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Canadian Rockies

Pizzas & Patios: A Perfect Pair

Tav-Pizza-Hawiian

Photo courtesy of The Bear Street Tavern

 

By Afton Aikens 

“You can’t knock a good pizza,” says Kirk Thomson, executive chef of Banff’s Bear Street Tavern. The restaurant’s ‘Ridiculously Good Pizza’ has been featured on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here.

Their secret? “Our pizzas are made from scratch with the best premium ingredients you can find,” Thomson explains. The dough is made fresh daily with olive oil from Italy, the cheese is shredded daily, and quality plum tomatoes and fresh basil elevate the flavours.

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5 Myths About Ticks, Plus Tick Safety Tips

By Karen Ung

It’s tick season, so those of us playing in the great outdoors need to be aware of where ticks hang out, and cover up and do tick checks after hiking. Remember, not all ticks carry Lyme disease, so there’s no need to panic if you find a tick attached to you. Be sure to remove it, though!

MythsAboutTicks

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Canadian Rockies Entertainment: Favourite Events

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Inspired Outdoor Shows

Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:

  • Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
  • Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
  • Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).

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Mingle with Locals at the Canmore Mountain Market

On Thursday, June 11, the sun was shining during the first Canmore Mountain Market of the season. Vendors from Canmore and the surrounding area came to peddle their wares, drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike.

The Raven and The Fox provided entertainment, filling the market with singer Julie Chang’s melodious voice and acoustic guitarist Sean Isaac’s accompaniment. The duo played a few of their original songs and covered bands including Guns N’ Roses and Damien Rice.

Spring brings an abundance of new seasonal fruits and vegetables, which were out in force. Fresh and colourful produce filled every corner of the market. Favourites like crunchy sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and black kale sat beside baskets of beautiful strawberries, raspberries, cherries and grapes. Interesting additions include garlic scapes and heirloom eggplants.

Red, orange, yellow and green peppers provided a rainbow of healthy snacks. Photo by Ashley Materi

Red, orange, yellow and green peppers provided a rainbow of healthy snacks. Photo by Ashley Materi

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Where to Eat & Drink in Jasper this Summer

By Where Staff

Jasper has many delicious restaurants (check out our Jasper Dining Guide for more extensive options by category). Here are some of our favourites:

Photo: Courtesy of Cassios

Photo: Courtesy of Cassios

Italian dining delights include:

  • Orso Trattoria is the new northern Italian restaurant at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Their Osso Bucco is a standout dish – this tender veal Milanese specialty is marinated for 24 hours, red wine braised and served on saffron risotto. “I’ve never seen a single bite left behind,” says Trattoria manager Virginia Letourneau. Their antipasti selection includes cured meats and cheeses from Italy.
  • Cassios Italian Restaurant is the namesake of a family that’s been in the restaurant business for 60+ years, and offers more delicious Italian dining. Tomato sauce, from an old family recipe, incorporates ripe California tomatoes, oregano, garlic and Italian parsley; it’s the staple ingredient in their classic Pomodoro spaghetti and Pescatore linguini. “The secret to great flavours is not to overcook,” advises owner/chef Mike Cassio.

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Family Fun in Bow Valley Provincial Park

By Karen Ung

Bow Valley Provincial Park is the perfect family-friendly mountain destination. With panoramic views and scenic trails, there is fun for all ages. Whether you hike the interpretive trails and do some geocaching, go fishing, have a picnic, bike the Bow Valley bike path or paddle the Kananaskis River, you will have a great day.

Parents of young children will appreciate the short trails with minimal elevation gain, benches along the trails for snack breaks and washrooms at every parking lot.

Over two separate visits we explored five trails in the area and liked them all. Join us on a mini tour of Bow Valley Provincial Park!

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Water’s Wonders: Canadian Rockies Glaciers, Rivers, Falls and Lakes

Your summer playground

By Afton Aikens

For many visitors—and locals on a staycation—the Canadian Rockies are synonymous with big mountain skiing, hiking to pristine alpine lakes and countless other outdoor pursuits like canoeing and fishing on waterways surrounded by towering peaks.

Photo: Bow Lake, Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Bow Lake, Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

While we’re far from the coast, much of the lifestyle here revolves around water. We glide on it, we climb its frozen form, and yes, we swim in it (for a short window during summer). We photograph and admire its beauty.

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The Canadian Rockies’ Southern Jewel: Waterton Lakes National Park

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

From the Trans-Canada Hwy between Calgary and Canmore, drive south through rolling hills on Alberta’s Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22) to Waterton Lakes National Park.

While smaller than Banff and Jasper national parks, Waterton’s beauty is just as impressive. Explore the park with these locals’ suggestions:

RedRock

Scenic Drives

  • The Bison Paddock Loop Road is just inside the park boundary off Hwy 6. Watch for these majestic animals from a viewing platfom near the paddock.
  • At the Red Rock Parkway, prairie and mountain landscapes meet. See colourful rocks at Red Rock Canyon and take a shady forest walk to thundering Blakiston Falls.

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Canadian Rockies Sightseeing Walks & Bike Routes

Photo: Mount Norquay's North American Chairlift

Photo: Mount Norquay’s North American Chairlift

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

These gondola and chairlift rides promise peak rewards for little effort:

  • Mount Norquay: The historic North American Chairlift glides to boardwalk views of Mount Rundle, the Banff townsite, the Bow and Spray valleys, and if you’re lucky, a resident bruin family.
  • Banff Gondola: Soar up Sulphur Mountain for a 1-km boardwalk stroll to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site.
  • Lake Louise Gondola & Restaurant: Rise up Mount Whitehorn over grizzly habitat to an incredible Temple Mountain and Victoria Glacier view, and guided interpretive bear walks.

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Meet our Contributors

The summer issue of Where Canadian Rockies is almost all wrapped up and ready to hit stands! We thought we’d introduce our wonderful contributors who live and play in these mountains:

Olivia Grecu

Olivia

Our summer magazine editorial intern, Olivia was a fantastic addition to our team. We miss her around the office!

In addition to being a stellar writer and communications professional, Olivia is a Calgarian who loves having the Rockies in her backyard. This summer, after summiting Ha Ling Peak or Mount Yamnuska she plans to savour a house made brew on the Grizzly Paw patio.

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Top 5 Spring Activities for Families in Banff

By Karen Ung

Whether you have babies or big kids, Banff National Park is fun. We go at least once a month, so my four- and- five-year-old daughters have got packing down to an art, and are usually first in the car anticipating our next adventure. Here are some of my girls’ favourite spring things to do in Banff.

Image courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Image courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

  1. Johnston Canyon 1.2 km to Lower Falls; 2.4 km to Upper Falls, 120 m elevation gain

Johnston Canyon is a beautiful destination year round with a series of picturesque waterfalls and catwalks. Children three and up can easily manage the flat hike to Lower Falls. Families with older children may continue on to Upper Falls to see even higher falls.

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4 Favourite Jasper Restaurants

Photo: Courtesy of Jasper's Earls in the Rockies

Photo: Courtesy of Jasper’s Earls in the Rockies

By Afton Aikens

Daily Brunch

Every day is like a weekend at Jasper’s Earls in the Rockies, the only local restaurant to offer a brunch menu alongside the regular menu seven days a week (10:30 am to 2 pm). “The top seller is chorizo mushroom hash,” says owner Rob Olson. Skip the coffee for one of three brunch drinks, including a Baesar with beer, clamato juice and signature Caesar spices.

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