Thursday, September 17

Canada’s top five car-free islands—well, mostly

Even though this is outside of our normal range of topics, I thought this piece by Canadian Tourism Commission Staff would be of interest to our landlocked readers ;-)

Here goes....

"When it comes to creating physical—and psychological—distance from your worries, it’s hard to beat an island and a ferry. We’d argue that it’s even better when you leave your car on the mainland. After all, the best way to appreciate island life is on foot or bicycle. Here, a few of Canada’s tranquil gems:

1. Gambier Island, British Columbia: Surrounded by the Coast Mountain Range, Gambier feels like another world, but it’s easy to get to from Vancouver. Walk on the ferry bound for Langdale in Horseshoe Bay, then transfer to the water taxi. Make it a weekend at the Sea Cottage or Gabriels on Gambier.

2. Île-au-Canot, Quebec: In the fall, Québécois sportsmen catch the Croisières Lachance zodiac to this 52.5-ha (130-ac) island in the St. Lawrence River, for traditional goose and wild-turkey hunting. Make it a weekend in the Main Chalet.

3. Toronto Islands, Ontario: Catch a ferry from Bay Street to this, the largest urban car-free community in North America [10]. Rent a canoe or bike and explore the kilometres of paved trails and sandy beaches. Make it a weekend by booking into one of the several B&Bs on the islands.

4. Lasqueti Island, British Columbia: Leave your vehicle at French Creek just north of Parksville on Vancouver Island, and hop the 60-passenger Lasqueti Ferry to a quiet, rural community that retains an authentic counterculture vibe. Make it a weekend at the eco-friendly Squitty Bay Oceanfront B&B or off-grid Lambert Lake Inn.

5. McNabs Island, Nova Scotia: This almost-uninhabited 395-ha (976-ac) island played a strategic role during the defense of Halifax in World War II, and is today part of a rugged and wild provincial park. Several private companies run water taxis from the mainland. Make it a weekend by reserving one of a limited number of wilderness campsites."
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