The True North is packed to the brim with natural and historic treasures. Get out and discover what this country has to offer!
SHIPWRECKS, TOBERMORY, ON
(Photo by Josh Delp via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Open to explore by boat, snorkeling or diving, Fathom Five National Park in Tobermory is home to over 20 historic shipwrecks. A Canadian schooner called Sweepstakes – built in Burlington, ON in 1867 – is among the most popular to rest on the fresh water floor. The coal-carrying ship that weighed over 200 tonnes suffered serious damage off of Cove Island in August 1885. It was towed to Big Tub Harbour, where it sank the following month. Much of the ship remains intact and can be seen just below the clear blue waters of the Harbour.
JELLYBEAN ROW HOUSES, ST. JOHN’S, NFLD
(Photo by Robin Dawes via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Despite its moniker, ‘Jellybean row’ is not limited to one street in St. John’s. Rather, the nickname was affectionately coined by locals to describe the clusters of brightly-coloured homes that line the city’s streets. Legend has it, the vibrant houses were meant to guide local fishermen home. Others say the colours were meant to counteract the gloomy Newfoundland fog rolling in off the coastline.
SINGING SANDS BEACH, PEI
(Photo by Nicolas Raymond via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
With white sands and some of the warmest waters in the northern hemisphere, Singing Sands is considered one of the best beaches on Prince Edward Island. Located in Basin Head Provincial Park, the sand produces a sound akin to singing as the island wind blows over it – or as a visitor walks along it. This phenomena is one that still eludes scientists, although it’s been suggested it might have to do with the quartz sand.
DAWSON CITY, YUKON
(Photo by Larry Myhre via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Dawson City served as the capital of Yukon from 1898 to 1952, and was settled by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nations camp thousands of years before that. It was the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, and suddenly became a thriving city of 40,000 once word spread of its hidden precious metal. Once the gold rush ended, there was steady decline in the population to under 1,000 through the 1960s and 1970s. Dawson City and nearly ghost town Forty Mile have appeared in numerous novels and short stories of American author Jack London.
CROOKED TREES, HAFFORD, SASKATCHEWAN
(Photo by Jen Kim via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Folklore says paranormal factors are what twisted a grove of wild aspen trees into its current eerie state, experts suggest it’s likely a natural mutation. Either way, the cluster of tangled and contorted trees has attracted people from around the globe to ponder the curious case of the crooked bush.
ICEFIELDS PARKWAY (ALBERTA HWY 93)
(Photo by Creekgeek via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Travel this breathtaking route along the borders of British Columbia and Alberta and through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Completed in 1940, this scenic journey stretches for about 230 km and offers visual gems such as the Columbia Icefield – one of the last major geological features discovered by man in western Canada. A national parks permit is required to travel on the Icefields Parkway.
ROCHER PERCE, QUEBEC
(Photo by Claude37 via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
This massive rock arch is one of the largest located in a body of water around the world. Named by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1607, the formation resembles a ship under sail from a distance. It stands just under 300 ft high in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Perhaps even more interesting, the rock is linked to the legend of a young French nobleman who was separated from his betrothed as he journeyed to New France. Unable to stand the distance, the lady followed her love to New France with her uncle, only to engage in battle with a Spanish pirate ship outside of Newfoundland. The young woman was captured and forced to join the pirates as they made their way to the fort of St. Lawrence. To avoid marrying the captain, she drowned herself in the sea. Frightened by the Rocher Perce, the pirates tried to flee only to crash their ship. It’s said that, upon hearing the news, the young French nobleman died of shock. Fisherman say that the gentle spirit of the young woman still haunts the rock, hundreds of years after her death.
CORKTOWN BRIDGE, OTTAWA
(Photo by Scott Hooker via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
The Corktown footbridge stretches 70 metres across the Rideau Canal. Previously, this area was only travelled during winter months – when the canal’s frozen water gave locals a passageway. The hundreds of “love locks” wrapped securely around the rails are what gives the Corktown Bridge its character. The first padlock was attached around 2008, and so began the romantic tradition that is popular around the world.
BURNTCOAT HEAD PARK, HALIFAX, NS
(Photo by Dennis Jarvis via Flickr Under Creative Commons)
Every 13 hours, one hundred billion tonnes of water flow at Burntcoat Head in Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin. The site is the home of the highest recorded tides in the world. Here, you can actually walk for miles along the burnt-red ocean floor and marvel at how post-apocalyptic the landscape seems when the tide rolls out.