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Could This Top Chef's Saskatoon Restaurant Be Canada's Best?

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 03.26.2014 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

Dale MacKay was the first winner of Top Chef Canada, he had established himself among Daniel Boulud's successful brigade of proteges, and he was living in Vancouver, a city in proximity to many of the exceptional products coveted by cooks. MacKay, though, opted for Saskatoon.

Chef Takes This Toronto Pizza Parlour to New Heights

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 03.19.2014 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

Jonathan Gushue could have opted for another fine-dining restaurant. He could have teamed with a pricey, established place in a big city and quickly turned it into a go-to spot for foodies to discover. But Gushue chose something radically different and it's a departure that could seriously shake up the Toronto dining scene. Here's why.

New Museum Makes Winnipeg the No. 5 Place to Visit in Canada in 2014

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 02.26.2014 | Canada
Adrian Brijbassi

Winnipeg's reputation has languished for too long. Lambasted for its frigid temperatures in winter and buggy conditions in summer, the Manitoba capital has had to work hard to earn back some good PR. It has built momentum in recent years, thanks to an under-the-radar dining scene and the return of the city's beloved NHL team. But with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the city has a chance to regain the tourism spotlight.

How the Tourism Commission Gets the Word Out About Canada

Vacay.ca | Posted 02.18.2014 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

If you're like me, then there are times you've probably asked this question: "how do international travellers view Canada? And what motivates them to visit?" Why choose Ottawa over Washington? Why pick Calgary as a travel destination over Buenos Aires? These are questions that the Canadian government must ask as well if our country is to be a competitive draw for travellers.

Canada's Coolest Restaurant Is in Winnipeg

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 02.17.2014 | Canada Living
Adrian Brijbassi

It's the first day to purchase coveted seats for this year's RAW:almond pop-up restaurant and Mandel Hitzer is doing brisk sales. The project that started as a what-are-we-getting-ourselves-into experiment earlier this year enters its second go-round as the hottest table in a city that suddenly needs to be on every culinary travellers' itinerary.

I'm a Believer: How My First Men's Facial Changed Everything

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 02.12.2014 | Canada
Adrian Brijbassi

After years of searching, I found the perfect hangover cure. It wasn't the hair of the dog that bit me, and it wasn't any sort of nasty concoction borne out of my medicine cabinet. It was, in fact, a facial. And I think I finally understand what all the hype was about.

Tourism Is Key to Nelson Mandela's Legacy

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 02.04.2014 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

On Vacay.ca, a list has been published of the five Nelson Mandela attractions visitors to South Africa will have to make a point of seeing. The list includes Robben Island. This 12-square-kilometre dot of sand and limestone is where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years of incarceration.

'35 Million Directors' Winner Inspires

Vacay.ca | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

Cecil Johnson's time-lapse video of icebergs in Quidi Vidi, a tiny village within the Newfoundland & Labrador capital of St. John's, won praise and votes from film buffs and earned him the Viewers' Choice Award from the 35 Million Directors project.

Chef Michael Smith's Legacy Lives On at PEI Restaurant

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Adrian Brijbassi

Legends can loom over a place long after they've gone. Dave Wilmer knows that better than anyone else on Prince Edward Island. The owner of the Inn at Bay Fortune still welcomes guests who expect him to be Michael Smith, the celebrity chef whose cookbooks and Food Network Canada TV shows have a massive following.

You Should Shell Out for This PEI Clam Digging Adventure

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 11.27.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

The Giant Bar Clam Dig Adventure is as soft-core adventure as you can get and that, to me, makes it hugely appealing to a vast number of people who don't ever want to find themselves attached to a zipline or scuba tank. Each passenger receives a clam rake and then sets about digging for lunch.

Rock n' Roll, Fine Dining, and Grizzly Bears -- All In One Weekend

Vacay.ca | Posted 11.26.2013 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

Three of Vacay.ca's dedicated explorers packed in as much as they could to enjoy the final days of summer and usher in autumn in Canada. Using the divide-and-conquer strategy, we spread out to cover and capture some unique and wonderful Canadian experiences. Here's a recap of outings made by our team on Saturday, September 21.

Confessions of a Speeding Traveller on PEI

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 11.05.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

The Number One Street to Visit in Canada Is...

Vacay.ca | Posted 11.04.2013 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

The street has boutique shops, artisan galleries, and restaurants, as well as a 200-seat theatre within centuries-old stone walls, a mural that depicts different stages of the city's history. Rue du Petit-Champlain, lined with shops that belong to an artists' cooperative, ranks No. 1 among the Top 20 Streets to Visit in Canada.

The Spa That Heals You at -110 Celsius

Vacay.ca | Posted 10.18.2013 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

The cryotherapy lab at Sparkling Hill Resort, just outside of Vernon in the Okanagan Valley, takes the concept of being cool to another new level. Set at minus-110 Celsius degrees (-166 Fahrenheit), North America's only Ice lab offers sought-after treatment for those suffering from arthritis, depression, or muscle and joint pain.

Ai Weiwei's Exhibit (and Middle Finger) Arrive in Toronto

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 10.15.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

The Thrill of 'The Chase'

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 10.14.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

The Top 10 Sounds of Summer

Vacay.ca | Posted 10.13.2013 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

When summer arrives, it brings much more than just warm temperatures to Canada. Connect Hearing -- the nation's leader in hearing health -- has provided its list of the Top 10 Sounds of Summer in Canada to Vacay.ca.

The Travel Writer's Dilemma

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 09.30.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

The World's Best Hotel Spa Is Right Here in Canada

Vacay.ca | Posted 09.20.2013 | Canada Travel
Vacay.ca

Some days at Toronto's only five-diamond hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, are more memorable than others, though, as the hotel's spa operations manager found out earlier this month. The Ritz spa, called Spa My Blend by Clarins, had been named the World's Best Hotel Spa by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Tips for a Great Canadian Weekend in Whistler

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 09.09.2013 | Canada
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

Why Calgary Should Consider a Winter Stampede Post-Flood

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 09.07.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

How Calgary Can Learn from New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 09.04.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

Canada's Foodie of the Year Picks Vij's in Vancouver

Vacay.ca | Posted 08.26.2013 | Canada
Vacay.ca

As Canada's Foodie of the Year, Deborah Son could have chosen anywhere in Canada for the dinner of a lifetime. Her choice is one of Vancouver's most beloved restaurants. Son, a 21-year-old student from Winnipeg, will dine at Vij's, ranked as the best restaurant in Canada for 2013.

Seven Reasons to Visit Calgary After the Flood

Adrian Brijbassi | Posted 08.23.2013 | Canada Travel
Adrian Brijbassi

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.

A Grizzly Adventure in British Columbia

Vacay.ca | Posted 08.19.2013 | Canada
Vacay.ca

While the black bear is common in some urban areas -- with sightings even in Vancouver's suburbs as the bears search for ripe fruit from the trees and troll the recycling bins -- the grizzly bear is British Columbia's wilderness giant. Visiting with grizzlies in the wild had long been a dream of mine, and this spring we decided to head up the coast to see if we could view some of BC's iconic mammals.