Browsed by
Month: December 2017

Oh Maple, you sweet sweet Syrup

Oh Maple, you sweet sweet Syrup

The sweet nectar the runs down the valleys of Canada

Its not joking matter that one of the biggest stereotypes of Canada is its syrup. Maple syrup is big on flavor, and big on money in Canada. Canada produces the vast majority of the worlds maple syrup, 91% of which is produced in Quebec. Canada’s maple syrup producing regions are located in the provinces of Quebec (primary producer), Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. There are more than 8,600 maple syrup businesses in Canada. Maple syrup is 100% natural and the producers of it are made to stick to strict guidelines during production.

Maple syrup is made by first tapping a tree. By doing this the producers are able to extract the syrup directly from the maple tree. This process is done in the spring time when the nights are still cold. It causes the tress to take up more water from the ground. During the day when the temperature increases a change in pressure causes liquid to flow back to the bottom of the tree, enabling easy collection of the sap. This all happens between March and late April and collection takes place for about two weeks.

A tree can be tapped for sap extraction if it measures at least 8 inches in diameter. In order for a tree to be tapped to extract maple sap, it must be deemed suitable based on the criteria of health, diameter and growth rate. Up to a maximum number of three taps per tree per season is allowed per regulation

Once the sap is harvested in the woods, the sap is taken to a sugar house where it is boiled to become syrup. While this boiling is happening, pipes from storage tanks feed sap along a narrow ridged pan which is called an evaporator. The evaporation causes the syrup to become denser and sweeter. About 10.5 gallons of sap boil down to make about 1/4 gallon of syrup through this process.

Viewing the Northern Lights in Canada

Viewing the Northern Lights in Canada

My favorite destinations

Today I bring to you some of the best places to view the heavenly northern lights while on your trip to Canada. Whether you are traveling to Canada specifically to view the northern lights, if you have it planned as part of a larger trip, or merely if you are just in the planning phase of a trip, the information here should be of great interest. Canada is one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights, and its true. The best time of year to view the northern lights in Canada is in the fall and winter, along the auroral zone.

Iqaluit, Nunavut

If you are looking to have a northern lights experience accompanied by a cultural experience, I suggest you visit Iqaluit, Nunavut. Here you will be able to view the lights and interact with Canada’s indigenous people. One can also enjoy polarbear viewing, ice fishing, and kayaking in this arctic destination.

Northern Labrador, Newfoundland

Probably the most popular aurora borialis viewing, and the most famous, is in northern Labrador, in Labrador and Newfoundland. The spark of adventure brings travelers here on snowmobile with the promise of exceptional viewing at night. There are more the 1500 km of trails that span the providence, and the attractions of hunting and fishing add to the experience of viewing the northern lights.

Rocky Mountains, Alberta and British Columbia

Some of the most amazing viewing of the northern lights in Canada can be done from the top of some of the most pristine peaks in North America. The Canadian Rockies are home to Banff national park (one of my favorites!) which has exceptional aurora borialis viewing. There are low pollution levels here which make for some of the best possible viewing situations in the whole country. For the best viewing experiances, head out and find a lake, sit back, and enjoy!

Top 20 sights to see in Banff National Park

Top 20 sights to see in Banff National Park

A list compiled by a professional

There is a reason Banff is my number one choice in Canada. Its beyond beautiful. If you love nature and  the outdoors, visiting pristine lakes, viewing majestic peaks or even climbing, snowboarding, and skiing, Banff has it all. A paradise for the outdoor enthusiast, you can climb, check out ice fields, go camping, look for wildlife, hike to your hearts content and even go paragliding. Check out this awesome video compiled by Tracker Productions for your viewing pleasure.

  1. The Sulphur Mountain Gondola.
  2.  Banff Upper Hotsprings.
  3. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
  4. Bow Falls.
  5. Surprise Corner.
  6. Mount Norquay Green Spot.
  7. Vermillion Lakes
  8.  Lake Minnewanka.
  9.  Two Jack Lake.
  10.  Johnson Lake.
  11. Bow Valley Parkway.
  12. Johnston Canyon.
  13. Morantz Curve.
  14. Moraine Lake.
  15. Lake Louise and Chateau Lake Louise.
  16. Icefields Parkway.
  17. Bow Lake and Num-ti-jah Lodge.
  18. Peyto Lake.
  19.  The Columbia Icefields.