ARHOME is a design-forward guest suite like no other

Experiential hospitality brand arcana is excited to announce the launch of its infinite arcana experience with ARHOME, design-forward guest dwellings delivered fully assembled, available for individual purchase.

To celebrate the launch, ARHOME is offering an introductory limited release of 25 guest suites starting today, built in Canada and delivered Spring 2024.

All elements of ARHOME are intentionally designed to orientate guests towards nature while ensuring complete comfort. The combination of fine craftsmanship, hospitality grade finishes, and materials chosen with sustainability at the forefront, results in a one-of-a kind, fully assembled, prefabricated alternative to those looking to add guest accommodations.

About ARHOME

ARHOME is 275 square feet and designed with hospitality in mind. It can be your very own private weekend hideaway, the perfect guest house or short-term rental and is custom built in Canada and arrives fully assembled. 

ARHOME starts at $225,000 CAD and can be delivered and shipped across Canada within eight to twelve weeks from purchase. Hookup to electrical, water and waste is required for use.

Canadian-designed and built, ARHOME is conceptualized with sustainability in mind by award-winning Vancouver-based architect, Michael Leckie of Leckie Studio and built by Oakville-based Hummingbird Hill Homes and Toronto-based Studio Morro.

 

About ARHOME

ARHOME highlights include:

  • Red oak interiors, heated floors and air conditioning
  • Premium kitchen appliances: Porter Charles stove-top, oven and hood range, complemented by a whisper-quiet, 4.1 cubic feet built-in Vitrifrigo fridge
  • Built-in Sonos speaker system, controlled through smart panels
  • Rain shower and private water closet
  • Lunos system that filters air and eliminates the need for in-wall ducting
  • Discrete storage solutions
  • Choice of three exterior finishes: Corten steel and natural or black stained wood cladding. The arcana iconic mirrored steel cladding is available upon request.

For pricing and additional information, visit findarcana.com.

Riding the rails with Rocky Mountaineer

“Quick! Look out the window,” called my seatmate, Pam.

“What was it?” I asked, simultaneously getting up from my heated, plush leather reclining chair, which was quickly proving to be a necessary add-on feature to this journey. Despite being the end of July, the temperature outside this morning was winning against all of the clothes I’d brought from Toronto.

“I think deer maybe, or a wolf? Or it could have been a moose,” Pam pondered, groggy from an early start combined with still adjusting to the time change from her home in England.

“I didn’t see it!” I said, lowering my camera, knowing that here in the belly of the Canadian Rockies, all three wildlife sightings were possible. “Did anyone catch what it was?”

“It was an elephant! It was definitely an elephant!” hollered Charlie from his seat in front of me, giddy from an impromptu morning cocktail, but also revelling in the tight-knit comradery our little group seated at the back of the train had formed just one day prior.

As laughter rocked the back of the coach, I shifted my focus to my surroundings, sank back, and enjoyed the start of my adventure aboard Canada’s only luxury rail-tour company, Rocky Mountaineer. 

All aboard

My three-day trip started the day before, when I caught a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. The next day, I set out at 6 a.m. from the company’s private rail station. Rocky Mountaineer offers its guests two service levels onboard: GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf. 

Both top-notch options, my ticket was in the GoldLeaf coach, and as I walked the red carpet to board, I quickly realized why it lived up to its name. Travellers who opt for GoldLeaf service are seated in a spacious, bi-level glass dome coach complete with oversized glass dome windows and a glass roof. Unlike most airplane cabins, the luxurious seats provide ample legroom, even allowing for reclination.

On the contrary, SilverLeaf guests ride on a single-level glass dome coach with full-size glass windows. The major difference—and it’s a big one—is the sweeping outdoor viewing platform that allows for panoramic views of Western Canada while the train is in motion, where you’ll gawk at everything from larger-than-life mountains, to rushing rivers and soaring bald eagles, all without trace of a single other person or vehicle.

