Ontario residents 18-plus eligible for bivalent COVID-19 booster dose

WATCH ABOVE: As Ontario’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Ontarians are weighing whether to get a booster dose of the vaccine or to wait for a bivalent version of the vaccine to dun the fall. Brittany Rosen reports.

Adults aged 18 years and older are now eligible to get a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose, the Ontario government says.

The booster is Omicron-targeted and should offer stronger protection against the new variants.

“The bivalent COVID-19 booster provides better protection against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants in Ontario,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Residents 18 or older are eligible to book their appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Ontario vaccine contact centre at 1-833-943-3900. Appointments can also be booked through local public health units that operate their own booking systems.

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A new pediatric Pfizer vaccine is also available for children six months to under five years old, the province said.

“With the start of the fall and winter respiratory illness season, it is especially important to make sure people stay up to date with their vaccines,” said Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Minister of Health.

“COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are the best tool to keep people healthy and out of hospitals, and to ensure Ontario’s economy stays open as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Queen Elizabeth II honoured at UN meeting: 'Exceptional monarch'

A wave of false or misleading posts surrounding the late Queen, the Royals, and those associated with them is gaining traction online.

This year’s U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders came on the heels of another event that reverberated internationally – the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, followed by both an outpouring of tributes and sometimes bitter reflection on the colonialist empire that came to an end during her seven decades on the throne.

There were also some questions about whether the loss of the long-reigning monarch might affect the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 nations that, in many cases, have historic and linguistic ties to Britain. Fourteen of them are Commonwealth “realms” – former colonies where the British monarch, now King Charles III, remains the head of state.

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Some already were revisiting that relationship before the queen’s death.

Barbados snipped its link to the monarchy and became fully independent last year, to felicitations from Elizabeth and Charles. The prime ministers of Jamaica and of Antigua and Barbuda said earlier this year that they intend to do likewise, and Antigua and Barbuda’s Gaston Browne followed up after the queen’s death by telling Britain’s ITV News that he planned to call a referendum within three years.

Others have no such plans, at least for the moment. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had laid some groundwork for a potential Australian republic earlier in the year but said after Elizabeth’s death that it was time to honor the queen, not change up the government. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern, who supports becoming a republic, said she didn’t plan to take up the matter soon, noting there are many other issues on the country’s plate.

So there are on the General Assembly’s agenda, too, and the future of the Commonwealth didn’t factor in the major speeches each country gets to make. But some did take time to remember the queen and invoked her words and example to suggest future action – or lessons for leaders.

A look at some of the remarks:

British Prime Minister Liz Truss, whom Elizabeth formally appointed two days before her death, said Elizabeth “symbolized the post-war values” underlying the U.N. and recalled a speech that the queen gave at the General Assembly in 1957.

“She warned that it was vital not only to have strong ideals but also to have the political will to deliver on them. Now we must show that will. We must fight to defend those ideals. And we must deliver on them for all our people,” Truss said.

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Mauritius is a former British colony off the southeast coast of Africa, and the two countries remain at odds over the Chagos Islands, which the U.K. continues to control. Former residents have waged a years-long legal fight for the right to return to the archipelago after Britain expelled them in the 1960s and 1970s to make way for a military base.

Mauritius’ prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, urged Truss’ new government to resolve the matter by placing itself “on the right side of history,” pointing to Elizabeth’s “values and principles.”

“What more fitting tribute to the memory of this great monarch who dedicated her life to service, to uphold values of democracy, human rights and international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity than to bring this history to an end and to do so in a manner that respects sovereignty, matters of security, environment and the fundamental rights of human beings?” he asked.

Papua New Guinea is one of the far-flung “realms” where the U.K. monarch is still head of state, and Prime Minister James Marape closed his General Assembly remarks with an homage to the sovereign whom he said islanders affectionately dubbed “Mama Kwin.”

“Our beloved queen personified grace, dignity, honesty, humility, tolerance of others, forgiveness and all other Christian virtues and lived 70 years of consistent, unfailing life of public service – some lessons we leaders of the world must learn to practice,” he said.

The prime minister of another “realm,” Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands, called her “an inspiration, a figure of stability, dignity, and grace.”

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama recalled Elizabeth stepping aside from greeting other guests to welcome him at a reception a few years ago – and welcome his country back to the Commonwealth. Fiji was suspended in 2006 after Bainimarama seized power in a coup, then reinstated after elections in 2014, when he won his first term as premier.

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The queen’s welcome “was a simple gesture but a special affirmation of all that we had worked to achieve for Fiji’s new and true democracy,” said Bainimarama, whose country’s head of state is a president, not the monarch.

