Five Canadian Fall Food Festivals October 1, 2016 · 8 min. readDisclaimer: While the thoughts and opinions are my own, this article was brought to you by a third party. Also, this article may contain affiliate links.
Autumn has officially begun, and with it comes plenty of crunchy leaves, wool toques, cool nights and freshly harvested food. It doesn't matter if you live near the icy shores of the Atlantic, in a bustling metropolis like Toronto, among the rolling plains of Alberta or in the towering mountains of British Columbia; the whole country is in the midst of harvest. While I have already written about the Savour the Southeast Festival in Medicine Hat, there are plenty of other food festivals going on across Canada for you to enjoy.
Fall Flavours, Prince Edward Island
(Sept. 2 - Oct. 2)
While the Fall Flavours is nearing its completion, the food served out on the East Coast is so unique that it is worth visiting any time of the year. PEI is famous for its large yield of potatoes, and the abundance of lobster, mussels, and scallops allows for an unmatched culinary treat. Their website also mentions several family friendly events like potato picking, lobster catching, and oyster harvesting for participants to take part in.
One of the oldest locations in Canada, Charlottetown has plenty of character hotels and buildings to lodge in. One of these hotels is The Great George, built in 1846. This is the location where delegates for the 1864 Charlottetown Conference stayed, an event which ultimately led to Confederation and the formation of Canada. This location would be ideal for anybody interested in visiting the Birthplace of Confederation for the 150th anniversary of Canada next year. Rooms are about $170 a night.
Indulge New Brunswick Food and Wine Festival, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
(Oct. 14 - 15)
Similar to PEI, New Brunswick loves their potatoes, fresh fish and wonderful wines. While I have never been to St. Andrews, I discovered this adorable city during my Cross-Canada Instagram Challenge last year and I immediately added it to my bucket-list. With a population near only 2,000 people, St. Andrews is a major tourist destination during the summer but quickly dies off in the fall – making this the perfect time to visit! This city boasts many historical buildings, with several structures having been floated up from Maine during the American Revolutionary War in 1783. For more information about the festival, visit their website.
During my Cross-Canada Instagram Challenge last year I also discovered the Algonquin Resort, which is right near St. Andrews. While the hotel has many unique features, one of the most peculiar are their bathtubs. Unlike bathtubs in other hotels, the bathtubs at the Algonquin Resort have four taps – two cold and hot water taps, and two cold and hot salt water taps. Situated near the Bay of Fundy, the hotel has water pumped up right from the ocean into the guests' hotel room. At four stories tall, this legendary hotel has over 240 rooms and two restaurants, making it the perfect Maritime getaway.
Toronto Chocolate Festival, Ontario
(Oct. 15 - Nov. 6, 2016)
It's a chocolate festival. Do I really have to say more? Once a 10-day-long event, it has grown to a 23-day-long event in the past 10 years. The purpose of the festival is to incorporate as many chocolate themed events as possible. These events are all either entertaining, educational or just plain fun. They include things such as a Chocolate Afternoon Tea, the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show and the ChocOlympics featuring the original 911 Chocolate Relay. Don't forget to visit their website to read more about what's happening during this three-week-long festival.
There are scores of places to stay in Toronto, but one of the nicest is The Omni King Edward Hotel. First opening in 1903, this century-old building once hailed as being completely fire proof. It has just shy of 300 rooms and has hosted several of the biggest celebrities in history, such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Elvis Presley, Britney Spears and the Beatles. It can be a little pricey to stay here, with rooms upwards of $567 a night, but it is well worth the cost.
Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta
(Oct. 14 - 15, and Nov. 4 - 5, 2016)
The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is the largest wine and food festival in Alberta. It showcases a wide variety of different wines, scotches, imported beers and premium spirits. Gourmet food samples from local restaurants and hotels are also available for ticket-holders. A portion of the sales of early-bird or front-of-the-line tickets goes toward the residents of Fort McMurray, who had their city devastated by a fire earlier this year.
