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The 9 most interesting cities in Canada

Canadians from coast to coast have shared their submissions, and we’re pleased to announce the winners of our Canada’s Most Interesting Towns contest. Discover the 9 most interesting cities in Canada.

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The Country Has Chosen the Most Interesting Cities Canada

The results are in! After asking our readers to craft odes to their favourite corners of the country, we received enthusiastic submissions from all over. Here’s what you had to say about the most artistic, healthiest, greenest and most interesting cities in Canada that could inspire you for your next Travel.

(Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

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Canada’s Most Interesting Town: Quebec City, Que.

Dame Québec!

Submitted by: Pierrette R. Pelletier

Samuel de Champlain had a dream when, in July 1608, he settled in what would become Quebec City. Today, on the shores of the St. Lawrence, that dream still thrives. Quebec City has always been a crossroads of nature and culture-from its array of parks, to the promenade Samuel-De Champlain and the Terrasse Dufferin, to the Saint-Louis and Saint-Jean gates, to the museums and historic monuments, to its university, its aquarium, to the put-put of its ferries, and the horse-drawn carriages. Life here has always been tied to the changing seasons. In springtime, gulls and geese flock to the city in celebration. In summer, the Plains of Abraham warm, and tourists crowd the many festivals. In wintertime, Quebec City is blanketed in snow, and everything comes alive-alight-at Christmas. Come January and Carnaval, everyone gets hopping in our beautiful city, which has only grown more beautiful over the centuries.

(Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

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Best Cuisine: îles de la Madeleine, Que.

La cuisine des Îles, un secret bien gardé

Submitted by: Francine Renaud

Have you ever sampled the culinary delights of the Magdalen Islands? Your taste buds will tingle even before you take your first bite. All the islands’ foods are a joy to discover. Have you ever tasted fresh clams seasoned with ginger beer? Or tried a half-shell Princess scallop with just a spritz of lemon juice and a touch of fleur de sel? And what can I say about the chowder? Just a whiff will put you in a good mood. You’ll leave the Magdalen Islands stuffed to the gills-and hungry for more.

(Photo courtesy of luvmycrows/Flickr)

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Best Destination in Canada: Port Hope, Ont.

Port Hope-A perfect example of the story of Canada

Submitted by: Nancy Hooper

On a chilly Saturday in early spring, it’s hard to find a parking spot on the “Best Preserved Main Street in Ontario” as people flock to cheer the crazy watercraft at the annual Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny event. Sure, the Ganaraska River has burst its banks more than once, but Port Hope always rebounds. The river remains a vital element of this picture-perfect place, where lovingly maintained historical buildings, fine homes and rousing parades are just part of the charm. Port Hope is a great place to get away and its greatest asset is its people. If you’re suspicious of the locals’ easy smiles, don’t be. It’s just that they really are a happy bunch and truly pleased to meet you, and this is why it has been picked as one of the best city in Canada.

(Photo courtesy of bobolink/Flickr)

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Most Artistic: Bouchtouche, N.B.

The Heart of Acadie – Artistic Bouctouche

Submitted by: Darlene Lawson

Created by writer Antonine Maillet, the eponymous straight-talking heroine of La Sagouine has become the symbol of Acadia. The character’s universe is rooted in the geography and history of the people. In fact, she’s so popular she inspired a theme park. Located in the town of Bouctouche, Le Pays de la Sagouine comes to life each summer with theatre, music, comedy and dance. Through all forms of art and entertainment, the park ensures that the rich culture and folklore of the region are carried over to the next generation, making it one of the best town in Canada.

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Most Community Spirit: Welshpool, N.B.

Family, Friends and Neighbours

Submitted by: Melody Flynn

Our small island off the coast of Maine is 14 kilometres long, five kilometres wide and 1,000 souls strong. As a community, we’re used to relying on each other, and lately some of our locals have been using social media to express their appreciation for the contributions of fellow islanders. To celebrate these local heroes, a group of us decided to create gift baskets filled with goodies such as jams, pickles, soaps, perfumes and candies. We wrote their names on small pieces of paper, which we drew randomly from a bowl. Our first recipient? Sissy Jackson. She always has a smile and a kind word, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed to make someone’s day better. The basket was filled and delivered with a note that read, “For an Island Angel, this is just a token to show you that your smile and gentle way makes everyone you meet have a better day. Thank you for all the joy you spread and the special things you do. We want you to know we love and appreciate you. Your friends and neighbours.”

