The Hub August 2017 - Page 21

Still planning on doing some travelling this summer? Canada is home to multiple sites that have been recognized by the United Nations as having cultural, scientific or environmental significance, also known as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here are just a few that might be worth adding to your itinerary - or your travel bucket list! L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site One of the earliest named sites in Canada (1978) this Newfoundland & Labrador landmark serves as evidence of the first European presence in North America. L’Anse aux Meadows is the first and only known site established by Vikings in North America and contains the excavated remains of an 11th century Viking settlement. It is a unique milestone in the history of human migration and discovery. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station The newest-named (2013) site in Canada is located at the northeastern tip of the country on the shore of the Strait of Belle Isle. This archaeological site offers a glimpse of the European whaling tradition in North America. The station was founded in the 1530s and used as base for coastal hunting, butchering, whale oil production and storage. Red Bay is also a National Historic Site in Canada, and offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors. Nahanni National Park The park became the first UNESCO site in 1978, but was named as a national park in 1976. It encompasses 30,000 square kilometers and features mountains, rivers and rock. Visitors must access the park via air, or hike in - there are no roads in the park. Located in the Northwest Territories, the park is about halfway between Yellowknife, and Whitehorse in the Yukon. Rideau Canal The canal, right here in Ontario, was not named as a UNESCO site until 2007, almost 200 years after it was opened. The canal stretches 202 kilometres, and originally served a military purpose. Later, its commercial use became important, and today it is primarily a recreational destination. The canal locks operate from mid-May to mid-October, and serve as a waterway along some of the most historic and scenic geography in eastern Ontario. During the winter months, when and if the water is safely frozen, the canal is open for ice skating, earning it the designation of the “Longest Outdoor Skating Rink” in the world. Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Writing-on-Stone in southern Alberta is not yet a UNESCO site, but it was submitted for consideration by Parks Canada in 2014. Its sandstone cliffs, badlands and hoodoo formations form an ancient sacred place and are the home of more than 138 rock art localities that record the "writings" of the spirits. For at least 4,000 years, Indigenous people have stopped here in the course of their seasonal round to pray, perform ceremonies and consult the rock art. Blackfoot traditional knowledge describes the origins, history, and continuing use of this sacred place.