If staying in Edmonton, you'll want to visit the Westin Edmonton Hotel. It is close to the heart of Alberta's capital and is only a six-minute drive from Commonwealth Stadium. If staying in Calgary, I recommend visiting Hotel Arts, a popular boutique style hotel. Both hotels are also the host for the wine and food festival.
Okanagan Wine Festival, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
(Sept. 29 - Oct. 9, 2016)
By the number of orchards in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, there is no surprise that this is the finest place in the country for growing grapes. With beautiful weather late into the year, the Okanagan Valley is full of a variety of green, orange, yellow and red trees, improving the already beautiful landscape. An oenophile paradise, The Okanagan Wine Festival also offers many local foods and dishes to complement their endless tastes of wine. If wine, snacks and some of the most stunning landscapes in Canada are your forte, you won't want to miss out on this festival!
If you're looking to get away and spoil yourself, you'll want to check out the Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, BC. This resort opened in 2010 and strives to combine European hospitality with North American luxury. The hotel is also infused with 3.5 million Swarovski crystals that dazzle guests upon entering. Between the Okanagan and Kalamalka Lakes, this hotel offers an unprecedented view of the dynamic British Columbian landscape.
Have you been to any of these festivals? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
The links on this article are not affilate links. All images were provided by Hotels.com or the respective festivals.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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December has finally arrived, and with it is the season of gift giving. Personally, I always find Christmas shopping – or shopping for any reason – very difficult and very frustrating. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but there just seems to be so many stores and so many sales that I always get pretty overwhelmed, especially when it comes to shopping for children. In an attempt to ease the pain of holiday shopping, I have reached out to three local businesses around Regina to tell me a little about who they are and what they have going on this holiday season. Have you ever visited these locations? Let me know about it in the comments below!
Located in the south end of Regina, Kids Trading Company has been a part of the Regina community for the past 15 years. Here you can find a mixture of new and gently used children's clothing, shoes, toys and accessories.
Enjoy shopping in a local store where the friendly staff knows the products and can help you find what you need, like warm winter boots from Kamik or waterproof mittens and fleecy hats. Brands like Desigual, Hatley, Yogini, Billabong and Mexx will give you lots of options for great quality clothes in the latest styles. Need a baby gift? Shop their baby section for the cutest sleepers and practical accessories like Amber teething necklaces and muslin blankets.
Part 12 of my cross Canada series takes us to the smallest province in Canada, Prince Edward Island. However, don't let the name confuse you: PEI is actually 232 islands!
PEI also happens to have smallest population of any province in Canada, with only 146,300 people as of 2014. This means this province has less people than my hometown Regina!
Being so small, however, it was difficult to find images on Instagram. That isn't to say there's nothing there worth seeing! Quiet the quandary, actually. PEI has a few very unique locations that drive their tourism. One of them is the gorgeous themed village of Avonlea, named after the village in the hit novel "Anne of Green Gables" published in 1908. This story, and the subsequent stories, follows Anne, a red-haired "fiery" orphan who grows up on PEI. The story is an international bestseller, and is strangely very popular in Japan (or so I've been told)!
Cemeteries are a place of solace. All people, regardless of wealth, status, religion or creed are equals within a cemetery. It's a place of remembrance, respect and reconciliation. If you visit a cemetery, you are visiting the graves of lost loved ones. These may be children, pioneers, rebels or everyday people. Every grave has a story, and all are longing to be told.
Because of this, cemeteries are a library of knowledge. They hold the lessons of our past, and the wisdom of our future. As the leaves change and the days get shorter, cemeteries attract a much different crowd than that of just historians and family members. With autumn crisp in the air, cemeteries fill with thrill-seekers and paranormal believers. There is a fine line between what is and isn't acceptable within a cemetery and those who dabble into the affairs of the afterlife know this all too well. Few people go into cemeteries looking to disrespect the graves; instead, most are just hoping they can answer their own questions about life after death.
Not all cemeteries are haunted, but each holds their own stories. Keep this in mind while you read this article. If you end up visiting any of these sites, remember to step softly, speak quietly and respect the surrounding graves. You might not be as alone as you think.