Plus: Our Insiderâ€™s Guide to Nunavut
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CONTENTS SUMMER 2017
F E AT U R E S
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS Though she grew up near the Rockies, it took years of visiting other destinations for Vawn Himmelsbach to realize how magical the place is
36 ATLANTIC CANADA COOL The East Coast is still home to the best seafood and the friendliest people, but itâ€™s becoming a destination with a lot more style, reports Lola Augustine Brown
Anita Draycott celebrates the best golf courses (and the best golf legends) in the country
Canoeing at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park in Alberta.
Moraine Lake photo by Jake Dyson
FROM SEA TO SEA AND TEE TO TEE
CONTENTS SUMMER 2017
THE GUIDE 12
AG E N DA
7 TRUE NORTH EXPERIENCES:
Our editors pick the places you’ve got to see north of the 49 th parallel
24 26 28
HOP, SKIP & A PINT
If you want a real taste of Canadian terroir, head for the local brew pub. Paul Gallant has found one in each province and territory worth raising a toast to
STAY CANADA: Some of the country’s hottest newest hotels CANUCK TRAVELLER:
Spirits Canada’s Jan Westcott
FOOD DIARIES: The life of chef Michael Smith and his Inn at Bay Fortune restaurant in photos
T R AV E L N AV I GATO R
INTEL: How to plan the perfect road trip
UPGRADES: BOLD and Exodus Travels
BOLD NAVIGATOR: Our Insider’s Guide
present Croatia’s spectacular Istrian Peninsula to Nunavut
WORTH TRAVELLING FOR:
Free Spirit Spheres 12
Image courtesy Tourism PEI/Carrie Gregory
Built in 1845, the Point Prim Lighthouse is the first and oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. It is also one of only a few round brick lighthouses in Canada.
E D I TO R ’ S N OT E
THE ONLY TOUGH PART ABOUT SEEING CANADA IS DECIDING WHERE TO START Who has not, in their early days of living north of the 49th parallel, dabbled in exploring this country’s many splendours? Whether as a child in the backseat, perhaps demanding an inordinate number of stops as the family RV caravans along the Trans-Canada, or as a new Canadian, perhaps taking the ferry en route to Tofino or hopping a bus to Niagara Falls to see what all the fuss is about, we’ve all taken at least a few bites out of this magnificently massive place we call home. Then some of us start to take it for granted, saving it for later, waiting for some relative to move to Saskatchewan to give us an excuse to go be astonished by the Prairie sky. I, for one, though born and raised on Prince Edward Island, have never been to Newfoundland. I just kept bumping it down the bucket list. The international attention the province has attained in the last couple of decades, both for its natural beauty and one-of-a-kind culture, has made me feel a bit sheepish, like I grew up next door to someone who turned out to be a superstar without having attended one of their early performances. Oops. In this first-ever all-Canada issue of BOLD, we have set out to reintroduce our readers to their own stomping grounds. Out west, Vawn Himmelsbach finds that the
Rocky Mountains hold their own against any other landscape in the world (page 30). Out east, Lola Augustine Brown discovered entrepreneurs who are upending Atlantic Canadian stereotypes; East Coast hospitality has never been so hip (page 36). For those who like their touring to have a theme, we have two classically Canadian excuses to start making plans: golf (page 40) and beer (page 26). And for those who have always wanted to visit the north but were never sure how to go about it, Liz Fleming’s Insider’s Guide to Nunavut (page 52) is essential reading. If this issue should fall into the hands of nonCanadians, take heart; you’re welcome to come take a look around this playground we call home. We’re good at sharing and there’s lots of room. Happy 150th Canada!
Paul Gallant Executive Editor
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Photo by Mark Aspland and Nunavut Tourism
CONTRIBUTORS SUMMER 2017
ON THE COVER
Admiring the Aurora Borealis over Frobisher Bay.
Marlon J. Moreno CEO + Editorial Director Paul Gallant Executive Editor Andrew Lovesey Digital Editor Magda de la Torre Americas Editor Marlon Moreno Garnica Public Relations Coordinator
LOLA AUGUSTINE BROWN Writer
LIZ FLEMING Writer
PAUL ZIZKA Photographer
Liz Fleming has explored the globe from the Arctic Circle to the lost Incan world of Machu Picchu. She’s worked as a syndicated Canadian Press columnist and had her articles appear in major newspapers and magazines across North America. Now editor-inchief of Cruise & Travel Lifestyles magazine, she’s passionate about introducing her fellow explorers to the adventures waiting from pole to pole.
Paul Zizka is an awardwinning mountain landscape and adventure photographer. In June 2016, he and fellow photographer Dave Brosha launched OFFBEAT, a new company that features an online community for photographers, as well as workshops in far-flung locations. He is also the photo editor for Crowfoot Media Inc.
ATLANTIC CANADA COOL
Lola Augustine Brown lives in rural Nova Scotia with her family and a menagerie of animals. She loves visiting new places, or finding what’s new in those well known. Her summer plans include driving across Newfoundland, exploring Zurich in August, and a trip or two to the Caribbean.
INSIDER’S GUIDE TO NUNAVUT
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lola Augustine Brown • Andrew Brudz • Anita Draycott • Liz Fleming • Waheeda Harris Vawn Himmelsbach • Michael Smith ART DIRECTION AND DESIGN Laura García PHOTOGRAPHY Carlos Bolivar • Tishan Baldeo WEB DEVELOPER Rahul Nair PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY Jesson + Company jessonco.com firstname.lastname@example.org 77 Bloor St. West, Suite 1200 Toronto, ON. M5S 1M2 ADVERTISING For Advertising, Promotion, Reprints and Sponsorships inquiries: email@example.com CORRESPONDENCE The Hudson Bay Centre 20 Bloor St. East P.O. Box 75075 Toronto, ON. M4W 3T3 BOLD® is published bimonthly by Pulso Media Group Inc. Opinions expressed in BOLD are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the publisher or advertisers. BOLD does not assume liability for content.
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the picturesque coastal town of Sorrento lined with olive vines and lemon trees. On the main street of Limonoro, sip the famous aperitif, Limoncello, and indulge in a little “dolce” of Italian pastries. Cruise across the Bay of Naples to the stunning isle of Capri. A Local Specialist will provide a leisurely orientation with free time to stroll around the elegant boutiques famed for custom-made sandals, artisan perfumes, soaps and confectioneries. Or, dine alfresco at the chic restaurants with majestic views overlooking the sea.
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Terms & Conditions: * Save 10% plus an additional $70 off per person on Trafalgar’s 2018 Europe & Britain Preview brochure. Pricing is available on select itineraries featured on the Trafalgar website and identified as “Preview 2018” only, and is valid until 24 September 2017. A non-refundable deposit is required per standard booking conditions to lock in the “best price”. If the holiday price is higher once the main brochure is released in mid-September, Trafalgar will honour the lower Preview rate; if it is lower, Trafalgar will refund the difference. Full payment is due by 11 January 2016. TICO # R50015870. 33 Kern Rd, Toronto ON M3B 1S9
Visitors to Canada face the challenge of choosing what they want to do in the Great White North. A country with the second largest landmass on the planet offers a wealth of options: three distinct coastlines, endless wilderness, memorable mountain ranges, lakes big and small and distinct cities proud of their mix of founding peoples and immigrants. For travellers wanting some guidance during this countryâ€™s celebration of its 150th birthday, here are seven truly unique Canadian experiences. BY WAHEEDA HARRIS
RBC AVION PRESENTS: 7 TRUE NORTH EXPERIENCES ÂŽ
6/12/17 1:49 PM
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
Thereâ€™s a reason the area between southern Labrador and northern Newfoundland is known as Iceberg Alley. Every spring the icebergs make their migration here. Hiking and boat tours are standard options, but kayaking a portion of the 29,000 kilometres of Atlantic coastline will help you get up close and personal with these jaw-droppingly huge pieces of ice, which hide 90 per cent of their mass below the sea surface. newfoundlandlabrador.com
Photos courtesy of Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Kayaking past an iceberg; Punts in Joe Battâ€™s Arm on Fogo Island; this vintage kayak sure holds up. boldmagazine.ca
QUEBEC CITY An essential ingredient of QuĂŠbĂŠcois cuisine, the savoury combination of fries, cheese curds and gravy, makes poutine the must-have street snack of the historic centre. Do a taste test: old-school devotees believe in the traditional style offered by historic Chez Ashton, while those embracing innovation make tracks for newbie Le Chic Shack, where modern additions include smoked meat or braised duck.
THIS PAGE: Terrasse Dufferin in Quebec City overlooks the St. Lawrence; traditional poutine.
Terrasse Dufferin photo by Cecile Benoit; poutine photo by Lafond, D.
