In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, we have been making our way across Canada on the blog via webcams! You can revisit our look at the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, and the Prairies, and travel northwest with us as we wrap up our survey of some of the great online views of Canada.
I’ve learned a lot as I’ve virtually travelled across the country seeking out webcams aimed at great views and historic places. I definitely prefer live webcams to those that require a manual refreshing of the webpage. I think that the webcams that swivel and zoom in and out automatically are a great idea for surveying large areas of natural beauty, but these need detailed descriptions of each view or text that is superimposed on the image when moused over to understand just what they’re are pointing to.
I like that a number of webcams include opportunities for social interaction and engagement, including the easy taking and sharing of snapshots (a frozen image of the live feed) in a gallery and with links for sharing to social media and a place to leave notes and comments (like a board or guest book). In fact, many of the webcams that I’ve encountered included some sort of social element. What a great way to encourage people to share their experiences with others 🙂
Now for the webcams! I love British Columbia. We used to go camping in the Osoyoos desert every year when I was younger. The mountains are spectacular and so are the cities. I have never been to one of the territories, but I hope to some summer!
Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, Port of Vancouver, Burrard Inlet
The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 allowed the port to gain access to European and Atlantic trade. The Port now runs 27 cargo terminals, manages 16,000 hectares of water, and allows for trade with 170 world economies. The port also contributes to nearly 100,000 jobs in Canada. This webcam records all of the action at the popular cruise ship terminal as 800,000 passengers pass through it each year, many on their way north up the coast of British Columbia to Alaska.
I just had to include two images from the one webcam here. The second shot, capturing a stunning sunrise, clearly deserved its own screenshot.
Hornby Eagles Nest & Territory, Hornby Island
This webcam from Hornby Island shares images of a bald eagle family with the world online. Live streaming and audio is provided by the non-profit Hornby Eagle Group Projects Society of British Columbia. The society provides a great introduction to the life cycle and history of bald eagles. I hadn’t realised that over half of all bald eagles live in British Columbia and Alaska! This was the first time that I have ever visited a webcam of wildlife (not in a zoo) that actually featured the wildlife there on camera, so that was pretty exciting. I was able to watch a grown bald eagle moving around in its nest as water flowed by behind its tree. You can see the eagle’s white head just down from the centre of the image above.
Orca Cam, Hanson Island
This webcam provides beautiful quality live video streamed from OrcaLabs‘ whale research station based on Hanson Island, British Columbia. This small island is close to Vancouver Island in the Queen Charlotte Strait. Blackney Pass is not only beautiful, but it is also a popular travel route for families of orcas. While I didn’t happen to see any whales while I was watching, the helpful information provided suggests that we should return in the summer and fall to see some exciting views of the orcas as well as possible humpback whales and sea lions.
Tofino Beach Cams, Tofino
Tofino was named in 1909 when a post office was built on the strait of Tofino (which itself had been named by Spanish explorers in 1792). It now serves as a popular tourist destination in summer with a focus on sport and nature watching. The town offers a number of “Beachcams“, including a beautiful live feed of Tofino Sea Kayaking and its harbour, and a view of the surf at the Pacific Sands Beach Resort that automatically updates every five seconds. It’s enough to make you want to take a trip out west this summer!