CRAIG BROWN: 11 things for Harry & Meghan to do in Canada…
CRAIG BROWN: How to cook Grizzly Bear a l’Orange – 11 fascinating things for Harry & Meghan to do in Canada…
1. Harry and Meghan can look forward to a lively social scene in downtown Toronto. The Half A Sixpence nightclub, just along the road from the Eiderdown Museum, hosts a Tommy Steele night every Tuesday and Thursday, during which some of Toronto’s most glittering celebrities can be spotted dancing along to hit songs Flash, Bang, Wallop and Rock With The Caveman.
2. When in Toronto, it’s also worth visiting the top-rated Brasserie Bear, which specialises in all types of haute cuisine, including Grizzly a l’Orange and Fricasee of Brown Bear with a Lobster Dressing. It’s a regular hangout for past runners-up of Canadian X Factor.
3. Don’t leave Dunnville in Welland County without visiting the statue of Dr William Egbert, the third Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. The statue is situated just 55 miles north east of the town and is well signposted.
Harry and Meghan (pictured announcing their engagement) can look forward to a lively social scene in downtown Toronto
‘We look forward to welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex whenever they are in the vicinity,’ says Vernon Eggchick, the councillor responsible for the upkeep of the statue. ‘I can guarantee them a great day out, weather permitting.’
4. It is a little known fact that one of the first factories devoted to manufacturing the modern-day zipper was located in St Catharines, Ontario.
Every year, the townsfolk of St Catharines gather on the main square with their zipper-based items — anoraks, boots, pencil-cases — and at the stroke of midday they zip and unzip them all for five minutes, to the tune of the national anthem.
‘It’s a lot of fun’, says deputy mayor of St Catharines, Bertram V. Smidgeon. ‘And afterwards, everyone is free to leave, or grab a sandwich and a soft drink somewhere.’
When in Toronto (pictured), it’s also worth visiting the top-rated Brasserie Bear, which specialises in all types of haute cuisine
5. Not many people know that Celine Dion hails from Charlemagne, Quebec. Today, tourists flock from far and wide to visit the street named after her and to exchange postcards of the famous Canadian songstress.
6. The village of Gladwyn in the far north-eastern corner of Alberta, just five hours from Edmonton, is the birthplace of Hon. Godfrey Bumf, a local publisher who gave his name to the colloquial expression for reams of unnecessary printed material. A selection of Bumf’s own bumf is kept in a glass cabinet in the village hall, open from 3-5 on Tuesdays (summer only).
7. Few people outside Canada realise that the egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle of Smithers, British Columbia.
‘We estimate that four out of every six eggs would be broken in transit if it weren’t for Mr Coyle’s brilliant invention’ says William P. Portentus, the curator of the Egg Carton Museum in Smithers, an easy 13-hour drive from Vancouver.
The annual Canadian Fir-Counting Festival is a must for all those who love to count firs
8. The annual Canadian Fir-Counting Festival is a must for all those who love to count firs. Participants divide into groups of ten to count as many fir trees as possible in the space of a fortnight. Last year, the victorious group counted 1,283,354 fir trees — an increase of 143 on the year before.
9. Those planning to visit the Yukon should allow time to stand beneath the Mullard Waterfall. Legend has it that anyone who gets soaking wet in the Mullard will die from pneumonia within the space of 21 days, so it is as well to wear a raincoat, sou’wester and galoshes.
10. A visit to the pencil museum in Karotville, just three-and-a-half hours from Toronto, is a must for all the family. With more than 10,000 pencils on display, ranging from 9H to 9XXB, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
On the first Thursday of every month, visitors are also allowed to view the famous ‘giant pencil’, measuring just over 2ft, by prior appointment only.
Allow half a day to explore the whole museum, and a full day if you wish to attend the pencil workshop, too. Photography not permitted.
11. For many Canadians, the highlight of the year 2022 will be the opportunity to welcome the Earl of Wessex, the Honorary Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In a five-hour ceremony, the Earl will review the Mounties’ collection of saddles dating from 1851 to the present day, before being treated to a display of boot-polishing by Mountie veterans.
Sadly, Harry and Meghan have already let it be known that they are unable to attend these celebrations, due to unforeseen circumstances.
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