FRANADA - Friends in Canada

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by barelyincollege, Nov 23, 2016.

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Which gear would you like to try first?

Poll closed Jan 24, 2017.
  1. Wolf Ear Audio - Makoyi amp

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Campfire Audio - Orion IEM

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Feliks Audio - Espressivo amp

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Oppo - PM-3 headphones

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. ZMF headphones (Eikon, Atticus, etc.)

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  6. Other (please list in reply - will add to poll)

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  7. Schiit Jotunheim

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @songmic where in Banff NP are you going? If you have a car, driving from Lake Louise to Jasper (HWY 93) is surreal albeit quite a bit of driving.

    I've lived here all my life and would be happy to give recommendations if you have a general plan of where you'll be and how you're getting there.

    Also, we never did get much for loaners setup for Canadian Friends. I'm beginning to think the only way to do it is to loan our own gear out...
     
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  2. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Thanks a lot for your input guys, we’ve pretty much decided what to do in Banff (Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, gondola, etc.) but are planning on what to do for the 2 remaining days in Vancouver.

    What is the best place to get some real Canadian cuisine in Vancouver that you cannot eat elsewhere? It doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy expensive place, cost-no-object.
     
  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I ask myself what is “Canadian cuisine” and it is so varied there isn’t much unique here other than poutine! I will say that you should stop at Rodney’s for fresh westcoast oysters in Vancouver. Copper River salmon is pretty unique here but I have no idea who serves it there. Nanaimo bars haha...The thing about Vancouver is it has the best sushi and Chinese food/dim sum in Canada because of its proximity to Asia. Lots of cool coffee shops in Van.

    When you’re in Banff NP, be sure to order Elk at least once, preferably as a steak or roast (not a burger, you’ll see it lots though).

    Emerald Lake Lodge has wonderful food but fairly pretentious. I’d rather go to Field (you’ll pass it before turning off to Emerald Lake) and stop in at Truffle Pigs Bistro. It’s a quirky, cool and very delicious place to eat. Be sure to stop at Takkakaw Falls in Yoho park while you’re in the area.

    Even if you’re not into hiking much, while at Lake Louise hike up to the Lake Agnes tea house. Also in the area is Peyto Lake and you can basically park beside the viewpoint. One of my favourite photos I have taken is from there during the winter. If you are into hiking, I’ve got lots of suggestions.

    Can’t be that helpful for Vancouver but everything else I can. Are you flying into Calgary? How are you getting around?
     
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  4. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Also caribou, and if you can find it, moose. You'll find bison, but no matter how it's cooked it usually ends up dry. Salmon is always reliable.
     
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  5. shanchandi

    shanchandi Acquaintance

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    Have any Canucks here ever heard of (or heard) Tri art audio speakers? I saw an ad on CAM for some cool looking OB speakers that reminded me of the PAP trio15 and noticed that they're about a 20 minute drive!

    https://www.triartaudio.com/?page_id=3983

    ^a little gimmicky that all their gear is bamboo but cool nonetheless
     
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  6. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Much less expensive pro gear can be imported from the UK stores, if you are into this kind of audio.
    I just bought 2xAdam A7Xs for $1504 CAD at Thomann.uk including delivery.
    https://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_a7x.htm
    I will have to pay Ontario tax but still will be more than $500 less than what I would have to pay in Canada.
    Not available to our American friends, I tried to buy those monitors from the US and the UK stores cannot ship the Adam monitors to the US. They can to Canada.
     
  7. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    Just a general heads up to folks who may be buying things from our next door neighbours - USPS shipping from drop-off to customs took a bit of extra time for me, at least going through the LAX->YYC route. There was a hangup of about 8 days in a USPS regional facility, and then suddenly it was over the border the next day. So if things seem to be stuck in transit just give it a week - not like there's much else to do but wait right now anyways!

    (unfortunately, I must report that Canada Post is still very, very prompt with reminding you on whether there are any duties/taxes you owe)
     
  8. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Hi all, one year later and I will be following songmic's footstep to Westside Canada (Banff + Vancouver) so I'm here to humbly ask for your advices.

