Relaxation in Canada

Guest post by Allison Gamble

Crazy busy! That’s how life can get. So, if you need a rat race remedy, why not visit Canada where the opportunity for a little R & R lies around every corner? Canada is a huge country with a diverse topography and no shortage of tranquil, peaceful destinations. Here, you’ll find the top picks for those who need to unwind, regroup, and get a fresh perspective on life.

Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino sunset. Photo by Allison Gamble. Used by permission.
Tofino sunset. Photo by Allison Gamble. Used by permission.

Nothing says relaxation like a few days of lounging on the beach. True, Canada isn’t normally thought of as a major beach destination, but visitors to Tofino can spend their days unwinding on warm sandy beaches where the rhythm of crashing waves is sure to ease away their stress. Pass the days combing the beach, surfing the waves, kayaking, or hiking miles of coastal trails. For a little more adventure, visit the rainforest on Clayoquot Sound or nearby botanical gardens. While in Tofino, rent a beach front villa or stay at the secluded Wickaninnish Inn where guests enjoy the best in de-stress treatments at The Ancient Cedars Spa.

Prince Edward Island

Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the coast of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island is most noted for its striking beauty. Green, rolling hills contrast with distinct red-soil cliffs, rocky coastal inlets, and red-sand beaches, making Prince Edward Island a nature lover’s paradise. You can commune with nature on the island’s expansive trail system, or simply lounge on the beach with a good book at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park. Add to the laid-back atmosphere of Prince Edward Island by staying at the West Point Lighthouse in O’Leary. Here, guests may enjoy the unique experience of spending the night in a light keeper’s room.

Churchill, Manitoba

This small town, located on the shores of the Hudson Bay, is famous for its polar bear and beluga whale sightings. Spend the day taking a tour to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures, or hike through the nearby Boreal Forest to observe one of the world’s largest natural bird habitats. Reconnect with mother nature and let the rustic charm of this secluded northern town soothe away the tension of your hectic daily schedule. As darkness falls in Churchill, sit back and watch in wonder as the Aurora Borealis displays its magical show in the sky.

Quebec City, Quebec

If you want to escape to a faraway place, but just don’t have the time to travel far, Quebec City is the place for you. In all of Canada, there isn’t a city more culturally unique. In fact, a trip to Quebec City is like traveling to Europe without ever leaving North America. Visitors can lose their worries in this city’s abundance of European charm. Sip coffee at sidewalk cafes, enjoy world-class museums, or partake in one of the city’s many festivals. While in Quebec City, visit the famous Chateau Frontenac, resting on cliffs overlooking the beautiful St. Lawrence River. No matter what activity you choose, a visit to Quebec City will make you feel like you’re worlds away from home.

Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff National Park, Alberta

There’s nothing that soothes away stress more than losing yourself in the wild beauty of Banff National Park. The enchanting scenery of the area attracts visitors from around the world who travel to enjoy this area’s boundless natural attractions. Whether visiting in the summer or winter, enjoy an endless array of activities or just simply sit back and drink in the beauty of the area. Spend the day on the Lake Louise and let the majestic power of the towering mountains diminish your worries. After a day packed full of fresh air activities, get a good night’s rest in the areas world-class accommodations such as the Banff Springs Hotel or Chateau Lake Louise.

Taking time out from the stress of our daily lives is important for our overall health and well-being. So when it comes to taking care of yourself, spend a little down-time in the many tranquil locals that Canada has to offer. No matter what your preferred style of rest and relaxation, its a sure bet that Canada has the destination for you.

Allison Gamble has been a curious student of psychology since high school. She brings her understanding of the mind to work in the weird world of internet marketing with

Studying in Canada: A Guide for Non-Canadians

Studying in Canada
Canada is emerging as an increasingly popular destination for UK citizens studying overseas.

Guest post by James Cave

With the introduction of compulsory course fees at English and Welsh universities, many potential UK undergraduates are seriously considering studying overseas for the first time. The thinking goes that if you’re going to be paying thousands each year to expand your mind at university, why not enhance the experience by submerging yourself in the culture of a different country at the same time?

As an English speaking Commonwealth country, Canada is emerging as a top choice for many getaway students from the UK. This is understandable for the reason that Canada is different from home but not different enough to be scary or alienating.

