TV star Rick Mercer’s favourite towns

As the star of The Rick Mercer Report on CBC television, Rick Mercer has visited virtually every nook and cranny of the country to share stories about the people and places who live there. Here are Rick’s faves (in no particular order):

Rossland, British Columbia
Mercer was charmed by this small town nestled in the West Kootenay area, located in the southeastern part of the province, high in the Monashee Mountains. “It is stunningly beautiful,” says Mercer. “Because of the elevation, residents routinely pick up people who are walking and drive them up. They’re so friendly!” Rossland is also famous for its annual winter carnival, the longest running in Canada.

Bay Bulls, Newfoundland
Mercer, a native Newfoundlander, continues to discover new places in his home province. Bay Bulls is one such find. It’s a small fishing village (population 1,000) just a short 30-minute drive from St. John’s. Since the 1500s, it has served as a fishing hub. “This is the place you want to go if you’re interested in whale watching, seeing icebergs or visiting the bird sanctuary,” he says. Take an excursion with O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours.

Churchill, Manitoba
“My experience in Churchill was nothing like I imagined,” explains Mercer. “It’s amazing to travel in a tundra buggy and come nose to nose with a polar bear. I saw so many. They were everywhere.” Located on Hudson Bay in the far north, the area is renown for polar bears and beluga whales. “The colour of the sky is stunning and the landscape makes you feel like you are on a different planet.”

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia
Lunenberg is “like Venice,” he says. “No matter which way you point your camera, you can’t take a bad photo.” It’s true. Located on Mahone Bay on the south shore of the province, this historic farming, fishing and shipbuilding town, founded in 1753, has oodles of charm. The celebrated ship, Bluenose, is moored in the harbour.

Tofino, British Columbia
“I love a beautiful beach,” says Mercer. “And I’ve never seen one as spectacularly beautiful as the one here. It should be on everyone’s things-to-do-before-I-die list!” Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, draws an eclectic mix of surfers, nature enthusiasts and storm watchers. If you’re not exploring nature, discover the local cuisine. Try fish tacos at SoBo, or book a table with a view at The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn.

Article courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Photos © David Yang/Steve Faber. Photo: Tofino, British Columbia (BC), Credit – Caroline West