Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Friday, April 30, 2010

Canadian Children Get Failing Grade for Physical Activity

Active Healthy Kids Canada is a research group that was formed to promote physical fitness.  They recently released  its sixth annual report card after the group reviewed hundreds of data sets and studies related to physical activity of children and youth in Canada.  The results are discouraging.

  •  Active Health Kids Canada reviewed data collected by the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).  This long-term study of Canadian children began in 1994 and follows their development and well-being from birth to early adulthood.  According to NLSCY data less than half (36% children ages 2 - 3, 44% children ages 4 - 5) of Canadian kids under age five are getting regular physical activity as part of their daily routines.   
  •  Only 12% of children and youth are getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity for their age group. The recommended amount of physical activity for children ages 1 - 5 is at least two hours a day.  Children older than 5 should have 90 minutes of physical activity daily.  Fifteen percent of children in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories were getting daily exercise while Ontario and the Yukon children tied for third place at 14%.  Children in the Atlantic provinces tended to be less active.  Only 7% of school-age children in New Brunswick and 9% in P.E.I. taking part in some sort of daily physical activity. 

Reasons cited for a failing grade for physical activity for Canadian children were:
  • driven to school - Canadian children are being driven to school rather than riding their bikes or walking
  • too much screen time (Grade F).  - Some children are spending up to six hours a day in front of television and computer screens.  This time does not include homework but rather is strictly video games, TV, chatting with friends on line.  In addition to the time spent in front of screens, about 90% of Canadian children begin watching TV before their second birthday in comparison to the average age of 4 forty years ago.  It is currently recommended that children under age two get zero screen time.
  •  Canada's physical education programs (Grade C) - There are  discrepancies between the amount of time mandated for phys-ed in schools and the amount actually allotted to it
  • recreation facilities/programs, parks and playgrounds (Grade D) -  Less than half of Canadian children and youth used the amenities available to them. No mention was made regarding whether Canadian families could afford to have their children use any of these amenities that are not free.
  •  federal government (Grade F) - The Canadian federal government spends half the amount it spent in 1986 on promoting physical fitness. 


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario and British Columbia

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) goes into effect on July 1, 2010 administered by the Canada Revenue Agency for the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. This will have an effect on the amount paid for consumer goods.  In Ontario there will be an additional provincial portion of 8% will be added to some consumer products and services.

Ontario
About 83% consumer products and services will see no new tax.  Here's the breakdown.  Products that already have PST and GST (eg. phone services, cable, new cars) added will have no new tax.  Instead 13% in taxes to two different governments (8% provincial and 5% federal), there will be one tax — still 13%, collected by the federal government.  There is the GST/HST tax credit for individuals and new housing HST rebates.

Items that currently have no sales tax will have no HST.  This includes:

  • basic groceries
  • municipal transit
  • prescription drugs
  • most health, medical and dental services
  • visiting the doctor or dentist
  • certain medical devices (hearing aids; prescription eyewear; canes, wheelchairs, walkers)
  • legal aid services
  • most financial services
  • many educational services
  • insurance premiums
  • resale housing
  •  
At the point of sale the provincial portion (8%) of the HST is discounted.  You pay only the 5% federal portion (5%) on these items: 
  • print newspapers
  • books (including audio books)
  • diapers
  • children's clothing/footwear
  • children's car seats and booster seats
  • feminine hygiene products
  • qualifying prepared food/beverages sold for $4.00 or less.   
Seventeen percent of consumer products and services will see a new tax, the 8 per cent provincial portion of the HST.  Included in this category are: 
  • personal and professional services (eg. hairstyling, legal fees)
  • energy costs (eg. home heating fuel, electricity)

British Columbia
On July 1st the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) will be eliminated while a 7 % rate will be added to the 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) forming a combined HST of 12%.  The majority of consumer products and services will see no new taxes including energy costs (eg. home heating fuel, electricity).  Many items will be HST exempt.  British Columbians will receive the BC HST Credit and there is are new housing HST rebates. 


