I Backpack Canada » Manitoba http://ibackpackcanada.com A backpackers travel guide to Canada Mon, 25 May 2015 17:53:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Kayaking with Belugas in Churchill, Manitobahttp://ibackpackcanada.com/kayaking-with-belugas-churchill-manitoba/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/kayaking-with-belugas-churchill-manitoba/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:58:32 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5362 The tip of my paddle sliced through the cold arctic waters of the Hudson River, a loud burst of air and mist erupted from the water. I watched as a smooth, silky white body of one of Churchill Manitoba’s yearly visitors, the belugas, gently peeked out of the water. As I swivelled my head I […]

Kayaking with Belugas in Churchill, Manitoba is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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The tip of my paddle sliced through the cold arctic waters of the Hudson River, a loud burst of air and mist erupted from the water. I watched as a smooth, silky white body of one of Churchill Manitoba’s yearly visitors, the belugas, gently peeked out of the water. As I swivelled my head I realized I am completely surrounded. I let out a nervous laugh & quickly decided that it was time to make friends with these 2000 lb cetaceans.

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Paddling with Churchills Belugas

My sea kayak glided towards a pod of belugas headed straight for me. I worried that I found myself in an arctic version of chicken that I have yet to learn the rules to. Thankfully, they all dove before impact and barrel rolled underwater, studying the kayak and no doubt wondering what this cold, wet, bearded fellow above is all about.

I soon discovered that belugas love playing cat and mouse. Chasing a colourful kayak through these cold waters is considered a good time by belugas, and judging by how much I abided, I have to admit it’s my kind of game as well. After an hour of padding with pods of these magical creatures, encouraging as many to follow in my wake, they had all but completely wore me out.

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An Encounter with an Infant Beluga

As I rested, watching the 4 other paddlers in my group laugh at the excitement of seeing belugas at every angle, I dipped my hand into the cold waters, hoping to get my newfound group of underwater friends attention. A grey juvenile beluga swam closer, inspecting my hand. We maintained eye contact, starring into one another’s eyes, studying. I held still, hoping with all my might that this young beluga might see me as friend and not a foe. The juvenile gracefully floated closer, nudging my hand with his nose. Suddenly he (or she) swam away, only to return a few seconds later to touch my hand again. “Hello to you too“, I quietly said. I pulled my hand from the water in shock, and yelled to the group “I just touched a beluga!“. Jealousy erupted in our group, as I spent the last hour kayaking in complete disbelief, laughing and shaking my head, wondering how I got so lucky. This was hands down one of the highlights of my life!

Polarbears & Belugas

While many people head north in search of polar bears, I traveled north to Churchill for the belugas. Not only because summer is their high season, but because as a child I was Raffi’s biggest fan, belting out the words to “Baby Beluga” louder than Axl Rose could scream. Despite being such a huge fan of his hit song, I had never seen a beluga in real life. I was convinced that this summer was to be the one that changed that, looking back, that was one of the best goals I had set in a long time.

kayaking with belugas in churchill

Churchill’s Kayak & Beluga Experts

The folks at Sea North Adventures offer travellers a wide range of adventures, including kayaking & snorkelling with belugas, exploring the Churchill Fort, or hopping on a zodiac in search of polar bears. The staff at Sea North Adventures have to be some of the hardest (and friendliest) workers in Churchill. When you don’t see them touring people through the frigid waters of the Churchill River, you might find them serving guests at the Tundra Inn Pub.

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VIA Rail from Winnipeg to Churchill

I boarded VIA Rail’s “Hudson Bay” train from Winnipeg to Churchill, a 40 hour ride that let’s you truly experience the vast distances and picturesque landscapes of the Canadian prairies, the boreal forest, and the sub-arctic tundra. This is by far the cheapest way to get up to Churchill, and despite the long hours on board a train, you’ll find that it’s just part of the journey. Part of what makes Churchill so intoxicatingly alluring! Be sure to try and remember your fellow VIA Rail passengers names as you’ll likely be seeing them throughout town when you arrive. While flying is an option to get to Churchill, VIA Rail is significantly more friendly on the budget, and in my opinion a better way of traveling to this small northern Canadian town.

