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Adrian Brijbassi

Managing Editor, Vacay.ca

Adrian Brijbassi appears frequently on CTV News Channel, TSN Radio and CJSF Radio, discussing travel, sports and writing. He is the managing editor of Vacay.ca. He's also a former editor at the Toronto Star, and has formerly worked at New York Newsday and the Vancouver Sun. Adrian has won six travel writing awards from NATJA, including for best destination article published in a newspaper in both 2010 and 2011. He is a judge for the World's 50 Best Restaurants and spearheaded the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list that debuted in 2012.
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Confessions of a Speeding Traveller on PEI

The speedometer read 140 km/h when I determined I could go faster than that. I hit 150, 160, pushed it to 165 for an exhilarating eight kilometres of joy riding that would surely cost me points, if not my license, in a jurisdiction other than Prince Edward Island.
09/05/2013 12:17 EDT
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Ai Weiwei's Exhibit (and Middle Finger) Arrive in Toronto

Eighty-seven thousand people died in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008; 5,335 of them were children. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei turned the backpacks of those children into a serpent, a statement about what he believes is China's treacherous treatment of its impoverished citizens and government corruption. The rest of the "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" exhibit begins its only Canadian appearance this weekend at the AGO.
08/15/2013 12:28 EDT
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The Thrill of 'The Chase'

New Yorkers Salm and David Chang of Momofuku have invigorated Toronto's dining scene with culinary ambitions on a massive scale. Momofuku Toronto opened last September in an expansive 6,600-square-foot property adjacent to the Shangri-la Hotel. It features three restaurants, a cocktail lounge, and the recently opened Milk Bar.
08/14/2013 08:24 EDT
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Three Ways to Boost Canada's Tourism Image

Stability, peacefulness, politeness and a welcoming atmosphere go a long way when considering a nation in which to settle down and raise a family. When you are contemplating flinging free on vacation, those qualities aren't as enticing. So, what do you do if you need to become more attractive? Here are some thoughts.
08/06/2013 08:53 EDT
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The Travel Writer's Dilemma

Several large media organizations won't publish articles if a travel writer received assistance from a tourism board, or they will put a disclosure at the end of the article saying the trip was sponsored. This is a blatant double standard, and it stands to hurt and limit the importance of travel journalism.
07/31/2013 12:06 EDT

Vancouver Restaurant Takes Flight on Seedy Street

When you taste the carrot cake puree, served alongside the tenderest of duck breasts, you realize that Makoto Ono isn't only a wonderfully talented chef, he's a fun-loving one, too. Pidgin serves the...
07/31/2013 01:36 EDT
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TIFF Lands "The Fifth Estate" World Premiere

Long ago TIFF went from showcasing great movies to premiering great movies that matter. This year's opening-night gala promises to be a landmark occasion for the film world and society at large. The Toronto International Film Festival landed the world premiere of The Fifth Estate, a movie about WikiLeaks and its controversial founder Julian Assange.
07/23/2013 05:43 EDT
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Where to See Alex Colville's Artwork

Until I encountered a lithograph of "Pacific" -- a 1967 painting of a shirtless man standing carefree and staring out to the ocean with his back turned to a handgun on a table -- I believed Canadian art was benign. Group of Seven landscapes were beautiful, but they were neither riveting nor cool in the way a 16-year-old would think art is cool. This? This was cool.
07/17/2013 12:21 EDT
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Tips for a Great Canadian Weekend in Whistler

I've been to Whistler at least two dozen times and never once bombed down one of its mountains. Not on skis, or a snowboard, or a mountain bike. Am I missing out? I've never felt like it. That's because this haven for intense outdoor sports activities is also fabulous for soft-core warm-weather enjoyment, too, including golfing, hiking, zip lining, and cycling. It's a beautiful part of the world that never bores me.
07/10/2013 12:22 EDT
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Why Calgary Should Consider a Winter Stampede Post-Flood

The benefits of a winter carnival branded with the Stampede name are massive. Given how close the city was to seeing its biggest tourism event wiped out, having a cushion made of the dollars a second $150-million-plus annual festival would bring in may be worth discussion.
07/08/2013 08:06 EDT
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How Calgary Can Learn from New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina

Recovering from one of the most damaging natural disasters in Canadian history also means assessing the toll of the flood. There are some good reasons why New Orleans' situation is vastly different from the challenges Calgary confronts. However, Calgary faces some tests that New Orleans didn't.
07/05/2013 12:00 EDT
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Montreal Jazz Fest Keeps Grooving Along

The Montreal Jazz Fest remains worthy of reverence for the same reason any great event or attraction would. It has built up years, 34 of them, of credibility and notoriety. Since Ray Charles headlined the first edition in 1980, the Montreal Jazz Fest has grown into a calendar event, an annual occasion that your mind makes note of every June.
07/02/2013 05:07 EDT
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Seven Reasons to Visit Calgary After the Flood

As we observe the historic flood and the damage it has done to this marvellous city and its neighbours, I wanted to list the great many things to celebrate about Calgary and southern Alberta. It's a reminder of why you should visit, once the water has receded and the restoration has begun.
06/23/2013 11:29 EDT

A French-Canadian Enclave in Nova Scotia

Cheticamp, at the southwestern entrance of the national park, is the most eye-catching community on the Cabot Trail because the colourful houses, many of them painted in the blue, red and white symbols of the Acadian people, stand out and invite you to stop.
06/19/2013 12:11 EDT
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The Future of Top Chef Canada

Speak to Mark McEwan about Top Chef Canada and you'll get the sense the show has many seasons ahead of it. McEwan, the head judge for the popular Food Network cooking competition, said he is thoroughly enjoying the production, which wrapped up its third season on Monday night.
06/11/2013 05:23 EDT
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The 20 Best Restaurants in British Columbia

I just returned from a two-week journey to British Columbia that I didn't anticipate being a mind-blowing culinary tour. We like lists at Vacay.ca, so here are the 20 best places I dined in British Columbia during the past two weeks.
06/06/2013 12:19 EDT
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Spend a Great Canadian Weekend on the Cabot Trail

For years, the Cabot Trail has been one of the world's most famous roads to drive. It runs about 300 kilometres, looping around the edges of Cape Breton Island. As too many who venture onto the road have discovered, however, the trail is deserving of much more time than what a simple day trip affords.
05/29/2013 12:26 EDT
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How Can Canada Attract More International Tourists?

In the face of relentless competition and staggering budget cuts, the Canadian Tourism Commission has deployed a strategy that involves provincial and municipal tourism boards and agencies focusing on traditional markets. The Canadian tourism industry grew 4.2% in 2012, increasing its revenue to $81.9 billion.
05/18/2013 08:46 EDT
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Why Joe Beef Is Canada's Best Restaurant

The fact that Joe Beef has been voted Canada's best restaurant isn't going to come as a surprise to enthusiasts of the nation's food scene. But many will be shocked that the iconic restaurant's hometown, Montreal, trails Calgary in the number of entries placed in the 2013 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Guide.
05/08/2013 05:38 EDT