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You've just got to see the Library of Parliament, located within the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ranked as one of the "7 Wonder of Canada," but more famously recognized as the "most beautiful room in Canada," the library is the only remaining piece of the original 1876 Parliament building, surviving the destructive 1916 fire thanks to iron fire doors. Inside are 1 million documents and 11 miles of books and, up until very recently, a "no cameras" zone.
Visitors to the Library fall into one of two groups: members of Parliament and their staff, or members of there public making the official (and free!) Parliament tour. The latter would find themselves disappointed by a major rule: photography was strictly prohibited if the room had anyone in it, either staff or politician. Occasionally a weekend tour would get lucky and find an empty library, but viewing the room with all its lights on, a librarian stationed, and in active use brings out the spirit of the space.
Canada's old passport under a black light
Traditionally, how cool your passport is has to do with how worldly you are, aka, how many fancy stamps you have. But in the case of Canada's passport, the opposite may be true.
For at least the last two versions, our friends up North have been designing a passport where the addition of a stamp may deface what really makes it shine: When put under a black light, vivid colors appear and create a psychedelic party. Check out the images below:
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If you’re sick of the slopes this winter there’s a different kind of run to get your adrenaline going—the bobsled run. The tracks are few and far between, and it looks like there’s actually only a handful doing their thing within the United States and Canada—at least according to Wikipedia.
No experience necessary, as they’re eager to welcome newcomers and adventure seekers alike. So without further ado here’s the four spots where you can ride in a bobsled this winter:
Like we said, if hitting the slopes isn’t getting a little boring there’s always the bobsled run. Now through December 19 they’re even offering up a deal. Only $129.50 will get you a ride down the 2002 Olympic track, and of course the ultimate bragging rights to friends on social media. It’s all part of Utah Olympic Park—book online right here.
It seems like everyone in travel advertising these days is trying to tug on heart strings. Expedia regularly makes ads about how travel can bring families and lovers together. Their late summer campaign even managed to rope in Throwback Thursday nostalgia. A little while ago the Enjoy Illinois campaign made an ad that was almost too cutesy, but had so much charm that Buzzfeed described it as "honestly, the best state tourism ad ever created." KLM's recent puppy Lost & Found ad made people melt. Even when attempts go spectacularly awry - as so famously happened with Sinagpore's grating couples ad - the intent is still there.
The one consistent exception has been Kayak, which does in a very technical sense produce ads that have to do with families, though not the way you'd think. But that company has a long history of posting videos produced by people who were seemingly tripping balls, so no one really counts them.
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There once was a time long, long ago when we breathlessly reported the globe-hopping antics of the reality TV show Amazing Race. Alas, we gave up after Season 18 and, now that they're still going strong with what surely must be Season 81, all the Amazing Race excitement fails to raise even an eyebrow.
That is, until we heard about Amazing Race Canada.
The competitors north of the border are the usual mix of cutesy couples, inspiring athletes, and curmudgeonly strange bedfellows; the destinations are as exotic and far-flung as ever; alas, it's the grand prize that's worth sitting up for.
The winning team of Amazing Race Canada's Season 2 will receive $250,000 CAD, two Chevrolet Silverados, gas for life from Petro-Canada, and a year of unlimited Business Class travel on Air Canada.
When it rains, it pours. This is especially true for our friends in Canada, since the aviation game up there is rife with low-cost carriers this year. It began with Air Canada Rouge earlier this year and, just Monday, we brought you the news of Jet Naked; now we announce the dreams of a start-up named Jetlines
Similar to that "airline in the buff," Jetlines is planning to bring a bare bones approach to air travel in Canada. With fares 40% less than the two dominant carriers, the airline plans charge for carry-ons, food, drink, seat selection, and any other extras. It also plans to offer specialized in-flight services such as nannies and iPad rental, obviously both at a premium cost.
There's some potentially exciting budget news coming from north of the border, thanks to Canada's newest low-cost airline and its super cheeky name. Jet Naked Airlines plans to take to the skies soon, saving Canucks a few 'loonies' along the way.
The airline is actually considered an ultra-low-cost carrier as, just like Spirit and Frontier, it will charge for every little thing you might need to take a flight, including carry-on baggage. Boeing 737s will do zipping between provinces, and Jet Naked is promising ticket prices about 40% less than Air Canada or WestJet.
Just over a week ago, we gave you 11 benefits that train travel still has over the airline experience. Right on time, VIA Rail, Canada's national rail network, revealed the results of a $1 billion government investment in the form of a new "Prestige Class" on the Canadian, one of the network's flagship trains that runs between Toronto and Vancouver.
As the name would suggest, the highlights of the new Prestige Class provide passengers with a luxury experience, including personalized service, a cabin with 50% more space and bigger windows compared to the Sleeper Plus class, private bathroom with shower, flat-screen TV with on-demand, and a minibar. We're assuming that meals are also included in the rate (as they are for the Sleeper Plus Class), but those details have yet to come out. The first two photos in this post show the bedroom and sitting area of the new cabins, and you can take a virtual tour here.
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Now and then we have shared some praise for the planes and people over at Porter Airlines, but today we’ve got a little bit of bad news. Plenty of the in-flight freebies and customer service are still there, but it looks like bringing that bag along is going to cost you—and it’s a first for carriers up in Canada.
Baggage fees have crossed the border, and Porter Airlines is the first carrier to start implementing them on routes within Canada. Domestic travelers will have to shell out $25 for the right to check their first bag, but fortunately it does look like carry-on bags will continue to be complimentary.
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Canada is psyched.
Why? Well, simply because they've finally received a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to call their very owntheir first 787 landed in Toronto on Sunday, fresh from Boeingand the campaign to promote it is one of the most endearing airline projects yet.
It begins with Air Canada's 787 slogan, "Everything You Dreamed Of," and continues to slick promises like, "All Jet. No Lag."
Beyond the snazzy photos of interiors and that icy blue livery, however, we're most in love with a touching video series introducing the aircraft with a sentimentality that's so delightfully Canadian.
Air Canada has 37 Dreamliners on order, and an incredible 15 of them will hit the skies come this autumn, with the full lot delivered by 2019.
In the above "Born to Fly" video, the experience of such a technologically advanced aircraft is paired with the journey of one Air Canada 787 First Officer to his spot in the right seat. With it, Air Canada is answering a question we always find ourselves asking those lucky enough to sit up front in a brand new airplane: "where did this passion of yours originate?"
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Canada Parks is the group behind the new idea, as they’re responsible for keeping the signs looking good and taking out the tourist trash across almost 50 national parks and even more historic sites. Now they’re taking steps to improve the outdoor experience—at least in theory—as they’ll be installing WiFi hotspots across plenty of destinations.
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Just a few months ago we filled you in on the awesomeness that is the new ferry service planned between Maine and Nova Scotia, and now we have a little more information about when things will start cruising across the Atlantic just shy of the Bay of Fundy.
The back and forth between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia will all happen thanks to the Nova Star Ferry, beginning on May 15. Now that departures and arrivals are finally on the schedule, travelers can now view the ferry fares.