Canada is one of the widest countries in the world, with a wide variety of climates and scenery from all three coasts. I’ve crossed Canada a few times, once by car, where my 90s Corolla broke down in Nickleback’s hometown of Hannah, Alberta in the rain, twice by bus, which is a 3 day mind numbing time vortex and recently had plans to cross by bike. There’s a lot going on in this big country in 2017 which makes this the perfect year to grab some friends and road trip, hitchhike, jump on your bike, or transit across.
1. The Great Trail
Formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail, renamed The Great Trail last year, the network of trails was supposed to be 100% completed for its official grand opening in 2017. As of writing 91% of the network is completed composing of 21,500 kilometers of hiking trails, bike paths, water ways, and other multi-purpose trails. Some of my favorites include the Petit Témis trail in Quebec, and the North Vancouver and Capilano Pacific Trail. There is a great interactive map at thegreattrail.ca.
2. 150 years of Canada, 375 years of Montreal
The Confederation of Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and jumping on board, because why not, the peculiar celebration of the 375th anniversary of Montreal. Events are going on all over the county , and Montreal also has all kinds of events and activities all year, where it is also the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, the world expo that was said to have opened up Montreal to the world. It is however important to reflect on the colonial and historical legacy and impact on the indigenous people and the land that has come about from the creation of Canada.
3. Parks Canada Free 2017 Discovery Passes
To celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Canada, Parks Canada is giving out free Discovery Passes. The passes give you free admission to parks, historic sites, and places managed by Parks Canada. This doesn’t includes camping fees or other activities, and doesn’t include provincial or regional parks. Passes can be ordered on the Parks Canada Website. Enjoy over 300,000 square kilometers of nature for free! Personally I love Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia, and the obviously very popular Banff Park in Alberta, the original park created in 1885. Parks and reserves are essential for protecting the land and our nature, however lets not forget that many indigenous populations where forcibly removed, or denied access to their lands in the creation of these parks.
Now is the perfect time to get on the road and explore!