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    Canada Tours 2012 – A Winter Rail Adventure

    Thu, Jun 14, 2012

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    One of the most stunning places to visit in wintertime is Canada. The country is at its most beautiful at this time of year, covered in a dazzling coat of snow and ice. For those who don’t particularly want to brave the elements but still wish to enjoy the scenery, a rail adventure is a fantastic way to tour Canada.

    The Route
    It is possible to traverse the whole of Canada by train, with most tours taking around two weeks. Specialist trains travel the 2,000 miles through spectacular scenery and diverse terrain. (more…)

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    Weird Winter Sports in Canada

    Wed, Feb 22, 2012

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    Ice sailing in Canada

    Skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and tobogganing – let’s face it, compared to what is offered below – these activities seem to be cast aside for the boring tourists and middle aged corporate execs who travel to find fun in Canada.

    Not for us – the ski slopes and the button lifts! No, no, no. We want something a little more right?

    How about the Skeleton?

    How about Skijoring?

    How about Ice Blocking?

    Confused? (more…)

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    The 5 Best Places To Go Boating In British Columbia

    Fri, Jan 20, 2012

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    Atlin Lake, British Columbia, Canada

    When imagining Canada most people picture snow capped mountains, acres of forestry, and clear waters on which to spend a peaceful day. These images draw people from all four corners of the globe and it is British Columbia to which they flock.
    Travelers looking to enjoy the picturesque landscape couldn’t find a better method of soaking up the atmosphere than by hiring a boat to take on to one of the region’s many lakes. (more…)

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    Ten very good reasons to visit Canada

    Wed, Jan 4, 2012

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    Canada is a very large country. That is something of an understatement as it is in fact the second largest country on the planet. With its diverse landscapes and vibrant multicultural cities, this beautiful country never fails to impress a first time visitor. As a reflection of the country’s colonial past it has English and French as its official languages.

    On Canada’s eastern seaboard is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west lies the Pacific. Its neighbour on its southern border is the United States, while to the north are immense pine forests, frozen wastes and eventually the Arctic Ocean. However, do not be deceived, Canada is not all snow and dog sleds. The climate is as diverse as its terrain, with a warm spring season and hot southern summers. Much of the country is agricultural in nature producing huge quantities of high-quality wheat from its rolling prairies.

    The Rocky Mountains with their beautiful lakes are perhaps Canada’s best-known geographical feature and are one of the main attractions for visitors. If you choose to stay at a luxurious mountain hotel you will find numerous ways in which to indulge yourself when not enjoying some sightseeing or winter sports. Excellent standards of accommodation are provided and the cuisine is top quality.

    Here are ten very good reasons to visit Canada:

    1. Skiing in Whistler
    Whistler is one of the most famous ski resorts on the planet and you have a large choice of luxury hotels from which to choose. They provide all the modern amenities that you now expect from quality hotels. Explore the mountain slopes by day and retreat for some great dining, fine wine and relaxation by a cosy fire in the evenings.

    2. Enjoy Banff’s Rimrock Resort
    If you love spa treatments, then Rimrock Resort Hotel will be ideal for you. There is a gym, spa, pool and hot tub on offer. After you have enjoyed the stunning sights across Sulphur Mountain, you’ll be able to indulge in some fine French cuisine.

    3. Banff hiking
    If you’re a hiking enthusiast, Banff is a great base. With its routes ranging from easy trails through to the more physically challenging ones, Mount Rundle and the surrounding forests provide ideal daytime activities before returning to your luxurious hotel accommodation.

    4. Visit the Niagara Falls
    Most of the visitors to Canada try to fit in a visit to the amazing Niagara Falls in Ontario. There are numerous observations points from which to view this natural wonder. If you are adventurous you can take a trip on one of the whitewater jet boats. To view the falls up close take a more sedate boat trip on the famous Maid of the Mist – be prepared to get wet. There are numerous luxury hotels in the town of Niagara Falls.

    5. Lake Louise water sports
    For many visitors a holiday in Canada isn’t complete without some canoeing or kayaking, and Lake Louise is the ideal spot. With the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise located on the banks of the lake, you need only step out your hotel room to enjoy the numerous water activities.

