Project Zoom

A movement to increase Canadians' knowledge about their country and help those in need.

The book Zooming across Canada

Written By: Yvonne - Feb• 05•12

will be available in the fall of 2014.

If you are interested in ordering a copy or two or three (makes a great Christmas gift) please join our mailing list by placing your email address under the ‘order the book’ section of the website.

You will receive a notification when the book is available and information on how to order your own special copy.

Zoomingly yours,

Jim and Yvonne

The second half of our trip

Written By: Yvonne - Feb• 04•12

 involved brushing up on our French language skills in order to communicate with the locals.  We also had to zoom through Ontario and pick up some warm winter woolies before heading west for the winter.  Highlights of our zoom across the prairies to beautiful British Columbia included meeting some amazing people, and learning more about our terrific country.

Did you know that IMAX is a Canadian invention?  Meeting Sean Casey (an IMAX filmmaker and professional storm chaser) in Victoria, BC, was definitely one of the coolest moments on the western part of our journey.

Enjoy a few of our favourite moments in today’s blog.  The book Zooming across Canada will contain lots of valuable information on living in the different provincial capital cities, along with some amazing tales and photographs.

Jim trying to blend in - Quebec, QC -Sept 2011

Yvonne & George Stroumboulopoulos - Winnipeg, MB - Oct 2011

RCMP Depot Division -Regina, SK - Nov 2011

Jim at Firefighters Memorial, Edmonton, AB-Dec 2011

 

Yvonne, Sean Casey & Jim- Victoria, BC-Jan 2012

The first leg of our trip

Written By: Yvonne - Feb• 03•12

was a fantastic journey on its own.  Saying goodbye to friends and family for an extended period is always difficult, and this was no exception.  Prior to this journey, Jim and I hadn’t been away from home for a period of more than 3 weeks.  10 months sounded ominous, yet exciting.

Square One CrossFit gang - Mississauga, Ontario

Enjoy today’s photos from the first 5 months of our zoom across Canada, starting with Mississauga, Ontario (where we lived as residents prior to this zoom) and Canada’s sixth largest city, with an almost 91–year old Mayor, Hazel McCallion, who’s been running this city since 1978.  (How cool is that?)

Toronto Fire Station 226, Toronto, ON - April 2011

Home in St. John's, NF - May 2011

Mayor Peter Kelly & Yvonne - Halifax, NS - June 2011

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Charlottetown, PEI - July 2011

Mayor Woodside & Premier Alward, Fredericton, NB - August 2011

See ya later Victoria!

Written By: Yvonne - Feb• 02•12

Well, our time in the last provincial capital city on our ten-month zoom across Canada has ended.  Can you believe it?  We made it!

Thunderbird Toastmasters - the club with a heart

Highlights of our stay in Victoria include participating in weekly Thunderbird Toastmasters meetings where the gift of gab is prevalent with this gregarious group of individuals.

A Taste of Italy at Paprika Bistro

Jim’s birthday including a special evening at one of Victoria’s fine dining establishments and an appearance on CBC Radio’s “All Points West” show with host Jo-Ann Roberts.

Jim, Jo-Ann Roberts (CBC All Points West) and Yvonne

 

Yvonne doing the pre-warm up at CrossFit Taranis

As usual, exercise was a part of our daily lives.  CrossFit Taranis is a terrific facility full of highly energetic and strong residents.  Their pre-warm up and team warm up alone felt like a workout!

Jim on top of Summit Park

Jim loves the greenness of this city.  He enjoyed many opportunities to play with nature, whether zooming around lakes or visiting the harbour.

In every city, we have enjoyed discovering public art, including beautiful wall murals.  This city was no different, and seeing one of Jim’s favourites involved a hike up a hill.

Mike Sampson and Jim Moffat

We attended a house concert at our new friend Eric’s house.  Jim Moffat and Mike Sampson entertained us locals and rocked the neighbourhood with their great music and funny stories.

There are lots more interesting tales about this city to share in the book Zooming across Canada.

Zoom to the beat of your own drum!

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 31•12

Hand drumming fun

We recently joined the locals and learned how to play African hand drums.  If you’re looking for a way to ‘beat’ stress instantly, I highly recommend this activity. 

Our cool instructors

More than 10,000 people in Victoria have participated in this program, and ‘Drum Victoria’ founder, Jordan Hanson, has taught more than 100,000 Canadians how to drum.  Jim and I are certainly proud that we are now part of this entertaining statistic.

Jim and his drum

No experience necessary, no drums required (they supply them), and instant fun guaranteed.  Learning how to play a boom whacker (musical tube) was an added bonus. 

Boom-whacking funness!

People say boom-whacking fosters alertness and improves listening skills through beats and rhythm.  All I know is once you start beating the drum, or whacking a tube, nothing else seems to matter.  It’s just pure enjoyment.

