2014 wasn't as adventurous a travel year as 2013 was in Canada. No new provinces for me, and other than barely going into Gatineau, my 2014 experience was spent exclusively in Ontario.
Ottawa was an eye-opener, even if the weather was frightful for August. I've been cold in Canada in August, but that was in the Canadian Rockies.
2014 was about rediscovering Toronto. 4 years felt like a really long time away, especially when you can see Toronto from Billy Bishop Airport while waiting to go to other Canadian destinations. Toronto was filled with some old, but mostly new rituals.
So where to go in 2015?
Regular readers know I'm stuck on 7 provinces with Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador still having been undiscovered by your humble narrator.
To be honest, these are the most difficult provinces to access. Yes, flights go to all 3 places, but for the price of a flight, I can almost get to London, England. I like the idea of going to Winnipeg, but London, England beats out Winnipeg as a destination.
Weighing vacation destinations involves money, time, and access. My latest crazy notion for getting to Winnipeg involves a bus to Minneapolis, Amtrak to Fargo, ND, and driving 3½ hours to Winnipeg. Crazy, but a hell of a lot cheaper than flying, even from Chicago.
There is no direct bus service from Fargo to Winnipeg. Most people are veteran drivers, so driving 3½ hours isn't a big deal, but that is for me.
At least there is a crazy potential plan for Winnipeg. Regina and Saskatoon require much more money and time; my initial idea of doing both Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the same journey requires a lot more patience and money.
My crazy plan to do both provinces would be to start in Winnipeg, travel by Via Rail to Saskatoon, and then drive back and forth to Regina to then take the train back to Winnipeg.
If you combine both crazy plans, that would require about 2 weeks, which falls into the category of an European trip.
I would love to cross off both provinces from my list of undiscovered provinces, but I'd like a less crazy plan.
As for Newfoundland and Labrador, planning isn't strenuous. A costly flight is all you need to start, though the Porter way is usually cheaper. The drawback is flying into Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, and St. John's in the same calendar day.
The harder part for Newfoundland and Labrador is getting around the island and trying not to run into a moose on the highway.
These aren't the only possible Canadian trips in 2015. here are a few contenders.
- A return to Montréal in late March would involve the Toronto Blue Jays hosting the Cincinnati Reds at Olympic Stadium. Coupling that with a sugar shack trip would knock an item off the bucket list.
- The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is still on my list. This would require renting a car, likely from London. A Southern Ontario drive would make for a nice long weekend getaway.
- As much as I love the film festival in Windsor, I do love the idea of doing TIFF for the whole time one year.
- I still have this great idea for a driving trip through Nova Scotia, though going to Newfoundland and Labrador would come first.
- The British Columbia interior and Vancouver Island are on my eventual bucket list, but those destinations aren't likely to make the list.
- Windsor will be a destination, but for smaller trips and an appearance during the 2015 Windsor International Film Festival.
Perhaps you have a cool Canadian place, big or small, for me to try out in 2015 and beyond. Feel free to leave any ideas and suggestions for me and other people to travel to Canada.