This week we celebrated Canada Day. I raised a glass to this amazing country, which stretches across a continent and remembered some of the many holidays that I’ve had in Canada, which include driving an RV across the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, canoeing and camping in the depths of Algonquin Park and wild swimming in many of the lakes in Ontario.
My relationship with Canada has spanned many years due to the fact that my sister emigrated to Toronto over 30 years ago. I’ve been back and forth visiting my growing and extended family in Canada as well as more recently meeting up with my licensees: Lifestyle Market and Abbott Collection, to discuss business opportunities and design ideas. I’ve got to know Canada through my Cityscapes and have come to love its wild and rugged nature as well as its diversity of landscape, wildlife and culture.
Over in Alberta we have rodeo country as well as the cold and icy mountains and valleys, which become a snow filled playground for Canadians in the winter. The emerald green water of Lake Louise is breath taking. Further north moose, mountain goats, brazen bears and hungry wolfs share the wild, open space and feature in my Alberta Cityscape.
My favourite Canadian design is of Quebec. I’ve yet to visit this beautiful city, which has French cultural roots as reflected in the grand chateau architectural style of the Fairmont hotel and the quaint little houses and streets in the old town. I am intrigued by the ice hotel that lies above Quebec in the winter months and where people ski and snowboard their way down Mont St-Anne. Lots of local wildlife look on, including a big Snowy Owl that reaches its wings around the mountain top.
My annual visit to Toronto enables me to discover more about this upbeat city every time I go. I love wandering around Bloor St Village and Queens St West. I escape from the summer city heat on the beach at Toronto Island or seek sanctuary in the amazing Art Gallery of Ontario.
My favourite place has to be Black Creek Village however. I love finding out about how in the 18th and 19th Century, European pioneers braved a bug-ridden, hostile climate to carve out a new life for themselves and make the way for generations of people in a land of opportunity.