For more than 30 years, Rocky Mountaineer has been transporting travellers through the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta and, more recently, through the U.S. states of Utah and Colorado. The company began in 1990 with two routes: First Passage to the West (running between Vancouver and Lake Louise/Banff via Kamloops) and Journey Through the Clouds (between Vancouver and Jasper via Kamloops). 

By 2006, a third route, Rainforest to Gold Rush, was added to showcase the rarely seen interior and northernmost parts of British Columbia. The Canadian-owned company offers dozens of trips to suit any vacation style and trip lengths can range anywhere from a short stint of one to three days to upwards of 10 to 12 days. 

Short Journeys start at roughly $2,000 per person and allow for two days of exploration of the Canadian Rockies or the American Southwest. Circle Journeys let you combine two different rail routes, like the eight-night Lake Louise Circle Journey, or the 12-night Best of the Rockies Circle Journey, which does a complete loop of Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Quesnel and Whistler. Circle Journeys begin at $6,000 per person. Rockies Highlights, curated to show off the best views of the West, offer nine unique rail packaged adventures that start at around $3,400 per person.

Travel back in time

First Passage to the West, the trip I took, is the company’s flagship route. It continues to be one of the most popular. Retracing the historic Canadian Pacific Railway, which originally connected British Columbia to the rest of Canada more than 125 years ago, this slowed-down, tranquil journey begins by following the Fraser River and the surrounding Fraser Valley. The journey from Vancouver to Kamloops covered a whopping 460 kilometres in the first day and took roughly seven hours to complete, during which I had plenty of breathtaking photo opportunities.

At the height of summer in the Rockies, the boreal forest was undeniably green, thanks in part to Vancouver’s temperate rainforest.

During this leg of the journey, as the train followed the ebb and flow of the Fraser River, time stood still as we passed by sleepy towns and endless mountain backdrops straight out of a postcard. 

At the halfway point between Vancouver and Kamloops, we descended upon one of the top attractions on this route, the infamous Hell’s Gate canyon, suspended 36.8 kilometres above the town of Yale. Named in 1808 by Canadian explorer and fur trader Simon Fraser, Hell’s Gate is a narrow passage of towering rock and rapids so furious that a page from Fraser’s diary describes it as “…a place where no human should venture, for surely these are the gates of Hell.”

Hell's Gate canyon

Further along the journey, another geological wonder, Rainbow Canyon, appeared just past Lytton, which is where the Fraser River becomes the Thompson River. A pop of colour bled into the rockface, Rainbow Canyon gets its name from the mineral deposits in the soil: copper turns green and purple when oxidized, iron paints the ground a burnt orange and red, while sulphur deposits leave streaks of brilliant yellow.

As we continued our journey to Kamloops, the landscape gave way from emerald green to beige, as the rolling valleys were replaced by dusty desert soil and hearty wild sage brush. With a semi-arid climate, Kamloops is also home to a series of rock and clay formations called hoodoos, which formed at the end of the last ice age. Spending an overnight in Kamloops, the second day of the journey took us through the glittering Shuswap Lakes region, which, with its sparkling lakes and rivers was a stark contrast to the dry and sparsely-treed South Thompson River valley we’d left behind. 

The final stretch of our journey from Kamloops to our end destination in Banff encompassed a 497-kilometre journey. As we passed through Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, just before Golden, we encountered the Stoney Creek Bridge. Located on the eastern slopes of Mount Tupper, the original wooden bridge was replaced in 1893 by a steel arch. By 1929, the weight from the new locomotives was so great that CP Rail was forced to redo the bridge a second time. Due to the terrain around the bridge, no other foundation could be used and so the new bridge was built directly on top of the old one. The new bridge, which remains in use today, spans 484 feet and hovers 295 feet above the creek bed. 

Rainbow Canyon

Just past Field, B.C., we came upon the famous Spiral Tunnels. During the first 23 years that the Canadian Pacific Rail was in service, one of its weakest links was the “Big Hill”, a 13-kilometre stretch between the towns of Field and Hector. Built in 1884, the route was supposed to be temporary, because not only was it an incredibly dangerous run, but it caused enormous repair costs. In 1907, construction started on the Spiral Tunnels. Designed after a similar system in Switzerland, the project cost $1 million dollars and took 1,000 men 20 months to complete. As the train entered the tunnel, we shot into pitch blackness for several minutes. The Upper Spiral tunnel follows Cathedral Mountain, during which it turns 290 degrees and emerges 50 feet higher than its entrance. The Lower Spiral tunnels through Mount Ogden and also turns 230 degrees and comes out 56 feet higher than its starting point. The experience ultimately sees riders double back twice, while crossing the river twice as well, which, from the glass coach of the train, was visible on the opposite side of the coach once the tunnels ended. 

Though the landscape never swayed from trees, rivers and mountains, at no point did I ever close my eyes, both afraid of missing out on spotting my first-ever moose, but also because I was enjoying every minute of the ride. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was fully present in my surroundings, unbothered and undistracted by the consistent pile of work emails and notifications that usually bombarded my phone—there’s no WiFi onboard the train, and cell phone service is limited, which lets you disconnect and lose yourself in the journey, not to mention, connect with your host and fellow passengers.

Each route comes equipped with a dedicated on-board host who, through impeccable storytelling, expert knowledge and hospitable service, ensures your journey is as comfortable as it is memorable. 

Savour the journey

On both mornings, my journey onboard started with a hot cup of coffee and a delicious treat, including a homemade lemon loaf baked by one of the chefs that same day. 

For GoldLeaf guests on Canadian routes, breakfast and lunch are served in a separate dining room coach with an exquisite menu helmed by Executive Chef Kaelhub Cudmore. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Cudmore honed his skills and passion for the culinary industry at an early age. 

He has previously worked at Victoria’s iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel and spent nearly a decade as part of the team developing the world-renowned Clayoquot Wilderness Resort into the exclusive Relais & Chateaux property it is today. He sailed aboard the top luxury cruise line, Seabourn, as a leader in the Thomas Keller program and has made guest chef appearances in exclusive resorts and destinations. 

With a deep passion for not only food but travel, experiential tourism became Cudmore’s home as he worked through various locations offering everything from salmon fishing to heli-skiing. As an “ingredient-driven chef,” he puts high-quality local ingredients at the forefront of his menu, supporting local agriculture and artisans in his kitchen while creating a connection between food and land.

“I want to reflect the scenery that guests see outside and bring it inside onto their plates,” says Cudmore. This ethos is reflected in the meals he’s created for Rocky Mountaineer, from iconic Canadian flavours and ingredients like the Alberta beef short rib, Dungeness crab-stuffed ravioli and Lois Lake steelhead trout, to the handmade pasta from Port Moody, bee pollen from Surrey and macarons from Granville Island that are incorporated into additional onboard snacks and meals. “Guests can see where their food comes from while they enjoy their journey,” he adds.

As with the culinary program, Rocky Mountaineer’s wine program reflects the Canadian landscape that guests can experience during their journey, with a robust selection of wine from British Columbia’s most revered wineries. All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including fresh juices, coffee and tea are also included and delivered to your seat in GoldLeaf coaches. 

This story first appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of OFFSHORE. To read the full digital version, click here

Azamara Cruises returns to Canada for the first time since 2017

 Azamara has released 73 itineraries for 2025, including two brand-new voyages visiting Canada for the first time since 2017.

Along with these itineraries comes the debut of double night stays, giving guests two overnights to explore one destination at their leisure. 

With Azamara’s new double night stays, guests can spend three days and two nights in Bordeaux, France. Due to their small size, Azamara’s ships can dock in the centre of the city, allowing guests to explore the stunning architecture and renowned museums, as well as the world-famous surrounding wine region.

Azamara guests can also sail seven hours down the Guadalquivir River to enjoy an extended stay in the heart of Seville, Spain, where they can fully immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions of Andalusia by indulging in tapas, watching authentic flamenco dancers and bullfighters, and admiring historic palaces – all at their own pace. 

