Canada is home to a number of municipalities that have links to comparable communities in other countries, this is called “town twinning” or “sister cities” and it’s done to strengthen cultural ties, exchanging history and even educational or economic opportunities. With us all being confined to our borders indefinitely it’s the perfect time to consider a domestic road trip. While travellers won’t be setting out to experience France or Japan any time soon, a road trip to some of their local sister cities right here in Canada may be the next best thing!
With the help of the experts at OK Tire, we’ve put together a list of 5 Canadian sister cities that should be a stop on your next road trip. And remember, before you plan your trip, check for potential travel restrictions that might be in place in specific provinces and cities to avoid any last-minute detours.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
If you had a trip to Ireland planned for this year you may need the luck of the Irish to get there, but have no fear adding St. John’s to your road trip itinerary will give you a taste of the culture without even leaving the country. Sister city to Waterford, Ireland, St. John’s is known nationally for its strong cultural ties to its Irish heritage, with almost a third of its population holding Irish roots. Year-round the city of St. John’s is a focal point of activity, innovation and culture. With a variety of exceptional attractions, breathtaking land and seascapes and plenty of charm, there’s truly something for everyone. History buffs can get lost in the many historic landmarks like the iconic Cabot Tower, a castle structure built to honour the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland, and the exact place that Marconi famously received the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901. Before you leave don’t forget to capture an Insta-worthy shot on Jellybean row, where bright and colourful houses line the street.
If a trip to France is far from reach keep it local and make Montreal a stop on your next roady. Sister city to Lyon, France, Montreal is one of Canada’s most unique metropolitan cities. Still reflecting its European heritage Montreal offers arts, culture, adventure, and endless styles of cuisine. The summer months feature the best this city has to offer, beautiful weather brings the city’s fragrant blossoms, lush greenspaces, and beautiful flowers to life. While streets open to host curbside markets, bike-friendly pathways, and a wide range of excellent patios.
If you’re cruising through Ontario jamming to OK Tire’s curated road trip Spotify playlist, a stop in Collingwood may pique your interest. Sister cities with Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico, what Collingwood lacks in palm trees it makes up for in fun physical-distancing friendly things to do. Collingwood’s defining historical, artistic, architectural, natural and culinary features are what keeps tourists coming back each year. With over 60km of stunning hiking trails and a lively harbourfront this quaint little town is the perfect stop on a road trip. Make a day of it and hit the nearby Blue Mountain village, which transforms from a ski lovers paradise to an outdoorsman’s playground in the summer months. Blue Mountain also offers distance friendly activities like an Open-Air Gondola, Cascade Putting Course, Chutes and Lumber Ball Run and Cross-Country Bike Rentals.
Country music lovers that had Nashville, Tennessee in their 2020 travel plans can make its sister city, Edmonton, Alberta a stop when driving through mid-western Canada. Though the full Broadway experience found in Nashville will have to be placed on hold, Edmonton’s long list of Honky-tonks and country dives will keep you occupied for the time being. This young city loves any excuse to go out on the town and enjoy an evening out, with live music venues hosting local talent daily. If shopping is on your bucket list, the recently re-opened West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores, nine world-class attractions and over 100 dining venues making it a shopper’s dream.
Squamish, British Columbia
Did your plans to explore Japan this year get derailed? If so, a visit to the more local Squamish, British Columbia may be what you need to quench your wanderlust until international travel ramps back up. Sister city to Shimizu, Japan, Squamish offers comparable landscapes as its coastal mountains and stunning views of its adjacent rivers and lakes will leave your breathless. Squamish is not a place for the cautious as it screams adventure on both land and water. Packed with magnificent rivers, a teal blue inlet, glacier-fed lakes, and an array of mellow to intense whitewater, Squamish is a world-class paddling and water sports destination.
A cross-country road trip is an adventure and OK Tire wants you to feel confident making your way across our beautiful land. Before you head out make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and remember when your vehicle is serviced at any OK Tire store the quality work is guaranteed with their 12 months/20,000 km North American warranty program.