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 majestic Northern Rocky Mountains and the relatively unknown Tombstone Territorial Park. Alberta is one of the most geographically diverse provinces in all of Canada, with the famous Rocky Mountains in the west, the “greatest outdoor show on earth” in Calgary (the Calgary Stampede), the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta’s capital, the barren badlands near Drumheller and the wild frontier forests of northern Alberta. The relatively unknown Northwest Territories are a true “fisherman’s paradise” with thousands of pristine lakes teeming with big fish, including the mighty sturgeon. Nunavut has some of the most beautiful pristine Arctic areas in the world, hidden in hard-to-reach corners like Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island.
Ontario and Quebec encompass the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, which runs through the country’s two largest metropolises, Toronto and Montreal, as well as vast rural areas and many remote places where there are simply no roads. As the nation’s capital, the Ottawa-Gatineau region has an unparalleled number of museums. Quebec City (1608) and Montreal (1640) are famous for their old towns and architecture, with Old Quebec retaining the original fortifications of the “walled city” of old.
In many provinces, pioneer villages and historic sites recall the daily life of early settlers before the arrival of machinery. The memory of the exodus of United Empire Loyalists and the War of 1812 is still present in many frontier communities in Ontario and New Brunswick. Atlantic Canada has retained much of its Acadian heritage. Nova Scotia showcases its maritime heritage with a famous lighthouse perched on the rocky shore of Peggys Cove, historic shipyards in Lunenburg and a sea fort the size of a small colonial village in Louisbourg. The sandy beaches of Prince Edward Island are instantly recognisable to literary travellers looking for the birthplace of Anne of Green Gables.
Newfoundland’s coastline is dotted with small fishing villages called “outports” and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Gros Morne National Park, the archaeological Viking site of Anse aux Meadows on the Great Northern Peninsula and a Basque whaling camp in Red Bay, Labrador.
- Ice hockey – The national sport of Canada, where it is known as “hockey”, and perhaps the only uniting factor between English and French Canadians. The sport’s biggest professional league is the National Hockey League (NHL), which Canada shares with the United States. Seven of the thirty NHL teams are based in Canada, in the cities of Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Although the last time a Canadian team won the NHL was in 1993, most players on all NHL teams, including those based in the United States, are Canadian. The season finale is known as the Stanley Cup, which consists of a series of games between the two finalists in May and June to determine the NHL champion. The Canadian national team also dominates international competition, having won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics nine times.
- Canadian Football – Very similar to American football played south of the border, but with more than insignificant differences in rules that make them different codes. In Canada, the term “football” generally refers to Canadian football, while association football is referred to as “football”. The highest professional level is the Canadian Football League (CFL) with a total of 9 teams, with the season finale to determine the champion being the Grey Cup.