s most famous icon; maple syrup. Each year nearly 70,000 people attend this one day festival, all in the name of sugary delight, and spend hours in the town of Elmira, Ontario, quaffing pancakes smothered in golden goodness whilst watching syrup makers in action. Held in April each year, it’s a fantastic festival for the entire family and is the ideal way to say ‘au revoir’ to those winter blues with the sweetness of spring not too far away.

Described as the festival that only ends when you want it to, Montreal’s International Jazz Festival combines intimate gigs with open air performances in the stunning Quartier des Spectacles. In the past this festival has seen the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Liza Minnelli take to the stage and with an estimated eight hundred concerts taking place over a ten day period, you’ll be in jazz heaven.

Scan here for Canada’s latest festivities


A F oodie ’ s G uide T o C anada C heck

out our top picks of

delights .

G et

C anada ’ s


ready to loosen those belts …

Inniskillin Winery Ontario Naturally we rate wine rather highly in its traditional form, but the seductively sweet taste of ice wine produced from frozen grapes might just be a new Black Tomato favourite. For an authentic glass or two, head to the Inniskillin Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake where you can sample revered vintages in the lush surroundings of this incredible estate. For Ice Wine


Meat and Bread, VANCOUVER Vancouver is home to a truly eclectic mix of foodie delights and for something extra special we’d recommend moseying on down to Gastown. The vibrant Vancouvan suburb is home to Meat and Bread; an eatery perfect for simple yet perfectly executed carnivorous delights. This slow roast Shangri-La specialises in hot gourmet sandwiches prepared by chefs and founders trained in the culinary fine arts.

for a meaty snack


a foodie’s guide to canada

for something sweet

Sucrerie de la Montagne, QuÉbec From tree to hot waffle, the golden nectar that is maple syrup is something of a Canadian national treasure. Our favourite place to sample this sweet treat is Québec – in our opinion purveyors of the finest maple syrup and proud holders of the title of the world’s biggest maple syrup producer. For an unrivalled experience, head to Sucrerie de la Montagne where traditional rustic ‘shack fare’ is given a contemporary twist.


Lobster Kettle, Nova Scotia Take a trip up to Nova Scotia and you’ll be surrounded by captivating coastal vistas and deliciously fresh seafood. Make like a local and sample some of the area’s best seafood delicacies in Louisbourg, where lobster and scallops reign supreme. Lobster Kettle offers a satiating locallysourced menu so whether you’re after fine dining à la mouth-watering scallops or a more casual chowder affair, this is the place to be.



C anada ’ s W ildlife F rom

l and and sea , here ’ s

our favourite wildlife duo …


BEARS Home to some of the densest forests in the world, as well as the stunning icy northern regions, it’s no surprise that bears are aplenty in Canada. Journey to Canada’s northernmost territory, Nunavut, to spot polar bears; the depths of British Columbia for a view of the awe inspiring grizzlies; Manitoba for the smaller black bear; and British Columbia to have a chance of encountering the mysterious Spirit bear. Mid-October is the best time to go for that polar bear encounter whilst July to September offers the best chance of catching a glimpse of their temperate counterparts.




WHALES Take to the waters and experience Canada’s majestic whale populations, with up to sixteen different species travelling along Canada’s coastlines during migration season. Tofino in BC is the number one west coast spot to watch migrating Orcas, Grey and Humpback whales whilst the Bay of Fundy, Churchill and Cape Broyle on Canada’s east coast are the places to go for a chance to spot Minke whales, Belugas, Blue whales, and the rare North Atlantic Right whale.


D esign & A rchitecture W elcome

to our top design and architecture

highlights .

C anada

isn ’ t just grizzly bears and

maple syrup you know …



Quite possibly our favourite Canadian master, Montreal based graphic designer Julien Vallee is exciting and innovative. His paper sculptures and static and motion-based pieces inspire curiosity and intrigue amongst all those who lay eyes on them. His clients span from the New York Times to Coca Cola and his exhibitions have started popping up across the globe. This is one Canadian designer to look out for.


The world’s only international research centre for architecture, this Montreal based hub of innovation aims to encourage individuals to see the nature of architecture as a public concern and stimulate the innovative minds of Montreal. Expect to see abstract, complex and thoughtprovoking masterpieces.



The Toronto Design Offsite Festival, held annually in January, is dedicated to the very best in design and despite only being in its fourth year, last year’s extravaganza saw over 42 events, workshops, exhibitions and installations at venues all over the city. Works from either end of the design spectrum, ranging from interior design to architectural curiosities can be appreciated, making this event an exciting hive of creativity. One for the diary.




A N iagara A dventure





Check out our Niagara & Alg onquin adventure here


T he G reat O utdoors G et

close to

C anada ’ s

spectacul ar nature on one of

our favourite outdoor adventures …

See the Northern Lights Head to the farthest reaches of Yukon to Whitehorse for a chance to gaze upon the Northern Lights as they dance across the dark skies of this remote territory. Options to camp or stay in town are abundant, just be sure to incorporate the annual Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race, Sourdough Rendezvous, or Frostbite Music Festival into your trip. 22

Kayak with Killer Whales Whale watching by sea kayak is undoubtedly one of the most intimate experiences you can have with these majestic creatures. Float over the waters of British Columbia and witness Orcas in their natural habitat. Black Tomato can arrange ultimate experiences like these that will have you traversing the wild British Columbian Coastline and enjoying unique interactions with more of Canada’s diverse wildlife.


