15 Sep

Best food tours in Canada

There are many ways to seek insights into a country’s identity. It could be through art, music or even fashion, but the tastiest way to understand a culture is through their food. As a nation of diversity, Canada’s flavours are often as much about fusion as they are locally sourced or lovingly made.

If you are short on time, it can often be daunting to do more than drop into Tim Hortons or order a portion of poutine at the airport. If you are looking for true culinary insight into Canada, the best way is often through a food tour which is easily booked through Canadian Affair and can be added on to any holiday. Food tours happen across the country and are a brilliant introduction to the methods and flavours central to Canada’s foodie scene.

Granville Island Market tour – Vancouver

If you have a flight to Vancouver or a stopover, this is a market not to miss. Though Granville Island is no longer the industrial hub it once was, this historic area of Vancouver is a great place for curious foodies or anyone looking for a wander. The large covered food market is accompanied by outdoor stalls and the presence of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design along with the Arts Club Theatre Company lends a creative feel to the area. Granville Island is ranked fifth on Trip Advisor as one of the best things to see in the city, and if you’re a food lover this can easily become the number one destination.

Read More
01 Aug


Carbon pricing is an effort by government to raise the cost – by taxes or by regulation – of carbon-based fossil fuels, in the hope of reducing their use, thereby limiting greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national climate-change policy that included a system of carbon pricing across Canada. Under the plan, each province must adopt carbon pricing by January 2018, or Ottawa will impose its own carbon levy in that jurisdiction.

The federal government tabled a discussion paper on the so-called federal “backstop”—the default carbon pricing rules that will apply in those provinces that choose not to put in place their own system.

Under the federal plan, any province or territory that brings in its own carbon price—whether it’s a carbon tax like British Columbia and Alberta, or cap and trade like Quebec and Ontario—will be exempted from the federal backstop if it meets certain conditions. Provincial systems must cover most fossil-fuel emissions and have a price level equal to the backstop price or, under cap and trade, must result in equivalent emissions reductions as a price would have achieved. Provinces that do not bring in their own system will fall under the federal backstop rules. Under the backstop, a direct tax or levy will be applied to all fossil fuel emissions, starting at $10 in 2018 and rising to $50 by 2022. These measures assure that all provinces will have systems with a roughly similar price, emissions coverage, and roughly equivalent effort at reducing emissions.

While these parts of the federal plan have been clear since last fall, today’s discussion paper adds two more important details. Two of the biggest criticisms of carbon pricing in Canada have been that it could hurt the competitiveness of Canadian industries, and that it could impose unaffordable costs on Canadian households. The federal plan will go a long way to resolving the first problem: to deal with competitiveness, the federal plan, like Alberta’s system, will include output based allocations to ease the impact on large industrial emitters. Plants producing more than 50,000 tones of carbon dioxide will only be charged the carbon price to the extent to which their emissions are higher than the emissions of best in class facilities in their sector. This will prevent companies in internationally competitive fields like oil and gas, cement, steel, and fertilizer from being fully impacted by the carbon price, and give them a strong incentive to improve their performance to meet or beat best-in-class standards.

But the plan also opens the door to solving the second. The federal government had already said that it would not keep carbon revenues from the federal backstop, but would return all revenues to their province or territory of origin. However, this still left open the possibility that provinces could simply spend the money on whatever they wanted—which could make the federal carbon price a form of tax increase. In recent days, however, federal sources have hinted that rather than send the money to provinces, it could send revenues raised directly to citizens within those provinces. The discussion paper is silent on this point, merely saying that the government is “open to feedback,” although the accompanying press release suggests that they are “evaluating how best to return the revenues, for example, by giving it back to individuals and businesses in the province.”

Read More
01 Aug


The Canadian federation has evolved, and it continues to change in a number of important ways. This needs to be better understood and appreciated. By almost every meaningful measure, we are not the same country we were a few decades ago. Our economy is more open to the world and draws its strengths from different regions and sectors. Our people are older, more diverse and more urban. Our provinces have different relationships with Ottawa and with each other.