    Brief intro first: I just moved to Montreal from the Bay Area last Christmas. Been a bit of strange time here so far with my first Canadian winter followed by COVID, but I still have enough awareness to know that there's more that Canada has to offer - hence this upcoming Banff trip.

    We're leaving the following Monday. Half a day in Calgary, then 3 days of Banff and 3 days of Vancouver. We're a group of newbies to outdoor adventures. Therefore, the priority is to get the most out of Banff without too much added tax on our physicality and my fear of height. I'm kind of a "tag along" so I let the girls do the planning and here is the tentative plan they come up with:

    Day 1:
    - arrive in the afternoon
    - touring downtown Calgary: 2hrs
    - drive to Canmore for 1 night accommodation, tour downtown Camore (Policeman Trail). What else should we do there?

    Day 2:
    - Johnston Canyon Hike (2hrs)
    - Banff Gondola (take gondola up then hike down)
    - Check in to Charltons Banff and rest a bit
    -Get to Lake Minniwanka around 7pm and have a picnic dinner

    Day 3: Lake day?
    - 3hrs for Lake Morraine
    - 1hr for Lake Louis (North Lakeside)
    - 1hr for Lake Agnes Hike
    - 3 hours for Lake Agnes Teahouse
    - sometime at Lake Peyto
    - leave for Vancouver (rest at Kamloops along the way)

    Day 4:
    - Capilano suspension bridge
    - Grouse Mountain
    - Gastown
    - Then ictoria Island and Stanley Park for our remaining time in Van and more that we will search later.

    Could you guys kindly help me "evaluate" this plan please? And I would appreciate any general tips for going to Banff this time of the year as well. This is my first time doing any outdoor activity like this so I'm quite anxious and excited at the same time! I understand that bear spray, bug spray will be needed along with snacks and clothes that can fit all the seasons in a day at Banff. But apart from that, zero experience so I would love to hear your input.

    Thank you all for reading!
     
  9. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

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    Lake Morraine is honestly the prettiest place I have ever been, liked it much more than lake louise.

    The Capilano suspension bridge is kinda gimicky but worth visiting once. I'd also recommend stopping at the capilano fish hatchery/fish ladder, and also the Cleveland Dam, which are just up the road from the suspension bridge, and on the way to Grouse. The fish ladder/hatchery is small, but definitely worth seeing. A good explanation of the salmon and at the right time of year absolutely packed with fish. You can see them in the ladder through the glass, kind of like an aquarium. The Dam is just another beautiful view across the Capilano reservoir to the Lions above at the back.

    If you are up for a 20 min uphill hike walk, you can walk through the trees from the hatchery/fish ladder to the cleveland dam.

    Gastown is worth checking out. Downtown is kinda bland compared to other big cities in the states, and if you aren't careful gastown turns into the DTES very quickly, and having lived a half a block from main and hastings for 3 months, I'd recommend avoiding it if you are a tourist. It's not particularly dangerous, just....not the nicest.

    If you are in the forest, make noise, and if you see a bear it is not a case of "awwww" its a case of *be loud af and avoid*.

    Hatchery:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/C...9d746526cd565d!8m2!3d49.356527!4d-123.1101018

    Dam:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/C...8bc9fde36ac50!8m2!3d49.3602827!4d-123.1108215

    As you can see, they are super close to the suspension bridge, and on the way up the road to grouse. Both the fish hatchery and Dam are completely free. The Suspension bridge will bend you over cost wise.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Photos+Salmon+return+Capilano+Fish+Hatchery/11267489/story.html

    Let me know if you have any questions :)
     
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  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I presume you'll pick up the rental car at Calgary airport? Drive downtown and park in the Eau Claire area, and walk around Princes Island Park and the riverside trails. A loop as far east as St Patricks Island, over the new footbridge, and back via the Princes Island bridges is nice. In the downtown itself, there's not really much to see beyond Stephen Avenue (8th Ave), which is pedestrian-only during the day. Walk S from Eau Claire and wander along the section between 3rd St W and 2nd St E.

