Getting Married Up North - OH CANADA
Passport Magazine has an article in their May 2009 issue that mentions Ocean Wilderness Inn - "Oh Canada! - Gay Marriage in Canada"
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VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLANDA short ferry ride from the city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island is a wonderful location for a gay destination wedding. Known as “The Rock” to locals, it is nestled into the southeastern coast of BC and is about the size of Holland. Here, it’s all about the laid back “live and let live” island mentality.
“The number of LGBTs getting married here grows each year,” says Don Halton owner of the Albion Manor Bed & Breakfast (he owns it with his husband Fernando Garcia) in Victoria, BC’s capital. “A large reason for this is our reputation as a very romantic destination combined with the frustration a lot of Americans feel about the situation at home,” says Halton.
Victoria is a great place to visit,” adds Halton. “The olde English ambiance makes it an extremely romantic spot.” Beyond the cozy Albion Manor, which has a lush history dating all the way back to the 1800s, there are many great places to get married. These include the Wickaninnish Inn, which is a five-star luxury resort in Tofino. Its property stunningly juts onto a rocky ocean outcropping. They have an amazing spa, great surfing, and stellar winter storm watching.
“We were married on July 4th at Earle Clark House [in Victoria], a lovely historic B & B,” remembers Vancouver immigrant Rich Dalton of he and his husband Luis. “It was just the two of us and the owners were our witnesses. We thought it was ironic that on Independence Day we had to travel to Canada for the pursuit of happiness—the right to legally marry.”
Cathy Rey with Tourism Victoria describes the provincial capital as having “spectacular scenery including the Pacific Ocean, mountain vistas, old-growth rainforests, and rolling wine country, which provides a playground for adventures like whale watching, hiking, kayaking, cycling, seaweed harvesting, and gourmet farm and wine touring.”
There are some amazing venues for queers to either tie the knot or honeymoon on Vancouver Island, a land mass created by 200 million years of volcanic activity. Beyond the Albion Manor and the Earle Clark House, the Amethyst Inn is one of the most historic B & B’s in Victoria. With old Victorian architecture, a gracious parlor, and private baths, Amethyst is an ideal spot to wed with friends/family or elope. The grand staircase is the perfect aisle to walk down to greet your honey. They offer great wedding and honeymoon packages, too.
On the western edge of the island in the town of Sooke, the Sooke Ocean Resort is a deluxe rental that sleeps ten, offers morning breakfast, and is home to a sushi restaurant, Sushi on the Sea. With two lush acres of oceanfront, Sooke Ocean Resort is the perfect spot for an intimate outdoor summer wedding. Also in Sooke, the Ocean Wilderness Inn is surrounded by old growth forest with views of the ocean. Whether you want to marry on a remote beach, by the fire in an old log cabin, or on a hill overlooking crashing waves, the Ocean Wilderness Inn has it all. A charming union of rustic and elegant, the Ocean Wilderness Inn also has an amazing English cottage garden for the big day.
No matter where you decide to get married in Canada, odds are in your favor that you’ll be satisfied—according to the United Nations, Canada has the highest quality of life in the world. There is so much goodwill and acceptance among its people, and this benevolence makes it a very special place to get married for everyone.
“My advice for the LGBT traveler coming to Canada to get married is to relax and enjoy yourself,” says Scherp. “And remember to be yourself and celebrate with people who support and love you while creating memories you’ll have for the rest of your life.”
[Published: May, 2009]
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