Polar Bears & More
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Doug & Morri on Travel World Radio,
December 14, 2002

Here are the links to Doug & Morri's whirlwind tour of Churchill's polar bears, Winnipeg's Exchange District, Montreal's underground city, Atlanta, Georgia, and nearby Stone Mountain Park.

Round-trip VIA 1 rail travel courtesy VIA Rail Canada: from Montreal to Toronto overnight on the new Renaissance cars - with private showers, European styling and fluffy duvets; from Toronto to Winnipeg on the Canadian in fabulous Silver & Blue class- with gourmet dining, panorama-car sightseeing, plus films, games, etc. in the activity cars; from Winnipeg to Churchill on the Northern Spirit train - a fascinating journey through prairie, boreal forest to sub-arctic tundra. 

Round-trip air travel Montreal -Atlanta courtesy of Air Canada's new non-stop Jazz service (3 round-trips daily.) Air Canada also offers up to 6 Atlanta-Toronto non-stop round-trips daily. Air Canada has again been voted Best Business Class to Canada by readers of Business Traveler Magazine.

Polar Bear Season in Churchill, Manitoba (Canada)

There are only seven B&Bs, nine small motel/hotels and eight restaurants in Churchill. During Polar Bear Season, tour companies book almost everything, so reserve early. Click here to read all about Doug & Morri's adventures in Churchill.

Where to Eat in Churchill

$ Gypsy Bakery  Kelsey, corner Thompson  (204) 675-2322. This bustling family-run bakery and deli offers good value in home-style cooking.

$$ Lazy Bear Café  313 Kelsey  (204) 675-2969 . Soups, salads, chilli, burgers and shakes for lunch; Arctic char and Caribou pepper steak for dinner, in a cozy, country lodge.

$$$ Reef Café and Dining Room, Seaport Hotel  Kelsey, corner Selkirk  (204) 675-8807. Blackened Arctic char, prime rib and steak.

Where to Stay in Churchill

$ Mike and Mykelen’s Bed & Breakfast  51 Selkirk  (204) 675-2773. Fresh sandwiches on arrival, fresh fruit in room. Shared bath.

$$ Lazy Bear Lodge  313 Kelsey  (204) 675-2969 www.lazybearlodge.com Feel like a fur trapper, but with all the mod-cons, in this new, non-smoking lodge, constructed from forest-fire cured logs.

 $$$ Polar Inn & Suites  153 Kelsey; 1-877-765-2733  www.cancom.net/~polarinn Studios and one-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes. Gift shop rents complete winter garb by the day, and sells Polar Adventure™ parkas, anoraks and children’s outerwear.

Must See Attractions in Churchill

Parks Canada Visitors’ Reception Centre in the Churchill train station. Open daily during Polar Bear Season.

The Eskimo Museum  La Verendrye, corner Thompson  (204) 675-2030 Free admission. Donations welcome.

Tour Operators in Churchill

© Randy GreenTundra Buggy® Tours  1-800-593-8881 
 www.wildlifeadventures.com
Full-day guided tundra tour, including lunch:
$195-$250 per person (taxes incl.).
 

Great White Bear Tours  1-800-765-8344 
Full-day guided tundra tour, including lunch: $225 per person (plus taxes)
.

Hudson Bay Helicopters (204) 675-2576  www.hudsonbayheli.com  Tours from $210 per person (taxes incl.).

Polar Bear Lodge  1-888-326-7325  www.sealriver.com  5-day, 4-night all-inclusive package, from $4,350 per person CDN (plus taxes).

Wapusk Adventures, 321 Kelsey. (204) 675-2887. Dogsled rides with a campfire stop for bannock and tea: $75 per person (taxes incl.)

Shopping in Churchill

The Arctic Trading Company  Kelsey, corner Bernier  204-675-8804  www.arctictradingco.com

Northern Images  174 Kelsey  (204) 675-2681

Wapusk General Store  321 Kelsey  (204) 675-2887

Blue Berries & Polar Bears - a best seller!Blueberries & Polar Bears Publishing 
1-800-490-2228  www.bbpbcookbooks.com A series of recipe books of gourmet Northern cuisine created by local chefs Helen Webber and Mary Woolsey.

