A forest in the Great Plains

Une forêt dans les plaines

A forest in the Great Plains

À travers les immenses prairies du Manitoba qui semblent s’étendre à l’infini se trouve le Parc national du Mont-Riding.

Ce parc de 3000 kilomètres carrés est en grande partie sauvage. Toutefois, sur sa rive-sud s’est implantée une petite ville touristique nommée Wasagaming.

La partie sauvage du parc vaut la peine d’être vue. Vous aurez par exemple l’occasion de vous retrouver dans un enclos de bisons et nous vous garantissons que vous croiserez plusieurs de ces énormes bêtes si, comme nous, vous vous y aventurez.

Lorsque vous arrivez via Wasagaming, rendez-vous au centre d’accueil des visiteurs. Les personnes qui y travaillent pourront vous orienter et vous informer sur les multiples activités à faire dans le parc selon la durée de votre séjour. Sentiers à parcourir (à pied, à vélo, à cheval, à VTT), canoe, kayak, etc., sont des exemples de ce que le parc du Mont-Riding a à vous offrir.

Le village très pittoresque de Wasagaming regorge d’emplacements à louer où on peut se loger au bord de l’eau. De plus, le parc offre des terrains de camping entourés d’une épaisse forêt. Pour les plus aventureux, d’autres terrains de camping se trouvent au Nord du parc, mais ceux-ci n’offrent pas de services.

Malgré le peu de temps que nous avons passé dans cette région, le Parc national du Mont-Riding nous a semblé une destination idéale pour les familles. Principalement Wasagaming avec ses installations telles, mini golf, volleyball de plage, terrains de tennis, restaurants, plage, etc. De plus, ces lacs et ces kilomètres de forêt ont de quoi plaire à tout le monde.

Si vous désirez vous arrêter au Manitoba durant votre traversée du Canada, cet emplacement saura vous ravir. Ce parc a été une belle découverte et une halte appréciée avant de continuer notre route à travers les terres agricoles qui peuvent paraitre sans fin à un certain moment.

Enfin, nous vous recommandons d’indiquer dans votre GPS la ville de Wasagaming pour vous rendre à destination. Autrement, celui-ci risque de vous faire passer par une entrée secondaire à l’arrière du Parc.

Inside the infinite plains of Manitoba appears the Riding Moutain National Park.

This park of 3,000 km2 is mostly wild, but on its south is a small touristic village called Wasagaming.

The wild part of the park is totally worth it. To give you a insight, you would have the chance to enter a buffalos paddock. We guarantee you that you are going to see many of those great beast if you go in this country side.

When you arrived by Wasagaming, go to the visitor center. The people who works there can inform you on the tons of activities you can do around according to the length of your stay.

The park offer you many activities from its hikes, trails (cycling, horse, ATV),to canoe, kayak, etc.

The picturesque village of Wasagaming offers many places to stay by the water. You can rent them or do camping in one of the campground of the park that are surrounded by the boreal forest. For the more adventurous, there are camping sites at the north of the park that are further away from the small town, but those do not offer services.

For the short time we were there, we feels that the riding mountain national park and more particularly the village of Wasagaming was a perfect destination for families. Wasagaming as installations like, mini golf, beach volleyball, beach, restaurants, etc. that fit perfectly the needs of every members of the family. Moreover, its lakes and its miles of forest can please anyone.

If you want to make a stop across Manitoba Riding Mountain National Park can enchant you. It has been a beautiful discovery and a nice stop for us before continuing our way across Canada in those plains that seem to be endless at some points.

Finally, we recommended you to set Wasagaming as your destination in your GPS if you think about going there. Otherwise you may enter by the back of the park.

24 hours in Toronto

24 hours in Toronto

24 heures à Toronto

Toronto

Une journée à Toronto ce n’est pas long. Nous sommes arrivés un samedi soir et reprenions la route le dimanche en fin de journée pour Tobermory.

 

Nous avons la chance d’avoir des amis qui vivent en banlieue de Toronto, grâce à eux, nous avons pu voir le plus de choses possibles dans le peu de temps que nous avions. Nous partageons avec vous cette virée qui vous permettra de découvrir différents quartiers de la ville dans un temps limité.

 

Premièrement, le quartier  Queen West qui est en effervescence et regorge de petits restaurants, de bars et de cafés de tout genre où il fait bon s’arrêter. Si vous désirez souper dans l’un des endroits hype du quartier, assurez-vous de réserver votre place. Ce quartier plaira à tout le monde de par sa culture populaire diversifiée.

