Canada’s Road to 150

Canada's Road to 150

If you haven’t heard yet, my team and I are producing Canada’s Road to 150, which is one of the biggest #Canada150 campaigns of the year. The Road to 150 is a 150-day nationwide multimedia road trip celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday by exploring the uniqueness of this country provincially and collectively while answering the question; What makes Canada special?

We will drive to and through every province and territory (except Nunavut as there are no roads), showcasing Canada’s natural beauty and regional attractions while interviewing Canadians of all cultures and backgrounds. Our aim is to dig deep into what makes Canada such an incredibly inspiring country while showing off the best of Canada’s tourism to Canadians and to the world.

It has taken an insane amount of work to pull this off. It didn’t help that the idea came to me just after Christmas either as I had just missed the deadline for #Canada150 grants. However, after emailing over 200 companies to find a suitable sponsor for the campaign, Best Western decided to support us. Best Western is the perfect sponsor for a campaign like this, as they have hotels all across the country and all across the world. For anyone going on a road trip, they’re conveniently located in almost every province and territory in Canada. Without Best Western, this campaign wouldn’t have happened. [Read more…]

Shredding Powder in Fernie, BC

Fernie Skiing

I had long heard about the famous Fernie snow. From the time I started skiing at Mt.Norquay, people kept telling me that I had to experience Fernie. Finally, after six years, we made it happen.

Everyone was right. As Karla and I drove through Fernie and up to the resort, the snow was piled so high on the side of the street that we couldn’t even see the stores and restaurants. It reminded me of growing up in Fort.McMurray. As I checked the forecast on my phone, snow was predicted to fall for the next two weeks straight, including the three days we were there for. For non-skiers and snowboarders, snow is just a hassle, but for people who love to soar down the mountain with the cold air touching their face, fresh snow is like waking up to a warm plate of French Toast. It’s deliciously awesome.

Fernie Mountain Resort

We chose to stay slopeside at Lizard Creek Resort, which offers ski-in-ski-out accommodation. Since experiencing my first ski-in-ski-out accommodation in Panorama, I can’t get enough. Why get in the car every day and drive to the mountain when you can wake up, strap on the skis, and glide your way down from your room to the chairlift? This is the life! [Read more…]

Winter Hiking to Johnston Canyon’s Frozen Waterfalls

Johnston Canyon Upper Fall

  • Attraction: Johnston Canyon
  • Location: Banff National Park
  • Walking distance: 5.2km (3.2 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 135m (443 feet)
  • Cost: Free

Like a scene from the Chronicles of Narnia, the Johnston Canyon frozen waterfalls are truly remarkable. It’s like standing beneath a giant rock-cake with icing sugar running down the sides. The views are simply breathtaking and if you’re visiting Banff National Park in the winter, this is a must-do experience.

Hiking to Johnston Canyon during the winter is usually quite easy. From the car park, it’s only a two or three-hour return trip. You’ll want to hike the entire 5.2-kilometer return trip so that you see both the Upper and Lower Falls. Although you don’t need snowshoes, you may want to bring ice cleats to put on the bottom of your hiking shoes as it can get icy in spots. My family wore regular hiking shoes without ice cleats and although it was quite slippery in some areas, we made it there and back just fine. Sometimes it depends on the weather. [Read more…]

Three Days in Jasper National Park

Driving the Icefields Parkway

Driving the Icefields Parkway

Our trip began under a blanket of clouds but it wasn’t long before they opened up to reveal the mighty peaks that make the Icefields Parkway so famous.

Known as one of the world’s most scenic drives, it didn’t take long to understand why. Snow-capped mountains, deep valleys of pine trees, sparkling glaciers, and turquoise-coloured lakes are just some of the attractions that make the drive so spectacular.

Although the drive between Lake Louise and Jasper only takes three hours, you’ll want to double that for the many scenic stops you’ll be making along the way. While it’s incredibly easy to keep busy for weeks in Canada’s first national park (Banff NP), we only had three days and decided to pack them with as much activities and scenery as possible. [Read more…]

Mountain Biking and Grizzly Bears at Kicking Horse Resort

Kicking Horse Resort Panorama

I’ve been riding mountain bikes ever since I was a kid but this was the first time I rode one down an actual mountain. For those looking for a mountain-rush during the summer, I can’t think of a better way. For me, going downhill with a bike versus ski’s is much more terrifying…but I was up for the challenge.

