The VIA Rail Garden Route - Canada's only garden tourism initiative

MONTREAL, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - As the pleasures of garden tourism become more popular each year, VIA Rail Canada is pleased to be a sponsor of Canada Blooms with the VIA Rail Garden Route. Now in its fifth year the Garden Route program highlights 18 of Canada's most magnificent feature gardens; 27, 5-Bloom Communities in Bloom destinations and a growing number of local garden attractions along VIA's Halifax to Vancouver Island network. Three new garden destinations have been added to this year's route.

With such a variety of gardens and communities from which to choose, travellers can create their own Garden Route or choose a VIA Getaway Garden Route package in the Québec City-Windsor corridor.

"According to the most recent Travel Activity and Motivation Study (TAMS), visiting a botanical or garden-theme attraction while on a trip of one or more days ranks in the top ten culture and entertainment activities undertaken by pleasure travellers in Canada", said Steve Del Bosco, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at VIA Rail. "To be involved in a program that highlights much of this country's remarkable garden product and encourages getting to the destinations by experiencing the relaxing and comfortable services of VIA Rail has been a win-win collaboration."

"In the spirit of enhancing the tourism appeal of the garden experience, and to enable travellers to enjoy the beauty of a variety of gardens in each city they visit, we continue to add feature gardens and garden attractions to the program," said Tony diGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, organizers of the Garden Route. "In 2010 Edmonton's Muttart Conservatory, Oshawa's Parkwood Estate and Sainte-Croix' Domaine Joly-De Lotbinière have been added to the route. In fact the VIA Rail Garden Route is fast becoming Canada's only comprehensive listing of garden product."

From June 12th to September 6th, 2010, visitors to each participating feature garden along the Garden Route and the websites of the 2010 Communities in Bloom destinations can enter a contest for the chance to win a round trip for two in either Business or sleeper class (depending upon the winner's location) to Ottawa in the spring of 2011 to experience the Canadian Tulip Festival.

For a complete listing of feature gardens, local garden attractions and Communities in Bloom destinations, visit viarail.ca/garden.

About Communities in Bloom

Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program. For more information visit: communitiesinbloom.ca.

About VIA Rail

As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost effective passenger transportation services, both in Canada's busiest corridor and in remote and rural regions of the country.

For more information on train schedules or to book a trip with VIA, customers can visit VIA's web site at viarail.ca, call 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245), TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), or contact their travel agent.

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Ashley Doyle, VIA Rail Canada, (416) 956-7613, Ashley_doyle@viarail.ca; Carol Cowan, Zebra Promotions Inc., (416) 929-1066, zebra@passport.ca


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