Great White North eh!

by Lysle - June 06, 2023

Cooo, loo, coo coo coo coo coo cooo!

Take off!  To the Great White North!

Take off!  It's a beauty way to go!


Canada people
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365 Picture Today has many many members and we are from all around the globe!  It is always a joy to see what other parts of the world look like!  I am of the strong belief that no matter where you live or where you travel to, there is beauty to behold!

Who knew that so many Canadians are members of this amazing group!  I thought it might be super fun to do a 'Cross Canada Check-up' and introduce you to the Canadian members spread across the Great White North eh! In January I sent out notices to all the Canadian members asking them to stand outdoors and point to the east if they were from the west, to point to the west if they were from the east and to stand with their arms outstretched if they lived in the centre.  My plan was to stitch the photos together and have one picture of all of us in a row with our hands on our neighbours shoulders.  Alas, it did not work out, but the amazing Diana Rajala created the top photo of this blog for me!  The girl has skills!

The blog is going to start in the west and move to the centre, and then move from the east also toward the centre....mostly just to meet in the centre, which is the Canadian way! 

Maybe this blog will inspire another blog to be written about the USA members and/or our other members spread around the world!  (We can also be found in the UK, Europe, Africa, Australia and Haiti!)


Fun facts about Canada!

  • Canada is a huge country; in fact it is the second largest country in the world.
  • It is divided into ten provinces and three territories.
  • It is home to about 38 million people.
  •  It became a country on July 1 1867.
  • We have two official languages - English and French.
  • We have more lakes than any other country.
  • We have the largest coastline of any country.
  • Half of the country is covered in forests.
  • And, most importantly....
  • 23 365 Picture Today members live in Canada!
  • We 'da North!

My intention for this blog is to take you on a cross country photo walk of 4,473 km (2,779 miles) and introduce you to your hosts along the way.  If we inspire just one of you to come for a real photo walk, my mission has been accomplished.

Mary Harber - Victoria British Columbia

"Beautiful British Columbia"

Let's start in the west!  British Columbia is defined by its Pacific coastline and mountain ranges. The five 365 Picture Today members who live in BC are Mary, Lyly, Trish, Tracey and Lysle.  

 Mary lives on the west coast, in what is considered the banana belt of Canada.  Mary's home is in Victoria, British Columbia (she also lives part time on Shuswap Lake and is my neighbour and friend).

Welcome to my home in Victoria!  Victoria is the beautiful capital of British Columbia and western Canada's second oldest city incorporated in 1862.  It was built on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People who hunted and gathered here for thousands of years before Eurpopean exploration.  Captain James Cook was the first known European to set foot in BC which led to trade and commerce through the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the gold rush.  Today I can boast that Victoria is a beautiful, charming city nestled between the water of the Salish Sea and the lush rainforests of Vancouver Island accessible only by boat.  Greater Victoria is made up of gardens, green spaces, mountains and ocean beaches that sprawl across eclectic and quirky neighbourhoods.

Pointing east, I am showing you the way to go to visit Lyly and Trish in the Greater Vancouver area!

Lyly Le and Trish Pimentel - Greater Vancouver/Lower mainland

Lyly and Trish both live in Surrey, British Columbia. Trish just happens to be my life long best friend!  I was honoured to meet Lyly at our Banff photowalk!  Surrey is a suburb of Vancouver British Columbia.

Vancouver is the most populous city in the province and is often considered amongst the most beautiful cities in the world. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse city situated between the coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Lyly Le - Surrey, British Columbia

I live in Surrey which is a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia.  The area is known for its natural beauty with easy access to the ocean, beaches, forests and mountains.  Come and visit me in beautiful Vancouver!

I am pointing across the city toward Trish who is my neighbour!

Trish Pimentel - Surrey, British Columbia

Hello fellow 365'ers!  I have lived my entire life in the Greater Vancouver Regional District and feel blessed to reside in such beautiful surroundings.  The city of Vancouver is #8 on the 2023 Top 50 World's Greatest Places to live according to Time Magazine.  It is recognized for its dining experiences and has just received Michelin Guide status, which is a big deal in the food industry.  Vancouver is so beautiful with its snow capped mountains, surrounding waters and our coastal rainforests.  I love the hiking and shopping in my area.  If you plan to visit Vancouver, please let me know as I would love to show you my hometown!

I am pointing east to the interior of British Columbia where you will find my long time family friends, 
Tracey and Lysle.

Tracey Bitcon - Penticton, British Columbia

Tracey, for those who don't know, is my amazing, talented and beautiful sister!  She lives in "wine country" which is the perfect location for this fun loving and adventurous 365'er!

