Ontario – Raymond Massey

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we journey to Ontario, which likes to think of itself as the center of the universe. Does that theory hold up? Let’s find out:

Motto: “Loyal she began, loyal she remains” – This has some abusive vibes to it…

Food: While popular across the country – and even internationally – Tim Hortons is an institution in Ontario. It was founded in Hamilton in 1964 by hockey star Tim Horton. The company’s headquarters are now in Toronto. As of 2022, there were 1,713 Tim Hortons locations in Ontario, accounting for 48 per cent of all the chain’s locations in Canada. I can attest, Tim Hortons donut holes, called Timbits, are quite addictive.

Drink: The Labatt Brewing Company was founded by John Labatt in 1847 in London, back when the area was known as Canada West, rather than Ontario. The company is headquartered in Toronto, but is now owned by the Anheuser-Busch InBev conglomerate. Labatt is the largest brewery in Canada, with brands including Labatt Blue (lager) and Labatt 50 (ale).

Tim Hortons

Site to See: Niagara Falls, on the border of Ontario and New York State, is the top tourist attraction in the province. Most fascinating to me is the number of daredevils who have tried to survive going over the falls. Sadly, many did not live to tell the tale, including those who used the falls to commit suicide. An estimated 5,000 bodies have been found in the waters below the falls between 1850 and 2011.

Street: Yonge Street in Toronto was, for a time, called the longest street in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Although this was a mistake, one title that has remained is ‘Main Street Ontario’. Notable sites along the route include the Eaton Centre shopping mall and Dundas Square, where a number of eating, entertainment and shopping options can be found.

TV Show: I’ve enjoyed a number of series set in Ontario, chief among them Letterkenny. The show highlights the lives of those living in the country community, based on star Jared Keeso’s hometown of Listowel. The townsfolk are broken up between being hicks, jocks, skids and natives. The quick dialogue has created many popular catchphrases and added numerous idioms to the lexicon.

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, starring Michael Cera, is about a young man pursuing the girl of his dreams, only to find out he has to defeat her seven evil exes to be with her. The film, based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, uses many video game references. It’s set in Toronto, featuring landmarks such as Casa Loma, St. Michael’s College School and a Toronto Public Library location.

Niagara Falls

Book/Author: Margaret Atwood, born in Ottawa, is a Canadian literary icon. Atwood has published numerous works, including 18 novels, 18 books of poetry, eight children’s books and two graphic novels. Perhaps her most notable work is The Handmaid’s Tale, which was adapted into a 2017 TV series. Among her many accolades, Atwood received the Order of Canada in 1981 and Order of Ontario in 1990.

Fictional Character: A few other characters/shows deserving of mention include Mr. Kim (Kim’s Convenience), William Murdoch (Murdoch Mysteries), Red Green (The Red Green Show), Hobo the Dog (The Littlest Hobo), and Bob and Doug McKenzie (SCTV). Combined, the characters/shows give a good representation of Ontario from the late 19th century – the setting of Murdoch Mysteries – to present day.

Fictional City: Since Letterkenny was already mentioned above, I’ll use this category to feature Schitt’s Creek, both the show and the invented locale. When video store mogul Johnny Rose loses his entire fortune, he and his peculiar family are forced to move to the one property they still own, the rural town of Schitt’s Creek. Here, they interact with the eclectic citizens, while trying to rebuild their lives.

Actor/Actress: There are too many folks that fit this category, so I’ll just list them: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Ryan Gosling, Jay Baruchel, Rachel McAdams, Keanu Reeves, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Matthew Perry, John Candy, Neve Campbell, Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Sandra Oh, Martin Short… did I miss anyone?

Margaret Atwood

Song: A Place to Stand, A Place to Grow is the unofficial anthem of Ontario. It was written by Dolores Claman, best known for writing The Hockey Theme, which is viewed as a secondary national anthem in Canada. The song was used at the Ontario pavilion at the Expo 67 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec. It was also featured in the short film A Place to Stand, which won a 1967 Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Band/Musician: Once again, there are many options for this category. If I had to narrow it down to one, I think I’d select Justin Bieber. Just kidding, I’d probably go with Rush, but others deserving of mention include Alanis Morissette, The Tragically Hip, Drake, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Neil Young, The Weeknd, Shania Twain, Paul Anka, Blue Rodeo, Alessia Cara, deadmau5, Gordon Lightfoot, Our Lady Peace, Sum 41, etc.

People: Another tough category to narrow down, so I’ll split it between two long-time media personalities, one universally beloved and the other incredibly controversial. First, Alex Trebek, born in Sudbury, hosted TV game show Jeopardy! for 37 years before his death in 2020. On the other end of the spectrum, hockey pundit Don Cherry was a fixture of Hockey Night in Canada for 33 years before being unceremoniously fired in 2019.

Animal: A few giant pandas have had notable stays at the Toronto Zoo. First, Qing Qing and Quan Quan appeared at the zoo in 1985, shattering all attendance records over the zoo’s history. Decades later, Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Toronto and in 2015, Er Shun gave birth to twin cubs, the first birth of giant pandas to occur in Canada. The cubs were named Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy).

Alex Trebek

Invention: Insulin, co-discovered by Sir Frederick Banting (born in Alliston) has to take this spot, thanks to the hormone’s ability to save the lives of those with diabetes or at least allow them to enjoy a safer, more comfortable existence. For his discovery, Banting was awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Medicine, at the age of 32, making him the youngest winner in that field to this day.

Crime: In the early 1990s, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, known as the Ken and Barbie Killers, raped and murdered three teenagers, including Homolka’s own sister. On his own, Bernardo was a prolific serial rapist, given the nicknames Scarborough Rapist and Schoolgirl Killer. The pair were convicted of their crimes, but while Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, Homolka cut a controversial plea deal and only served 12 years.

Sports Team: Ontario is home to the most sports franchises in the country. Toronto has the Maple Leafs (NHL), Raptors (NBA), Blue Jays (MLB) and Argos (CFL), while Ottawa offers the Senators (NHL) and Redblacks (CFL). There’s also the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats. The province also has the Ontario Hockey League, with 17 of the circuit’s 20 junior teams located within Ontario.

Athlete: Among other options, this category has to go to Wayne Gretzky. Born in Brantford, ‘The Great One’ owns countless NHL records and is generally regarded as the greatest hockey player the game has ever seen. Gretzky won four Stanley Cups, to go along with many individual awards, over his 20-year career. When Gretzky retired, he was immediately enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #99 jersey was retired league-wide.

Wayne Gretzky

Famous Home: While the Canadian Prime Minister’s residence seems like an obvious choice, I’ll go in a different direction, highlighting McCrae House in Guelph. It is the childhood home of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the poem In Flanders Field during World War I. Sadly, McCrae died of pneumonia before the war concluded. The home was named a National Historic Site in 1966.

Urban Legend: The Baldoon Mystery is a curious tale. Taking place in the community of Wallaceburg, the story states the family farm of John T. McDonald experienced many paranormal encounters, said to result from a witch’s curse. McDonald was advised to shoot a black-headed goose with a silver bullet, which would wound the witch as well. Upon shooting a goose in its wing, McDonald came across an old woman with a broken arm and the hauntings ceased.

Museum: The Hockey Hall of Fame was established in Toronto in 1943. With the 2021 induction ceremony, a total of 417 players, builders and officials have been enshrined in the Hall. The museum also allows visitors to get close to the Stanley Cup, which reminds me of the joke that the Hall of Fame was placed in Toronto, as that’s the closest folks living there would ever get to the championship!

Firsts: For a league that has only one Canadian team, it’s amazing the first-ever National Basketball Association game was played on November 1, 1946, in Toronto. The contest, played at Maple Leaf Gardens, was between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers, with the Knicks winning 68-66. The Huskies only lasted one season before folding and Toronto would be without a team until the Raptors were founded in 1995.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Company: As department stores go the way of the dodo, they were once major shopping institutions. All of the biggest Canadian department stores were headquartered in Ontario, including The Bay, Eaton’s and Sears. Of these, only The Bay, in existence in various forms since 1670, still exists, but they have struggled in recent years, due to discount stores and online shopping.

Events: The War of 1812, fought between the United States and the United Kingdom, featured a number of battles in Upper Canada (what is now Ontario). The war is credited for helping to create a sense of national identity in Canada. For Canadians, the war is perhaps best remembered for the burning of Washington, which included setting the White House, then known as the Presidential Mansion, and Capitol building ablaze.

Miscellaneous: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in the world, highlighted by the premieres of star-studded movies and creating buzz for films leading up to the award season. The festival was founded in 1976 and today lasts 11 days in mid-September. Some notable movies to debut at TIFF, include American Beauty, Ray, Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, and The King’s Speech.