For a long time, the Rideau Canal has held bragging rights as the longest ice skating rink in the world. But there’s a new twist to enjoying the winter wonderland in the nation’s capital. Launched last February, the annual Winterlude Festival now includes the continent’s first Ice Dragon Boat Festival, with teams competing for paddling supremacy on the frozen river.
Photos courtesy of Ottawa Tourism
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Skaters on the Rideau Canal during the winter; the Ceremonial Guard performs on Parliament Hill; the view down Wellington Street at night.
Photo courtesy of Post Hotel
Post Hotelâ€™s mountain view.
While most visitors fixate on mountains and glaciers, five-star luxury can be found among the high peaks of Banff National Park. The elegant Post Hotel & Spa, built in 1942 by Sir Norman Watson, offers memorable indulgences such as dining at Fondue StĂźbli, tasting something from the wine cellar or the ultimate cabin: The Watson House, a 3,000-square-foot mountain lodge with all the creature comforts on the banks of the Bow River. posthotel.com
OKANAGAN VALLEY Nk’mip Cellars in Osoyoos should be a bucket-list destination for oenophiles. Located in the hottest and driest area of Canada, this award-winning vinyard/restaurant/all-suites resort is Canada’s first Aboriginal-owned winery and was named Canadian Winery of the Year 2016-2017 by the InterVin International Wine Awards.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A selection of B.C. wines; the dining hall; the winery’s terrace looking out at Osoyoos Lake. boldmagazine.ca
Throughout the 22,000 square kilometres of wilderness in The Kluane National Park and Reserve, one can experience the beauty of forests, rivers, glaciers and icefields, as well as Mount Logan, Canadaâ€™s highest peak. Here itâ€™s possible to see black and grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose and caribou. For a Bald eagle-eye-view of this UNESCO World Heritage site, take a Rocking Star Adventure flight.
Rockingstar.ca 18 boldmagazine.ca
THIS PAGE: A black bear peeks out of the forest; an Indigenous totem pole.
Head to the north of this Prairie province for one of Mother Natureâ€™s most spectacular sights: the Northern Lights. The best time to see this natural phenomena of green light in the night sky is typically between January and March. But those who want to avoid shivering in the cold take note: The inhabitants of The Pas, population 5,368, claim the Aurora Borealis shines there year round.
A World of Possibilities
TRAVEL LIKE AN AVIONER
For Those Who Prefer to Explore
Avioners aren’t tourists. They’re travellers. They like to wander off the beaten path, just to see what they can find. They seek out experiences that they can live and stories that they can tell when they get back home. Even when they haven’t been that far from home at all.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Okanagan Valley is a beautiful place and it also happens to be home to some of our country’s best wineries. Enjoy all of the sights and sounds of the valley with the finest glass of chardonnay.
According to Athena Varmazis, Senior Vice President, Cards at RBC, “In the same way that these travellers aren’t limited by the tourist guide, Avioners don’t accept limitations on their travel plans and they would never carry a travel rewards card that would place such limitations.” In that spirit and in honour of Canada 150, we would like to present Avion’s list of the most interesting and beautiful places to celebrate our great nation this year. And the best part? You can do it all, ON POINTS!
Explore the world, ON POINTS Easy to understand travel rewards.
Signal Hill, Newfoundland Famous for being the location where the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received, Signal Hill was originally used to flag signal ships at sea, over three centuries ago. Take in beautiful views of the Atlantic ocean.
Churchill, Manitoba Polar bears have historically been thought to be solitary creatures, but every year they gather together in the hundreds on the shores of Hudson Bay. That’s how Churchill earned the title of “Polar Bear Capital of the World.”
Book any flight, with any airline, at any time. And now you can book from anywhere, with the RBC Rewards app1. There are also no seat restrictions. If there’s a seat available, you fly – even during peak seasons. Plus you can also use your points to cover airline fees and taxes.
Earning points is simple and easy. You can feel confident knowing that you’ll earn RBC Rewards® points every time you make a purchase on your credit card.
A travel rewards program that puts you first. You love to travel. And you work hard to earn your points. Which is why you deserve a travel rewards card that makes it easy to redeem for exactly what you want, when you want, without compromise or confusion.
AVIONERS CAN DO THAT ®
To learn more visit rbc.com/avion All rewards are subject to availability and are subject to change without notice. Some restrictions may apply. For complete terms, visit rbcrewards.com/terms. ®/™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. ‡ All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s). 1 The RBC Rewards app is operated by Royal Bank of Canada.
AGENDA W H E R E O U R WA N D E R LU S T I S TA K I N G U S N E X T
HOP, SKIP & A PINT VISITING CANADA’S MOST WINNING BREWERIES IS THE MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO GET TO KNOW THE COUNTRY UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Ne wf o & u L
Sas kat ch ew a
d lan dor nd bra a
Nor th Ter west rito ries A l
Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia
remember the days when travellers would collect souvenir spoons to remind them of the places they’d been. Nowadays craftbrewery coasters can be handy mementos of the brews that punctuate our explorations. To have failed to have had a pint or two of a local brewery’s terroir suds is to have missed a vital part of a destination. Here, BOLD presents a whirlwind all-provinces-andterritories tour of the country’s most visitable breweries and brewpubs, a tour where the local ambience and the views count as much as what’s in the glass. – PAUL GALLANT
ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA GARCÍA boldmagazine.ca
[ DRINKS ]
ALBERTA Arguably the country’s brewpub with most dramatic view, Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Pub and Micro-brewery offers drinkers and diners an upclose-and-personal experience of the Rockies. Launched in 1996, founder Niall Fraser’s vision became a local institution long before the current craft beer boom. Tours are available, as are handcrafted small-batch sodas.
YUKON With a tasting-room food focusing on local meat and organic ingredients, Whitehorse’s Winterlong Brewing Co. has a bone-warming snack menu to complement their hoppy beers. Launched by a couple who had been homebrewing for years, this inviting nanobrewery is just outside the downtown. And, yes, they do have a patio that’s open in the warmer months.
NUNAVUT When it starts selling its first suds this summer, Nunavut Brewing Co. will steal Yellowknife’s NWT Brewing Company record as Canada’s most northerly brewery. For its lagers and India pale ales, the fledgling company will use water from the Sylvia Grinnell River, a glacially fed river originating at Amadjuak Lake 200 kilometres north of Iqaluit. nubrewbeer.ca
BRITISH COLUMBIA Steel & Oak beers are available on tap across B.C.’s Lower Mainland, but it’s more fun to take the SkyTrain to the company’s elegantly woody tasting room in rapidly gentrifying New Westminster. Though the look is polished, the vibe is casual; ad hoc tours are sometimes available, and you’re welcome to bring your own food. steelandoak.ca
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES Declaring itself “the northernmost brewery in Canada,” the NWT Brewing Company has, in the two years since it’s opened, become one of the key charms of Yellowknife’s historic Old Town. Its Woodyard restaurant serves comfort food ranging from mac ’n’ cheese to pork tacos, while new beers regularly make guest appearances alongside tasty favourites. nwtbrewingco.com
SASKATCHEWAN The ghost of former building owner James Strathdee reportedly haunts the premises of Bushwakker, Regina’s famous indie brewpub. But visitors quickly find out there are many more stories here to be told. With daily specials, regular musical performances and a super friendly staff, Bushwakker is a place for creating your own legends. bushwakker.com
MANITOBA Because of provincial laws, the craftbeer craze came late to Manitoba. PEG Beer Co., located in the historic Exchange District of Winnipeg, brewed its first batch in late 2016. But the owners are already known for their hard work and commitment to the local community. Exposed brick and board games add to the hipster vibe. pegbeer.com
NEW BRUNSWICK Known for its traditional Britishstyle ales, the Picaroons HQ is in Fredericton, but the dog-friendly Saint John offshoot, Picaroons General Store, is particularly relaxed and funky, sometimes hosting beer-pairings and music events. There’s a magic to the place when they open the store’s huge sliding glass doors and let the Maritime air blow through. picaroons.ca
Family-run and producing a wide range of certified organic products, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company has, in just over a decade, become one of the most trendsetting and forward-thinking indies in the country. It’s worth the visit to Vankleek Hill, not far from Hawkesbury, to take a tour or indulge in a few free samples.
Declaring itself a home for misfits, Halifax’s young-at-heart Good Robot Brewing Co. has a drinks menu aimed at adventurous types and a sunny patio aimed at those who want to chillax their way through the day. Two restaurant partners – one a master of small plates, the other of hot dogs – provide sustenance every day of the week. goodrobotbrewing.ca
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND Follow a dirt road down to a shore that overlooks the dunes near Lennox Island and you’ll find PEI’s latest microbrewery. A breath of fresh air in in the less-travelled west end of the province, Moth Lane Brewing has a rotating selection of beer, brewed by a local master with a great sense of humour. facebook.