At the point of sale the provincial portion (7%) of the HST is discounted.  You pay only the 5% federal portion on these items:
  • fuel to power your vehicle (gasoline, ethanol blends, diesel, biodiesel)
  • books
  • child-sized clothing/footwear
  • children’s car seats and car booster seats
  • children’s diapers
  • feminine hygiene products
Items that are currently GST exempt will be HST excempt as well.  These items include: 
  • basic groceries
  • most health, medical and dental services
  • visiting the doctor or dentist
  • certain medical devices (hearing aids; prescription eyewear; canes, wheelchairs, walkers)
  • prescription drugs
  • legal aid services
  • most financial services
  • many educational services
  • insurance premiums
  • resale housing


    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Ontario Diamonds

    Some of the first Ontario mined diamonds will be going up for sale at Birks' flagship store in downtown Toronto. The 100 Ontario-certified gems are extremely high quality, with a retail value that's 10 to 15 per cent higher than other diamonds because they're mined and processed in one place. The DeBeers Canada's Victor Mine is located approximately 90 kilometres west of the First Nation community of Attawapiskat in northerneastern Ontario. The open pit mine began construction in February of 2006 operations in 2008 (six months ahead of schedule).  Approximately $1 billion was spent on construction of the mine with a further $167 million CDN  spent with Aboriginal businesses or joint venture partnersThe kimberlite pipe has surface area of 15 hectares with annual tonne processing capacity of 2.7 million tonnes and annual carat production capacity of 600,000 carats.  The Victor Mine signed four community agreements for the Victor Mine:

    • an IBA with the Attawapiskat First Nation (November 2005)
    • a Working Relationship Agreement with the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (May 2005)
    • an IBA with Moose Cree First Nation (September 2008)
    • an IBA with Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nation (February 2009)


    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Canadian Ice Cream?

    Ben & Jerry's has created a Canadian ice cream that is combination of vanilla ice cream, fudge-covered waffle cone pieces plus a fudge swirl.  While it is on the market under the temporary name of We are Waffling, they are soliciting the suggestions via its Canadian Facebook page.  While it is great for Canada to get it's own ice cream flavour, I think the Vermont-based company is a bit off the mark as to what defines Canadian culinary tastes!

    Fudge is not a Canadian as in truly Canadian taste sensation.  They should have focused on butter tarts, maple syrup or Nanamio Bars to get that uniquely Canadian flavour.  Or perhaps poutine, eh?  See the Americans just never really get it, do they?


    Monday, April 26, 2010

    The Way Canadians See the World

    canadian humour map

    This map pretty much sums up the way Canadians see the world from a Canadian perspective.

    Note: no © claimed for image.


    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Earth Day 2010


    Today we celebrate Earth Day 2010, a day to bring awareness of environmental issues and living in an eco-friendly manner.  Teachers across Canada will be instructing students on the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Some schools will hold special tree planting ceremonies while many communities are holding clean-up events and tree planting.  Canadians across the country will join this wonderful celebration of Mother Earth.  Please join us as we celebrate Earth Day 2010!


    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Canadians and Taxes

    According to the Fraser Institute taxes ate up 41.7 per cent of the average family's income in 2009.  This is more two-fifths of their total income spent on taxes.  This is up from 1981 when taxes accounted for 40.8 per cent of a family's income.  On the surface a 0.24 per cent increase from 1981 in taxes does not seem like a significant amount of money but lets look at this increase from a Canadian perspective.

    Americans are paying about 5 percent less of their total income to taxes.  The American cost of living is lower so combined with lower taxation their pay cheque goes a lot further than a Canadian pay cheque.  Apparently according to Statistics Canada when comparing the two countries is the poor in Canada have more purchasing power that the poor in the US.  Once you earn $60,000 there is a definite tax advantage to living in the USA depending on the state.

