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Insider

50 Things We Love About Vancouver’s Granville Island

By JILL VON SPRECKEN and SHERI RADFORD

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

Want to explore False Creek on your way to Granville Island? Take the Aquabus mini ferry. (Photo by Dominic Schaefer)

1. Commuting via Aquabus or False Creek Ferries.

2. SeaVillage, a charming collection of floating homes.

3. Browsing for fresh produce, bread and seafood in the Granville Island Public Market.

4. Spotting orcas with Wild Whales Vancouver.

5. Ocean Concrete, the oldest and largest tenant on the island. It’s been there since 1917.

6. Edible Canada at the Market, with its fresh regional fare on the menu, plus foodie tours and a gourmet artisan retail shop.

7. Watching buskers perform: musicians, jugglers, magicians and more.

8. Hand-pressed, hand-bottled sake from Artisan SakeMaker.

9. Splashing around in the Granville Island Waterpark.

10. Watching artisans hard at work in their studios.

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Moveable Feast: Dine Out Vancouver Is Back

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Bring your appetite—and make a reservation—because Dine Out Vancouver, the city’s delectable annual festival, is back for its 12th year

Plated & Paired Market

Plated & Paired event. (Photo: Tourism Vancouver)

Fresh West Coast seafood, spot-on sushi and ethnic fusion—the list of cuisine to sample here whets any appetite. The annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival (Jan. 17 to Feb. 2) raises a glass to the city’s cutting-edge culinary scene with 17 days of great events and tempting three-course prix fixe menus priced at $18, $28 and $38. With hundreds of participating restaurants—from casual cafes to bustling bistros to elegant dining rooms—Canada’s largest restaurant festival is a unique and wallet-friendly way to sample Vancouver’s top-notch dining spots.

Find the full menu of eateries and their offerings starting Jan. 6 on the festival website, and filter the options by price, location and cuisine. Or close your eyes and let fate decide. Whatever way you choose, be sure to act quickly—seats at the city’s most popular restaurants fill up fast. Hungry for more? Dig into the many food-and-drink-themed festival events to learn about the region’s cuisine, sip local craft beer, partake in the food cart scene and tour the best brunch spots, just to start.

For more information and events, visit dineoutvancouver.com/events.

11 Things Travellers Will Love About the New American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card [SPONSORED]

American Express AIR MILES Reserve CardWhere Canada is proud to partner with American Express and AIR MILES to introduce the Reserve Card. This new credit card offers so many premium travel benefits to Cardmembers, that we thought we’d highlight a few of the best for you! Below, check out 11 of the many things to love about the new American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card.

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Best Restaurants in Canada to Open in 2012

Best Restaurants in Canada—Vancouver

The Vancouver pick on our list of the best restaurants in Canada to open last year (Photo: KK Law)

Where magazine’s Best Restaurants in Canada is an annual award program that celebrates the top dining establishments to open in the past year. Recognizing some of the best restaurants in Canada from coast to coast, this award serves as the highest recommendation from the editors of Where. One amazing eatery from each of the Where regions is highlighted below in the Best Restaurants in Canada 2012 list—Calgary, Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Halifax, Muskoka-Parry Sound, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. From classic comfort foods to refined fusion fare, this year’s selection offers a range of cuisines that’s as diverse as the regions they come from.

See Where’s picks for the best restaurants in Canada to open in 2012 » 

Hannah Georgas Tours Canada: Q&A With Vancouver’s Irrepressible Singer-Songwriter

Vancouver’s Hannah Georgas on tour

With her self-titled new album and tour, Hannah Georgas is turning over a new leaf. Gone are the acoustic guitar-tinged folk melodies of the Canadian indie darling’s previous efforts The Beat Stuff and This Is Good; on Hannah Georgas (and on her current tour), you will find catchy melodies and synth-infused electronic beats. But though the album’s influences seem endless – everything from Foals to John Maus to Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen – the songs are still undeniably Hannah. They may indicate a slightly darker and more self-assured musician, but the impeccable musical and lyrical stylings that earned her a 2011 Juno nomination for “Songwriter of the Year” remain perfectly intact. Where Ottawa‘s Erica Eades sat down with Hannah Georgas on day three of her cross-Canada tour in support of fellow Canadian five-piece Mother Mother.

Read the full Q&A, in which Hannah Georgas discusses her tour, her process and her inspiration »

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Best Stargazing Spots at TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival

By KAREN CLEVELAND

There are better ways to spot celebs at TIFF than by waiting behind the red-carpet ropes (Photo: Christopher Harte)

Toronto is truly at its finest when it plays host to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) each September. The streets buzz with pride as locals share their favourite haunts with an influx of visitors. And while stars are masters at surreptitiously sneaking through the streets unnoticed, frequenting some key spots just might increase the odds of finding yourself accidentally-on-purpose across the room from your most admired luminary. (more…)

Montreal Wine Bars: 6 Best Bets

By LESLEY TRITES

Bocata (Photo: Riccardo Cellere)

When it comes to wine, there’s no better place than Montreal to try something a little off the beaten track. Well-crafted wine lists abound at chic spots in this city full of sommeliers. Just ask for la carte des vins at one of these top wine bars.

Drink in Montreal’s best wine bars »

Lesley Trites writes about wine at Girlonwine.com

Not Your Average Airport Hotel: Vancouver’s Fairmont YVR

By TIM JOHNSON

It wasn’t so long ago that airport hotels were notorious for their mediocrity, one-and-done affairs that (sometimes) offered a decent night of sleep—and little more—to travellers who were interested in just one thing: being close to the airport. (more…)

5 Fabulous Cupcake Shops in Montreal

By LAUREN CRACOWER

Inniya's Cupcakes (Photo: Lauren Cracower)

Cupcakes are beyond the “trend” phase in most cities but are no less popular, having proven their staying power and become an institution on the culinary scene. Now it’s all about individual takes on the venerable sweet treat: inventive new combinations that transcend red velvet and chocolate buttercream frosting.

Here’s a mouthwatering look at our top five favourite cupcake boutiques in Montreal. (more…)

Avoid the Tourist Traps with 5 Unusual Tours

By SANAM ISLAM

Foodlab, a stop on the Local Montreal tour (Photo: Sébastien Roy)

Bored of the CN Tower and Parliament Hill? Already seen Mont-Royale and the Vancouver skyline? If you’ve been to the usual tourist spots and want to explore new sights the next time you travel or you’re simply looking to rediscover your city, check out our list of unique tours across the country that are guaranteed to give you a fresh perspective.

Start the slideshow » (more…)

7 Canadian Literary Locales We Love

By AMANDA HALM

For fans of Anne, a trip to PEI for the many Anne of Green Gables sites is a necessity (Photo: Jenna MacMillian as "Anne of Green Gables" Tourism PEI / Barrett & MacKay)

Take your summer reading plans on the road: Walk in the footsteps of a memorable character or see where prolific poets spent their early years at one of these seven literary destinations across Canada. (more…)

Editor’s Picks: Best Choices for Mother’s Day 2012

Victoria Conservatory of Music Garden (Photo: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe)

Victoria

Mother’s Day Paint-In
At this arts and crafts fair at Hatley Park National Historic Site, browse the works of local artists, purchase plants and locally made jewellery, food items or beauty products and more. Other diversions include bands, face-painting for kids and tours of the historic Hatley Castle and gardens.
Hatley Park, 2005 Sooke Rd., 250-391-2666; May 13, 10–4; May 12 and 13, 10–4; free. (more…)