Travel news: Canada’s best restaurants, Halifax’s latest arts venue and California’s once-secret grove
Ticket to ride
Good news for those wanting to weekend in Niagara Falls without having to deal with traffic jams: GO Train’s summer service from Union Station to Niagara Falls is back, running on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays. Package deals — a round-trip GO Train ticket, plus access to Niagara’s WEGO hop-on, hop-off bus — start at $25 per adult. Or bring your bike: trains include on-board racks, and riders will disembark one block from the Niagara River Recreation Trail, a paved 53-kilometre path stretching along the river from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie.
The 2022 list of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants has just been announced, and for the first time, a Vancouver spot — Published on Main — tops the ranking. Another first: A Calgary eatery, Major Tom, has been named the country’s best new restaurant. The annual list is compiled by a team of 100 judges and tastemakers, who evaluate establishments on various criteria, including their ability to express a distinct connection to place through their menus. Major Tom, for example, partners with Alberta beef producers to make cuts aged to specification, while Published on Main features local native ingredients such as camomile, nettle and morel mushrooms.
East Coast arts
After a two-year delay, a new multidisciplinary arts and performance venue has just soft-launched in Halifax. Located in the former World Trade and Convention Centre, the Light House Arts Centre features a 750-seat performance hall, a dance studio, and a fully equipped TV studio, where “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” is now filmed. Upcoming events include craft fairs and esports competitions, alongside performances by fiddler Ashley MacIsaac and Canadian rock band the Sheepdogs. The centre’s official opening is scheduled for this fall.
Protecting ancient giants
A 400-metre boardwalk has opened in California’s Grove of Titans, providing access to the old-growth sequoias in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Forest for the first time in years. The $4-million (U.S.) project provides a low-impact way to access the area, which is home to 300-foot-tall redwoods believed to be over 1,500 years old. Once a secret, the grove’s location was geotagged in 2011, leading to an influx of visitors trampling native plants and causing erosion. The new elevated trail, built in consultation with the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, will protect sensitive understory growth and provide insight through interpretative signs and exhibits.
For the seventh year in a row, the small Mediterranean island nation of Malta has been named the most LGBTQ+-friendly destination in Europe by ILGA-Europe. The organization’s annual Rainbow Map and Index ranks 49 European countries on their legal practices and policies for LGBTI people, based on indicators such as gender recognition, hate speech, equality and non-discrimination policies. Denmark ranked second, while Belgium came in third.
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