Yet many of our fundamental challenges remain the same. We continue to struggle to balance the differing aspirations of our regions; fundamental issues concerning our Indigenous peoples remain unresolved; and one of the founding partners of Confederation, Quebec, has yet to sign on to important parts of our basic law. The 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 provides an opportunity to re-imagine our approach to addressing pan-Canadian issues such as these.

In addition to encouraging research and public discussion on key elements of Canadian federalism — institutions, intergovernmental relations and fiscal arrangements — this research program will devote particular attention to Indigenous issues and perspectives. It will also examine how key elements of community – living together with others from different backgrounds, sharing, and adaptation – have been and will remain central to the country’s development. The following parameters guide the program:

The federalism-public policy nexus: Research will explore the impact of federal and intergovernmental institutions, processes and dynamics on public policy decisions and Canadians’ quality of life. Taking stock and looking forward: While there is value in reviewing the developments of the past decade, there will also be a strong focus on the future. Multidisciplinary approach: The program will include academics and researchers from a range of disciplines and from different approaches within disciplines. Inclusiveness: The inclusion of younger researchers and Indigenous researchers, in particular, will be important.

Canada’s Changing Federal Community is engaging Canadians from multiple regions and backgrounds in conversations about the achievements of the Canadian federal system and the challenges that lie ahead.

Read More
30 Jun

The Culture Of Canada

The culture of Canada is a term that embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humour, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada’s history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures.

Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada’s immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture.The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity and migration between the two countries. It has also been influenced by American business, as Nike, Melaleuca, Microsoft, and more all sell their products in Canada.

Canada is often characterized as being “very progressive, diverse, and multicultural.” Canada’s federal government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. Canada’s culture draws from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a just society are constitutionally protected.

Canadian Government policies—such as publicly funded health care; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty; an emphasis on cultural diversity; strict gun control; and most recently, legalizing same-sex marriage—are social indicators of Canada’s political and cultural values.[8] Canadians identify with the country’s institutions of health care, military peacekeeping, the National park system and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Canadian government has influenced culture with programs, laws and institutions. It has created crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media, such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and promotes many events which it considers to promote Canadian traditions. It has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content in many media using bodies like the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Read More
30 Jun

Canadian Clothing


The colonization of eastern Canada began with the French in the 17th century. For some years, these settlers depended for clothing on what they brought with them. New garb was expensive and the only clothing available was ready-made garments made locally from imported cloth or, sometimes, from dressed skins. Weaving did not become widespread in the new settlement until early in the 18th century; some local manufacture of fashionable shoes and hats had begun by the late 17th century.

Fashionable Dress

With the appearance of towns, affluent male and female inhabitants dressed in elegant clothing similar to that worn in France. However, there was a time lag of at least a year between the initiation of a style in Europe and its appearance in Canada, since ships from the continent came only annually.

In 17th-century Canada a fashionable male wore a wig, rich fabrics and elegant lace. Portraits of Jea Talon, the first intendant of New France, show him stylishly attired in a wig, brocade dressing gown, shirt lavishly trimmed with lace at the wrists, and lace cravat.

In 1703 Madame Riverin, wife of a member of Quebec City’s Conseil Souverain, was painted in a stylish dress called a mantua and an elegant head-dress known as a fontange. Her daughters were dressed similarly and her son was garbed in a miniature version of fashionable male clothing. Such imitation of adult clothing was customary in children’s attire.

When the province of Upper Canada was created in 1791, the newly formed governing class, as well as the other members of the elite, also attempted to maintain fashionable standards of dress. These standards, like those of English dress, were generally more conservative than the modish styles of 18th-century Paris.

The first Canadian fashion plate, a magazine illustration displaying the most recent fashions, which appeared in March 1831 in the Montreal Monthly Magazine, probably was inspired by one in an English or French publication. With the improvement in overseas communication that occurred in the mid-19th century, the time lag between new European fashions and their appearance in Canada was substantially reduced, becoming as short as two months.