Ontario: Raymond Massey

  • 2 oz Canadian Whiskey
  • Dash of Ginger Syrup
  • Top with Bubbly
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

This cocktail is named after actor Raymond Massey, who was born in Toronto, where the drink enjoys its popularity. It is a variation of the classic French 75 beverage, subbing in the Canadian Whiskey and Ginger Syrup, in favour of Gin and Lemon Juice.

Sip Trips #213: Colonial Corruptions

August was a fun month, highlighted by a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, where Mrs. Sip and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. There were other shenanigans before and after our getaway, so let’s see what the Family Sip got up to:

With Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings back from their vacation to Italy, Mrs. Sip and I were able to do a late night date night one evening, using the rest of a gift card we had for Piva Modern Italian. My meal consisted of the Dinner Burger with Caesar Salad and Fries – I love it when restaurants give you both and don’t make you decide between the two side dishes – and an IPA from Another Beer Company.

Caesar Salad

Friends from London were visiting that weekend and brought along a very kind gift for me. It was a set of spirits from the East London Liquor Co., which we had all visited years ago. The mini bottles included a gin, rum and vodka, which I look forward to enjoying soon.

As part of that weekend’s festivities, Mrs. Sip and I finally got to visit the new Russell Brewing tasting room. I’ve been wishing for a tasting room from this brewery for many years and it finally happened after six years of efforts on Russell’s behalf. While there, I enjoyed a Raspberry White Chocolate IPA and Mrs. Sip and I shared their Taco Duo of Carnitas and Carne Mezclada. They have an interesting menu item we’ll have to try in the future, called a Table Flight, where you get a taster of each beer they have on tap, served in a hubcap.

The next week, after taking care of some errands, Mrs. Sip and I rushed to attend some trivia at the Paddlewheeler Pub. We missed most of the first half, so didn’t fare to well score wise, but still had fun. For food, I had my usual Crispy Chicken Burger, paired with a Hop Valley Bubble Stash Mountain IPA and Spiced Rum and Coke on late night happy hour pricing.

Trivia

The main event of the month was our trek to Boston, which we picked travel roulette style. While Mrs. Sip generally takes the lead on vacation planning, this journey was left completely in the Sip Advisor’s hands, except for flight and hotel bookings. Upon arriving, we walked around our downtown hotel area and had dinner at the Hub Pub. I had a tasty Country Fried Chicken Club with a pair of Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAs, while Mrs. Sip had her first of many Lobster Rolls, joined by two Blue Moons.

The next morning, I picked up some provisions for our hotel room at the Boston Wine Exchange. For Mrs. Sip, I grabbed a bottle of rose, while for myself, I purchased the Lord Hobo IPA Sampler (Life Session IPA, 617 Hazy IPA, Juice Lord IPA, Boom Sauce Double IPA).

The first stop on my itinerary was the Sam Adams Tap Room. I had to go with the Boston Brick Red, which is only available in Boston, and became my favourite beer of the trip. Mrs. Sip put together a flight, comprised of the Wicked Hazy, Cherry Wheat, House Hazy Session IPA and Light it Up Lager. Prior to leaving, I spotted a t-shirt in their merch store, which had Prost (the German version of “cheers”) on it. Given this is a popular saying for our family and I’ve never seen any item that says it, I had to buy the garment. Sam Adams is big on their Oktoberfest beer, so that probably explains the unique clothing.

Sam Adams

Next up, was Democracy Brewing, where we had a delicious late lunch, sharing the Birria Quesitacos and Sweet Chili Bao Buns. Among many contenders, this may have been my favourite meal of the trip. To drink, Mrs. Sip had a Worker’s Pint Blonde Ale, while I went with the Fighting 54th Saison.

Then, we were off to Fenway Park for a tour of the historic stadium, followed later by a Boston Red Sox game. Between our tour and game, we enjoyed some AC and beers at Cheeky Monkey Brewing. I had the 3 Landsdowne IPA and Harambe’s Ghost Double IPA, while Mrs. Sip tried the Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale (complete with floating blueberries) and Sam Adams Oktoberfest. For a snack, we split an order of Queso Verde.

At the game, I had a tall can of Night Shift Whirlpool Pale Ale, while Mrs. Sip had a Goslings Dark N’ Stormy canned cocktail. We spent a portion of the game exploring parts of the stadium, where I almost satisfied my quest to eat something Fluffernutter (a sandwich the area is known for, made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff), as their R&D stall was offering Fluffernutter Fries. Sadly, the item had already sold out or was never available that day. Thus, I’m still chasing my white whale. Speaking of seafood, Mrs. Sip had another Lobster Roll, although this one didn’t stack up to the first one or the ones that would follow.

Fluffernutter

Following the game, we went to Yard House for our nightcap. I had servings of the House White Ale and IPA, along with an order of Shiitake Garlic Noodles that were good, but could have used a protein added to the dish.

To begin our anniversary day, I’d scheduled a North End Secret Food Tour. I’d previously tried to book the Classic Bites of Boston Food Tour (Lobster, Chowder, Baked Beans, Boston Cream Pie), but they were only accepting groups of eight or more. I won’t go into too much detail about where we ate, so as to keep the secrets of the tour, but I will discuss the items we ate. We enjoyed generous servings of New England Clam Chowder (with Cornbread), gourmet nuts, Lobster Roll, Salumi Sandwich, Cheese Pizza and Cannoli, while our fantastic guide Gabriel provided us with some of the history of the North End, also known as Little Italy. One place I will mention us eating at was the historic Union Oyster House, where we added a pint of Sam Adams Colonial Ale to our meal, as the beer is exclusive to this restaurant, the oldest in Boston. My only criticism of the tour is the drink add-on is overpriced at $35 per person. Luckily, my beverage knowledge told me we should avoid the package and just get drinks separately, if we wanted any.

Following our tour, we walked to Night Shift Brewing, where I had their Fluffy New England IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Pumpkin Piescraper. Fall is coming, my little sippers!

Pumpkin

Prior to our anniversary dinner, we popped into the nearby Trillium Brewing. Here, I had the Jamaica Pond IPA, while Mrs. Sip had the Oenobier, a unique brew made with Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay grapes.

Our fantastic dinner was at Row 34. They provided us with glasses of complimentary bubbly for our anniversary, which we paired with starters of Cornbread with Maple Butter and Salmon Crudo. Next up, was a pair of oysters for each of us and the amazing Poolside Splash cocktail (Citrus Vodka, Basil, Apricot, Thai Chili, Lime, Soda) for me. Dinner itself featured a scrumptious Oyster Po’Boy with deliciously-seasoned chips for moi and Warm Buttered Lobster for Mrs. Sip. We split a bottle of wine over our main course and left the restaurant quite happy.

Our last full day was spent exploring the city’s Freedom Trail, which is 2.5-mile long path, stopping at numerous sites that are important in the revolutionary history of Boston and the U.S. To loosen up for the walk, we started at the Bull & Finch Pub, better known as the Cheers bar, since it provided the exterior shots for the popular TV series. Here, I had another Sam Adams Boston Brick Red, while Mrs. Sip went with the Sam Adams Summer Ale. We also bought a Christmas ornament here, as has become a tradition for Mrs. Sip and me when travelling.

Cheers

After a few stops along the trail, it was time for lunch, so we tried Luke’s Lobster, which offered an interesting Lobster Roll Flight (Spicy Honey Butter, Truffle and Lemon Butter). Continuing on along the historic trek, we next took a break at the Green Dragon Tavern, where I had a Green Dragon Tavern Ale, while Mrs. Sip selected the Bunker Hill Boozie (Rhubarb and Strawberry Gin, Thyme Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Bubbly).

Upon completing the Freedom Trail, we met with a local friend at the Warren Tavern, the oldest tavern in Massachusetts. I went the cocktail route here, as the G.T.O.T.M. – Gin and Tonic of the Moment – comprised of watermelon, lime, basil and simple syrup really caught my eye. To share, we ordered Pretzel Sticks, Lump Crab Cakes and Nachos.

For dinner, we went to Scampo at the Liberty Hotel. Although I originally wasn’t too hungry, I devoured my yummy Lobster Pizza, which I paired with a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Mrs. Sip had an interesting Banana Rum Old Fashioned as her beverage. After our meal, we went to the upstairs Lobby Bar. All of the Liberty Hotel was the former Charles Street Jail, so many of it’s restaurants and bars are prison-themed, including Clink and Alibi.

Freedom Trail

The next day, with a few hours left before we had to fly home, we checked out the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. There, we had a drink and snack at Abigail’s Tea Room. My beer cocktail Rattle Skull (Rum, Whiskey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, topped with Sam Adams Lager) was interesting, while Mrs. Sip was able to try each of the five teas that were tossed overboard as part of the Boston Tea Party.

