Trail Canada Newsletter
Issue 17.0 - 12 December, 2007

The Holiday Season is upon us and Christmas is almost here. So for those of you planning what to do this Christmas, well, you’re in luck. Events are happening across Canada and in this issue we explore what it is like to have a Capital Christmas in Canada’s national, provincial and territorial capital cities. If you still haven’t got your Christmas tree then let us tell you how to get one Nova Scotia style! If the holiday season simply means snow and snow means skiing, check out our latest ski guide this time to ski resorts near Toronto.

Happy Holidays and the Newsletter will be back with you in the New Year.

In this issue:

Capital Christmas

Tis the Season: Christmas Tree Shopping the Nova Scotia Way

Ontario ski areas near the Greater Toronto Area

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Capital Christmas

By Allison Gagnon, Trail Canada

Inhale the magic and enchanted spirit of the holiday season while you watch the festivities unravel across the country. It’s the countdown to Christmas and with less than a month to go the lights are shining brighter, the sleigh bells are ringing louder and Santa is getting closer. With the holiday season upon us, the opportunities for coming together as a community are endless through special events, thoughtful fundraisers and festive art functions. A plentiful choice of Christmas attractions exist nationwide, so don’t miss out on all the merry happenings around town.

Canada at Christmas represents a signature of community and this year our 13 capital cities across the nation are linked by one grand, annual event. Throughout the ten provinces and three territories, “Christmas Lights Across Canada” illuminates each Canadian capital and lights stream bright into the night sky. A collaboration to unite the country together, sends the ultimate Christmas cheer to Canadians and visitors alike. Throughout the holiday season look to your capital to radiate the warmth of Christmas and let the lights shine.

Here’s a peak at

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Tis the Season: Christmas Tree Shopping the Nova Scotia Way

By Wendy Bradley Reynolds, Trail Canada

There is nothing quite like a Christmas tree to invoke the spirit of the holidays, and in Nova Scotia, where 2 million such trees are harvested every year, a real tree is a must. Whether it is the scent of balsam or the memories that each ornament, carefully unfolded, produces, what was once referred to as a “pesky little bush” by early European settlers is now a true holiday institution. And in Nova Scotia, the Christmas tree hunt does not have to take place in a shopping mall tree lot. For many families the search for the perfect tree starts early and is accompanied by relatives, neighbors, and friends…oh, and a festive nametag, of course.

The first step in your Christmas tree foraging should begin with the selection of a grower who operates a “choose and cut” lot. Yes Nova Scotia is a province with an abundance of pristine wilderness, but resist the urge to simply head to the nearest woods with a saw…you may be trespassing and stealing. Your tree will probably also be less than what it could be, since the knowledge and tradition of Christmas tree growers has been passed down generation to generation to produce a world renown, hand trimmed product.

One popular destination for spectacular Christmas trees is

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Top Photo

The snowy Provincial Building in Fredericton, New Brunswick

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Ontario ski areas near the Greater Toronto Area

By Brian J. D’Souza, Trail Canada

Although the hills in Southern Ontario may not be as well known as those in BC, Alberta or Quebec, there are many popular and accessible resorts that are both fun, nearby and cost efficient.

Ontario’s largest ski resort, Blue Mountain, is located about 2 hours north of Toronto, near Collingwood. With 5 terrain parks, 13 lifts and over 34 trails, Blue boasts one of the highest vertical drops in Ontario: 216 meters. At $62 , Blue Mountain’s price of a weekend full-day (9AM to 10PM) adult lift ticket is one of the most expensive in Ontario. A full season pass runs $824, but early bird specials are available.

If you’re eager to save money and gas, there are many other options located closer to the GTA. One such resort is Hockley Valley, located about an hour from Toronto. Throughout the years, Hockley has defined itself by providing an upscale environment for out of town guests or locals looking for an elegant getaway spot. Its 14 runs, serviced by 5 lifts, offer a variety of inclines for skiers of all abilities. A weekend full-day ticket runs $40, while a season pass is $499. Again, a number of promotions and discounts await the budget-conscious skier.

Another mid-sized destination is

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That's all for now!

See you on the trail,

James Shearer
Trail Canada Editor

Canada's most popular independent travel guide
www.trailcanada.com

Part of the Trail Canada Travel Network
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