Seven Wonders of Canada
“Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage,
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea,
Tracing one warm line, through a land so wild and savage
And make a northwest passage to the sea.”
Maurice Anthony Rose
Between the end of the 15th century and the 20th century, Europeans attempted to discover a commercial sea route north and west around North America. The English called the hypothetical route the Northwest Passage, while the Spanish called it the Strait of Anian. The desire to establish such a route motivated much of the European exploration of both coasts of North America. At the same time explorers were attempting to find this westbound passage between the Atlantic and Pacific north of the North American mainland, others were competing to find an eastbound passage north of Russia, i.e. a northeast passage.
This beautiful and unique piece of our geography has a long and rich history. Over the years it has captivated the imagination and prompted immense efforts (a number ending tragically) to unlock its secrets. We of course now know that it is real, and with global warming is becoming evermore an additional "highway" around the world. At the same time there are some that are questioning Canadian sovereignty over this part of our land. We need to take every opportunity to impress on the world our legitimate claim. Publically recognizing and promoting it as one of our "seven wonders" would be one such step.
The Northwest Passage. I was lucky enough to go though from Baffin Bay as far as Naisivik. The landscape of Canada's High Arctic is breathtaking and a unique part of our wonderful Land. We stopped at Beechey Island where the Franklin Expedition spent their last winter. The beauty, the history, the uniqueness and the future economic importance if, due to global warming, this passage becomes open to shipping from coast to coast. What a choice!
The Northwest Passage, used to be frozen by early November but rarely freezes after January now. It's the new St. Lawrence seaway in the making.