    The rising cost of living through inflation has resulted in many Canadians no longer being able to afford the basic necessities of life.  We basically are being taxed to pay the high salaries of politicians hell bend on getting whatever tax grab they can.  The reality of the situation is heavily taxed, recession weary Canadians seeing ever more budget cuts are seeing less output for their tax dollars.  In short many Canadians feel we are getting little bang for the buck.  And just as Canadians are doing their best to pull themselves up out of the recession our greedy politicians are hitting us with more taxes. 


    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Canadian Red Cross

    My goodness over the last few years we have seen a rather dramatic increase in violent weather that is reeking havoc world wide.  Haiti is still recovering from a devastating earthquake,  China is still doing search and rescue from a recent earthquake, now the volcano eruption in Iceland is creating even more problems due to the ash cloud.  On the home side the spring season has yet to become violent with severe thunderstorms and/or tornados.  Just on the basis of weather it is extremely important that Canadians help themselves.

    The Canadian Red Cross is the humanitarian organization that comes to aid during times of disaster at home and abroard.  They are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Humanity: impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality regardless of race, political beliefs, religion, social status, or culture.  Canadian Red Cross volunteers are currently providing relief aid in Haiti.


    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Higher Employment Insurance Premiums By End of Year

    Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced Friday (April 16, 2010) that Canadian employers and employees should expect to pay sharply higher Employment Insurance premiums when the current EI premium freeze expires at the end of this year.  An extension of the Dec. 31 expiry date for the government-ordered freeze that was introduced as part of the government's two-year economic stimulus plan has been ruled out.  If the financing board proceeds with the maximum premium hike each year until 2015, the annual contribution per worker will increase by $535 a year, with $312 coming from the employer and $223 from the employee.



    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Canadians Did Not Fair Better in The Recession

    Yesterday I posted on the report from Stats Canada that indicates Canada faired the recession better than other countries.  True the country as a whole may have faired better through this recession but many Canadians did not.  If anything the gap between the rich and poor in Canada widened during the recession.  For many in Canada food insecurity and hunger have increased as a direct result of the recession, job loss and rising food costs.  A report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities indicates that poverty is now stalking our nations largest cities including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.  Smaller communities are losing their industry and youth as well as seeing their downtown areas die.  Across Canada the cost of living continues to rise as tax greedy politicians continue to raise taxes.

    Recently Nova Scotia raised their HST from 13% to 15%.  A 2% tax grab does not sound like a lot of money but to Canadians who do not have the money that is a huge amount.  The HST has been been announce for both British Columbia and Ontario.  The HST will combine the current PST and GST into one tax.  In ON this means an additional 8% tax on home heating fuel, electricity, gasoline, and food all of which are necessities of life.  In addition to that Hydro One also run by the ON government who already is charging those in ON with the repayment of debt incurred by the old Ontario Hydro has announced an increase in delivery charges of about $4 per household that when combined with the HST, the average household will see an increase of $15 per month.  On April 15, Hydro One announced a further rate increase that will see the average household paying an additional $350 per year.  Those on fixed incomes are already struggling to just be able to pay their utility bills and some do have to make a choice between electricity or food yet Laua Formusa, president and CEO of Hydro One had a salary of $977 000 for 2009 and in 2008 more than 10 000 Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation employees made the sunshine list.  Of course these high paid employees are not going to be affected by any kind of hydro rate increase.  Hydro One can gloss over the increase as being needed for the 'greening' but the reality is the rate increases are going to pay these outrageous salaries!

    In the meantime both the federal and provincial governments continue on their greedy tax grabs taking money from those who have no more to give.  They are kicking those Canadians already down from the recession who are stuggling just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.  These are the very same Canadians who pay the politicians salaries.  It is time for all Canadians to say no! We've had enough and no low and middle income Canadians did not fair better in the recession.  The only Canadians fairing better in the recession were those in the upper class!