One final visit to the Sam Adams Tap Room was in order, as was one final serving of Boston Brick Red. Then, it was off to Logan Airport. Before boarding our flight, we had one final meal at Legal Sea Foods. I ordered the Double R Ranch Bacon Cheddar Burger with Fries and Coleslaw, paired with a Harpoon IPA. To sum up Boston, we absolutely loved the city. The history, the food and the drink were top notch. It’s a very walkable city and that’s the best way to get around, as traffic is bad in the downtown core.

Boston

Back home, we wrapped the month with a visit to the PNE/Playland. We started with a serving of Pop Rocks Chicken, which put pop rocks candy on top of popcorn chicken, in a curious blend. Over the course of the day, I had cans of Parallel 49 Trash Panda Hazy IPA and Stanley Park Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale. The evening wrapped with a delicious dinner at Jimmy’s Lunch, where I thoroughly enjoyed my Hardy Burger (all the fixings) and perfectly done fries. Jimmy’s is a PNE institution, but this is the first time I’ve ever eaten at the stall.

Well, that’s a wrap on our very eventful August. September looks to be just as action-packed, as we have a ton of birthdays in the family on deck, including yours truly and Girl Sip. These will be celebrated on a cruise to California, where we’ll spend a week at Disneyland!

Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we visit Atlantic Canada’s most populated province, Nova Scotia. Let’s see what this ‘New Scotland’ has to offer:

Motto: “One defends and the other conquers” – Them sounds like fighting words!

Food: Mrs. Sip and I once did a food tour in Nova Scotia and among the many highlights was trying a Halifax Donair, the official food of the city. King of Donair (KOD), a chain founded in Halifax in 1973, is responsible for bring the dish to the area. KOD has been featured in the Trailer Park Boys, as well as visited by celebrity chefs, such as Anthony Bourdain. December 8 is National Donair Day.

Drink: Alexander Keith’s Brewery was founded in Halifax in 1820. The brand is best known for the India Pale Ale offering. The brewery tour is a lot of fun, as the experience tries to take you back in time, allowing visitors to play old drinking games, as they enjoy beer samples. Today, the brewery is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Nova Scotia also has a Good Cheer Trail, covering breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, and meaderies.

Donair Sauce

Site to See: Peggy’s Cove and its famous lighthouse are a top tourist attraction in Nova Scotia. In 2021, a new viewing platform opened to the public, although walking the rocks is a lot of fun. The area is also home to the Swissair 111 Memorial, which was erected after the plane crashed into the nearby St. Margaret’s Bay, killing all 229 passengers and crew aboard.

Street: The Cabot Trail can be found on Cape Breton Island, named after explorer John Cabot, who landed in the region (most historians now agree Cabot reached Newfoundland, not Nova Scotia) in 1497. Some notable sites along the highway include the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Nova Scotia also has a Lobster Trail, for those interested in dining on the tasty crustacean.

TV Show: Trailer Park Boys is a mockumentary of life at the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. The trio of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles are always getting into trouble with each get-rich-quick scheme they are working. Always on their heels is on-again, off-again trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey. The Trailer Park Boys franchise has spawned an animated series, as well as feature movies and other specials.

Movie: Goon and its sequel Goon: Last of the Enforcers are set in Halifax, where main character Doug Glatt is the enforcer of the Halifax Highlanders minor league hockey team. Ironically, the movies were filmed in Manitoba and Ontario, respectively. In a nice Nova Scotia crossover reference, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys appear in the movie as control room workers.

Trailer Park Boys

Book/Author: Novelist and short story writer Alistair MacLeod spent a great deal of time on Cape Breton Island and did much of his writing there, while staying on his family’s land during summer breaks. MacLeod has been praised for providing vivid images of Cape Breton Island’s landscape throughout his works. His novel No Great Mischief, was voted Atlantic Canada’s greatest book of all-time.

Fictional Character: Theodore Tugboat operates in Halifax Harbour and was the inspiration for a children’s TV series, before branching out into toy lines, books and other merchandise. Many of the other characters in the franchise are named after places in Nova Scotia, along with the other Atlantic provinces. A life-size version of Theodore Tugboat, named Theodore Too, was built in Dayspring.

Fictional City: While more of a community than a city, Sunnyvale Trailer Park is home to a vast collection of eclectic characters. Aside from those already mentioned, other notable residents include Randy, the always shirtless assistant park manager; Cory and Trevor, used by the main three as errand boys and scapegoats; and J-Roc, a white rapper who struggles with his identity.

Actor/Actress: Elliot Page (formerly Ellen), star of movies such as Juno, Inception and a couple of the X-Men films, was born in Halifax. Page currently stars on the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, where his character has been written as transgendered, to match Page’s real-life gender identity. One of Page’s earliest credits was as Treena Lahey on the Trailer Park Boys.

Theodore Tugboat

Song: My Nova Scotia Home by Hank Snow is among many songs dedicated to the province. Perhaps the strongest line in Snow’s ode to his birthplace is “Nova Scotia is my sanctuary, and I love her so.” Snow was born in Brooklyn (not New York) and enjoyed a long career in music, releasing 140 albums and numerous chart-topping singles. The Hank Snow Museum can be found in Liverpool (not England).

Band/Musician: Nova Scotia’s most notable musicians are female artists, including Sarah McLachlan and Anne Murray. McLachlan, with hits such as Building a Mystery and I Will Remember You, has sold 40 million albums globally and started the Lilith Fair tour. Murray has enjoyed a decades-long career and is viewed as someone who paved the way for future Canadian females to crossover into international markets.

People: Danny Gallivan enjoyed a long broadcasting career, including 32 years as the voice of Hockey Night in Canada. His unique calls became known as ‘Gallivanisms’, including inventing the now common term spin-o-rama. Gallivan, who was born in Sydney, created the Danny Gallivan Golf Tournament, which has raised close to $1.5 million for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Animal: Rutledge the Lion was born at Aylesford’s Oaklawn Farm Zoo (Nova Scotia’s largest zoo) in 1991. The big cat grew so large, at one time, it held the Guinness World Record for heaviest lion in captivity at 807 pounds. Sadly, Rutledge was euthanized in February 2009, at the age of 17. He had stopped eating and begun losing weight. Rutledge was buried at the zoo.

Sarah Mclachlan

Invention: Newsprint, allowing newspapers and other publications to operate more economically, was invented by Nova Scotia’s Charles Fenerty in 1844. After perfecting his process, Fenerty took a sample of the finished product to the Acadian Recorder, Halifax’s most popular newspaper of the time. Despite his work on newsprint, Fenerty never tried to patent the invention.

Crime: In April 2020, Gabriel Wortman murdered 22 people before he was killed by police, ending the 13-hour rampage, the deadliest in Canadian history. The spree resulted in a federal ban of many assault-style weapons. Another infamous crime in the province was the 1992 Sydney River McDonald’s Murders, where three friends went from robbing a McDonald’s to murdering three employees.

Sports Team: Two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams, the Halifax Mooseheads and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, are perhaps the biggest games in the province. The Atlantic Schooners are a proposed expansion team for the Canadian Football League. The franchise had a failed 1984 bid, which was revived in 2018, although no official application has been made.

Athlete: Sidney Crosby was born in Halifax and has gone on the meet all the expectations that were thrust upon him as a young hockey prodigy. Crosby has won three Stanley Cups, along with earning nearly every personal NHL award available. In a “you couldn’t write a better ending” moment, Crosby scored the ‘golden goal’, which won Canada a gold medal on home ice at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Sidney Crosby

Famous Home: The Maud Lewis House, originally located in Marshalltown, is a work of art. So much so, that the cottage now resides in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, allowing for its safe preservation. Maud Lewis was a Nova Scotian folk artist, who used her home as a canvas. Despite living most of her life in poverty, Lewis’ work is now recognized on postage stamps, while paintings have sold for record prices at auction.

Urban Legend: The Oak Island Mystery is so legendary, it inspired the reality TV series The Curse of Oak Island. The mystery involves tales of buried treasure on Oak Island, with the lost artifacts believed to be anything from Marie Antoinette’s jewels to the Holy Grail or Ark of the Covenant. Legend says seven men will die before the treasure is discovered. Thus far, six men have perished while searching.

Museum: The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic can be found on the Halifax Waterfront. It was opened in 1948 and is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada. The museum is home to more than 30,000 artifacts. Exhibits include Shipwreck Treasures of Nova Scotia, a Convoy Exhibit on the World War II Battle of the Atlantic, and Titanic Exhibit, including items from the doomed ship.

Firsts: On December 15, 1902, electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi successful made the first wireless message from North America to Europe. Thus, Marconi is viewed as the inventor of radio. He was co-awarded the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for his continued efforts in the field. The Marconi National Historic Site and Marconi Wireless Station National Historic Site can be found on Cape Breton Island.