Everyday Dress

All but the wealthiest settlers wore clothing made in the home, often of cloth spun in the home and woven domestically or by professional local weavers. Styles tended to be conservative and to reflect rural French or, later, English styles.

In the mid-19th century, as more ready-made clothing became available, fashion slowly became more accessible to the masses; however, most working-class attire continued to be made at home.

Relatively small quantities of this clothing have survived because, as it wore out, it was recycled into quilts and rugs. In 1884 the first mail-order catalogue, the T. Eaton Company pamphlet, appeared, making recent styles more accessible to everyone, even in remote rural areas. This important development decreased the difference between conservative rural and up-to-date fashionable dress.

Read More
28 Jun

Canadian Industry

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing a selection of my favourite stats and feats from my new book Canadian Geographic Biggest and Best of Canada: 1000 Facts & Figures (in stores now!). If you enjoy trivia, particularly Canadian trivia, or have a particular fascination with Canadian facts and accomplishments, you’ll surely enjoy my book. In the hopes of further capturing your interest, I’ve been sharing a top-10 selection of items from each category that particularly stood out for me. This week: business/industry.

  • The Hudson’s Bay Company, founded in 1670, is North America’s oldest continuously operating company. In its earliest days, the business was instrumental in European development in the country, particularly its eastern half, where numerous outposts were set up to trade goods. Today, HBC runs the country’s largest department store, with 90 locations across the nation.
  • The world’s richest vein of silver was found in Cobalt, Ontario in 1903. In the following 60 years, silver mines in the area produced a total of almost 1.2 million tonnes of silver ore and concentrates, and the total production over that time was more than 11,921 million g of silver. The silver rush ended somewhat abruptly in the mid-20th century, and the town turned its mining attention to the mineral it was named after. Thanks to improved technology, cobalt had become more useful.
  • Oil! The first oil company in North America was founded in the aptly named community of Oil Springs, Ontario, southeast of Sarnia. On December 18, 1854, Charles Tripp received approval for his commercial oil company.
  • The Hibernia oil platform, located in the waters of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, is believed to be the largest object ever towed. It took 13 days — from May 23 to June 5, 1997 — to tow the 1.08 million tonne structure from Bull Arm, Newfoundland, to the Grand Banks.
  • Need salt for that? Then head to Goderich, Ontario, home of the world’s largest salt mine. Owned by Sifto Canada, 6,577,089 tonnes of salt are mined from the site every year.
  • If you like your mustard, thank Saskatchewan. The prairie province is the world’s largest mustard exporter. In 2013, the province produced 117,000 tonnes of mustard in three different types — yellow, brown and oriental.
  • Get out the ketchup. And lots of it. McCain Foods, whose global headquarters is located in Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, is the world’s largest manufacturer of French fries. Indeed, one of every three French fries eaten on Earth is a McCain fry.
  • Canada is home to the oldest brewery in North America. Molson was established in Montreal in 1786 by John Molson.
  • The first tidal power plant in the Americas, and the only one in North America, was built near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in 1984. The Annapolis Tidal Station has a capacity of 20 megawatts, and depending on the tides, a daily output of roughly 80 to 100 megawatt hours. It boasts the world’s largest straight-flow turbine generator, capable of producing more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power some 4,500 homes.
  • Toronto’s Eaton Chelsea is the country’s largest hotel. It boasts 1,590 guestrooms and more than 2,200 square m of meeting and event space, including two ballrooms. The hotel also has four dining options.
  • Read More
    28 Jun


    Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. Canada’s border with the United States is the world’s longest binational land border.

    The majority of the country has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southerly areas are warm in summer. Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land territory being dominated by forest and tundra and the Rocky Mountains.

    It is highly urbanized with 82 per cent of the 35.15 million people concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. One third of the population lives in the three largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Its capital is Ottawa, and other major urban areas include Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

    Various indigenous peoples had inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French claims were made on the area, with the colony of Canada first being established by the French in 1535 during Jacques Cartier’s second voyage to New France. As a consequence of various conflicts, Great Britain gained and lost territories within British North America until it was left, in the late 18th century, with what mostly geographically comprises Canada today.