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Churchill is for the Adventurous

Churchill brings about a certain type of traveller. You’ll find that they all have something in common. Whether it’s their desire for the great outdoors, an insatiable quench for adventure, or a passion for arctic wildlife, you’ll come to realize those you meet in the small town of Churchill are here for a lot of the same reasons as you. What’s more shocking than this is the fact that residents of Churchill continue to possess these same qualities, and best of all, they’re willing to share their slice of heaven with visitors from all over the world. With a population of under 1000 people, you’ll come to find that each and every one of them have a story worth listening to. Be sure to take the time to listen, next to the belugas and polar bears, they’re the most interesting form of life this far north.

Special thanks to the folks at Frontiers North Adventures, Sea North Tours, and the warm folks at Tundra Inn for helping out with my Churchill Adventure. Another thanks to the helpful staff at Travel Manitoba for bringing me in to cover the region.

Please forgive the Instagram quality photos in this post, I wasn’t brave enough to haul my DSLR out for this kayak trip and I only ended up having my Waterproof Case for my iPhone to snap these.

Kayaking with Belugas in Churchill, Manitoba is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Visit the Polar Bear Capital of the World With Google Mapshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/visit-the-polar-bear-capital-of-the-world-with-google-maps/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/visit-the-polar-bear-capital-of-the-world-with-google-maps/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:26:29 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=6240 So the other day I found myself perusing some Canadian travel videos, and came across this little number. The folks at Google Maps visited Churchill, Manitoba, a favourite location of mine, and strapped their fancy camera’s to some of the rugged tundra explorer vehicles.  They captured some superb shots of the town, as well as some […]

Visit the Polar Bear Capital of the World With Google Maps is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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So the other day I found myself perusing some Canadian travel videos, and came across this little number. The folks at Google Maps visited Churchill, Manitoba, a favourite location of mine, and strapped their fancy camera’s to some of the rugged tundra explorer vehicles.  They captured some superb shots of the town, as well as some great video of polar bears. I was completely surprised that I hadn’t come across this yet. Perhaps I was on the road when this thing went out to the masses, or maybe I can blame it on me just living under a rock for the last couple of years hammering away at work. Either way, it’s worth showing to anyone keen on seeing polar bears in Canada.

Churchill is accessible by air or train (VIA Rail). I’d highly recommend the train ride from Winnipeg, through northern Saskatchewan and onwards to Churchill, Manitoba. It’s a 2 day trip, but a totally unique Canadian experience. Check out Frontiers North Adventures for tours in and around Churchill, and I can’t recommend Churchill Tundra House Hostel enough to keep costs down while you’re visiting.

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Curious Mysteries at The Winnipeg Legislative Buildinghttp://ibackpackcanada.com/curious-mysteries-winnipeg-legislative-building/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/curious-mysteries-winnipeg-legislative-building/#comments Tue, 20 Aug 2013 14:06:03 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5628 Dan Browns famous novel “The Da Vinci Code” mixes history, mystery, and a curious plot that keeps pages turning. Whether you love it or hate it, I personally remember putting that book down several times while reading it and thinking “Woah, it all makes sense!“. That feeling of “what the…” is hard to come by. […]

Curious Mysteries at The Winnipeg Legislative Building is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Dan Browns famous novel “The Da Vinci Code” mixes history, mystery, and a curious plot that keeps pages turning. Whether you love it or hate it, I personally remember putting that book down several times while reading it and thinking “Woah, it all makes sense!“. That feeling of “what the…” is hard to come by. Sometimes it shows up in a book, a movie, a well written blog post, but rarely does it happen in real life. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to experience this feeling out in the wild. Found right under your nose in downtown Winnipeg, the local Legislative Building has a strange history that has to be seen in order to fully believe.

Sphinx on Winnipeg Legislative

The Hermetic Code Tours

Dr. Frank Albo takes you on a tour through this historic landmark explaining such mysteries as “What the heck is a sphinx doing on top of a building in the middle of the prairies?“, “What’s with all of the freemason imagery, and what does it all mean?” and “How come all of this in Manitoba?“. This hour & a half tour through an architectural wonder is a breathtaking experience. A curiosity that makes you question history in Canada, and the prominence in Freemasons as late as the 1930’s.

Dome Ceiling
I would love to share more about this unique experience and tell you all of it’s wonders, but the delivery of this incredible information is best seen on the tours, surrounding by marble floors & stunning art & with the superb narration of Dr. Frank Albo. In short, you’re going to see some mind boggling things, hear some crazy stories, and be presented with answers to some mysteries you never knew existed.

Special thanks to Tourism Manitoba for blowing my mind by putting me on this tour.  

