Canada is a wonderful country full of places that suit every kind of person. Do you like to go on a hike in the mountains or do you like exploring cities with your family? Then Canada is the place for you to experience and suit your travel needs.
Maybe you are a quiet and not so adventurous person and prefer to walk around in the beautiful cities of Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. Every corner of this wonderful state is full of wonders and now we are going to explore some of them.
We are going from West to East like we are traveling by train and stopping in every unique city that Canada has to offer. Let’s go from Yukon to the shore of Nova Scotia, and try to have the best fun planning your trip.
Capital of the cold province of Yukon, Whitehorse is situated on the banks of the Yukon River and it’s the perfect place if you enjoy being outdoors during every season, especially Winter. You can explore the wilderness from two main highways and you can check the Yukon Wildlife Preserve where you can admire caribou Dall’s sheep and muskox.
Then, explore Miles Canyon, a 10 miles loop trail that connects the city to wild nature. Whitehorse is the perfect Canadian city to visit during Winter, so you can also admire the northern lights during a hike at night.
Victoria, British Columbia
The capital of British Columbia, Victoria is one of the most picturesque cities of the Canadian state. You can choose to have a hike in the mountain or visit the ocean, depending on what you prefer. The city is located on Vancouver Island and sometimes in the ocean surrounding the city, you can be lucky enough to see elephant seals or a whale.
If you prefer to have a walk in the city, you can visit the parliament building or just walk through Inner Harbor where there are a lot of places to eat or grab a cup of coffee. Then, you can go to the parks like Beacon Hill Park and Goldstream Provincial Park and take in the surroundings. The city is also full of historic places and museums, like the Royal BC Museum, where you can go and have a historic and cultural adventure.
Vancouver, British Columbia
One of the largest cities in Canada, Vancouver is one of the most culturally diverse cities of North America. Full of parks to visit, like Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park, Vancouver is also a place for wildlife and adventurous hikes through the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The bridge is located among the upper reaches of old-growth rainforest and it’s 460 feet (140 meters) long and peaks at 230 feet high (70 meters) as it crosses the Capilano River.
Through the city, you can also have a wonderful view at the Vancouver Lookout, a 550 feet above street level tower that gives you a 360° vistas of the city. Then, if you enjoy a walk in the city, you can go to Robson Street, full of restaurants and shops. For a jump in the past, Gastown is the place for you. Named after a Yorkshire seaman, “Gassy” Jack Deighton, Gastown is the heart of Vancouver’s Old Town, full of food, fashion, and entertainment. Beaches such as Spanish Bank Beach or Kitsilano Beach are the best places to enjoy activities outdoors and away from the city’s noise.
Vancouver is also called North Hollywood because of the number of movies and tv series that are shot in the city and surroundings. If you are familiar with the movie Deadpool, The Twilight Saga, the tv series Supernatural, Smallville, Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, to name a few, are all shot in the wonderful Canadian city making it a perfect destination for film and tv series lovers.
Saskatoon, located in the province of Saskatchewan, is famous for providing activities outdoors. There are parks like Wanuskewin Heritage Park, a historical site about the lives of indigenous people. It is a historical site where 6.000 year’s old relics are discovered daily. The visitors can even sleep in a tipi (typical Indigenous tent) overnight.
Saskatoon prides itself to be the city with more restaurants than the rest of Canada. That is why, every year in July, there is the Taste of Saskatchewan Festival, where the city brings together more than 30 restaurants to share their finest dishes.
If art is your passion, then the Mendel Art Gallery is the place for you. The gallery is rich with 16th-century works of Canadian artists. Saskatoon also offers a wonderful walk through the 60-kilometer Meewasin Valley Trail, a promenade that goes side by side with the South Saskatchewan River in order to enjoy a day outdoors.
Calgary, one of the most populated cities in Canada, is also famous for its huge 10 days rodeo that bills itself as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. As you walk around the city you can go to Fish Creek Provincial Park or Calgary Tower. Take time to visit Heritage Park Historical Village, the city’s largest living historical site where you can see how people used to live between the 1860s and the 1950s. Take a walk through Peace Bridge that connects Downtown Calgary to the community of Sunnyside.
Calgary is also famous for being a filming location site for a lot of movies and tv series. For example, The Revenant (2015) was filmed in the Kananaskis Country and the Canadian Badlands, mountains outside the city. While the famous, but now closed, Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall in Calgary was used as the cowboy saddles Jake Gyllenhaal checked in Brokeback Mountain (2005). Parts of the movie The Assassination of Jesse James (2007) were on location at Heritage Park, the Fairmont Palliser, and nearby Kananaskis Country. And in 2019 the city was the location for the entire Ghostbusters: Afterlife. But not only movies but also series like Fargo and The Last of Us are being filmed in Calgary.
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, it’s home of Fort Edmonton Park, a living history museum that explores the living area from 1759 to 1920. The Edmonton area is also full of wildlife and so if you love hiking, you can go to the Elk Island National Park, a refuge for bison and elk. Then, there is Whyte Avenue, a street full of old buildings, where you can find restaurants and boutiques to enjoy.
The magnificent Mutter Conservatory is the most famous landmark of the city. It consists of 4 pyramid-shaped glass buildings home to a very beautiful botanical garden. But if you prefer a walk indoors or just enjoy art history, first you can go to West Edmonton Mall, North America largest mall where you can enjoy an amusement park inside, or second, take pleasure in the Art Gallery of Alberta, full of 6.000 astonishing artworks from all over the world.
Edmonton is also famous for its High-Level Bridge Streetcar. It is 3 km in length, the vintage streetcar service crosses over the North Saskatchewan River and it is a very unique way to explore and enjoy the beauty of the city.
Banff is famous for its beautiful mountains and lakes. It is one of the most visited places in Canada. Every year more than 200.000 tourists visit to see the beauty of the city surrounded by mountains. When looking for somewhere to stay in Banff, the town is famous for its Banff Spring Hotel, which is a sort of castle hotel surrounded by mountains. Then you have Banff National Park, which is home to beautiful light blue lakes along with glaciers and forests.
The main highlights of a journey in Banff are the lakes. You have the famous Lake Louise with the aristocratic-looking Canadian Pacific hotel Château Lake Louise. Other lakes are Moraine Lake, Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake. You also have the chance to see Canada’s wildlife in the parks, because they are home to a large number of black bears, elk, caribou, wolves, beaver, and grizzly bears.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
When you think of Canada, you think about the wildlife, the broadness of the landscapes, the skyscrapers but above all, you think about the wonderful Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls, the famous falls located on the border with the USA, they’re combined by 3 different falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veils Falls. The waterfalls are a force of nature and beauty to admire. The Niagara River rumbles towards a 188-foot waterfall at about 20 to 30 (and up to 68) mph. They have the highest flow rate in the world, about 2.400 m3.
The city of Niagara is also famous because it has an inner small amusement park. If you are an adventurous person, you should take the Mid of the Mist, the boat that takes you inside the waterfalls and gives you the opportunity to have a wonderful and mystic experience. Then, you can also do the Wildplay Zipline, a ride down the falls at 670 meters (2.200 feet) at a speed of 70+ kph (40+ mph).
The capital of the province of Ontario and of the most multicultural cities in Canada, Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the centre of the country’s financial sector. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe region, which wraps around Lake Ontario from Toronto to Niagara Falls. In fact, one of its particularities of the city is Toronto Islands right in front of the harbor. With a 15 minutes ride on the boat, you can go and have a bike ride on the islands.
Or check the Entertainment District, where you have the theatres, the TIFF Bell Lightbox where every year the Toronto International Film festival happens, CN Tower and Rogers Center. If you want a hike in the park, High Park with its flora and fauna is the right place for you.
History plays an important part in the city, and if you want to know more about Canadian history and art you should visit the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery, and Black Creek Pioneer Village, where you can find historic houses, shops, and restaurants still in good shape. Then if you are eager for something fun, you should check Canada’s Wonderland, the largest theme park in the area.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada has numerous accretions to visit, like Parliament Hill which every year attracts numerous visitors. The parliament can be found right in the heart of the city, overlooking the Ottawa River. Just across the river, you can take the bike and visit Gatineau Park. After the Parliament, you can visit the Supreme Court of Ottawa, Rideau Hall, and the National War Museum. This monument lies a short distance from the Parliament and it was established in 1939 in order to commemorate World War I.
