September 15th, 2017

Prairie Pride: Photos of Canada’s Beloved Plains

Canada’s mountains, oceans, and glaciers get plenty of attention, but is anything grander than our wide open prairies?

Between being able to see for kilometres, the magnificent colours, the rustic buildings, the epic sunsets, and the undulating landscapes…there’s lots to love. And at London Drugs, we adore any chance to pull out our cameras and capture a moment. Maybe even one that’s fit to print.

With that in mind, we present Prairie Pride – a photographic journey of incredible shots of Canada’s great plains.

That waving line where land meets prairie sky, as seen in this shot taken near Winnipeg – we think it’s pure magic.

“Grain Elevators, Mossleigh Alberta” Image by Bernard Spragg (Flickr)

Remnants of the past, like this grain elevator in Alberta, are scattered throughout the Canadian plains. It’s like an expansive, open-air museum.

A post shared by Cole (@percoleator) on

Historic buildings abound throughout Canada’s prairies. But they never cease to inspire and amaze, like this old foundation and barn in Truax, Saskatchewan.

A post shared by Monica (@oggiemonster) on

Everything can seem larger than life in the prairies. The land, the sky, even this enormous Manitoba rainbow.

“The Canadian at Sunrise” Image by Martin Cathrae (Flickr)

With so much to see on Canada’s prairies, one of the best ways to take it all in is on a train. Reserve the Skyline car from VIA Rail for views like this.

“Manitoba Moves You” Image from

For many Canadians, some of their best and most lasting prairie memories are made while driving the good, old #1 Highway (Trans Canada Highway).

You’ll get even better views of Manitoba, and the rest of the prairies, if you get out of your car and explore.

The prairie moments you might be lucky enough to experience include twilight encounters with history, like this site in Alberta.

Perhaps you’ll find an overwhelming shock of colour, like at this Alberta canola field.

Or take a walk through the tall grasses of Saskatchewan, like in this Redford field.

Before you head home, revel in the chance to take a moment, lean on an old Manitoba fence, and smell the prairie flowers.

Heading on a trip through the prairies this fall? Share your Prairie Pride pictures with us @LondonDrugs on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag #PrairiePride.

August 20th, 2017

10 Stunning Road Trips to Drive in Beautiful Canada

For many Canadians, road trips remain a staple family holiday year round–and for good reason. Whether it’s for a quick weekend trip to the next town over or an extended cross-country drive, road trips provide a personal and adventurous vacation for even the most urban of travellers. 

Revisit your childhood, make new memories and explore all Canada’s vast, rugged outdoors can offer by considering the following stunning road trips.

1. Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast

For those looking for a relaxing getaway and gorgeous scenic drive away from the city, consider heading to the Sunshine Coast in BC. A popular area for many local Vancouverites wanting to get away for the weekend, the Sunshine Coast boasts beautiful seaside cities and is only a couple of hours from downtown Vancouver. Grab a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, and visit attractions like Persephone, Farm Ventures, and more, all along the coast.

2. Victoria to Tofino

If you live on Vancouver Island or are just stopping by for a vacation, all you need is a car, friends, family and a good playlist before setting out on this breathtaking drive. Follow the Trans-Canada Highway along the eastern coast, and cut across Pacific Rim National Park Reserve while passing glistening lakes and rivers. In Tofino, take advantage of Canada’s rare surfing opportunities, embark on a fishing adventure, or explore the area’s many trails and beaches.

3. Osoyoos to Kimberley

Osoyoos is world renowned as one of Canada’s best wine countries, and whether you’re planning to stay awhile or are just stopping through, the city is a summer paradise. A slightly longer road trip (approximately 5.5 hours) will take you across the majestic Kootenays and into the charming community of Kimberley, BC, allowing you to come across spectacular mountain and lake views year round.

4. Calgary to Fernie

For Calgary residents or anyone in the surrounding area seeking a road adventure that’s a little different than the usual visit to Banff National Park, head south into BC with Fernie in mind. Located on Highway 3, Fernie’s mountain backdrop provides the perfect space for avid hikers and trail runners looking to explore new terrain.

5. Regina to Saskatoon

Although Saskatchewan is well known for its flat-ness, the prairie province is home to rich Canadian history, and showcases a number of vibrant communities and attractions. Beginning in Regina, make your way to Moosejaw, camp out at Craik & District Regional Park, and follow the Louis Riel Trail to Saskatoon, where you can enjoy the city’s nightlife.

