Your Canadian Summer

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Temperatures are rising! With the first day of summer around the corner, here is a short list of must do’s for a true Canadian summer.

  1. Visit a local farmers markets or go fruit picking
    Skip the middleman and buy your produce straight from the source. Truly fresh and delicious, buying local supports our Canadian farmers and economy. Better yet, throw on a sunhat and make your way down to a farm. Many have pick-your-own options throughout the season.
  2. Try Canoeing
    Whether you choose to row down a river or leisurely fish, this Canadian classic never disappoints. There are rental opportunities across the country, so no excuses!
  3. Be wow-ed at a Pow Wow
    Experience the spectacular dances, food, music and art of the different tribes that make up the First Nations. These communities are an important part of this lands history. It is imperative that we do everything in our power to keep their traditions & culture alive.
    https://www.beadeddreams.ca/pages/pow-wow-schedule
  4. Go to a music festival
    Friends, tunes and festival gear. What’s not to love?
    http://indie88.com/2017-guide-to-canadian-music-festivals/
  5. Enjoy cottage season
    Picture this. It is a warm summer night and you are curled up in a muskoka chair. You take a sip of your cool beer and look up at the sky. You hear your friends laughing in the background and smell the makings of a smore. You will join them in a minute, but for now all you can think is how spectacular the stars look. Was there always this many?

Coffee Addicts Anonymous

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Do you ever have those days, where your standard cup of morning brew isn’t cutting it?

Or it is 3pm on a Monday afternoon and you find yourself at the coffee machine for the 4th time that day?

Let us provide you with a short education on how to get the most out of your cup of coffee. There are three distinct ways to affect your coffee’s caffeine content: bean type, roast & brewing technique. Time to super charge that morning routine!

Bean Type: Most coffee you purchase is either Arabica or Robusta. You may be surprised to hear that Robusta contains double the caffeine.

Roast: Darker roasts have a stronger flavour due to an elongated roasting period. However, this does not translate to caffeine content. The longer the bean is roasted, the more caffeine is burnt off. Stick to a light roast if you are looking for a strong caffeine hit.

Brewing Technique: The brewing technique functions opposite to the roast. The longer the process, the stronger the coffee. Therefore, a traditional drip coffee, which takes upwards of five minutes to brew is your strongest choice. Versus an espresso shot only takes 20 seconds to make and the caffeine content is reflective of that.

To get the strongest possible kick-in-the-butt brew, pull that drip coffee machine out of the back of your cupboard and make yourself a light Robusta roast coffee. Bearable Monday mornings, here you come!

Maple Syrup – A Photo Diary

In true Canucker fashion we celebrated maple month, by visiting our local sugarbush. From a tractor ride to sampling sap straight from the tree tap, our experience at Horton Tree Farms was the epitome of spring fun!

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Upon arrival, we jumped on the tractor while soaking in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings. Ready for an adventure!

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As its name suggests, Horton Tree Farm doubles as a Christmas tree farm.

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So much to do, where to start?

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“Sugar maple sap is 3% sugar, 96% water. Sap flows in the trunk only when it thaws by day and freezes at night. This occurs for 4-5 weeks in the springs. Tapholes are bored 5-6 cm, into the sapwood. Each hole may yield 20-40 litres of sap in a season.”
– Horton Tree Farms

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Remember these?

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Did you know, it takes 40 litres of sap to make one litre of maple syrup?

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The sap must be boiled, to evaporate the water content. As the water evaporates, the sap thickens and caramelizes.

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A Canadian spring – too cold to swim but too warm to skate. We will settle for sunshine.

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“North American natives discovered maple syrup thousands of years ago. This was one of the few natural sources of sugar available to them. To natives, syrup making is a spiritual event, representing balance between men and women. The sap represents woman and the fire represents man. When the two are brought together in perfect balance, sweet syrup is made representing the children.”
– Horton Tree Farms

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After our adventure, we could not wait to dig into a plate full of maple syrup drenched pancakes. Good news: It was better than we could have dreamed. Bad news: We were so excited, we forgot cameras existed.

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While working off the pancakes, we made a lovely new friend.

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Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas?

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Shaded haystacks and vintage skates: The end to a perfect day.

Plaid: J.Crew (similar) Chinos: J.Crew Cap: Bass Pro Shops Sunglasses: Spy Optic
Watch: G-Shock (similar) Running Boots: Pajar CANADIAN BRAND (similar)

5 Unique Places to Stay Across Canada

Spring is in the air and we are heading into the 14th week of 2017. Perfect time to start using up those vacation days, n’est-ce pas?