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Rediscovering the Exchange District in Winnnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)

Where to Eat in Winnipeg

With over 900 restaurants, more per capita than any other Canadian city, Winnipeg boasts an inviting mix of traditional and creative cuisine, including specialities drawn from its 45 ethnic communities.

In the Exchange District

$ Mondragon Bookstore & Coffeehouse: 91 Albert St.; (204) 946-5241.This funky, radical leftist café and bookstore is a worker-run cooperative featuring lofty tin ceilings, a cozy reading nook with gas fireplace and strict vegan cuisine using primarily organic products. Breakfast on waffles or burritos washed down with a fruit smoothy, a guilt-free cup of fair-trade java or a variety of teas. Homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and more exotic fare like Indian samosas, Salvadoran pupusas and Caribbean roti round out the lunch and supper menus. Closed Sundays.

 $$ Step ‘N Out Eclectic Cuisine: 157 Provencher Blvd.; (204) 956-7837. Billed as Winnipeg’s most romantic restaurant, Step ‘N Out offers unusually light and delicious contemporary Australian cuisine – emphasizing fresh seafood – in a cozy boudoir-like setting. The homemade lemon cake is outstanding. Open for lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and pre-theatre dinner (5 – 9 p.m.). Reservations recommended. In summer 2004, this popular restaurant moved from its tiny Exchange District locale to roomier premises in St. Boniface.

Elsewhere

$$$ 529 Wellington: 529 Wellington Crescent; (204) 487-8325. www.wowmail.ca  Winnipeg’s most talked-about steakhouse, in a beautifully restored 1912 Tudor stone mansion, deserves its reputation for excellent cuisine, service and ambience. Its mahogany panelled, richly decorated dining rooms are ideal for a leisurely feast on Alberta Prime Beef, seared to perfection in a special high-temperature oven. The menu also features veal, lamb and fresh seafood. From the 25-page wine list, you’re sure to find a great glass, bottle or “flight”. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 

Where to Stay in Winnipeg

$ Mary Jane’s Place: 144 Yale Ave.; (204) 453-8104; www.bedandbreakfast.mb.ca Whether you speak English, French or Dutch, Mary Jane and Jack Zonneveld will make you feel more than welcome in their historic three-storey, Georgian home built by Thos. Kelly, who built the Manitoba legislative building in 1910. Centrally located in the upscale community of Crescentwood-River Heights. Full hot breakfasts, guest kitchen, TV lounge and library.

$$ Canad Inns are a Manitoba chain of suburban Winnipeg inns; 1-888-332-2623; www.canadinns.com When not careening down a 150’ waterslide into Splasher’s indoor pool, kids will love sleeping in outer space, the Wild West, under the sea or in their very own castle in any of Canada Inn’s whimsical theme rooms and suites. For the less adventurous, regular rooms and suites are available. All rooms have a computer and data port. This family-oriented chain provides such special touches as a kid’s-only room-service menu and in-room video games. Canad Inns Fort Gary location (1824 Pembina Hwy.) features Celebrations Dinner Theatre offering a three-act musical comedy with a four-course dinner.

The Fort Garry Hotel (Winnipeg)$$$ The Fort Garry, 222 Broadway; 1-800-665-8088; www.fortgarryhotel.com A former Canadian Pacific Grand Hotel, the Fort Garry now bills itself as “Winnipeg’s Bed and Breakfast Hotel” in the European boutique-hotel tradition. This restored national landmark attracts celebrities, politicians and business moguls to its 240 spacious, high-ceilinged rooms and suites and its luxurious fitness complex. The domed, gilt-ceilinged main floor Palm Room doubles as an elegant dining  room and lounge; Sunday brunches are served in a 7th floor ballroom. 

Must See Attractions in Winnipeg

 The Manitoba Museum. 190 Rupert Ave.; Info line: (204) 943-313;. www.manitobamuseum.ca  This world-class museum includes a full-size, walk-on replica of the Nonsuch, a 17th-centry ketch that sailed into Hudson’s Bay in 1668.

 Winnipeg Commodity Exchange. 400 Commodity Exchange Tower, 360 Main St.; (204) 925-5000; www.wce.ca View the trading floor of Canada’s only agricultural futures and options exchange.