We are thrilled to return to Canada in 2025, and we’re excited for our guests to experience these unique itineraries visiting lesser traveled ports in Quebec and Newfoundland as well as Iceland and Greenland,” said Michael Pawlus, Head of Itinerary Planning at Azamara. “As demand for our Country Intensive sailings remains strong, we’ve also added a range of these specialty voyages across Europe for 2025, so our guests can discover smaller ports and hidden gems within a single country.”  

New sailings 

Marking the cruise line’s return to the country for the first time in more than five years, Azamara’s new sailings will stop in six Canadian ports, including:  

  • Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec (maiden port): Known as the center of the Magdalen Islands, this small fishing town boasts incredibly fresh seafood, stunning coastal trails, and over 300 species of birds. 
  • L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland (maiden port): L’Anse Aux Meadows is the only authenticated Viking site in North America. Guests will be transported back 1,000 years as they explore the recreated Viking Encampment and discover original Norse artifacts.  
  • Harve Saint Pierre, Quebec (maiden port): With panoramic views and never-ending sandy beaches, Saint Pierre sits on the north shore of Quebec’s Saint Lawrence River and is the gateway to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife. 

2025 itineraries

Azamara’s signature Country Intensive sailings continue to see high demand, making up more than half of the newly released 2025 itineraries.

These specialty voyages encourage guests to dive deeper into countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Norway, Ireland, and Scotland by providing more time to discover the local culture and hidden gems. Two of the fleet’s four ships will visit Greece in 2025, a destination Azamara knows best as its ships visit more unique ports throughout the country than any other cruise line. 

Azamara’s 2025 itineraries include a record number of 15 golf cruises in collaboration with longtime partner PerryGolf. Golf lovers will want to book the 2025 British Isles Golf Cruise, which includes weekend attendance to the final two rounds of The 153rd Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.  

To book one of Azamara’s immersive itineraries for 2025, please visit www.azamara.com/europe-2025 

Meet the tour operators offering incredible wildlife encounters in Manitoba

Travel Manitoba says tourists can see some pretty impressive critters in the northern part of Manitoba and much farther south as well.


The tourism promotion body’s Karin Schreiber told delegates at Rendez-vous Canada 2023 that those visiting the northern Manitoba community of Churchill can spot polar bears in a destination that bills itself as The Polar Bear Capital of the World, with guided tours providing sightings of the huge bruins.

Schreiber also told her late May Quebec City audience that Hudson Bay-fronting Churchill also has tours that enable people to spot some of the thousands of beluga whales that gather nearby in the summer.

Churchill-based Lazy Bear Expeditions has a “wildlife-viewing boat” that enables people to comfortably view belugas, and adventurous clients can opt for “beluga AquaGliding,” which sees people wearing wet or dry suits and masks and snorkels lie on floating mats tethered to Zodiacs on the Churchill River or Hudson Bay. Curious but harmless belugas often approach the mats, giving tourists close-up looks at them.

“The belugas come close to the mat and follow it,” Lazy Bear Expeditions’ Melissa Perry later said of the “naturally curious” marine mammals.

Perry said clients are “on top of the water, not in it” but the provided wet or dry suits prevent them from getting wet from splashing.

More information can be found at lazybearexpeditions.com.

Schreiber also said that northern Manitoba’s “cloud wolves of Kaska Coast” aren’t wary of people, which in turn leads to sightings of them by nature enthusiasts who venture to the Hudson Bay-fronting region they live in.

But she also noted that the “Prairie oasis” of Riding Mountain National Park — found in southwestern Manitoba — is home to such imposing creatures as bison, black bears and moose.

“Manitoba is best known for its compelling wildlife,” Schreiber said.

She said the huge province has over 100,000 lakes and can provide great winter sightings of the Northern Lights.

Glamping’s popularity increased during the pandemic.

But Schreiber also said visitors should experience urban Manitoba, adding “hustling and bustling” Winnipeg sees world-class performing arts performances.