Below are five Instagram worthy accommodations across Canada, from tree pods in BC to a railway caboose in PEI.

modern cabin

Ultra modern cabin in Columbia-Shuswap A, BC for $449 per night – Airbnb

mongolian yurt

Mongolian yurt in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory for $111 per night – Airbnb

pumpkin house

A museum guesthouse in Twillingate, NL for $248 per night – Airbnb

blue caboose

A train caboose in Flat River, PEI for $155 per night – Airbnb

free spirit spheres

Forest spheres in Qualicum Beach, BC for $175 per night – Free Spirit Spheres

A Short History of a Canadian Icon: The Hudson’s Bay Company

An influential part of Canada’s past and the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the world, Hudson’s Bay continues to play a dominant role in Canada and its retail sector.

Two Frenchmen, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson reached out to an interested English Prince Rupert after failing to garner the necessary support from France. They proposed a trading company in Canada to benefit from the rich fur resources found in the interior Hudson Bay basin.

Prince Rupert was granted ownership of a million and a half square miles (over 40% of modern day Canada) surrounding Hudson Bay by his cousin King Charles. It was aptly named Rupert’s Land.

The Hudson’s Bay Company was founded in 1670, with exclusive trading rights. Beaver fur was largely in demand due to the exceeding popularity of fur hats in Europe. As such, the chief focus of HBC between 1670 and 1870 was fur trade.

Local aboriginals participated in fur hunting, trading in their spoils for European goods and tools. One popularly traded commodity was the now iconic point blanket.

In 1869 HBC traded Rupert’s Land back to the English crown, in return for large sums of money and significant land holdings. By 1870 Rupert’s Land was incorporated into the newly independent Canada.

By 1913 the company’s focus had moved towards retail and they opened the first of the original six department stores, in Calgary. To this day, the Hudson’s Bay Company remains an iconic driving force in Canada’s retail sector, with over 90 department stores across the country.

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Sweater: Hudson’s Bay Company (sold out) Chinos: J.Crew
Shirt: Hugo Boss Hat: Goorin Bros (similar)

Balancing Act: Comfort & Fashion

Has the sweatsuit made a comeback? You would be forgiven for thinking so. Designer runways and celebrity trend setters have pushed the boundaries of fashion to a new comfort realm. The dizzying popularity of Vêtements has inspired men and women alike to trade in their buttoned up business attire, for a trendy sweatpant or a tongue-and-cheek tee.

This has left many wondering…

Is it appropriate for work? Unless you are in a creative field, probably not.

Can I pull it off at parties? Depends on the scenario and your friends of course, but I wouldn’t aim to woo too many lovers.

How about a trip to the mall? Full sweats may be too blasé, but pair sweatpants with a cool tee and a blazer and you are solid.

For me, the sweatsuit will always hold a dearly nostalgic place in my heart. However it will remain relegated to outdoor adventures, weekend morning jaunts and late night cravings.

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Hoodie: Roots Sweatpants: Roots Hat: Goorin Bros (similar) Sunglasses: Spy Optic
Watch: G-Shock (similar) Running Shoes: Nike (similar)
Coffee: Tim Hortons Newspaper: Globe & Mail 

HOCKEY SLANG 101

Rink rats and hockey fans have developed a unique hockey lingo, fostered over endless hours spent in the arena. To the rest of us English speakers, it might as well be Dothraki.

The list below will guide you through hockey season and might also help decipher our new favourite comedy show, Letterkenny.

The immensely popular Youtube series turned Crave TV original: Letterkenny, follows Wayne and his comedic friends, while they sort out life, love and hockey in their small fictional town of Letterkenny, Ontario.

1452546553655Watch Letterkenny: Power Pose, here.

BARN: Arena or rink.

BAR DOWN: A shot that hits the crossbar and ricochets into goal.

BEAUTY: Excellent. Often times used to describe a play or player.

BISCUIT: Hockey puck.

CLAPPER: Slap shot.

DANGLE: Clever and deceptive puck handling.

FLOW: Long hockey hair.

MITTS: A nifty set of hands or a players gloves.

PYLON: A slow skating player that can be easily skated around or appears to be standing still.

SNOW: A hockey player coming to an abrupt full stop in front of another player, showering them in snow.

SAUCE: A puck passed through the air, which lands directly before contact of your teammates stick.

SNIPE: A powerfully accurate shot on net, which scores a goal.

TWIG (aka. Weapon): Hockey sticks were historically made of wood. The material has since changed to composite, but the colloquial term twig remains.