 Tree Children Sculpture by Leo Moll. Richardson Building Plaza, 1 Lombard Place. Celebrating the spirit and energy of youth, this 16-ft. tall bronze statue overlooks Portage and Main, Canada’s windiest street corner.

The Pantages Playhouse Theatre. 180 Market Ave.; (204) 989-2889; www.pantagesplayhouse.com  This is Canada’s grandest surviving Vaudeville theatre.

The Mandarin Building (King St. & James Ave); www.winterpeg.com/Town/Chinatown.htm  At the entrance to Chinatown, view a replica of the Nine Imperial Dragon Mural, a statue of Guan Yin and a bronze Buddha.

The Forks National Historic Site: (204) 983-6757; www.parkscanada.gc.ca/forks  This 13.6-acre park at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers is rapidly becoming Winnipeg’s favourite public gathering place, host to more than 100 festivals and community events.

Winter Events in Winnipeg

The Forks (Winnipeg)River Trail, at The Forks, until Feb. 15; (204) 943-7752; www.theforks.com  Supervised skating, cross-country skiing and walking on the Red and Assinboine Rivers.

Winterfest at the Forks until Feb 15; The Forks Festival Park; (204)943-7752; www.theforks.com  Winter festivities, including dog sled rides.

Le Festival du Voyageur, from Feb. 14 – 23, throughout French-speaking St. Boniface; (204) 237-7692; www.festivalvoyageur.mb.ca  Western Canada’s largest winter festival celebrates the joie de vivre of fur traders and pioneers.

Performances: www.tourism.winnipeg.mb.ca  Winter is an excellent time to take in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Contemporary Dances, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Manitoba Opera and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

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Cozy Up to Winter in Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
(Read the article as published in Amtrak's Arrive magazine)

Must See Attractions in Montreal

Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal) www.old.montreal.qc.ca

Vieux Port (Old Port) www.oldportofmontreal.com

Atrium (indoor skating) , Le 1000 de la Gauchetière, (514) 395-0555  www.le1000.com

Marché Bonsecours, 350 Saint-Paul, (514) 872-7730, www.marchebonsecours.qc.ca

Pointe-à-Callière Montreal Museum of Archeology and History, (métro Place d’Armes or Square Victoria), 350 Place Royale, (514) 872-9150  www.musee-pointe-a-calliere.qc.ca

Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill, Montreal, 1885, Notman Photographic Archives.McCord Museum (métro McGill), 690 Sherbrooke Street West, (514) 398-7100  www.musee-mccord.qc.ca

Métro and buses information —  www.stm.info/English/en-bref/a-fiches.htm

Centre Infotouriste, 1001 Dorchester Square, (514) 873-2015 or 1-877-BONJOUR

Tourisme Montréal www.tourism-montreal.org

Where to Stay and/or Eat in Montreal

Seven luxury boutique hotels have opened in Old Montreal in the past two years, some just last summer. Offering extraordinary comfort and unbeatable ambiance, they range in size from the nine antique-filled rooms and suites at the quaint Auberge Pierre du Calvet — conveniently situated across from the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de Bonsecours, whose Lady of the Harbor statue has been immortalized by Montreal crooner Leonard Cohen in his song Suzanne — to the ultra-chic, minimalist 120-room Hôtel St. Paul, where Cube, a new restaurant specializing in innovative market-fresh cuisine by chef Claude Pelletier, is garnering a following among the chic and upwardly mobile. Then there’s the 30-room Hôtel Gault. So spectacular is its sleek, contemporary décor, in sharp contrast to its ornate 1871 stone exterior, that Quebec cinéaste Denys Arcand’s chose it as a location for Barbarians, the sequel to his highly acclaimed 1986 movie, The Decline of the American Empire.

Hôtel St. Paul and Cube restaurant, 355 McGill, (514) 380-2222  www.hotelstpaul.com $200 - $500* per night.

Auberge Pierre du Calvet, 405 Bonsecours, (514) 282-1725  www.pierreducalvet.ca  $235 - $265* per night, including breakfast.

Hôtel Gault, 499 Sainte-Hélène, (514) 904-1616 or 1-866-904-1616 www.hotelgault.com  $275 - $700* per night, including breakfast.

