It is almost impossible to resist the open road; to ignore the whisper of a stream as it slides over moss-covered rocks; to disregard a wink from the tallest tree in the forest; to snub the open arms of a sandy shoreline. Every year, undiscovered dioramas of crooked rivers, sparkling lakes and mountain vistas entice us to explore their beauty. This year, Canada Post pays tribute to the beauty and diversity of Canada with the first of a new stamp series, "Scenic Highways". The stamps will be issued in sets of four, one set per year for the next three years. The opening set, scheduled for release on June 30th, features a visual delight of contrasting scenery; Cape Breton's Cabot Trail, Ontario's Wine Route, Saskatchewan's Big Muddy, and British Columbia's Sea to Sky Highway.
In his first work for Canada Post, designer Lou Cable has just juggled several elements to give us a striking photographic image of each of these, the first four stamps in the Scenic Highway series. Each combines four elements: a landscape photo; a depiction of one local cultural, historical, economical or recreational aspect; an official provincial road sign; and one area of a map showing the specific piece of the road.
This route weaves past fragrant fruit orchards, acres of vineyards, magnificent waterfalls and quaint villages. It is a network of roads, numbered 8-81, that crisscrosses the fruit belt from Stoney Creek to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Signs depicting a white cluster of grapes mark the route as it runs off the Queen Elizabeth Way through Vineland and Jordan, jogs by St. Catharines, crosses the Welland Canal, turns towards Niagara-on-the-Lake and comes to a stop at Niagara Falls. With Lake Ontario to the north and the Niagara Escarpment to the south, this area is protected from continental winds. The result is a belt of land that produces grapes, cherries, peaches, plums, pears, apricots and apples. Pick-your-own fruit stands dot the roadside, inviting you to experience first-hand the area's delicacies.
The contributing photographer for the Wine Route is Michael Rafelson of Ontario.