Curious Mysteries at The Winnipeg Legislative Building is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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See Churchill on the Cheap with Tundra House Hostelhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/see-churchill-on-the-cheap-with-tundra-house-hostel/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/see-churchill-on-the-cheap-with-tundra-house-hostel/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 12:04:26 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5369 When a new hostel opens up in Canada, particularly those in unique or new settings, I can’t help but get excited. In the small town of Churchill, Manitoba, home of the polar bears, belugas, and all things arctic adventure related, the Tundra House Hostel opened its doors to eager backpackers and budget travellers from all […]

See Churchill on the Cheap with Tundra House Hostel is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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When a new hostel opens up in Canada, particularly those in unique or new settings, I can’t help but get excited. In the small town of Churchill, Manitoba, home of the polar bears, belugas, and all things arctic adventure related, the Tundra House Hostel opened its doors to eager backpackers and budget travellers from all over the world. Tundra House Hostel is Churchill’s first, and only hostel, and possibly one of my favourite hostels I stayed at during my cross Canada travels.

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I was picked up, alongside a french canadian fellow and a korean exchange student, at the VIA Rail Churchill Station by Belinda Fitzpatrick, the owner and manager of Tundra Inn and Tundra House Hostel. On our short drive, I learned that she’s an Australian that fell in love with the north and never left. She married a local fellow and started the hostel, based on her worldly experiences, and has been loving every day of it. She gave us a brief run down on safety and smiled the entire time, clearly loving what she does.

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Welcome to the Tundra House Hostel

As we pulled up to 51 Franklin Street, Belinda showed us around the Tundra House Hostel. I hung up my jacket and took a quick tour of this cute and cozy home away from home, with a shared kitchen, on-site laundry, free wifi, private and dorm style rooms, and one of the most comfy common living rooms I’ve ever set foot in. The spacious dining area is the perfect place to swap stories with other travellers or share a beer.

The Tundra House Hostel is a stones throw away from the Tundra Inn Pub, what would soon become one of my favourite spots to grab a pint and a delicious bite. If you’re in Churchill for squeezing in as many tours as humanly possible, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re never more than a few blocks away from your tour operators. Whether you plan on getting out in the Tundra Buggy, or want to kayak with Belugas, it’s a superb location for those wanting to experience as much of Churchill as possible.

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Tundra House Hostel Does It Right

I’ve been to countless hostels. Between the small run ma & pop hostels to the big chain HI Hostels, to the party fueled hostels of Samesun Backpackers. While each have something unique to offer, the Tundra House Hostel pulls off something incredible. Within half a day, this place became my home away from home. Friends share stories, connections are made, and next thing you know you find out you’ve got a lot of the same interests. The common question you’ll hear in Churchill is “What brought you up this far north?” – the answer seems to be consistent. Adventure, curiosity, wildlife, or for some, because it was on the VIA Rail line.

Churchill is a beautiful destination, and while it can be a bit pricey in terms of accommodation, Tundra House Hostel is a breathe of fresh air for the budget traveller. With rooms starting at $32 per night, it’s perfect for squeezing the most of your money and putting it into some of the unique tours & experiences that are offered in Churchill.

Tundra House Hostel

51 Franklin Street, Churchill MB

Phone: (204) 675-8831

Toll-Free: 1-800-265-8563

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8 Reasons I Can’t Get Churchill Off My Mindhttp://ibackpackcanada.com/8-reasons-i-cant-get-churchill-off-my-mind/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/8-reasons-i-cant-get-churchill-off-my-mind/#comments Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:00:13 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=5375 This summer I had the opportunity to travel to the mecca of arctic adventures. Churchill, Manitoba – home of the polar bears, the belugas, tundra buggy’s, zodiac adventures, and some of the friendliest Canadians you’ll come to meet. In this small town of less than 1000 people, travellers from all over the world board VIA […]

8 Reasons I Can’t Get Churchill Off My Mind is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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This summer I had the opportunity to travel to the mecca of arctic adventures. Churchill, Manitoba – home of the polar bears, the belugas, tundra buggy’s, zodiac adventures, and some of the friendliest Canadians you’ll come to meet. In this small town of less than 1000 people, travellers from all over the world board VIA Rail in Winnipeg and take the 2 day northbound journey to the edge of the Hudson Bay to find out what goes on this far north. Little did I know I’d be aching to return. These are the 8 reasons I can’t get Churchill off my mind!

churchill-manitoba-flag

The Metis Infinity Flag

1. The Local People

On the northbound train from Winnipeg to Churchill, you’ll hear stories. People warn you to be careful up there. While you should be careful wherever you go, and avoid confrontation with everyone you meet while traveling, those warnings were completely blown out of the water after the first day in Churchill. Between the friendly staff, the locals walking by on the street, and yes, even the beer drinkers at the pub, I didn’t have a single run in with anyone I couldn’t shoot the poop with. The people of Churchill are a friendly bunch and happy to talk travel, wildlife, and adventures. With such a beautiful landscape surrounding the region, locals of every colour, culture, and creed tend to have something good to say about Churchill.

