Pumpkin and Turkey, Maple Leaf Style

Totems at the Anthropology Museum.
Totems at the Anthropology Museum. (By Bill Mclennan -- Tourism Vancouver)
Sunday, September 23, 2007

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, At Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St., 416-392-6794,; free), turkeys -- and other barnyard animals -- roam the 7.5-acre park. Thank the local growers for the bounty at Saturday's St. Lawrence Market (92 Front St. E., 416-392-7120).

* 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,; from $219), roll into bed after gorging on its Thanksgiving Chocolate Feast (Oct. 7-8). After a good night's rest at the Delta Chelsea Hotel (33 Gerrard St. W., 800-243-5732,, start the day with the Thanksgiving Sunday brunch. Doubles from about $165.

* INFO: Toronto Convention & Visitors Association, 800-499-2514,


* SPECIAL EVENTS: Over the holiday weekend, the Stewart Historical Museum (20 Chemin du Tour de l'Isle, 514-861-6701,; $10) holds an Apple a Day exhibit, with tastings and demos. The Montreal Botanical Garden 's Great Pumpkin Ball (Oct. 5-31) is a family-friendly fall fete with plays and pumpkin-decorating contests. Info: 4101 Sherbrooke St. E., 514-872-1400,; $16. On Oct. 3-9, the Black & Blue Festival (various locations, 514-875-7026, draws about 80,000 revelers who celebrate gay culture with dancing, discussions and art.

* 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 for the full list.) For example, the Hilton Bonaventure (900 de La Gauchetiere W., 800-445-8667,; from $233 double) offers a Thanksgiving meal (not included) and half off the third night.

* INFO: Tourisme Montreal, 877-266-5687, 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,; $9). On Oct. 8, pick a great pumpkin or wander around the maple-leaf-shape maze at the Bose Family Corn Maze (16390 64th Ave., 604-576-8997; $6) in Surrey. British Columbia is the world's third-largest producer of cranberries, and the Village of Fort Langley honors the tart red berry with the Cranberry Festival on Oct. 6 (604-888-8835,; free). Lose that extra stuffing at the Oct. 7 Lotus Long Weekend Turkey Burner (455 Abbott St., 866-824-8212,; $10), a dance party at the Lotus Sound Lounge.

* 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,; from $125) is near the Granville Island Public Market, perfect for picking up a Thanksgiving picnic.

* INFO: Tourism Vancouver, 604-682-2222, http://.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company