Seven Wonders of Canada
I nominate the beautiful and unique Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve in Raleigh, Newfoundland, as one of the Seven Wonders of Canada. This unique landscape sits on the Strait of Belle Isle and has everything to offer in geography, geology, flora and fauna, or just a family day of exploring. It has everything to offer for the naturalist, the explorer or for a simple day of hiking and breathtaking scenery. It is, in itself, a true natural wilderness experience.… As a child growing up in Raleigh, and having the opportunity to visit Burnt Cape everyday, I feel truly blessed to be a part of that classroom, and all the educational lessons that Burnt Cape taught me. In addition, there are many special memories that I have on family outings picking berries, visiting the sheep that use to roam the cliffs of Burnt Cape, having boil-ups of fresh mussels and lobster. During the winter it was the local spot to go sliding, or to go and have a look at the ice condition, or to see the hundreds of seals on the ice flows. It truly is a natural wonder, and if anyone has gone there and visited, I know that they too, would agree.
These are natural structures that have taken over 50,000 years to form and will last just a couple more weeks. They can be viewed passing by this community in large numbers each spring, View these 100,000 plus-tonne behemoths "float the green mile" to their demise.
I think that it is a big part of Canada's history when the Vikings landed in Newfoundland, 500 years before Columbus. Still today the site is Visited and researched. The site where they lived (L'Anse aux Meadows) still have Three dwellings, four workshops and an iron-working smithy are left as reminders of the Viking contribution to "New World" discovery.
One of the most beautiful views in the world. Looks out over the North Atlantic in the east, down into the village of Quidi Vidi and then into St.John's itself nestled in the gorgeous harbour. Signal Hill is both outstanding in visual pleasure as well as historical prominence, and is a wonderful welcome to Canada from the entire Eastern world.
Fogo Island is the Iona of Canada in that it holds a unique place in the story of Newfoundland and Labrador from its colonial past, to responsible government, and now as a province of Canada. Its name, with its Portuguese origin, kindles the imagination of hundreds who journey here each year to attend its several folk festivals, climb Brimstone Head, alias one of the corners of the flat earth, visit Tilting Harbour recently designated an historical community. And then there's Joe Batt's Arm, and Seldom-Come-Bye, two of the province's better-known communities because of their unique names. From Fogo Island's shores in far greater numbers than its population would warrant have gone two Bishops, even an arch bishop, several archdeacons, canons, priests and clergy of all stripes, to say nothing of the numerous teachers and other professionals that have made their marks all across Canada. Those who ply the fishery have always been in the forefront with the building of newer types of boats, or the making of other gear. Today's island community, although diminished in numbers, still follows in the traditions of those who have gone before, helping to shape Fogo Island's story in particular, and the province, and the country, in new ways, and continuing to welcome visitors from across this great country.
Why? Because it is the classic illustration of just how unbelievably big Canada is.
In October 1943 the crew of the German submarine U-537, led by a Dr. Kurt Sommermeyer, made the only German armed landing of North America during the Second World War at Martin’s Bay. Sommermeyer’s mission was to erect a weather station on a high hill overlooking the sea, thus hopefully aiding Kreigsmarine U-boats with their navigation. This they did without being detected. (U-537 was later sunk in the Far East, but Sommermeyer survived the war.) In the late 1970’s a German engineer named Franz Selinger, who was working on a history of the German Weather Service, wrote to the Canadian government inquiring after the fate of the Martin’s Bay weather station. No one in the Canadian government or military had the slightest idea what he was talking about. In the 1980 Sommermeyer’s son managed to locate a logbook of U-537, which contained details as to the exact location of the Martin’s Bay transmitter. This he forwarded to the Canadian military, which, thanks to his directions, subsequently found the weather station. In what other country could a weather station be secretly constructed and left unfound for forty years?
I find this place enchanting. I submit that its accessibility to everyone (along the Trans Canada Hwy) as well as the fact that it has experienced wind gusts up to 220km/h makes in unique in Canada. It even has a meterological phenomenon named for it ...the "Wreckhouse Effect." It is visually stunning and one of its few residents was the late Loughie MacDougall, the "Human Wind Gauge" hired by the railway to warn of winds capable of blowing passing trains off the tracks. As a child, I marvelled at his abandoned dilapidated house standing against one of the most austere places on earth. I have spent as much time off the island now as I lived on it and two things are curiously absent... MacDougall"s house and the "Wreckhouse" highway sign. Both were so emblematic of Newfoundland and anyone who is a Newfoundlander will know exactly what I mean. Unique in Canada...unique in the world.