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2. The Danger

There’s something exciting, knowing that every time you step foot outside of a house or building, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Traipsing around without a care in the world, could lead you to be a tasty dinner for a full grown polar bear. While it’d be crazy for everyone to carry a gun wherever they went, the people of Churchill have devised a much simpler solution. They don’t lock their doors. Should you come across a big hungry polar bear, run to the nearest house and you’re almost guaranteed to be able to walk right in, and stay until the bear is dealt with. Tour companies like the Tundra Buggy Tours deal with this danger by using custom built giant bus’s tall enough to keep standing polar bears at bay.

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3. The Wildlife

While there are no doubt some dangers when you visit a small town that is more or less surrounded by Polar Bears, fact is, they’re what bring most people up north. I’ll never forget, as I was on a zodiac in the middle of the Churchill River, less than a couple Miles from the Hudson Bay, seeing a Polar Bear enjoying a meal he’d caught at the edge of the water. While Polar Bears are the celebrities up here, the Belugas are a close second in the fame game. Since beluga’s were more friendly to me snapping photos, they win this reason! Be sure to have a good zoom lens if you plan on taking any photos of wildlife – or at the very least a decent set of binoculars. You’ll thank me later!

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4. The Adventures

If seeing wildlife from afar isn’t enough, the folks at Sea North Adventure Tours can get you closer than anyone to the belugas & polar bears. Between their Kayak Adventures, their Zodiac Tours, & their boat tours, they also offer snorkelling with Belugas, where you get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. In the small town of Churchill, there is no shortage of adventures to find yourself on. Go off-roading in the Tundra Buggy’s, custom built giant rovers that cruise over land and water in search of Polar Bears. Churchill isn’t just somewhere you can stop over for a day and say you saw it. In order to experience every bit of it, you need to get out of town and see what this place is really all about.

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5. The Travellers

I’m not sure what it is. Maybe the cold air, the difficulty in getting this far north, or just the spirit of adventure that Churchill inspires within people, but the travellers / tourists that find themselves up here. They’re cut from a different cloth. They’re here for unique reasons. During my brief stay in Churchill I met multiple German backpackers, exploring all that Canada has to offer, I had beers with two women from Minnesota who spent over 2 months kayaking to Churchill, I met a French Canadian student protester who explained to me in his point of view what the big fuss was all about, and a korean student who came up to Churchill on a whim to find work. Those who find themselves up here tend be of the inspirational & interesting variety.

seal-skin-kayak-churchill

6. The History

The Dorset, The Thule, The Dene, The Chipewyan and the Cree Natives had all inhabited this region. Their history, art, and culture can be absorbed at the Churchill Eskimo Museum, home to some knowledgeable staff, and a variety of carvings, and historical findings from the area. They say that it was the Dorset & Thule people who encountered the Vikings in the 11th century. Their people recount how large and strong the vikings were, but how easily they were scared off. If first nations history isn’t your cup, Churchill Fort is a must. Suspected to be built by the stone masons, and home to some incredible british and french colonialism history.

Tundra Pub Churchill Manitoba

7. The Food

Despite the fact that food is difficult to get up north, which in turn makes fresh goods tough to come by, the local Churchill restaurants do surprisingly well. Grab a hearty breakfast at the Seaport Hotel, then work up an apetite for lunch. Gypsy’s Bakery & Restaurant pump out high quality food that keeps everyone coming back. After getting a healthy dose of outdoors and wildlife, stop by The Tundra Inn Pub. This isn’t your average pub grub. Between the quality salads, the massive burgers, the superb pizzas, and their sushi Friday’s, they’ve got plenty to choose from. Hang around after for some live music, billiards, and some good old fashion drinking. A night or two at The Tundra Inn Pub will guarantee you at least a couple of stories to take home.

