Valentine’s Day is almost here and oh Canada, who knew you could be so romantic? Our home and native land may have a reputation for being less than inspiring when it comes to passionate adventures, but you will find that one tiny scratch below our icy surface uncovers all kinds of lovers’ rendezvous.
Aurora Borealis, Aurora Village, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Seeing the Northern Lights should be on everyone's bucket list. For a whole whack of geographic reasons, Yellowknife is one of the best places in the world to see the lights and by all accounts the Aurora Village is a wonderful host. Look past their website (they say it's under construction) and read the online reviews, even local Yellowknifers are impressed by this place. Service includes pick-up from your hotel, a reclining, heated outdoor viewing seat for two and a choice of daytime dog sledding, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. Just think of the ‘selfie’ opportunities!
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Well known to be one of the top ski resorts in North America, Whistler-Blackcomb boasts thousands of kilometers of snowy terrain on which to ski, snowboard, dog-sled, snowshoe, ice skate, snow tube, bird-watch, or for the truly adventurous, winter bungee jump. Once you and your loved one are done risking your lives in the snow, there are spas, restaurants and all manner of après ski activities available to warm your cockles. For a special occasion try dinner in the Grill Room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler followed by arm-in-arm ice-skating under the stars at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario
Formerly home to a Victorian-era distillery, this east-end micro-neighbourhood has become a popular date-night destination for locals and tourists alike. Wander through the winding cobblestone streets and visit the expertly renovated industrial buildings that are now home to artists, cafes, galleries and restaurants. Stop for a latte in the District’s very popular Balzac's Coffee Roasters café and complete your evening just off the main gates with dinner at Archeo, an Italian bistro that calls itself the restaurant equivalent of an urban loft apartment. Also of note, many of the locations in the Distillery District double as wedding venues. Just saying.
Hotel Le St James, Montreal, Quebec
Offering old world charm in Old Montreal with all the modern luxuries imaginable, this boutique hotel will make you forget your cares in seconds. On offer are beautifully appointed rooms, a highly acclaimed restaurant, and best of all, a candlelight couples massage located in a very private former merchant's bank vault. Pamper all your senses, want for nothing, and simply enjoy being with each other. Bien sûr, the outside world can wait.
Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Been there, done that? How about Fogo Island? Remote, stark and breathtakingly beautiful, this tiny island just off the northeast tip of Newfoundland is home to the high-end, high-service Fogo Island Inn. The sparse yet exceedingly comfortable decor in each room reduces outside stimulus, allowing you to focus on each other and the wild North Atlantic crashing outside your floor-to-ceiling windows. For Valentine’s Day the Inn offers a Love (the) Bird’s package that includes wine, chocolate and cheese pairings, a day of guided bird watching, a locally sourced five-course supper and your choice of skating, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. Romantic much?
Canada is chock-full of cozy nooks, intimate restaurants and an extensive list of outdoor winter activities to redden your cheeks. So no matter what your heart desires impress your sweetie with something right in your own backyard.