 

Deuxièmement, un passage dans le quartier nommé Old York vous ramènera quelques années en arrière où se trouvaient des entrepôts de briques rouges et des rues pavés. Aujourd’hui, dans le Distillery District règne encore cette ambiance. Toutefois, les entrepôts ont été transformés en galeries, boutiques, restaurants et cafés. De plus, tout dépendant du moment où vous y serez, vous aurez peut-être la chance de voir l’un des petits concerts, des expositions et d’autres événements qui ont lieux à cet endroit animant votre détour dans cette partie de la ville. On y retrouve aussi la brasserie artisanale Mill Street où vous pourrez déguster plusieurs bières dont la Mill Street Organic.

 

De cet endroit prisé, rendez-vous dans un quartier tout aussi animé, mais totalement différent où se rencontre diverses communautés ethniques, le Kensington Market. Vous y croiserez une diversité d’individus des plus variés qui cohabitent et créent une ambiance festive. Si vous avez de la chance, comme nous, ce sera un dimanche où le quartier est seulement accessible pour les piétons et les rues se transforment en une sorte de petit marché. À travers ses multiples friperies, boutiques et cafés, vous découvrirez la diversité qui existe à Toronto. Si vous avez la fibre des affaires, vous pouvez aussi essayer de négocier les prix de certains articles dans certains de ces endroits.

 

Une fois que vous aurez visité ces différents quartiers de Toronto vous prendrez conscience de la diversité qui existe dans cette métropole. Cette ville de plus de 2,5 millions d’habitants sans parler du Grand Toronto et où sont parlées près de 140 langues est colorée par ce mélange culturel et ethnique.

 

En ce qui nous concerne, nous n’avons pas visité la tour du CN, le Hockey Hall of Fame, l’Aquarium ou encore l’Île de Toronto. Cependant, si le temps vous le permet, ce sont des lieux plus touristiques de la ville que vous pouvez ajouter à votre agenda.

 

Coup de coeur.

The Drake Hotel Rooftop Patio: 1150 Queen St. W

Grand Electric: 1330 Queen St. W

Kensington Market: 112 Oxford St.

One day in Toronto is short.  We arrived on a Saturday night and we were leaving the following day in the evening to Tobermory.

 

We had the chance to have friends who live close to the city and were able to show us around. They brought us to most of the places that one should see if you have 24 hours in Toronto. We wanted to share our discoveries with you in order to give you a feeling of what you can see in 24 hours experiencing the different neighbourhoods of the city.

 

First stop, the neighbourhood of Queen West.  This area is vibrant; plenty of small restaurants, bars and coffee shops. If you want to have dinner in one of those restaurants, we suggest you  make a reservation, if they take one that is. This neighbourhood will please anyone with its diversified pop culture.

 

The following day, a step in one of the neighbourhoods of Old York will bring you back in time when there were many warehouses in red brick and paved streets. The Distillery District still gives that feeling and you can still feel this vibe. However, the warehouses were transformed into galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Moreover, dependant on the time you are there, you may be lucky enough to catch a concert, exhibition and other outdoor events that take place in this part of the city; definitely livens up this part of Toronto. If you are feeling a little thirsty, you will find the Mill Street Brewery where you can taste their boutique beers, one of which is Mill Street Organic.

 

Going from this popular spot to another neighbourhood as dynamic as this one, but totally different where a diversity of ethnic and social communities come together; the Kensington Market. You will come across many kinds of folks that come together and create a festive and friendly mood. If you have a little chance like us, some Sundays, the neighbour is accessible only by pedestrians and the streets become a market. In all, its second-hand stores, boutiques, vintage shops, restaurants, bars and coffee shops all give you the sense of diversity that exists in Toronto.  If you are business-savvy, you can also try to bargain on some goods in some of the shops.

 

Once you have visited these different parts of Toronto, you will get a bright feeling of the diversity that exists in Toronto.  This city that has a population of more than 2.5 million people, and where nearly 140 different languages are spoken.  This gives you such a rich mix of cultures.

 

During our stop in Toronto, we did not go to the CN tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ripley’s Aquarium nor the Toronto Island. However, if you have the time, those attractions may be more touristy and can easily be added to your agenda.

 

Our crush:

The Drake Hotel Rooftop Patio: 1150 Queen St. W

Grand Electric: 1330 Queen St. W

Kensington Market: 112 Oxford St.

