Getting oot and aboot
As days get longer and nights become shorter, a sigh of relief can be heard nationwide, if you listen closely. Even after making the best of the cold winter months, Canadians are always eager to shed their layers and soak up as much vitamin D as they can, while it’s available.
With a landscape as diverse as its people, Canada’s geography spans a massive 9,984,670 square kilometres, most of it uninhabited as 90% of Canadians live within 160 km of the border1. Though most of Canada’s population is packed into city centres, there is so much do to and see should people be interested in venturing past the comfortable metropolitan confines.
Here are 7 outdoorsy ideas for a quintessential Canadian summer, curated to inspire Canadians to get ‘oot and aboot‘ and discover what they have been missing out on, coast to coast.
1. Experience Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs
Naturally powered by hot springs that are believed to have existed for centuries, the Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs in Yukon are a reprieve for its visitors. All pools are gravity fed by a naturally occurring hot spring, warming the pools to a comfortable 47°C. The Hot Springs are open throughout all seasons, but visit in August for a chance to see the breathtaking aurora borealis.
2. Get a Bird’s Eye View of B.C.
Sometimes all you need is a different perspective—elevate your experience with Okanagan Ballooning. This hot air balloon company has been operating for over 20 years out of the Okanagan Valley, a few hours East of Vancouver. The Okanagan Valley is known for its beauty present in the abundance of lakes, vineyards, and rolling hills, and is sure to impress.
3. Dining above the clouds
Do you like hiking? Do you enjoy delicious food? Do you yearn for mountain-top views? If you answered yes to at least two out of three questions, I’ve got the experience for you: only a 6 km hike atop Sulphur Mountain lies the Sky-Bistro. The Sky Bistro serves Canadian fare powered by local farmers and artisan growers. With food so tasty and fresh, you won’t want to hike back down—and you won’t have to, just take the gondola!
Too often the prairie provinces are overlooked as “that space” between Ontario and Alberta. However, Manitoba had a gem to offer during the summer months: the opportunity to kayak with Beluga whales. In the summer, 60,000 Beluga whales migrate down into the western Hudson Bay with around 3000 occupying the Churchill River. Belugas are friendly and social animals; this opportunity serves as a great stepping-stone for adventurous types who have their sights set on more strenuous excursions that occur annually on the West Coast.
5. Give glamping a try
Located in Port Perry, just 2 hours away from Toronto, is Birchwood Luxury Campsites. The campgrounds have two domes available for booking, one in the south and one in the north. Birchwood offers on-site custom catering, private yoga classes, and massages while Port Perry has many options for local restaurants, breweries, and boutiques.
6. Sleep with the wolves
Parc Omega offers a unique experience to guests: the opportunity to sleep with wolves in their natural habitat—within in the comfort of a cabin, of course. Animals roam freely in their natural environment of over 2000 acres at Parc Omega, and the park grounds provide numerous hiking trails, accommodations, and dining options.
7. Go off the grid on Fogo Island
As a small island off Newfoundland’s East Coast, Fogo Island is better described as a state of mind than a physical location2. The Fogo Island Inn has 29 rooms overlooking the Atlantic and multiple workspaces amid the island. The inn was founded as a charitable initiative and is intended to serve as a space where artists, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs can go to formulate their next big idea. The inn is accessible throughout the island’s seven seasons but is most pleasant in the warmer months of Trap Berth, Summer, and Berry.