Norman Bethune of Gravenhurst devised the world's first mobile blood transfusion units
Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Ontario - Norman Bethune, humanitarian, activist and hero, was born in 1890 in this beautiful cottage/resort area of Ontario. He pioneered the world's first mobile blood transfusion units, a task he started on the battlefields of Spain and continued in war-torn China. His self-less work as a surgeon and teacher in China included establishing more than 20 hospitals and working under deporable conditions - once operating for 49 hours non-stop. He died from blood poisoning after cutting himself during an operation on the battlefront in northwestern China in 1939. Mao Zedong wrote one of his most famous essays about him, and it later became required reading in China. Today he is still used as an example for millions of Chinese students. 17 Chinese diplomats and officials attended the official opening of the Bethune House in Gravenhurst on August 30, 1976. The home, which is a two-hour drive north of Toronto, is open to the public and operated by Parks Canada.
Where: The resort town of Gravenhurst (pop 10,000 ) is about a two hour drive north of Toronto. It sits on the shore of Lake Muskoka and serves as the gateway to cottage country. Visitors can also take a lake tour on the historic R.M.S. Segwen (1887) webcam the oldest operating steamship in North America, enjoy live entertainment from rock and pop to dinner theatre at the Gravenhurst Opera House, and take a nostalgic look at the early, elegant resort and cottage life of the region at the Grace & Speed Muskoka Boat & Heritage Museum.
In the News: In honour of the official opening of the new visitor facilities at Bethune Memorial House, the Town of Gravenhurst has declared July 11, 2012 Bethune Day. Watch for street festivies, etc.
Canada Cool is produced by award-winning Canadian travel writer & speaker Lucy Izon. Her travel stories & reports have appeared in numerous leading North American publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. Bio page
Welcome to a new feature on Canada Cool. I'll be presenting different 'Coolest' lists with my favorites and I encourage you to nominate suggestions from your own experiences. You can Twitter @CanadaCool or email Lucy@CanadaCool.com. Let me know what makes your suggestion exceptionally cool. Remember, by contributing your comments you are giving Canada Cool permission to quote you. Only a selection of submissions will be included, but all comments and submissions are greatly appreciated!
The first feature is: Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives
Here are some of my favorites...
The Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park, Alberta - This 229 km (142 mi) Rocky Mountain route from Banff/Lake Louise to Jasper passes 100 frozen rivers and nudges the base of the Athabasca Glacier - the most accessible glacier in the world. You can stop and explore it. It spills down from the Columbia Icefield, an area of ice so massive that you could fit the entire population of North America on it with each person getting at least a square metre of space.
The Corridor, Algonquin Park, Ontario – this 56-km stretch of Hwy 60 cuts through the southwest section of Algonquin Park. Less than three hours north of Toronto the park is a nature-lover's paradise with 7,725 km of lakes, rivers, forest, trails, camping, comfortable lodges and 2000 km of canoe routes. Offers hiking trails to stop and enjoy, but what makes it really cool is that it’s one of the best places in North America to spot moose (especially in May and June). And, on Thursday nights in August up to 600 cars will gather to listen to wolves howl.
The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Driving this 303 km (187 mile) route is like riding a roller-coaster: the road snakes around hairpin turns, rises to heights over 365 metres (1200 ft), weaves around headlands revealing spectacular coastal scenery, and plunges down to sea level taking you into the heart of small fishing communities. The most dramatic scenery is between the Cape Breton Highlands National Park entrance near Cheticamp and Pleasant Bay, so go slow. And, plan some flexibility into your schedule, so you can drive it on a clear day.
And here are some of your nominations for 'Canada's Coolest Single Day Scenic Drives'...
More from Canada’s Coolest
'Canada's Coolest' topics we'll be publishing in the future:
- Golf Course Features
- Haunted Hotels
- Hotel Special Services
Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com
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