    Pursuant to the British North America Act, on July 1, 1867, the colonies of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia joined to form the semi-autonomous federal Dominion of Canada. This began an accretion of provinces and territories to the mostly self-governing Dominion to the present ten provinces and three territories forming modern Canada.

    In 1931, Canada achieved near-total independence from the United Kingdom with the Statute of Westminster 1931, but at the time, Canada decided to allow the British parliament to temporarily retain the power to amend Canada’s constitution, on request from the Parliament of Canada. With the Constitution Act 1982, Canada took over that authority (as the conclusion of Patriation), removing the last remaining ties of legal dependence on the Parliament of the United Kingdom, giving the country full sovereignty.

    Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II being the head of state. The country is officially bilingual at the federal level. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries.

    Its advanced economy is the eleventh largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada’s long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

    Canada is a developed country and has the tenth highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the ninth highest ranking in the Human Development Index. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education.

    Canada is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie, and part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7 (formerly G8), the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

    Read More
    18 May

    Double bridles and Breeches fit snug on your body!

    Helmets just make sense as you don’t know when and how an accident could occur. Skill level should NOT be a factor when deciding to wear a helmet as even the best horses can trip and can fall. You simply can’t predict how an accident may occur.

    From western bling show shirts to the traditional English show shirt there are options galore in this category. Many schooling shirts and even some newer show shirts are now made from wicking, breathable performance fabrics. There is no reason to roast in the summer and freeze in the winter. Traditionally the western rider goes for Wrangler or Carharrt Jeans and English riders tend to favor breeches or if you are younger, jodhpurs. There are a whole range of styles of horse riding pants in both categories. Good western jeans are comfortable, have seams that won’t rub when riding, and are meant to last. Breeches fit snug on your body. They tend to be made from cotton or other materials combined with some spandex to help them fit. English breeches keep you from sliding around on a smooth leather saddle.

    From Fringe laced full leather chaps to the English schooling half chaps there are many types of Chaps and Chinks to fill your needs. Full chaps are worn from the waist all the way down to the ankles, while chinks only go about to the knee. Half chaps are an English version commonly used for schooling or lessons. They connect under your shoe and zip or snap up and end at the knee.
    Halters and leads are one of the most frequently used pieces of horse riding equipment there are! Even though we don’t generally use them for riding, we do use it for about everything else!

    I prefer longer leads made of yachting braid. This allows the horse to have more drifted if he needs to move his feet. Better quality leads have more feel to them than a cotton or poly rope. Other longer training lines test the level of the communication with your horse from farther away. As for halters, you can read more about those on my horse training halters page.
    The bridle is an important piece of horse riding gear. It consists of a headstall which is all of the parts of the bridle that go on your horses’ head, and the reins that you hold.

    For any of your leather horse-riding equipment, including saddles, it’s important to keep them conditioned and clean. One of the best products for polishing and maintaining leather is Rustic Touch furniture polish from Like all Melaleuca products, it’s made from ingredients that are safe for you, your horse, and the environment.

    Dressage double bridles are considered as important piece of equipment nowadays perhaps it is compulsory for higher horse riding competition. Double bridles are designed to support the two bits along with the reins. . Double bridles in dressage allow the rider to use more advance form of movements during riding. Moreover it gives aid to control the posture of a horse. Thus it’s a perfect piece of horse riding equipment for those who are heading towards big horse riding competition.

