Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sampling the Outdoors in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

by Keith and Heather Nicol

       We like to have different experiences when we visit new places and on our latest visit to Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario we explored by bike, canoe and on horseback. There are many kilometers of biking trails in the two communities and we decided to do a loop near Columbia Lake. The route was part on dedicated bike lanes on the city streets but it also offered pleasant cycling along Columbia Lake and underneath a canopy of leaves near Laurel Creek Conservation Area on packed gravel trails. Contact for more information.

Cycling past Columbia Lake in Kitchener-Waterloo.
        We also got a chance to go canoeing on the Grand River, the largest river system in Southern Ontario. We opted for the the 10 km - 2 hour trip and were amazed that the trip had such a rural flavour given that it flows right next to the city. They have done a great job of keeping most of the development out of the river corridor and we saw a wide variety of bird life including a turkey vulture, an osprey carrying a stick for a nest, and lots of ducks and geese. The trip is very safe since the river is rarely more than 50-70 cm deep and you can stop for a snack along the way on many of the small islands or shady shorelines. Contact for more information.

Canoeing the Grand is great way to spend a morning or afternoon
       Our final adventure was at Conestogo River HorseBack Adventures where we did a splendid 2 hour tour on horse back. Owner Tatyanna van Lenthe gave us a quick rundown on how to control the horses and then we were off past farmer's fields, through the forest but the most fun was crossing the Conestogo River. We criss crossed the river several times and it served to keep both us and the horses cool. Tatyanna said her favourite wildlife siting from last year was a diving osprey that caught a fish right in front of their group! Besides guided horseback tours they offer riding lessons and wagon rides and they are located just outside Waterloo. Contact for more information.
One of many crossings of  the Conestogo River


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s “Tempting Providence” on Provincial Tour

by Keith and Heather Nicol

       This is a big year for Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s “Tempting Providence” as it celebrates 10 years of performances around the world. “Tempting Providence” tells the story of Myra Bennett, a dedicated nurse who practiced on the Northern Peninsula. I recently got a chance to speak to Gaylene Buckle, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s general manager. “When we developed this play we purposely created it so that it could be performed in a variety of “stages” around the province, from church basements to school gyms. Now 10 years later we are doing just that with a provincial tour that will see the play performed in over 70 locations.” Gaylene told us.