What are the best destination cities in Canada?

When one considers the best destinations in Canada, there are some names that readily come to mind. Halifax. Montreal. Toronto. Vancouver.

When one considers the best destinations in Canada, there are some names that readily come to mind. Halifax. Montreal. Toronto. Vancouver.

Two names that might be missing from that list however, are Invermere and the Village of Canal Flats, and as part of the Reader’s Digest Canada’s Most Interesting Towns contest, two local women are trying to change just that.

“I just felt strongly that Invermere should be put out there, because it is the best place in Canada,” said Invermere resident Elizabeth Stuart. “I can’t think of any place I’d rather live.”

“I love living here, I love living in the flats,” Canal Flats resident Chantal Gallacher said. “I look out my front window and there’s a mountain right there… how many people can actually say that?”

Each Stuart and Gallacher have transformed their love for their respective communities into an entry for the Readers Digest Canada’s Most Interesting Town contest, under the best destination category.

Since September, people across the country have been entering their favourite towns and cities into a number of different categories, including healthiest, best cuisine, most community spirit, and the aforementioned best destination. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, and an additional $5,000 will be donated to the town for a community project, along with the exposure of being featured in an upcoming edition of Reader’s Digest.

Stuart, a resident of Invermere since 2005, heard about the contest after seeing an ad on television, and Gallacher, a 10-year resident of Canal Flats, saw the contest in a magazine.

Both have since had their small feature stories on their respective communities published on the Reader’s Digest website, and are hoping to get as many votes as they can before the December 18 deadline.

“I really enjoy the outdoors and I love the fact that I can walk out my front door and be in the bush in two seconds,” Gallacher said of Canal Flats.” We do a lot of camping and fishing and hunting, and it’s just the perfect place for that.”

For Stuart, she and her family have been pleasantly surprised at how warmly they’ve been received since moving to Invermere. Stuart said her son was more than welcomed at the high school, and that the whole family has felt truly embraced by the community.

“This town has just been beyond my expectations as a full-time resident,” Stuart said. “You think, ‘Oh there’s a downside,’ but we haven’t found the downside yet. The deer don’t bug us and the Calgarians don’t bug us.”

To view the entries and vote for a particular community, visit the webpage at www.readersdigest.ca/cmit.