    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Canada Escaped the Worst of the Recession

    According to a study released by Statistics Canada on April 15, 2010, Canada faired better than other countries through the recent global recession.  Despite most of the industrialized world referring to the recession as the Great Recession, Canadians were not as hard hit.  Canadian exports were hard hit but consumer spending, home buying and employment held up better than in past downturns.  Canada suffered a 3.3 per cent drop in GDP over three quarters between fall 2008 and summer 2009 while the US saw a six percent drop in GDP.  In addition to this Canada was not affected by the financial crisis or the drop of mortgage-backed securities despite tightening lending to businesses and households.  So all in all Canada weathered the recession well but from this Canadian's perspective, I beg to differ which will be tomorrow's topic.


    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    The Best Place to Work in Canada 2010

    The Great Place to Work® Institute, a global research and management consultancy has released their 2010 best place to work in Canada list.   They surveyed 40-thousand Canadian workers who were asked questions that covered credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.  This years list included 75 of the best workplaces in Canada.  This year's top place to work in Canada for 2010 is Environics Communications Inc., a mid-sized North American agency with offices in Washington, D.C., Montreal, and Toronto.  Kudos to Environics communications for being Canada's top workplace 2010!


    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    Canadian Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba

    The Canadian North is famous for its polar bears (Ursus maritimus),  a Canadian icon that is so important its likeness is found on the two dollar coin.  License plates in the Northwest Territories and Nanuvut are in the shape of a polar bear.  The polar bear was the official mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary.  Sadly this majestic, beautiful icon of Canada is on the threatened species list as vunerable to extinction.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has indicated that global warming is one of the significant threats to polar bears.  There are 19 subpopulations of polar bears.  Thirteen of those subpopulations are  located in North America and the remainder are in Europe spanning five nations Denmark (Greenland), Norway (Svalbard), Russia, United States (Alaska) and Canada.

    While we have been in Manitoba a few times we have not made it as far north as Churchill.  Churchill, Manitoba is a small town (population about 1,000) located on the estuary of the Churchill River on the shore of Hudson Bay in Nunavut Territory.  There are no roads leading from Churchill to other parts of Canada.  Access is gained via the railway or air.  It is the Polar Bear Capital of the World, famous for the polar bears moving from inland to the shore in the autumn.  Tours are held for tourists to visit the polar bears in their natural habitat.  Here is a video of one such tour.




    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Loons at Algonquin Provincial Park

    We spent a few summers camping at Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.  It is a beautiful area to visit!  The common loon is an icon of the Canadian Northland even though its habitat ranges into the US.  The call of the loon is just amazing to hear.  We woke to it each morning and sometimes glided over the water in a canoe just to be able to get pictures and enjoy the loons a bit more.  Despite living on the Great Lakes waterway we seldom see loon down this far which is a pity.  I love their mystic call!  Here's a short video showing what loons look like along with their call.




    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Vimy Ridge Day

    Canadians paid a special tribute today to Canada's last World War I veteran and his generation at a commemorative ceremony officially marking the end of an era in Ottawa.  John Babcock (1900 - 2010), who died in February was honoured at the National End of Era on Vimy Ridge Day at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.  Similar ceremonies were held across Canada.

    The ceremony began at 11 a.m. ET this morning, with the arrival of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. MichaĆ«lle Jean.  The Ottawa event, expected to draw 20,000 to 30,000 people.  The ceremony  included a fly-past by a vintage World War I Sopwith Strutter aircraft and the release of 65 white homing pigeons, one for every 10,000 Canadians who served in World War 1.


    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Southern Ontario

    southern Ontario

    Southern Ontario Countryside
    July 3, 2008


    We live in beautiful Southern Ontario. Southern Ontario lies south of Algonquin Park and the French River in the province of Ontario, Canada spanning 139,931 km2 (52,860 sq mi). This southernmost region of Canada is bordered by Lake Huron to the northwest, Lake Erie to the south and Lake Ontario to the southeast. It is the southern most region of Canada. Cities include Toronto, Ottawa, London, Windsor, Brampton, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Waterloo, Kitchener, St. Catherines and Windsor. The southern most areas are greatly influenced by the US not only through media but daily border crossings. The main US/Canadian border crossings in southern Ontario are: Windsor, ON/Detroit, MI; Sarnia, ON/Port Huron, MI; Fort Erie, ON/Buffalo, NY and Niagara, ON/Niagara Falls, NY. The two ferry border crossings are: Sombra, ON/Marine City, MI and Walpole Island, ON/Algonac, MI.