However, here are many good reasons to consider studying in Canada. Firstly, it’s a big place, stretching from the Atlantic in the east to the Pacific in the west, and offers a huge variety of locations to choose from. From cutting-edge festival cities such as Montreal and Toronto which regularly poll as offering among the highest quality of life anywhere in the world to visually stunning and unique places such as Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland, Canada has a university town to attract everyone. And, although it is a long plane journey away, there are plenty of companies that fly to Canada, especially to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

On a practical level, tuition fees in Canada are generally competitive with those in the UK and other English speaking countries. Many educational institutions in Canada offer scholarships, grants or bursaries for international students. Each institution is different, though, so it’s best to research the institutions you’re considering applying to individually to find out what sort of financial support opportunities may be available. You can find contact information for each university at the Study in Canada website. You’ll also find information on the admission policies of each institution.

Crucially, the education you receive and the qualifications you gain from an accredited Canadian university, college or business school will be recognised throughout the world. You can check that a particular institution is fully accredited by visiting the website of the

8 Tips for Traveling to Old Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City
Avenue St-Denis, with Chateau Frontenac in the distance.

Guest post by Janelle Vadnais

Also known as Ville de Quebec, Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is the second largest city (by population) after Montreal. Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is a popular tourist destination as it is rich in history as well as extremely scenic.

Depending on where you are coming from as well as how long you are planning on staying, you may want to consider hiring an car transport company to ship your vehicle to Old Quebec City. Of course, there is nothing wrong with driving there yourself either. Regardless of how you decide to get there, the following are some points of advice if you do find yourself traveling to this historic area.

  1. Bring a passport. As a non-native, make sure that you have a valid passport as well as a form of photo identification ready to show once you approach the border by car or at customs by airplane.
  2. Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Old Quebec City is a walking city with quaint shoppes and cobblestone streets. There is a lot of history within a short distance, so make sure that you bring some comfortable shoes to wear.
  3. Bring a light jacket.Depending on what time of year you travel to Quebec City, you’ll want to make sure that you dress accordingly. For instance, summers in Quebec City aren’t nearly as hot as they are in other parts of the world, with temperatures typically reaching no more than 78 degrees. Nights tend to be cool, so make sure you bring a light jacket if traveling there during the summer months.
  4. Know the foreign currency conversion before you leave. The foreign exchange rate changes all of the time. Make sure that you check it with your current currency before you leave. Depending on the current rates, you may want to exchange your monies prior to leaving.
  5. Notify your bank/credit card company of your travel itinerary. With some credit card companies, such as American Express, you do not need to notify them when you travel outside of your native country. However, for most other creditors, placing a simple phone call could save you a ton of frustration or financial problems when you find your accounts frozen due to suspicious activity. Letting them know when you are planning to travel as well as where will help to prevent any trouble.
  6. Plan to be stopped at the border. If you are traveling by car, make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork for your vehicle with you as well as your passport and photo identification. Though your vehicle is not customarily searched, the border control officers will ask you a series of questions as to your business in that country as well as questions as to how you know the other passengers in your vehicle, etc.
  7. Bring a French/English dictionary, just in case. If you don’t know French, it may be a good idea to bring a French/English dictionary just in case as the official language of Quebec City is none other than French. And though most places will provide an English equivalent, street signs/names will be listed in French. Additionally, more than 80 percent of the population in Quebec City speaks French with the remaining population speaking English.
  8. Take advantage of free activities. Just because you are traveling to a foreign country doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend an exorbitant amount of money. When you arrive, grab a walking tour map and spend the first day exploring the city on your own. Once you get a feel for it, you can venture out more and choose certain activities to do.

About the Author: Janelle is an avid travel enthusiast and blog manager for one of the leading auto movers in the United States, National Transport, LLC. For more information about car shipping rates, you can contact National Transport, LLC at 1.800.665.5022.

Three Romantic Getaways Showcase Canada’s Beauty and Diversity

Guest post by Neil Street

What makes the perfect romantic getaway? The answer will vary with each person you ask, but many would probably agree that the key ingredients include the opportunity for a little solitude, some beautiful surroundings, some activities to while away the hours, and the opportunity for a little bit of pampering for good measure.