I live in the sunny Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia.  Penticton is one of just two cities in the world situated between two beautiful lakes.  Beaches and water fun are part of the summer culture here - dive in like a local and get wet! There are close to 15 acres of premium sandy beaches on Okanagan and Skaha Lakes.  If you are wine lover, cider lover, or a connoisseur of distilled beverages you can visit over 80 wineries, 8 craft breweries, 2 ciders and 3 distilleries all within easy walking or biking distances of the downtown core.  Penticton is a favourite for outdoor sporting events including Ironman, Grand Fondo Cycling, rock climbing and World Multisport competitions.  I love my little piece of heaven and invite you to come visit anytime!

I am pointing north east towards the Thompson-Shuswap where my sister Lysle lives more or less full time!

Lysle Barmby - Shuswap Lake, British Columbia 

"Secwepemc" (Shuswap) "Meeting of the Waters"

Hey, that's me!  I live most of the time in a log house on Shuswap Lake, but I also call Calgary home!

You have all seen hundreds of my pictures of the Shuswap!  In 2006 we purchased some raw land and built a log cabin lakeside.  I had spent my entire life camping on this particular lake and this very same bay, so to find land here was not only fate but a blessing.  There isn't a town per say, but Postal Canada says I live in Magna Bay. Shuswap Lake is located in the southern interior of BC.  The lake consists of four arms; the shape reminiscent of the letter H.  The four arms are Salmon Arm, Anstsey Arm, Seymour Arm and Shuswap Arm....which is where I live.  Shuswap Lake is a summer paradise!  Water sports are the main attraction and the Shuswap is the houseboat capital of the world!  Here you will find Canada's most northernly vineyards, as well as brewmasters, farmers, musicians and artisans.  Winter highlights include snowmobiling. Crowfoot Mountain is a sledders dream come our.  A short drive to Sunpeaks Mountain Resort is in order.  It is the second largest ski resort in Canada and is a premiere training faciltiy for Olympians from around the world. Come and visit me for a Shuswap adventure you won't soon includes a mandatory polar bear swim or cliff dive!

Follow my pointing ski pole over the Rocky Mountains to visit my friend Barb in Calgary, Alberta!

Barb Morrison - Calgary, Alberta

"Forti et Libre" - Strong and Free

There are two 365 Picture Today members (well, 3 if you include me) living in Alberta. It is home to Barb and Sara.   Alberta is the wild, wild West. It's landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests.  

 Yahoo!   Barb is Tracey BFF and my friend!  She is blessed to live in the Stampdede City! (Also affectionally known as 'Cow Town')

I've been proud to call the city of Calgary my chosen home for 27 years.  I'm proud to be married to a native Calgarian and love the life we have here together.  It has been a wonderful place to enjoy sunshine, proximity to the mountain playground, great healthcare and education opportunities.  Calgary has been named the world's 5th most Iivable city for seven years in a row!  We have a young, diverse, growing population and no provincial sales tax! Personally I need to emphasize the wonderful parks system in our city.  With two major rivers flowing through the core, there are many lovely waterside walking paths.  It is truly beautiful, with endless opportunities to be outside.  And of course, everyone has heard of the big summer draw!  "The Calgary Stampede"!  It is a yearly celebration of our roots in western culture but also has a midway and all the delicious foods that go with that.  Every night is capped off with a fantastic Grandstand show and fireworks.  A visit should be on everyone's bucket list. We also have music, as we are the home to Canada's National Music Centre, a world class library, fabulous restaurants and coffee bars.  It is a quick hop to Banff and Lake Louise which are in my back yard!  Come and visit me anytime of the year for a good old friendly Calgary good time!

I am pointing south to Sara in Waterton Park, Alberta.

Sara Schonening - Waterton Park, Alberta

 Sara is blessed to live near Waterton Lake National Park in southern Alberta.  It is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Canadian Rockies and is internationally known for its stunning scenery.

I have had the pleasure of growing up in and retiring just north of the Waterton National Lakes Park in southwest Alberta.  It was the fourth national park established in Canada in 1895 and became an International Peace Park with Glacier National Park in Montana in 1932.  The Prince of Wales Hotel was opened in 1927 and became a national historic site of Canada in 1992 and is still open May through to September yearly.  Hiking, fishing, boating, camping and touring and just enjoying the mountain scenery are some of the things you could do should you visit! 

If you look to the east I am pointing at Delores in Estevan Saskatchewan!

Dolores Duff - Estevan, Saskatchewan

 "Land of the Living Skies"

Dolores lives in Estevan, Saskatchewan and she is our only Saskatchewanian!  It is said that sometimes Saskatchewan's giant sky seems to be alive! Saskatchewan is the prairie wonder of Canada.