    6. Explore the wilds of Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia has a distinct air of mystery and wilderness about it and if you want to explore this area while enjoying a little luxury, the Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia is an ideal location. This boutique five-star hotel is the perfect place to relax after taking a guided bike tour or after enjoying some amazing stargazing.

    7. Indulge in Montreal culture
    Montreal is a much-loved Canadian city and a visit to this metropolis offers the chance to discover Old Montreal, the Montreal Museum of Arts, and the lively downtown. The excellent W Hotel is perfect for luxurious stays with its acclaimed AWAY Spa. The cuisine is certainly something special at the hotel’s Ristorante Otto.

    8. LHotel, Montreal
    Another very popular and beautiful hotel in Montreal is the LHotel. This former bank building is much more than a five-star luxury hotel and is home to a huge contemporary and pop art collection; works by Chagall, Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana adorn the walls. This establishment is perfectly placed for visiting Montreal’s many visitor attractions.

    9. British Columbia skiing
    Like Whistler, the Kicking Horse Resort in British Columbia has gained quite a name for itself amongst keen skiers. Located in the Rocky Mountains, it has famed powder snow and wonderful scenic views. If you are a very brave and accomplished skier it has some of the best vertical drops in the Rockies.

    10. Explore Toronto
    The Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville is perfectly placed for discovering one of Canada’s most popular tourist cities. Located near the Bata Shoe Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardener Museum, this hotel is the ideal location for a five-star trip to Toronto.

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    Planning a Canada vacation

    Wed, Nov 30, 2011

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    From sea to shining sea, there is nothing better than a vacation in Canada. Although you might be tempted to visit only in the summer months, when you can experience the lakes, warm weather, and sunshine that Canadians are accustomed to, you shouldn’t discount a leisurely visit in the winter. Just book your flight, pack your winter gear, and do a search through Hotel Club Canada for the best accommodations. After that, it’s smooth sailing through the frozen north.

    From the West Coast to the East Coast, there are so many things to experience in Canada during the winter months. Start your trip in Whistler, BC; home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Whistler is a Mecca of skiing, snowboarding, and après ski fun. Check out the numerous restaurants where you’ll find international cuisine or partake in the hot nightlife where you can dance for hours.

    Heading across the prairies, and making a pit stop in the capital city of Regina, Saskatchewan, this is a city you’ll want to visit if you want to experience the beauty that comes with extreme cold. Saskatchewan often achieves temperatures of -40 and beyond, forming great puffy snowdrifts and huge icicles that hang from the buildings and home. It’s also home to some phenomenal snowmobiling.

    Heading over to the East Coast, there are so many amazing activities to choose you’ll have a hard time picking just one. Skate the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa and experience a frozen winter wonderland. The Skateway opens in January, giving you the opportunity to glide for over 7.8 km on the world’s largest skating rink.

    Head over to Montreal and partake in the ultimate winter activity. Visit the Quebec Ice Hotel and experience what it’s like to stay in an icy palace. All of the furniture and even the light fixtures are created entirely from ice. You can sit back in the blue light of the ice bar and have a frozen vodka or try to keep warm on the blistering cold ice bed.

    Embrace the winter weather at the Quebec City Winter Carnival. Families come out in droves for this event, where you can experience the fun and frolic of the Quebec winter season.

    There are so many reasons to book a trip to Canada this winter. Visit many of the country’s beautiful locations and see why Canada is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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    Autumn in Ontario: Take a long weekend to experience the seasons

    Fri, Oct 14, 2011

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    The leaves are turning golden yellow and red and the warmth of summer is fading away. It’s fall in Ontario, and there has never been a better time to grab one of the cheap flights to Canada and explore everything that Toronto and it’s surrounding cities have to offer.

    Whether your decide to bring your kids along or not, heading north of Toronto can net you some spectacular fall foliage as well as a spooky visit to a pumpkin farm. Go on hay rides, run through a corn maze, or just pick up a pumpkin or two for carving: Every pumpkin farm has something different so be sure to check out a few of them.