The Van Life Vacation Through the Lens of Searching for Sero

Is Van Life for you?

Before jumping into a van trip, there are something we all must know. Here is what Searching for Sero has to share with us.

Over a year ago, I started chatting with friends about purchasing an old Westfalia and living and working out of it. To be truthful, I wanted to do complete a 2 year personal photography project.

But to continue with the story, there was a lot of people stoked on the idea, but also a lot of people that said: “sounds great, I wish I could take a 2 year vacation.”
The sentence right there has 2 major flaws, in which I am realizing now;
– It is anything but a vacation
– You can do it too
One quick stroll of #vanlife on Instagram and you can see a varity of photos of van lifers, living the life. Spending every night on remote beaches, surrounded in wild flowers, warm winds and perfect sunsets. It is a scene that many people dream of as a perfect vacation, but I can tell you, it is no vacation. It is much like the myth of the “American Dream” that so many spend their life trying to achieve by spending it stuck in a cubical.
To live the #vanlife vacation you first need a camper van. We chose the most iconic. A VW Westfalia. The day after purchasing it, the dream of perfect sunsets turned into a year of grease covered hands. I started working on replacing the basics. Plugs, wires, injectors and so on. Next thing I know the motor, transaxle and every other mechanical aspect of the van was sitting on the shop floor, and we had a full restoration on our hands. It would take almost a year to complete. We lost track of the days, money, blood, sweat and tears that went into it.


We have finally hit the road and added our own dreamy images of the van parked beside to ocean to social media. I guess you could say the vacation has started. We checked out one of Canada’s greatest National Parks, Gros Morne and toured a good chunk of Newfoundland. Total vacation right?

The truth is, for the 3 weeks we have been on the road, we have spent most of the time parked up beside some unlocked wifi, trying to get work done. Just because you live in a van, doesn’t mean everything comes free. Food, gas, parts and repair are still just as expensive, if not more. Work still needs to get done. We have essentially just traded the amenitiesof a cubicle for a small box on wheels with slow and unstable internet access and added the challenge of trying to keep our laptop batteries charged enough to write one more email.

For those people that wish they can do it too, all I can say is you can! You can do anything you set your mind to.

Tracy and I are not rich by any means. We actually both worked pay cheque to pay cheque, trying to pay off student dept as quick as possible, much most people these days. When we made the van life choice, we put 100% into it. It took over a year of hard work from the day we made the decision to purchase a van until the day we officially moved into it. It meant I had to learn how to fix a van. I could do some basic work on vehicles, but really didn’t know that much about it. I learnt. There was no other choice.I don’t want to ruin anyone’s dreams about van life, but I do want you do know that it is a lot of work and a huge lifestyle change.

That being said, it is worth it. So go ahead, jump in and join us on the road. Just remember it’s not all ocean front camping spots and wild flowers. It is a crazy, unpredictable lifestyle that makes you realize how beautiful the Earth we live on
is, and how amazing the people that occupy it are.

 

John Rathwell, Searching For Sero
PS: If you are looking for us, we are likely poaching wifi at some
coffee shop, not relaxing by the ocean. Still, it beats the cubical!

 

Searching For Sero is a mental wellness project across North-America in a camper-van aiming to collect stories of wellness achieved through sport and outdoor activity. Sero is a diminutive for serotonin, a neurotransmitter believed to contribute to happiness! John Rathwell and Tracy Guenard are the creators of this project. They have themselves experiences wellness turning to nature and sport when living difficult moments. They have now taken the road for a two-year journey to collect more inspirational stories like theirs. Living in Volkwagen Westfalia 1991, they are sharing with us how they see and live the van life up to now.


Seraching For Sero est un projet portant sur le santé mentale à travers l’Amérique du Nord qui a pour objectif de partager des histoires de gens passionnés qui utilisent le sport et les activités extérieures comme moyen d’être heureux. Séro est le diminutif de sérotonine, un neurotransmetteur qui régule l’humeur et contribue ainsi au bonheur! John Rathwell et Tracy Guenard sont les créateur de ce projet. Ils ont eux-mêmes trouvé le bonheur en se retournant vers la nature et le sport lors de moments difficiles. Aujourd’hui, ils ont pris la route pour deux ans à la recherche d’histoires inspirantes des apports de l’activité physique et du temps passé dans la nature. Vivant dans leur Volkwagen Westfalia 1991, ils partagent avec nous comment ils voient et vivent la «vanlife» jusqu’à présent.