Titanic

Company: Sobeys, Canada’s second largest grocery store chain, was founded in Stellarton in 1907. The company, which operates each of the country’s 10 provinces, is still headquartered in Stellarton today. Grocery chains under the Sobeys banner include IGA, Safeway, Thrifty Foods and FreshCo. The Subsidiary has also dabbled in the movie theatre and gas station industries.

Events: The 1917 Halifax Explosion occurred when a French cargo ship, carrying explosives, crashed into a Norwegian boat. The resulting explosion killed at least 1,782 people and completely decimated the Halifax Harbour. As if the blast wasn’t enough, a tsunami followed. The Halifax Harbour also played a role in the aftermath of the Titanic sinking, being where recovered bodies of those who perished were shipped.

Miscellaneous: Nova Scotians are known as ‘Bluenosers’, a reference that was later used to name the famous racing schooner Bluenose, which was built in Lunenburg in 1921. The sailing ship and fishing vessel was nicknamed ‘Queen of the North Atlantic’. The Bluenose appears on Nova Scotia licence plates, the Canadian dime, three different postage stamps, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • 0.25 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with a Lemon Twist

Nova Scotia has a cocktail named after it, so I had to use the recipe. I didn’t have any Yellow Chartreuse on hand, so I used Drambuie as a substitute. We finish by saying “sociable”, the province’s version of “cheers”!

Sip Trips #212: Bachelor Recall

Well, July was an interesting month, with about half of it spent living an alternative life without the wife and kids. Did the Sip Advisor get up to much trouble? Nah, I’m too much of a homebody, but I did manage some fun. Here’s how the month played out:

July began with the Sip Family arriving in Penticton for the second half of our Okanagan getaway. For one of our lunches, we ate at Saltys, where Mrs. Sip and I shared a pitcher of Rhino Watermelon Wheat Ale. I paired this with an order of Fish & Chips. The restaurant had a neat collection of cocktails and a great food menu for kids and adults alike.

Pour Decisions

Before leaving Penticton, we had our final lunch at Neighbourhood Brewing. Both Mrs. Sip and I took advantage of their 3 Tacos deal, with my selections being the Prawn Shop Shrimp Taco, Guy Fiery Buffalo Fried Chicken Taco and Cluck Kent Fried Chicken Taco, while Mrs. Sip ordered the Piggies Smalls Al Pastor, James Pond Baja Fish Taco and Cluck Norris Roasted Chicken. Sadly, they were tapped out of a few beers that interested our group, but I did enjoy my fallback choice Way of Life Hazy IPA and the taste I had of Mrs. Sip’s Sunshine City Passionfruit Wheat Ale. I liked that the kid’s meals come with chips and a churro for dessert.

For the second half of the month, I was left to my own devices, as Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings travelled to Italy. The quiet weekdays were a stark contrast to my very active weekends, making for a perfect blend of rest and getting off my ass. My first outing was attending a New Westminster Salmonbellies lacrosse game. Tickets are only $15 for adults and half that price for kids. My only complaint from the experience is they should bring in some New West craft beer for the games, rather than serving up Coors and Canadian.

Lacrosse

The next night, a friend and I met for dinner at the Paddlewheeler Pub. We were greeted by live music and a delicious meal. I had the Crispy Chicken Burger, which I’ve enjoyed there before, and shared a pitcher of Okanagan Springs 1516 Lager.

After dinner, we hit a couple locations on my Columbia Street crawl list. Both bars, Judge Begbie’s Tavern and The Met, we’re first time visits for the Sip Advisor, which seems criminal after living in New West since September 2018. I liked both places, particularly The Met’s outdoor patio area.

Next up, a friend invited me to join him for a Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game. While attending the unfortunate loss for the team, I had servings of Goose Island IPA and Stanley Park Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale. The two 24oz brews set me back more than $40, but that’s what you get with stadium pricing.

Stadium Beers

To wrap the weekend, Pa Sip and I had tickets to watch John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Prior to the concert, we had a great meal at Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House, which we selected to go with the southern theme of our concert. My drinks included the Dageraad Rainshine Blonde Ale and a pair of Jack Daniels and Cokes. To eat, I went with the Dirty Fries, as I didn’t have a huge appetite.

I ended July with style, attending the Cool Lager Fest at Another Beer Company (ABC) with Cousin Sip. The event was part of the brewery’s third birthday celebrations and beer tokens were $5.25 each with no entry fee. My original plan was to just get a few tokens, but ended up getting eight over the course of the afternoon, allowing me to get at least one beer from each of the breweries on hand: ABC, Steel & Oak, Four Winds, Luppolo, Red Collar, Slow Hand, and Studio. The ABC crew did their best to deal with the hot day, offering beer slushies for no extra charge and stringing up misters around the already tented seating. One of the planned food trucks never showed up (or at least hadn’t by the time I left), but there was food and ice cream on hand for those who wanted it.

With Mrs. Sip and the Sipplings returning imminently, life will get busy again. The highlight of August looks to be my and Mrs. Sip’s getaway to Boston to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but I’m sure other fun activities will pop up as the month progresses.

Newfoundland and Labrador – Screech Newfoundland Flower

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we journey to Newfoundland and Labrador, affectionately known as The Rock. The place is called Canada’s Happy Province, so let’s see if that’s true:

Motto: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” – Do you have a map I can borrow?

Food: What do you get when you throw salted beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips into a bowl and boil the whole collection together? You get the Newfie culinary delight known as Jiggs Dinner. The meal is typically followed by servings of pease pudding or figgy duff for dessert. Another edible tradition from the province is Fries, Dressing and Gravy (aka Newfoundland Fries), which is similar to poutine.

Drink: Newfoundland Screech is a rum distributed by Rock Spirits in St. John’s. The spirit gets its name from the term for any cheap, high alcohol booze, such as moonshine. Screech is famous for the ritual of the “screech-in”, which is performed by Newfoundlanders onto visitors to the island. The mainlander will take a shot of Screech, recite a prepared verse and kiss a codfish or suitable substitution.

Screech

Site to See: L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is an ancient Norse settlement – the only in North America – and is the oldest European settlement on the continent. Discovered in 1960, the site has since been named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1968 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The settlement served as a base camp for Norse explorers to further explore.

Street: George Street in St. John’s has been dubbed ‘The Biggest Little Street in North America’ by the George Street Association. And the area sounds like a lot of fun, with two dozen bars, pubs and restaurants along it’s two-block stretch (most bars and pubs per square in North America). George Street is only open to traffic in the mornings, to allow businesses to restock, and even has it’s own festival.

TV Show: Republic of Doyle is a comedy-drama series set in St. John’s. Airing for six seasons and 77 episodes, the show followed the adventures of private investigator Jake Doyle and his family. Stars such as Russell Crowe, Victor Garber and Luis Guzman made guest appearances during the series’ run. The show was nominated for a number of Canadian media awards.

Movie: Come From Away is a film version of the live musical of the same name, which depicts the events following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when around 7,000 airline passengers were redirected to and stranded for a week in the small town of Gander. The movie was released on Apple TV+ on September 10, 2021, right before the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

George-Street

Book/Author: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, is about a New York newspaper reporter, who moves to Newfoundland, where his father’s family had lived, in the hopes of restarting his life. It won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (along with the 1993 National Book Award for Fiction) and was later adapted into a 2001 movie, starring Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench and Julianne Moore.

Fictional Character: Mr. Peanutbutter, from the adult animated comedy BoJack Horseman, is a Labrador Retriever, making him from the Labrador Peninsula (which is shown in the cartoon as being inhabited by only Labrador Retrievers). Mr. Peanutbutter is overly friendly, thus making him the perfect Canadian. The character is voiced by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.

Fictional City: I couldn’t find any fictional locales for Newfoundland and Labrador, but perhaps this is the best category for noting the province has a collection of interestingly-named towns. This list includes Conception Bay, Heart’s Desire, Heart’s Content and the world famous community of Dildo. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel featured the place on his show and was made its honourary mayor for his efforts.

Actor/Actress: Shannon Tweed was born in Whitbourne. The 1982 Playboy Playmate of the Year had roles in soap operas such as Falcon Crest and Days of Our Lives, along with numerous guest appearances on TV shows, including Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, Baywatch and Frasier. Tweed is married the Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and featured prominently on his reality series Family Jewels.

Mr. Peanutbutter

Song: Ode to Newfoundland is Newfoundland and Labrador’s official provincial anthem and was once the area’s official national anthem, until Newfoundland became a Canadian province in 1949. It was composed by Cavendish Boyle in 1902, and sung by Frances Daisy Foster. The song is still sung at public events today, although typically only the first and last verses of the four-verse poem.

Band/Musician: Great Big Sea was formed in St. John’s in 1993. The folk rock band is perhaps best known for their songs When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down) and Ordinary Day, which both featured on the Canadian RPM charts. The group retired following their 20th anniversary tour, although some of the members have continued on with solo careers and playing Great Big Sea songs.

