News releases

Travel experts unveil Canada’s top 13 must-experience winter places

Vancouver, BC, Feb. 8, 2010 Olympic fever and national pride hits an all-time high as Canada prepares to welcome the world for the 2010 Winter Games. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), guided by a panel of five of Canada’s esteemed travel experts, has unveiled a list of the nation’s Top 13 Must-Experience NOW Winter places. The 13 spots come from the CTC’s user-generated website,, where Canadians “in the know” have been uploading their great unknown spots daily in the hopes of inspiring their nation to keep exploring and to “discover the Canada you don’t know.”

“In true Olympic spirit, local residents have shared their favourite experiences from their own backyard with us in the hopes of fuelling excitement across this country. This unique list highlights Canada’s incredible contribution to the world as a leading winter tourism destination. It doesn’t get better than that!”says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC.

After screening over 500 winter travel submissions with the Canadian Tourism Commission on, francophone travel blogger Marie-Julie Gagnon, respected travel writer and editor Liz Fleming, witty travel author Laurie Gough, plus travel television personalities Bruce Kirkby and Robin Esrock identified their top 13 spots for best off-the-beaten-path experiences that are compelling, inspirational and memorable.

Canadians are now being encouraged to view the 13 spots and outdo those on the list by uploading their own unique travel gems for a chance to win a Canadian trip of a lifetime. All Canadians who upload their favourite winter-themed spot, complete with photo and description, to between Feb. 8 and March 21, 2010, will be entered to win one of 13 exceptional Canadian getaway prizes. The contest, entitled “LOCALS KNOW Ultimate Upload – WIN an exclusive vacation with Air Canada,” will award 13 lucky winners an exclusive VIP experiential vacation package, donated by Air Canada and Canada’s tourism industry. Complete contest details are available at   

The 13 Must-Experience NOW Winter spots as picked by the panel of experts are:

BRITISH COLUMBIAFairy Meadows, Selkirk RangesNestled on the mountainside and accessible by helicopter is the splendid Alpine Club of Canada’s hut. Its interior even features a sauna.

ALBERTA:  The Swing at Banff, Banff Hung between two large trees on the side of a mountain, this giant swing is quite a thrill both in the winter and summer.  

SASKATCHEWAN:  Big River Shiver, Big River – It’s the Big River Shiver Polar Bear Swim, complete with sleigh rides, snowmobiling and ice fishing – an event for true Canadians.  Take a dive into the lake on a day when the wind-chill is -40 degrees, then warm up with hot chocolate by the bon fires.  

MANITOBA:  Bank of Hudson Bay, Hudson Bay – Polar bear watching out of Churchill – watching them cavort with things like caribou antlers is like watching a cat with catnip. 

ONTARIOSkating on the Sky, Providence Bay – Experience pond hockey on Lake Huron as it’s frozen over like a sheet of glass – it can feel like a magical winter day.

QUEBECIceberg near Aupaluk in Ungava Bay – Take in the amazing pastel colours of sunsets in the Great North amid the icebergs near Aupaluk, Ungava Bay. 

NEW BRUNSWICKSaint John’s Best Kept Sliding Spot, Saint John – Each year, hundreds of people come out to test new sleds on the notorious sliding hill at the Saint John airport. When conditions are just right, the 200-300 foot drop provides quite a thrill.

NOVA SCOTIA:  Winter Surfing in Nova Scotia, Cow Bay – Catch a wave on a nor-eastern swell – winter surfing in Nova Scotia.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND:  Blooming Point, Blooming Point – Enjoy a sunny winter day out snowshoeing near Tracadie Bay.

NEWFOUNDLANDCodroy Valley, Codroy Valley – The views of the long-range mountains in Codroy Valley are breathtaking.

YUKONYukon River, Whitehorse – Take in the serene backdrop of the mountains against the Yukon River.

NORTH WEST TERRITORIES:  Igloo Church of the North, Inuvik – High in the Arctic Circle, this famous Igloo Church of the North defines Inuvik and the Beaufort Delta region, and brings warmth in a wonderfully breathtaking winter environment.

NUNAVUT:  Cape Dorset/Kinngait, Cape Dorset – Hailed as the most artistic community in Canada, Cape Dorset is the “Capital of Inuit Art” with 22 per cent of its labour force employed in the arts.  This spot has been the centre for drawing, printmaking and carving since the 1950s.

To upload your favourite hidden gem and win the Canadian trip of a lifetime visit:


Fact Sheet

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LOCALS KNOW is a national, integrated advertising campaign comprised of print, online, social media and TV that has been made possible by special stimulus funding from the Government of Canada. The CTC is investing $10 million per year over two fiscal years to support the tourism industry and stimulate Canada’s economy.
About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in twelve countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.



For more information, please contact:

Keka DasGupta
Account Director
DDB Public Relations
Tel / 416-972-7727
E-mail keka [dot] dasgupta [at] can [dot] ddbpr [dot] com

Kelly Laver
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel / 604-638-8439
E-mail laver [dot] kelly [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca