Soon after the number of people vaccinated in Canada surpassed the speed in the USA, it was announced that the Canadian border will open next month to all fully vaccinated Americans, not just those with a substantial reason to travel.
But, as the ad says, the terms and conditions still apply. There will still be testing requirements as my colleague Vjosa Isai reported this weekbut the federal government is lifting the 14-day quarantine requirement that prevents many Americans from visiting family members in Canada. The mandate for compulsory accommodation in airport hotels for air passengers will also be canceled.
For now, at least, the United States does not reciprocate: its land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed until at least August 21. holidays remains in effect. The restrictions also do not apply to truck drivers, railroad crews and ship crews.)
Along with all this, the Toronto Blue Jays were allowed to end the exile in the United States, Reporting by James Wagner. As for Canada’s tourism industry, there is now hope that Americans, fed up with loitering around their homes since last March, will choose Canada as their first escape destination.
In The Times column “The Thrifty Traveler,” Elaine Gluzak convinces Americans that traveling to Canada can allow them to travel the world with much less delays during jet lag or the comfort of their family car.
[Read: See the World, in Canada]
If you are not a relative newcomer to Canada, you probably know most of the destinations mentioned in her article, such as Quebec. It was clearly not intended for Canadians, but you can forward it to friends or family outside the country.
And before I take a break, I’m going to offer a little travel advice. Easing restrictions means that some of you may find yourself, as I was on a business trip a month ago, driving the Trans-Canada Highway in southern Alberta. When you get to the Medicinal Hat, you certainly won’t miss tallest wigwam in the world. But this time I ventured further into the city to visit a museum and an art studio in the former Medalta pottery factory.
Before Canada signed its first trade agreement with the United States in the 1980s, it was common for factories in the east, especially Ontario and Quebec, to produce most of the produce consumed by Western Canada, which in turn supplied agricultural products and natural resources. resources. another direction.
But when it came to ceramics, Medicine Hat was an exception. It still calls itself the Gas City because of its rich natural resources. And Mike Onier, executive director of the Friends of Medalta Society, which runs the Medalta Museum, told me that the combination of abundant natural gas, access to water and clay nearby in southern Saskatchewan means that Medicine Hut was once home to several pottery factories. … The largest of them, Medalta and Hycroft China, is shipped not only to Canada but all over the world.
If you don’t have Medalta pottery in your home, chances are you’ve seen it at garage sales.
“It was meat and potatoes,” Mr. Onier said. “Today we try to make everything look very important, but these were just basic things.”
However, these were not only plates and bowls. Medicine Hat factories once produced ashtrays in the shape of cowboy hats or tiny maps of Alberta, chicken ponds and decorative plates used as prizes for rodeos.
(My wife informs me that I am perhaps the only person on earth who has never independently understood that Medalta is an abbreviation and combination of Medicine Hat and Alta, the old postal acronym for Alberta.)
Attempts to convert the Medalt factory into a museum date back to at least the 1970s, and its building is part of a large complex of former industrial buildings that now form a clay quarter. What finally opened in 2002 was a professionally designed and curated museum, gallery and ceramic art center.
Its premises include a refurbished hive oven, named for its shape, lined with shards, most of which are gallon-sized, and water coolers once made there.
Medalta and Hycroft also resumed production using original molds and tools, but on a much smaller scale and with modern ovens.
When I arrived, there were only 45 minutes before closing. And this time was not enough to inspect the informative and often funny exhibits.
One quick tip if you do decide to make Medalta your break from Transcanada. Its location is somewhat unclear, depending on where you enter the highway. I made the mistake of following the city signs leading to the museum instead of typing the address into my phone’s navigation app. Not only were the signs difficult to spot at times, they also take you on a circular tour that, admittedly, was actually scenic and not straight to the spot.
As I leave, the newsletter will be in the capable hands of Vjos Isai, who recently became our News Assistant in Canada.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austin was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has written about Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.
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