People: Two legendary broadcasters, known for their long careers with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, hail from St. John’s. First, Bob Cole provided play-by-play commentary for NHL games (most notably on Hockey Night in Canada) for 50 seasons. Second, Rick Mercer hosted the news parody show Rick Mercer Report for 15 seasons. Mercer is best known for his Talking to Americans segments, showing the knowledge or lack thereof of Americans on Canadian subjects.

Animal: A pair of dog breeds, the Newfoundland Dog and Labrador Retriever, come from the province. Both breeds developed from working with fishermen. The most famous Newfoundland Dog was Napoleon the Wonder Dog, a circus performer, while some notable Labrador Retrievers, include Marley (aka “the world’s worst dog”), who was the subject of the book and film Marley & Me, as well as other service and rescue animals.

Labradors

Invention: The gas mask was invented by St. John’s physician Cluny Macpherson. He was serving during World War I and quickly developed the device, originally called the Hypo Helmet and later the British Smoke Hood, following Germany’s first poison gas attack on April 22, 1915. For his work, Macpherson was named a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Crime: The murder of one-year-old Zachary Turner in St. John’s, by his mother Shirley Turner, who then committed suicide, stunned the nation and brought forth changes to Newfoundland’s child welfare system and Canada’s bail laws. Shirley killed her son while on bail and awaiting extradition to the U.S. for the murder of Zachary’s father, Andrew Bagby. Zachary’s Bill was later passed, allowing courts to refuse bail for serious crimes, in order to protect accused’s children.

Sports Team: The Newfoundland Growlers of the East Coast Hockey League are the closest thing the province has to a professional franchise. Previously, the St. John’s Maple Leafs and St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League played on The Rock. It should also be noted, the Royal St. John’s Regatta is the oldest annual North American sporting event, existing since 1816.

Athlete: Kaetlyn Osmond, born in Marystown, won a medal of each colour in figure skating, over two Olympics. At the 2014 Sochi games, the Canadian team took a silver medal, improving to a gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang games. Also in 2018, Osmond won a bronze medal in individual competition. It should also be noted, Daniel Cleary was the first Newfoundlander to win a Stanley Cup, accomplished in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings.

Skating

Famous Home: Hawthorne Cottage in Brigus, was the home of famous Arctic explorer Captain Robert Bartlett… you know, when he wasn’t out adventuring. Artifacts and memorabilia from Bartlett’s storied voyages are on the display at the home now. Hawthorne Cottage was named a National Historic Site in 1978 and a Federal Heritage Building in 1993.

Urban Legend: Some call this apparition the Ghost of Dobbin’s Garden, while other’s dub it the Hag of Bell Island. Whatever you want to call her, she was featured as part of a 2016 Canada Post stamp series, highlighting spooks and specters from across Canada. The story behind this character is that she was murdered by German soldiers during World War II and now haunts the area, as revenge for not being saved during her attack.

Museum: The Rooms in St. John’s, is part art gallery, part museum and part archives. Opened in 2005, the cultural facility highlights all things Newfoundland and Labrador, with an amazing panoramic view of the city’s downtown and its port. Exhibits examine the province’s relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, military history and animals who call the region home.

Firsts: Newfoundland’s location has allowed it to become part of some very interesting feats in history. The Rock has received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901, as well as been the starting point of the first non-stop transatlantic flight (from St. John’s to Clifden, Ireland) in 1919. Additionally, the first New World smallpox vaccine occurred in Trinity in 1798.

Flight

Company: When franchisees tried to open the first Golden Skillet fried chicken restaurant in Canada in 1969, they were forced to change the name due to legal issues. Thus, Mary Brown’s Chicken was born, with the first location being at St. John’s Avalon Mall. The chain has since grown to 200 stores across Canada, continuing to sell the recipes created by Mary Brown Guthrie, wife of the Golden Skillet’s founder.

Events: Following two referendums held in 1948, it was narrowly voted by Newfoundlanders that the colony should enter into confederation with Canada, becoming the 10th and last province. The British North America Act was passed and Newfoundland official joined the country at midnight on March 31, 1949. Newfoundland added Labrador to its profile on December 6, 2001.

Miscellaneous: Some Newfoundland and Labrador eccentricities should be noted. First, the province has its own time zone, Newfoundland Time, which is 30 minutes ahead of Atlantic Time. The province also has its own dictionary, used for pronunciations and definitions of “Newfoundland English”. Finally, Newfie’s participate in Mummering, the act of getting into disguise and visiting friends and family during the Christmas season.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Screech Newfoundland Flower

Screech Newfoundland Flower

  • 2 oz Newfoundland Screech Rum
  • 1 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I just had to use a Screech Rum recipe for the Newfoundland and Labrador drink. I mean, it gave me an excuse to add another bottle to my collection! Mrs. Sip and I hope to get to Newfoundland at some point in our travels. I can see us having too much fun on George Street!

What I Miss Most from the Pandemic – Pandemic Punch

A year ago, I wrote an article about things I was looking forward to, as we came out of the COVID pandemic. However, one year on, there are some elements of the pandemic I look back fondly on. I never thought I’d say it, but here are some things I miss from the COVID era:

Full-Time Work from Home

The company I work for has this insane idea that people actually want to come into work. That doesn’t jive with the opinions of anyone I’ve ever spoken to on the subject, so I’m curious as to who they’re polling to come to this result. We worked from home for close to two years straight, without issues, and all of a sudden we’re required to be back in the office. Even if it’s only a couple times a week, it seems asinine that this is the thought process.

Work From Home

Empty Roads and Easy Drives

I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice the roads getting busier and busier the further we get removed from COVID. Long gone are the days where you felt you were living in a post-apocalyptic world, roaming the streets and sidewalks feeling like you were among the last people alive. I’m glad things are returning to a level of normalcy, but it was nice to not deal with rush hour and traffic clogs for a time.

Not Having to Go Out All the Time

Mrs. Sip – and her like-minded friends – strive to fill every waking moment of our lives. During COVID, though, that power was taken away from Mrs. Sip and her cronies, and us gents appreciated the downtime. Meeting for drinks and a chat online had its issues too, but at least no one had to worry about being a designated driver or trying to find a place to crash if they indulged too much.

Empty Attractions

As much as I enjoyed not having to be out all the time, with young kids, we couldn’t just hunker down at home and shun the outside world. For their physical and social benefit, as well as our own mental health, we had to step out on occasion. It was nice that kid’s entertainment facilities and theme parks, for example, were practically vacated, as many people seemed hesitant to go out.

Pandemic Parenting

Reservations Required

Mrs. Sip and I definitely enjoyed that some places that normally wouldn’t take reservations (restaurants, attractions, etc.), now were forced to accept them, so they could work within health guidelines. This was so much better than not knowing how long it would take to get into a place, especially with kids who are easily frustrated with waits. Hell, who isn’t annoyed with an unexpected or even expected wait.

Cheap Hotels

It’s hard to believe there was a time where hotels were desperate for visitors and prices were reasonable as a result, along with other perks, such as free parking. Now, hotel prices have skyrocketed across the board, as places look to recoup money lost during the pandemic. If you can get a decent rate, you’re likely dealing with no cleaning service during the duration of your stay, as places cheap out under the guise of not contaminating your room.

Pandemic Punch

Pandemic Punch

  • 5 oz White Wine
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Lemon Slices and Frozen Berries

Now, some would argue we’re still in the pandemic, perhaps falsely secure in the eye of the storm, but I’d say we have to start moving on sometime. While I miss the items listed above, of course I don’t wish to return to such uncertain times and health concerns caused by the pandemic.

Sip Trips #211: Tap Travels

June (or more accurately, Jun-uary) was a busy month, with a fair bit of travel on the schedule. We covered a lot of track, so let’s get right to it and see what the Sip Family got up to in the first month of summer:

We began June with a week-long all-inclusive vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There, we stayed at the Riu Jalisco resort, which impressed me from the start with a liquor dispenser in every room. I’ve never experienced this perk before, but apparently, that’s a standard feature of the Riu chain. It’s all the more appreciated to have rum, vodka, gin and tequila at the ready, when you have young kids and can’t always escape the room to hit a bar for your beverage.

Mexico

My one liquor purchase of the trip was a bottle of Azul Mango Chamoy Tequila, which I still haven’t had a chance to experiment with yet. I can see the booze going good in Margaritas, Palomas and other tequila-based beverages.

Our one day leaving the resort and going into the town of Puerto Vallarta, was highlighted by stops at two craft breweries. We started with Monzon Brewing, where I enjoyed a serving of their Paloma Doble IPA (with grapefruit and serrano peppers). They didn’t have the Coconut Lime DIPA I wanted to try, but I really enjoyed the beer I settled for. We also shared an order of the Birria Fries, which was a delicious dish, especially with all the different salsas and chipotle sauce you could add.