    Southern Ontario contrasts greatly from Northern Ontario in population size, climate and culture. Large expanses of farmland, vineyards and commercial growing operations span the landscape between urban areas. In the very southern regions the land is flatter but becomes rolling hills as you move towards the Niagara Escarpment. Surrounded on three sides by the Great Lakes the area is known for sport fishing and boating. A great pass time is finding a spot along the connecting waterways (St. Clair River, Detroit River, Niagara River) of Lakes Huron and Erie to watch the shipping vessels go by. During the summer months there are many wonderful beaches to ponder by while enjoying fresh, local Ontario Produce. There are many great eateries to enjoy as well focusing on Great Lakes fish, Canadian Beef, Canadian Chicken, Canadian Pork and Ontario wines.


    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Canadian Food Trends to 2020

    I recently blogged about Hunger and Food Insecurity in Canada so was quite interested in reading the results of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 2005 study for predicted Canadian Food Trends to 2020. The study looked ahead at Canadian food and beverage consumption to the year 2020 considering factors and issues that are expected to drive consumer attitudes and perceptions in combination with consumption forecasts based on Canadian statistical history. Sources for the data and information analyzed in the study included Statistics Canada, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada, Health Canada, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, publicly commissioned or omnibus surveys on consumer behaviours, attitudes and awareness, government agencies and a review of the media, trade journals, and relevant literature.

    A point form summary of the trends that are predicted to influence Canadian food and beverage consumption to the year 2020 are (for more details click link):

    1. aging Canadians
    2. an evolving society
    3. changing meal patterns
    4. shifting expenditures
    5. food for health
    6. the educated consumer
    7. immigration
    8. no trade-off for convenience
    9. increased consumption of meatless meals
    10. organic foods
    11. small indulgences
    12. food safety and production issues
    13. consumer directed interventions (eg. fat tax, junk food bans)


    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Blue Water Bridge (Sarnia, Ontario)

    Blue Water Bridge Sarnia, Ontario
    Blue Water Bridge
    Sarnia, Ontario
    July 30, 2009

    Pictured is the twin spans of the Blue Water Bridge taken from our boat at the mouth of Lake Huron looking towards the St. Clair River. Sarnia, Ontario is to the left of the picture where a water tower can be seen. Port Huron, Michigan is to the right. The waters under the bridge are always considerably rougher due to wave rebounds from the breakwalls combined with strong water currents.

    The Blue Water Bridge is an international twin-span bridge spanning the St. Clair River between Point Edward/Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. Construction began on the original cantilever truss bridge on June 24, 1937 has a main span of 871 feet (265 m) and total length of 6,178 feet (1,883 m). The bridge was built by Michigan and Ontario Highway Departments and State Bridge Commission of Michigan. Modjeski & Masters and Monsarrat & Pratley, Consulting Engineers. Dedication ceremonies were held on October 7th, 8th, and 9th with Mitchell F. Hepburn, Premier of the Province of Ontario and Frank Murphy, Governor of the State of Michigan officiating. The Bridge was opened for regular traffic on October 10, 1938.It opened on October 8, 1938. The second span constructed in is a continuous tied-arch bridge has a total length of 6,109 feet (1,862 m) with main span is 922 feet (281 m). The twinning project was a combined effort between Modjeski & Masters (American engineers) and Buckland & Taylor Ltd. (Canadian engineers). During the twinning project the border crossing remained open with traffic being diverted as required. Two temporary masts were erected to assist in the construction of the tied arches. The second span three-lane bridge, to the south of the original bridge, opened on July 22, 1997. The original bridge was immediately closed for extensive renovation. It was reopened in 1999. The two bridges are one of the busiest transportation arteries between the United States and Canada, second only to the Ambassador Bridge at Detroit-Windsor.