(Photo courtesy of wonder_al/Flickr)

 

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Most Entreprenurial: Chemainus, B.C.

Once Dying, now World Renowned

Submitted by: Cynthia Faryon

Legend has it that the first chief of the Chemainus First Nation earned his position after surviving a chest wound. Over a century later, his namesake town also suffered a near-fatal wound when its sawmill closed in 1983. At the time, the population was about 2,000, and almost 600 jobs were lost. It was devastating-homes were in foreclosure, families moved away, businesses closed. The town was dying.

Some citizens banded together and applied for a revitalization grant. They held a garbage can-painting competition, and the charming entries still line the streets today. Artists were hired to paint murals depicting the history of the area. Business people opened galleries filled with wares from local potters, sculptors and painters. Chemainus isn’t simply about art; it’s about turning adversity into an advantage. Travel

Over 5,000 people now live in Chemainus. The entrepreneurial spirit is still being displayed with amazing creativity. Like the first chief, Chemainus has done more than just survive.

(Photo courtesy of Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce)

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Most Votes: Annapolis Royal, N.S.

Amazing Artistic Annapolis

Submitted by: Susan Stopford

I have lived in Annapolis Royal for 20+ years and am constantly amazed by the community spirit and tireless effort expended by its residents. For a Town of just over 400 people the arts community stands out as a shining example of what can be achieved by a few dedicated people. ARCAC (Annapolis Royal Community Arts Council), has upwards of 200 members contributing to a building housing three galleries, a workshop space and a large art library. They host exhibitions of contemporary Canadian art and run a community arts program that encompasses all the arts. They also offer on-site workshops and outreach programs for children in local schools as well as nursing home residents. In 2011 alone they ran over 100 events, (exhibitions, workshops and programs), attracting over 7000 attendees – did you notice our population? Quite an achievement.

One of the major draws, now in its 17th year, is the annual “Paint the Town event held every August with over 70 artists producing 500+ works which are sold at auction over the course of one weekend. Many artists choose to paint in our beautiful Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens – a work of art in itself – and the subject of the attached photograph. We are also extremely fortunate to have in our town the vibrant Kings Theatre, which features films, live theatre (including an annual 10 minute play festival), concerts, an on-site art gallery and community activities all held in a beautifully restored heritage building. Truly, I cannot imagine a place more worthy of the title,”Canada’s Most Interesting Town”.

(Photo courtesy of Historic Gardens/Flickr)

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Healthiest: St. Albert, Alta.

Staying Healthy

Submitted by: Sharon McNally

In our technology-driven world, we all tend to be less active. Our small city, however, makes it easy to stay fit and healthy. You’ll see walkers, joggers, bikers, in-line skaters and skateboarders taking advantage of the trail system that winds along the river and through our neighbourhoods. It’s wonderful to hear the cheers from the many games taking place on the numerous athletic fields scattered throughout the city. From June to October, St. Albert is home to Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market, where a bounty of fresh, homemade products and organic fruits and vegetables are available so that we can eat healthy, too.

Discover our Travel Tips section before picking your next destination

(Photo courtesy of holdsworthdesign/Flickr)

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Greenest: Craik, Sask.

Little “Green” House(s) on the Prairie

Submitted by: Brent Kreuger

Craik’s Eco-Village is small, its history is short, and its look is, well, eclectic. As part of the Craik Sustainable Living Project, a number of lots were turned over to eco-conscious development. What resulted was a varied group of DIY projects, each epitomizing a sustainable lifestyle in a unique way. Some houses are straw bale, and others are underground; some have wind turbines and others solar panels; some have carbon-neutral wood-pellet boilers, and others have composting toilets; some harvest rainwater, and most are off-grid. Moreover, all the homeowners are willing to share what they did and how they did it with anyone interested.