QUEBEC On the banks of the St. Lawrence River, with views of the Fleuve and Charlevoix mountains, the rustic Tête d’Allumette Microbrasserie is a real scene for mountain climbers and hipsters. Saint-André is also on Quebec’s Route Verte bicycle trail, making Tête’s dining room/tasting room a welcome break from a day of cycling.
NEWFOUNDLAND St. John’s’ Mill Street Brewpub, a sibling of the original beer hall in Toronto’s Distillery District, opened last summer, provides a blockbuster beer experience with more than 46 beers on tap. The location produces the full line of Mill Street favourites, but also makes its own local brews, some of which may go national if drinkers take to them. millstreetbrewery.com/
[ STAY CANADA ]
HOTELS DU JOUR Hotels are in our DNA. The Four Seasons and the Fairmont, luxury brands from right here in the Great White North, set the bar for elevated service around the globe, and are like Canada’s ambassadors for our kind of hospitality. But there are plenty of hotelier upstarts as well, making their mark on our landscape. Here, a few on our radar.
LENNY SLEPT HERE With an infinity pool and expansive views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower, Bisha Luxury Hotel is set to mark Toronto’s hotel landscape and the Entertainment District with its Las Vegas fun, meet Miami boho chic approach. From nightclub and dining visionary Charles Khabouth of INK Entertainment and designed by Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge, Bisha opens this summer, with 96 hotel rooms and 355 residential condominiums. The hotel promises laid-back luxury with an edge, plus an entire floor designed by the musician/actor Lenny Kravitz, bringing his sexy, soulful rocker vibe to the experience. Being a Khabouth property, there will be no shortage of culinary experiences, including a 2,200-square-foot lobby bar stretching to a street level patio, a 24-hour café and a destination restaurant by celebrity chef Akira Back. Who knows? You might even spot Lenny there. bishatoronto.com
MOUNT ROYAL Montreal is celebrating its 375th birthday this year, and the city is seeing a bit of a hotel renaissance. The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth reopens after a year-long facelift and Le Mount Stephen is shining up its neo-classical facade. Named for Lord Mount Stephen, the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the near 100-year-old building that he founded as a social club is living up to its social roots. The boutique property, close to the museums and chic shopping Montreal is known for, features Bar George for bites and cocktails, as well as MBiospa for a little rest and relaxation. fairmont.com/queen-elizabeth-montreal
MOUNTAIN DIGS Clique Hotels and Resorts recently reopened its Falcon Crest Lodge in Canmore after $3-million worth of renovations. The luxury property, just five minutes outside Banff, has new finishes and new tech amenities, including smart TVs with bluetooth capabilities and Netflix. “Mountain-inspired” art in the rooms will compete, perhaps, with the actual views of the Rockies, giving the place a vibe that’s both cosy and refined. With many Canada’s 150th anniversary promotions this year, and free National Parks passes from the federal government, Canmore expects a dramatic increase in visitors flocking to see Banff National Park. Clique plans to add the 125-room Malcolm Hotel Canmore to its roster in 2018. falconcrestlodge.ca
CRASH PALACE When Alberta hospitality company Urbansparq opened Edmonton’s Crash Hotel last December, it set out to turn what was once the dilapidated Grand Hotel into one of the hippest spots in town. The 70-room, three-storey building, located near Rogers Place stadium, is a historic 100-plusyear-old property but needed some TLC – and someone who knows something about great food. So the Urbansparq team recruited Nathin Bye, most recently chef at Ampersand 27, to create the menu for Denizen Hall, the tavern that anchors Crash Hotel’s ground floor. His tapas-style twists on a pub menu are served up in a room decorated with black velvet paintings and retro videogame and pinball machines. If the Crash formula takes off, Urbansparq could use it as a model for other properties. crashhotel.com boldmagazine.ca
[ CANADA TROTTER ]
Around the world and around the country with
of Spirits Canada
Photo by Tishan Baldeo
Jan Westcott knows his way around Canada and around a bar. In the 1980s, he was president and CEO of the Canadian Wine Institute (now called the Canadian Vintners Association) and then through much of the 1990s, CEO of Brewers of Ontario. Since becoming president and CEO of Spirits Canada/ Association of Canadian Distillers in 1999, heâ€™s been a strong advocate for a $5.8-billion industry that annually exports $600 million worth of Canadian Whisky and other spirits around the world. Itâ€™s a challenging job following, on one hand, the increasing globalization of the spirits market and, on the other, the rise of hyperlocal boutique distillers. But Westcott also knows how to enjoy himself.
“Canada has so many fantastic places ... it’s hard to have a favourite.” Which is your favourite hotel and why? The Westin in Sydney, Australia. We stayed the year it opened [1999, in the old General Post Office building]. Great location. My wife and I are runners, so we’ll run from the hotel to the Botanical Gardens to the Sydney Opera House and back. What’s the one thing you pack for every trip? Two books. Either because I occasionally misplace one or I finish one. I’m a reader and I go crazy if I don’t have a book to read. I’ve done e-readers, but there’s something comforting about holding a book in your hands. What’s your essential item for making travel more comfortable? You can’t really relax if you don’t have a good pair of jeans. What’s your guilty pleasure while travelling? Chocolate from all different parts of the world. If you find a local chocolatier who makes it from scratch, it will always be good. My favourite drink and how I like it is... It really identifies excellent bartenders if they can make you a great Old Fashioned. My business colleague and I order them everywhere we go. Where in Canada have you felt happiest? British Columbia. Because the weather is mild, you can play golf much longer. To get away from it all, I go to: Maui. It’s far enough away that you literally forget about work. The weather is exceptional. Really beautiful golf courses. Good restaurants. No poisonous snakes or bugs.
The thing I love most about whisky is... The taste. In the last five to seven years there’s been an explosion of premium and super premium whiskies, so the range of what’s available and the quality has really taken off.
What’s the furthest north you’ve been? I’ve been to Whitehorse, with a day trip up to Dawson City. My wife went out and panned for gold and got two nuggets she was able to make earrings out of. How many provinces and territories have you been to, and which is your favourite? I’ve been everywhere except Nunavut. Canada has so many fantastic places it’s hard to have a favourite. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met on your travels? A woman by the name of Dina Horn, a mother and grandmother who has been a tour guide in Israel for 20-odd years. With her, we got literally within 10 yards of the Syrian border and watched Hezbollah shelling the Syrian rebels. What inspires you to keep exploring our country? We have a disproportionate share of the wonders of the world, whether they have the designation or not. What would be your Canadian trip of a lifetime? I would like to take a week or 10 days to drive across Newfoundland, stop in the harbours, meet the people and see the amazing geography. Which travel experience most changed your view of Canada and why? I went to South America in the 1970s, from Venezuela to Peru. It made me realize at a young age how well we have it in Canada and the safety, security and the wealth we take for granted.
What’s your most memorable whisky-drinking experience? In St. John’s when you go to Water Street, there are amazing bars that go all night, with the camaraderie of the Newfoundlanders.
[ FOOD DIARIES ]
Photos courtesy Michael Smith
Island Proud After a TV career that took him around the world, chef MICHAEL SMITH doubled-down on the bucolic PEI property that made him famous.
n 1991 New York City-born chef Michael Smith arrived at Prince Edward Island’s Inn at Bay Fortune, where he helped reinvent the historic property as a gourmet destination. In the late 1990s, Smith left the inn to work in food media, hosting such shows as The Inn Chef, Chef at Home, Chef at Large, Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef Abroad and judging on Chopped: Canada, as well as writing a series of books. In 2015, Smith returned to yet again reinvent the Inn at Bay Fortune, located on the eastern end of the Island, this time as proprietor with his wife Chastity. Menus are seasonal and ever-changing, based on what the inn’s farm and local producers have available. “There’s lots of brainstorming going on. That’s for sure,” laughs Smith. “But our chowder is our chowder. Our bread is our bread.” BOLD asked him to share the stories behind some favourite photos on his social media streams. – PAUL GALLANT
1. I’d say that’s 1993, my second of the seven years I spent at the Inn at Bay Fortune before I came back in 2015. I would have been a punk wet-behind-theears chef back then with zero wisdom and not much understanding about the true world of food. I look at that person now and think, “If he’d only known what was coming.” The kitchen back then was very different. We scraped for everything. We were lucky to have a stove. That storage is old mayonnaise tubs. 2. Big food loves to dangle money in front of guys like me, to shill for this, shill for that. I’ve turned them all down. The Half Your Plate campaign, working with the folks who promote and sell fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada, is a real opportunity to remind Canadians how simple it is to eat healthy. The constant search for trends is all ridiculous bullshit. If you fill
half your plate with fruits and vegetables, you are going to be just fine.
