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Insider Insights: Articles

Outdoor Report: Swim Atlantic Canada’s beautiful beaches

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By Suzanne Leonard
Weather Broadcaster
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 11:26 AM

Having celebrated our nation’s birthday on July 1st in your favourite way here’s one more thing to be proud of – did you know that Canada has over two hundred thousand kilometres of coastline, the most in the world?

That means lots to choose from on lists of the best beaches in Canada and descriptions like “hidden gems” and “best-kept secrets” – so there are many great places to discover for swimming and relaxing this summer.

OUTDOOR REPORT: Raft the world's biggest tides

As Deb Matejicka explained in the video clip, Lake Louise isn’t a popular swimming choice because it’s one of the many frigid glacial lakes in Alberta and British Columbia. Visitors come for the scenery and the many outdoor recreation opportunities – find out more here. The scenery along the Newfoundland and Labrador coastline also attracts visitors for a different sort of icy spectacle. Spring and early summer is iceberg season, that’s when ocean currents carry ice mountains past the shore. It makes spectacular viewing like in this photo from Musgravetown on the Bonavista Peninsula, but probably not very encouraging for would-be swimmers!

"Icy Waters" - Musgravetown, Newfoundland and Labrador - Dana Wiseman

By contrast, you can find the warmest salt water in the country in the Northumberland Strait. Its shallow depth means temperatures reach 20C or more in the summer. The west shore of the strait is New Brunswick, home to seaside towns like Shediac and popular beaches like Parlee Beach Provincial Park. Plan a wonderful day by checking the weather before you head out and the bug report too, here’s the forecast for Parlee. It’s only a short drive from the province’s biggest city, Moncton, and looks very inviting:

"Beach side" - Moncton, New Brunswick - Joel Tabares

On the east side of the strait is Prince Edward Island. PEI is a beloved vacation destination for many Canadian families – it’s known for its pastoral beauty, world-class golf courses, traditional lobster suppers, “Anne of Green Gables” production and of course, its fabulous beaches.

"Sunset" - Brighton, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Earl O'Brien

The island has eleven hundred kilometres of shoreline and much of it is unspoiled beach, Cavendish and Singing Sands to name but two. Here’s how some people celebrated Canada Day in PEI:

The fourth Atlantic province is Nova Scotia, and again there are many hidden coves, provincial parks and public beaches to choose from. I’m a big fan of Kejimkujik Provincial Park. The coastline hike is everything you would want it to be – wild and windswept with stunning ocean views along the way. Everyone has their favourite outdoor places or “secret” spots, I’d have to agree with this:

A complete list would be very long but these selections should give you some good ideas about beautiful beaches and outdoor experiences you can have this summer. My on-air colleague Nicole Karkic has a few more for your consideration.

Just as summer sunshine draws us to our beaches it’s also possible to add more “summer sunshine” to draw us into our gardens. Add yellow perennials like these low maintenance varieties to create bright splashes of colour: Rudbeckia, Iris, Yarrow (shown here), Potentilla and Heliopsis. Here are some other garden tips for this time of year:

In my garden: Achillea/Yarrow ‘Anthea’

In my garden: Achillea/Yarrow ‘Anthea’

  • Deadhead, snip or pinch off dead flower heads. This will prevent self-seeding and encourage new growth and repeat blooms.
  • As we’re now into peak summer heat be mindful of regularly watering anything that’s newly planted. You can also help a plant get established by watering in a transplant solution.
  • Before you leave for summer vacation think about cutting back some of your summer-flowering perennials to delay their flowering until you return. It’s a bit of an experiment as there’s no one rule of thumb about how much to cut back, do your research and talk to your local nursery if you’re unsure.
  • Get more information about adding low maintenance yellow perennials and “summer sunshine” in this Adventures in Gardening column.

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
Helen Keller

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