Canada is blessed with numerous destinations that fit the bill. You are probably familiar with many of them. But destination spots that are off the beaten path add their own special romance to a trip, simply because they are so different. Here are three Canadian locations that offer a wonderful romantic getaway – and that may be a little different, as well.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

View of St. John's looking over the harbor (With permission, Wikimedia Commons)

Located on the easternmost tip of North America is the oldest city on the continent: St. John’s, Newfoundland. The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s has been settled more or less permanently since before 1620. With hilly terrain and maze-like, residential streets, this gem on the Atlantic has been compared to San Francisco in appearance and ambiance.

St. John’s enjoys a temperate climate year-round, with cool summers and mild winters. July and August are good months to visit. The downtown area, adjacent to St. John’s harbor, is home to brightly-colored, colonial buildings, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and galleries. For romantic accomodations, check out Balmoral House, a beautifully-restored, Victorian townhouse B & B located in downtown St. John’s, or the equally gorgeous and romantic Bluestone Inn, also in the heart of downtown.

By day, you and your partner can crisscross this fascinating city, enjoying the boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. For some quiet time, head to Pippy Park, one of Canada’s largest urban parks. The museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is also in St. John’s, and worth the visit. By night, check out the bars and restaurants along George Street, famous for its dynamic musical entertainment. If you’re visiting in August, you’ll find yourself at the famous George Street Festival. If it’s October, you’ll be caught up in Mardi Gras. Yes, Mardi Gras comes in October to St. John’s. Just another surprise from this most surprising of Canadian cities.

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Waterton Lake, Alberta, Looking south over Waterton Lake, towards Montana (Credit: Ken Thomas)

Swinging clear across Canada to Alberta, if you want to find a romantic spot that combines solitude with magnficent surroundings, and yet feel pampered for a couple of days, Waterton Lakes National Park fits the bill.

Just across the U.S. border from Glacier National Park, the less well-known Waterton Park is a remote getaway that provides the breathtaking scenery available in Banff or Jasper, minus the crowds. Waterton Lake sits at the intersection of prairie and mountain – an intersection that is abrupt and spectacular.

The town of Waterton is tiny, and so rural that bighorn sheep stroll down Main Street. The pampering comes courtesy of the Prince of Wales hotel, located on a bluff overlooking the lake. Boasting magnificent views, the 1920’s-era Prince of Wales has the feel of an alpine chalet, with rich dark woods, gables and balconies, deep, inviting furniture, and, improbably given the location, serves British tea every afternoon.

When you’re done soaking up the scenery for the day, try a guided horse-riding tour of the area, courtesy of the Alpine Stables in town. Or, do a little hiking on your own. Most visitors, however, find the lake a little too chilly for swimming! At the end of a relaxing day, return to your hotel for more pampering and relaxation.

Cantons de L’Est, Quebec

Fall landscape, Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Cantons-de-l'Est (Credit: Paul Hurteau, Creative Commons)

Located less than an hour’s drive east of Montreal, the Cantons de L’Est are the heart of Quebec’s wine country. It is a bucolic region, composed of a group of towns, or cantons, dotted across the rolling hills and valleys that make up this beautiful area.

The Cantons de L’Est region is home to about 20 wineries, and ahead of your visit you can plan out a winery tour via the established Wine Route. It will take you through small, charming towns, gorgeous countryside, and beautiful scenery, and of course, to one distinctive winery after another.

Anchored by the town of Sherbrooke, a thriving community at the confluence of the Magog and St. Francis rivers, the region is noted for small inns and hotels, and fine eateries. Accomodations include such luxuries as Le Spa des Chutes de Bolton, an enchanting villa at the foot of the falls of the Missiquoi River, featuring full service spa treatments as well as complete guest services. If a spa is not on your wish list, you may want to try the Manoir Hovey, a turn of the century, lakeside romantic inn, modeled after George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

From Brome-Missiquoi in the west to Granit in the east, the Quebec wine region is a varied and relaxing getaway with options for the most discerning traveler. The fact that it is only an hour from Montreal is icing on the cake.

Guest post by Neil Street, a freelance writer and publisher. He has recently covered private jet travel, among other topics.