Some of the world's oldest sunglasses were discovered on north Baffin Island

Inuit Sungasses - Canadian Museum of Civilization

Gatineau, Quebec / Ottawa, Ontario - We can credit the Eskimo or Inuit of the Arctic for the world's first sunglasses. Often refered to as snow goggles, they were created from bone, leather or wood with small slits see through, designed to protect the eyes from snowblindness caused by the bright spring sunlight. The first snow goggles are said to date back 2000 years to a culture known as Old Bering Sea, who lived around the west coast of Alaska and were the ancestors of the modern Inuit. The snow goggles came to Canada with the Inuit (Thule culture) about 800 years ago. This example, an artifact of the Thule people, from north Baffin, was crafted from walrus ivory and dates back to between 1200 AD and 1600 AD. They are now in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, however they are not always on display. Photo: (C) Canadian Museum of Civilization, catalogue no.IX-C-2846, image no. S89-1832-CD94686-011.

Where: The Canadian Museum of Civilization is located in Gatineau, Quebec, on the banks of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Parliament Hill. The museum is within walking distance of downtown Ottawa. Become a Facebook Fan of The Canadian War Museum & The Canadian Museum of Civilization, or follow them on Twittter at @CanWarMuseum and @Civilization.

 

 
 
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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 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...

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

Send your suggestions to lucy@CanadaCool.com

Recent 'Canada's Coolest' topics: