The great outdoors
Interzip Rogers: Billed as “the world’s first interprovincial zip line,” Interzip Rogers is slated to start linking Ottawa and Gatineau this summer. As well as providing an aerial alternative to the nearby Portage and Chaudière bridges, the 425-metre-long twin cables will offer unique views of Parliament Hill and its surroundings from 37 metres above the churning Ottawa River.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park: As part of a $40-million renewal project announced in 2017, this First Nations cultural centre north of Saskatoon is partnering with Parks Canada to reintroduce bison to their prairie habitat. About 240 hectares have been set aside to grow the herd from the six animals being introduced in 2020. Several enhanced and expanded exhibits, galleries and educational offerings are also expected to be unveiled as Wanuskewin pursues its 2018 application to become Saskatchewan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Head-Line Mountain Holidays’ Snowcoach: Starting this winter, this B.C. tour operator is offering interpretive tours of the Pemberton Icefield in a snowcat uniquely topped with a Cirrus 820 Camper. Equipped with a stargazing-friendly skylight, washroom, double bed and compact kitchen, the Snowcoach is being incorporated into snowmobile excursions and tours of the labyrinthine ice caves beneath Canada’s southernmost ice cap.
Goose River Trail: The original cart path connecting the New Brunswick logging villages of Goose River and Point Wolfe has been reborn as an 11.3-kilometre hiking trail crossing the picturesque highlands of Fundy National Park. Several backcountry campsites are available along the rugged route, which links up with the Fundy Footpath, a 41-km trek traversing the longest undeveloped stretch of coastline on the Eastern Seaboard.
Golden Adventure Park: Spanning the Hospital Creek canyon just outside Golden, B.C., this towering complex is slated to include 110- and 200-metre-long suspension bridges, a bungee jump and bungee swing, several lookout platforms and a network of walking trails with interpretive signage. Ownership aims to open the park as early as this spring.
Vipère, La Ronde, Montreal: Said to be Canada’s first free-fly roller coaster, Vipère’s seats jut out sideways from the track, allowing riders to tumble through space from a starting height of 33 metres.
Galaxyland powered by Hasbro, West Edmonton Mall: The grand opening of Canada’s first Hasbro-themed amusement park is scheduled for the winter of 2020. Galaxyland will remain open while toy and game brands such as My Little Pony, Monopoly, G.I. Joe, Nerf, Play-Doh, Battleship and Operation are incorporated into more than 25 rides, games, attractions and retail and dining venues across North America’s largest indoor amusement park.
Terra Lumina, Toronto Zoo: Running until April, this new multimedia night walk from Montreal-based Moment Factory explores humankind’s relationship with nature through interactive displays, light, sound, scenography, music and video projection.
Brind’O Aquaclub, Mont Tremblant: This Laurentian ski resort’s new $3.8-million aquatic complex features four water slides, 35 interactive games, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness and training centre.
Mountain Bay Cliffs, Canada’s Wonderland: One of the newest additions to Canada’s largest theme park will see guests leap from ledges that top out at 7.5 metres above the Splash Works pools below.
Creactive, Vaughan Mills: Originally scheduled to open last September, the first Creactive entertainment centre outside a Club Med resort is now slated to open in the GTA’s Vaughan Mills outlet mall in 2020. The 24,000-square-foot Cirque du Soleil playground will offer circus-inspired activities such as bungee jumping, aerial parkour, trampolines, mask design and juggling.
Frank’N Coaster: Featuring coffin-themed cars – all the better to terrify you with — this 229-metre-long rooftop roller coaster aims to open atop Niagara Falls’ 2.5-storey House of Frankenstein this spring.
Rest, relaxation and Riesling
Nordik Spa Whitby: Now slated to open next December after a year-long delay, this $20-million spa complex will be the third from Quebec’s Nordik Group and the first in Ontario. The 385,423-square-foot facility will include hot, cold and saltwater flotation pools, saunas, steam rooms, various massage and resting areas and two restaurants.
Elkhorn Nordic Spa: This sybaritic addition to the upscale resort just outside Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park is set to open this fall. It will feature steam and dry saunas, two hot tubs, temperate and cold plunge pools, fireplaces, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas and a 65-seat restaurant.
AeroponLeaf Canada Adult Destination Facility: This company’s plans to transform a defunct forestry site near Bancroft, Ont., into a licensed cannabis-growing facility and themed resort could bear fruit as early as this fall with the opening of guest accommodations and 10,000 square feet of cultivation space.
Phantom Creek Estates: Ahead of its grand opening in April, this winery on the Okanagan’s Black Sage Bench is offering 90-minute tasting tours of its vineyards and barrel cellar.
