When I was a baby, my mom took me to Vancouver and I had an accident, fell off the car seat or something, banged my head, and my mom freaked out. She took me to a hospital in Vancouver and with Canadian health care they just fixed me up and barely charged my mom anything. She would always mention that story which gave me the idea that Canada was just a good place, and it is!
I bought my van with intentions to travel all around USA, but never really thought about Canada as a van destination. I am not sure why, I loved visiting Vancouver and Victoria in high school, but that was on the west coast. After visiting during the summer, I would seriously consider buying a summer home in Canada. The country is beautiful in the Summer, people overall seem more diverse (more Muslim and Indians in the mix) and relaxed attitudes then my fellow 'mericans.
I started my first Canada van trip in Niagara Falls State Park.
Niagara Falls State Park
After Niagra Falls I went north to Toronto, and then east to Montreal.
Canadiens de Montréal
Had to catch a hockey game! It was a fun, I had never seen so many French speaking people passionate about a sporting event.
2nd Trip to Canada
This time I came up to Canada coming through Montana, headed to Alberta, and for a longer stay in Banff. Banff is a resort town in the province of Alberta, located within Banff National Park. The peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, part of the Rocky Mountains, dominate its skyline. On Banff Avenue, the main thoroughfare, boutiques and restaurants mix with château-style hotels and souvenir shops. The surrounding 6,500 square kilometres of parkland are home to wildlife including elk and grizzly bears.
I had never heard of Banff before traveling there. Check out the campground photo. it looks staged, but I just drove up and parked and that is what I saw.
Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, a picture-perfect mountain town and village, abundant wildlife and scenic drives come together in Banff National Park - Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Over three million visitors a year make the pilgrimage to the park for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery. Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
By far my favorite summer place, especially while doing the Van Life! My cell signal worked great for working remote and the campgrounds in Canada are well taken care of. Good shower facilities (and shower pressure) in the campgrounds. Affordable campgrounds as well, with shopping in Banff to stock up the van with supplies. Lake Louise and Lake Morain just 20 minutes away to hike around during the day. Wild animals everywhere like Deer, Bears, Moose, Woodpeckers!
Banff National Park offers one of the best opportunities to study the effectiveness of wildlife crossings because the park contains a wide variety of species and is bisected by a large commercial road called the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH). To reduce the effects of the four-lane TCH, 24 wildlife crossings (22 underpasses and two overpasses) were built to ensure habitat connectivity and protect motorists (Clevenger 2007). In 1996, Parks Canada developed a contract with university researchers to assess the effectiveness of the crossings. The past decade has produced a number of publications that analyze the crossings' effect on various species and overall wildlife mortality
3rd Trip to Canada
The third time I came up to Canada coming through Washington State. I went to high school just outside of Seattle area, and lived in Seattle back in the 90s' I use to love getting Ivar's Chowder and Dick's Deluxe Burgers, but never at the same time! Check that off the bucket list. Dunking the Dicks Deluxe into the Chowder, Tasty!
After Seattle, I headed to Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. I stayed at a RV campground just below the The Lions Gate Bridge, which was opened in 1938 and officially known as the First Narrows Bridge, a suspension bridge that crosses the first narrows of Burrard Inlet and connects the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, to the North Shore municipalities of the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver. The term "Lions Gate" refers to the Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver. Northbound traffic on the bridge heads in their general direction. A pair of cast concrete lions, designed by sculptor Charles Marega, were placed on either side of the south approach to the bridge in January 1939.
BIG FAN OF TRUDEAU
Staying in Canada each summer I watched Canadian news and saw Justin Pierre James Trudeau being involved in the news. USA should follow Canada and elect a young leader like Trudeau. Someone who has a leadership style characterized by transparency, accessibility, openness, and a willingness to collaborate. Younger guy who can relate to the younger generation unlike the old relics we keep putting in office. Just saying, I like Canada's approach to leadership!