6. Trans-Canada Highway

It comes as no surprise that most (if not every) Canadian road trip will have you following–or at least crossing paths with–the famous Trans-Canada Highway. If you don’t have the entire 7800 km trip on your travel bucket list, you may want to consider it as an eye-opening way of seeing all the country has to offer. Before embarking on this epic journey, make sure you plan accordingly–the trip will take you about two weeks from Victoria to St. John’s—if you’re driving about 400 kilometres per day. Now that’s a road trip!

7. Dempster Highway

A route less travelled, but well worth the distance, is along Dempster Highway, from Dawson City in the Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. If you head out in late August, not only can you witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights in a truly unique way, but you’ll also come across the north’s mountain ranges and tundra: a view that most people only get to experience through photographs.

8. Icefields Parkway

Running for 232 kilometres from Jasper to Banff in Alberta, the Icefields Parkway is a popular road trip set between sweeping meadows, waterfalls, glassy glacial lakes and snow-capped Rockies. While many may choose to hike the 6 kilometres to the Athabasca Glacier, other attractions include Peyto Lake, the Weeping Wall and the Glacier Sky Walk.

9. Gourmet Route

The ultimate road trip for foodies, the Gourmet Route in Quebec brings the term “farm to table” to life. A self-guided tour set along the St. Lawrence River, it is known as the first of its kind in the area, with 50+ stops along the way. Get a taste of the region’s culinary traditions (literally), and indulge in as many gourmet tastings as your stomach can handle.

10. The Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia can be completed in five days (although you may want to extend your stay to truly soak up the views), and is a great option for a weeklong road trip. The trail wraps around the north of Cape Breton Island for 298 kilometres and provides unreal coastal hillside views along winding roads reminiscent of Canada’s Scottish and Acadian heritage. Hike through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and sample Atlantic seafood on your way home. Enjoy! 

August 18th, 2017

Update on the August 21st Solar Eclipse

Glasses,  Safety Precautions, Other ways of Viewing & DIY Viewers

About London Drugs Celestron EclipSmart Solar Glasses:

  • In anticipation of the eclipse, London Drugs sourced and stocked ISO-certified Celestron EclipSmart solar safe shades. London Drugs is now sold out of eclipse glasses.
  • London Drugs was one of the only Canadian retailers on the American Astronomical Society’s Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers. See the complete list here:
  • Customers can bring their Celestron EclipSmart Solar Shades to London Drugs for recycling after the eclipse on August 21st to receive a coupon for $10 off the purchase of any regularly priced camera, lens or binoculars valued at $99 or higher.* Eclipse glasses will not be safe to use for the next eclipse in 2044. They should be discarded if they are more than 3 years old.
    *One coupon per pair of Celestron EclipsSmart Solar Shades recycled.  Limit of one coupon may be applied to any camera, lens, or binocular purchase. Coupon effective August 21st (after the eclipse ends) until August 31st.

About Safety Precautions for Viewing the Eclipse:

  • Do NOT view the sun directly without eye protection. Regular sunglasses do not provide enough protection to view the eclipse since they don’t block out the ultra-violet and infrared rays that can damage the eyes.
  • Even with eclipse glasses, direct viewing must be limited to a MAXIMUM of 3 minutes (as per the recommended time from the manufacturer). Ensure that you are taking the time to rest your eyes between viewings. The best practice is to cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter, do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Watch out for counterfeit eclipse glasses. If your glasses were not purchased at London Drugs or another source listed on the American Astronomical Society’s Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers, make sure they are designated ISO 12312-2, have an “ISO” icon and the company name and contact information must be clearly printed on the glasses.
  • Inspect the solar filter lenses for scratches or damage before use. Don’t use any eclipse glasses that are scratched, punctured, torn or damaged; or if they are over 3 years old these are unsafe and should be discarded. For more information, visit:

About Other Ways to Safely View the Eclipse:

DIY Solar Viewers

  • Do-it-yourself instructions can be found online. Examples include;

Previous blog post:

August 4th, 2017

World Photo Day: The Evolution of the Camera

Olympus film camera

Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”

It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.

If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.

Nikon camera and Nikon lenses

As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.

Whichever you prefer, London Drugs proudly offers a large selection of both digital cameras as well as film, and still offers film developing.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned for our World Photo Day deals (including a very special drone offer, available exclusively on August 19th)!

August 2nd, 2017

World Photo Day 2017: Celebrating Moments in Time with Photofinishing

Even in today’s digital-centric world, printing has remained an incredibly important part of the photography process. Photography is meant to celebrate a special moment in time, and photo printing helps us to share that moment with the world. It’s worth reminding ourselves just how powerful a photo can be, especially while we celebrate World Photo Day.