Festivals and events
Manitoba 150: Celebrations surrounding the sesquicentennial of the Manitoba Act will encompass everything from a travelling “Tour 150” exhibition from the Winnipeg Art Gallery to a free June 27 concert on the Manitoba Legislative grounds. Said to feature “some of Manitoba’s greatest musicians – past, present, and future,” the concert’s full lineup will be released in May, as will the exhibition tour schedule.
Sun Peaks Wine & Food Festival: With the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society’s renowned Winter Festival on hiatus as it seeks a new venue, this ski resort north of Kamloops is taking matters into its own hands from March 5 to 8. The new fest’s 14 events will include “Pinots and Poses,” a yoga and wine experience; and “Ribs and Reds,” a five-course pairing of meat and some of B.C.’s most celebrated red wines.
Montreal Snow Festival: Espace 67, Parc Jean-Drapeau's new $73.4-million event site on St. Helen’s Island, will host this wintry weekend fest for the first time from Jan. 18 to Feb. 9. The more expansive venue will allow for 16 tubing lanes to be set up, along with a 300-metre refrigerated skating path along the wooded banks of the Saint Lawrence River.
New and revamped digs
OPUS Hotel Versante: This Vancouver-based boutique hotelier aims to open its second property in mid-2020. A few minutes by car from Vancouver International Airport, the mid-rise Richmond hotel will include 110 guest rooms, a restaurant and a “sky bar” lounge.
W Toronto: Canada’s second W Hotel is expected to open this summer just east of Yonge Street in downtown Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville neighbourhood. The nine-storey, 255-room luxury property will feature a glass elevator that will carry guests to a rooftop restaurant and bar.
The Arts Hotel, Charlottetown: Scheduled to open in May, this 80-room downtown property is located on the former site of the famed Myron’s nightclub and will offer a guest lounge and café named after Salvador Dali.
June Motel & Swim Club: The moteliers behind the four-year-old June Motel in Ontario’s Prince Edward County aim to bring the same kind of retro style to the sandy shores of Sauble Beach, Ont., when this 24-room motor lodge opens this spring.
Mount Alverno Resort & Retreat: Formerly the bucolic site of a Franciscan retreat, this luxury resort in the Caledon Hills just east of Orangeville, Ont., will celebrate its coming-out party on May 2 when it hosts the Headwaters Black & White Gala. Mount Alverno will be home to 33 rooms, suites and chalets, a 180-seat restaurant and 80-seat lounge, a wellness centre and 26,000 square feet of event space.
Camping and glamping
Snowforest Campground, Mount Revelstoke National Park: Along with 62 tenting and RV sites, this B.C. preserve’s first frontcountry campground will be home to a trio of walled MicrOcube units when it opens this summer.
Ontario Parks goes to the dogs: For $20 a night as of April 1, dogs can stay in select yurts and cabins in 14 Ontario provincial parks.
Museums, exhibits and entertainment
Métis Crossing Cultural Gathering Centre: Right next door to central Alberta’s Victoria District National Historic Site, Métis Crossing’s new 10,000-square-foot facility is slated to open in June. It will be home to exhibits, classrooms and meeting spaces, as well as fireplace-equipped lounge areas where visitors can relax after taking part in Métis experiences such as snowshoeing, crafting, roasting bannock and paddling down the North Saskatchewan River in a voyageur canoe.
Heritage Park Natural Resources Area: Opening in stages this summer, the newest attraction in Calgary’s historical village will focus on the history of Alberta’s natural resources. A replica of the Dingman Discovery Well, the first to strike oil in the province, will kick off the rollout on opening weekend (May 16), followed by a restored 1885 miner’s cabin and water wheel, a park warden’s cabin, an amphitheatre and a kilometre-long Indigenous nature trail along the shores of Glenmore Reservoir.
Inuit Art Centre: This $65-million 40,000-square-foot facility will display many of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s 13,000 Inuit artworks when it opens this fall.
Stanley Meek Steam Era Exhibit, Muskoka Discovery Centre: This $4-million, 5,000-square-foot exhibition hall will highlight the steam era in Ontario’s cottage country, with the renovated 1915 steam yacht Wanda III on display.
Little Canada: Mostly built to a 1:87 ratio, this $17-million display of five miniature cities and regions – Toronto, Quebec City, the Golden Horseshoe, Niagara and Ottawa – aims to open in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square some time in 2020.
Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre: Connected to both the Fallsview Casino Galleria and the Hilton Niagara Falls, this 5,000-seat, $130-million venue is now slated to open in 2020 after several delays.
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