Tundra House Hostel

8. The Tundra House Hostel

While there are several great hotel deals in the area, I can’t say enough about my stay at the Tundra House Hostel. It’s really more of a house than a hostel, but I think I can speak for many, in saying that when you’re travelling, the revolving door of the “big chain hostels” can sometimes make it hard to meet people. The great thing about Tundra House Hostel is not only how cozy it is, but how easy it is to meet people. After all, the train is only in town a couple of times per week, so you’re guaranteed a few days with other travellers, which is plenty of time to make friendships that can last a lifetime. The beds are outstanding and clean, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are exactly what you’d expect to find in any ordinary house. After a long day of taking in Churchill, unwind in the living room and decompress to the sound of the ticking clock.

Churchill has a way of keeping people. You’ll meet countless locals with the same story. One visit, followed by a second, then they never really left, or at least keep finding themselves back in this unique part of Canada. It reminds me a lot of Dawson City in the Yukon. Slightly closed off from the rest of the world. While accessible to most, the difficulty of getting up there keeps the box stores and the chain restaurants away.  The locals seem truly grateful for each tourist or traveller they meet in their own slice of the tundra. It’s a beautiful thing to see a small town thrive.

8 Reasons I Can’t Get Churchill Off My Mind is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Travel Video – Saskatchewan and Manitobahttp://ibackpackcanada.com/travel-video-saskatchewan-manitoba/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/travel-video-saskatchewan-manitoba/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2009 00:31:33 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=1193 Travel Video – Saskatchewan and Manitoba is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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So after finally digging my feet in, I’ve managed to put together a quick travel video/photo montage of the first leg of my recent trip across Canada. Episode 1 features views into Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territorieshttp://ibackpackcanada.com/backpack-canada/ http://ibackpackcanada.com/backpack-canada/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2009 01:07:00 +0000 http://ibackpackcanada.com/?p=3 Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territories is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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Backpack CanadaCanada is the proud parent of 10 provinces and 3 territories, which contain the most land, and fewest people. If you are considering backpacking Canada, you should know that the majority of the Canadian population is located just north of the US border. Why so close you may ask? Few reasons.

  • The further North you go, the colder it gets. We’re tough as nails, but not crazy…Well not all of us.
  • The Trans Canada Highway (7,821 km) – A super long stretch of road that links all 10 provinces. The majority of the population lives in cities either linked to or damn near close to this highway.
  • Keep your friends close… Ah you know the old saying.

A little about each province:

British Columbia – Capital: Victoriabackpack b.c

Home to Vancouver & The Island (Local term for Vancouver Island). The NHL (National Hockey League) team Vancouver Canucks. Lots of trees, plenty of mountains. Bunch of rivers. The most hostels are found in this province. 40% of Canadas marijuana is grown in this area. 39% of which is smoked. BC is informally known as the stoner province. Other provinces like to cut it down as much as possible…perhaps out of jealousy of all it has to offer. If you’re keen on picking fruit or trying out WWOOFing this is the place to be. Looking for a job in the Rocky mountains. You can find it here. Oh – and lastly, the 2010 Winter Olympics are being held here. So suit up!

Alberta – Capital: Edmontonbackpack alberta

Home of the Rocky Mountains and NHLs Edmonton Oilers & Calgary Flames. A province free of PST (Provincial Sales Tax) – Sidenote: Alcohol seems to be particularly cheaper here. In Alberta you’ll see where Mountains meet Prairies. Home of farmers, cows, big city folk and oil. Informally the Dubai of Canada. A few years back Alberta had so much money from it’s oil it was litterally giving it away ($200) to anyone who resides in Alberta. But like any well that you pump non-stop – things are starting to dry up. Alberta’s a great place to learn how to snowboard or ski. Visit Banff & Lake Louise, enjoy thermal hot springs all year round, go white-water rafting, or saddle up and give horseback riding a shot. Also home of the Calgary Stampede (a huge Canadian Rodeo & Great excuse to dressup like a Cowboy and party. …more