the great outdoors

Skiing in the Rockies Calling all snow lovers, it’s time to grab those skis, drink in that fresh mountain air and gear yourself up for a high octane winter adventure. The immensity of the Rockies is staggering and with one of our guides on hand to take you to the most remote locations, you’re in for one unforgettable trip. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a seasoned skier; there are slopes and classes to suit everyone 23

Star Gazing in Nova Scotia Having recently become a Dark Sky Reserve, Kajimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia offers truly staggering stargazing opportunities. Conditions are perfect and allow you to see the night sky sparkle like never before. What’s more, the park is also rich with indigenous history and wildlife, meaning there’s plenty to do whilst you wait for the sun to set. Image © Nova Scotia Tourism

To learn more about Canada’s WONDERFUL wilderness scan here


F ashion & S hopping Step into Canada’s trendsetting cities and you’ll find corners of exciting culture and artsy underground movements. In recent years a plethora of designers and artists from Canada have produced some stunning fashion pieces and the successful growth of both the Toronto and Montreal Fashion Week is testament to the rise of the Canadian fashion movement.


ERDEM Erdem Moralioğlu was born in Montreal and grew up between Canada and Birmingham, UK. His ready-towear self-entitled women’s wear label has exploded in recent years and become a powerful and influential brand. His designs invert traditional floral patterns, creating exquisite contemporary prints and fabrics that are both classic and cutting edge. Erdem tends to play on past traditions whilst keeping the prospect of the modern, liberal female at its forefront, creating pieces that are both sweetly feminine and defiantly sexy.


fashion & shopping

BRIDGE AND BARDOT Toronto based Bridge and Bardot takes classic fashion trends and adds a contemporary twist. Items are all couture courtesy of the vintage pieces this shop sources and expertly retouches. Rich colour sits next to sophisticated monochrome pieces and their recent summer campaign has seen floral bomber jackets mixed with grungy tees and dainty cream lace accompanied by neon jewellery.

MONTREAL FASHION WEEK Montreal Fashion Week showcases the latest collections from Québecois designers and beyond. Over the years this event has grown in popularity and has now earned a position as one of the world’s best fashion events, attracting buyers from around the globe. Major international designers exhibit clothing lines alongside up and coming local designers and the event offers an eclectic mix of quirky, classy, daring and exotic outfits. An international platform no designer would turn down, we couldn’t let Montreal Fashion Week go without a mention.



C anada ’ s B est H otels W hether

you ’ re after remote natural beaut y or

cosmopolitan urban excitement , we ’ ve got it covered with our favourite boltholes

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canada’s best hotels

1 The Wikaninnish Inn

3 Le Priori QuÉbec City

Near the little town of Tofino on Vancouver Island, the Wikaninnish Inn occupies a remote corner of British Columbia overlooking the vast Pacific. Built from cedar and stone with floorto-ceiling windows throughout, this hotel fuses the glamorous with the rugged and blends perfectly with its surroundings.

Set in Old Québec, Le Priori is housed in a building dating all the way back to 1734. Whilst it may be steeped in history, the interior is sleek and contemporary – think exposed brick and stone walls, art deco furniture and vibrant splashes of colour. It’s the ideal combination of old and new and the perfect base from which to explore this UNESCO heritage city.

Vancouver Island

2 Emerald Lake Lodge Alberta

Live the dream in your very own gingerbread cottage hidden away from the world, tucked in a snowy enclave deep in the Canadian Rockies. By day, listen to the murmur of wildlife as you explore Emerald Lake’s epic surroundings then come sundown, curl up by the crackling fire for a truly authentic Rockies experience. The heady air is sure to leave you feeling ravenous too, so make the most of the Lodge’s Mount Burgess Dining Room, a gourmet treat by all accounts.

4 Hotel Le Germain Toronto

A boutique hotel set right in the middle of the vibrant and bustling entertainment district of Toronto, Hotel Le Germain is both stylish and elegant without losing sight of that all-important comfort factor. Its contemporary architecture, exceptional service and top-notch restaurant provide you with everything you could want or need and you’re only a stone’s throw from the town’s best theatres, boutiques and bars, too. What more could you want?

Scan here to learn more about our favourite Canadian hotels



B efore Y ou G o T he

essential facts to get you to


When to go January to March is the best time for all of your favourite winter activities, with the skiing conditions at their peak at this time. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, the months from April to November are your best bet for grizzly and polar bear spotting and whale watching. We also recommend scheduling in time to see the northern lights, which appear most frequently between September and April. Finally, if it’s art, design, fashion, history, comedy, music, or just a good party you’re after, trust us, no matter what time of year you go, Canada has it covered.


C anada

Before you go

GETTING AROUND Due to Canada’s size, air travel is advised for the most part if you’re tight on time. Several airlines such as Air Canada offer great connections between cities and provincial airports. Many people choose to self-drive to get around Canada, and we agree it’s a great way to see the country and meet the locals. However, the distances can be huge, so it’s worth bearing this in mind when deciding on how best to get around. Canada has a great rail network that connects most major cities, towns and tourist hot spots. Train travel offers incredible views of Canada’s stunning scenery and there are many luxury options that offer sumptuous on-board dining and accommodation.

GETTING THERE Direct flights are available with a variety of carriers. Depending on where you’re flying to, flight times vary between approximately 6 and 10 hours from London and between 1 and 5 hours from New York.

For more information on all you need to know before you go, scan here












Canada Little Black Book  

Black Tomato’s guide to the very best that Canada has to offer

Canada Little Black Book  

Black Tomato’s guide to the very best that Canada has to offer