The colonial history of Gabon and Togo rests with France, not Britain, and the two African nations are members of French-speaking countries’ own own affinity group, L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. But Togo and also joined the Commonwealth this past June.

At the first General Assembly since then, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba hailed Elizabeth’s “respect, friendship, and wise counsel to many independent nations around the world, small or large” – and added kind words for the new king. Bongo saluted Charles’ concern about the environment, climate change and biodiversity.

Some other Commonwealth members, from Dominica to Malawi, took time to express condolences and pay tribute to the queen. So did a few countries that aren’t part of the group, including the Central African Republic, Madagascar and the Dominican Republic.

Perhaps the most fulsome homage came from Hungarian President Katalin Novak, who repeatedly quoted a 2010 speech in which Elizabeth told the General Assembly about leadership, the work of the U.N. and what she saw as the challenge facing the world body: to continue showing “clear and convening leadership” without losing sight of its work to foster security, prosperity and dignity for people around the world.

Novak exhorted to assembly to “regain our ability to distinguish between the essential and the irrelevant, the important and the unimportant, reality and fiction.”

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“We bade farewell to an exceptional monarch whose life was steeped in service to peace,” she said. “We owe it to the people and to her memory to make our decisions in the same spirit.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Edmonton Oilers blank Jets 4-0 in pre-season opener

The Edmonton Oilers opened their pre-season with a 4-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets Sunday at Rogers Place.

“A lot of the things that we worked on in our first three days in practices showed up,” head coach Jay Woodcroft said after game. “There were some scrambly moments, I think you expect that in the first preseason game. But there was a lot of good and a lot of players laid down a really good first preseason game and are starting to stake their claim.”

It only took the Oilers 51 seconds to get on the board. Markus Niemelainen took a pass from Brad Malone in the high slot and fired a wrister past David Rittich.

“First shift and the first shot happened to went in,” Niemelainen said. “It was fun, though, I think I scored only one or two goals last year.”

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The Jets had a two-man advantage for 50 seconds in the second period, but couldn’t solve the Oilers penalty kill.

With 5:33 left in the second, Calvin Pickard replaced Stuart Skinner in the Oilers goal. Skinner stopped all 19 shots he faced.

“After every game you don’t want to get to high on yourself and get to low, especially the first game in preseason,” Skinner said. “I thought it went well and I still have a lot of work to do — and I felt that throughout the game on some plays — so just keep on working on the game.”

Halfway through the second, Rittich stopped Jason Demers’ shot from the right side. The rebound went to James Hamblin, who capitalized to make it 2-0.

A few minutes later, Ryan McLeod beat Rittich to the puck and chopped it home.

Only 27 seconds later, Dylan Holloway put it away by deflecting Evan Bouchard’s point shot.

“It felt good tonight,” Holloway said. “Legs felt really good. I think a big part of it was just getting some games in in Penticton. Kind of get into game shape a little bit early.”

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Pickard stopped all ten shots he faced.

The Oilers will visit the Seattle Kraken on Monday, with the Face-off Show on 630 CHED at 6 p.m. The game will start at 8 p.m.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

First Pride Arts Festival held in Osoyoos, B.C.

It was a rainbow-studded day in sunny Osoyoos and at the end of the rainbow was the Pride Arts Festival.

“The Pride Arts Festival is a celebration of diversity inclusion and equality,” said Heather Adamson, Pride Arts Festival committee member.

“We are here at the first inaugural pride arts festival in Osoyoos.”

The festival started at Gyro Park at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24. It goes until 8 p.m. featuring a full day of live entertainment, including musicians, poets, dancers.

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The full day of live entertainment celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and highlights B.I.P.O.C. artists.

“We’re really trying to show people that pride looks like everybody,” said Keisha McLean Pride Arts Festival committee member.

“There’s this rich history and culture around it that’s more than maybe what they’ve been socialized to. So, love, community, protest, resistance those are all the things that we are hoping to empower in a really holistic way.”

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One of the many performers is Tristan Boisvert whose stage name is Poetriss.

“Poettris is an off-the-cuff poet who uses their poetry to navigate difficult situations in their life like mental health issues and gender identity,” said Boisvert.

“Art is a safe place so if there are any difficult memories or trauma, it’s a safe place where you can express those.”

Organizers are hoping this pride event is the first of many to come in Osoyoos.


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Albertans show support for people impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona

WATCH ABOVE: While hundreds of thousands of Canadians on the east coast continue to face flooding, power outages and debris from wind damage all due to post-tropical storm Fiona, many Albertans with ties to the region are wanting to help. Chris Chacon reports.

