CANADIAN THANKSGIVING 101
Pumpkin and Turkey, Maple Leaf Style
This year, don't wait until November for your Thanksgiving holiday. On the second Monday of October, Canada celebrates its own Thanksgiving, cooking up a host of events and meals featuring the Turkey Day standards with a Euro twist (butter tarts, eh?). The country's first Thanksgiving was held in 1578 by English explorer Martin Frobisher, who was grateful for having survived the arduous journey to Canada. Today, the trip up north is as easy as pie, but you can still thank Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for inviting you over for Thanksgiving. (All prices are in U.S. dollars.) -- Ben Chapman
* SPECIAL EVENTS: At the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade, 300,000 folks gather for floats and Bavarian brews. The event is held Oct. 8 in Waterloo, an hour-plus drive from Toronto. Info: 888-294-4267, http:/
* GET STUFFED: The Fairmont Royal York hotel's Epic Restaurant (100 Front St. W., 416-860-6949; from $65) serves a four-course turkey dinner Oct. 3-9. The 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower (301 Front St. W., 416-362-5411) features a harvest-themed menu, including roast Ontario turkey with sage and apple stuffing (about $33). Sample a traditional Thanksgiving meal in a 19th-century setting at the Black Creek Pioneer Village (1000 Murray Ross Pkwy., 416-661-6600, Ext. 5256; $30). Dinners held Oct. 7 and 8.
* SLEEP: At the Old Mill Inn and Spa (21 Old Mill Rd., 866-653-6455, http:/
* INFO: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association, 800-499-2514, http:/
* SPECIAL EVENTS: Over the holiday weekend, the Stewart Historical Museum (20 Chemin du Tour de l'Isle, 514-861-6701, http:/
* GET STUFFED: Fourquet-Fourchette (265 Saint-Antoine St. W., 514-789-6370; from about $22) will design a customized Thanksgiving feast with matching microbrews. Auberge Le Saint-Gabriel (426 Saint-Gabriel St., 514-878-3561, from about $31) may not be as old as Thanksgiving itself, but the 253-year-old eatery has a long history. Get your meal to go at Schwartz's Deli (3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd., 514-842-4813), which sells whole smoked turkeys for takeout.
* SLEEP: Many hotels are offering discounts on three-night stays until Oct. 15. (See http:/
* SPECIAL EVENTS: Learn about Vancouver's First Nations and the fall harvest at the Museum of Anthropology (6392 NW Marine Dr., 604-822-5087, http:/
* GET STUFFED: The Bacchus Restaurant at the Wedgewood Hotel (845 Hornby St., 800-663-0666) prepares a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with trimmings; the Oct. 8 meal costs about $58. For lighter fare, the Salty Tongue Deli (213 Carrall St., 604-915-7258) prepares turkey sandwiches (about $6); add cranberry sauce for the full effect.
* SLEEP: The Wedgewood Hotel (see info above) offers a package with one night's lodging, Thanksgiving dinner for two and breakfast. Valid Oct. 5-8; doubles from $350 . The Granville Island Hotel (1253 Johnston St., 800-663-1840, http:/