new york times 52 places to go

Haida Gwaii and Manitoba are two places in Canada worth visiting according to NY Times

If you've been searching for a new place to visit within this beautiful country we call Canada, look no further — the New York Times just released their list of 52 places to go in 2020 and it includes two Canadian spots.

The first of the two, sitting at number 26, is Haida Gwaii in B.C.

This archipelago is situated approximately 45 to 60 km off the northern Pacific coast of Canada and consists of two main islands in the south as well as about 400 other small islands. 

Of the archipelago, writer Arabella Bowen says "you’ll see more bald eagles than people on hiking trails and experience powerful Indigenous sites in near solitude," which she adds is "by design."

"The Haida First Nations people who live here fiercely protect their natural and cultural resources with sustainable, small-group tourism. Visitors are rewarded with a deep connection to place and people."

In her praise of Haida Gwaii, Bowen mentions SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), a UNESCO site in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve which is accessible only by boat. She also highlights the Haida House and the upcoming Haida Gwaii Islands Expedition as options for trip packages.

Sitting at number 29 on the New York Times list is Churchill, Manitoba. 

Churchill has long been called the polar bear capital of the world, though recent effects of climate change have pushed the town into an economic slump. 

"Via Rail’s 1,000-mile route from Winnipeg north to Churchill, Manitoba, was out of commission for 18 months following flooding in 2017," writes Elaine Glusac for the Times.

"This starved the town, best known for polar bear viewing, of vital supplies and affordable transportation. Fewer visitors resulted in layoffs as businesses contracted to stay afloat."

The train is now up and running once again and the town is investing in its wildlife for both conservation and tourism purposes. 

Glusac explains that travelers who visit Churchill can choose to tour with (expensive) safari operators such as Churchill Wild or sign up for affordable citizen-scientist outings with Churchill Northern Studies Center.

"As Churchill manages both the threat and the opportunity of climate change,"Glusac writes, "it is carefully straddling industrial development — it has the only deepwater port in the Canadian Arctic — and scientific research; the Churchill Marine Observatory, devoted to studying the effects of oil spills on sea ice, is set to open in fall 2020."

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