    If you have a bit of time on the way to Canmore, consider a short side trip up Highway 40 (Kananaskis Highway) as far as the Highwood Pass parking lot. Good scenery here, and you'll have the satisfaction of saying you've driven Canada's highest paved road (not high compared to roads in some of the NW states, but hey). Canmore itself is not too exciting, but either side of dinner (the patio at The Wood, corner of 8th Ave & 8th St, has good views) you could drive up the Spray Lakes road towards the Nordic Centre and stop for a walk around Quarry Lake (more scenic than it sounds) or the Grassi Lakes trails (this is presuming you stay in Canmore at all - see later).

    You'll have to re-think this day: although the Johnston Canyon trail is open, vehicle access to it isn't - under 'What's open' and 'What's closed' at this link, see 'Motor vehicle access' and 'Day use areas':

    https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/covid-19-info

    You could instead get to Banff earlier, and hike around some of the trails nearer downtown (Vermilion Lakes, etc.). It might be best to book ahead for the gondola, too - they're now taking only single (family) groups in each car, so despite the lack of foreign tourists this year, there might still be queues. The Minnewanka day-use sites are open, but if you're thinking of walking around some of the trails, there's a minimum no. of 4 people per group because of bears (this goes for the trails beyond the day use areas at Moraine Lake too - or it might be 6 people there).

    IMO this day is way too long. The road is winding and much slower than you'll be used to from US freeways (only 1 lane each way in spots, and there might be holdups with construction). If you really want to spend time and energy in the Lake Louise area, I'd strongly recommend another night between there and Vancouver. Consider ditching the Canmore night and head straight to Banff, the next morning going on the Gondola then driving to Moraine Lake/Lake Louise.

    The north lakeshore trail at Lake Louise isn't terribly scenic - head straight up the Lake Agnes track instead. You'll need the time because it's steep and you won't be used to the elevation. Once up there, though, the views are excellent, and a side trip to Little Beehive gives extra views across the Bow Valley. Don't worry about bear spray, there are so many people on those trails the bears know to keep away. Peyto Lake parking/viewpoint is closed, so I don't think there's any point in driving up the 93 towards this. Stay on 1 and drive into Emerald Lake, just past Field, instead. The restaurant at the lodge there is currently doing takeout 11am-5pm.

    If spending a night along the way, I'd recommend Kelowna, Kamloops or Revelstoke. Whichever, from there to Vancouver take Highway 5 rather than Highway 1. It's multi-lane almost all the way, less subject to construction holdups (see https://www.drivebc.ca/ for real-time info), and IMO more scenic. Going via Kelowna rather than Kamloops is also more interesting - lakes, mountains, vineyards. And the following day you'll get to Vancouver early enough to spend some time in the late afternoon and evening wandering around (there's really nowhere worth stopping along the way - the towns of Merritt and Hope are two of the most egregiously misnamed on the planet).

    The Grouse gondola is open. Advance ticket purchase is recommended and gets you 50% off:

    https://www.grousemountain.com/general-admission-membership

    By 'ictoria Island' do you mean Granville Island? The shops and some of the restaurants there are open. From downtown, you could drive, or if you're staying downtown/Yaletown, catch one of the little Aquabus ferries across False Creek.

    Stanley Park is largely open, but some of the shops/concessions are closed and others including the aquarium have restricted hours or numbers. The road around the park now has one lane open to cars and the other reserved for bikes, the seawall track now being pedestrian only. If you're energetic and have the time, renting bikes for a circuit could be fun. There are bike rental places on Denman St near W Georgia and on Davie near Denman. Maps:

    https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/printable-map-of-stanley-park.aspx

    If you just want to walk, the seawall path and beaches around the west side are the most scenic. The concession at Second Beach is open for food until 5, and there are plenty of places up Denman St close to the main English Bay beach. Also the Stanley Park brewery & restaurant, near the SW corner of the park, and the Sylvia Hotel restaurant just across from the beach.

