West Islanders are used to taking advantage of good weather while they can. But what do they do when faced with global adversity? Adapt, of course! Even the strongest of communities need a little escape now and then. With looming mask mandates, social-distancing, and unequivocal isolation – this world can seem like a scary place to venture out into.

What if I said that you could explore some of Canada’s greatest treasures without having to leave your couch? You’re thinking, “Duh! I know how to work a television.” While getting lost in the travel channel is entertaining, it’s not quite immersive enough to satisfy this case of the wanderlust blues. To help, I’ve compiled a list of ways to let your mind and soul wander from the safety of your home. Strap in, we’re going for an adventure!

Tune into interactive 360° webcams. Have you always wanted to see what lies in the Canadian Rockies but never been able to make the hike? On any given bucket list you’ll find a trip to Banff, but for some this may never become a reality. Now you can take in the natural beauty of this pristine landscape without having to brave the elements or the crowds. Cozy up with your quarantine-buddies, a hot drink, and an outstanding view of the sun rising (or setting if you’re a night owl like me) over the Canadian Rockies here

Bonus: Parks Canada YouTube has fully immersive 360° videos of beauty and fun on the trails.

The GOAL Initiatives Foundation offers free virtual workshops. From cooking classes with Montreal’s well-known chefs and at-home mixologist lessons with a special Montreal twist to soccer skills training with Canadian MLS players – there’s something for everyone. While these virtual workshops are free for everyone, they are accepting donations in collaboration with the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.

Tour Montreal’s museums virtually. Visit Pointe-à-Callière online to brush up on Montreal’s history. Still need a fix? Head over to Centre d’histoire de Montréal to flashback to 1940s Montreal in their 360° exhibition, Scandal!

Are you itching to get back to the Biodome and Botanical Gardens? Until you’re able to feast your eyes on the natural beauty in person you can get your fill of Montreal’s gardens and greenhouses online

Bonus: If you’re feeling brave, go diving with the jellyfish via Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada live streams! Want more cute animals? This Australian Sanctuary streams 24/7.

Isn’t it amazing what we can accomplish in one day, without leaving the house!? If you told me six months ago that I can simultaneously watch the sunrise in Banff, learn how to cook Magura and Miso just like downtown Restaurant Park, virtually swim with jellyfish, and be transported back to 1940s Montreal – I would have laughed in disbelief.

Instead of hitting the town, let’s sit back and let the world come to us for a change. In doing so, you’re doing your part to reduce the spread. Sounds like a win-win to me!

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