Estevan has a population of approximately 10,600 people.  It is situated in the southwest corner of the province, approximately 16 km north of the Canada-US border.  Estevan is known as a mining, oil and power generating city.  The area also has excellent grain farmers contributing to our economy.  Estevan is home to many excellent recreational and educational facilities.  We have top notch golf courses, campgrounds, a leisure centre, two damn reservoirs and a river system for summer and winter fishing.  We have 13 km of new paved pathways recently added to an existing network.  An oval dirt race track draws cars from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota.  We take great pride in ensuring community growth which makes Estevan a great place to visit, live, work and do business.  I hope you come and visit me here some day!

I am in the middle so I am holding hands with Sara to the west across the mountains in Alberta but also with Darlene across the prairie wheat fields to the east in Manitoba.

Darlene Perkin - Brandon, Manitoba

"Canada's heart is calling"

Follow your heart to the middle of Canada! Manitoba is bordered by Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west.  Its landscape of lakes and rivers, forests and fields stretches from the Arctic to Hudson's Bay. Here you will find 100 km wide sunsets and the amazing Darlene living right in the geographical centre of North America!

Brandon is the second largest city in Manitoba.  It is located  along the TransCanada Highway just two hours west of Winnipeg.  Brandon, known as the 'Wheat City' is nestled in the Assiniboine Valley and is the heart of southwestern Manitoba.  Brandon has its roots in agriculture with huge fields of wheat, yellow canola and cattle being a major part of the rural landscape.  An hour south of Brandon brings you to the International Peace Garden, a huge botanical garden on the Canada-US border connecting Manitoba with North Dakota.  The beautiful gardens are the geographical centre of North America. I spend my summers an hour north of the city at Riding Mountain National Park.  We call it 'mini Banff' because of its beautiful townsite on the shores of the sparking blue Clear Lake. A lot of my photography takes place in the boreal forest which is filled with bears, moose, elk and deer.  All seasons have their beauty but summer is especially wonderful in this neck of the woods with its long days and lingering sunsets.  Come and visit me here and maybe you will be lucky to catch the Northern Lights putting on a show!

Because I am in the geographical centre, I am holding hands with Dolores to the west and reaching out across the eastern provinces all the way to the very end where Zita lives in Nova, Scotia!

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Zita Hildebrandt - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

"There's no place like home"

Let's move all the way to the far east and then travel toward the centre where Darlene is!  Nova Scotia is home to Zita.  Nova Scotia is one of three Maritime provinces and it is latin for 'New Scotland".

My home is Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  It has the deepest natural ports in the world!  It is considered the gateway to North America and was used as the strategic staging ground for naval operations during WWII.  Many of you have heard of the city on the west side of the harbour - Halifax.  But those of us who live on the 'right side' know the truth: Dartmouth is the place to live!  The province has several World Heritage sites such as Lunnenburg, the home of the Bluenose, Grand Pre, the birthplace of Evangeline, and the Fortress at Louisbourg. Let's not forget Peggy's Cove and the Cabot Trail, world renown for its stunning views.  Just 20 minutes away is Yarmouth.  According to National Geographic, it is the darkest spot in North America! An observatory allows you to see the night sky without light pollution.  There is so much to see and do in Nova Scotia.  I hope you will let me know when you plan to visit so that I can show you around.

 I am pointing west across the St. Laurence River to Melanie in Quebec.

Mélanie Coutu and Lyne Jodin - Montreal, Quebec

"Je me souviens" - "I remember".

Mélanie and Lyne are both from "la belle province" of Quebec, the French heart of Canada and North America.

Mélanie Coutu - Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is the second largest Francophone city in the world!  A mix of old world and new; a mix of everyone that brought their culture and shared it.  A city that makes you live and feel the unique culture, traditions, modernity, urban vibes but yet, 20 minutes later, can offer you nature and tranquility. Come and join me for the 'sugaring off', the mysterious springtime activity we partake in each year.  When the sap starts to flow in the maple trees we produce syrup!  Come and visit me in la belle province and enjoy with me some poutine and maple syrup!

 I am pointing across the city to Lyne.

Lyne Jodin - Montreal, Quebec

Come and visit me in Montreal!  Montreal has a lot to offer.  It is the biggest bilingual city in Canada and it is also one of the oldest; you will find cobblestone streets in Old-Montreal. Montreal is a multicultural city and it is regularly ranked as one of the top 10 best cities in the world to be a university student. It is known for its gastronomy, art, culture, aerospace, video game development, film and world affairs. Come and join me for the Montreal International Jazz Festival.  It has held the Guinness World Record as the largest jazz festival since 2004.  I am pointing into the province of Ontario toward Julie Bush!