    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Hunger and Food Insecurity in Canada

    Canada is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture there are five major agricultural sectors in Canada. These sectors are: grains and oilseeds; wheat, durum, oats, barley, rye, flax seed, canola, soybeans, and corn; red meats (beef cattle, hogs, veal, and lamb); dairy; horticulture; and poultry and eggs. This primary agriculture accounts for over 24% of the $70 billion generated by the agri-food industry representing 2.2% of Canada's GDP and accounting for 62% of employment in all resource industries. According to Statistics Canada $16.8 billion worth of processed food products were exported and $12.6 billion food products were imported. In a nation where food is so abundantly available it is hard to comprehend that in our great country there are those going hungry because they can't afford food. The reality is that poverty and hunger are a reality for many Canadians.

    According to Food Banks Canada certain groups are at more risk for food insecurity. The largest group of food bank users are those receiving social assistance at 51.5% of the total users. The working poor are the second largest users of Canadian food banks at 13.6%. The third largest group are persons with disabilities. Families with children make up 50% of the food bank users and of that group 25% are single parent households. Senior citizens comprise 5.5% of the food bank users and an estimated tens of thousands of rural residents use food banks. If you consider these are just the numbers from food banks and do not include numbers from other agencies helping Canada's hungry, the number of those experiencing food insecurity and hunger in Canada are significant!

    This video was made as a University term project for a Community Food Security class towards completion of the producer's Geography degree. The video talks about hunger, poverty, and food security in Canada as well as highlights some of the possible solutions to the food insecurity and hunger problem in Canada.



    Across Canada household gardens have always been rather popular. Part of the solution to food insecurity and hunger in Canada is a resurgence of household gardens (Victory Gardens) similar to those during times of war. Urban gardening of any kind should be encouraged and municipalities should allow backyard chickens with restrictions as a way for those facing food insecurity and hunger to help themselves. Municipalities should also encourage and support community gardens for those wanting to grow some of their own foods who do not have any available growing space. Most importantly get involved as an individual to help stamp out hunger in Canada.


    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Ceremony to Honour Word War I Veterans


    image courtesy of National War Memorial


    A ceremony will be held April 9, 2010 at the National War Memorial located at Confederation Square in Ottawa, Ontario. The ceremony will honour the men and women of Canada who served in World War I. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 68,000 Canadians lost their lives in the conflict and more than 170,000 were injured. A special tribute will be given to John Babcock, the last remaining veteran of that war who died in February at the age of 109. Similar services will be held across Canada in honour of Vimy Ridge Day.


    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Algonquin Park Wolf Howl August 2008

    Canada is dotted with many beautiful Provincial and National Parks each offering gorgeous scenery and some offering overnight accommodations. The West Gate of Algonquin Provincial Park is located on Highway 60, 45 km east of Huntsville. The East Gate is located on Highway 60, 5 km west of Whitney. The vast majority of Algonquin Provincial Park lies to the north and northwest of Highway 60.

    We camped several times at Algonquin Provincial Park when our kids were younger. The first year we were in a pop-up trailer then the following years in a 28' travel trailer. We've had moose go through our campsite, bear traps beside our campsite, a bear tearing down a tent across from our campsite, did a lot of fishing and ate an abundance of wild blueberries. Algonquin was and still holds an amazing fascination for us. Absolutely nothing is more impressive than going to a wolf howl at Algonquin Park! After a bit of an introductory session that gives information about wolves everyone leaves to their vehicles and line up along both sides of the road where the wolf howl is to be held. There is a lot of chatter but when the signal is given it becomes dead silent! Then one of the co-ordinators will give a call. If wolves are in the area they will answer back. It seriously is one of the most awesome Canadian experiences you can have, one that will remain etched in your memory forever! Here is a video of the prep work and a wolf howl at Algonquin Park in 2008.