the West of Toronto (90 Bloor St. E.) is finally set to open its doors this summer. Taking over the address that previously housed the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville, the property has spent the past three years undergoing a $40 million renovation, including a new Brutalist-inspired facade by Architects Alliance. Inspired by the city’s graffiti and theatrical scene, Toronto’s first W hotel will have 254 rooms (including 30 suites, including two upper-level Extreme Wow suites), a 3,300 square foot gym, bar and restaurant rooftop and a private recording studio for musical artists.
The longest day
Organized to coincide with National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), the Midsummer Aboriginal Festival will take place from June 21 to 26 at Madahoki Farm. A new agritourism destination in Ottawa open to groups and events only, Madahoki (Anishnaabe for “sharing the land”) is a gathering place where people can learn about traditional farming and see rare horses from the Ojibway spirit. The family festival is an opportunity for visitors to do that and more, with birchbark basket-making workshops, an Aboriginal market, Inuit throat singing and traditional Métis games. The highlight will be the Pow Wow Competition (June 25-26), featuring world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand.
search for silence
From the noise of cars to the beeping of electronic devices, research shows that noise pollution can have negative effects on mental health, including triggering anxiety and stress. In response, reminder — a tour operator specializing in “conscious adventure travel” — has launched two routes in partnership with the association Quiet Parks International. Led by mindfulness coaches, with departures throughout June, the small-group tours will take place in some of the quietest places in the world, including Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Glacier National Park of Montana, with activities such as forest bathing, silent hiking and breathing. .
Take this way
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Great New Zealand Walks — a popular network of multi-day trails winding through dramatic landscapes, originally created to protect sensitive environments from overuse. The most recently added itinerary is the three-day one Paparoa Trailwhich takes travelers to alpine peaks and through tropical forests, but another is in preparation: the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Traila three-day loop in Fiordland National Park, due to be added in 2023.