Guest Blog: Canadian Places From Beloved Children's Books

Dec 31, 2017

In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary on July 1, we’re bringing you 150 Travelzoo Tips – one per day until July 1 – to help you explore and enjoy this great land. For Tip 97, travel writer Ilona  Kauremszky of MyCompassTV shares places in Canada linked to classic children's literature. (Photo: © Parks Canada/Scott Munn)

Some of the world's most beloved children's books have ties to specific places in Canada -- towns or monuments where fans can pay tribute to the characters and authors they've come to love. Here’s a look at five children’s classics and places to visit where the characters will leap off the page.

Anne of Green Gables

Canada’s favourite redhead has been every little girl’s storybook best friend since Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery penned the first book in the series in 1908. The rambunctious, talkative Anne lived a life of adventure on a bucolic farm in Prince Edward Island.

Go to: Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish, P.E.I., is a National Historic Site and the epicentre of all things Anne.

Winnie the Pooh

British author A.A. Milne took his son Christopher Robin to the London Zoo one day, and the rest, as they say, is history. Christopher named the teddy bear in his 1926 book after Winnie -- short for Winnipeg -- a Canadian black bear that Canadian Lt. Harry Colebourn bought in White River, Ont., then donated to the London Zoo on his way to the First World War.

Go to: The tale of the honey-loving bear lives on in White River. The remote northern town is revered as Pooh’s birthplace. Visit the White River Heritage Museum for a display of Winnie memorabilia.

The Hockey Sweater (Le chandail de hockey)

Written by Roch Carrier in 1979, this delightful children’s short story tells of a boy whose only dream is to possess a Montreal Canadians sweater with the number 9, as worn by ace hockey legend Maurice “Rocket” Richard. When he's accidentally sent a Maple Leafs sweater, he has to deal with fallout from his fellow hockey fans in Sainte-Justine, Que.

Go to: In Roch Carrier's hometown of Sainte-Justine, you can stroll past sites in the book, from the skating rink to the church.

Lost in the Barrens

Farley Mowat had a real knack for reviving Canadian folklore with his tales of the Wild North. He wrote this page-turner in 1956; the adventure story was a coming-of-age saga about two teenage boys surviving in the rugged, barren landscape.

Go to: Mowat's hometown, Port Hope, Ont., has a one-of-a-kind monument to its favourite son: a model of a boat-roofed house of stone.

Franklin the Turtle

A more recent favourite, this popular Canadian children’s book series (by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Brenda Clark) showcases the life of Franklin the turtle and friends.

Go to: The Franklin’s Children Garden at the Toronto Island Park. Visit Pine Grove for a Franklin statue photo-op;or stop by the treehouse in the Hide and Seek Garden.

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