Developing negatives has always been an exciting part of the process for any photographer, and for a long time it was the only way to share your captured images. It was the only way to tell your story. Henry Fox Talbot pioneered the process of chemically developing film negatives, patenting the process of ‘calotype’ in 1841. This calotype process made photography more practical than paintings and illustrations, with the new ability to make any number of prints from a single negative image. Suddenly, photography was accessible to the everyday person.

However while our options used to be limited to basic prints and enlargements, photographers now have all kinds of unique print surfaces at their fingertips. Thanks to digital technology, we can tell the story of each photo not just with the developed print, but through editing and the print surface itself. After all, a bright, vivid image won’t be conveyed the same way as a dark moody image on the same surface. You’ve chosen a moment in time that you want to celebrate, now you just have to find the perfect surface to share it. Here is a look at some of our favourite print surfaces.

Aluminum Metal Panels

These high-gloss aluminum metal panels have become a popular choice for photographers in recent years. We’ve had many professional photographers tell us these eye-catching prints have been popular with their clients as well. The coated aluminum sheets are infused with dyes that can make any image, especially detailed and rich landscape photos, come alive with vibrant colour.

The London Drugs Photolab has expanded the availability of metal printing technology from just one location to now several Photolab locations, which have the special presses necessary to create the aluminum prints on-site. The lightweight and durable surface makes these prints ideal for hanging on the walls of your home or gallery. They’re also an especially good choice for high traffic areas, thanks to their resistance to fading.

Local photographers Stacy William Head and Larry Hilderman have both printed their landscape images on aluminum metal panels. Stacy finds that the aluminum surface gives his rich, long exposures a very surreal feeling compared to paper or canvas. Larry appreciates the depth it gives his landscape images. You can read more about both Stacy and Larry’s experiences with aluminum metal panels on their respective blog posts here and here.

Canvas Gallery Wraps

Turning your most precious moments into a true work of art is easy with canvas gallery wraps. Using specially pigmented inks with archival qualities, the image is printed on a fine art canvas. The canvas is then stretched around the sides of a 1.75” wooden frame and secured on the back. This style gives the image added depth and dimension. Since the image is printed right to the very edge of the canvas (otherwise known as “full-bleed”), the print can be hung on a wall without an art frame. If you do want the look of a border, our LDExperts in the Photolab recommend a black or white frame, or a floating black frame.

Our LDExperts recommend keeping the canvas dry and avoiding water or liquid cleaning solutions. This will help to preserve the image’s colour and contrast, allowing it to last for many years without noticeable fading.

A new offering is the metallic canvas, which features a pearlescent finish and vibrant colour reproduction. If you’re looking for a unique surface texture, this is an excellent choice.

Bamboo Prints

The texture of bamboo prints really is unparalleled. Made of 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton, this ultra-matte, finely crafted white paper offers a unique look and feel to your image. The surface offers maximum aging resistance and an extremely large colour gamut. As an added bonus, bamboo prints are also environmentally-friendly, as bamboo is considered to be a highly renewable resource.

Local photographer Matt Ferguson was impressed after printing on bamboo for the first time. The “texture and physical feel to the print” made it stand out, and he felt as though he “could actually touch the trees and feel the coolness of the fog” featured in his image. If you’re curious to hear more about his experience you can, check out this blog post.


Hopefully World Photo Day will inspire you to experiment with your photofinishing options and try something new. Consider the image you have (portrait or landscape), the colours (vivid or dark), and the purpose (home décor or gallery display) and use those elements to help you decide which surface will best tell the story of your image. If you need a little extra help deciding which surface is the right choice, just speak with one of our LDExperts in the Photolab department in-store!

August 1st, 2017

Happy World Photo Day 2017: The World’s Largest Photography Celebration

For photographers across the globe, August 19th is no average day: it’s World Photo Day! The world’s largest photography celebration highlights our communities’ passion for photography, amongst both amateur and professional photographers. World Photo Day reminds us of the significance of photography. It allows us to showcase the natural beauty of the world, including landscapes and subjects. Whether you’re using a cell phone, point and shoot, or DSLR, this special photography day is meant to encourage photographers of all skill levels to contribute to their craft.

For our LDExperts in the Photolab – many of whom are photographers themselves – World Photo Day is an opportunity to celebrate with customers and photography enthusiasts in the community, like you!

Many of our London Drugs Photolabs will also be celebrating World Photo Day in-store. You can sign up for all kinds of free workshops being held at select stores, devoted to tips, themes and new products. We hope they will inspire you to learn and hone your skills as a photographer. For details on celebrations happening at your local London Drugs Photolab, click here for locations and workshop details.

You can also get involved online by registering on the World Photo Day site and submitting photos to be eligible for prizes and even possible publication. World Photo Day’s global gallery is constantly growing and evolving: a striking mosaic of images captured by photographers from every background.