3. That’s the north edge of the Naufrage Run on the North Shore. We like to go for walks and hikes with the kids on Sundays. What I see there is the natural beauty of PEI, but also that I’m hanging out with my family on the beach. I also like the beaches on the South Shore, which are walking distance from where I am.
4. Nothing defines the Inn at Bay Fortune more than this farm, the eight-acre certified-organic vegetable farm where we grow everything we serve. Last year we grew more than 320 different varieties, more than a million and a half plants. That’s a bed of cutting onions that happened to be in flower. When you don’t have a farm, all you ever see is the onion that’s buried in the ground beneath those plants. When you do have
fire pits all over the property doing different flavours. Once you come sit down for the evening’s feast, there are no choices to be made, but we’ll do so many different things on that grill.
7. The brigade cooks come
7 a farm, you understand the whole life cycle, and you discover that plants produce many ingredients beside the onion itself.
5. About 10 years ago, a very seminal experience happened to me within striking distance of that sculpture on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. Ceviche! We tend to forget that cooks all over the world do their best when they cook simply with what’s in our backyards. When something comes from far away, it gets thrown on a pedestal. Ceviche is an example of that, with chefs in big cities serving it. But when you travel to places like Mexico, where you’ve got all these fish in the sea and all this citrus on the land, at its heart, ceviche is just simple local cooking.
from all over the country for five months, so this is last season’s team on a tour of the Island. We’ll take a day to visit our primary suppliers to find out where our food comes from: the duck farm, the cheese factory, the local brewery. It’s a chance to connect all these people with Prince Edward Island. On that day, I had them at the bee plant to see where our bee products come from.
8. Those two giant blocks ended up in our fire kitchen framing the chef’s table, with a 16-foot-long cherry butcherblock surface bridging the two. I had wanted to rebuild how our service kitchen works. It was quite a project, but quite beautiful too.
For more information, visit chefmichaelsmith.com and innatbayfortune.com; for more pictures and visual stories, explore instagram. com/chefmichaelsmith and
6. That’s lamb at a fire pit
during Oyster Hour, the hour prior to sitting down for supper. That’s when our guests wander our property and find different boldmagazine.ca
Rocky Mountain Early morning canoeing on Moraine Lake, Alberta.
g h s Those who think they know the Canadian Rockies need only take a small step away from Lake Louise to discover the undiscovered, reports VAWN HIMMELSBACH Photos by Paul Zizka
I grew up near the Canadian Rockies – well, about a seven-hour’s drive away, but in the Prairies, that’s considered a short drive. I don’t recall the first time I saw the mountains; they were just part of my childhood, like freezies on hot summer days and the feel of frozen air on my face in wintertime. Most summers, we’d pack up the station wagon, hitch on the Boler trailer and head to the Rockies. I remember how they’d rise out of the Prairies, like a mirage. It almost felt like passing through a gate into another world, one with rugged peaks and waterfalls tumbling into hot springs and mossy paths in the woods. It all seemed magical to a child, but as a teenager, I chose to stay home and work in the summers rather than vacation with my parents. I quickly forgot about those magical moments. It never occurred to me that people travel from all over the globe to experience the Canadian Rockies. When I was old enough to travel on my own, I hopped on a plane to the Andes in Peru, to hike the Inca Trail. Then it was on to the Himalayas. I hadn’t considered the mountains in my own backyard until work drew me back a couple of years ago, for a week in the Kootenays. I found myself on a mossy trail, surrounded by towering trees, no one else around except my hiking companions – and a bear. He was on the other side of a rushing river, lumbering down a rocky slope, far enough away that I wasn’t utterly terrified (not to mention, he was completely uninterested in us).
OPPOSITE PAGE: Hiking Lake Louise, Larch Valley Sentinel Pass.
It was then that I rediscovered the magic of the Rockies, with their snow-capped peaks and multi-hued lakes, their glaciers, waterfalls and canyons – and realized that one of the most beautiful places on Earth was right in my own backyard. Things have changed a bit, of course. Banff is more crowded than I remember, with lots of tour bus groups and high-end shops. And this year, Banff will be even more crowded; for Canada’s 150th anniversary, Parks Canada has granted free entrance to all national parks. Banff and Lake Louise are deservedly considered must-see destinations in the Rockies. But this is a big place, and there’s a lot more to see besides these bucket-list (albeit postcard-perfect) spots.
OPPOSITE PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Banff Springs Hotel during wintertime; hiking in Lake Louise; Northern Lights over Cascade Mountain.
This is a place with history, natural beauty and local communities to explore. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to get off the beaten path, or forge a new one. Beyond Banff, the Rockies are a vast, rugged wilderness, where bighorn sheep, grizzly bears and elk roam (in fact, elk roam all over the town of Jasper, hanging out in people’s front yards at dusk). It’s a land of stone and ice, where frozen waterfalls hang from sheer mountain cliffs well into spring; where ice melts to reveal emerald-coloured water that you’d expect to see in the Caribbean, not in Alberta. The air smells of pine and adventure. Whether you’re heli-skiing on remote peaks or mountain biking through alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers, the backcountry provides constant reminders of just how untouched (and unforgiving) this land is. The wilderness hasn’t changed much from the 17th century, when the fur trade made its way from Montreal into the Rockies, bringing with it fur traders, surveyors and explorers. Then came the railway in the 19th century; rail workers “discovered” mineral hot springs that led to the creation of Rocky Mountains Park, which was later renamed Banff. The iconic Banff Springs Hotel, which opened in 1888, was at that time one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, designed to look like a castle. Now the Fairmont Banff Springs, it’s worth a wander to soak up the history of its hallowed halls (it’s supposedly haunted). Later, in 1907, a vast tract of wilderness north of Banff was designated as Jasper National Park.
These days tourists – not pioneers – ride Canada’s historic railways through the Canadian Rockies. I decide to be a tourist in my own backyard, taking the train through these vast tracts of untouched wilderness. There’s an Australian couple sitting in front of me, swooning over the frozen lakes and snow-capped peaks; they can’t stop taking photos. A few rows ahead are a British family; I’m surprised the kids are so well-behaved without iPads and gaming devices. Apparently, the scenery is enough to keep them occupied. We all give a collective gasp when someone spots bighorn sheep; there’s another surge of excitement when someone yells “bear!” – which turns out to be a tree stump. These people have come from all over the world to see this place. For me, it feels like home. These landscapes have also become part of our national identity, woven into song lyrics and books and art. Of course, the Rockies were here long before Canada was declared a nation. But they’re a testament to the pioneering spirit this country was built on: by adventurers and explorers.
MOUNTAINOUS DISCOVERIES Banff is a must-see, but the Rockies have other picturesque mountain towns well worth exploring. Nelson, on the shores of Kootenay Lake, offers up storybook charm with 350 heritage buildings among the rugged Selkirk Mountains. Fernie, founded by prospectors in 1887, is a true mountain town, with grand historic buildings and an authentic community vibe – not to mention views of the jagged Three Sisters peaks. The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the top drives in the world, winding its way along the Continental Divide from Lake Louise to Jasper. But it could take all day to drive the 232-kilometre stretch of asphalt, since there’s so much to see along the way. In Banff, you’ll get extraordinary views from the summit of Sulphur Mountain, accessible by gondola, though you’ll be sharing the view with a lot of other people. For more solitude, there are literally thousands of kilometres of backcountry trails to explore. The Iceline Trail in Yoho, for example, is possibly one of the most spectacular hikes in the Rockies, following the edge of several glaciers with views of Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada. The views also extend to the night sky: Jasper is a designated Dark Sky Preserve, making it ideal for stargazing; you might also see the Northern Lights.
STAY From luxury lodges to historic hotels and classic log cabins and chalets, there are plenty of options for visitors. Parks Canada operates all campgrounds in the national parks, and the Alpine Club of Canada operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America for hikers, skiers, climbers and mountaineers (and even has some family-friendly options).
pc.gc.ca, alpineclubofcanada.ca boldmagazine.ca
Canada Cool Sure, the East Coast has abundant seafood and family-friendly attractions, but LOLA AUGUSTINE BROWN discovers a newfound confidence and sense of style 36 boldmagazine.ca
ON THIS PAGE: Fogo Island Inn, designed by Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunder. FOLLOWING PAGE: The Fogo Island Inn restaurant.
A NEWFOUNDLAND HOMECOMING
Way back in 2008, I visited Nova Scotia on a whim and was utterly seduced by the stormy East Coast. Three days touring the South Shore with its lighthouses and seafood, drinking and hanging with friendly locals in Halifax, and I packed up my life in Vancouver and moved. Since then I’ve spent plenty of time in all four Atlantic provinces, finding that there’s so much more to them than the seaside stereotypes. I fall more in love with this part of the country with every new park, beach and town I visit. In the time I’ve been here, so much has changed, too, with a boom of internationally acclaimed wineries, microbreweries and distilleries in even the tiniest towns. Unexpectedly cool ventures set up by daring dreamers provide even more reasons to visit.
