by Lara Gladych –
Seaside Magazine wants to live up to our slogan of being “the voice of the Saanich Peninsula,” so, in every issue, we ask people to answer a question. We’re looking for responses from all ages and across the diverse neighbourhoods that form our community.
“What is one of your favourite places in Canada to visit – a place you think every Canadian should see?” What better way to celebrate our country than to tout the many interesting, beautiful and memorable places to see across this gorgeous country of ours?
I have driven twice from Ontario to British Columbia via the Trans-Canada Highway, and that is something I would recommend every Canadian do in their lifetime. I have been as far east as Quebec, and I eagerly look forward to seeing Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces one day.
To narrow it down, the places I would love for all my friends and loved ones to see would be the shores and waters of Georgian Bay and the North Channel, as well as Manitoulan Island and the Bruce Peninsula – an homage to my homeland in Ontario.
As British Columbians, we are very proud of our province and the special places right here at home that fill our souls, and so we should be! We are gifted with a particularly beautiful and naturally wondrous province, and that makes it a favourite both for those of us who live here and visitors alike.
Banff, Tofino, Jasper and Vancouver Island were very popular responses, and understandably so. To this list I would add Lake Louise.
Bill recalled a trip with two friends to Kananaskis Country many years ago as a medical student. “Literally 40 years ago. We had the most awesome backpacking trip. It was spectacular.”
“For me what pops up is Long Beach,” said Lynn, and her husband, Doug, adds: “The wild coast of Vancouver Island.” Lynn continues: “What’s actually amazing are the prairies. I just loved seeing all the different crops and how they turned into this beautiful quilt.”
Alicia came up with these notable favourites: “Old Quebec City, Niagara Falls (not just the falls but the quirky town!) and the Icefields Parkway.”
Tina chimed in on the conversation: “Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Gwaii. And a couple of years ago I convinced a friend to go to Winnipeg with me. Everyone should see The Canadian Museum for Human Rights; it’s incredible.”
Meghan agreed with Winnipeg as a must-see. “I remember it as being one of the most diverse cities, with hands down the nicest people in all of the many cities that I visited across Canada.”
Kerri loves Grand Beach, Manitoba, and Bridget mentioned Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, citing Al Capone’s underground tunnels as a highlight. Bonita concurred with Moose Jaw. She also shared with me how much she loved Newfoundland. “[My husband] and I went there 18 years ago on our motorbike and explored so many tiny fishing villages that no one would typically explore because they were off the beaten path. The people we met were the most generous, friendly and warm to us. It felt like we were visiting another country – their Newfie accents were so hard to understand. We loved it there. I would go back in a heartbeat.”
Coming back to B.C., Shushwap Lake was mentioned by Alison, Pam and Kim. In addition, Kim recommended Okanagan wine country, a notable destination for Susan, too.
“Not very glamorous but for B.C. folk, Barkerville, the Cariboo Gold Rush Towns and the drive up to it through B.C. is fantastic. Beautiful scenery that fills you with a sense of what ‘old time B.C.’ must have been like. Seeing sites like the ‘blink and you miss it’ settlement of Spuzzum, Hells Gate’s rushing waters and driving through the Fraser Canyon is like stepping back in time. I loved it as a child and need to do it with my own children!” This was Mary.
Emily, Andrea and Elissa all included P.E.I. as a favourite. While Andrea pined for the “sandstone cliffs, Elephant Rock, red sand beaches and amazing scenery,” Elissa spoke of other aspects: “It’s hard to imagine more shades of green than we see here on the West Coast, but flying in over the island province in the summer was a study in verdurous fields – like a patchwork quilt. The people are friendly, there is a hopping music scene, and an amazing food culture. Loved it!”
Here is a rundown of some of the other Canadian destinations highlighted: Yukon, the north shores of Lake Superior, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, Frank Slide, the Terry Fox Memorial Lookout, Montreal, Ottawa, Yellowknife, southern Nova Scotia, Halifax, Osoyoos, the Muskokas, the Kootenays, Saskatoon, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Bay of Fundy, Gaspé and Drumheller.
Tommy Douglas said: “My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.” Go explore our jewel.