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Canada Day Activities Across The Country

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Photo: happysoultoronto on Instagram 

As Canada Day fast approaches, Canadians everywhere are searching for the perfect way to pay homage to our home country. Besides blessing us with the wonders of maple syrup, hockey and Drake, the True North is also a beautiful, free land where many cultures live together in harmony. After all, we have the scenic Rockies, Lake Ontario and the tranquil nature of the Maritimes to add character to our gorgeous nation. Whether you live in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver or Montreal, there are many ways to celebrate July 1. Although last year may have marked Canada’s landmark 150th birthday, you can always keep the party going and make this Canada Day just as full of fun, family and cold drinks. Here are a few ways to soak up the first official long weekend of summer in true Canadian spirit. 

Toronto

Party all night on the Toronto Islands

You may not want to bring your parents or your younger siblings to this one, but a Canada Day with your friends just might call for a trip to the Toronto Islands. Ring in Canada Day at Electric Island 2018 with some of the top electronic DJs in the world. The Martinez Brothers will be flying in all the way from Ibiza, bringing international talent to the Toronto stage. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s ANNA, Glasgow’s Jackmaster, Los Angeles’ Bill Kenny and more will also be performing at the concert on Hanlan’s Point Beach. Tickets for this wild party range from $39.99-$59.99 and are available on ticketweb.ca.

Watch Fireworks

You can catch fireworks in North York at Amesbury Park at 9:45 p.m., at Mel Lastman Square at 10:30 pm, and at Downsview Park at dusk. Canada’s Wonderland will also have an incredible show featuring over 6,000 fireworks, which will kick off at 10:00 p.m. In the east end of the city, catch some fireworks at Ashbridges Bay/Woodbine Beach at 9:45 p.m. or at Stan Wadlow Park at 10:00 p.m.

Vancouver

Visit Granville Island

Granville has tons of activities to offer such as a musical playground, bike decorating workshops, markets and more. The annual parade, which starts at 1:30 pm, is great for all ages and especially well suited for families with young children.

Participate in the Canada Day Drum Circle

Guests are able to help the Legacy 150 Celebrations Society attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “Most Nationalities in a Drum Circle.” The drumming simultaneously takes place across nine Canadian cities from 10:00 a.m. to  4:00 pm. The Vancouver circle will take place at Creekside Park, where people are welcome to participate, watch, or enjoy the many food trucks present. To join the drum circle you can sign up at canada150drumming.com.

Ottawa

Watch a Painting Competition and Enjoy Live Music

Canadian artists will battle through a tournament consisting of three 20 minute rounds. Join other spectators at Major’s Hill Park on June 30th and July 1st from 11:00 am- 11:30 am to help choose a winner. There will also be other performances, including live music, cultural talents, games, and circus performances from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on both dates and at the same location.   

Montreal

Canada Street Festival

On July 1st from 11:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., join in on the free festivities, which stretch all the way from Old Port of Montreal to Jacques-Cartier Pier. There will be a musical performance by Philippe Beaudin, a 21-gun salute, a game of street hockey, dancing on stage, face paint, and much more. The day’s events will end with a round of fireworks to light up the sky in the Old Port at 10:00 p.m.

Canada Day Parade

The parade will start at 11:00 a.m. on the corner of Fort and St. Catherine, and will end on the corner of St. Catherine and Peel. The parade first began in 1977, and has come to feature cultures and traditions from all over the world, including India, China, Italy, Holland, and many more. After the parade, a special event will start at Place du Canada where people are invited to enjoy live entertainment, face painting, and a free slice of cake large enough to feed 2,500 people.

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Travel Tips

The Napa Of The North: B.C’s Okanagan Valley

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Photo: burrowingowlwinery on Instagram

Napa Valley, California’s wine country, has a Canadian sister in British Columbia that goes by the name of Okanagan Valley. Okanagan promises an unparalleled and unique wine experience on Canadian soil. In 1859, Father Pandosy, a French priest, planted the first Okanagan vines and in the early 1930s, Calona Vineyards opened, making it the first and oldest winery in Okanagan. Many travellers can confirm the extraordinary taste and quality of the Okanagan wines. With over 120 wineries in the valley, it can be difficult narrowing down those truly worth visiting. We’ve done the hard work for you and found the four most scenic vineyards offering the finest quality wines in Okanagan Valley. The vineyards on our list offer free or low charge tastings and tours that make for great girls’ getaways or couple’s retreats.

 

LaStella Winery

LaStella, located by Osoyoos lake on the south end of the valley, untraditionally combines two forms of winemaking to create multiple fabulous wines, including their very popular Rose. The wine is fermented and then aged in wooden barrels with simple inspiration from Northern Italy. All of LaStella’s wines are named after Italian music notes to convey that each wine has its own story. A classic win tasting costs $10.00 a head, a picnic costs $50.00, and the symphony of the senses tour and tasting costs also costs per person $50.00.

 

Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate

Jackson-Triggs is the most well known of all the Okanagan wineries. Visitors are welcome year-round, except on major holidays, to the 410-acre vineyard in Oliver, B.C to take part in wine tasting some of the rarer bottles that are unavailable at the BLC. As Canada’s most awarded winery this is a must visit on your Okanagan holiday.

 

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is another winery located in Oliver, B.C. This family-run establishment is the first winery in Canada to support carbon neutral measures. Meaning, they are committed to environmentally sustainable practices. Visit the Tinhorn Creek Vineyard to hike one of the many trails, participate in a $5 wine tasting of some of the world’s best, take a $15 tour, or take an extravagant $35 cellar tour and tasting. The thriving winery features a wine club, a restaurant named Miradoro, and even an event space to host weddings.