While hundreds of thousands of Canadians on the east coast continue to face flooding, power outages and debris from wind damage all due to post-tropical storm Fiona, many Albertans with ties to the region are wanting to help.

Blowers and Grafton is an east coast inspired restaurant based in Alberta with plenty of ties to the Maritimes.

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“For a lot of us from back east that have all of our family out there, when things like this take place, it really hits home, it hits your heart,” Josh Robinson, Blowers & Grafton co-owner, said.

“All of our thoughts are with our fellow east coasters.”

Wanting to help those impacted by post-tropical storm Fiona, he and his partners organized a fundraiser Friday at their five Alberta locations.

“All the alcohol net proceeds will go to fund Red Cross now that the federal government has announced it will be matching all donations to the Red Cross for the next 30 days,” Robinson said.

There are many other east coasters in Alberta hoping they too can give a helping hand.

“I wish I was back home to help the people that I know who are struggling to clear their property of things, of downed trees, repair roofs. It’s pretty extensive,” said Andrea Ferris, who recently moved from Halifax to Edmonton.

Ferris has been keeping in touch with family and friends.

“It’s a little emotional to see what people back home are going through, it’s hard to believe storms have gotten to a point where they are ripping houses off cliffsides,” Ferris said.

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Dennis Titcombe is a former Calgarian now living near Halifax. He was home with his family when the storm hit.

“This one was different, this one did a lot of damage,” Titcombe said. “A lot of people were really fearful. My wife was terrified.”

Fortunately, there was little damage to his property.

“We were really lucky. We only lost power for a day basically. I have friends that still don’t have power back yet,” Titcombe said.

And while cleanup is underway, many residents are still facing the aftermath.

“The gas stations ran out of gas, completely zero gas around, lineups were outrageous everywhere,” Titcombe said.

The Red Cross said it is working with provincial and federal governments to determine how best to distribute resources. It said it expects this to be a “long operation” due to the magnitude of the storm and the extent of the damage.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Runners in Kelowna raise funds for retired military and police dogs

It's an exciting day for a charitable organization that supports retired police and military dogs. As Sydney Morton tells us the 5K Gator Run for the not-for-profit Ned's Wish has surpassed their fundraising goal.

People across Canada have come together to raise funds for retired police and military service dogs at Gator 5K Heroes Runs in communities across the country, including Kelowna.

The runs are fundraising events for Ned’s Wish a charity that provides money to families caring for retired military and police dogs.

“At any given time we’re running about 60 to 70 dogs. We have paid out 171 claims. We have paid over $116,000 in veterinary bills to date. Our goal over the last three years has been to reach about $292,000 and we have actually just exceeded that,” said Stacey Talbot, Ned’s Wish president and founder.

After years of service, the K9s are placed with families like the Lyvers who are caring for their third retired police dog, Fargo.

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“We see it as an honour. We know that once they’re done working they need a home,” said Krista Lyver.

“When we had our first two dogs Ned’s Wish didn’t exist yet, so Fargo is the first dog that we’ve had that we’ve been able to take advantage of Ned’s Wish,” said Lyver.

“He just had a couple of procedures a few days ago and of course…vet bills can be expensive and they were able to cover the entire cost so we are beyond grateful.”

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After the run, participants were able to spend some time with the working dogs, as well as pups in training, and watch a demonstration, showing off how strong the dogs are.

It’s not too late to donate to the cause. Support for retired police and military dogs can be given at: www.nedswish.com


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Hundreds rally in support of Iranian protests and the late Mahsa Amini in Vancouver

Iranians living in Athens, Greece, and other cities around the world took to the streets on Saturday to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman, while in police custody.

A large gathering of rally attendees descended on Vancouver’s Art Gallery on Sunday.

Hundreds went to the popular location for protests and public press conferences in support of ongoing unrest in Iran due to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died while in custody of Iranian ‘morality police’ for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely.

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Several speakers referred to the ongoing clashes between protesters and the Iranian government.

Posters for the rally at the Gallery could be seen throughout the city in the past few days.

“A large gathering of Iranians in support of Mahsa Amini (Jina) in defence of oppressed people and in solidarity with the people’s movement against the criminal Islamic regime of Iran and toward Freedom for the people of Iran,” read one of the posters.

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On Thursday, the U.S. government announced sanctions against the morality police, but outside the American consulate in Vancouver, demonstrators called for more action. Some held banners with Amini’s photo and called for justice amid chants of “USA don’t support terrorists.”

