ConnecTour Chronicles: A private fantasy world, rich in local and family history

It would be an insult to say Sheri is a packrat; all of the hundreds of knickknacks she has have a history

ConnecTour Chronicles: A private fantasy world, rich in local and family historyTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Lodges hanging on by a thin fishing line

“We need a plan to fully reopen the border so our businesses can survive”

ConnecTour Chronicles: Lodges hanging on by a thin fishing lineTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A bicycle clinic that started with a bang

Winnipeg has taken a shine to urban cycling

ConnecTour Chronicles: A bicycle clinic that started with a bangTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Warmshowers hosts have equally warm spirits

Members offer a place for touring cyclists to pitch their tents and grab a shower. In exchange: an evening of conversation

ConnecTour Chronicles: Warmshowers hosts have equally warm spiritsTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Cheap rural living brings brewery dream to life

Nokomis Craft Ales is putting Nokomis, Sask. on the map – defying conventional thinking that only the big city yields success

ConnecTour Chronicles: Cheap rural living brings brewery dream to lifeTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Out of the blue, an army on the prowl

The bees came at us like a fleet of enemy fighter planes

ConnecTour Chronicles: Out of the blue, an army on the prowlTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

A sudden, frightening crash sidelines one of our cyclists

‘I threw down my bike and ran over to her. She was lying still on the pavement, entangled in her bike'

A sudden, frightening crash sidelines one of our cyclistsTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Antique store owner revives memories

Sandra, 69, continues to run the antique store even though she lost her beloved husband Rich three years ago

ConnecTour Chronicles: Antique store owner revives memoriesTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. tarting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A pool party on the Prairies

Such unexpected generosity as we experience in Chinook, Alta. is what makes this ride so exceptional

ConnecTour Chronicles: A pool party on the PrairiesTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A life-saving gift for our son-in-law

The average wait for a liver transplant in Canada is 287 days. Dax was one of the lucky ones – his wait was just a few weeks

ConnecTour Chronicles: A life-saving gift for our son-in-lawTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. tarting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Even in Banff, COVID-19 has left its mark

Tattoo artist Robb Syre moved to the Alberta mountain resort town to chase a dream with his best friend. Instead, he lost his friend to the virus

ConnecTour Chronicles: Even in Banff, COVID-19 has left its markTroy Media publisher Doug Firby and Travel editor Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting in May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: An artistic treasure trove in a former biker bar

By the door is an original painting by renowned Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau, one of dozens of pieces in Wilking’s collection

ConnecTour Chronicles: An artistic treasure trove in a former biker barDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, and columnist Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in British Columbia, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

ConnectTour Chronicles: Highlights, lowlights and lessons learned so far

Learn to take it one pedal stroke at a time. And even though that hill can look intimidating, just get into the zone and take it slow

ConnectTour Chronicles: Highlights, lowlights and lessons learned so farDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, and columnist Lisa Monforton are part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in British Columbia, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Content to live with old mining town’s ghosts

Some of our group chose to sleep outside in tents rather than risk the ire of these troubled spirits. Two brave souls slept inside

ConnecTour Chronicles: Content to live with old mining town’s ghostsDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: A brush with heat stroke and then hypothermia

Transport trucks, cars and four-by-fours roared by us, some so close we were showered in road spray and rocked by the wind gusts

ConnecTour Chronicles: A brush with heat stroke and then hypothermiaDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our…

ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s gold

Across from our campsite sat a gangly young man named Scott, who had been homeless for 10 years and was trying to find some normalcy

ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s goldLisa Montforton is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 28 in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch for…

ConnecTour Chronicles: Kindness comes in a bucket of ice and jug of water

ConnecTour Chronicles: Kindness comes in a bucket of ice and jug of waterDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on Friday in Kelowna, B.C. (B.C. travel restrictions derailed a planned start in Victoria), they hope to make an 8,000-km journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of…

COVID panic? Keep calm and carry on with bike tour planning

Four of the five members of the core group who plan to cycle across the country have had their first shots. We’re ready to go

COVID panic? Keep calm and carry on with bike tour planningDoug Firby, publisher of Troy Media, is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting on May 15 in Victoria, they plan to dip their wheels in the Pacific Ocean and then head east for 8,000 km, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and our sense of community. Watch…