When the fisheries dwindled, life out on barren Fogo Island in northeastern Newfoundland became more difficult. Despite the natural beauty, there were few reasons to visit or stay until, in 2013, the spectacular Fogo Island Inn opened. Completely radical in its architectural conception, it put Fogo Island on the map, serving up the very best of Newfoundland for visitors from the world over. Perched high on rocks overlooking the crashing ocean, the Inn perfectly melds contemporary design – sleek lines and huge windows – with traditional Newfoundland amenities, like the quilts and furniture that decorate the rooms and common spaces. In the dramatic dining room, you can watch icebergs float by and whales frolic, while dining on food that’s put the place on the list of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants. Step outside and you can hike beautiful trails or explore the quaint little towns of the island, jawing with locals at the pub or diner. The Inn is the brainchild of dot-com millionaire Zita Cobb, who left Fogo Island at age 16 and, retiring at age 43, came home to create something for the community that raised her. Besides the Inn, the Shorefest Foundation that Cobb established with her brothers has provided arts grants to locals, and helped with the restoration of historic properties on Fogo. Cobb says the inn has made an special impact on the community. “People have more clarity to see themselves and their culture in relation to the other, and are better able to understand how they themselves fit into the globalized world,” she says. The project has taken this remote Newfoundland location and turned it into something very special. Indeed, the entire province is a gloriously special place, wild and romantic with deep Celtic roots. The people are so genuine, creative and fun that you feel at home soon after arriving. (Cathy Jones of This Hour Has 22 Minutes once told me that Newfoundlanders are so generous that they’d give you their arse and never sit down again, if you needed it.) boldmagazine.ca
THESE PAGES CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ken Spears and Ashley Condon from Copper Bottom Brewing Company in Montague, PEI; historic Dalvay by the Sea on PEI; the Halifax waterfront; a stargazer tent at Ridgeback Lodge, New Brunswick; a British phone box at Luckett Vineyards in Nova Scotiaâ€™s Gaspereau Valley.
BREWS IN MONTAGUE While craft beer is huge everywhere, something special happens when someone launches a brewery in a little town where perhaps there’s not so much else going on. This summer, husband and wife team Ken Spears and Ashley Condon are opening the Copper Bottom Brewing Company in Montague, PEI. It’s the town Condon grew up in and it managed to lure the couple back from Toronto seven years ago. “We’ll be working… to produce the best possible beer from our region, and it will have a special East Coast flavour,” says Spears. “There’s a bit of a void at the moment, with no craft beer east of Charlottetown.” A decade ago, the same could be said for the entire province. Copper Bottom will have a tap room, offering offsales and live music. “We did this because we wanted somewhere to go ourselves,” says Condon. Spears points out that the arts community in Montague, with a population of a little more than 2,000 people, has been growing for a few years. “There are increasing tourism efforts to get people to explore this part of the island, because there are a lot of hidden gems here,” she says. Most PEI visitors head to Charlottetown (which is lovely, BTW) or over to Cavendish, the heart of Anne of Green Gables country. But away from the better known places, there’s much rustic charm and beauty to explore. Montague itself is close to many gorgeous beaches that you may well have to yourself, even in the height of summer. Add to that the fishing wharfs and villages you’ll see on the 40-minute drive from the capital. “I lived and worked away for many years as a touring folk musician, and when I returned I really saw what makes this place so special,” says Condon. “One of the most charming things about PEI is that change happens very gradually, so life here now is very similar to the way it was when I was growing up.”
HOW TO SPEND A WEEK IN ATLANTIC CANADA Seeing all four Atlantic Canada provinces in a week is not for the faint-hearted, but it can be done. Here’s an itinerary that will certainly leave you wanting more. DAYS ONE & TWO Fly into Gander, Newfoundland, pick up a rental car and drive to the public ferry that will take you to Fogo Island. Spend two nights immersing yourself in the culture and incredible landscape.
fogoislandinn.ca DAY THREE Fly to Halifax, pick up a rental car and check in to the Prince George Hotel. Spend afternoon exploring downtown Halifax on foot. Have an amazing dinner at EDNA, then walk down to the Halifax boardwalk to taste local brews at the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden. princegeorgehotel.
com; ednarestaurant.com; stubborngoat.ca DAYS FOUR & FIVE Drive to Pictou, Nova Scotia, to take the ferry over to PEI. Stay at historic Dalvay by the Sea, like Prince William and Kate did on their honeymoon. Eat at The Pearl Eatery and Oyster Lounge and then catch a movie at the Brackley Beach Drive-in for nostalgia’s sake. Explore the glorious beaches, and follow the PEI Craft Beer Trail that’ll take you all over the Island.
dalvaybythesea.com; pearleatery. com; drivein.ca DAY SIX Cross the Confederation Bridge into New Brunswick and drive to Moncton, stopping at the Tide and Boar Gastropub for lunch, then on to Kingston to spend a night at Ridgeback Lodge, glamping under the stars. tideandboar.com;
ridgebacklodge.com DAY SEVEN Take the Digby ferry from St. John back to Nova Scotia. Drive the coastal road toward historic Wolfville, stopping for lunch at Luckett Vineyards before heading back to the Halifax airport.
STAR WATCHING IN NEW BRUNSWICK New Brunswick may very well be the most under-rated destination in Canada. The province is gorgeous, wild and has pockets of fabulousness scattered throughout, from tree-house accommodations in Miramichi to long, white-sand beaches, glorious hiking and bustling cities. Here, too, fresh blood has reinvigorated Atlantic style. In 2012, Christel Postel and her husband Robert van de Straat moved from the Netherlands to Kingston, N.B., to turn Ridgeback Lodge into a glamping paradise. Their spacious dome tents have transparent panels so you can star-gaze, while the luxe minimalist cabins have an intriguingly modern European aesthetic. (Plus they have outdoor wood-fired hot-tubs, which is always wonderful.) New Brunswick wasn’t this Dutch couples’ first choice. They had planned to establish themselves in B.C., but their immigration consultant recommended looking east for property. “This place ticked all our boxes. It was a rural set-up not too far from cities,” says Postel, “And it really is a beautiful place.” At first, Ridgeback Lodge seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere, set on 180 acres of natural beauty, among untouched forest with glorious water views and springfed ponds for swimming. It is, however, close to wineries, waterfalls, apple picking and plenty of quaint small businesses. Those opportunities to meet the locals are important. Despite the ridiculous beauty out here, the Atlantic Canadian characters – and their accents – are what set this region apart. Be careful, though. You might end up getting sucked in like I did. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Sea to Sea From
ON THESE PAGES: Cabot Cliffs Golf Course #16; the early days at the Stanley Thompsondesigned Banff Springs golf course, which opened in 1928.
“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated,” the late Arnold Palmer once remarked. “It satisfies
Tee to Tee and
the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind ever invented.”
With their rich history and beautiful vistas, ANITA DRAYCOTT can’t help celebrating our country’s best courses
on the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday, this proud Canuck is waving the Maple Leaf in honour of our country’s long and storied golf heritage. Golf was an Olympic sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Games. Ontario-born George Lyon won the Gold in 1904. Canada’s victory remained uncontested until the sport returned to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Also in 1904, The Canadian Open Championship was initiated making it the third oldest National Open championship in the world. We are a nation of 5.7 million avid golfers and 2,300 courses. To celebrate “the greatest game mankind ever invented,” take a swing through some of Canada’s best.
STANLEY THOMPSON’S LEGACY The late Stanley Thompson was Canada’s finest golf course architect. Between 1920 and 1953 he designed or remodelled 145 courses from coast to coast. Known as the “Toronto Terror,” the florid-faced Thompson had a proclivity for fancy cars, thick steaks, fine cigars and Canadian rye whisky. His genius was in refusing to impose a course on its setting. He moved trees and rocks only if essential because he believed in preserving the natural beauty of the landscape. As a result, his courses unfold in sublime harmony with Mother Nature. He also believed that courses should be pleasurable to play by golfers of a wide range of abilities. Maybe that’s why I have never met a Thompson course I didn’t like. Some of his best are Banff Springs and Jasper in Alberta and Highlands Links on Cape Breton Island.