Another attraction is the Canada Aviation and Space Museum of Ottawa. Established in 1964 on Rockcliffe Airport, a former military base, the museum houses over 190 civilian and military aircraft. Besides seaplanes and the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Canadarm, it also has lots of vintage bush planes from the 1920s to ‘40s on show. You can also book a sightseeing flight over Ottawa in the summer.
St. John, New Foundland and Labrador
St. John is the oldest town in North America, founded by Giovanni Caboto back in 1497, now it is home to a large number of whales, including minke, humpbacks, and blue whales. You can visit Signal Hill National Historic Site in order to have an idea of how indigenous people used to live.
Another thing to do in the city is going around the Harbor and Water Street to enjoy a good restaurant or shopping. If you like to hike, the East Coast Trail is the best place to go in order to have 300 km of hiking in the wildlife.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
This 200 year’s old fishing village, it’s one of the wonderful and picturesque cities in Canada. From visiting the library to the Halifax Public Garden, from all the parks around the cities, to a cruise in the harbor, there is always something to do in Halifax. In the city, there is the Fairview Lacun Cemetery, a quiet place that commemorates the victims of the RSM Titanic.
If you want you can go shopping and eat on the main street of the city, the Waterfront Boardwalk. And if you enjoy the nightlife, you can visit the pubs and clubs that are around the city. The place is full of places to eat local fish or have a cup of tea. Another place to visit if you want to know more about immigrants in Canada is definitely the Canadian Museum of Immigrants at Pier 21. It is Canada’s most important museum that tells the story of the millions of immigrants between 1928 to 1971. They used to pass through the former ocean liner terminal, like Liberty Island used to be for New York City.
Quebec City, Quebec
Locked upon a commanding position on a cliff, Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec and one of the most picturesque cities in Canada. Nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canada in 1985, Quebec City is most known for its quiet old city, its grand winter festival, and gorgeous architecture, such as the big Chateau Frontenac.
The city shares around 400 years of history and you can see it through the Citadelle. Founded by both the French and the British, and that is one of the main reasons that in Quebec, locals speak both English and French. The Citadelle is a star-shaped fort with lovely green spaces and sturdy fortifications for you to explore as well as a great on-site museum.
All around Quebec City you can live and breathe history. Place Royale was the first French settlement made by Samuel de Champlain back in 1608. Now is a cobbled square full of lots of beautiful old buildings which now are home to cute boutiques and cafes.
Meanwhile, the main attraction will remain the Old Town and Terrasse Dufferin. The first is made up of both Upper Town and Lower Town with the old port, it is praised by Chateau Frontenac and today is full of unique shops and restaurants. The second offers a stunning view out over Old Quebec and the Saint Lawrence River with a boardwalk that goes all around Chateau Frontenac.
Back in 2016, the city was also used as a film location for the Korean series Goblin: The Lonely and Great God, where you can recognize some of the most famous places such as the Chateau Frontenac. Parc du Bastion-de-la-reine, Le Boutique de Noël, Prescott Gate bridge, Pierre-Dugua-De-Mons Terrace, Fontaine de Tourny and Le Petit Champlain District.
Montreal, the multicultural metropolis of the province and the second-largest city in Canada. Named New France from the first settlements, the city is built around the Saint Lawrence River. Here you can hear people speaking both English and French because of its history.
It is often called the Paris of Canada due to its architecture and historic importance. You can go take a walk through Old Montreal and taste some poutine in one of the local restaurants or take a walk and go up to Mount Royal. It’s 692 acres of an expansive city park which gives a taste of the outdoors without leaving the city.
If you love to enjoy a hockey game, you can check one out of the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Furthermore, you can go visit Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral which is home to some incredible architecture.
Another church to visit is definitely the St. Joseph’s Oratory alongside its Royal Park which is located just next to the oratory. Then there is a walk through Montreal Botanical Garden. If you like dolls and especially barbie dolls, the Barbie Expo has the largest collection of barbies in the world full of thousands of delightful dolls.
Canada has the largest and unique places in the world. You can go from the wildlife of Whitehorse, to the beauty of the lakes in Banff or to the wonderful skyscrapers in Toronto. The country offers tourism for families with amusement parks, falls and whale watching or you can take an alone vacation and go through the wonders of Canada. Now it is time to pack your bags and pick a destination or more in order to enjoy your Canadian journey.