June 21, 2022

Oh the places you can go

Dennis Cant
7 Communications
Vice President

How well do you know your own backyard?

Canada is an enormous country, and its size isn’t exactly conducive to travelling to multiple spots. Not in one go, anyway. So, when you do take the plunge and book those flights and secure those accommodations in that domestic destination of choice, you want to make the getaway count. Of course, hitting up the more famous attractions is fine, but it’s also deeply satisfying to seek out local gems—the ones off the beaten path that are usually enjoyed only by folks who know the area.

With summer travel ramping up, it’s now or never to get planning.

Here at 7 Communications, our team members have been working remotely and on-location in centres across the country, from Halifax to Toronto to Calgary to Vancouver, so it only feels right to celebrate some of these spots by highlighting unique experiences in and around each.

Scroll on to discover seven cool places across Canada that you might not have known existed.

Aerial perspective capturing a campsite and chowder hut situated on a cliff in Meat Cove, overlooking the ocean.

1. A campsite and chowder hut perched on the edge of the continent: Meat Cove, Nova Scotia

On the jagged Northern tip of Cape Breton kilometers up a dirt road in Nova Scotia sits one of the most idyllic campgrounds in the whole country. It’s not huge (30 sites and four cabins) and it’s quite out of the way (over five hours from Halifax), but when it comes to views, you can't beat Meat Cove.

And if pitching a tent or backing the rig up on the grassy slopes above a steep seaside cliff isn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep, you could always just enjoy the view and a bowl of hot seafood chowder at the onsite chowder hut before continuing on.

Superfresh, Toronto: A vibrant cocktail bar with LED lights, featuring Asian-inspired posters and graphics on the walls.

2. A 4,000-sq-ft Asian night market experience in downtown Toronto: Superfresh, Toronto

There’s a new convergence of Asian street food and culture in Toronto’s Bloor Annex neighbourhood. Superfresh is a transportative night market experience in a 4,000-square-foot, seven-vendor space that was once the city’s first 24-hour Korean grocery store.

Feast on hand pulled Landzhou noodles, Taiwanese fried chicken and baos, Korean drinking snacks, or Indonesian skewers, to name a few options, while toasting Toronto’s Asian entrepreneurs with one of the available on-tap cocktails.

Scenic view down a trail with benches offering a picturesque overlook of a forest and a river.

3. A hidden mountain trail in a prairie city: Douglas Fir Trail, Calgary

It’s expected that visitors to the Alberta center of Calgary will hop in their cars and head west to the Rockies for a mountain hike on a sunny weekend afternoon, but city insiders know there’s another gorgeous, wooded escape much more nearby. The Douglas Fir Trail tracks up and down the 200-vertical-foot escarpment overlooking the Bow River Valley and is lined with large Douglas Fir trees, some of which are as old as 500 years.

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights: A circular building perched on a hill, constructed with numerous windows, presenting a unique architectural design.

4. An architectural controversy next to a 6,000-year-old meeting place: Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Winnipeg

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights provides a striking and sometimes somber look at historical human events from around the country and world. It’s a great place to reflect on what it is to be human, but it’s also a great place to get into a heated conversation with an architect, because the building in its set, a $501-million government-funded project spearheaded by an American Architect, is as captivating as it is polarizing.

Enter through the “roots” of the museum, navigate across the criss-crossing bridges, through multiple massive stone atriums, and ascend the Israel Asper Tower of Hope, a 100-metre glass spire that provides panoramic views of the city.

Afterward, shift gears and talk about your experience (and whether the building was worth all that money!) over a snack at The Forks, a marketplace and historic meeting point at the “fork” of the Assiniboine and Red rivers.  

Interior shot of a brewery showcasing a bar and seating area, with large barrels lining the wall and vibrant graphic art adorning the walls.

5. A brewery tour on the other side of a SeaBus ride: North Vancouver Brewery Tour

There’s no shortage of breweries in which to celebrate the Canadian west coast’s many bitter and juicy beer styles, but one of the most underrated ‘brewery tours’ is located a 15-minute walk from a 15-minute SeaBus ride from downtown Vancouver. North Vancouver has a compact strip of cute and quality breweries including the back-alley-based Streetcar Brewing, Esplanade standard Beere, newcomer Shaketown Brewing, and makers of some of the city’s most exploratory brews House of Funk.

Beachfront scene capturing the incoming tide and a distant sunset creating a warm glow.

6. The country’s best fish & chips near one of its most underrated beaches

Most first timers arriving on the 150,000-person Prince Edward Island will head straight to Cavendish to experience the province’s unique red sandy beaches. Just 20 minutes away, however, is Brackley Beach, a National Park and lesser frequented area than Cavendish. Its red sandy beachfront is arguably even more picturesque with red dunes that are the perfect photo opp and miles of shoreline to wander along.

Before you head to Brackley Beach, pop by Original Richard’s for takeaway fish and chips. It’s one of PEI’s oldest fish shacks and while you might have to wait for your order due to its popularity, it’s worth the wait. If you’d rather dine-in, the patio has amazing views of the gulf.

Also nearby is the historic Dalvay by the Sea Inn, a Queen Anne-style home built in 1895 that has since been converted into accommodations. There are 25 guestrooms, which makes staying overnight in the area appealing. If that’s not in the cards, visitors are welcome to tour the grounds during the daytime.

Ariel perspective capturing a treed neighborhood with a river dividing the two sides, and leading into a larger body of water.

7. Discover Halifax’s fun and funky next-door neighbour, Dartmouth

Dartmouth and Halifax may share the Halifax Harbour, but the former is a smidge more raw and much more often overlooked. Dartmouth is on the eastern shore and since it’s been attracting artists for decades now, the community has developed a decidedly quirky vibe. Walk along Portland Street to check out the murals (the city’s website has created easy-to-follow itineraries with maps for each stop.) There’s also the Summer Lights Walk that features illuminated and neon murals and art displays throughout the area.

Dear Friend, a cocktail garden on Portland Street, is a delightful place to take a break from touring the public art in the area. Plan your visit between 4pm and 5pm and enjoy the eatery’s happy hour on oysters.

If you’re already in downtown Halifax, you can of course make the drive across the bridge, but for a more adventurous option, buy a ticket for the ferry. It takes just 10 minutes by boat, runs every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day, and provides a unique perspective of each city, too.

How many of these 7 captivating Canadian destinations have you visited? Let us know what other under-the-radar spots you know and love by getting at us on Instagram @ruleof7.