Traveling and reading are two of my favorite things. There’s something so magical about turning an experience or idea into a string of beautiful words that make you hear something; see something; feel something. If you’re a literary lover like me, you may want to consider travelling to some of these great bookish locations to combine your desire to see the world with your love for words.
Below is a list of Canadian destinations from East to West for the literary traveler.
Writers at Woody Point, Woody Point, Newfoundland
Surrounded by carved, rocky mountains, towering trees, and relaxing beaches, Gros Morne is the perfect backdrop for Writers at Woody Point, an annual festival that connects writers, musicians, and artists together from around the world. Bringing in authors like Margaret Atwood, Lawrence Hill, and Kathleen Winter, this festival is sure to leave you inspired and in awe.
After enjoying all that this festival has to offer, get out and enjoy the mountains, hiking trails, fjords, and beaches!
Green Gables House, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
The story of Anne of Green Gables has tourists flocking to PEI every year to visit the hometown of this lovable, fictional character and, of course, to try the bright red drink.
Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables in 1908. To this day, it’s difficult to go to Prince Edward Island without hearing about Anne. Her red braids can be found in almost every tourist shop and Cavendish is packed with Anne fans. Not only can you visit the Anne of Green Gables House, you can also take a step inside Avonlea village, where this fictional town is brought to life, visit Montgomery’s grave site in Cavendish, and, if you time your visit around it, you can get tickets to see the Anne of Green Gables production in Charlottetown.
Image via FLIKR
While you’re there, check out some of Prince Edward Island’s fabulous beaches. Take a day trip to Basin Head, which was named the best beach in Canada!
Poets’ Corner, Fredericton
“Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self, and it is a task no longer; it is joy; it is art.”
– Bliss Carmen
Fredericton is known as the poetry capital of Canada. Outside the University of New Brunswick is a monument in honor of three of Fredericton’s finest poets, Bliss Carmen, Charles G.D. Roberts, and Francis Sherman. To get a good feel of the town history, visit Kings Landing Historical settlement to get a first hand learning experience in how you would have worked and lived in this area in the 19th century.
The Morrin Library, Quebec City, Quebec
Every once in a while (or every day, personally) you just need a good book. The Morrin Library in Quebec City is the perfect place to sit down with an old classic novel and breathe in the scent of hundreds of years worth of written word (if you’re a book lover, you’ll know what I mean).
The beauty of this library is a little overwhelming, so if you find yourself too distracted to read, you can simply wander around and get lost in a library that Belle herself would swoon over.
Image via FLIKR
Lucy Maud Statue, Leaskdale, Ontario
“I cannot remember the time when I was not writing, or when I did not mean to be an author.”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery
If you’ve visited PEI and still haven’t gotten enough of Lucy Maud Montgomery, you can visit her home in Leaskdale, Ontario, where she moved with her husband in 1911 to start a family and continue writing. Maud wrote 11 of her 22 novels at her home in Leaskdale and there is now a statue of her gazing out into the scenery of the land where she loved and lived.
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
When it comes to name dropping, the largest University in Canada has some heavy ones. Many big name authors studied or taught here, including Margaret Atwood, Lester B. Pearson, Douglas LePan, and the list goes on.
The grounds of the campus are worth seeing, too!
Image via FLIKR
Shakespeare in the Ruins, Winnipeg, Manitoba
“This above all: to thine own self be true”.– Hamlet (Act I, Scene III).
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, you can visit the ruins of a Trappist Monastery and witness the works of William Shakespeare brought to life. If sitting around watching doesn’t intrigue you and you’d like to get in on the action, attend the Promenade Theater and join in the performance!
Word on The Street Festival, Locations across Canada
Word on the Street Festival is a national celebration of the written word. The festival, which began in 1990, includes author events, presentations, workshops, and the best selection of books and magazines in Canada. What’s the best part about enjoying this wordy festival? It’s free! Keep your eye out for this festival in Lethbridge, Kitchener, Halifax, Saskatoon, and Toronto.
Get out there and explore! Don’t forget to bring your book!