SWING BACK IN TIME AT THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS In 1928, Stanley Thompson was hired to design the Banff Springs Golf Course on the “roof of the world” in Alberta’s Rockies. Banff held the distinction of being the first track on the planet to cost more than $1 million to construct in a setting so scenic it would bankrupt the English language to describe. Banff’s Heritage Golf Experience allows you to play the course as Thompson originally routed it – and with the appropriate equipment in tow. Your caddie, clad in plus-fours, will help you choose from a selection of hickory-shafted clubs, including a brassie, spoon, jigger, mashie and niblick. You’ll also get three balls pressed to replicate those gutta percha orbs used in the 1930s. To enhance your Heritage Experience, the distance from the tips has been reduced to compensate for the antique technology. You might want bring along some vintage duds for a photo op.
GLEN ABBEY AND THE CANADIAN GOLF HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM The inaugural Canadian Open was played at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, in 1977. The course was Jack Nicklaus’ first solo foray into golf design. Several historic sporting moments have occurred here, including what some consider to be Tiger Wood’s greatest hit. He blasted his second shot from a bunker on the par-five 18th and holed his third to score an eagle at the Canadian Open in 2000. For the 29th time this July (24 to 30), Glen Abbey will host the RBC Canadian Open. On the same property, enthusiasts should visit the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. Its unique artifacts include our crown jewel, the 1904 Olympic trophy donated by George Lyon’s family, plus several interactive displays.
GO EAST WHERE GOLF IS BOOMING While the golf industry has been in a bit of a slump since the economic meltdown of the 1980s, golf is thriving in the Maritimes. Opened in 2015, The Links at Brunello, minutes from Halifax, winds its way through stands of pines and over wetlands and rocky outcroppings. Big greens, wide fairways and only 38 bunkers are all part of the plan to make golf fun, fast and playable. Another innovation is the opportunity to play by the hole. If you don’t have time for 18, you can play as little as one. The Algonquin Golf Course in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, has a distinguished pedigree. First opened in 1894 with design input by legendary Donald Ross (of North Carolina’s Pinehurst No. 2 fame), it’s currently being renovated by Canadian architect Rod Whitman. The seaside tract overlooking the Bay of Fundy reopens August 2017 with eight new holes. No celebration Canadian golf would be complete without a nod to the tremendous success of Cabot Links and Cliffs in Inverness, Cape Breton. When Cabot Links opened in 2012 it caused a sensation in the golf world as Canada’s first and only true links course. When the sister course, Cabot Cliffs, opened officially to the public last summer, Golf Digest had already awarded it “Best New Course in America” for 2015 and number 19 on its list of the Top 100 Courses in the World. Fifteen minutes away, the Glenora Distillery names its “water of life” Canada Single Malt because only whisky distilled in Scotland can be called Scotch. Now this area of Cape Breton not only features Canada’s only true links courses, but also North America’s first single malt whisky distillery. Two more reasons to toast our home and native land.
OFFBEAT TEE-OFFS PEAK DRIVE From Big Sky Golf Club’s own helicopter pad in Whistler, your chopper flies you to the “mile-high driving range” on top of Mount Currie. Warm up your swing by launching biodegradable golf balls off the peak looming over the Pemberton Valley. Prepare for some serious hang time!
bigskygolf.ca BOGEY BUFFET After a rollicking roller-coaster round at Glasgow Hills, in New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island, tuck into a complimentary 19 th -hole bowl of steaming Island-raised mussels. Golfers slurp about 18,000 pounds per year. glasgowhills.com MAPLE-FLAVOURED GIMME
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course; Glenn Abbey; Links at Brunello.
At Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Quebec, often dubbed North America’s largest log cabin, try the spa’s signature “only in Canada” maple syrup body scrub.
Images by Michel Bonato
THOSE WHO CAN’T DO, BEACH
Experience Quebec’s Les Îles de la Madeleine with all things on, in, and under the blue waters of the St. Lawrence.
et away from it all, without going very far away. When it comes to diving, beaches, and surfing, la belle province probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. But Quebec’s idyllic string of islands, Les Îles de la Madeleine, forming an archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, offers an endless array of water sports and lazy beaches to waste the day away. Unlike anywhere else in Canada, the unique landscapes and unparalleled beauty, with temperate climates, rolling hills, lighthouses, charming fishing villages, forests perfect for hiking, and rare birds, make for a can’t-miss nautical experience.
PADDLE UP Les Îles boast some of the most unique and unusual landscapes in Canada, as well as rare wildlife and plants. There is no better way to explore them close up than by kayak. In fact, the rocky terrain can make some of the areas inaccessible any other way.
The area’s striking red-stone cliffs have been formed by wind, water, and time, over thousands of years. They create a fascinating backdrop for exploring. Along the way, you will find inlets, fishing harbours, lagoons, and beaches. There is no shortage of local tour companies offering local guides and interpreters. They can ensure your visit is both informative and safe. And The Water Trail makes it easy to get the most from your excursion. There are 30 launch points and eight itineraries, from easy to demanding.
CAN’T-MISS TRAIL Explore natural and man-made wonders. At Old Harry, get up close to the natural caves, paddle along Île Boudreau in Bassinaux-Huîtres, and end at the area’s largest commercial fishing port.
BEST BEACH: Every August, Havre-Aubert Beach hosts a weekendlong sand castle contest, with categories for the whole family!
WHEN YOU GO Air Canada Express offers daily flights to Les Îles de la Madeleine from Toronto and Montreal with connections for all Air Canada and Star Alliance destinations. 1-888-247-2262 www.aircanada.com
PLAN YOUR TRIP THIS SUMMER Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine tourismeilesdelamadeleine.com 1-877-624-4437 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Feel like experiencing the water, while simply relaxing? There is no shortage of picturesque beaches to chill out on at Les Îles. Bring a book and your sunblock, then hit the 300 kilometres of white sand stretching alone the shores of the St. Lawrence. Perfect for families, friends, and couples, the beaches are perfect for playing on the sand, romantic beachfront walks, or just laying back and soaking up the sun. And with clear water that reaches up to 20°C, they make for a refreshing swim in the summer heat. Think you need to head to the Caribbean for white sand beaches? Think again. The beaches here are loaded with the soughtafter white sand. But it actually started off red. Erosion from the red stone cliffs ends up in the salt water, where its film of iron oxide is worn away. Currents then carry it from island to island where it washes up on the shores, forming the islands’ signature dunes.
TRAVEL NAVIGATOR O U R T I P S A N D T R I C KS TO N AV I GAT I N G T H E WO R L D
Revolutionary Road Trips With the right strategies – and the right attitude – MICHAEL SMITH has found that taking to the highway in a rental car can be a breeze. ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA GARCÍA
We’re lucky to live in a country like Canada,
with breath-taking scenery, cultured cities and attractions that rival the best in the world. Unfortunately, our domestic flight prices don’t rival other destinations. For me, this means heading to the car rental kiosk. After many years of road tripping, I’ve learned what to ask and what to look for when renting a car.
WINTER BLUES Being in Canada, you might want to consider some winter tires for the colder months, especially if you’re going to a province like Quebec, where they are mandatory from December 15 to March 15. Make sure you call the car-rental location directly, however, and request them. For one booking, I made this request with the central call centre (because there wasn’t an option online), only to be told later that the American call centre doesn’t see it as a priority and had left it off the request. I’d advise making any special request directly to the location. At least I got an upgrade.
SEEING THE MANAGER
I have to admit I’ve found myself frustrated at almost all the car rental companies. If you do find yourself with a complaint, it’s best to ask for a manager at the location. In the past I’ve sent my grievances by email after the rental, to only be ignored several times before deciding to cut my losses and give up. Whereas I can typically get my matter taken care of if I see the person in charge before I take the car.
One of the easy ways car rental companies make an extra dime is by charging you $10-plus per day for an extra driver. If you go with Enterprise, however, they waive the fee for a spouse. You just need to show your IDs with the same address.
THE AIRBNB OF CAR RENTALS Of course there’s an app that lets you rent other people’s cars! Turo has been pushing hard in the Toronto area to let users rent cars from other individuals. The site presents decent cars for around $40/day, as well as luxury cars like a Porsche Panamera 2016 for $170/day. Like Airbnb, the owners of the cars are peer reviewed and the website pushes their insurance coverage. One major advantage is that they drop off the car to you.
SKIP THE INSURANCE AND GET TO THE PERKS Easily the biggest saving I made was getting myself a credit card with car rental insurance included. Car insurance can cost around $30 a day, which adds up very quickly. RBC has some great options with their Avion VISA Infinite cards, which also offers optional roadside assistance. There are annual fees on the cards, but a few weekends away will help you break even on insurance alone, in addition to the other benefits.
UPGRADE-PALOOZA It feels like 75 per cent of the times I’ve rented a car, I’ve been upgraded. Much of it has to do with the fact they just happen to have a bigger car available when I arrive (or possibly due to my asking for the manager). That’s why I always book the smallest car, because I usually get a bigger one for the lower price. I wouldn’t rely on this; if you need a bigger car, book it. But if you can make do with a smaller model, take your chances. Remember that a bigger car means a bigger gas bill, too.