"Yours to discover and you are going to love it"

Ontario is Canada's most populous province with almost 40% of the country's population.  It is the second largest province by total area.  Ontario is a huge province and a majority of our 365 Picture Today Canadian members call it home. Julie, Amy, Diane, Joy, Connie, Sue, the two Cheryl's, Stephanie, Diana and Carolyn all live in Ontario!  One would think it was the only province.....

Julie Bush - Merrickville, Ontario and Amy Roach - Township of Rideau Lakes, Ontario

Julie Bush - Merrickville, Ontario

For the last 5 years I have been fortunate to call Merrickville my home.  It is a charming village situated on the Rideau River about one hour west of Ottawa.  With many turn of the century buildings and its eclectic collection of quaint shops, restaurants and one of a kind artisan finds, it is a Mecca for tourists.  We boast one of the best maintained blockhouses erected in the early 1800's which is now a museum and is a popular attraction located by the picturesque lock system and park.  The waterway is used by boats, canoes and kayaks alike.  A five minute drive from downtown Merrickville, takes you to Limerick Forest and its miles and miles of trails, used by hikers, snowmobilers and ATV's.  Merrickville has an old time feel to it and it is truly like taking a step back in time.  Peaceful and restoring, it is called the "Jewel of the Rideau" for the right reason.

 I am pointing toward my friend Amy!

Amy Roach - Township of Rideau Lakes, Ontario

I live in a rural area of Eastern Ontario known as Township of Rideau Lakes.  We have approximately 30 lakes within the municipality which provides residents and tourists with outstanding scenic vistas, recreational opportunities and the Rideau Canal Waterway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site passes directly through the community. Our big claim to fame is that we are the "Daffodil Capital of Ontario".  In 1999, one family planted daffodils to bloom for the Millennium and every year they continue to plant different varieties.  A beautification committee for the township launched the "Daffodil Project" and each fall residents continue to plant thousands of daffodil bulbs. For me fishing and being on the lake are my favourite activities.  I also enjoy the hiking on the Trans-Canada, Rideau, and Cataraqui Trails. The township also offers many festivals and fairs.  Come and attend a fair with me!  I am pointing west to my friend Diane in our nation's capital, Ottawa!  

Diane Russen and Joy Affleck - Ottawa, Ontario

Diane Russen

I live in Ottawa, Ontario which is the capital of Canada.  If you visit Canada you have to come to Ottawa!  We have the house of Parliament and our National War Memorial.  In winter, Ottawa has the longest outside skating rink. The canal that runs through our city freezes in the winter and it is turned into a 7.5 km skating rink.  And of course, if you come to Ottawa you must try one of our famous pastries, the Beavertail.  Come and visit me, you won't be disappointed.

I'm pointing at my dear friend Joy Affleck who is standing by the canal!

Joy Afflect

In my humble opinion, there is no place in the world to better embrace the best of ALL four seasons than in Canada's capital - Ottawa.  In early spring you can enjoy the making of maple syrup and taffy!  Later in spring, check out the world famous Tulip Festival and learn about its WWII history.  In the summer you can bike or walk Ottawa's beautiful paths or rent a canoe or kayak on the Rideau Canal before enjoying a picnic on Parliament Hill.  In Autumn you must make your way back to check out the changing colours!  I think that  if you are going to "do" winter, you need to do it in Ottawa!  Come for the skating on the canal, but stay for the Beavertails!  Come and visit in every season, Ottawa is waiting and I will be waiting for you with a Sangria and Beavertails.  What season will you start with?

 I am pointing a short distance west to Connie.

Connie Collins - Prince Edward County, Ontario and Sue Raynor - Carlton Place, Ontario

Connie Collins - Prince Edward County, Ontario

Come and visit me in Prince Edward County!  Referred to by the locals as 'the country', there is a lot to offer.  Prince Edward County is an island in Lake Ontario.  It is where you go to fall in love with food, drinks, nature, art and community over and over again.  We are a cluster of small hamlets and villages with roots deep in farming and agriculture and trade through our waterways.  We are home to artists, winemakers, brewmasters, distillers and chefs.  We are a community of all sorts of creative and passionate folks.  One of my favourite places to take visitors is Oeno Gallery which is part of the Huff Estate Winery.  It is one of Canada's leading wineries and I would love to share  a glass with you while we view the sculpture garden.

I am pointing west to Sue in Carlton Place!