Saskatchewan – Capital: Reginabackpack saskatchewan

The land of the living skies, as this province likes to boasts. Which isn’t stretching the truth. Its skies are far more pretty than the rest of Canadas. A great place to spot the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) A superb place to find some peace & quiet – by far one of the flatest places found in Canada. Apparently you can watch your dog run away for 2 days. Although according to my Grandpa Elmer it can vary. Over the years Saskatchewan has become the “nerdy kid” amongst the other provinces, and is jokingly made fun of more than others. But once you get to know this “nerd”, it can be one of your greatest friends. With over 100, 000 different lakes. The sunniest province in Canada. Home to Regina (…yes something does rhyme with that) and pot holes. Reginas a great place to “BarStar” it up with people who rarely hear an accent. Check out Dewdney Avenue if you want to hit the strip full of Clubs, Pubs, and Bars. Winter gets “effin” cold…think -40 to 50 degrees (celcius) – Summer gets “effin” hot…think 35 to 40 degrees celcius. All in all, well worth the 10 hour drive from Calgary. …more

Manitoba – Capital: Winnepegbackpack manitoba

Another prairie province – but finally not so land locked. Home of the Hudson Bay & the only Canadian Arctic Sea Port. Home of Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest fresh-water lake in the world – which is a superb place to check out during the summer. A very cool place to explore, home to a bunch of uninhabited islands along the Eastern shore. Manitoba is also home to Winnipeg and has earned the nicknames “Polar bear capital of the world” & “Baluga capital of the world” – If you’re feeling adventurous head out on a tour in autumn and see Polar Bears in their natural environment. If indoors is more your thing, I’m sure you can find a place to have a drink in one of Winnipegs hundreds of bars & pubs. Due to its size, more music events take place here than its neighbour to the west Saskatchewan. So be sure to keep on eye out on Ticketmaster.ca for any shows in the area. …more

Ontario – Capital: Torontobackpack ontario

According to Lonely Planet, Ontario is the bees knees of Culture, Cuisine and sophistication… although I don’t know how true that is, because one time, I heard a guy from Ontario fart. The most populated province in Canada, and second largest after Quebec. Home to the Nations Capital, Ottawa, and the provincial capital, Toronto (most populated city in Canada). A lot of local Canadians insist Toronto is an American city on the wrong side of the border, but I suggest you reserve those judgments to yourself. Most Torontites/Torontians/Toronteers/ and Torontonians take offense to this. Toronto is located right near the Great Lakes and a great place to hop around from if you plan on visiting the Yankee side of things, including the Big Apple itself (New York City). Ontario is home to the Niagra Falls, warm summers, The Toronto Maple Leafs, approximately 20 tornados per year, and London of coarse, Which is a wild city that mimics the Patron City down to street names and even a Thames River. Ontario is also the birthplace of the majority of famous Canadians, including… Rachel McAdams, John Gosling, Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Tom Green, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Trebek, Avril Lavigne, Rush, Barenaked Ladies, Howie Mandel & yes, even Shania Twain. Ontarios got plenty of places to eat, drink, party & experience the multicultural side of Canada. …more

Quebec – Capital: Quebec Citybackpacking quebec

Birthplace of Poutine, Celine Dion, and possibly the French language (sources unconfirmed) – This province is Frances baby, it shot this knuckle child out way back when North America was considered the “New World”. Quebec is full of culture, cuisine, fine dining, cafe au lait, and yes, French people. This place can rock your socks. For one, its relatively cheap compared to the majority of places in Canada. It is also the home to the Montreal Canadians. A great time can be found on just about any night. What’s great about this place, is if you speak French, you rock that much harder here, and even if you don’t, the majority of Quebecers speak English too. Quebec is packed full of old Rustic buildings, particularly in Montreal & Quebec City. If you’ve digested a little too much culture, perhaps you need to vomit. In which case, what better place to do it than in the wilderness. Quebecs full of trees, mountains, parks, and the eastern coast! Be sure to escape the big cities, it’s the small towns where you’ll truly find your own piece of Canada. …more

Nova Scotia – Capital: Halifaxbackpacking Nova Scotia

Latin for New Scotland – and for good reason. It’s strikingly similar to the Scottish highlands. Trees upon trees over hills, rocky coasts, icy seas and friendly locals. If you’ve grown sick of the Canadian Accent – fear not, Nova Scotia is a reprieve from that. Actually most of Eastern Canada is. It’s somewhat, not so American sounding. Maybe you’re craving some delicious sea food – There isn’t a restaurant here that doesn’t serve lobster, fish, scallops and other ocean crustaceans. Even McDonalds serves lobster – see the “McLobster”. Home to Halifax – a very cool party city with great sights, sounds, rustic buildings and a youthful feel to it. Keen on surfing in the Atlantic? Check out Lawrencetown – and on the way – be sure to stop at some of the coastal towns along the way. Always lots to see and do in Nova Scotia. …more