Aviation enthusiasts will appreciate the city’s Royal Aviation Museum,  she added.

Winnipeg’s Qaumajug Art  Museum in turn has the largest Inuit art collection anywhere,  she continued.

Schreiber also noted that The Wyndham Gardens Ode Akiing Hotel (also called the Wyndham Gardens Winnipeg Airport Hotel) is Indigenous-owned. The hotel has Indigenous art and an Indigenous chef.

—IAN STALKER

Canada’s billion-dollar casino announces grand opening

The Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto officially opens June 20, 2023.

This landmark development will revolutionize Toronto’s entertainment landscape, creating an exhilarating experience for gaming enthusiasts and entertainment lovers alike. 

With transformative architecture, the new, modern Great Canadian Toronto encompasses a staggering 328,000 square feet of gaming space, including more than 4,800 slot machines and 145 table games, solidifying its position as the largest casino in Canada and one of the largest in North America.

With an unparalleled variety of gaming experiences, exclusive VIP rooms, and state-of-the-art sports betting kiosks, Great Canadian Toronto promises an entertainment experience like no other.

A Vegas-style casino in Canada

Situated adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack, this all-encompassing resort will seamlessly integrate a modern, Vegas-style casino, a 400-room hotel, 5,000-person live entertainment venue, and an array of exceptional on-site dining options.

Great Canadian Toronto will deliver superior gaming, entertainment, and hospitality experiences, all within its impressive 33-acre domain, conveniently located near the interchange of Highways 401 and 427. 

Casino Woodbine will continue to operate without any interruption until the grand debut of the new Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto. This seamless transition ensures that guests will continue to enjoy gaming experiences until the new facility opens.

Air Canada now flying non-stop from Toronto to Yellowknife

Air Canada is starting non-stop, year-round service between Toronto and Yellowknife in December.

The new, three-times weekly service will provide convenient connections between eastern Canada and the capital of the Northwest Territories.

Customers will also be able to seamlessly connect onward from Yellowknife on Air Canada’s interline partner, Canadian North.

Service between Toronto and Yellowknife will begin December 1, 2023, operated using Canadian-made Airbus A220 aircraft. It will be configured with 137 seats in a Business and Economy cabin, with onboard Wi-Fi and seatback entertainment systems featuring hundreds of hours of content and live TV at every seat.

Customers will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan points and eligible customers will enjoy premium services where available, including priority boarding and baggage handling, and Maple Leaf Lounge access in Toronto.

Flight schedule

Flight

Departs

Arrives

Days of the Week

AC1169

Toronto 21:00

Yellowknife 23:54

Tuesday, Friday, Sunday

AC1168

Yellowknife 00:50

Toronto 7:20

Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

Daily service for Vancouver and Edmonton

The new service will complement Air Canada’s existing twice daily service between Yellowknife and Vancouver and daily service between Yellowknife and Edmonton.

Customers connecting for travel beyond Yellowknife can take advantage of Air Canada’s bilateral interline agreement with Canadian North, which allows travel on a single, through-checked ticket that includes baggage transfer.

Destinations available via Canadian North include Cambridge Bay, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Gjoa Haven, Taoloyoak and Inuvik. Customers travelling on Canadian North can also earn and redeem Aeroplan points.

A $1 billion casino resort is opening in Canada this summer

A $1 billion, brand-new entertainment resort, known as Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto will open its doors at the intersection of Highways 401 and 427 this summer. 

With its transformative architecture and impressive 33-acre footprint, the destination adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack will feature a modern Vegas-style casino, integrated 400-room hotel, 5,000-seat live entertainment venue, and multiple on-site dining options, bringing to life a new, one-of-a-kind entertainment district in Toronto with best-in-class gaming, entertainment and hospitality experiences. 

The existing Casino Woodbine will continue to operate with no interruption until Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto debuts its new, re-imagined destination. 

