Here’s the not-so-flattering things Lonely Planet says about some Canadian towns

The Big Nickel is shown in Sudbury, Ont. on Saturday, Nov.8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Richard Buchan

Sault Ste. Marie is “dreary,” and “not the prettiest town,” according to Lonely Planet, the famous guide book which writes reviews for tourists looking to explore the world.

Though the northern city was hailed by the Lonely Planet as maybe “the friendliest place” in Ontario, it received a less-than-friendly review from the guidebook.

“Let’s face it, Sault Ste-Marie is not the prettiest town. In many parts, it’s dreary. Downtown feels like a ghost town and can be sketchy after dark,” the latter half of the review reads.

And the Soo isn’t the only place with a less-than-stellar review – several small cities in Canada were cast as less than ideal places to stop.

The reviewer got poetic with Wawa, Ontario.

“In the middle of nowhere, enduring winters straight out of a Siberian nightmare, little Wawa is a tough bird.”

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North Bay doesn’t escape the wrath of Lonely Planet:

“North Bay bills itself as ‘just north enough to be perfect,’ which begs the question: Perfect for what? It’s just north enough to make visiting Torontonians feel like adventurers, and the lakeshore is lovely, but other parts of town have seen better days.”

Lonely Planet did not respond to requests for comment by deadline but the travel guide did tell CBC that its writers try to “tell it like it is.”

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“If our coverage promotes tourist boards to lift their game a little and improve services in a town and inspire their businesses to lift their game, then I think we’re doing a great job,” according to the statement.

The review is a bit kinder to Sudbury which it gives credit for “making something out of nothing.”

“Today, the story is a lot greener: locals have planted over 12 million trees since 1980, although heavy industry and mining still rule. Sudbury has a university, two fantastic science museums, some cool haunts and chilled locals, but there’s little reason to visit unless you’re passing through.”

The lacklustre reviews also extend across the country.

Lonely Planet described Thompson, Manitoba –a town of 13,000 in the northern portion of the province – as a “necessary evil for northern itineraries.”

“There’s no way around it, the town lacks charm although the boom in minerals means that it has 24-hour fast-food chains, a Wal-Mart and plenty of services.”

Drumheller, Alberta – small town of around 8,000 people  – was also reviewed by the travel guide, which focused on the town’s love for dinosaurs, saying it “has cashed in on its Jurassic heritage – sometimes shamelessly.”

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