Jasper, Alberta – Small Town for the Queer Visitor

Author: , August 28th, 2015

Jasper, Alberta - Keph Senett

Of the many ways that Jasper, Alberta, is unique, two particulars stand out and shape this small town’s appeal for the queer visitor. First, Jasper is located inside a national park, which means that every one of its approximately 5,000 inhabitants must meet eligible residency guidelines. Whether through work, school or family, the life of every Jasperite is connected to Jasper National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and this plays out in a packed calendar that celebrates the natural diversity of the region, the community and the people. Second, the town mascot — though admittedly, an unintentional icon of gay culture — is a bear.

Located just four hours west of Edmonton by car, the town comprises a small cluster of streets alongside the Athabasca River in the shadow of Marmot Basin. In the winter, daily shuttles make the trip from town to the ski hill, which has recently enjoyed terrain expansions and infrastructure upgrades — developments that only enhance its existing appeal. Marmot’s base elevation of 1,697 metres is the highest of any ski area in North America.

Initiated in 2009, the inaugural Jasper Pride weekend attracted just a few dozen people, but the event has grown steadily to include more of the local population and visitors from farther-flung places.

By Keph Senett – Full Story at Xtra | Alberta Gay Travel Resources

Keep Calm and Wander – Get Wet at Ontario’s Albion Falls

Author: , August 13th, 2015

Albion Falls

If you’re looking for a day trip outside Toronto, head out to Hamilton where the cascading Albion Falls is waiting for you to get wet. It’s an hour (or less if you take the HOV) drive and you won’t regret it. Bring an extra dry clothes for you to wear later–and don’t litter.

And PLEASE, enjoy the warm water by really taking a dip into the falls! I hated when I was the ONLY one who got wet and “wild”. LOL…. Most of the visitors were just there to take selfies! My god, I didn’t get the memo that Albion Falls is for a selfie adventure!

I can’t imagine myself visiting Albion Falls or any waterfalls and all I have to do there is take pictures. LOL…. Unless, of course, if it’s really prohibited, like Niagara Falls or Angel Falls or Iguazo Falls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander | Southwestern Ontario Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Shipwright Inn, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Author: , August 3rd, 2015

Shipwright Inn

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

A warm welcome awaits you at the Award-Winning 5 Star Shipwright Inn which is centrally located in the historic district of Olde Charlottetown. Charlottettown, the birthplace of Confederation, is where Canada was actually formed and the area is rich in both history and tradition. Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest and greenest province. The “Gentle Island” is best known for the vivid colours of its gently rolling landscape, miles of sandy beaches and its deep red soil and was made famous through the book “Anne of Green Gables” written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

See the Shipwright Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals on Prince Edward Island

Toronto Like a Local

Author: , June 11th, 2015

Christina Zeidler TorontoAhead of Toronto Pride, which kicks off on the 19 June, Christina Zeidler, the proprietor of The Gladstone Hotel shares her top tips on this cultural melting pot, from rooftop gardens and Caribbean festivals to the city’s thriving alt-queer underground.

I’ve lived here since…

Always. I grew up in the great city of Toronto.

I’ve stayed because…

I love this city. I come from a family of city builders (my father is an architect and immigrant to Toronto). There is an excitement and frustration to city building here – we have so much potential! I also love the queer scene here. I have been privileged to be part of a movement of queers creating safe spaces in our city’s West End for members of the LGBT community. We have a created a cool, artist-friendly, alternative queer scene here.

Here in Toronto, we always look forward to…

Summer! People here treat winters here are like the snowpocalypse, and it’s like the whole city angrily hibernates. But Toronto is amazing when the weather gets warmer. There are so many festivals, cool meet-ups, and amazing things to do, like take a ferry (or fairy) ride to the Toronto Island – which is also very queer!

By Christina Zeidler – Full Story at Gay Star News | Toronto Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Self-Guided Winery Tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Author: , May 27th, 2015

Pondview Estate Winery

When we travel, we always go where the glass is half full. Of our favorite wine. In Niagara-on-the-Lake. Now that summer’s almost here, there’s always a wine tasting available – and a cute little B&B or inn nearby if you have time to spend the weekend. Talk about the perfect girlfriend getaway.

If you’re a wine-tour groupie like us, we’ve got the 411 on planning a customized wine tour and tasting in Niagara.

“With scenic vineyards and gorgeous wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular destination for wine lovers during the summer months,” says Marcel Morgenstern, a Sommelier and national sales manager at Pondview Estate Winery. “With new wineries opening every year, there is never a shortage of things to do or vineyards to explore. Niagara-on-the-Lake’s convenient wine route offers the perfect opportunity to make the most of your vacation.”

By Julia Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | Southwestern Ontario Gay Travel Resources

Outside Montreal’s Gay Village – The Mile End

Author: , April 4th, 2015

Montreal's Mile EndMontreal’s Gay Village has boys, booze, and clubs open past dawn. But if you want to start your mornings with legendary Montreal bagels and end your night at a lo-fi electro dance party before drifting home, spend a weekend in Montreal’s Mile End. It’s laid-back and welcoming to LGBT tourists and the tattooed, bike-riding, book-toting, locally-sourced goodness might have you wanting to stick around just a little longer.

