There was no revolution to bind the nation together; instead, an array of factors drove the consolidation, including the descent of the United States into a Civil War that had only recently ended and the economic and military threats the country posed. Not everyone joined the new nation at first. And while most of the interior was only sparsely settled by Europeans, no one took the views of indigenous people into account.
Even so, it was a moment of foundation: 150 years ago, the British North America Act was passed by Parliament in London, combining three British colonies — Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — into a single Dominion of Canada.
As Canadians set out to celebrate all that the country has become and what they have achieved since then, the Times’s Travel editors have been looking north. And for their 12th annual Places to Go list, they have ranked Canada as the world’s top travel destination.
“Canada has it all (O.K., maybe not tropical beaches),” the editors wrote. “It’s a world unto itself, with Vancouver Island surf breaks, culinary delights in Toronto and Montreal, and natural glories of parks like Banff in Alberta.”
Courtesy: Ian Austen, NewYork Times – Jan. 6, 2017
As many Canadian readers of this newsletter have pointed out in emails, the editors also noted that Canada’s wonders are not well known by many of the country’s American neighbors.
“Let’s face it, clichés of Mounties and hockey aside, Canada remains a terra incognita for Americans and much of the world,” the editors wrote. “It’s a great time to correct that, as the country celebrates its 150th anniversary this year (which means free admission all year to those national parks) and currently offers a generous exchange rate with the United States dollar.”
As part of Places to Go, five Canadian authors contributed essays about places in Canada “that have lodged in their psyches.” For Madeleine Thien, the author of “Do Not Say We Have Nothing,” which was recently awarded both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, that place is Port Hardy, British Columbia, which is on the northern point of Vancouver Island.
“Port Hardy is a microcosm of Canada: a resource-dependent town with a complex human and environmental history,” Ms. Thien wrote. “The land of the Kwakiutl, whose name translates to ‘smoke of the world,’ was taken into ownership — both private and national — by gunpoint, dishonored treaties and restrictive and discriminatory laws.”
We are also asking everyone, through Facebook, to share their recommendations for places to visit in Canada.
The Times’s 360 Degree video producers also take you, in a virtual way, to the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge in Squamish, British Columbia. The result depends on your opinion of dizzying heights.
While there is no signature event on the scale of Expo 67, the world’s fair that was the highlight of the centennial celebrations 50 years ago, Canadians will still be celebrating the country’s birthday in a variety of ways this year, and we will be reporting on some of them.
Finally, in Travel, and related to Canada’s top destination status, the 36 Hours feature comes to Ottawa, the city where I live. Remy Scalza, a writer from Vancouver, B.C., visited some classic but still worthwhile destinations, like Parliament Hill. Perhaps inevitably, he ate a BeaverTail, a flat, deep fried piece of dough. But he also made his way to neighborhoods that visitors often overlook, like Hintonburg (or Wellington West, as it has come to be known since its revival), and he sought out some of the city’s best breads and pastries at a bakery hidden in a gritty industrial complex.
Grounded Canada also had a travel-related news event this week. Calgary police arrested an airline pilot who was apparently so drunk that he passed out in the cockpit of an airliner that was preparing to take off with 99 passengers bound for the sun and warmth of Mexico.
Ice Battles Stephen Smith told the story of how the 228th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force briefly became one of hockey’s best teams in the middle of World War I.
Ice Ownership At 23, Alexandre Tanguay is one of the youngest team owners in professional sports. Tal Pinchevsky looked into the story of Mr. Tanguay, a member of a leading Quebec hockey family, who owns the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League while he studies finance at the University of Quebec.
Ice Heartbreak Canada lost the world junior hockey championship in Montreal on Thursday in a shootout with the United States. While the tournament was underway, Dhiren Mahiban looked into the lifelong friendships some players form while competing for their country as juniors on national teams — friendships that endure through later professional rivalries in the National Hockey League.
Here are some articles from The Times over the last week, not necessarily related to Canada and perhaps overlooked, that I found interesting:
— China, which Canada has identified as a potential oil customer, plans to spend more than $360 billion on renewable energy through 2020.
— After a critic took exception to the season opener of the television series “Sherlock,” one of the creators of the series followed the lead of Arthur Conan Doyle and responded in verse.
— Jean Vuarnet, the French Olympian who reshaped the form of downhill skiing, has died at the age of 83.
— While Canada was in World War I from the beginning, the United States fought only briefly at the end. But the “war to end all wars” nevertheless influenced American art.