Tag Archives: Canada

Hillsborough and its Acadian past

This quaint village just south of Moncton was originally settled by Acadian farmers back in the 1600s. They were the only people in North America to farm below sea level on marshy salty land thus causing little conflict with the region’s Aboriginal people. The Acadians constructed a complex system of earthen dykes by the Petitcodiac River. Into the dykes they built wooden sluices that when open allowed fresh water to drain from the newly claimed land. When shut, the sluices kept out the salt water at high tide. This land then sustained both crops and livestock. With this successful farming method, the original sixty-five Acadian families increased to one hundred and sixty by the 1770s—many moving to the French community to avoid being under the British.

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Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park

This provincial park is situated by the Bay of Fundy where one hundred billion tonnes to water flows in and out of this narrow bay twice a day. Because of the enormous amount of water, the water level rises by two metres per hour, meaning the level can rise as much as fourteen metres, depending on the position of the moon and sun. It is not surprising that this bay is famous for its giant tides. 

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UBC’s Botanical Gardens

I’d never visited these gardens before although I’d driven past a number of times. The Asian Garden was nothing like any botanical gardens I’d ever been in before. It wasn’t laid out in neat rows with every tree labeled. It was more like a natural forest.

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Powell Street, Vancouver

It would be easy to overlook the historic site of Vancouver’s Power Street. Little remains except for a beautifully maintained Japanese Language School.

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Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park

Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park was a tourist magnet with as many as six million visitors annually, but it was about time for another visit starting with the rose garden. The park was established back in the 1930s after a mountain had been quarried for rocks for road building. To cover the eye sore left from quarrying, two sunken gardens were established. 

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Grandville Island

Situated on False Creek opposite the downtown core of Vancouver, the mainly wrought iron buildings of Grandville Island were filled with artsy shops. From pottery and jewellery to First Nation art and coffee shops, there was plenty to catch the eye as I wove my way along streets of brightly painted buildings.

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False Creek Hiking/Biking Trail

With several hours to kill between movies at the Vancouver International Film Festival, I took off along the False Creek Trail under a sunny fall sky. Heading for Grandville Island, a four-kilometre one way hike, I followed a paved route by shimmering water.

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Vancouver’s Chinatown

Vancouver’s Chinatown covered more than three square blocks. Its heart was either side of Pender Street East but there were other streets where I glimpsed every kind of remedy inside Chinese herbal stores, grocery shops stocked a variety of Chinese vegetables and tea shops with a distinctly different aroma.

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Stanley Park

This is my daughter’s favourite park in the world. I get the attraction. It’s a huge 400 hectare site with nearly nine kilometres of walk/cycle/roller blade trails that skirt the park plus internal trails. The view of the sea and surrounding coastline is to die for and I’m impressed too. I hiked the ocean view trail and liked the two paths—one for walkers and a separate for the faster cycle users. For me, it’s an impressive park but far from my favourite. 

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Pacific Rim National Park

Near Tofino on the very west coast of Vancouver Island, I stayed at Esowista, a First Nation village, halfway between Tofino and Ecluelet right on the beach at the northern end of Long Beach. I hoped for surf, but it had been flat for about a week. I swam anyway but the water only came up to my waist. I slushed my way to a mini-island where cedars clawed their way between boulders to take root.

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