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Home » Travel

Travels of a New Canadian : From Vancouver to Halifax by Train – with the Cultural Access Pass

Submitted by on July 24, 2013 – 10:06 pmNo Comment

Aboard the Via Rail train from Vancouver to JasperDid you ever eat a nun’s fart ? Walk on a gla­cier ? Explore an urban natio­nal park ?

Have you sam­pled shmoo torte ? Taste-tes­ted bagels or per­ogies ? Sna­cked on Kouign-Amann ?

Have you gone about your dai­ly busi­ness – as if you were an Aca­dian in the 1700s ?

Have you seen the grave of Louis Riel ? Dip­ped your toes in the surf of the world’s highest tide ?

Have you consi­de­red how abo­ri­gi­nal artists per­cei­ved the explo­rers who arri­ved on their land ?

…explo­red a neigh­bo­rhood museum – in a for­mer public bathhouse ?

…lis­te­ned to sto­ries of immi­grants as they came to start life in a new country ?

I’ve recent­ly had the chance to do all these things, and more.

All here in Canada.

My Cross-Cana­da Rail Adventure
Starting my cross-Canada train adventure at Vancouver's Via Rail station

I’m just back from a great adven­ture – an epic cross-Cana­da train trip. 

I spent a month tra­ve­ling across Cana­da on Via Rail from Van­cou­ver to Hali­fax with nume­rous stops along the way.

As a new Cana­dian myself – my fami­ly and I became Cana­dian citi­zens last year – I wan­ted to explore some of Cana­da’s ico­nic, don’t-miss places, from the Rocky Moun­tains to the Atlan­tic Coast. 

But I also want to fol­low, and share, Cana­da’s mul­ti­cul­tu­ral sto­ry, lear­ning more about other new­co­mers, past and present.

The Cultu­ral Access Pass

I was able to take this trip, in part, thanks to an excellent pro­gram that’s avai­lable free to new Cana­dian citi­zens : the Cultu­ral Access Pass. Spon­so­red by the non-pro­fit Ins­ti­tute for Cana­dian Citi­zen­ship, the Cultu­ral Access Pass is good for free admis­sion to more than 1,000 museums and cultu­ral attrac­tions across the coun­try and to all of Canada’s natio­nal parks and his­to­ric sites.

The pass also gives new citi­zens a 50 percent dis­count off a Via Rail trip, and I was exci­ted to learn that you can apply the pass to an alrea­dy dis­coun­ted fare. That’s right – when Via Rail announ­ced a 50-percent-off sale, I was able to use my Cultu­ral Access Pass for an extra discount.

If you’re a new citi­zen, it’s the chea­pest way you’ll ever find to take the train across Cana­da ! Thanks to the pass, too, my admis­sion to the natio­nal parks, his­to­ric sites, and most of the museums I visi­ted – from Jas­per to Win­ni­peg, Toron­to to Mon­treal, Monc­ton to Hali­fax – didn’t cost me anything.

Via Rail train departures, Union Station, Toronto, OntarioAll Aboard !

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be post­ing sto­ries about my new Cana­dian’s cross-coun­try rail adven­ture. I hope you’ll join me on my travels.

And I’ll be sure to tell you all about those nun’s farts.

 

 

 

Pho­to credits :
Aboard the Via Rail train from Van­cou­ver to Jas­per © Caro­lyn B. Heller
Embar­king on the train jour­ney © Alan Albert
Trains depar­ting from Toron­to’s Union Sta­tion © Caro­lyn B. Heller

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