Three train trips to celebrate Canada’s Confederation

  • Apr. 17, 2017 12:30 a.m.

Via Rail Canada’s map resembles a constellation, with 19 train routes connecting such stars as Prince Rupert, B.C.; Ottawa; Churchill, Manitoba; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The tracks pass through the prairies and the Canadian Rockies, French Canadian cities and Atlantic coastal towns. Daryl Adair, who wrote the “Canadian Rail Travel Guide” and runs a train-travel tour agency in Winnipeg, shared his favorite rail voyages as well as tips on when to drop the book and gaze out the window.

– Jasper-Prince Rupert: The two-day daylight trip (guests spend the night in Prince George; hotel is extra), boasts beauty-pageant views of Jasper National Park, Bulkley Canyon and the Rockies, as well as waterfalls, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies (Mount Robson) and totem poles. Water is a prominent feature, with Moose Lake, the Skeena River and the mighty Pacific on view. Adair calls the route “the best-kept secret in Canada” for its railside scenery. Keep your binocs handy for such wildlife sightings as bears, elk, bald eagles, seals and wolves.

– Winnipeg-Churchill: The train departs from the capital of Manitoba (visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Forks Market before boarding) and spends two days chugging through sunflower fields, prairies, boreal forest and uninhabited Arctic tundra. The train often stops on First Nation lands and at other isolated communities to pick up passengers from the side of the tracks. At night, sleep with your eyes wide open so that you don’t miss the Aurora Borealis. Adair said one guest compared a stretch south of Churchill to “traveling on the surface of the moon.” In Churchill, a subarctic region on the Hudson Bay, watch for polar bears or beluga whales, depending on the season.

– Sudbury-White River, Ontario: The day-long journey sets out from Sudbury, an outdoors-centric city with the country’s largest Franco-Ontarian population, and travels to the Lake Superior region and through the Canadian Shield. The train stops in remote communities with no roads, only train access. White River is famous for a certain bear: In 1914, a soldier purchased an orphaned cub from a trapper at the railroad station. He named the bear Winnipeg, or Winnie for short. Author A.A. Milne discovered the bear at the London Zoo – and the rest is Pooh history.

Just Posted

Veterans Park barrier key to pedestrian safety, says Red Deer traffic engineer

The recently roughed-up concrete barrier in front of Veterans Park has seen… Continue reading

Man accused of home invasion in court

Victim was shot and cut with machete in September 2017 attack

Suspect accused of fleeing police in court

RCMP fired shots twice while trying to arrest three suspects in October 2017 chase

Action needed on community-based care and equity for Red Deer Hospital

Liberal MLA David Swann weighs in on Red Deer hospital

WATCH: Rebels play floor hockey with Annie L. Gaetz students

The Rebels may be on a losing streak but they were definitely… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye welcome baby girl

NEW YORK — It’s a girl for Kim Kardashian West and her… Continue reading

Advocate poll takers oppose plastic bag ban

Red Deer Advocate readers like their plastic bags. In an Advocate poll,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month