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Top spots to visit in Canada

Great places to tour in the great north

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While at UB, many students have gotten the opportunity to go to Canada for a “staycation.”

If Buffalo doesn’t quench your thirst for fun weekend activities, Canada is always a great opportunity to have a night out on the town with your friends. For those who haven't been, there are many opportunities and places to tour and explore, only a short car ride away from campus. Options range from wine tours, professional sports games and The Olympic Stadium, just to name a few.

Niagara Falls

The best-known spot across the border is Niagara Falls. With attractions on both the U.S. and Canadian sides, there are tons to do if you’re looking for a quick getaway.

This past summer, the Canadian side of the falls also debuted their MistRider Zipline that soars over the falls in the warmer months and will reopen for the season after the winter.

Also on the Canadian side is Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, a restaurant-resort chain known for its tropical themed décor and delicious margaritas. Less than an hour away, it’s a great escape for some tasty drinks and a little bit of the tropics, especially in those cold winter months.

Students should also take advantage of wine tours. Niagara County is home to some of the best local wineries and breweries that offer vineyard tours and tastings.

A great winery to visit is the Ice House Winery, which offers samplings of their special “Ice Wine” and their wine slushies. This winery is also less than an hour’s drive away making it a quick, convenient drive.

The Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens, specifically their Butterfly Conservatory, are a fun and unique experience that is also just a short drive away. The Gardens’ climate-controlled greenhouse is home to over 2000 tropical butterflies of over 60 different types of species.

This greenhouse gives visitors the opportunity to not only see, but also interact with butterflies that are not naturally living in these climates.

Toronto

Another famous Canadian city to consider visiting is Toronto. Home and birthplace of Views, Toronto is Canada’s New York City and the CN Tower is a must-see for tourists. Famously known for its iconic 360 restaurant, patrons can enjoy the constantly moving dining space, which gives a beautiful view of the city.

Price-wise, it is most definitely not the most economical, so plan accordingly for travel expenses as well as dinner.

Another good idea to keep in mind is to check out an away game for the Bills or Sabres in the coming months. The Bills play one game in Toronto each season and the Sabres are constantly visiting our neighbors to the north to play teams like the Maple Leafs, the Jets and the Canadians.

Toronto’s hockey team, the Maple Leafs, plays at the Air Canada Centre, which is about two hours away from Buffalo. The Air Canada Centre is also a venue for a variety of different concerts and artists. In the next month, Adele, Drake, Sia and The 1975 will hold concerts at the venue.

Montreal

While Ontario is nice for day trips, when looking for a weekend getaway, Montreal is a great destination if you plan on staying for a longer time period.

The artsy city is only a six-hour drive and three-hour plane ride from Buffalo. This Quebec city has many attractions, including a Six Flags park and one of the best nightlife scenes Canada has to offer.

The Olympic Stadium, the Parc Olympique de Montreal, is also worth a visit. You can get tours of the facilities and an opportunity to see a breathtaking panorama of the city from the stadium’s Montreal Tower.

The tower itself breaks world records for the tallest inclined tower in the world at 165 meters and a 45-degree tilt.

Until the end of October, Montreal’s Botanical Garden offers a beautifully unique light show at night, known as the Gardens of Light. Each garden is decorated and tells a story of its cultural past. The Chinese Gardens, for example, recount the life of one of ancient China’s past emperors, known as the Son of Heaven.

Canada is also a well-known destination for many kinds of winter sports, including skiing, curling, hockey, snowmobiling and the luge. For those of a more athletic inclination, a sports lesson could be a fun activity for a group of people as the weather gets colder.

Lindsay Gilder is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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