“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to introduce an entirely new, world-class experience in Canada that will bring together the best in casino gaming, exceptional live entertainment, dining, and accommodation in one very special place,” said Matthew Anfinson, Chief Executive Officer, Great Canadian Entertainment. “We are very excited to reveal more about what this landmark destination will feature and what our guests can expect in the coming weeks, including the announcement of an opening date. This project has been several years in the making, and we are thrilled that we are close to bringing it to life,” concluded Anfinson.  

Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto is scheduled to open this summer, and an opening date will be announced in the coming weeks.  

A giant spa just opened in one of Ontario’s most touristy destinations

The newly reimagined and revitalized 124 on Queen Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, has unveiled The Spa at Q.

The tranquil environment houses a welcome centre and boutique, relaxation lounge, treatment rooms, fitness centre, restorative Himalayan salt room, and a regenerative hydrotherapy circuit unlike anything else in the Niagara region.

The spa is finished with simple forms and a natural palette offering an ethereal softness throughout, framed by sunlight pouring in from an expansive skylight above.

Roman bathing 

The Spa at Q’s wellness formula is rooted in the modern age while respecting traditions of centuries past. The star attraction is an expansive Wellness Hydrotherapy Circuit that reproduces the time-honoured concept of caldarium (hot), tepidarium (warm), and frigidarium (cool).

Guests are self-guided through the therapeutic circuit starting in the hot plunge pool and moving to the sensory shower, which cycles through four types of water pressure infused with light and aromatherapy. The cedar-lined sauna is next, followed by a cooling plunge in the warm pool. Next, is the eucalyptus steam room and the spectacular (and frigid) snow room, where the circuit concludes. 

The hydrotherapy circuit is an effective treatment on its own ($95/120 minutes) or as an add-on to an existing massage or facial experience ($45). 

Recovery and restoration

The Spa at Q offers a soothing journey of self-discovery and transformation, where everything can be personalised to each guest’s needs. Beyond the hydrotherapy circuit are 12 treatment rooms for facials and experience massages infused with rose quartz, hot stones, and hyperbaric oxygen.

Two rooms have been specially for ultra-luxurious and therapeutic wet treatments like the luminous Celestial Black Diamond Sculpting Treatment ($450/90 minutes). The signature treatment room is outfitted with a private infrared sauna designed specifically for couples to enjoy prior to their massage. The space offers a stunning Tuscan-vibe and is stocked with refreshing drinks and outfitted with massage tables dressed in warm blankets to create the ultimate escape from the everyday.  

A beautiful sanctuary dedicated to pampering hands and feet with premium manicures and pedicures is prominently placed to the side of the welcome centre. In the relaxation lounge, comfortable chairs beckon guests to sit back and be soothed. Complimentary fresh pressed ginger and turmeric shots, premium tea, coffee, and infused water are available. 

Mindful menus

Mindfully prepared menus reflect the guiding principles of natural ingredients, local and sustainable, less is more. Ingredients are influenced by the seasons while being themed to the abundant goodness that the Niagara region is famed for. Joy McCarthy, founder of Joyous Health, a certified holistic nutritionist and best-selling cookbook author has contributed signature recipes that will be featured.
 

The salt room

Rounding out the spa’s dynamic offerings, the salt room is another healing space that wows. The room’s detoxifying effects can help reduce symptoms of various respiratory illnesses and skin conditions, and reduce inflammation. The space will host sound bath meditations, private massages, yoga classes, and more.

Looking ahead to next summer, a serene outdoor space outfitted with cabanas, a yoga lounge, gardens and more will debut, adding additional layers to the overall wellness experience. 

 

The best places to see North America’s spectacular fall foliage

Come mid-September, Canadians everywhere recognize the telltale signs of the autumn season. Cooler nights call for cosy knits, a dockside Caesar gets swapped for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and in bustling cities and quiet towns alike, tree leaves begin to change colour, and eventually fall. 

An abundance of external influences like warmer or cooler temperatures make “peak” autumn colour viewing times nearly impossible to predict, but generally, shades of deep burgundy, fiery orange, golden yellow and scarlet red spread across North America’s foliage from mid-September to late October, though sometimes, the changing of the leaves can start as early as September, and end as late as November, depending on location. 