    When you think of Fall and Halloween, you think of haunted houses and other ways to scare yourself. Don’t miss out on the many different spooky activities going on in the many bustling cities that make up Ontario. Take in the Haunted Harbor at Discovery Harbor, where you can stroll through candlelit paths and peek inside historic, darkened buildings. You can go on a creepy hike through a scary, historic village with the North Bay Haunted Hike. If you are in the Thunder Bay area, check out the Thunder Bay Haunted Cornfield. It’s enough to scare even the most skeptical Halloween fan.

    It’s worth hopping on one of the cheap flights to Canada, just to take in Canada’s Wonderland. The amusement park has great events in the month of October, including Camp Spooky for kids. The Halloween Haunt takes over the amusement park and transforms it into a creepy, scary land where anything can happen. Even if you are just there for the rides, it’s well worth the trip.

    When a little romance is in order, there are many romantic packages that will entice you to stay an extra day or two in Ontario. Pine Vista Resort in Lakefield, Ontario has a couple’s weekend that will have you reconnecting in no time. Enjoy a townhouse with a wood burning fireplace for those chilly Ontario nights, and indulge yourself in a pampering package at the spa.

    If you are a couple that likes the big city, choose one of the high rise hotels downtown Toronto. The Windsor Arms is a historic hotel with 1920’s themed rooms and old fashioned bathrooms with limestone floors. Tear yourself away from the hotel and take in romantic hot spots like the Distillery District, then wind down in front of the fireplace at The Roof Lounge. Toronto is a paradise for couples, no matter what age.

    The best scenery and a sample of everything Canada has to offer is yours to take in when you visit Ontario this fall. Bring the family or come alone and spend a romantic weekend with just the two of you: No matter what your reason for visiting, a long weekend spent touring the country or spending time in the busy city is sure to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

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    Trudeau: A Canadian Fashion Icon

    Wed, Oct 12, 2011

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    Pierre Trudeau is the most famous Canadian Prime Minister, and also the most revered, if his lengthy stints in office are anything to go by – he served from 1968 to 1979, and then again from 1980 to 1984. But he was far removed from most people’s idea of a stuffy head of state (and ahead of his time in denouncing the old guard through his own brand of Canadian liberalism).

    He achieved this level of reverence and icon status in a number of ways. Known as ‘the philosopher king’, his style of politics was a breath of fresh air after decades of stodgy statesmen. He was also known as a ladykiller, hugely charismatic, with past conquests including Barbara Streisand and Sex and the City’s Kim Catrall. His politics were much more in tune with the liberal mood of the late sixties and early seventies than his US counterpart Richard Nixon, and certainly ruffled a few feathers in Washington with his friendly relations with US enemies like Fidel Castro and John Lennon.

    Above all, his sense of style was thrillingly ‘out there’ compared to his contemporaries and today’s politicians. ‘Trudeamania’ was the term coined to refer to the national response to his outrageous sartorial choices – red roses on his lapel, outlandish capes and suits – and the popularity of his stylish, attractive first lady Margaret.

    Jaunty neckerchiefs, nautical-flavoured sweaters and full length fur coats featured in his audacious wardrobe. His famous appearance at the 1970 Grey Cup saw him looking more like a pimp than a Prime Minister. He often wore loafers sans socks, and he did it all well, with perfectly fitting suits and tuxedos. Even non-liberals loved him – he brought  as much decisiveness to high office as he did to his look.

    Trudeau remains a true style icon, a high water mark for a Canadian fashion scene that thrives today. To check out Canada’s fashion scene for yourself, and maybe pick up some Trudea-esque items (fur coats are practical in Canada as well as looking cool), try Toronto and Montreal, the twin hubs for Franco-Canadian fashion. Check out their website for Thomas Cook cheap package holidays.

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    Canada’s Top 5 Destinations

    Wed, Oct 12, 2011

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    If you’re thinking about visiting Canada (late holiday deals are available from Thomas Cook), you might be asking yourself how are you going to make the most of such a huge place in a week or two. Here, we take a rundown of the best attractions and places of interest Canada has to offer so you can plan your trip around seeing as many of them as possible…

    The Rockies

    Looming astride the BC/Alberta border, the Canadian Rockies boast some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Topped with heavy glaciation, the sharp points of the mountain and glacier-strewn valleys below make for real picture postcard views – quite distinct from the rounder, less dramatic continuation of the Rockies that cuts through the US border and on down to New Mexico. The best way to see the Rockies is by car, starting from Calgary or Edmonton and travelling through Banff to Jasper National Park.

