2015 was about the Maritimes. Adding Newfoundland and Labrador, my 8th province, was a special experience. Halifax made for a nice return, though I spent most of my time driving around south central Nova Scotia. Some rather lovely views and wonderful driving atmosphere.
I didn't hit a major city (Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, etc.) in 2015. I didn't attend a CFL game in 2015, though one of the games I saw in 2014 was the 2015 Grey Cup matchup.
The Canadian dollar should remain low in 2016 so this could be your year to go to Canada for a great exchange rate.
So where could I go in Canada in 2016?
Prairie provinces: There are 2 provinces I have not seen in person and 2 CFL stadiums I have not visited. They happen to be in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. I have made the comparison of pricing a trip to London, England vs. Winnipeg and Regina. While this is still a factor, I went to London, England in 2015. Winnipeg and Regina also have the 2 provincial legislatures I have not toured. Doing all of that in one vacation may not allow for enough time unless I fly in between the two provincial capitals, and that doesn't count a visit to Saskatoon.
This is also the final season for Taylor Field in Regina before the Roughriders get a new stadium. That is all the more reason to go in 2016 but may also be more difficult to get a ticket.
One new option to these areas is NewLeaf airlines. The new airline is offering tickets of $89-$149 each way, though carry-on bags that don't fit under the seat will be $25. Of the 7 initial Canadian airports, 3 of them are ideal prairie province destinations: Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. (Read further down in the story for the other destinations for the new airline.)
In my previous planning, the fear was that covering these 2 provinces would require 2 separate vacations. Maybe I could fly from Winnipeg to Regina to make up the difference.
Southern Ontario driving trip: The idea would have me based in London and do day trips to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, Tim Hortons Field, wineries and food, strolls in Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Hamilton is on the list for NewLeaf airlines.)
CFL travel: Could easily justify a Tim Hortons Field and BMO Field combo. Or try to do Winnipeg and Saskatchewan, though that would be covering a lot of terrain in one trip.
Cabane à sucre outside Montréal: I miss Montréal but feel the need to visit in different seasons. March is the perfect time to check out a cabane à sucre (sugar shack). The Au Pied de Cochon shack is particularly tempting in reputation and that you don't have to go too far outside the city.
I also want to visit Montréal during the summer for the Jazz Festival and/or some other summertime treat. I've run into cold patches the last 2 summers in Canada, but feel like I can take a chance in Montréal on warm weather.
Tofino and Vancouver Island: Sometimes the vacation you don't take works out well. I had this trip in my sights for last August. The good news is that the summer was quite warm but the forest fires would have interfered in the fun.
TIFF in September: I love the Windsor International Film Festival but I miss TIFF. You are on the front lines of what is happening in Canadian film. Eat, sleep, and watch Canadian film for 10 days: sounds like paradise.
More Nova Scotia: I only feel like I've scratched the surface of this province. I could have a car for a week and barely grasp the coolness of this province. Cape Breton, the northern shore of the Bay of Fundy, Yarmouth and the west coast: these would be great highlights of an amazing driving trip. (Halifax is on the list for NewLeaf airlines.)
British Columbia interior: Whenever I am in British Columbia, people tell me I need to explore the interior. The fine food and wine does not hurt the cause to check out this part of the province. (Abbotsford and Kelowna are on the list for NewLeaf airlines.)
More time in Saint John: I felt like I didn't spend nearly enough time in Saint John, New Brunswick. I missed the Reversing Rapids where the Bay of Fundy tides impact the waters at the mouth of the St. John River. While I sampled the Saint John City Market, I needed more time. And I loved walking through the downtown area. This could tie in to the Nova Scotia trip since you can take a ferry from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John.
Perhaps you have a cool Canadian place, big or small, for me to try out in 2016. Feel free to leave any ideas and suggestions for me and other people to travel to Canada.
map credit: Ezilon.com