“Right now in Iran, the Iranian guards are killing young people who came on the street and said ‘Enough is enough’. We don’t want this regime. Women are burning their hijabs because the hijab has been compulsory,” demonstrator Tahmineh Sadeghi told Global News.

“This regime has no respect for basic human rights.”

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Police in Iran claim Amini died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account. Independent experts affiliated with the United Nations said Thursday that reports suggested she was severely beaten by the morality police, without offering evidence.

Demonstrations of support have spread around the world, including Canada, where some women have taken to cutting their hair in solidarity. That has turned into a viral movement on social media.

– With files from Global News’ Simon Little, Negar Mojtahedi and the Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

U.S. win's Presidents Cup as Canada's Conners, Pendrith make national history

After Toronto and Vancouver were announced as host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Thursday that holding the sporting event would be the "greatest celebration Canada has ever witnessed in its history."

Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith made Canadian history twice at the Presidents Cup and, although they’re disappointed in the result, they’re ready for more.

It was the first time two Canadians had ever played at the prestigious best-on-best tournament that sees 12 Americans take on 12 players from around the world, excluding Europe. When the longtime friends were partnered on Friday they became the first-ever Canadians to play together at the storied tournament.

But Conners, from Listowel, Ont., lost to Xander Schauffele 1 up in Sunday’s seventh match to clinch the American victory. Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ont., also lost his match in the event’s final round when he dropped a 3 and 1 decision to Tony Finau.

Ultimately, the United States beat the international team 17.5 to 12.5 for its 12th Presidents Cup title.

The Canadians were the only members of the international team not to earn a point over the four-day, five-session tournament. Conners said he was disappointed to not maintain the international team’s momentum in the final round.

“All the guys were ready to go today,” said Conners by the 18th green. “Some of the guys got some points early to keep us in it.

“I’m really disappointed not to be able to add to our total, but it was a fun week.”

presidents cup

Xander Schauffele speaks with Corey Conners, of Canada, after Schauffele won the hole on the 18th green during their singles match at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. Team USA won the Presidents Cup golf tournament.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The biennial event alternates between courses in the U.S. and international locations. The next edition will be at Royal Montreal Golf Club, which last hosted in 2007 when Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., had a legendary showdown with Tiger Woods in the final round.

“It’s definitely going to be a goal of mine to make that team,” said Pendrith, who like Conners made his Presidents Cup debut. “This week was great, and I’m hungry to get some points.”

The U.S. dominated the first two days of play, building a commanding 8-2 lead. But the internationals gained ground on Saturday, finishing the fourth session just four points back.

With the U.S. leading 11-7 and needing just 15.5 points to win, American captain Davis Love III was aggressive in his picks for individual play, putting Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth _ his most consistent players – into Sunday’s first two matches.

That gamble produced mixed results with South Korea’s Si Woo Kim beating Thomas 1 up but Spieth topped Australia’s Cam Davis 4 and 3.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama tied Sam Burns and Patrick Cantlay downed Australia’s Adam Scott 3 and 2.

Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz kept the internationals in it with a 2 and 1 victory over Scottie Scheffler before Pendrith and Conners lost their matches as the Americans clinched their title.

Finau jumped out to a 2 up lead in his match against Pendrith, but the Canadian answered back with birdies on the third and fourth holes to tie it.

Pendrith made a 33-foot chip in on the par-3 sixth hole for a birdie and his first lead of the match. He also birdied the next hole, but Finau birdied on Nos. 9 and 12 to tie the match, then pulled ahead with birdies on Nos. 13, 16 and 17.

“I felt like I played decent today in the middle of the round and had some chances on the back nine,” said Pendrith by the 17th green. “No. 15 stings. No. 16, I hit a good putt, but Tony played really good as well.

“He made seven or eight birdies or something like that. Can’t really do much about that.”

Schauffele and Conners were tied through the first five holes, but the American eagled and had a birdie on Nos. 6 and 7 to take a lead. He added to that when Conners bogeyed No. 10. The Canadian rallied with three consecutive won holes, starting with No. 12, to even the score.

Conners bogeyed the par-4 15th hole, which Schauffele parred, and the American held on the rest of the way.

“It was a good battle. I feel like every match I got down, every match I fought back,” said Conners. “Ultimately I came up a little short, but good stuff.”

Play continued, however, with the remaining matches being seen to completion. South Korea’s Sungjae Im bested Cameron Young 1 up. Billy Horschel conceded to South Korea’s K.H. Lee for a 3 and 1 internationals win.

Max Homa fended off fan favourite Tom Kim of South Korea for a 1 up win, Collin Morikawa beat Chile’s Mito Pereira 3 and 2, and in the day’s final match South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout downed Kevin Kisner 2 and 1.

