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The WHERE List: Canada’s Top Ten New Attractions for Summer 2009

Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton (Photo: Darren Kirby)

From coast to coast Where Editors have chosen the best new or improved attractions in the country. From dramatic glass pyramids in the prairies to canopied aerial bridges in the rain forest to exploring the wonders of the ocean, these are attractions you won’t want to miss.

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre – Victoria, British Columbia
At the new Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, explore the wonders of the Salish Sea, the name given to the inside waters off Vancouver Island. Designed to appeal to all ages, visitors can chat with knowledgeable Oceaneers about the wonders of the ocean and enjoy “hands on/hands wet” experiences, surrounded by massive aquarium habitats showcasing hundreds of fish, invertebrates and marine plants.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway – Vancouver, British Columbia
Walking the nine aerial bridges of the Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden is a unique experience; from high in the forest canopy, it’s possible to see unusual insects and birds. You don’t have to be a daredevil to enjoy this eco-attraction, which opened last year, but you can’t fear heights: the 308m (1,010ft) walkway tops out at more than 17.5m (57ft) off the ground.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Whistler (Photo: roaming-the-planet)

Peak 2 Peak Gondola – Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler’s new $52-million Peak 2 Peak Gondola boasts the world’s longest unsupported lift span. State-of-the-art 28-person cabins travel a 4.4km (2.7mi), 11-minute journey between the two mountains, affording a spectacular view to all on-board.

Stoney Nakoda Resort – Morley, East of Canmore, Alberta
Nestled on the eastern edge of the Canadian Rockies, Stoney Nakoda Resort offers Vegas-style gaming while the 111-room hotel boasts an indoor waterpark and meeting facilities. Along with a restaurant, café and sports lounge, guests can also catch live entertainment and dinner shows.

Gasoline Alley Museum at Heritage Park Historical Village – Calgary, Alberta
In the last year, Heritage Park Historical Village has expanded their size from 66 acres to 127 acres, and added five new attractions, including the Gasoline Alley Museum. The museum is made up of a $5 million collection of restored vintage cars, gas pumps and paraphernalia.

The Muttart Conservatory – Edmonton, Alberta
Four glass pyramids in Edmonton’s lush river valley make up The Muttart Conservatory, home to a spectacular display of flowers and vegetation. Newly expanded and renovated for 2009–with more educational program space as well as a gift shop and cozy cafeteria–it’s a memorable destination for all ages.

The West End BIZ Mural Tours – Winnipeg, Manitoba
The West End BIZ Mural Tours’ stunning outdoor mural galleries tell visitors about the West End, one of Winnipeg’s oldest neighbourhoods. Stories about the area’s prominent people, culture and heritage are depicted, while tour guides share related facts and history.

Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa (Photo: Douglas Sprott)

Art Gallery of Ontario – Toronto, OntarioThe Art Gallery of Ontario has undergone a massive redesign by famed architect Frank Gehry completed in late 2008. An additional 97,000 square feet means striking visuals abound in both edifice and artwork: rooms devoted to the ambitious Thomson Collection–Canadian paintings, European objets d’art, First Nations works and much more.

Canada Aviation Museum – Ottawa, Ontario
When the Canada Aviation Museum opened at Ottawa’s Uplands Airport in 1960, it contained a small collection of aircraft owned by the Canadian government. Nearly 50 years later, it houses over 130 aircraft and artifacts celebrating aeronautical achievements. After some recent major renovations, the museum has emerged as one of the most esteemed institutions in Ottawa, and a major player on the world stage, even hosting the Genie Awards in April.

Murphy’s Cable Wharf – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Although Murphy’s has been a landmark on the Halifax waterfront for years, 2009 saw dramatic changes. The restaurant, store and tour operator is now known as Murphy’s Cable Wharf. The restaurant is now open year-round, and the $1.6-million facelift includes a catch-your-own lobster tank, an interpretive walkway along the wharf and a tank showcasing local marine life.