Sue Raynor - Carlton Place, Ontario

Carlton Place is a jewel! It is a small town, perched on the stunning Mississippi River, just outside of our nation's capital, Ottawa. Ever since settlers first laid eyes on Morphy's Falls on the Mississippi River over 200 years ago, Carlton Place has played an important part in the arts, heritage and culture of town.  Come visit our heritage museum (WWI Flying Ace credited for shooting down the Red Baron) and Wool Growers Railway Museum.  Come walk or bike with me along our beautiful riverside trails or Community Labyrinth.  We can then enjoy the charm of Main Street shopping or just sit awhile in one of our beautiful parks or waterside restaurants as we watch the world go by!

 I am pointing just a short distance west toward Cheryl in Campbellford/Trent Hills.

Cheryl Habib White - Trent Hills/Campbellford and Cheryl Toms - Cambellford, Ontario

Cheryl Habib White 

I live in Trent Hills, (Campbellford) Ontario.  I share my hometown with Cheryl Toms and between the two of us I think we can attest it is a great place to live and visit.  Come and visit and get a double whammy experience between the two of us.  Some of my favourite places to visit are the Kawartha Voyageur, the Giant Toonie, the Peterborough Lift Lock, Lift Lock 21, The Church Key Brewery, the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge and of course Dooher's Bakery. The 120 foot long Kawartha Voyager is more than just a boat, it is a floating country inn. On it you can explore Canada's magnificent heritage waterways.  I worked on this boat as a cook in 1981.  I also used to live on the river, and when the boat passed my house, the captain would honk the boat horn.

I am pointing at Cheryl who will tell you more about our beautiful town!

Cheryl Toms - Campbellford

My hometown, Cambellford, Ontario is a vibrant farming community of 3,500 within the rolling hills of Northumberland County. Campbellford is part of the infamous "The Great Loop", a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern part of Canada and the USA.  The Ranney Gorge Suspension bridge is a great destination for an easy hike and picturesque views.  Experience the gentle sway of the 300 foot long bridge that spans the Ranney Gorge. You must also come with Cheryl and I to Dooher's Bakery, voted Canada's sweetest bakery.  Another 'must see' is the Giant Toonie!  Farewell from Campbellford!

 I am pointing toward Stephanie.

Stephanie Todd - Holland Landing, Ontario

Stephanie just happens to be my cousin and Tracey's cousin too!

Come and visit my little community of Holland Landing, Ontario.  Holland Landing has a lot of history.  It was named after Samual Holland, the first Surveyor General of British North America.  It has many attractions such as Rogers Reservoir for hiking trails galore, as well as the Ghost Canal, Sharon Temple, many golf courses and great shopping.  Holland Landing is known as "The Vegetable Patch" due to the rich farming soil found in the area.  Also, our first settlers were Quakers!

I am pointing west toward Diana!

Diana Rajala - Ilderton, Ontario

After living in London, Ontario for 35 years, we moved to Ilderton, a small village of about 2,300 people a short 10 minutes from London, I wouldn't say Ilderton is a tourist destination, but it does have a Tim Horton's! London,  population of 500,000, is an easy drive away and has wonderful restaurants, adequate shopping and many opportunities to participate in activities.  Western University (my alma mater) is a beautiful campus which brings 32,000 students to the city each year.  The proximity to the beaches in Grand Bend and Port Stanley is a plus and if one craves excitement, Toronto is just a day trip away.

 I am pointing toward Carolyn.

Carolyn Cummins - Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, Ontario is my hometown.  My family has lived here for 4 generations.  It is a port city on the western tip of Lake Ontario.  It has a lovely waterfront and many hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls thanks to the Niagara Escarpment.  Canada's oldest trail, the 890 km Bruce Trail runs through it.  Hamilton is known for its very lively arts scene, with a monthly "Art Crawl".  I also has many restaurants featuring food from around the world.  There are many craft breweries as well as the Niagara Wine country nearby.  The Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest botanical garden in Canada with 1,100 hectares of natural reserve, 27 km of hiking trails and four distinct formal gardens.  Hamilton is home to many festivals and is also a popular location for the film industry.  The Shape of Things, Spotlight, The Handmaiden's Tale and X-men were all filmed in Hamilton.

I am pointing toward Darlene who, as you know by now, is in the centre of Canada in Manitoba! 

Okay.  Good day eh? 
Beauty, eh? 
Yeah, I like that!

-Bob and Doug McKenzie

That concludes my "Cross Country Check-up" of the Great White North, also know as Canada eh! I hope you enjoyed my tour from both sides of the county and the towns and good folks in between!  It's enough to want to do a photo-walk in one of these amazing places with at least one of these wonderful 365 Picture Today members!

Cooo, loo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coooo!

Beauty eh?

It's like magic eh?

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