Quebec invention - the world-famous Ski-Doo was named because of a typing error

Snowmobile Prototype

Valcourt, Eastern Townships, Quebec - It was supposed to be the 'Ski-Dog' because it was designed to replace the dogsled, but a brochure typo resulted in the world-famous brand 'Ski-Doo'. This all started with mechanically-gifted Joseph-Armand Bombardier (historica video), who was born in rural Valcourt, Quebec in 1907. By 15 he created his first prototype snow machine from an Model T Ford, the frame of a sleigh and a wooden airplane propeller. In 1934 he lost his two-year-old son to an appendicitis attack when he couldn’t get him to a hospital during a snow storm. That tradegy added to his motivation, and the first snowmobiles came out of his auto repair shop by 1937. By 1959 the heavy, multi-passenger vehicles were replaced by his lighter two-man Ski-Doo, which launched a new 'sport'. By 1994, 2 million Ski-Doo's were built.

Photo: Snowmobile protype - J. Armand Bombarier Museum

Where: Valcourt, east of Montreal, is home to the Musée J.-Armand Bombardier.

In the News: Quebec now has more than 33,650 km (20,900 mi.) of snowmobiling trails.


Lucy Izon

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

Canada’s Coolest:

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 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...

Icefields Parkway - the world's most accessible glacier

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.

Algonquin Moose Viewing

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.

Cape Breton Cabot Trail drive

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

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