Montreal as many know is a MAJOR hippie mecca of Canada with enormous urban counterculture activity. For those of you who love nature, mountains and forest, and more organic, health-oriented back-to-the-land hippie havens, a short trip just north of Montreal will find you in the Laurentian Mountains which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet in the Canadian summer. Loads of organic outdoorsy hippies from Montreal and other parts of Canada hang out in the Laurentians to commune with the shimmering lakes, birds, beautiful bright green trees, and the bluest of skies around for the months of May-October.
If you want to live in the Laurentian mountains, the cost of living is next to nothing – you can find a small cottage for a very cheap/good price. Americans can buy cheap, cheap land/cottages, and take up residence in the Laurentians for up to six months a year. You might bring a English/French dictionary and compliment the passionate french locals – since it’s mostly a french-speaking area. However, there’s about 25% English speaking people in the Laurentians and so you can easily get by with just English particularly on the edge of the resort areas where many Americans travel from i.e., New York to vacation. People flock to the area from all over the world (mostly northern Europe). And, it has a very left-wing, progressive European feel about it.
Loads of free, peace-loving hippies in and around the Laurentians. Communes, yoga and artist studios, an incredible bike path (use to be a train line) that goes to Montreal, and endless nature/recreation!
Prince Edward Island is totally dreamy – heaven on earth! There’s a large liberal progressive movement on the Island (particularly in the ultra hippie town of Breadalbane – a former commune). The Island is so liberal that even the conservatives there seem like liberal Democrats! There’s practically no crime, and the people are some of the most peaceful, caring, and community-minded souls on the planet. Stunning wide sandy beaches, friendly locals, temperate weather, and it costs next to nothing to live there – very inexpensive housing and living costs (see mls.ca – the homes are listed in Canadian funds). For the organic healthfood hippie, the peaceful, less touristy “Bays and Dunes” area of PEI (and Kings County in general) is more clean, green and wild than the central and western ends of the province. The northeastern part of the Island also has more farmers who use IPM or organic farming methods on the smaller percent of land that is farmed in this region.
The Island is small enough that the picturebook, gingerbread city of Charlottetown or the cute town of Montague are close to most points on the Island. The Island has one of the largest community of writers and artists in Atlantic Canada. See epinions.com – type Prince Edward Island in the epinions.com search, and click reviews for other opinions about the Island.
I’ve travelled high and low across Canada to find ‘paradise’, and the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia has loads of organic farms and many back-to-land hippies probably due to the cheap older heritage homes for sale in the region. They’re practically giving these homes away. Bear River in ‘the Valley’ as they say is known as a funky arts and environmental hang-out. The Annapolis Valley has stunning scenery, and the mildest weather in Eastern Canada. Forget about the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia – really conservative.
The West Coast along the Bay of Fundy is more liberal and the vegetation more lush with green forested hills and farmland (and in some places along the Fundy shore, you’ll even find turquoise tinted waters).
North Bay is a small (population 55,000) tourist/university-college city about 3 hours due North of Toronto, it is built along the shore of a large and warm (in summer that is) shallow lake called Lake Nipissing.There are many beautiful old buildings along the Main st. housing all sorts of locally owned shops and restaurants. Many artists and musicians call North Bay home. There are several head shops in the downtown area as well as many independent bookshops and music stores.
There are lots of old and new hippies scattered around the area both in town and in the surrounding "bush". There’s a restaurant downtown called Greco’s and it seems like some sort of unofficial hippie employment agency since lots of young and older local hippies work there and when someone leaves, there’s always another hippie there to take their place. There are local drum circles at the beautiful waterfront park to celebrate the changing of the seasons and it’s an all around cool laid back kind of town.
Location of the NORTH COUNTRY FAIR. Each summer in June there is a Summer Solstice celebration held in this little northern Alberta town. Hippies and free spirits alike come from all over to enjoy this wonderful enlightening experience of live music, new age work-shops, dancing and of course the artisan market. Situated beside the Lesser Slave Lake, there are many great places to camp on and off the fair site. It’s like taking a step back in time, if only for one memorable weekend a year, to see beautiful people join together and celebrate the longest day of the year.