First though, my wife Karla and I wanted to see Boo, the resident Grizzly bear. Since Karla wasn’t going to be joining me for the mountain biking, we decided to explore the Grizzly refuge in the morning. Plus, this is when Boo is more active. I don’t blame him. With 25ºC weather and a thick fur coat, I wouldn’t want to be under the sun either. [Read more…]

Exploring Kicking Horse Resort Via Ferrata

suspension bride kicking horse resort

There’s something special about looking down at the Columbia Valley from 7,700 feet. The blue-tinged river snaking its way around the lush green valley and the seemingly endless array of mountains surrounding my 360-degree view. Then again, I’m actually hanging off one of the mountains as I make my way up to Terminator Peak via Ferrata.

New to Kicking Horse Resort (created in 2015), the Via Ferrata is a great activity for thrill-seekers looking for a chance to experience mountain climbing with few of the risks. I love trying new things so it wasn’t hard to convince myself to go. My wife, Karla, joined as well.

[Read more…]

Living the Cottage Life at Clear Lake, Manitoba

Martese Clear Lake

When my wife and I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the summer of 2015, I was told that we were entering cottage country. There’s plenty of jokes about Winnipeg, ranging from that flat landscape to the harsh winters but when it comes to lakes and cottage life, there’s no better place to be.

Experiencing some of the lakes was on my must-do list and when my parents came to visit for a weekend, I did some research and found Clear Lake, which is nestled inside Riding Mountain National Park. This is the one of only two national parks in Manitoba and although the mountains are nothing compared to the Rockies, the wildlife and serenity is unmatched.

[Read more…]

Whale Watching in Tadoussac, Quebec

whale tour tadoussac quebec

I can honestly say that I never once imagined going whale watching in the province of Quebec.

It was my birthday actually. The day before had seen us (My parents as well as my fiancé Karla and I) go strolling around the old city of Quebec, drinking amazing mochas, standing in front of wall murals, eating delicious pizza and tomato garlic soup and even watching a FREE Cirque Du Soleil show. When we had arrived back to the room, Karla mentioned that my birthday was literally just around the corner.

It was July 30th but the 31st (My bday) was fast approaching.

She told me that when she was in Quebec 7 years prior, she remembered going out to see Humpback Whales. [Read more…]

Three Moose and a Mountain | Hiking Gros Morne, Newfoundland

Gros Morne National Park Hiking

It surprises me that after visiting Newfoundland more than a dozen times, I had never hiked their treasured UNESCO World Heritage site. When I look back though, I was never as adventurous as I am now. With a curiosity and passion to visit the most beautiful places on earth, it was without a doubt that I would hike Gros Morne National Park on my latest visit to the rock.

Located on the West coast of Newfoundland, Gros Morne is the provinces second tallest mountain, standing tall at 806 m. Created from eroded remnants of a mountain range formed more than 1.2 billion years ago, Gros Morne is an exquisite and rare example of continental drift, a process where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle are exposed.

In other words, it’s gorgeous and educational.

Gros Morne Summit

We were lucky to arrive on a hot sunny day, something rare in this “neck of the woods”. After purchasing our park ticket and getting some great advice from one of the friendly park rangers, we headed to the base of Gros Morne mountain to prepare for our climb. We packed plenty of water, some protein bars and fruit and of course, a good camera.

The beginning of the climb was nice and shady with the trail taking us over freshwater streams and plenty of vegetation. We also took time to read some information signs, where we learned that ….

[Read more…]

Kayaking Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Stunning.

The only word I could think of as I glanced out over the Bay of Fundy near Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick. The water was as smooth as glass, with a calming light-coloured background of blue hues.

Stunning.

hopewell rocks new brunswick

Although I had gone to simple see the rocks and the rising tide, I was actually more amused by the hundreds of shorebirds silently flying across the bay just inches from touching the water. I really fell in love with these little birds, catching them in their annual migration down south. I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the absolutely majestic scenery. Everything was so silent and so smooth.

Then I looked besides me.

hopewell rocks, new brunswick

Towering next to me was the equally impressive Hopewell Rocks; a series of wonderful rock formation caused by tidal erosion. The biggest attraction in this neck of the woods is the largest ocean tides in the world. This area in particular rises and falls an average of 35 feet, twice per day. [Read more…]