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Countdown Begins For Canada-U.S. Border Reopening

Countdown Begins For Canada-U.S. Border Reopening
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Countdown Begins For Canada-U.S. Border Reopening

Countdown Begins For Canada-U.S. Border Reopening

Shortly after the rate of people vaccinated in Canada exceeded the rate in the United States, it was announced that the Canadian border would open next month for all fully vaccinated Americans, not just those with a vital reason. travel.

But as they say in the advertisements, the conditions still apply. There will still be testing requirements, as my colleague Vjosa Isai reported this week, but the federal government is dropping the 14-day quarantine requirement, which has kept many Americans from visiting family members. in Canada. It will also remove the mandatory stay warrant at the hotel at the airport for air travelers.

[Read: Canada will reopen its border with the U.S.]

For now, at least, the United States is not reciprocating: its land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed until at least August 21. public holidays, remains in effect. The restrictions also do not apply to truck drivers, railway crews or ship crews.)

[Read: The U.S. reaffirms its land border restrictions as Canada relaxes its own.]

Along with all this, the Toronto Blue Jays have been allowed to end their exile in the United States, reports James Wagner. And for the beleaguered Canadian tourism industry, there is now hope that Americans who are fed up with hanging out in their homes since March of last year will choose Canada as the destination for their first escape.

In The Times’ Frugal Traveler column, Elaine Glusac argues to Americans that a jump to Canada can get them around the world with much less jet lag or in the comfort of their family car.

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[Read: See the World, in Canada]

Unless you are new to Canada, you are probably familiar with most of the destinations mentioned in his article, such as Quebec. It was clearly not intended for Canadians, but you might want to pass it on to your friends or family who live outside the country.

And before taking a break, I’ll give you a little travel advice. The easing of the restrictions means that some of you may find yourself, as I did on a posting a month ago, driving the Trans-Canada Highway through southern Alberta. When you reach Medicine Hat, of course, you won’t miss the tallest teepee in the world. But this time, I ventured further into town to visit the museum and art workshop at the old Medalta Pottery Factory.

Before Canada signed its first trade agreement with the United States in the 1980s, factories in the East, particularly those in Ontario and Quebec, produced most of the products consumed by Western Canada, which in turn shipped agricultural products and natural resources. the other way.

But when it came to ceramics, Medicine Hat was the exception. It is still called the city of gas because of its abundant natural resources. And Mike Onieu, the executive director of The Friends of Medalta Society, which runs the Medalta Museum, told me that the combination of abundant natural gas, access to water and clay nearby in the southern Saskatchewan meant Medicine Hat was once home to several pottery factories. . The biggest of them, Medalta and Hycroft China, shipped not only to Canada, but all over the world.

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If you don’t have a piece of Medalta pottery somewhere in your home, chances are you’ve seen examples of it at garage sales.

“It was meat and potatoes,” Mr. Onieu said. “Today we’re trying to make everything look really important, but it was just basic stuff.”

However, it wasn’t just plates and bowls. Medicine Hat factories once made ashtrays in the shape of cowboy hats or tiny maps of Alberta, water tanks for chickens, and decorative plates used as rodeo prizes.

(My wife informs me that I may be the only person in the world who has never independently understood that the name Medalta is a contraction and combination of Medicine Hat and “Alta,” the old postal abbreviation. from Alberta.)

Efforts to turn the Medalta factory into a museum date back to at least the 1970s, and its building is part of a large complex of former industrial buildings that now form a clay district. What finally opened in 2002 was a professionally designed and curated museum, gallery and ceramic arts installation.

Its spaces include a restored beehive oven, named for its shape, lined with pots, most of which are gallon sized, and water coolers once made there.

Medalta and Hycroft’s production also resumed using the original molds and tools, albeit on a much smaller scale and with modern ovens.

There were only 45 minutes left before closing when I arrived. And that wasn’t enough time to enjoy the informative and often fun exhibits.

A little advice if you decide to make Medalta your break on the Trans-Canada Highway. Its location is somewhat obscure depending on where you exit the freeway. I made a mistake following the city direction signs to the museum rather than entering the address in my phone’s navigation app. Not only were the signs difficult to spot at times, but they took you around a roundabout, which admittedly was actually picturesque, rather than straight to the site.

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While I am away, the newsletter will be in the able hands of Vjosa Isai, who recently became our News Assistant in Canada.


Connect the dots to reveal the hidden image in Vertex. All Times games are available here.


A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported on Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.


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