Travel news: New inspiration for a trip this week

Opening soon

The W Toronto (90 Bloor St.E.) is finally set to open its doors this summer. The property has taken over the address previously home to the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville and has undergone a $40 million renovation over the past three years, including a fresh, brutalist-inspired facade by Architects Alliance. Inspired by the city’s graffiti and theater scene, Toronto’s first W hotel will have 254 rooms (including 30 suites, two of which are next-level Extreme Wow suites), a 3,300-square-foot gym, a bar and restaurant on the roof, and a private recording studio for music artists.

On the longest day

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, which coincides with National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), will take place from June 21 to 26 at Madahoki Farm. A new agritourism destination in Ottawa open to groups and events only, Madahoki (Anishnaabe for “share the land”) is a meeting place where people can learn about traditional farming and see rare Ojibwe Spirit horses. The family-friendly festival is an opportunity for visitors to do this and more, with birch-bark basket-making workshops, an indigenous market, Inuit throat singing and traditional Métis games. The highlight is the Competition Pow Wow (June 25-26), featuring world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand.

Looking for silence

From the sound of cars to the beeping of electronics, research shows that noise pollution can have negative effects on mental health, including anxiety and stress. In answer, Memory – a tour operator specializing in “mindful adventure travel” – has launched two itineraries in partnership with the non-profit Quiet Parks International. Led by mindfulness coaches, departing in June, the small-group tours will take place in some of the world’s quietest places, including Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Montana’s Glacier National Park, with activities such as forest bathing, quiet hiking, and breathwork.

The Paparoa Track is one of nine multi-day routes that make up the Great Walks of New Zealand.

Walk this way

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Great Walks of New Zealand – a popular network of multi-day trails winding through spectacular scenery, originally created to protect sensitive environments from trespassing. The most recently added route is the three-day Paparoa Track, which takes travelers to mountain peaks and through rainforests, but one more is in the works: the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, a three-day loop in Fiordland National Park, will be added in 2023.

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