 

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery

Not only can you visit the Burrowing Owl vineyard in Oliver, B.C, but you can also dine at the Sonora Room Restaurant and stay overnight in The Guest House suites for a romantic getaway. There are 10 rooms to choose from in The Guest House as well as a hot tub and pool. For $3 a person, which goes as a donation to the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of British Columbia, you can participate in the wine tasting at this stunning hilltop winery. For only $5 a head, you can also take part in the public guided tour.

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Travel Tips

Prince Edward County Is A Hot Ontario Getaway This Summer

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Photo: drakedevonshire on Instagram

If you’re looking for a weekend escape from the city, then Prince Edward County is the perfect place for you and your significant other, family or even your group of close friends to get away from the city limits . Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County offers vineyards, fine dining, and romantic accommodations. Retreat to this quaint Canadian county to embrace the summery temperatures in the weeks ahead, all while exploring the lake, art installations, and local farms. Real Style has curated a roundup of local hotspots in Prince Edward County, for anyone planning a summer getaway to this scenic, restful part of Ontario. 

The Drake Devonshire

This all-season boutique hotel offers 13 uniquely decorated rooms and features art installations as well as cultural programs and events. This beautiful and peaceful hotel situated by the lake perfectly blends the old and the new. The restaurant, the Drake Commissary, incorporates local ingredients into its menu to create high-quality dishes for hotel guests. Rooms range from approximately $389.00 to $1,439.00 a night.

The June Motel

The June Motel is fairly young as it only opened last year, yet it has quickly become a popular place for visitors. This lodge is easily recognized by its bright pink doors and is located along the Loyalist Parkway. The motel offers yoga classes, breakfast, and a wine studio for guests. There are 7 different packages to choose from, which start at $205.00 a night and go up to $385.00 a night.

The Lighthall Vineyards

This young winery is one of Canada’s first to make both wine and cheese under the same roof. It is well known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sheep-milk cheeses such as brie and Manchebo. Spend the day touring the grounds, wine tasting, and munching on cheese to accompany your vino. 

Public House at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn

This restaurant is located inside a rustic 1870s one-room schoolhouse and claims to offer a seasonal menu of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options from Friday-Sunday. The menu is First Nations-inspired and incorporates locally grown produce. The Public House also offers local brew on tap, that might just help you wash down the local eats after a long day of exploring the region. 

County Cider Co.

This restaurant provides diners with spectacular views of the lake and award-winning cider collected from over 16 hectares of apple trees. County Cider Co. is also appraised for its lamb burgers and wood-oven cooked pizzas. Visitors can enjoy cider on the patio with a view of the 1830s barn on site.

Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery and Love Nest Studios

Encaustic art, which is made from heated beeswax mixed with pigments and painted onto wood or canvas, is beautifully displayed in a barn in Andrew Csafordi’s Studio Gallery. The studio also offers guided workshops open to those with little to no artistic experience and those who are highly skilled. Love Nest Studios is located on the same property and is also owned by artist Andrew Csafordi and his wife. Love Nest also features more encaustic art, as well as some other pieces. These two studios are located in Bloomfield, which is just outside Prince Edward County. 

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Travel Tips

Prettiest Picnic Spots Across Canada

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Photo: streetsoftoronto on Instagram 

We’ve been waiting months for the first warm breeze of a Canadian summer, and it seems that pleasant temperatures are finally here again. Try enjoying the gloriously warm rays by dining outside with Mother Nature, and packing a family lunch or a romantic dinner for two to eat at one of the many beautiful public parks in Canada. It’s important to take advantage of these sunny spots while the warm weather lasts, as you never know how the winds will change during a Canadian summer. We have chosen the best of the best parks for you to lay down your red and white checkered blanket at to dine on cheese platters and sip on wine with your significant other. 

High Park

Toronto’s High Park has 18 designated spots for large groups to have picnics. If all of the picnic tables are full, lay a blanket down underneath the budding cherry blossoms. You can also pick up food on Bloor Street if you were unable to pack a meal from home. 

Trinity Bellwoods

Once the warm weather hits, it is difficult to make your way through Trinity Bellwoods Park without seeing someone enjoying a meal under the trees. This park also has a baseball diamond, wading pool, dog park and sports courts for you to enjoy before or after your picnic.

Parc du Mont- Royal

For many Montreal locals, this park is a classic destination for a picnic. Mont-Royal offers a romantic breath-taking view of the entire city below, as the park resides on a hilltop. But, be aware, as this park is typically bustling with tourists trying to capture that perfect Instagram-worthy shot on hot summer weekends. 

Rideau Falls

These falls are located in the downtown core of Ottawa, yet you would hardly know it as they are completely enveloped in greenery. The park which houses the falls is also home to many memorials and monuments, which is a great learning experience for children. There are also many patches of grass in the park to enjoy picnics on.

Brewers Park

Brewers Park is truly a family park as it has several playgrounds, baseball diamonds and sports fields. The park, which sits across from Carleton University, also has a splash pad for young children to enjoy, as well as a pond. Within the park you will also find legal graffiti walls, making it a very colourful place to have a picnic.

Crab Park

This Vancouver park is located on the Portside of Waterfront Road. Crab Park allows you to enjoy the stunning downtown landscape while avoiding giant crowds. This park can be easily accessed by foot or bike, and makes for a great picnic location. From the park, you’ll have a clear calming view of cruise liners entering and leaving the waterfront, as you enjoy your outdoor meal. 

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