The thousands of trees that dot the slopes of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains are responsible for the lingering, mysterious, foggy effect, and starting mid-September, brilliant shades of gold on the yellow birch are visible below the haze. Running along the Tennessee and North Carolina border, here, elevation greatly affects the speed of the foliage turnover, with the highest points of elevation changing first. By mid-October, bright red leaves take over the sugar maples, red maples, and scarlet oaks. Part of the Appalachian Mountain chain and spanning more than 187,000 acres, the Great Smoky Mountains are one of the United States’ most-visited national parks and one of the oldest mountain ranges. There are approximately 100 species of trees in the park, which attract mass crowds, especially during mid-October when the foliage nears its peak. As one of the most popular U.S. parks, it’s best to plan ahead for fall colours tourism, as many nearby accommodations quickly fill up! 

A road trip through Upstate New York in late September to early October presents one of the best opportunities to marvel at the fall leaves. The Adirondack Region spans a whopping 48,438 square kilometres and is famous for having one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the U.S. The Lake Placid area in particular presents plenty of fall foliage observation. Plan a hike to Whiteface Mountain, the fifth highest peak in all of New York, or Mount Haystack, one of the most challenging but rewarding hikes of the Adirondack High Peaks. From way up high, visitors can take in the breathtaking colours of fall foliage that stretches as far as the neighbouring state of Vermont. Scenic drives and even hot air balloon rides over the Lake George Region are just a handful of some of the other ways to take in the breathtaking colours of autumn. During the fall months, the local tourism board, Visit Adirondacks, creates a fall foliage metre that depicts the percentage of colourful leaves present in each of the ten regions of the Adirondacks. A bustling summer tourist destination, the autumn months in the Adirondacks are slightly quieter, but offer just as much opportunity for guests. Visitors can enjoy ciders and local wine tours, harvest festivals and more, while staying at cosy accommodations that range from log cabins to luxury lakefront resorts.

Composed of 7,635 square kilometres made up of rushing rivers, wetlands, lakes and deciduous and coniferous forests brimming with trails, Algonquin Provincial Park is one of Canada’s most famous viewpoints for fall foliage. Starting in September, Algonquin Park officials release their fall colour change reports, which provide a daily track record via live camera stream on the park’s 34 native tree species. Data from last year’s fall colours timeline shows that the sugar and red maple trees began turning red by the second week of September, and that the sugar maple canopy reached its “peak” by Oct. 2. However, rain, wind, cooling temperatures and moisture levels can all affect the timeline, pushing it earlier or later in the season. The park’s camera is a great way to plan a visit, as potential visitors can keep an eye on the trees daily. Ideally, the best time to visit Algonquin Provincial Park is between mid-September and mid-October, as unexpected snowfall or windstorms could spontaneously cause fragile leaves to be knocked off prematurely. Of course, the drive leading into the park is equally spectacular, with popular routes like Highway 60 and Highway 11 boasting endless kilometres of beautiful foliage.

A gorgeous destination year round, the Laurentian Mountains are one of the best places to watch Canada’s leaves change. Their proximity to Montreal (roughly 100 kilometres) make the Laurentians a popular option for daytrippers, or as a quick weekend getaway for visitors from Ontario who may be eager to explore beyond the Kawartha and Muskoka regions. Unlike Algonquin Provincial Park, which has just three lodges to provide accommodation to visitors, there are many different options available for visitors to the Laurentians. Those interested in overnight accommodation can opt for hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, cottages or campsites, which are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Every September, Croisières Alouette resumes its special fall colours sailing on Lac des Sables, where guests can enjoy a full-service bar and music as they take in the spectacular beauty of the Laurentians from the water’s edge.

