7 reasons to come to Canada while the dollar is low
Perhaps you’ve heard rumors about our current low Canadian dollar and that our paper money is every color of the rainbow. Both are true! So if you are traveling from the United States, it’s the perfect time to plan a family vacation to Canada. My son and I have done most of the things on this list, including number 7, except we didn’t cry and there were no hugs.
1. The Toronto Blue Jays are back
Baseball season just started, need I say more? The Toronto Blue Jays are Canada’s only baseball team, and they rock! They have been a team for 38 years and won back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993. You can get tickets to watch them play starting at just 20 dollars at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.
2. Anne of Green Gables was born here
Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, is known for its stunning red earth, sea air and the famous fictional red-haired resident, Anne of Green Gables. Author Lucy Maud Montgomery, a PEI local author, created Anne and the first book was published in 1908. Since then it’s been translated into over 12 languages, sold over 50 million copies, become a hit television series, and Anne of Green Gables - The Musical is the longest running musical in Canada.
3. Nothing beats pure maple syrup
If you have never had thick, fresh Canadian maple syrup drizzled over ice and then magnificently rolled on a stick, you are missing out. A small kiosk called Cabane in Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montreal sells this sticky indulgence for $3. The maple syrup is boiled right from the tree with nothing added. With treat in hand, you can walk the magical cobblestone streets of this 17th- century city, and it’s a great destination for kids.
4. Whales in Nova Scotia swim free
The only humane way to see whales is swimming free in the ocean, not in captivity. Nova Scotia is almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic, which means there are plenty of opportunities for whale watching. And everyone loves a province with a good sense of humor! Last year they put up a giant billboard in my hometown promoting the whales in their region. It read, “We heard you have an aquarium. That’s nice,” with a photo of a whale swimming free in the Atlantic Ocean.
5. There are 46 national parks
We have mountains, great lakes, forests, rivers, an abundance of natural preserves, ecosystems and wildlife to explore all across the country. You will have 46 national parks to choose from, such as Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta. Leave your electronic devices behind and come check out Jasper’s waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers while you breathe in the crisp alpine air!
6. Parliament Hill has free tours
The Parliament buildings in Ottawa have free guided tours that are great for families. This is where representatives from across our nation meet up to make the laws and members of Parliament debate national issues. Don’t miss the Peace Tower, a 92.2-metre-high national landmark with an observation deck that is dedicated to the more than 65,000 Canadian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. If you visit during the summer months, a magnificent regimental band and pipers will greet you during the changing of the guard ceremony each morning.
7. Um, have you seen our prime minister?
While touring the Parliament buildings you may even run into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He dances the bhangra, does yoga moves in Parliament, makes young kids cry in utter joy, is a hands-on dad, is helping Syrian refugees, and he’s running our country.