    Read More
    20 Feb

    “Tagged” Explores The Dangers Of Social Sharing & Cyberbullying

    I’m sitting in an intimate theater with a bunch of teenagers at the opening performance of the play Tagged. As you would expect, the teens are loud as they sing along to the blaring pop music as we wait for the show to begin. It reminds me of my teen years going on field trips and thinking “yeah, nothing we haven’t heard already, but we get a break from classes, right?”  I was totally that type of kid. What we were about to see is something we’ve all heard about: the dangers of sharing on social media. While social pressures haven’t changed much, social media has changed everything.  Thanks to smart phones we are able to upload and share every moment of our lives because “everyone does it.” How we feel, what we eat, where we are, who we’re with… in mere seconds our social networks are privy to our lives. Tagged asks the audience to think about where we draw the line. When does funny become malicious? The harsh realities of cyber bullying are explored in Tagged as an Officer investigates two teens, Jerri and Webber, after photos from a house party goes viral. Jerri, the popular girl who thinks she’s above the law doesn’t have time for all this nonsense because it was all harmless fun. Weber is a wannabe YouTuber who is looking to gain more followers and likes on his posts. The party scenario unfolds through flashbacks between the police interviews and unravels a story that is far too familiar. Do these teens actually understand the consequences of their actions? Have the police even caught the right people? How responsible are we for the words that we type and what they lead others to do? Torn from the headlines, Tagged dissects the dangerous potential for harm that exists between social media and young minds.

    “She’s going to be famous, isn’t that what everybody wants?”

    Explains in a Q&A session with the kids that when he was their age, he had the same types of social issues with peer pressure and bullying. “But we could go home and not have to deal with it and take a break for 12 hours or so and hope it goes away,” said Dave. “But today because of social media the issues are non-stop and don’t ever go away.” “But what’s the big deal?” a line from the play, but one we also hear all too often in real life. We all know just how big of a deal it can be regardless of age. Social media can be scrutinized, dissected and torn apart under a microscopic lens in mere seconds.

    “Now she’s trending.”

    I was curious as to how the play would be received with the teens… after all, they are the main audience. Judging by the emotional reactions from the teens at this performance, Tagged appears to have stirred something up. Their reactions were immediate and honest. Not surprisingly (but concerning) most of the students in the audience knew someone who was in this situation either as the victim or an active participant in social sharing. In 50 minutes, the play had reminded teens (and us adults too) to pause and think about what we post online and makes us questions why we do these things? I had a chance to chat with Dave Deveau after the play mentioning that if he’s able to draw emotion from even just one teen, then he’s on the right track to get kids to stop in think. In this particular audience there were a few tears.

    Read More
    20 Feb

    Shred dies’ “Search For Goodness” Highlights Canada’s Best

    One of the things we cherish about being Canadian is our reputation for being polite. It’s great to raise our families in a country known the world over for having good manners (and it’s super handy to be able to invoke national pride when we’re trying to get our kids to chew with their mouths closed).

    But this shared value goes so far beyond our habit of passively saying “Oh, sorry!” if anyone bumps into us. It’s about genuine acts of caring and selflessness that make our communities good places to live. It’s about those people who volunteer their time for the good of others, asking little or nothing in return. And there’s plenty of them; in a recent survey, 90 percent of Canadians said that giving back was important to them. Over half of Canadians encourage their children to volunteer, and 85 percent believe those who do will grow up to be better people.

    That’s why the folks behind Post Shred dies cereal are mounting the “Search for Goodness,” a national effort to find someone who embodies both this Canadian value and the wholesome goodness found in Shred dies cereal. And as a person who ate Shred dies every morning of childhood, I’ve got to say that this seems like a pretty good fit!

    This will be the third year of the search, which celebrates those who make incredible commitments to their communities. In its inaugural year, Shred dies recognized Greg Epp from Saskatoon for all the work he does for his community hockey rink, and featured his story in a National TV commercial. Then in 2014, sisters Julia and Emma Magus from Oakville were selected for their tireless efforts to donate books to youth in remote Northern Ontario communities.

    So if you know someone from your family or community who goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others, be sure to tell the people at Shred dies their story. The nomination process is simple. Here’s how this works:

    Complete an entry form, including an optional photo of your nominee and a 250-word description of why they deserve to be recognized.

    Once a person has been nominated, Canadians can vote for their favorites story once a day to help the nominee make it into the top 10 finalists. From there a panel of judges at Post Foods Canada Inc. will select the winner. So now’s the time to single out a volunteer at your kids’ school, a Scout leader, or program visionary who goes above and beyond each day. We’re looking forward to seeing who you nominate!


    Read More