Saturday, January 22, 2022

Destinations in Canada

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Regions in Canada

Visiting Canada in one trip is a major undertaking. More than 7,200 kilometres separate St. John’s, Newfoundland, from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance as between London and Riyadh or Tokyo and Calcutta). Driving from one end of the country to the other can take 7-10 days or more (assuming you don’t stop to see country along the way). A flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours. When talking about specific destinations in Canada, it is best to look at the different regions:

  • Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).
    This region is proud of its history, including the founding of Canada as a sovereign nation. Atlantic Canada is known for its unique accents, the origins of Acadian culture, natural beauty (especially in the coastal areas), the historic beauty of Halifax and St. John’s, and a huge fishing and shipping industry. It is also home to the distinctive culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was both the first part of what is now Canada to be explored by Europeans and the last to join Confederation.
  • Quebec
    Quebec is unique in that it is the only province with a French-speaking majority. Originally part of New France, the region is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada and is known for its cultural landscape, such as the Quebec Winter Festival, Montreal’s classical architecture and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine). Montreal is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world, although thanks to centuries of British and French influence, it is also a very bilingual city and its residents have developed a strong, self-proclaimed sense of identity.
  • Ontario
    Canada’s most populous province is geographically vast, allowing for a wide range of activities. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is eclectic, multicultural and vibrant, with 140 unique neighbourhoods. Ottawa is Canada’s charming bilingual capital and has many art galleries and museums showcasing Canada’s past and present. Further south are Niagara Falls and to the north is the untapped natural beauty of Muskoka and beyond. All these things and more make Ontario what foreigners consider quintessentially Canadian.
  • Prairies (Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
    The Canadian Prairies are known for their vastness and wealth of resources. They are a dynamic collection of provinces with some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the world. The region is rich in geographical diversity, from the rolling hills and canola fields of Manitoba and Saskatchewan to the diverse forests and rather unique rock formations of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. This region is also one of the fastest growing in Canada and is known for its mountain resorts such as Banff and Jasper. The major cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg are modern cities with great rodeos, museums and amazing architecture.
  • British Columbia
    Vancouver is the heart of British Columbia. It’s known as one of the most liberal and culturally diverse cities in North America, with activities ranging from world-class skiing to nude beaches. Travelling outside Vancouver, you’ll find Victoria, the provincial capital, with a bustling downtown and a magnificent Palace of Parliament; the Okanagan, home to vineyards, graceful mountains and resorts; and retirement communities. Lose yourself in the expanse of mountains, lakes and other natural wonders. The province also has the mildest winters on average in Canada (though often cloudy), especially in the coastal areas, making it popular with Canadians less fond of winter.
  • The North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon)
    The Territories are among the most remote regions in the world and make up most of Canada’s land mass. Although the Territories are best known for their wildlife and unique landscapes, there are also some interesting settlements, including Dawson City, a town that seems almost untouched by the 1898 gold rush, and Iqaluit, Canada’s newest territorial capital, which has interesting architecture adapted to the harsh northern climate.

Cities in Canada

There are many cities in Canada that are all distinctive, tourist-friendly and worth seeing, including

  • Ottawa – Canada’s national capital, this city is home to national government monuments like Parliament Hill, many important museums like the National Gallery, cool neighbourhoods like the Byward Market and remarkable old architecture.
  • Calgary – A boomtown without a doubt, Calgary is a major Canadian financial city, but for the non-business traveller it offers the world-class Calgary Zoo, Calgary Tower, Calgary Stampede, Glenbow Museum, shopping at Chinook Mall and Atlantic Ave and is just a short distance from Rocky Mountain Recreation.
  • Home to the second largest natural harbour in the world, Halifax is rich in history with architecture dating back to the English colonial period. Visit the Citadel fortress, the Canadian Museum of the Atlantic and the active nightlife where everything is within reach.
  • Montreal – Once Canada’s largest metropolis, Montreal is the heart of North America’s French-speaking culture (you can still communicate in English) and home to some of the country’s best galleries, museums, theatres and festivals, as well as excellent shopping on streets like Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis. Don’t miss Mount Royal either.
  • Quebec City – Founded in 1608, the capital of the province of Quebec is known for its picturesque old town, its great winter festival and its magnificent architecture such as the Château Frontenac.
  • Toronto – Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is the media, entertainment, business, economic and cultural capital of Canada. Toronto is known for its famous landmarks such as the CN Tower, but it is also home to many museums, theatres, sports venues, shopping and entertainment districts, beaches and recreational parks.
  • Vancouver – One of the most densely populated cities in Canada, Vancouver is a city of steel and glass condos and extraordinary natural beauty. It is unique in that it is a city where you can ski and sit on the beach in the same 24 hours. The city also hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is often ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world.
  • Whitehorse – Central point of the Alaska Highway, gateway to Canada’s far north.
  • Winnipeg – This city in the heart of the continent has a rich French-Canadian and First Nations culture, as well as well-preserved historic commercial buildings, renowned arts and culture, and the vibrant neighbourhood of The Forks.