New Brunswick – Capital: Frederictonbackpackers New Brunswick

One of the three Maritimes provinces, home to both English, and Francophones (primarilary the Acadians). If you’re keen on checking out the Bay of Fundy, home to the Worlds Highest Tides (16m or 50ft for you imperialists), it’s just a short drive. It’s definately worth visiting, especially if your an admirer of all things aquatic. You might find the East of Canada a refreshing change with its shorter distances between sights. It’s rare that you’ll find yourself ever travelling more than a few hours in this province. Like all Eastern Canadian provinces, you’ll find a fare share of rustic buildings, significantly influenced by the French and English. Just a heads up for everyone planning on visiting Saint Johns. It is home to the steepest main street in Canada. King Street can rise 80 feet in the span on two city blocks. So hitting the Stairmaster may not seem so farfetched if you plan on a long stay. If walking amongst humans isn’t your thing, and you fancy yourself a Whale Watcher, you should be happy to hear that New Brunswick has a wide variety of whales and many different whale watching tours. …more

Newfoundland and Labrador – Capital: St. John’sbackpack newfoundland

The most Eastern province in Canada is sure to knock your socks off. Newfoundland and Labrador are the proud owners of its own dialects of English, French, & Irish. Its home to the most pubs per square foot in Canada, humbly located on George Street. Some facts you may like to know: Newfoundland & Labrador are home to the most sexually active people in Canada, also home to the most Attractive people, and are apparently the Funniest people in Canada. Now that I think of it, perhaps they were joking when I found out the first two facts…? You’ll have to go there and find out. But if half of what I write is true, then Newfoundland & Labrador is definitely worth checking out. …more

Prince Edward Island – Capital: Charlottetownbackpackers PEI flag

What do you get when you take a tiny island, and call it a province. P.E.I! Prince Edward Island is the birthplace of confederation. It is most commonly remembered as the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables. For over four decades the musical play, Anne of Green Gables, has performed at the Charlottetown Festival (Mid May to Oct). If your ear is itching for music, then P.E.I can definitely help scratch it. The arts in this area alone is worth checking out. Be sure to go for a walk around Charlottetown, you’ll find countless different stores housed in brick buildings, all of which have a way of luring you in. …more

Northwest Territories – Capital: Yellowknifetravel NWT flag

A piece of advice, practice your J-stroke ahead of time. The amount of rivers and lakes here will seduce you one way or another to find yourself a canoe or kayak and explore some of the wildest terrain found in Canada. During winter the land in this area becomes the frigid winter wonderland you’ve all heard of. If visiting the Arctic Circle is somewhere on your bucket list, you’ll be pleased to hear that it bisects the NWT. Solitude is easy to come by here, the density of population here would give Manhattan a whopping three people. Home to moose, bear, caribou and bison. Northwest Territories displays nature at it’s finest. Hop on the nearest dog-sled and find out.

Nunavut – Capital: Iqualuittravel Nunavut

The newest, largest, and least populated Territory in all of Canada. There are approximately 30,000 people spread across the area roughly the size of Western Europe. Nunavut remains the only area in Canada never to be fully conquered by Europeans. Approximately 85% of the population in Nunavut are Inuit. In 1999 they gained Democratic Control of the area. Home to polar bears, dog sledding, Caribou hunting, mountains, cliffs, the arctic circle, and the Northwest Passage. The Arctic pace truly does take effect here. Travelling through this area can be extremely frustrating, but should you have the time and expenses to make it in this rugged territory you’re sure to be pleased.

Yukon – Capital: WhitehorseBackpackYukon

The Yukon is synonymous with adventure. This is the place for a unique Canadian road trip. Pack an extra tire or two, because roads around here can be as rough as the terrain. Home to Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada, which sits at 5,959 metres (19,551 ft). Home to Robert Service, One of Canada’s most famous poets who captivated the world with his poems “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Spend a weekend partying in Whitehorse or try the Sour-toe cocktail in Dawson City, which is basically a highball with a twist of human toe. Yep, you heard right. But remember, in order to join the club, you’ve gotta kiss it. Now if toe kissing just isn’t your thing, you can always get more in touch with all this nature that’s around. If hiking’s on the agenda then Tombstone Territorial Park is the place to be, just remember to pack your insect repellent!

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Backpack Canada – Information on Canada’s Provinces And Territories is a post from: I Backpack Canada

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