Next up, was Granero Brewing, which is associated with Los Muertos Brewing. I ended up having the same beer I had when we visited Los Muertos’ original location back in 2019, the Anillo de Fuego (Chili Ale).

Salsa

Upon returning home, Mrs. Sip and I received our second VCBW Beer Boxes. This offered another cool assortment of beers with one regular bottle, one 500ml bottle, two regular cans and 20 tall cans, curated from brewery’s around the province. The second box improves on the first one, which was quite good in its own right.

Out on a date night, Mrs. Sip and I began our evening with happy hour at The Hub. I had pours of the Russell Peach Apricot Hefeweizen and Papaya Milkshake IPA, while we also split a Blueberry Lemon Mojito. For food, I went with a pair of tacos, including the Beef Brisket and Spicy BBQ Chicken options.

Our main event of the evening was trying out the Neverland Peter Pan-inspired pop-up bar at the Vancouver Alpen Club. Tickets were $45 each, plus fees, and included a welcome drink, plus two cocktails. The 90-minute immersive experience was fun, with an amazingly decorated setting, games to play to “earn” your drinks and fine work from the actors. The drinks were just okay in my books, but they tried to do something different with each, using a fizzy stick for one and butterfly pea colouring for the other. We ended up helping another couple finish the fishbowl they ordered and this led to us all heading to karaoke at Georgie’s Local Kitchen & Bar.

Peter Pan

To end the month, we travelled up to Kelowna for a few days. Our first meal was at Boston Pizza, as we had to use our last two free kid’s meals before the June 30th expiry date. The deal of getting five kid’s meals for $5 is a fantastic offer and one we will do again next year, if the chain offers it. My meal consisted of items from the new summer menu, including the Carnitas Pizza (BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, BBQ pulled pork, pineapple, red onions, feta cheese), paired with a Spicy Blue Margarita (tequila, blue curacao, lime, mango, jalapeño). The pizza was fantastic… the drink, not so much.

The next day, we visited Off the Grid Winery, where Mrs. Sip did a tasting and bought a couple bottles, while the kids and I checked out the animals and other sights the place offers. It was a nice stop, with the perfect temperature and a relaxing vibe.

On our way back into town, we stopped at Copper Brewing, where Mrs. Sip and I shared orders of the Darla’s Red Ale, Peaches N’ Cream Wheat Ale, Raspberry Lemonade Pils and Nut Brown Ale. The brewery offers guests the chance to play video games on their Classic NES and SNES systems, which were enjoyed by the Sipplings, even if they had no clue what was going on. We also played the Guess Who board game with Girl Sip, as Boy Sip enjoyed his afternoon nap.

NES

For dinner that night, we walked over to Bin 4 Burger Lounge. Hitting the tail end of their happy hour, I ordered a pint of Phillips Citrus Lager, along with a Blackberry Vanilla Lemonade (vodka, blackberry simple syrup, vanilla syrup, basil, lemon juice). Mrs. Sip had a tasty Pineapple Strawberry Mojito. To eat, I selected the Big Spenny Burger with Curry Aioli for my scrumptious fries. Other sauces we enjoyed, as each dish comes with one free cup, included Bacon Aioli and Truffle Aioli.

Our final Kelowna destination was Barn Owl Brewing, where I had the Passionfruit Paradise IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with a flight consisting of the Genesis Raspberry Wheat Ale, A Whittle Orange Witbier, Headturner Hazy IPA and Escape – The Pina Colada Sour. The brewery had a really neat upstairs area and visitors can bring food in from outside, particularly from the bakery next door. Prior to leaving, Mrs. Sip also ordered a Night Owl Porter Float, while the kids played shuffleboard.

As the calendar turned over from June to July, we were relocating from Kelowna to Penticton, to continue our Okanagan getaway. That portion of the vacation and much more will be documented in the next Sip Trips.

New Brunswick – The Donald Sutherland

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also feature a drink the area is known for. Today, we travel to the east coast, visiting New Brunswick. Let’s figure out if the province is more aptly nicknamed Petit Québec or Picture Province:

Motto: “Hope restored” – This sounds like a movie tagline!

Food: Do you like the McDonald’s McFlurry? Well, you have a New Brunswick location to thank for the dessert. In 1995, a store in Bathurst was the first to sell the product. Next, it was tested at location across the U.S., before it was widely released in North America in March 1998. Franchisee Ron McLellan created the treat, which can now be found at McDonald’s restaurants around the world.

Drink: Canada’s oldest independent brewery, Moosehead, can be found in Saint John. It was founded in 1867 by the Oland family, who still own and operate the company. The brewery’s popular Moosehead Lager has earned medals at the World Beer Cup, Monde Selection and Canadian Brewing Awards. Michael J. Fox once noted he enjoyed the brand and received a free truckload of beer in response.

McFlurry

Site to See: The Bay of Fundy/Fundy National Park is a top tourist destination in New Brunswick. The bay actually lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – with a portion touching U.S. state Maine – while the national park is located near the village of Alma. 25 hiking trails can be found throughout the park, while highlights of the bay itself, include the highest tidal range in the world.

Street: The Fundy Coastal Drive offers a 460 km trek, with notable highlights including the Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park and Fundy Trail Parkway. The towns of Saint John and St. Andrews by-the-Sea can also be visited along the way. The route stretches from Moncton all the way to St. Stephen, with many points of interest in between.

TV Show: There wasn’t much to choose from here, but Race Against the Tide is a reality show, which sees teams compete to construct sand sculptures in the Bay of Fundy. The teams only have so much time before the tide washes away their hard work. 10 episodes comprised season one of the series, while the second season of the show will begin airing next month.

Movie: Still Mine stars James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold as a husband and wife Craig and Irene Morrison, who encounter difficulties from a government official when they attempt to build a new home to help with Irene’s failing health. Set in the village of St. Martins, the film has a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for seven categories at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards, winning once.

New Brunswick

Book/Author: Born in Fredericton, Julia Catherine Beckwith is recognized as Canada’s first published novelist. At just 17 years old, she wrote St. Ursula’s Covent (aka The Nun of Canada), although the novel wasn’t published until over 10 years later in 1824. Beckwith would go on to write two more novels, the last of which was never released. Only six copies of her first work are known to exist.

Fictional Character: La Sagouine is a 1971 play that tells the tale of the titular Acadian cleaning lady, who resides in New Brunswick. It was written in Acadian French by Antonine Maillet, who was born in Bouctouche. The collection of monologues has since been translated into English twice. Maillet was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 and promoted to Companion in 1981.

Fictional City: Montgomery Falls is the setting for the young adult mystery novel You Were Never Here by Kathleen Peacock. Peacock was born in Campbellton and continues to live in New Brunswick. Her surroundings must have formed the basis for Montgomery Falls. Peacock also authored the Hemlock trilogy of teen supernatural books.

Actor/Actress: Donald Sutherland, star of movies such as The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Animal House and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, was born in Saint John in 1935. For younger audiences, Sutherland is probably best recognized for his role as the main baddie, President Coriolanus Snow, in The Hunger Games franchise of movies. Sutherland is recognized as one of the best actors to never win an Academy Award.

Donald Sutherland

Song: New Brunswick and Mary by Stompin’ Tom Connors tells the tale of a man missing the province and the girl he left behind to go to work out west. The tune drops a number of New Brunswick town names, as well as images and items the province can be associated with, such as the Miramichi salmon run and potatoes being grown in Woodstock.

Band/Musician: Speaking of Stompin’ Tom, he was born in Saint John in 1936. Connors is a Canadian institution, perhaps best known for The Hockey Song, which is played at hockey games across Canada and beyond. Connors wrote more than 300 songs, with other popular releases including Sudbury Saturday Night and Bud the Spud. In 1996, Connors received the Order of Canada.

People: Louis B. Mayer was born in Russia, but raised in Saint John. Coming from a poor background, Mayer worked his way up to being a successful film producer and co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, better known as the iconic MGM Studios. Today, Mayer is a controversial figure, with accusations of sexual abuse and controlling the private lives of stars attached to his legacy.

Animal: While I couldn’t find any notable live animals for New Brunswick, it should be noted the world’s largest lobster sculpture can be found in Shediac, known as the Lobster Capital of the World. The sculpture was erected in 1989 by the town’s Rotary Club. The work is 35-feet long and weighs 90 tonnes. A staircase allows visitors to have their picture taken with the carved crustacean.

Invention: As a fan of word games, I have to give some appreciation to Edward R. McDonald, who invented a crossword puzzle game with patents that predate Scrabble by 12 years. McDonald is a fascinating character, who was one of the first people to inhabit New Brunswick. Shediac, where McDonald lived, has taken up the moniker Scrabble Capital of Canada.

