Algonquin Park, Ontario

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Labor day weekend 2011, I was lucky enough to participate in a portaging trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. I have to say, while this was probably one of the most rewarding trips I’ve been on, it was definitely the hardest. We basically roughed it - carried our entire lives for 3 nights and 4 days (canoes, food, fishing equipment, backpacks, survival gear, all of it). No bathrooms, no people, and potentially bears. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t choose this type of experience over a more luxurious camping trip (and by that I mean grounds with an available outlet.. and maybe cell service) but I would recommend it to anyone seeking a more hands on/outdoor adventure. It’s definitely worth and anytime I can actually see the stars outside the city, I’m pretty pumped

Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto, Ontario

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I’ve been wanting to visit this aquarium since it opened, and I’m extremely glad I did. After reading the countless reviews on TripAdvisor I had some trepidation, but I would recommend this to anyone. From the time you walk in until the time you leave you’re completely immersed in an underwater experience. There’s countless interactive and educational features that only enhance the whole day. Some things to note: buy your ticket ahead of time! Otherwise, you can expect a few hours of standing in line. As well, go on a weekday or at least not on a holiday. I went over Christmas break and it wasn’t completely unbearable, but I definitely would have gotten more from the day had it been less busy. It was reasonably priced, with accessible parking, and it IS in Toronto so it would be a great addition to any day trip/weekend. However, the aquarium stands alone as an attraction, and would be well worth the trip out to Toronto. 

Hamilton, Ontario

Currently, it’s the goal of the Canadian government to encourage Canadians to discover everything our own country has to offer first, before turning elsewhere. That’s why, I’m always looking to explore Hamilton and the surrounding cities to find the beauty and exhilaration I so thoroughly enjoy. Luckily, Hamilton is considered the Waterfall Capital of the World, and there are plenty of amazing places right in your own backyard I’m sure. I implore you to look :D 

Featured photos: 

Lake Ontario, Burlington, Ontario
Hamilton Lookout, Dundas, Ontario
Hamilton Bayfront, Hamilton, Ontario
Dundas Conservation Area, Hamilton, Ontario

Kamloops, British Columbia

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This was my first humbling experience; basically the first time I realized there was so much more than just Hamilton… which I guess should have been pretty obvious to me before that but whatever. After a close friend moved across the country in grade 12, I was provided the unique opportunity to visit her for free. With flights and accommodation provided, I was able to completely enjoy this trip without feeling weighed down by the costs, risks, and all those other negative feelings. Not only was this my first trip without my parents, it was my first time out West. From the time I first caught a glimpse of the Rockies to the time I landed back in Hamilton, I was completely enthralled by the experience. With each transfer - airport to my friends house, her house to Kelowna, Kelowna to the resort, I legitimately just stared out the window. I remembering being completely revered by the landscape, and was pretty bummed by the flat, almost agricultural looking Hamilton when I got home. It was the first time I felt the urge to get out and see what else there is.