Ryan Hart, the executive director of the 2024 Presidents Cup, said he hopes that Royal Montreal will truly feel like an away game for the Americans.

“All the structures will be wrapped black and gold,” said Hart, gesturing to the white-sheathed structures at Quail Hollow. “So (the international team) can come out and we can hopefully have the entire country feel like they are part of the international team and cheer them on to victory.”

The atmosphere at the Presidents Cup has changed in the 15 years since Canada last hosted the event. Organizers said that 40,000 spectators attended the Presidents Cup every day, a massive gathering for golf that was amplified because those crowds were concentrated around just four or five groups the first three days of the tournament.

Pendrith said that it was the most people he had ever played in front of but he feels like he rose to the occasion.

“Obviously, the stakes were really high. Lots of pressure,” said Pendrith. “But the first day, I feel like I handled it pretty well.

“Really, all week, it was a lot of fun, and it will be a good experience to move forward.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Calgary Ghost Ride pays respect to fallen biker who died in Deerfoot collision

More than 300 bikers from all over Alberta rolled up for the Ghost Ride in honour of Amorin Jr, a fellow biker who died in a collision on Deerfoot Trail earlier this month. Craig Momney has the details.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders put their kicks stands up and hit the road for one of their own on Sunday.

More than 300 bikers from all over Alberta rolled up for the Ghost Ride in honour of Amorin Jr, a fellow biker who died in a collision on Deerfoot Trail along the Calf Robe Bridge earlier this month.

The ride was hosted by Riders YYC and is an event that has taken place numerous times before, but this one meant something different.

“He was a friend,” said Riders YYC owner Trinity Chehadi. “He had a huge hand in the riding community with everyone and it’s just hard to see an accident in general.”

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Trinity’s husband Ali also knew Amorin Jr. Ali described him as a fun and outgoing person.

“He was always jolly. You know, exited,” said Ali. “He helped out all the other riders and (he would) be there for everyone, support everybody.”

Yano Amorin Jr., 39, died on September 10 after police said he “lost control of his motorcycle and it fell over onto its right side.” When he tried to get back up, police said he was hit by another motorcycle driver and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Amorin Jr. is survived by his two daughters and his wife Emily Caones.

“I know it’s sad, what happened to my husband, but I can see the love, what he had done, all the support from everyone,” said Emily. “I’m overwhelmed, my family is overwhelmed.”

While there’s just her and her daughters left to mourn their loss, Emily said because of the ride, she feels she has a bigger family now.

“So much more, so much from everyone. Support, in every way. I’m so thankful, we are so blessed as always,” she said.

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Amorin was the president and founder of the Biglaan Gang 2.0 and was known as an active community member.

His motorcycle club along with many others joined Riders YYC for the ghost ride which started in the northeast and ended at Auburn Bay Drive.

It’s there where his ghost bike will remain, so others can pay their respects.

“I hope this shines some light for them, you know,” said Ali. “See how many people cared for him and how many people are here for them.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Three great Saskatchewan spots to take in the fall colours

The weather may be changing, but at least it’s making mother nature look good while it does. Trees are turning across the province.

Local travel writer Ashlyn George sat down with Global Regina to share her tips for taking in the best of natural Saskatchewan this fall season.

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Prince Albert National Park

The autumn season is here. Colours are changing. One of the most iconic road trips to take is along Highway 263,” George said.

“Into the park is a narrow, about 60-kilometre stretch of road, and the beautiful part of this is those vibrant colours that make autumn so wonderful.”

“Plus, there are two viewing towers along the road,” George added. “So you can park, go for a short walk and get rewarded with a really great view of the forest as it’s changing colors.”

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Wascana Trails

“It’s stunning out there. But be prepared. Once you hike down, you do have to hike up,” George explained.

“There’s about 15 kilometres of interconnected loops here and they’re for both bikers and hikers.”

The beauty of the Wascana Trails area, in George’s opinion, is that the seasonal sights aren’t limited to trees.

“There’s lots of shrubs and bushes that have really orange and red hues,” she said.

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Cypress Hills

“Cypress Hill borders both Alberta and Saskatchewan and it’s a really diverse blend,” George said.

“You have grasslands, forest and open prairie, so lots of different colours happening out here.”

If traveling by car, George recommends rolling through the park’s West Block to find picturesque elevated views of Adams Lake.

If up for a hike, George says a six kilometre hike can found along this road which affords some of the best views in the region at the “Hidden” Conglomerate Cliffs.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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