    Have a great trip! There have been lots of thunderstorms in the Calgary/Banff area so far this summer, but the weather in Vancouver is excellent at the moment!

    Edit: You could possibly keep your existing Canmore & Banff nights and avoid an extra on the way to Vancouver if you did everything around Banff/Louise the day before the Banff night and left for Vancouver the following morning - but that'd still be a long day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  11. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Thank you for the valuable input! I looked up the price for Capilano: 55CAD (+ tax too perhaps?), that sounds almost as good as a deal as buying Ultrasone at retail :p

    The hatchery is definitely something I would be interested in. Always love those “Nat Geo” kind of stuff, for a lack of a better term.

    Do you have any general tips for being in Banff? Bases on common sense, I figure that I should be wearing comfortable hiking outfit, get sun protected, with enough snack & water but not much else.
     
  12. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Thank you for the driving tips, we will get rental cars indeed!


    Very useful, havent got there. I will forward it to the group.


    I thought it was too ambitious too...


    I meant to type "Victoria Island"


    We had accommodations booked already so not sure if we can change it that way but I will do some research and discussion with the group.

    Truly appreciate the kind words and tips. All of you guys's advices will get on my google doc lol, including the one from last year!
     
  13. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Ah, right - Vancouver Island, and the city of Victoria. Victoria Island is up in the Arctic.

    How long are you staying in Vancouver? The ferry trip out to the island is 1.5 hours each way, and then there's travel time from Vancouver to the terminal and at the other end. So the trip plus sightseeing in Victoria area will take a whole day.

    For clothing in Banff, yes, just comfortable hiking gear, sun protection, some water and snacks. The temps down in the valley will likely be in the low 20s C, and at elevation the high teens. Rain jackets too, as there could be thunderstorms in the afternoons.

    Then choose your must-dos of the Banff/Louise area and complete them in the day between your nights in Canmore and Banff. Banff to Vancouver really is a long day's drive.
     
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  14. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @Biodegraded nailed it. Seriously I wish there was something I could add but all the comments/suggestions/time-corrections are spot on.

    I suppose one suggestion (since I can't help myself) would be to hit-up The Grizzly House in Banff. It's a really unique spot you probably wouldn't get again.

    (Ok last one I swear)
    On your Day 3, you have way too much shit going on as mentioned already. Personally, I would skip Lake Agnes teahouse. The hike isn't exciting and the teahouse is "neat" but the destination isn't particularly impressive. If you're looking for a better hike and still hit a teahouse, do the Plains of Six Glaciers instead (check if it's operating though with COVID and all). All that said, if I was in your shoes and knowing the area very well, skip the teahouses and go to Emerald Lake instead. Rent a canoe, go to the Truffle Pigs Bistro in Field which is nearby (fuck I love that place). You can get pub-style food if you want, but this unassuming restaurant can serve-up some seriously bougie meals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  15. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Thanks for the help guys @Biodegraded @msommers . Sorry for being MIA, I have been scrambling for a new place in Montreal but boy is it harder than I imagine (coming from someone that used to live in SF).

    Again, I appreciate all your inputs so much folks. Getting on the plane this Monday, feeling quite anxious and exciting for my first "outdoorsy" trip!
     
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  16. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    It is very difficult to buy miniDSP Dirac components in Canada, I could find it in only one place which is https://solen.ca in Quebec. Usually it is just one unit of everything in SHD line or on backorder. I want miniDSP SHD and the price at Solen with tax, shipping is around $1980 CAD
    But there is a better option, at least for Canadians. Eventually I ordered directly from miniDPS but there are important steps here:
    • the prices are in $US, $1171 for miniDSP SHD with shipping, no UMIC, but you can select $CAD as a currency, right there on miniDSP site.The price will be $1523 CAD with shipping, which is $60 better then paypal, and $50 better than VISA if you rely on them for CAD->US exchange
    • pay with Canadian paypal account, or Canadian VISA, the charge is in $CAD
    • when it arrives you pay provincial tax, that's it
    Roughly $250 less than buying in Canada
     

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