THREE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR ROAD TRIP BETTER
NO GAS-STATION MEALS I know you’re trying to get to your destination as fast as possible. Quickly diverting off the highway to grab a burger is tempting. My biggest tip, however, is to grab your phone and ask Google for “restaurants near me.” You’ll usually find a place with a decent review that’s less than 10 minutes off the highway. The strategy lets you refresh, see a little bit of a community that you would have otherwise driven past and get a good meal that won’t make you feel icky afterwards.
LAUGH ALONG THE WAY Several hours of listening to music can eventually get a bit tiring. One of the best ways to break it up is with an audiobook – especially a comedy. It will keep you engaged without taking your attention off the road.
PLAN STOPS ON THE WAY BACK Coming home is always the part travellers most dread. That’s why it’s good to plan some sightseeing stops along the way, so it’s something to look forward to, not just power through.
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U PGRADES E D I TO R ’ S I T I N E R A RY
COASTING ALONG CROATIA Cycle back in time along the ancient, sun-kissed coastlines of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.
FOR THE LOVE OF VODNJAN A brief 12-kilometre detour inland, away from the sea and through fruit groves, brings us to the splendor of Vodnjan, Istria’s ancient capital. Here, ancient buildings in the town’s centre are covered in colourful, fantastical modern murals, in a playful bridge between vastly different periods. A must-see for religion and history buffs: the church of St. Blaise. Sure, it’s home to Istria’s tallest tower, but inside, it houses something even more intriguing — 370 relics that belonged to 250 different saints, included amongst them are what are proclaimed to be a thorn from Jesus’ crown, a piece of his cross, a tatter of Mary’s veil and the desiccated remains of many saints. Other equally interesting, but perhaps less grisly sites we spot along the way: Park Kazuna, with its intricate stone huts, the 8th-century church of Sta Foska and the ancient Roman baths on the shores just outside of town.
ROVING AROUND ROVINJ
ig, lemon, and olive trees line many of the trails and roads on our route, making for an invigorating and fragrant ride from city to city along the coast. And the perfect places to enjoy some shade and rest along the country’s golden shores. With opportunities to stop and explore ancient Roman architecture up close, and beating the heat by diving into the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, it should come as no surprise that Croatia consistently ranks among the world’s top 20 travel destinations. It’s a journey that combines equal parts Venice and Tuscany, but with a flavour that is distinctly its own. Found at the northern tip Adriatic, the Istrian Peninsula shares borders with Slovenia and Italy—iconic Venice is across the water, in fact (and its influences are still felt here). An idyllic, weeklong cycling holiday makes for the perfect way to experience the textures, the warmth, and the history at your own pace.
PULA LA LAND A quick jaunt up the jagged rocky coast brings us to the city of Pula. It’s the largest in Istria and rests, stunningly, on the southern tip of the peninsula. Today, it’s home to around 60,000 residents, and its narrow streets make for charming walks amongst the boutiques, cafés, and harbour. An important port city throughout antiquity, it has a rich history of winemaking, fishing and shipbuilding. But it has seen its share of hardships as well, having fallen into the hands of the Romans, Franks, Venetians and Austrians over the centuries. While the city has been reduced to rubble multiple times, many ancient ruins exist to document its fascinating and tumultuous history. Not the least of which is the Roman amphitheatre, the city’s most famous attraction and the country’s most well-preserved ancient monument. Known as the Pula Arena, it was first constructed around 27 BC, with additions and alterations made in the following century. What makes it such a novel architectural wonder is its four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders preserved—the only one of its kind that remains in the world! Today it’s the breathtaking backdrop to film festivals and summer operas.
Thirty kilometres north along the coast offers more glorious rides through lush walnut, fig and almond trees, on the way to Rovinj… or is that Rovigno? Once under Venetian rule, the city was known as the Venice of Istria. Still today, two hundred years after the fall of Venice, it has two official languages: Croatian and Italian (some residents also speak Istriot) and it even has two official names: Rovinj for Croats, and Rovigno for Italians. Once an island just off shore, it was joined together with the mainland in the 18th century. At night, the candles of restaurant tables spilling onto the streets light its narrow marbled alleyways. And after all the biking in the Mediterranean sun, we can use a refreshing swim in one of the city’s picturesque swimming coves, with crystal blue water and glimmering yellow rocks. Once the sun sets, we watch the fishing boats return to the harbour, with their lights glowing beneath the water’s surface.
POPULAR POREČ Farther north is the coastal city of Poreč, a popular summer resort town for Croatians looking for outdoor fun, and the final stop on our two-wheeled trek. It’s most famous for its gleaming Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Mary, right in the heart of town. The 300 AD UNESCO heritage site is covered in intricate 6th-century stone mosaics and golden frescoes. Its four-columned ciborium was built in 1277, modeled after St. Mark’s in Venice. One side depicts the Annunciation, striking scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. For a natural wonder, we head 10 kilometres out of town to the giant limestone cave, known as Jama Baredine. Inside the depths of the cave system, we’re lucky to spot a cave olm, one of Europe’s only cave-dwelling salamanders!
DOING DUBROVNIK Oh, one last thing. Even though it’s not on the official biking agenda, one would be hard pressed to leave Croatia without visiting its bustling, historical metropolis, Dubrovnik! It’s on the Southern tip of the country, but worth the trip for a visit to its medieval fortress wall that surround the city, winding streets lined with shops and restaurants, and lively fish markets along the harbour. And after all that biking, we’ve worked up quite an appetite, perfectly sated by a rich bowl of local specialty, Risotto Nero, or squid ink risotto. A memorable finish to an unforgettable adventure!
BOOK YOUR BIKE TOUR! Visit exodustravels.com to start planning your own Croatian cycling adventure.
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OPPOSITE PAGE: Dubrovnik’s historic centre. ON THIS PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rovinj’s swimming coves; a modern mural in Vodnjan; interior of the Euphrasian Basilica; the Amphitheatre in Pula.
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Our Insider’s Guide to
Whether you’re passionate (or just curious) about dog sledding, northern art and culture or seeing the Northern Lights fill the night sky, this may be the perfect time to check out Nunavut. LIZ FLEMING gives you the inside scoop on how to do the north.
LAY OF THE LAND PLAN AHEAD STAY SEE & DO
Photo of Aurora Borealis by Mark Aspland; photo taken near Arctic Bay by Michelle Valberg
OPPOSITE PAGE: Admiring the Aurora Borealis over Frobisher Bay. ON THIS PAGE: Near Arctic Bay, Nunavut.
BOLD TRAVELLER NUNAVUT
LAY OF THE LAND Nunavut is immense. It occupies a fifth of Canada and seeing all of it in one visit is not practical for most visitors. Settled over four thousand years ago, Nunavut is the youngest territory of Canada-recognized as distinctly Canadian in 1999. Nunavut is divided into three regions, from east to west — Qikiqtaaluk, Kivalliq and Kitikmeot.
QIKIQTAALUK The Qikiqtaaluk region (also called Qikiqtani, formerly called Baffin region) includes Akimiski Island, Amund Ringnes Island, Axel Heiberg Island, Baffin Island, Bathurst Island, the Belcher Islands, Bylot Island, Cornwallis Island, Devon Island, Ellef Ringnes Island, Ellesmere Island, Mansel Island and Prince Charles Island. It also includes the eastern part of Melville Island, the Melville Peninsula and the northern parts of Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island. The capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit, is located in the Qikiqtaaluk region.
KIVALLIQ The Kivalliq region consists of a portion of the Canadian mainland west of Hudson Bay, together with Coats Island and Southampton Island. This region was once called Keewatin, a part of the Northwest Territories before the territory of Nunavut was created in 1999. The old name “Keewatin” is actually a Cree word meaning “blizzard of the north” and it has generally been phased out. The regional capital of Kivalliq is Rankin Inlet.
KITIKMEOT The Kitikmeot region of Nunavut consists of the southern and eastern parts of Victoria Island, with the adjacent part of the Canadian mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, together with King William Island and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Inuinnaqtun is spoken in this western region.
PLAN AHEAD Photo of berry gathering, “Fall Gathering,” and drummer, “This Song I Sing,” by Clare Kines; photos of Cambridge Bay and Colleen by Michelle Valberg
GET THERE There are flights to Iqaluit, a city of 7,740 located on the southern part of Baffin Island, from Ottawa and Montreal, via Kuujjuaq, Quebec. From the capital, you can fly to other spots in the territories, including as far north as Resolute Bay, on Cornwallis Island and Rankin Inlet, on the opposite side of Hudson Bay. Calm Air and First Air are two great choices for flights. Service is excellent; you might even get a warm chocolate-chip cookie mid-flight. calmair.com; firstair.ca
GET AROUND A cab ride in Iqaluit costs $7 per person, regardless of where you’re going. You can rent a snowmobile from Qairrulik Outfitting Ltd, which operates the local Arctic Cat dealership, but it would be smart to hire a guide as well to find out what’s worth seeing. Tour Iqaluit with Arctic Kingdom, a company that offers package and custom tours. Car rentals are also available in town.
