We’re going over the border. We’re heading to the largest country in North America, with its parliamentary democracy, eight distinct forest regions and a notorious reputation for kindness and tolerance. How do they do what that do? Three of the Top 10 Livable Cities on the planet are in Canada. Are they just lucky?

canada travels

Canada ranks extremely high in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. We’re told that “partiotism and multiculturalism go together like fries and cheese curds” in Canada. There’s something weird going on up there.

Canada and cheese curds

Our first stop is Montréal, a cultural gem and one of the top bicycle-friendly cities in the world. That’s a telling mark of distinction. We’ll be there ostensibly for the Salon du Vélo, February 22-24, with an eye-catching stand, and our collection of outerwear from Rhode Island. Yes, there are brand new bike-ready rainwear styles for Quebecers to give the once-over. But make no mistake, we’re there to get a real sense of the place.

Cleverhood bike show

Peace, order and good government are founding principles in the Canadian system. Interesting choices. But where’s the freedom? Perhaps Canada’s secret is its particular sense of humor, which a “famous” Canadian humorist defined as “the kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life and the artistic expression thereof.” Maybe it’s their gentle satire. Gotham City has Batman and Canada has crime-fighting Mr. Canoehead. We’re with that guy.

Toronto livable city

March 1-3, we’ll be in Toronto at the International Bicycle Show. The Economist’s Livable City index pegs Toronto at number 7 in the world. That’s an assessement based on 30 quality and quantitative factors like stability, healthcare, culture, infrastructure, education, etc., etc. Toronto is just behind Vancouver (no. 6) and Calgary (no. 4). We’ll be the judge of the benefits of urban planning thank you.

Mr Canoehead

Be assured we’ll have our eyes open. We’re eager for a good chin wag with folks over the border. We’ll eat the poutine. We’ll walk a-bout.

We’re looking forward to our trip north to see what Canada’s thinking. Do us a favor. If see us in Montreal or Toronto please say ‘hello’ or ‘Clam cakes.’ That’s our secret password that will get you a nice present from the Ocean State.