Adrian Brijbassi
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Adrian Brijbassi appears frequently on CTV News Channel, TSN Radio and CJSF Radio, discussing travel, sports and writing. He is the managing editor of Vacay.ca. He's also a former editor at the Toronto Star, and has formerly worked at New York Newsday and the Vancouver Sun. Adrian has won six travel writing awards from NATJA, including for best destination article published in a newspaper in both 2010 and 2011. He is a judge for the World's 50 Best Restaurants and spearheaded the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list that debuted in 2012.

Entries by Adrian Brijbassi

Actress Lisa Ray Explains Her Passion for Travel

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 12:09 PM

"I was six months old when I started to travel and I haven't stopped since," Lisa Ray tells me over a conversation at Sula, a Vancouver restaurant on the east side of the city. It's the end of summer and the model and actor has come...

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Where to Enjoy Fine Dining On Montreal's Main Street

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2014 | 2:43 PM

When I introduce myself to Marc-Alexandre Mercier, he is sprawled on a weathered picnic table at the back of his restaurant, catching a few precious minutes of sleep before the evening dinner service begins. It's a scorching hot summer Saturday and Montreal's main street, Saint-Laurent Boulevard, is teeming with crowds...

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Beloved Tacofino Plans to Expand Outside of B.C.

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Ryan Spong brought Tacofino to Vancouver because "it's so good, I wanted to be able to eat that food here." Spong was working on a construction project in Tofino when he came to know and love the popular food truck that is revered for its Baja-style fish tacos....

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'Ole' and Other Montreal Jazz Fest Highlights

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 1:21 PM

When Trombone Shorty stepped on stage for his encore on Monday night, he had a look that appeared to say, "WTF?"

From the front of the stage to the back row of the balcony section, fans at Metropolis were chanting, "Ole, Ole!" Confronted with this impromptu ovation, Shorty...

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Why Diana Krall Adores the Montreal Jazz Festival

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:31 PM

Diana Krall says she doesn't know where she would be without the Montreal Jazz Festival. It's a comment that underscores an aspect of this enduring and endearing annual event that can get overlooked amid the dizzying amount of free music, street performers, beer and wine drinking,...

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The Best Food Trucks in Vancouver

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 6:17 PM

Pamela and Gerry Healy had one day to spend in Vancouver on their world tour and the couple from Sydney, Australia didn't head straight for Stanley Park or one of the city's beaches or even to the historic Gastown neighbourhood. Their first stop was a food truck tour.

"We don't...

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Vikram Vij Debuts New Restaurant in the Suburbs

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 9:29 AM

It's 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday in June and the lineup at Vij's is two hours long. Those at the back of the queue may not know it but they could hop in a car and drive 45 minutes to find food prepared by the same cooks...

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Canada's Top 10 Best Restaurants

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 7:45 PM

It takes time for kitchens and restaurants to hit their stride. Geoff Hopgood, based on the most recent meal I had at his establishment, is in the zone. The former chef at the revered Black Hoof has elevated his cuisine remarkably since I first dined at Hopgood's Foodliner...

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Could This Top Chef's Saskatoon Restaurant Be Canada's Best?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:17 PM

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN -- Perhaps there is no greater endorsement of Saskatoon and its rise in stature as a destination than what prodigal son Dale MacKay has chosen to do. MacKay was the first winner of Top Chef Canada, he had established himself among Daniel Boulud's successful brigade of...

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Chef Takes This Toronto Pizza Parlour to New Heights

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 1:33 PM

Jonathan Gushue could have opted for another fine-dining restaurant. He could have teamed with a pricey, established place in a big city and quickly turned it into a go-to spot for foodies to discover. He could have set up shop in a country environment and cooked similar meals in a...

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Why Charlottetown Is the No. 1 Place to See in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 11:56 AM

The new icon of the recently rebranded Prince Edward Island Brewing Company is a top hat. It's drawn a touch off-kilter and with a silhouette of a beer bottle above its brim. Students of Canadian politics will instantly connect the image to the father of the nation, who...

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Best of Canadian Travel in 2013

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 4:42 AM

When I think back to my 2013 travels, one day will dominate my reminiscences -- September 21. The last day of summer, the first full day of my return to British Columbia as a resident, and the single most stunning photographic experience of my life. I wasn't alone in that...

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New Museum Makes Winnipeg the No. 5 Place to Visit in Canada in 2014

(1) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 11:52 AM

I visited the Canadian Museum for Human Rights earlier this month. It is immediately the most outstanding tourist-focused building in Canada -- and right now there's nothing in it but construction material. When it is filled with innovative and interactive displays -- many of which will showcase the...

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Why Calgary Keeps On Impressing Me

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 3:57 PM

Calgary amazes me.

I've visited the city three times in the past 18 months and keep waiting for that moment when I can say, "A-ha, this town and it's people just aren't as appealing as they first seemed."

Instead, this time, I explored further, investigated deeper, and returned with the...

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Canada's Coolest Restaurant Is in Winnipeg

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 12:25 PM

It's the first day to purchase coveted seats for this year's RAW:almond pop-up restaurant and Mandel Hitzer is doing brisk sales.

The project that started as a what-are-we-getting-ourselves-into experiment earlier this year enters its second go-round as the hottest table in a city that suddenly needs to be...

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I'm a Believer: How My First Men's Facial Changed Everything

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 11:52 AM

I've been searching for the perfect hangover cure for half of my four decades. I didn't expect to find it in my first men's facial. A night after several glasses of Rioja and Malbec at my favourite Toronto wine bar, I arrived fighting a headache and fatigue for...

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Tourism Is Key to Nelson Mandela's Legacy

(1) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 5:42 PM

Naively, I arrived in South Africa three years ago thinking it would be difficult to find anyone in the nation who didn't love Nelson Mandela. The first person who I interviewed taught me a lesson. "I didn't like Mandela much," said the man, a former diplomat who asked...

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Overcoming Fear of White-Water Rafting in British Columbia

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2013 | 3:59 PM

The guide tells our group, "You are going to fall in the water. Every one of you." He does it with certainty and in a dead-serious tone of voice that sets me shaking. I don't like being in water, unless it's warm, contained, and with a bar I'm able to...

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This Lodge Celebrates Whistler's Calmer Way of Life

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2013 | 7:45 PM

In a mountain resort town famed for all things big -- big air, big hills, big hotels, big price tags -- Nita Lake Lodge is a contrast to the Whistler most of us know.

It's small, with 77 well-appointed and spacious suites, and it's wonderfully serene. The village...

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Chef Michael Smith's Legacy Lives On at PEI Restaurant

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2013 | 7:39 PM

Legends can loom over a place long after they've gone. Dave Wilmer knows that better than anyone else on Prince Edward Island. The owner of the Inn at Bay Fortune still welcomes guests who expect him to be Michael Smith, the celebrity chef whose cookbooks and

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