St. James Hotel - Click to enlargeHôtel Le St-James, 355 Saint-Jacques, (514)-841-3111 or 1-866-841-3111 www.hotellestjames.com
$325 - $5,000* per night.

Le Saint-Sulpice and S restaurant, 414 Saint-Sulpice, (514) 288-1000 or 1-877-SULPICE www.lesaintsulpice.com  $249 - $1,299* per night, including continental breakfast. Purchase price: $194,000 - $240,000 per suite.

Hôtel Nelligan and Verses restaurant and lobby bar, 106 St-Paul West, (514) 788-2040 or 1-877-788-2040  www.hotelnelligan.com $195 - $450* per night, including continental breakfast and evening wine with canapés.

*Low season rates. All prices in Canadian dollars. Taxes extra.

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The New South - Atlanta, Georgia

(Read the article as published in Montreal's Forever Young tabloid)

Must See Attractions in Atlanta

Swann House at the Atlanta History CentreAtlanta History Center 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Buckhead, (404) 814-4000: www.atlantahistorycenter.com

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree Street NE, (404) 881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Sweet Auburn, www.nps.gov/malu/

Atlanta Preservation Center for walking tours of historic areas of Atlanta. Tour hotline: (404) 688-3350 www.preserveatlanta.com

Margaret Mitchell House & MuseumMargaret Mitchell House & Museum 990 Peachtree Street NE (404) 249-7012

CNN Studio Tours CNN Center, corner Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta Street. Advance reservations needed: (404) 827-2300 www.cnn.com/StudioTour

World of Coca-Cola 55 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, (404) 676-5151

Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain Park, GeorgiaStone Mountain Park  This 3,200-acre park just 18 miles from downtown Atlanta is the premier recreational destination for Atlantans and visitors alike.

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Where to Stay in Atlanta

In Stone Mountain Park

Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort - Stone MountainEvergreen Marriott Conference Resort,
4021 Lakeview Drive,
Stone Mountain,
(770) 879-9000 
 
www.evergreenresort.com

 

 

In Atlanta

Westin Peachtree Plaza, 210 Peachtree St. (404) 659-1400  www.westinpeachtree.citysearch.com  Central, downtown location, with all the usual amenities.

Courtyard by Marriott, 175 Piedmont Ave. NE, (404) 659-2727  www.courtyard.com/atlcd Convenient downtown location, comfortable, moderately priced. On-site coin-operated laudromat.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree Street, (404) 897-1991  www.thegeorgianterrace.com  An opulent landmark hotel in the heart of trendy Midtown.

Atlanta Bed & Breakfasts

King, Keith House Bed & Breakfast (Inman Park), 889 Edgewood Ave., (404) 688-7330   www.kingkeith.com

Gaslight Inn Bed & Breakfast (Virginia-Highland), 1001 St. Charles Ave., (404) 875-1001  www.gaslightinn.com

Beverly Hills Inn (Buckhead), 65 Sheridan Drive, (404) 233-8520  www.beverlyhillsinn.com

Where to Eat in Atlanta

Horseradish Grill 4320 Powers Ferry Road NW (in Buckhead), (404) 255-7277  www.horseradishgrill.com Housed in a former horse barn, this charming establishment serves typical Southern dishes but with a light, gourmet twist using the freshest of seasonal produce.

Murphy’s  997 Virginia Ave (corner North Highland), (404) 872-0904 www.murphysvh.com  This restaurant, bistro and wine bar has lots of charm and the cuisine, billed as Comfort Food, is exquisite. Murphy’s is known as a brunch location, with one of the most extensive brunch menus in the city. Many tempting desserts.

South City Kitchen 1144 Crescent Avenue (in Midtown), (404) 873-7358  www.southcitykitchen.com  Chef Jay Swift is well-known for his innovative use of Southern ingredients. A good example was a starter of sautéed chicken livers, smothered in caramelized onions, country ham, creamed corn and served on brioche toast. The corn bread muffins, stuffed full of whole kernels, were the best we’ve ever tasted.

Pittipat's Porch restaurantPittypat’s Porch 25 International Blvd., (404) 525-8228  www.pittypatsporch.com
Old-style Southern Cuisine in a charming Gone With The Wind setting, conveniently located downtown, across from the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

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Last updated  14-Mar-2015      © 2015 Doug&Morri Productions