If you want to hear what hand drumming and boom-whacking sound like, visit their website and watch the videos.  Enjoy!  www.drumvictoria.com

Beer lovers ‘love’ Victoria!

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 30•12

There are a number of world-class microbreweries in this city, including the oldest brewpub in Canada, Spinnakers. 

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

We recently zoomed over to enjoy a delish dinner while sitting next to the crackling fireplace with an incredible view of the sunset over the harbour.  

The Swans Hotel

It’s easy to do a pub-crawl in this town as they are located very close to each other, and if you get tired, some of them even offer on-site accommodation, such as Spinnakers or The Swans Hotel.

A flight of beer at Swans Pub

During our stay in this final provincial capital city, we followed the advice of many locals (thanks Mayor Fortin) and checked out a flight of beer at Swans Brewpub.

Fun times

Another local hot spot for handcrafted beer and real food is Canoe Brew Pub, located right across the street from where we are staying.  We met up with a few friendly locals and enjoyed a terrific evening of food and fun (and beer of course).

Jim doing a 'flight test'

Victoria claims to have the highest density of restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada.  The brewpubs are just a small sample of the dining establishments available here.  If you visit Victoria, my advice to you is ‘come hungry’!

Fisherman’s Wharf

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 29•12

in Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a unique spot we recently discovered during a jog around this historic city.  Float homes are nestled amongst the commercial businesses and fishing vessels, and my curiosity had me taking time out from my morning run to discover this area at a slower pace. 

What is a float home you ask?   According to the Province of BC, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, “a floating home is defined as a structure built on a floatation system, which is used as a residence and is not intended for navigation or use as a navigable craft.”

They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.  I absolutely loved the Banana Boat float home!

A friendly local resident - a harbour seal

Enjoy the photo’s we captured during our stroll, including a cute local, otherwise known as a harbour seal.  For more information on the shops and services available at Fisherman’s Wharf, click HERE to visit their website.

Welcome to Fisherman's Wharf

Welcome to the neighbourhood

The Banana Boat

Check out the backyard!

Unique Float Home

A Harmonius Celebration

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 27•12

included Chinese singers, dancers and musicians galore. 

Alix Goolden Performance Hall - 907 Pandora Ave

We recently zoomed over to the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, home of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, to enjoy a free concert and ring in the Chinese New Year. 

2012 is the year of the Dragon and the children from the Chinese Public School performed the famous ‘dragon dance’.  How lucky we felt to be sharing in this celebration in Canada’s oldest Chinatown.

The Hon. Ida Chong, Minister of Community Sports & Cultural Development gave the opening remarks to an audience packed full of local residents.

Enjoy the colourful moments we managed to capture on film.

Hon. Ida Chong

The dragon dance

 

The fan dance

Two talented 12-year olds

Flute and harp duet

Historic Market Square

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 26•12

is truly a unique place to shop in the heart of Old Town in Victoria and is currently in the process of adapting to meet the needs of residents, versus catering to tourists.

Market Square

It is a quick 5-minute walk from where we are staying, and over the past few weeks, we have enjoyed browsing through the quaint shops tucked inside this stunning brick-and-beam building with an open-air courtyard. 

Saturday crowd in the open-air courtyard

There is a variety of restaurants to choose from whether you are looking to dine-in or take-out.

Twice-monthly market

We recently stumbled across the Winter Farmer’s Market that is back for its second year on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 

Terrific entertainment

Based on the crowd gathered to eat, shop and listen to some lively local talent, it appears to be quite the success.

Yummy bread

Whether you are looking for fresh dog biscuits, a new purse, or a bite to eat, check out this hotspot in the city for lots of local treasures.  It is definitely on my ‘must see’ list for visitors and I know it is a regular spot for us locals!  (www.victoriapublicmarket.com)

Emily Carr

Written By: Yvonne - Jan• 24•12

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

We recently visited the AGGV (Art Gallery of Greater Victoria) where Canadian icon Emily Carr’s work is currently on display in the exhibit “On the Edge of Nowhere.”

Carr House - Emily Carr's birthplace

Emily was born in Victoria in 1871, the same year British Columbia joined Canada.  She studied art in San Francisco, England, and France. 

You can see the change in her style after studying in these various places.  Once she met the Group of Seven in 1927, her style changed once again, becoming even more abstract and expressive.

Emily Carr painting

There are many institutions named after Carr, including The Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, The Emily Carr Public Library in Victoria, and several schools in Ottawa, London, Toronto, Oakville, and Woodbridge.

Inside the Spencer Mansion

The gallery itself is located in the Spencer Mansion (c 1889) and the new wings added to this beautiful building over the years.  The youngest Spencer daughter, Sara, donated the house to the art gallery upon her death in 1951. 

In you live in Victoria, or visit the area; keep in mind admission is by donation on the first Tuesday of every month.

Check out the galleries website for more information – www.aggv.ca