    Niagara Falls

    After the maple leaf, Niagara Falls is probably the single most iconic image of Canada, and a must-see for visitors. Actually three separate waterfalls (Horseshoe, American and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls), Niagara creates a dramatic plunge in its namesake river, just at the border of Canada and the US. You’ll have probably seen film of Niagara, but nothing prepares for you for the sheer, mesmerizing power of the thundering water, and the mystical aura created by the natural environment. Best of all, Niagara is seriously well-linked to civilization, with 4 international airports within an hour’s drive of the Falls – Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and Buffalo – and excellent bus and train service from the US and within Canada.

    Bay of Fundy

    Yawning between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy is famous for having the highest tides in the world. It’s reckoned that each tide cycle generates 100 billion tonnes of water flow. The dramatic cliff-faces and sandstone obelisks offset the mud flats and marshes quite strikingly. And such diversity of landscape has promoted a similarly varied ecosystem, with 8 species of whale known to the area, and countless dolphins, fish, seals and birds. If you’re based in Saint John or New Brunswick, the best way to experience the Bay of Fundy is by car, bike, foot or kayak.

    Old Quebec City

    250km from Montreal, the beautiful Old Town of Quebec is the only North American city whose fortified walls still exist. Sitting on the St. Lawrence River, the city was a vital strategic outpost, and tells a fascinating story. Fly into Jean Lesage Airport and discover Quebec for yourself!

    Cabot Trail

    Cape Breton boasts a 300km highland trail to make Nova Scotia redolent of Old Scotia. It’s not a walking trail, but a winding drive round the mountains above the Gulf of St. Lawrence, ending up in the stunning scenery of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Well-linked, the closest airport is Halifax International.

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    A quick guide to Canada

    Wed, Oct 12, 2011

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    If you’re looking for a place where you can discover beautiful scenery, have great photo opportunities, eat good meals and do all of this on a reasonable budget then Canada could be the place for you. With outstanding natural beauty Canada has been a popular tourist destination for years. Very warm summers and beautiful snowy winters mean you can experience different types of holidays depending on when you travel. Companies like offer good options such as Thomas Cook all inclusive holidays throughout the year, making a trip to Canada the perfect break to see something and unwind.

    Accommodation – Canada has a wide array of accommodation options for your holiday, ranging from campsites and log cabins to hotels and large resorts. All inclusive board is a great way to ensure your meals are included and all you have to worry about is what to go and see. It’s also a cheaper way of holidaying as you frequently save money in the long run.

    The Northern Lights – Contrary to popular belief you do not have to go to Northern Europe to view the northern lights, as they can be viewed in Canada as well. Churchill, Lake Superior and Yellowknife are all great places to view the lights, but it’s recommended you go with a guide due to the threat of polar bears in some areas.

    Yoho National Park – One of Canada’s most popular and beautiful resorts, the Yoho National Park has huge cliff faces, tumbling waterfalls and the most breath-taking of emerald green water. For an area with national park status it is relatively small at ‘only’500 square miles, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty. You can also see glaciers, rolling hills and the famous Takakkaw Falls.

    Banff National Park – Situated next to the Yoho Park, Banff is popular for its outstanding beauty and wildlife. If you visit at the right time of day you’ll see moose, caribou and deer down by the water’s edge. Due to its proximity to the Yoho National Park it’s possible to visit both in the same holiday, and this is highly recommended.

    Montreal – The second largest city in Canada, Montreal is popular in the summer months as a city destination with great weather. The winters see temperatures range from just above freezing to -20, which explains why the city sees most of its tourists visiting in the summer months. The Canadian Railway museum is popular among tourists, as is Old Montreal, a wonderfully well preserved old town, showing what the architecture and town were like before its growth into a huge city. Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts is also popular and houses some great works of art, a must see if you’re into your paintings.

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    Visiting Toronto

    Sun, Sep 18, 2011

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    Toronto is one of the best places I have visited; cosmopolitan and clean and with a friendly air, despite the often freezing weather in the winter. It’s often passed over due to its proximity to the Big Apple, but Toronto is a far more rewarding trip and when you leave the city you will leave a little piece of your heart behind. (more…)

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