As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, here are ten reasons why it’s a great idea to visit, from Niagara yoga to vineyard marathons.
Canada is already a destination that has been increasing in popularity in recent times. Known for being liberal and open, with stunning scenery and the clichéd but much-loved ‘friendly locals’, you rarely hear about people having a bad experience in Canada. Indeed, more than 14 million international visitors explored the country between January and August 2016, including a record breaking 2.5 million overseas visitors during the summer.
Ten reasons to visit Canada in 2017:
1. Remai Modern
The Remai Modern art museum is set to open during 2017, and is being hailed as one of the most visionary new art venues in North America. While the striking building was designed by Canadian architects KPMB, the interior will have the world’s most comprehensive collection of Picasso Linocuts, purchased and donated by the museum’s lead Patron, Ellen Remai.
Website: Remai Modern
2. Trans Canada Trail
The bold idea of creating a multi-use trail that spanned every Canadian province and territory was conceptualised in 1992, with the launch set to happen in the summer of 2017. The trail offers a range of outdoor experiences on land and on water, with activities including hiking, cycling, paddling, horse-riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
Website: Trans Canada Trail
3. Ignite 150
Ignite 150 is a series of 17 epic stunts and gatherings throughout Ottawa, including a gourmet experience 50 metres in the air, and a yoga session on a barge floating down a local waterway. Details will only be released a few days before each stunt.
Website: Ignite 150
4. Free entry to Canada’s National Parks
Parks Canada is celebrating the country’s birthday by offering free admission to the sites they manage throughout 2017. This includes national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
Website: Parks Canada
5. Invictus Games
Toronto will play host to the 2017 edition of the Invictus Games in September. The games will see more than 600 ill, injured and wounded servicemen and women from 17 allied nations compete in 12 adaptive sports.
Website: Invictus Games 2017
6. Montreal 375
While Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, the city of Montreal will celebrate its 375th year since being founded. The city will host activities and celebrations organised four themes: Montreal Lights Up, Montreal Gets Moving, Montreal Ignites and Montreal Reinvents. Streets will turn into open air museums, open air competitions will happen across town, and art, sports and recreational activities will abound.
Website: Montreal 375
7. Half Corked Marathon
This May marathon weaves racers through the stunning vineyards of the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, sampling wines and fine food along the route. Created by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, and inspired by the legendary Medoc Marathon in Bordeaux, the Half Corked Marathon pays homage to one of Canada’s most decorated wine regions. It sounds like the perfect combination of the outdoors and indulgence.
Website: Oliver Osoyoos
8. Hôtel de Glace, Québec City
This ice hotel – the only hotel in North America made entirely of ice and snow (30,000 tonnes of the stuff) – reinvents itself every year (obviously). Every year it takes six weeks to build by dozens of workers, including 15 sculptors. During its 2017 season, it will be open from January to March, with the theme of ‘Rivers’. A stay involves access to activities as diverse as dog sledding and snowshoeing, and includes Nordic sleep gear, necessary to brave an overnight stay.
Website: Hôtel de Glace
9. Ottawa museums
A raft of new exhibitions and refurbished museums open in Ottawa during 2017, offering inspiration to people with all interests. A new permanent Arctic Gallery opens at the Canadian Museum of Nature in June 2017. In November 2017, the Canada Science and Technology Museum celebrates its 50th Anniversary, re-opening after $80.5 million in building repairs and upgrades. The Bank of Canada Museum (formerly the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada) reopens in an impressively renovated building in Sparks Street. Over in Quebec, the new Canadian History Hall will open at the Canadian Museum of History on Canada Day (1 July).
Canadian Museum of Nature
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Bank of Canada Museum
Canadian Museum of History
10. Yoga at Niagara Falls
In 2016, a few bloggers and reporters were invited to trial a 30 minute yoga session at Niagara Falls. Done on the viewing platform, with the sound of thundering water and the splash of the water adding to the effect, it was a resounding success. It was so successful that it will become a regular Sunday morning session during July and August 2017.
Website: Niagara Parks