Friday night:

Dine at Sparrow (5322 St-Laurent) for high-end pub fare by way of India and Morocco. The space feels like a British living room owned by a family of adventuring rugby player explorers circa 1930. If the weather isn’t cooperating, curl up on the windowside sofas and linger with a drink from a menu that repeatedly tops Montreal’s best cocktail lists. IMG_2362

Afterward, head to the Musee d’Art Contemporain (MAC). It’s not in Mile End, but the museum’s Les Nocturnes du MAC, on select Fridays throughout the year, are worth the trip. Check out French artist Sophie Calle’s Voir la mer, a short film capturing people’s first time seeing the sea, take a guided tour of the museum’s collection, hit the bar, and enjoy the DJs and video installations. This year’s Nocturnes are scheduled for April 10, June 16, and November 6.

By Kyle Valenta – Full Story at Towleroad.com | Quebec Gay Travel Resources

Five Ways to Experience Montreal’s Culture

Author: , March 25th, 2015

Montreal ArtWith non-stop festivals and foodie delights at every turn, Montreal attracts hordes of tourists eager to sample the culture and style of this sophisticated metropolis. But after you’ve viewed a Cirque Du Soleil performance and munched on a St. Viateur bagel, it’s time to dig into Montreal’s more unexpected experiences. Here are some alternatives to the big-ticket attractions.

Go on a public art crawl, either DIY or guided.

Montreal is filled with art — in fact, 1 percent of any city building or renovation budget must be allocated for a piece of public art. That makes for a whole lot of interesting sculptures, paintings, or murals to liven up just about every Montreal street. We especially love the murals that line Saint Laurent Boulevard; it’s easy to simply stroll and enjoy the art on office and commercial buildings all along the street.

If you prefer a more organized self tour, try the tourism office’s handy map, which plots public art pieces on five different Montreal routes. Or for a guided tour, check out Urban Marmotte’s tour of Montreal’s art-covered Metro system ($19 CAD, or about $15 USD). The tour, which lasts between two and two and a half hours, has been regularly scheduled from January through the end of this month but can be booked privately for the rest of the year.

By Rosalind Cummings-Yeates – Full Story at Sherman’s Travel | Quebec Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Nova Scotia

Author: , March 23rd, 2015

Morris EastThe best part of the “eat local” trend is discovering a city with incredible regional ingredients. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, diners enjoy an embarrassment of riches, thanks to the region’s especially fertile and productive growing season, and the bold restaurateurs who take full advantage of Atlantic Canada’s best.

In this island province, seafood is of course the star attraction. It’s often so fresh that your fish, lobster, oyster, or other marine delicacy may have been pulled from the bay just hours before. Local chefs complement their prized seafood with well-suited herbs, vegetables, grains, as well as wines and craft brews unique to Nova Scotia. They also excel at making old-favorite dishes their own. Who knew there could be so many delicious versions of poutine or chowder?

Gay-friendly Halifax enthusiastically celebrates its Pride every July, but the rest of the year this midsize city is awash in its pride of food sourced from farms, fisheries, foragers, and small-batch producers. While you’re here, you’ll happily devour some of the tastiest food and creatively prepared dishes that we had the pleasure of experiencing during a recent visit.

BROOKLYN WAREHOUSE

To boldly take the name of the world’s coolest borough gives a restaurant a lot to live up to. One would be correct to expect industrial-chic decor, but it’s hard to antici- pate what makes a great menu in Halifax–especially one that embodies the Brooklyn moniker. Clearly this place is happening, having soared in popularity since its 2007 opening. Chef Mark Gray has raked in awards for his mashup of local flavors, which have kept Brooklyn Warehouse on top of many “best of” lists across Canada.

By Kelsy Chauvin – Full Story at Passport | Nova Scotia Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Nova Scotia

Author: , March 6th, 2015

Brooklyn Warehouse

The best part of the “eat local” trend is discovering a city with incredible regional ingredients. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, diners enjoy an embarrassment of riches, thanks to the region’s especially fertile and productive growing season, and the bold restaurateurs who take full advantage of Atlantic Canada’s best.

In this island province, seafood is of course the star attraction. It’s often so fresh that your fish, lobster, oyster, or other marine delicacy may have been pulled from the bay just hours before. Local chefs complement their prized seafood with well-suited herbs, vegetables, grains, as well as wines and craft brews unique to Nova Scotia. They also excel at making old-favorite dishes their own. Who knew there could be so many delicious versions of poutine or chowder?

Gay-friendly Halifax enthusiastically celebrates its Pride every July, but the rest of the year this midsize city is awash in its pride of food sourced from farms, fisheries, foragers, and small-batch producers. While you’re here, you’ll happily devour some of the tastiest food and creatively prepared dishes that we had the pleasure of experiencing during a recent visit.

By Kelsy Chauvin – Full Story at Passport Magazine | Nova Scotia Gay Travel Resources

International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships Comes to Edmonton in 2016

Author: , January 21st, 2015

IGLA

Edmonton will be the site of the largest gay sporting event in Alberta history next year when it hosts the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics championships. Up to 1,000 participants plus several hundred partners, friends and officials are expected for the festival Aug. 8-14, 2016, co-chairman Mike Stansberry says.

It’s a sanctioned masters competition, featuring swimming, water polo, diving, synchro, open water races, and the maybe-not-so-official Pink Flamingo.

The Pink Flamingo? “The best way to describe it is a drag aqua-follies synchro show in water … done in the dive tank,” Stansberry says. “It can be a mix of swimming, choreography on the deck, diving off the platform, costumes — although no glitter or feathers, because they clog the pool filters.”

By Gordon Kent – Full Story at the Edmonton Journal | Alberta Gay Travel Resources