Crime: Allan Legere was dubbed the Monster of the Miramichi, following the murders of four people he committed in the area over a seven-month span, while having escaped custody for a previous robbery, sexual assault and murder. Legere’s 1991 trial featured the first use of DNA profiling in Canada, with the intent to convict, rather than exonerate. Legere is still in prison today, last denied parole in January 2021.

Sports Team: New Brunswick has no professional sports teams, but does have three entries in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Moncton Wildcats, Saint John Sea Dogs). It should also be noted, the World Pond Hockey Championships took place annually in the province from 2002 to 2019, on Roulston Lake, in the village of Plaster Rock.

Athlete: Fredricton’s Willie O’Ree did for hockey what Jackie Robinson did for baseball, breaking the colour barrier by becoming the first black NHL player on January 18, 1958. O’Ree accomplish the feat all while being blinded in his right eye by a puck two years prior, which he managed to keep a secret. Fredricton’s arena was renamed Willie O’Ree Place in 2008, the same year O’Ree received the Order of Canada.

Willie O'Ree

Famous Home: Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, was home to the summer cottage of former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. It was here where Roosevelt was stricken with the illness that resulted in the paralysis of his legs. The movie Sunrise at Campobello documents Roosevelt’s struggle and was nominated for four Academy Awards.

Urban Legend: The Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews has been called the Canadian version of The Overlook Hotel, from the Stephen King novel The Shining. In typically Canadian fashion, many of the ghosts said to inhabit the hotel are there because they love the place so much, rather than something tragic occurring to them there. Paranormal activity includes ghostly figures, such as a bellboy and night watchman.

Museum: Potato World highlights the potato’s impact on New Brunswick. Found in Florenceville-Bristol, dubbed the French Fry Capital of the World, the museum offers interactive displays and antique machinery. There’s also a Hall of Recognition, dedicated to people and groups who have made an impact on the potato industry. Lastly, the place has a restaurant that offers a French Fry Charcuterie Board.

Firsts: Mount Allison University in Sackville, was the first university of the British Empire to award a woman a Bachelor’s degree, when Grace Annie Lockhart graduated in 1875, with a Bachelor of Science and English Literature degree. Lockhart graduated with the man who would become her husband, J.L. Dawson, and the couple had three sons, while Lockhart remained a women’s rights activist.

Potatoes

Company: McCain Foods, the world’s largest makers of frozen potato products, was founded in Florenceville in 1957. The company’s headquarters still exist there today. McCain also sells frozen pizzas, other vegetables and desserts, as part of its portfolio, but potatoes are its main game, with the business producing a quarter of the world’s frozen fries.

Events: The Great Fire of Saint John occurred in 1877, resulting in the destruction of close to half of the city. It all began with an errant spark falling into some hay in Henry Fairweather’s storehouse. 19 people were killed and many others injured in the blaze, which also destroyed a number of hotels, churches, banks and watercrafts. The whole ordeal only lasted nine hours.

Miscellaneous: New Brunswick has a fascinating professional wrestling history, thanks to Emile Duprée and his Grand Prix Wrestling promotion, as well as the Cormier wrestling family, comprised of grapplers Yvon ‘The Beast’ Cormier, Rudy Kay, Leo Burke and Bobby Kay. Emile Duprée has said the Cormier family was as important to New Brunswick as the famous Hart family was to Calgary.

New Brunswick: The Donald Sutherland

The Donald Sutherland

  • 2.25 oz Canadian Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Drambuie

This drink is a variation of the classic Rusty Nail cocktail, subbing Whiskey in for Scotch. It should be enjoyed while watching any Donald Sutherland film or if you’re enjoying a beautiful coastal view, with fresh air filling your lungs!

Sip Trips #210: Weekend Warrior

May was an interesting month, full of jam-packed weekends. We travelled a good portion of the Lower Mainland throughout, so here’s what we got up to on our journeys:

Our adventures began with eating at Taqueria Playa Tropical to celebrate Cinqo de Mayo. My meal of a Watermelon Margarita and Pastor Torta was fantastic, but there was some kind of issue with our food being delivered to us and we watched tables that had sat down and ordered long after us, be served before us. With a music lesson to get Girl Sip to, I ended up eating my meal hours after it was finally in my possession. Perhaps another visit on a non-Mexican holiday will be better.

Cinco-De-Mayo

That weekend, we attended the wedding of a close childhood friend at The Fairmont Waterfront. After our two drink tickets were spent during the cocktail reception, Mrs. Sip really wanted to get a fancy cocktail at the venue’s Arc Restaurant. She twisted my arm enough, so we had servings of the Salted Caramel & Peach Old Fashioned (Knob Creek Rye, Bacardi 8, Monin Caramel, Peach Bitters) and Summer Smash (Woodford Reserve, Hennessy, honey, lemon, orange, mint).

The next morning was Mother’s Day, so our little crew celebrated with brunch at the One20 Public House in Delta. My meal of the Cali Club and One20 Wheat Ale was a good combo. We’ve enjoyed our recent visits to the One20, as they have a good set up for families, including colouring for kids.

My liquor purchases for the month were a bottle of the new Bacardi Tropical Rum (very good in both rum and cokes and mojitos) and the Verve Vodka Soda variety pack, with an interesting selection of flavours, such as Wild Strawberry & Lemon, Peach Blackberry, Watermelon Raspberry and Grapefruit Elderflower.

Vodka Soda

Towards the end of the month, I attended the Brewhalla Beer & Music Festival with a couple of friends. Tickets were almost $50 each with taxes and fees and included a taster glass and three tokens. For $20, you could get a bag of 11 extra tokens. There was a good collection of breweries, with each one offering a nice variety of their wares. IPAs, saisons and sours seemed to be the beer themes of the event. Although we brought lawn chairs to sit back and enjoy the music, we spent most of the day going from line to line, drinking as we queued. This got worse later in the day, as some breweries tapped out early and lines grew longer. We left with tokens still to spend, feeling if we stuck around until the 6pm end of event, we’d have a tough time getting transportation out of the area.

Following the festival, we went for food at the Murrayville Town Pub. There, I had a Rajun Cajun Crispy Chicken burger, paired with a hazy pale ale/IPA I neglected to take note of. Regardless, it was delicious combo and we also ordered a pair of Pickle Back shots each because why the hell not!

Out in Abbotsford the next day for the Jurassic Quest event for the Sipplings, we dropped into Loudmouth Brewing for a late lunch. On a previous visit to the brewery and restaurant, another customer raved about their burgers, so I went out of my way to try one this time, while the girls and kids in our group split the Boss Platter. My Hamburger lived up to the hype and I still got to munch on a few items from the massive platter. As for my beverage, I went with the Hazy Pale Ale. Aside from food and drink, the best part about Loudmouth is its jovial, accommodating owner/operator. Every free moment he has, he’s chatting with customers and making them feel as comfortable as possible. He was great with our little ones, who were getting a little cranky after a busy morning, even moving a bunch of tables around to get us set up.

BBQ Platter

For the last weekend of the month, I was invited to join a group for the Langley Loop, hosted by The Clayton Pub. For $75 each, our group of six was shuttled from the pub to four different Langley breweries (Farm Country, Five Roads, Trading Post and Camp), then returned to The Clayton Pub to use an appetizer ticket. When finished at the pub, the shuttle would take folks home, so long as they lived in the area. Our driver Ed was amazing, as he navigated a bunch of groups around safely. I tasted quite the variety of brews as we went through the circuit and once back at the pub, our group had reduced to half, so three of us feasted on six tasty appies. Add a couple $3 rum and cokes to the finish the night and it was all quite the recipe for fun.

The next day, I joined another friend at the Red Card Sports Bar for the All Elite Wrestling: Double or Nothing pay-per-view. Over the close to five hour show, I enjoyed a pair of Red Card Pale Ales (at happy hour pricing), followed by a pair of Howe Sound Hazy Daze IPAs and capped with a spiced rum and coke. My meal for the evening was the Classic Burger, which was scrumptious, joined by yummy skinny fries. Best of all, the $10 cover charge we’d previously paid for other shows at the bar was not charged on this occasion.

That was it for the month of May. Just days from now, we’re off to Puerto Vallarta for a week of all-inclusive indulgence. Father’s Day is also around the corner, so there will certainly be much to discuss in the next Sip Trips!

Manitoba – The Winnipeg

Each month, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel Canada, discovering the best each province has to offer in a variety of subjects. We will also featuring a drink the area is known for. Today, we’re in Manitoba, the province at the longitudinal center of Canada. Let’s see just how centered Manitobans are:

Nicknames: Among monikers like Keystone Province (for Manitoba’s shape and location amongst the rest of Canada) and Postage Stamp Province (also for Manitoba’s shape), I lean towards Canada’s Heart Beats – Travel Manitoba’s catchphrase since 2014 – or Friendly Manitoba, which adorns licence plates in the province.

Motto: “Glorious and free” – If you’re going to be free, you might as well be glorious, too!