Governor general an anachronism who can save democracy

While mostly ceremonial, it can still mean something very important

Governor general an anachronism who can save democracyThe embarrassing schmozzle involving our most recent governor general, Julie Payette, has a lot of Canadians questioning why we still have a vice-regal. Actually, the close brush with a self-appointed president-for-life just to the south of us provides a pretty compelling reason for Canada to hang on to the seemingly archaic tradition of having a…

It’s not about where we travel but why

A collection of ordinary adventurers are preparing to travel at the speed of life, seeking to connect with fellow Canadians across the country

It’s not about where we travel but whyOf all the things we do that have changed since the arrival of COVID-19, one that has altered the most is travel. And it’s not only about when and where we go, but also why. Spending Christmas in a sunny, warm resort is no longer a legitimate reason to travel, as a few politicians have…

From a bitter past to the sweet taste of opportunity

Road to Reconciliation: An examination of what meaningful consultation and economic reconciliation look like

From a bitter past to the sweet taste of opportunityIf you relied on the headlines alone, you might conclude that the Indigenous peoples of Canada are squarely against oil and gas development. You would be wrong. Headlines, by their nature, highlight crisis and conflict in simplified terms. But the debate over Indigenous support for resource development is highly nuanced. Readers must go beyond the…

B.C. rec sites a natural delight for hardy campers

Visitors just have to be prepared to go with the flow, consider unconventional approaches and be flexible enough to adapt to travel with no reservations

B.C. rec sites a natural delight for hardy campersTo say it is a challenging year to travel out of province is to put things mildly in the extreme. With the enduring COVID-19 threat, most provinces have residents-only campsite reservation policies and national campgrounds have been booked tight for months. Yet with a little ingenuity and adventurous spirit, we discovered that British Columbia is…

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruin

The government of Premier Jason Kenney has decided to end a 44-year moratorium on open-pit coal mining in southern Alberta

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruinDesperate times sometimes lead to catastrophic measures. In Alberta, the beleaguered provincial government is in a financial situation that could be characterized as desperate, suffering from the double-whammy of collapsed resource revenues and, of course, the massive spending required to address the social wildfire known as the COVID-19 pandemic. The desperate measure that the United…

Leslyn Lewis could be our next, next prime minister

Leslyn Lewis could be our next, next prime ministerIf the Conservative Party of Canada truly wanted to turn its party-of-angry-old-white-men image on its head, to herald a new era or principled conservatism, and to reach out to voters who have not considered them in the past, then members would choose Leslyn Lewis as their new leader. But they should not do that. This…

What an Indigenous force can teach us about policing

Adding more weapons, equipment and officers doesn’t provide a straight line to happier and safer communities

What an Indigenous force can teach us about policingPutting more force into our police forces might seem intuitively like a logical way to more effectively fight crime. Real-life experience suggests that’s not necessarily so. Experts say when using force is available, then it’s human nature for a trained police officer to fall back on that option when the going gets rough. Too often,…

What was Trudeau thinking? That he can do whatever he wants

The WE mess shows sunny ways have been replaced with dark days of the same old cronyism in the halls of power

What was Trudeau thinking? That he can do whatever he wantsJust when you think our prime minister may actually be growing into his job, he does something so ill-considered, so tone-deaf and so contrary to generally accepted political convention that all the confidence he has earned in the past few weeks evaporates in a flash. Such was Justin Trudeau’s foolish and inexplicable attachment to the…

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?Referendums have been the source of high anxiety and popular uprisings in recent years. Whether they’re a truly democratic way to make vital decisions that best serve the public interest is a matter of great debate. However, there really should be no debate – nine times out of 10, they’re a bad idea. Alberta Premier…

Half measures won’t solve the problem with police

It’s time to reduce funding to police and reallocate those dollars to more proactive ways to reduce crime

Half measures won’t solve the problem with policeHere’s a couple of questions that might have seemed crazy to many people just a few short years ago but are gaining purchase today. Do we really need as much policing as we have? Or are the ever-growing police budgets actually inadvertently leading to greater violence? A lot of us have believed that police exist…
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