Canada: The Perfect Blend of America and Europe
September 10, 2012 | Permalink
There’s no better time to travel to Canada than the summertime. It’s a bit cooler up there, and the days are a bit longer. Also, it strikes the perfect balance between the United States and Europe. It’s exotic, but it is not at all disorienting—as some foreign countries can be. You can reach Canada by car if you choose to—just like driving to any of the lower forty-eight. The highways are a bit narrower, the gas is a bit pricier and the speed limits are in the metric system (which is all easy to get used to); but other than that, once you get across the border, driving to your Canadian destination is much like driving to any town or city in the US.
The following are a few of the most interesting destinations Canada has to offer.
Toronto is just as massive and cosmopolitan as New York City or Chicago. It is also comparable to New York in that it is Canada’s theatre capital. What makes it more attractive than New York City or Chicago, is that things (including the theatre) are less expensive in Toronto.
Soulpepper is a repertory company founded by theater artists. It is presenting a trio of American modern-classic plays during August and September: David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Toronto is also a leading city for film. The Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place this year between September 6th and16th, serves as the world-premier for many artistically great and popular movies. The much-awaited documentary Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp will premier at this year’s festival. Iceberg Slim’s story is one of literary redemption. He went from being an exploitative pimp to being a prolific, much-appreciated author. Also showing at this year’s festival is Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3D. It is a little-known fact that Hitch actually shot this masterpiece in 3D. Come to a masterpiece of a city, Toronto, and see a masterpiece of a film restored to its original, very contemporary-feeling brilliance.
Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is a charming, culturally-rich city situated on the Ottawa River. The Rideau Canal, a World Heritage Site, is like a Venetian canal in the summer and like the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink in the winter (both ideal sites for romance). Additionally, there are biking and walking paths alongside the canal. You can enjoy the canal’s beauty, looking down at the picturesque boats puttering along, while getting some exercise.
If you are an architecture buff and/or a political buff, Parliament Hill is not to be missed. The buildings are done in the very-exciting style of the Gothic-Revival. The Canadian government offers free tours that give one the run down on their version of democracy and of history. Make sure to ask them about the War of 1812. Their take on it is far different than that offered in American high-school history textbooks.
After touring Canada for the day, you’ll likely want a taste of home. If you do, then you’ll want a hotel where you can make food the way you want it in your own kitchen and enjoy the free in-room Wi-Fi.
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