(and the Canadian Adventure)
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While Europeans have settled the North American continent and made it what it is today the indigenous inhabitants are not always forgotten and are instead remembered beyond words through their art, culture, and lasting knowledge of nature and spiritual perspective. Exploring the frontier history of Europeans in Canada reveals the challenges and tenacity of those settlers and the pioneers who followed them. But in any big Canadian city one would not have to look too hard to discover the remaining connections to those earlier inhabitants both past and present.
As far north as Canada is, winter weather is often very cold yet summer months can be quite mild. Most Canadian cities uphold the European design for parklands. Visiting these cities, one experiences the reverberations of the English and French ancestors and cultures from the home countries. Partner all of that heritage with a freewheeling nature and the bountiful outdoor and you'll have a feeling for what Canada offers.
Canada is a great place to do business as well as be entertained or selflessly absorbed by nature. Oh Canada.
Quebec City may have been established in 1608 and one of the oldest European settlements in North America, but it is a modern city by all accounts. Being such an old city you can imagine there are some amazing architectural structures, and there are; castles and forts now turned into hotels. Positioned on the river that runs through Quebec (the St. Lawrence River), is the Plains of Abraham one of the major parks in the city. If you visit this park you will undoubtably notice the many historic cannons from the military past of the city.
There has been a lot of military action in Quebec City over the years but there are many non-military museums and other points of interest such as Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica and the Old Quebec part of town. Being the one time capital of French North America and still speaking French you can be sure the French cuisine is "formidable." Quebec has a large number of parks where visitors can hike and picnic. If you're a nature lover you might take in some bird watching and in the winter visitors can sky in many parks in the city. Just outside of town the natural landscape opens wide.
Victoria (Vancouver Island)
Victoria (Vancouver Island)
Known as the, "Garden City" Victoria is the capital of the provence of British Columbia. The lush rainfall of the area contributes the many gardens found in the city, with most of the rain coming during the winter months. The city has an exceptionally dry summer period. With the end of the wet season in February the city enjoys the annual "flower count" as the "Garden City" blooms early every year. The city of Victoria has played host to countless local and international events.
As in nearby Vancouver waterspouts of every variety can be found; kayaking, sailboarding, kite sailing, and the more ordinary sailing and power boating. Whale is a seasonal delight. For the outdoors enthusiast the bounty of beautiful scenery and fresh air is the opening highlight to camping, hiking, and stargazing.
Back in town not only are their English and Irish brew pubs but there's also cideries and wineries. Victoria has the second largest Chinatown on the North American west coast (right behind San Francisco). With the English influence culinary offers from throughout the empire can be found. There is so much going on in Victoria and Vancouver Island you'll have to open yourself up to explore to discover it all.
Montreal is a fun city to visit if you want to practice you French language skills. Most shop keepers, restaurant wait staff, and park attendants will first speak to visitors in French. But don't worry, if you French isn't up to snuff these folks will quickly pull out their English as Montreal is largely a bilingual city.
Montreal is also the commerce capital of Canada dealing in technology, the arts (including film), aerospace, as well as being a financial center. This city is a point of interest on the world stage as well having hosted and international expo and even the summer Olympics in 1976. Additionally, the city is the site of the Canadian Grand Prix, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and other international gatherings.
There's endless activity in this river side city of almost 2 million inhabitants. The first European settlers stopped by in 1535. Since that time there's been lots of history created.
A visitor can find the roots of the city in the remaining homes of early traders on the riverfront. There's an artist village, museum of fine arts, parks and botanical gardens. There's even an Insectarium where you will find a brain altering collection of bugs. Along with countless parks there's the largest cemetery in North America, Saint Joseph's Oratory on Mont Royal, the Basilica Notre-Dame at the edge of the river and the preserved neighborhood of Plateau. Don't forget to ask around for the best local spots to grab a bite to eat. Good food is everywhere.
Toronto is where the really big parties in Canada happen. In fact one quarter of the Canadian population lives in and around Toronto. There's not wonder how this "big, little" city" pulls of international respect in the worlds of finance, culture, the arts, and business in general.
"Diversity" is a welcome byproduct to all the growth and excitement that Toronto is so well-known for. Business lives large in Toronto but so does the lighter side of life. Any city that has a "Distillery District" has got to fun. Imagine this, in Toronto there are forts, gardens, castles, tons of museums, and an amazing aquarium. Do you want to go exploring?
If you like shopping, Toronto can keep you busy for a good long while (take a look at the Kensington Market and the St. Lawrence Market too). With 5-Star hotels and restaurants it won't be hard to find any luxury in this Canadian metropolis. Don't think for a minute that this is all that Toronto offers. We know of many more exciting activities in and around this great city.
Ottawa is the capital and fourth largest city in Canada. Ottawa is not only the political center but also a center of technology in the country. Not a new city, Ottawa was founded in 1826 so there's lot of history to be discovered here. In the early days trading was very important to the settlement of Europeans in Ottawa. Being the national capital of Canada, Ottawa offers the premier Canadian museums for; aviation and space, war, and both national and natural history; the national gallery, it's all here (and there's more).
The city has a broad range of entertainment offering from "big-time" international acts all the way to the other end of the spectrum in the local theatre troupe; from music to dance to acting. Having a long-time French influence you can imagine the food here is savory, plus there are many other foods from diverse origins, supported by local growers in this mix. You might take a mobile tour of the town that goes both on land and water and of course there's a Chinatown and a Little Italy. At the height of the year cycling and hiking a staples of outdoor activities.
Shall I go on telling you of the amazing adventures that await you in Ottawa and Canada at large? Drop me a note if you're looking to head there for business or pleasure.
On the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is an international city with a long history of playing host to the world. This is a city that knows how to put on a party even if some business still has to get done. The founding of the city can still be experienced in "Gastown" and around the sawmills that fueled the start-up settlement. The history of this city is rich and colorful. If you lean toward forward thought, you might time your vacation with the annual TED conference. It's there every year. Just outside of town you'll find provincial parks (as they are called), complete with standout mountains. There is hiking, camping, boating, kayaking, and every order of watersports. At the right time of the year you might see the orca migrating in the waters of the Salish Sea. The history here is one-of-a-kind, the entertainment, restaurant fair, and shopping is international.
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