Unique summer experiences make Canada cooler than other Arctic destinations. It is fascinating how a country geographically positioned to be a winter tourist destination can undrape a scenery so gorgeous in the summer, that it compels locals to discover new excuses to celebrate the outdoors. Here’s a cue to your to-do list. By Anwesha Sanyal
Be Social In Toronto
The country’s ‘patio season’ brings the best out of an average Canadian’s social skills, with neighbourhoods turning into vibrant spaces for conversations over beer tumblers. Visit Little Italy on College Street, where Café Diplomatico’s status as the ‘one where movies are shot’ is followed swiftly by the status of its table bookings; Entertainment District that boasts the biggest rooftop patio atop the Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon called The Porch .
Turn to the Distillery Historic District for more than patios— galleries, boutique stores, and artisan shops are tucked inside buildings from the Victorian era, and one that’s worth a mention is the famous Gooderham & Worts whisky distillery.
Be Spontaneous in Vancouver
A surreal, Canadian version of an Asian night market can be found here on summer nights in Vancouver. Open mid-May through September, the markets draw crowds from the lower mainland for a variety of family engagements. More than 200 food vendors tend to customers at the Richmond Night Market on River Road as children hang on zip lines and rides. At the International Summer Night Market on Vulcan Way, gourmands are tempted late into the night at Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food counters, or women at stalls selling tiny home decor products. If a mobile crowd isn’t your thing, join the seated gathering of 5,000 at Stanley Park for the free Summer Cinema Series showcasing popular movies under the stars—an experience unique to Vancouver.
Be Exposed in Montreal
Canada’s commitment to the freedom of expression of its citizens is well-known. In Montreal, you can arrive at its assurance as numerous festivals are plugged into every week of the year, celebrating the quirkiest of passions and performance art. The Vue sur la Releve is a performance art festival from May 8-19, 2018 where new and established bands and troupes participate. The Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival from June 9-19 is a one-of-its-kind, zero censorship event for artistic expression that allows participants to present absolutely ‘anything’. Also, the globally-renowned Montreal International Jazz Fest between June 28- July 7, 2018 stages famous jazz musicians such as Ana Popović and Jean-Michel Blais
Be Curious in Newfoundland
Drive to Newfoundland; from beneath the wintry layers escape green pastures in the summer to reveal breathtaking hiking routes. At Gros Morne Mountain (accessible through the Gros Morne National Park) you can get a stupendous views of the Ten Mile Brook Pond and the Bonne Bay from the summit. For more intriguing sights though follow the Alexander Murray Trail to reach the summit at the Corner Brook George and see icebergs floating in the distance. Newfoundland is also perfect for whale sightings—the humpback, minke, fin back, white-beaked, Atlantic white-sided, and killer whales are regular visitors in summer.
Be Experimental in Quebec City
Quebec City’s surging wine industry is the best excuse to take a half- or full-day wine-tasting excursion—across to Montmorency Fall, the stunning vineyard of Vignoble Ste-Petronille has a boutique bistro that offers good wine-tastings. Also visit the hip district of Limoilou. Recently transformed by a generation of young artists, it is home to artisan shops, local boutiques with unique souvenirs, and small bakeries. Hunger pangs can be satisfied at Le Fun en Bouche (1073 3e Ave, +1-418/524-7272), popular for its brunches, Café Sobb for its freshly brewed coffee, and Le Bal du Lezard for fantastic live music and vintage interiors.