Other destinations in Canada

  • Algonquin Park
  • Banff National Park
  • Cape Breton Island
  • Jasper National Park
  • Terra Nova National Park
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Yoho National Park

How To Travel To Canada

By airYou will probably arrive in Canada by plane, most commonly in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver (the five largest cities, from east to west). Many other cities also have international airports, of which the following are particularly useful for visitors: Halifax, St. John's, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon,...

How To Travel Around Canada

Canada is huge - the second largest country in the world after Russia. This means that you will need several days to get to know even a part of the country. In fact, St. John's, Newfoundland, is geographically closer to London, UK, than to Vancouver.By airThe best way to...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Canada

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to visit Canada for a stay of (usually) up to six months, provided they are not working or studying and the traveller has a passport valid for six months beyond the date of intended departure:Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda,...

Weather & Climate in Canada

It is impossible to sum up Canada's climate in one easy-to-understand sentence, given the country's size and geographical diversity, but the phrase "frozen north" would be a reasonable first approximation. In most places, winters are harsh, similar to Russia. The most populous region, southern Ontario, has a milder climate,...

Accommodation & Hotels in Canada

Prices for accommodation in Canada vary considerably depending on the time and place. In most cities and many tourist areas, expect to pay $100 or more for a good hotel room. When inquiring, always ask if taxes are included; most of the time they are not and can often...

Things To See in Canada

Canada is a nation with many interesting places throughout the country. Each province and territory is unique and each contains its own special attractions.British Columbia has much to offer, including Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), an eco-paradise of untouched wilderness, and Vancouver Island. In the Yukon, you have the...

Things To Do in Canada

Canada is a country with a rich cultural heritage. Festivals and events are held in Canada every year to celebrate the multicultural landscape of this great nation. Each festival represents a unique cultural facet of Canada's diverse population. These festivals are easily identified by the time of year.In SpringIn...

Money & Shopping in Canada

Currency in CanadaCanada's currency is the Canadian dollar (symbol: $; correct abbreviation: CAD), often referred to simply as "dollar", "buck" (slang) or "loonie" (nickname for the $1 coin, now also a slang term for currency). One dollar ($) is made up of 100 cents (¢). Rising oil prices tend...

Food & Drinks in Canada

Food in CanadaEnglish Canadians may be puzzled when you ask them where to find Canadian food. English Canadian cuisine varies greatly from region to region. Specialities include maple syrup, Nanaimo bars (unbaked squares with chocolate, custard or vanilla butter filling and a breadcrumb base), butter tarts (tarts made with...

Festivals & Holidays in Canada

In Canada, the following national holidays are recognised and celebrated (there may be minor differences in some provinces):New Year's Day - 1 JanuaryFamily Day - 3rd Monday in February (not celebrated in all provinces, known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day in PEI).Good Friday - Friday before...

Internet & Communications in Canada

The communications infrastructure in Canada is typical of a developed nation.By phoneCanada, along with the United States and the majority of the Caribbean, is part of the North American numbering scheme and uses the country code +1. The structure for area codes and local phone numbers is the same...

Language & Phrasebook in Canada

English and French are the only two official languages of Canada at the national level, although many other languages are spoken by immigrants or indigenous people in Canada. All federal government communications and services are required by law to be available in both official languages. However, each province is...

Traditions & Customs in Canada

Canada is a very multicultural country, especially in the big cities. A survey showed that about 50% of the population of Toronto (the largest city) was born outside Canada, and about 20% had at least one parent born outside the country. Immigrants came from all parts of the world,...

Culture Of Canada

Canada's culture is influenced by its wide range of nationalities, and measures to promote a 'just society' are protected by the Constitution. Canada has emphasised equality and inclusion for all its people. Multiculturalism is often cited as one of Canada's greatest achievements and a key distinguishing feature of Canadian...

History Of Canada

The main wave of prehistoric settlers is thought to have arrived in the Americas from northeast Asia via Alaska about 15,000 years ago, although the earliest migrants may have arrived about 30,000 years ago and the youngest about 5,000 years ago. The current theory for the spread of prehistoric...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Canada

Stay Safe in CanadaSecurity in Canada is generally not a problem and a little common sense goes a long way. Even in big cities, violent crime is not a serious problem and very few people are armed. Violent crime should not worry the average traveller as it is usually...

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