Ontario’s Shaw Festival

Ontario’s Shaw Festival Canada’s number one attraction
The American Bus Association has tabbed the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., as the top Canadian event of 2000, and one of the top 100 events being held in North America. The theatre festival, which runs from now to Nov. 11, specializes in the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, featuring plays written between 1856 and 1950. For a full list of productions, contact the Shaw Festival at 10 Queen’s Parade, P.O. Box 774, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. L0S 1J0; phone (905) 468-2153 or (416) 690-7301.

Globus offers new tours to Europe, North Africa
Globus and Cosmos Tours, Toronto motor coach tour operators, are offering a variety of attractive packages to Europe this year, including escorted tours and a new “Leisurestyle Vacations” package allowing travellers the opportunity to do a little exploring on their own. The new packages take in Europe and Britain, Israel, Egypt and Morocco. The company’s brochure features 90 travel destinations with departures from April to October. For further information, contact CARP Travel toll-free at 1-877-246-2277, or Globus at 1-800-268-1639.

Singapore tourism othe up-and-up
The number of Canadians visiting Singapore jumped 19 per cent last year to a record high of 59,860 travellers to this exotic destination, also a handy gateway to Asia. For further information on visiting Singapore, contact CARP Travel toll-free at 1-877-246-2277, or the Singapore Tourist Board, 2 Bloor St., West, Suite 404, Toronto, Ont. M4W 3E2; phone (416) 363-8898. Or check out its website at www.singapore-ca.com

Eurostar on track
The Eurostar trans-Channel train service celebrated its fifth anniversary last November, a sure sign of the rail link’s growing popularity. Since it was launched on Nov. 14, 1994, the service from London to Paris and Brussels has carried more than a million North Americans. Overall, 25,000,000 passengers have enjoyed the service. For further information, call toll-free 1-800-361-7245 or consult the Rail Europe website at www.raileurope.com

Canada 3000 spreads its wings
Canada 3000 Airlines just keeps on growing, recently announcing weekly flights to Berlin from Vancouver, via Calgary, beginning May 3 and running to Oct. 26. On the other side of the globe, the charter airline begins flying from Toronto, via Vancouver and Honolulu, to Brisbane, Australia, on April 30. For further information, contact CARP Travel toll-free at 1-877-246-2277.

Hector out to sea
Replica of the eighteenth century sailing ship, Hector — which brought the first Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia — is ready to sail. The ship has been faithfully constructed over the past eight years following the design, tools and material used on the original Hector which sailed to Pictou, N.S., in 1773. Hopefully, the new ship will fare better than her namesake which, after depositing her passengers, sailed away and was never seen again. The launching of the new Hector will be the centre point of a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture at Pictou from Sept. 15 to 17. Pipe bands, a military tattoo, Highland dancing, Ceilidhs and bushels of Scottish pageantry will also be featured. For more information, contact Pictou Tourism at P.O. Box 479, Pictou, N.S. B0K 1H0; phone (902) 485-6057; e-mail [email protected], or visit its website at www.pictou.nsis.com

Manoir Richelieu re-born
Quebec’s Manoir Richelieu has rejoined the ranks of Canada’s grand hotels following a $140 million facelift. A turn-of-the-century masterpiece, this magnificent hotel on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River had fallen into disrepair in recent years but was granted a new lease on life after being purchased by a consortium including CP Hotels, Loto Quebec and the Fonds de solidarite de la FTQ. Fully restored top to bottom, the hotel is once more one of Canada’s finest hotels, rivalling even the Chateau Frontenac, Chateau Lake Louise and Banff Springs. Situated in a 210-acre park-like setting, it features indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking… you name it. For further details, phone CP Hotels at 1-800-441-1414.

One of the best
British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, was recently voted the second most popular North American city in a survey conducted by Travel & Leisure magazine. San Francisco was given the first place spot. Following Victoria were Vancouver, New York and Seattle. Victoria also placed ninth among the 100 best cities in the world and the city’s majestic Empress Hotel was ranked No. 3 in the top 100 hotels in North America.

Florida traffic traps
The Canadian Automobile Association is advising Canadians driving to – or from – the southern U.S.A. to steer clear of the north Florida towns of Lawtey and Waldo where traffic traps are targeting out-of-town motorists with hefty fines. Lawtey, population 700, gets almost 70 per cent of its municipal income from fines against motorists while Waldo, with 1,000 residents, derives more than 30 per cent of its budget from traffic infringements.