Discover Justin Trudeau's Los Angeles

July 1 is Canada Day! Here are the best places to celebrate
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Griffith Observatory | Photo courtesy of Mayor Garcetti, Flickr

Last February, popular Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Los Angeles, where he enjoyed a hike in Griffith Park with Mayor Eric Garcetti and also spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

With his movie star good looks and charisma, Trudeau is a natural fit for Los Angeles. Discover a few more Canada (and Trudeau) relevant sites for the PM’s future trips to L.A.

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View from Corral Canyon trail in Malibu | Instagram by @annamhairi

Corral Canyon Loop

We already know that Justin Trudeau likes the local hiking, and he has already sampled the verdant wonders of Griffith Park. For another outdoors walkabout (with or without Mayor Garcetti), we would suggest the Corral Canyon Loop in Malibu. This hour-long hike through a largely undeveloped section of the Santa Monica Mountains will show the PM the majesty of the Pacific Ocean in picture-perfect, iconic views celebrated by Los Angeles artists and musicians like the Beach Boys or Best Coast since the beginning of pop culture. Also, it would be a nice change of atmosphere from the distinctly northern landscapes of the Canadian Pacific he has enjoyed while campaigning in Vancouver and Victoria.

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Poutine with oxtail gravy and cheddar at Animal | Instagram by @animalrestaurant

Mmm... Poutine...

After his morning exercise, we would suggest PM Trudeau recover some energy by sampling the Los Angeles version of Canada’s national dish, poutine. Alas, the celebrated Redondo Beach Cafe, the Canadian-Greek diner that was the unofficial Canadian cultural center for Southern California for many years, closed earlier this year (it's now Hawaiian Shaka Burgers). To make matters more difficult, the French Canadian bistro Soleil and its more informal, poutine-centric next-door sibling P’tit Soleil in Westwood have also closed recently. So, in order to provide the fries-gravy-cheese curds fix so beloved north of the border, we would take him to Spudds All-Natural Poutine & Burgers in Pasadena. However, if he can wait until the evening, Jay’s Bar in Silver Lake offers the Canadian staple as a bar snack (including a vegan version), or he can opt for the high-end version served by celebrated non-vegetarian restaurant Animal on Fairfax.

Leonard Cohen House

Every Canadian should pay homage to one of the greatest of all Canadian-Angelenos, the beloved poet and singer Leonard Cohen. For decades, Cohen was close to Trudeau’s father, fellow legendary Montréaler and 1970s Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, so the younger PM is probably very familiar with Leonard Cohen’s Mid-Wilshire home (1033 S. Tremaine Ave.), where the bard of the broken (or, as Bob Dylan termed him, “the Kafka of the Blues”) lived for the last phase of his storied life. Cohen recorded his last several albums here, including You Want It Darker, which was released in 2016 by Columbia Records a few days before Cohen’s death. Since this is a private residence, we urge potential visitors the customary discretion.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall | Photo courtesy of Candice Montgomery, Flickr

Frank Gehry Buildings

Continuing the Canada-Los Angeles cultural journey, Trudeau might want to visit some of the outstanding contributions by Canadian-born architects to the Los Angeles landscape. Toronto son Frank Gehry is of course an obligatory reference—Trudeau could visit the unorthodox Gehry Residence (1002 22nd St.), a 1920s bungalow in Santa Monica that was customized by Gehry in the 1970s and 1990s in revolutionary ways, or the Binocular Building (also in the Santa Monica/Venice area), formerly known as the Chiat/Day Building and featuring an enormous sculpture of binoculars by Claes Oldenburg. The building is now part of the sprawling Google campus. And of course, the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gehry’s much-discussed 2003 addition to Downtown L.A., is the signature example of this Canadian-Angeleno’s genius.

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Photo courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

Skirball Cultural Center

Gehry’s unquestionable clout can overshadow the fact that Los Angeles is also home to a great work by another iconic Canadian-American (and Israeli) architect: Moshe Safdie. Many years after conceiving one of the most recognizable apartment structures in the world, Montreal’s Habitat 67 community, in the 1990s Safdie designed the Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood. The Skirball, “a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality,” is one of the signature cultural institutions of Los Angeles, hosting special exhibits all year, including the current (and very popular) show paying tribute to the work of muppeteer Jim Henson.

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KAWS "BFF" Companion in Silicon Beach | Instagram by @ryanluas

Consulate General & Silicon Beach

Trudeau might want to take a break from all this cultural sightseeing by visiting his government’s official pied á terre in Los Angeles: the Consulate General of Canada (550 S. Hope St, 9th Floor). Providing consular service for Canadian citizens in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, the DTLA offices also host the Trade Commissioner Service. Trade between the two North American nations is one of the main reasons Trudeau likes to visit Los Angeles. During his recent visit, the Canadian PM focused on attracting tech business, which makes L.A.'s relatively recent tech hub, Silicon Beach, an ideal setting for any prime ministerial visit, which would probably include a stopover at the shops in newly tech-ified Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

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The Los Angeles Kings celebrate their 2014 Stanley Cup Championship | Photo courtesy of NHL, Facebook

Los Angeles Kings - STAPLES Center

Finally, no Canada-Los Angeles feature would be complete without a mention of the Los Angeles Kings home arena, STAPLES Center. Hockey season would be an ideal time for Justin Trudeau to visit the city and catch a Kings game, perhaps bringing along his hockey-playing kid, Xavier.