While summer in the land of the Midnight Sun presents plenty of opportunities for active and adventure tourism, autumn in the north is truly an enchanting time to visit. Not only are the mountains and tundra decked out in autumn colours, but after months of endless daylight, darkness returns to the skies, and the Aurora Borealis once again paints the sky in shades of neon green, inky indigo, and deep plum. Autumn colours come to the Northwest Territories slightly earlier than the rest of Canada, with the tundra turning into brilliant shades of red as early as August. One of the best places to see this transformation take place is in the Barrenlands, a large territory residing in mainland Nunavut that extends into the Northwest Territories. Decorated with ancient sand and rock ridges and carpeted in soft moss and plants, by fall, blooms of yellow and green are replaced by deep burgundy and burnt orange. The fall months also present an excellent opportunity to camp in the Northwest Territories, as the summer crowds have all but left, and visitors have a wide selection of campsites to spend a few days or weeks watching the foliage change. During the autumn months, just as Canada geese begin their southern migration, herds of caribou begin their descent south, often sweeping through the Barrenlands, so visitors to the region can enjoy their share of wildlife watching, too.

https://spectacularnwt.com/story/15-reasons-youll-fall-autumn-canadas-northwest-territories 

Four people swim in a lake with pine forests and mountains in the background. The four people are all smiling and laughing.

Why a trip to Canada’s stunning Northwest Territories should be on your summer bucket list

Affectionately known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, the summer months present one of the best months to visit the Northwest Territories.

From June to August, the NWT sees clear blue skies, flanked by a shimmering sun that never truly sets. Divided by the Arctic Circle, on June 21, which marks the Summer Solstice, the sun never sinks below the horizon, meaning that until mid-July, the Northwest Territories sees a delirious amount of sunshine at all hours of the day. Depending on how far north travellers trek into the Arctic Circle, the constant sunshine can last for up to six months.

While darkness truly never comes to Canada’s far north from April to July, by August, the Aurora Borealis resumes visibility and paints the northern skies in brilliant shades of electric green, deep purple, and inky indigo. 

The Northwest Territories are divided into six definite regions, each one distinctly beautiful from the next.

SOUTH SLAVE

South Slave, located south of Great Slave Lake, is the jumping point into the Territory, with direct access from the Alberta border. South Slave is home to Canada’s largest national park, Wood Buffalo, which spans 44,741 sq. km and is open for camping from now until Sept. 30. 

Photo credit: Angela Gzowski

NORTH SLAVE

To the north of Great Slave Lake lies North Slave, an area that’s home to the oldest rock formation in the world, the four billion-year-old Acasta Gneiss. North Slave is also home to the NWT’s largest Indigenous population, the Tłı̨chǫ (sometimes spelled Tlicho) people. 

Photo credit: Angela Gzowski

DECHO

Adventure travellers shouldn’t skip out on a visit to Dehcho, where breathtaking mountain backdrops and winding rivers abound. Dehcho is also home to the Nahanni National Park Reserve, which was designated as a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its incomparable geological land formations, which include deep canyons, thunderous waterfalls, and ancestral Dehcho First Nations sites. 

Photo Credit: Destination Canada

SAHTU

Sahtu, which borders the Yukon Territory on its western side and Inuvik to the north, is a backcountry camping lover’s dream, and is considered one of the most remote places in NWT, meaning travellers are very likely to come across an abundance of regional flora and fauna, like wood buffalo, moose and grizzly bears. 

Photo credit: Colin Field

WESTERN ARCTIC

The Western Arctic, a land of polar bears and sprawling tundra, is flanked by the Mackenzie River, and is where travellers can find a direct link to parts of the famed Northwest Passage. 

Photo Credit: Gerold Sigl/NWT Tourism

YELLOWKNIFE

Finally, Yellowknife, NWT’s capital, provides endless fun year round, and is a “little big city” that’s buzzing with community and culture.

From paddling, rafting, cruising or fishing the dozens of lakes and rivers, to embarking on a road trip down one of many scenic highways, to camping out under the Northern Lights, playing a round of golf, or embarking on an Indigenous-led tour, there’s no shortage of things to see and do this summer in the Northwest Territories.