ARCTIC CLOTHING When visitors are properly dressed for the arctic, in multiple layers, they will enjoy their time better. Except for the short summer season in Nunavut — which is equivalent to cool spring or fall conditions in most of southern Canada, northern USA and Europe — the rest of the year requires warm, insulated clothing. Warm, insulated boots are vital, also a down-filled parka with hood, windproof outer pants, plus mittens and a warm hat. Visitors should bring sunblock lotion and good quality sunglasses, with UV protection. For the summertime, especially near the seashore, a set of breathable rain gear, top and bottom, is desirable. For hiking on rocky trails, or across the tundra, good quality footwear with ankle support is best.
COMMUNICATION SERVICES Telephone service is direct dial in every community of Nunavut. In the smaller communities, pay phones are limited to a few locations. Visitors should check for telephone service at their hotel. Prepaid calling cards are available at various stores. Some remote communities and wilderness lodges in Nunavut offer HF radio or satellite phone service. Mobile phone service
is available in select communities. Bell Canada is the only satellite service provider. International mobile phones won’t work unless linked to Bell Canada or possibly through the Ice Wireless network in certain circumstances. Please contact your cellular service provider if you are unsure if your phone will work in Nunavut. The area code for all parts of Nunavut is 867. Internet service is limited in Nunavut and slower than elsewhere. Wifi service is uncommon. Visitors to Nunavut should not plan to spend much time on the Internet.
THESE PAGES CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP LEFT: “Gathering,” by Clare Kines, depicts a mother and daughter out picking berries on St. George’s Society Cliffs; Cambridge Bay; Colleen from Cambridge Bay, photographed by Michele Valberg, is dressed right for the weather; an Inuit drummer, photographed by Kines.
ON THESE PAGES CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Northern Lights in Pangnirtung; snowmobile and sled pit stop; seal at the floe edge; sled dogs taking a break; polar bears; Canadian Army Arctic tents on Sherard Osborn Island.
BOLD TRAVELLER NUNAVUT
STAY OUT IN THE WILD AWAY FROM THE ELEMENTS Located in the centre of Iqaluit’s Astro Hill complex, Frobisher Inn is part of a rare, indoor shopping space that includes the Frob Kitchen & Eatery, the Caribrew Café, a convenience store and the Astro Movie Theatre – possibly the only place outside your hotel room where you’ll want take your parka off.
COSY RETREAT Walk 500 metres from the Iqaluit airport and you’ll find the The Discovery – no Uber needed! With free wifi, great beds and big flat-screen TVs, this boutique property, originally built as a hotel for the defunct Pan-Am Airlines, makes for a comfy landing spot. Dinner beside the granite walls of the aptly named Granite Room is a good, belly-warming option. Expect to see Arctic char and seal on the menu.
If you decide to leave the bright lights of Iqaluit, there are a number of wilderness lodges ready to welcome you – but you’ll have to fly in by bush plane. Bathurst Inlet Lodge, located 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle and about 150 miles north of the treeline, is most easily reached flying from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. At this wilderness paradise, you can stay in rooms in the lodge itself – the original Hudson Bay Trading Post – or in well-equipped cabins. Activities include canoeing, fly-fishing and cross-country skiing, as well as a roster of tours, including bush-plane tours. www.bathurstarctic.com
PITCH A TENT Feeling adventurous? The open tundra welcomes you to pitch a tent – but make sure you have a plan. There are few designated campgrounds, and no facilities (toilets, running water, etc.) so you’ll have to be totally self-sufficient. While you can fish to feed yourself, be respectful of the people in nearby communities. Check before you set up camp and, for safety, consider hiring an experienced guide or outfitter.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The Block Arcade; graffiti in the laneways; the National Gallery of Victoria; frolicking kangaroos in Yarra Valley; hot air ballooning over the Yarra Valley Vineyards.
SEE & DO GO WITH THE FLOE
ON AND IN THE WATER
The floe edge – sinaaq in Inuktitut, that wildest of all places – is where the Arctic Ocean meets the ice. It’s home to beluga and bowhead whales, narwhals, walruses, seals, polar bears and a wild assortment of birds. You’ll fly from Iqaluit to Pond Inlet, then pack your sleeping bag and your backpack into a komatik (trailer for snowmobiles) and head further north – seven hours across the ice to your camp – about a kilometre from the open ocean. A floe-edge trip needs to be planned around ice melting and freezing, wildlife and temperature. Best times and locations, according to the Nunavut Tourism Association are late May to June for Arctic Bay, April to June for Arviat and Cape Dorset, May and June for Chesterfield Inlet, March to May for Coral Harbour and April and May for Grise Fjord. Floe-edge trips are not DYI adventures. You’ll need guides with specialized gear who know what to show you and how to keep you safe. Great adventure tour companies include Arctic Kingdom and Quark Expeditions.
Nunavut’s icy clear lakes and streams make it a Mecca for canoeists, kayakers and flyfishing enthusiasts. Bring your own fishing gear, book a wilderness lodge that will provide it or find a local supplier like Inukpak Outfitting in Iqaluit, which also offers guide services.
RUN WITH THE DOGS Get a feel for the land in a sled behind a team of dogs. Unbothered by the loud whine of a snowmobile, you’ll see animals and birds living large in their natural habitat. Dress very warmly (the wind is biting) and keep your hands away from the power source (sled dogs bite, too!). Inukpak Outfitting has a 22-dog team and a lifelong understanding of the land.
FOND OF FAUNA
but if you’re filling your life list, fly north to Pond Inlet. There, Bylot Island, now part of Sirmilik National Park, is a designated bird sanctuary and nesting grounds for more than 30 species of birds, including Kittiwakes, Greater Snow Geese (the world’s largest colony), Thick-billed Murres and Colonial Waterbirds.
SHOP Nunavut has more artists per capita than any place in the world, so take a look at the work of local carvers, painters and seal-skin designers. Most popular are soapstone, serpentine and walrus ivory, antler and bone carvings. Artists often visit the lobbies of Nunavut hotels to sell their work. Ask at the front desk and they’ll hook you up. Though you’ll doubtless get better prices by dealing directly with the artists, Iqaluit does have three shops that specialize in native art work: Carvings Nunavut Inc. (626 Tumit Plaza), Iqaluit Fine Arts Studio (1127 Mivvik Street) and Northern Collectables (1324 Ulu Lane).
Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, in the tundra valley not far from Iqaluit, is dominated by a river teeming with arctic char, a stunning waterfall and hiking trails, as well as ancient Dorset and Thule archaeological sites. Dozens of different species of birds live in this park, boldmagazine.ca
WORTH TRAVELLING FOR
HIGH VA N C O U V E R I S L A N D
420 Horne Lake Road, Qualicum Beach. The Ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo takes an hour and 40 minutes. Then, it’s an hour’s drive north to the spheres. freespiritspheres.com
f you feel the need to be at one with nature, then spending a night in a Free Spirit Sphere is your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Set amid the coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the Spheres are the vision of Tom Chudleigh, who operates the property with his wife, Rosey. Chudleigh used shipbuilding techniques to handcraft them, aiming to create natural-looking, nut-like globes that blend in with the environment. The three spheres, named Eve, Eryn and Melody, which are about 10 feet in diameter are suspended from trees in a forest just north of Qualicum Beach. Each 1,100-pound yellow cedar orb is equipped with a bed, dining table, storage space, built-in speakers and circular windows, optimal for forest-gazing. The interior of each is “functional, tasteful, simple and elegant” says Chudleigh. Spiral staircases and drawbridges provide access to the spheres, which hang about a story above the ground. Toilets and showers are located in separate buildings nearby. Like a ping pong ball or a nut, it’s light with a tough skin. The suspension ropes, which stretch, also absorb some of the force that nature can apply. The suspension concept also reflects biomimicry. The network – a web of ropes used to tether the sphere vertically and laterally – functions much like those of a spider’s naturally spun strong and resilient structure. When a breeze sweeps through the forest, the spheres sway gently and it feels like you are floating in the canopy among the birds. When it’s stormy it can be intense, but nothing like a storm at sea. Free spirit, indeed. – MARLON MORENO
Photo by Kerry Maguire
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Exploring Canada's many splendours! Happy Summer and Happy 150th Anniversary.