Food: The Salisbury House restaurant chain claims to have introduced hamburgers to Manitoba in the 1930s. Known affectionately as Sals, the eatery is famous for their Nips, burgers which are a nip or a bite of Salisbury steak, the dish which the restaurant was named after. Sals also serves another Manitoba institution, the Flapper Pie, which they call a Wafer Pie.

Drink: Crown Royal Whiskey – a preferred alcohol of the Sip Advisor… seriously, I currently have five bottles of different varieties from the brand – is manufactured in Gimli. It was first introduced in 1939 for a tour of the country by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and has grown to become the top selling Canadian whiskey in the U.S. Crown Royal is perhaps best recognized for the felt-like bags the bottles come in.

Crown Royal

Site to See: Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World and it is accessible for people to tour in the safety of caged tundra buggies. It is best to visit in the fall, when the bears can be viewed hunting seals on ice floes. Churchill even has a polar bear prison and locals are asked to leave car doors unlocked, in case people need to escape from a bear.

Street: Where the Red River and Assiniboine River meet in Winnipeg is known as The Forks. The area was designated a National Historic Site in 1974. Today, the popular Forks Market can be found there, hosting numerous restaurants, shops and stalls. During the winter, an outdoor skating rink is a widely used attraction of The Forks.

TV Show: Falcon Beach originally began as a made-for-TV movie before becoming a series that lasted two seasons and 26 episodes. The show was similar to The O.C. and was unique in that for each episode, two versions were filmed, one meant for Canadian audiences and another for American viewers, each using locations and terms unique to that country. The series was filmed at Winnipeg Beach.

Movie: The Ice Road, starring Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne, is about the aftermath of an explosion at a Manitoba diamond mine, which has trapped 26 miners. Neeson and Fishburne play truck drivers who lead a mission to save the miners, traversing the province’s frozen lakes and icy winter roads to get there. It was filmed in Île-des-Chênes and Gimli.

Polar Bear

Book/Author: The Stone Angel was written by Margaret Laurence. It tells the tale of Hagar Shipley, searching for closure in her life, as she prepares to be moved into a nursing home by her son and daughter-in-law. The book was made into a 2007 film, starring Ellen Burstyn. The movie also features Elliot Page, before his breakout role the same year in Juno.

Fictional Character: Shirley Holmes, the great-great niece of Sherlock Holmes, is the titular character of the children’s mystery TV series The Adventures of Shirley Holmes. Shirley was played by Meredith Henderson, who won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series for her portrayal. Filmed in Winnipeg, the series contains many nods to the stories of Sherlock Holmes.

Fictional City: Manawaka is a fictional setting often used for the novels and short stories by Margaret Laurence. It is based on Laurence’s hometown of Neepawa. Works using Manawaka include The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Fire-Dwellers, A Bird in the House, and The Diviners. Laurence was a top figure of Canadian literature and was among the founders of the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

Actor/Actress: Anna Paquin, star of True Blood (as Sookie Stackhouse) and the X-Men franchise of movies (as Rogue), was born in Winnipeg. Paquin won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the very young age of 11, for the film The Piano. It was also her acting debut, so that’s a good start to a career. Paquin is still going strong through both movie and TV roles.

Sookie

Song: There’s a song called Murder Me In Manitoba, but I think I’ll go with Stompin’ Tom Connors ode to the province, simply titled Manitoba. I mean, the ditty includes lines such as “Manitoba, you’re my heaven”. It should also be noted, rock classic Takin’ Care of Business was created by Winnipeg formed group Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the province probably thinks of the song as an unofficial anthem.

Band/Musician: Manitoba has quite the musical history. Among the artists to hail from the province, rocker Tom Cochrane has enjoyed a long and successful career. Cochrane began with the group Red Rider, before going solo with hits such as Life is a Highway. I also have to give a special shout out to children’s musician Fred Penner, whose songs and TV show are memorable from my childhood.

People: It’s hard to believe the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s famous character James Bond was Winnipeg-born soldier and spymaster Sir William Stephenson. Fleming once wrote: “James Bond is a highly romanticised version of a true spy. The real thing is… William Stephenson.” Best known by his codename Intrepid, Stephenson worked as a conduit between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, even being credited with bringing the U.S. into World War II as a Western ally.

Animal: The bear A. A. Milne used as his inspiration for Winnie the Pooh was named Winnipeg, given the moniker by Lt. Harry Colebourn, after his hometown. Following World War I, Winnie was supposed to make her new home at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, but remained at the London Zoo until she died in 1934, at the age of 20. Despite never reaching Assiniboine Park Zoo, a bronze statue of Winnie, as well as a gallery of items regarding the famous bear, can be found there.

Winnie the Pooh

Invention: Winnipeg’s Harry Wasylyk (along with Larry Hansen of Ontario) invented the polyethylene garbage bag. The bags were originally sold to the Winnipeg General Hospital, as they weren’t intended for domestic use. Once Wasylyk and Hansen sold the invention to the Union Carbide Company, green garbage bags for home use were released in the late 1960s, known as Glad garbage bags.

Crime: A crime that made headlines across Canada was the 2008 beheading of Tim McLean aboard a Greyhound bus. The attack was committed by Vince Li, a complete stranger to the victim. Out of nowhere, Li began stabbing McLean, causing the bus driver and other passengers to flee the vehicle. Li then decapitated McLean and even ate some of his flesh. Following a standoff with police, Li was arrested. Less than a decade later, Li was absolutely discharged and lives free.

Sports Team: The Winnipeg Jets (NHL) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) are the two major pro sports teams in the province. There was an earlier version of the Jets, which began in the World Hockey Association before that league merged with the NHL, but the franchise moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1996. American Hockey League club the Manitoba Moose shares an arena with the Jets (their NHL affiliate).

Athlete: Manitoba is known for their decorated speed skaters, including Susan Auch, Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes. Winnipeg’s long track speed skating oval is named after Auch, who won two Olympic silver medals and a bronze over her career. Meanwhile, Klassen won six Olympic medals, including five at the 2006 Games. Lastly, Hughes has competed at both the Winter and Summer Olympics, winning at both in speed skating and cycling, respectively.

Garbage Bags

Famous Home: Dalnavert, also known as MacDonald House, was designated a National Historic Site in 1990. It was the home of former Premier Hugh John Macdonald, the son of Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald. The estate was originally restored by the Manitoba Historical Society and welcomes visitors year round.

Urban Legend: The Manitoba Legislative Building is said to be haunted. Of note, the building’s grand staircase is said to be where the ghost of a man wearing a top hat is thought to reside, while other spirits inhabit the area nearby. Meetings between all these spectres are said to occur, with security guards being sure to knock before entering any room, so as not to disturb the proceedings.

Museum: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights can be found in Winnipeg. It’s mission is to “explore the subject of human rights with a special but not exclusive reference to Canada”. Opened in 2014, the museum was the first national museum created since 1967 and first ever located outside the National Capital Region of Ottawa. Exhibits include a look at Indigenous issues, as well as the Holocaust and other genocides from around the world.

Firsts: Beginning in 1959, Winnipeg became the first North American city to operate a central emergency system. They originally went with the number 9-9-9, but changed to 9-1-1, when the number was proposed by U.S. representatives. Manitoba was also the first province to let women vote in provincial elections and ban indoor smoking in public places.

911

Company: Old Dutch Foods, makers of some of my favourite potato chips of all-time, have their Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg. They also have a production plant there, so I must make a pilgrimage to the holy land one day. It should also be noted, restaurant chain A&W was founded in Canada in Winnipeg in 1956. A&W mascot The Great Root Bear originated in Canada in 1974, appearing in the U.S. two years later.

Events: The Red River Resistance/Rebellion of 1869 resulted in Manitoba eventually becoming a Canadian province in 1870. The uprising was led by Louis Riel, leader of the Red River Colony. During the conflict, Thomas Scott, a pro-Canada opponent to Riel, was arrested and later executed by firing squad. Years later, this would be remembered and referenced as a reason Riel himself was hanged.

Miscellaneous: Wheelchair Rugby, also known by the tame title Murderball, was created in Winnipeg by wheelchair athletes Gerry Terwin, Duncan Campbell, Randy Dueck, Paul LeJeune, and Chris Sargent, in 1975. Today, the game has grown to be a Summer Paralympic sport, played in 30 countries. The activity is comprised of elements of ice hockey, basketball, handball and rugby.

Manitoba: The Winnipeg

The Winnipeg

  • 2 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Amaro
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • Garnish with Cherries

There were some interesting Manitoba-created cocktails I would have loved to make for this article, but I’m not sure where I would find Saskatoon Berries, needed for both the Manitoba Martini and Manitoba Made beverages. Thus, I went with The Winnipeg, feeling Crown Royal Whiskey should be included. I used Jagermeister in place of Amaro, as it’s an herbal liqueur I had on hand.