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow along and be inspired by the Canadian photographers we feature each day on our @LDPhotolab Instagram account, and we encourage you to use the hashtag #LDPhotolab to be featured! Of course, don’t forget to also check out the hashtag #worldphotoday to see how other photographers are celebrating around the world.


July 20th, 2017

14 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram

If you’re anything like us, you find yourself sucked into the Instagram rabbit hole every once in a while. And who can blame you? Not only is Instagram a fantastic way to discover new events, products and companies, but the popular social media platform also provides  a way to unwind and appreciate truly spectacular photography.

The following list features some of Canada’s own local talent, allowing us to visually explore the country’s great mountains, grasslands, oceans, food, and people. Get inspired and check out these fourteen amazing Canadian photographers on Instagram. You can also discover these and other great images using #BeautifulCanada.

1. Martina Gutfreund @enchanted.forest

Based out of Edmonton, Alberta, Martina Gutfreund posts colourful, breathtaking scenes of the snow-capped Rockies and peaceful Provincial Parks in her area, all alongside her furry travel companions.

2. Brie & Reuben @vancitywild

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Brie and Rueben Vancity Wild

Image from @vancitywild

Hailing from Vancouver Island and the Edmonton area, Brie and Reuben are a Vancouver-based photography duo with an eye for adventure.

3. Flo Lum @flolum

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Flo Lum

Image from @flolum

Flo Lum takes stunning photographs of Vancouver, BC and the surrounding Lower Mainland. She has a way of using interesting angles and mixing up her feed with images of nature, food, and family.

4. Karlynn Johnston @thekitchenmagpie

Karlynn Johnston is a food and travel writer from Edmonton who takes titillating food photographs of her cookbook creations as well as delicacies from her travels across the country and abroad.

5. Brayden Hall @braybraywoowoo

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Brayden Hall

Image from @braybraywoowoo

An avid explorer of BC, Brayden Hall is an adventure photographer and professional drone pilot who captures stunning aerial photos of the province’s most beautiful landscapes.

6. Dan Lum @dudelum

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Dan Lum

Image from @dudelum

Husband to Flo Lum (what a team!), Dan Lum takes incredible photos of the British Columbia wilderness and landscape. His way of using perspective always tells an intricate story in each photograph, from sea to sky, forest to mountains.

7. Adam Hill @adamhillstudios

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Adam Hill

Image from @adamhillstudios

A resident of the Northwest Territories for almost a decade, Adam Hill’s images of the True North reveal mesmerizing waves of aurora and intricate portraits of wildlife. His work has been featured in Canadian Geographic and Outdoor Photographer Magazine, to name a few.

8. Andrew Knapp @andrewknapp

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Andrew Knapp

Image from @andrewknapp

If you haven’t been following the photo adventures of Andrew Knapp and his adorable border collie Momo, you’ve been missing out. By incorporating his canine companion into gorgeous wilderness backdrops, he’s created a new style of travel photography.

9. Emma Choo @vancouverfoodie

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Emma Choo

Image from @vancouverfoodie

Based in Vancouver, Emma Choo shares delectable photographs of her city’s amazing international and local cuisine. Her photos are vibrant, enticing, and guaranteed to make you drool.

10. JongSun Park @adl2enaline

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - JongSun Park

Image from @adl2enaline

JongSun Park is a Vancouver-based photographer keeping a daily photo diary of his life. From cafés, antique shops, and motorcycles, JongSun captures the city from a vintage-inspired lens that takes you back in time.

11. Chris Sheremata @chrissheremataphotography

From Canmore, Alberta, Chris Sheremata’s photographs range from serene lake views to incredible glacial ascents, and from hypnotizing starry mountain skies to collaborative bouldering adventures.

12. Brooke Willson @brookewillson

Image from @brookewillson

Not only do Brooke Willson’s photographs feature inspiring mountain ranges and sprawling waterfront views, but the inclusion of her dog Timber appeals to all the dog lovers who never leave home without their pup.

13. Paul Zizka @paulzizkaphoto

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Paul Zizka

Image from @paulzizkaphoto

Paul Zizka is an award-winning landscape and adventure photographer hailing from Banff, Alberta. He has has explored the peaks of his native Rockies and beyond, all while capturing the natural beauty of the surrounding ice, rock, sea, and sky.

14. Kari Medig @kari_medig

10 Amazing Canadian Photographers on Instagram - Kari Medig

Image from @kari_medig

Kari Medig is a photographer who grew up in northern BC, now living in Nelson. He shoots in film, which gives his images a dreamlike quality, and many feature snowcapped mountains. Kari has shot for several Canadian publications, including Destination BC, the Globe and Mail, and Air Canada’s enRoute.

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