We travel for different reasons. Perhaps you want to experience an amazing adventure, a human connection, a close encounter with nature, a culinary treat, a cultural or historical education, an otherworldly attraction, or a trip to a globally renowned tourist spot.
Canada nearly has everything you can ever ask for. The Great White North has breathtaking landscapes, stunning natural beauty, multicultural cities, plentiful adventures, delicious epicurean treats, top tourist attractions, and colourful festivals. Additionally, the people are among the friendliest and warmest you could ever encounter in your life.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. There are countless reasons to visit the country anytime—but even more so now that the country is on a yearlong nationwide celebration.
There are sesquicentennial festivities in every city, town, and village all over the country. The government offers visitors free access to more than forty-five Canadian National Parks including the world-renowned Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. The biggest celebration will be held in Ottawa on Canada Day on the first of July.
Lonely Planet also ranked the country as the top destination for travellers in 2017. “Marking 150 years since confederation, the elongated birthday party promises to be heavy on bonhomie and highly welcoming to international gatecrashers,” it said in its recent publication.
We outlined some of the reasons why Canada should be on your travel itinerary for the year.
There are countries you visit for a specific nature spectacle. Perhaps you are visiting an otherworldly salt flat, a lush jungle, rainforest, a picturesque tropical island, or scenic mountainscape. The diversity of Canada’s landscape is unparalleled—dramactic coastlines, spectacular fjords, clear lakes, mountains, forests, arctic and desert landscapes.
The sheer scale of the Canadian Rockies, spanning through the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, is hard to match. Then there is the gorgeous island of Cape Breton and rugged mountains of Yukon.
The changing seasons bring about more of natural magnificence—glaciers, cherry blossoms, fall foliage, glistening freshwater lakes, northern lights, and vibrant forests. You will not run out of nature to explore whatever season you visit.
Many travel to Canada to appreciate its wilderness and encounter wild animals in their natural habitat. Among the most iconic wild creatures in the great outdoors are grizzly bears, moose, orcas, gray whales, wolves, and mountain lions.
The energetic, multicultural cities of Canada have a distinctive personality. In a country that thrives on its diversity, you can expect to see something unique in each city. Among the perks of living in a Canadian city is that you’re never too far away from nature. You get the benefits of living in contemporary cities while having access to some topnotch natural resources.
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is packed with skyscrapers, glitzy shopping centers, cultural spots, unrivaled restaurants, vibrant festival scene, and ethnic enclaves. It also serves as home to once the world’s tallest attraction—the CN Tower.
While Ottawa is considerably small, it is a great base for exploring the wilderness in Ontario. The civilized city is charming, peaceful and bike-friendly.
Vancouver beckons travellers with forests, magnificent parks, grand museums, and remarkable suspension bridge. While people here mostly live a cosmopolitan lifestyle, the city remains ethnically diverse and culturally rich. It has been repeatedly named as one of the best places to live in the world.
Montreal, second largest Canadian city, is the cultural and economic of Quebec. While it has a reputation as an Old World city, the French-speaking metropolis is also bustling with state-of-the-art buildings, internationally inspired cuisine and a lively music scene. Montreal will celebrate its 375th founding anniversary which means you get to partake in the special celebrations the government has in store to mark the meaningful event.
These are just some of the cities that should be on your bucket list.
Those with a heart for adventure will find a home in Canada. While it is the second largest country in the world, the population is relatively small. With an abundance of natural spaces, the country has a lot of room to roam for locals and visitors alike.
There is no doubt that you will be spoilt with options for great outdoor activities—skiing, snowboarding, camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, golfing, surfing, and snowmobiling.
The Canadians know how to put on a great party and celebration. All year round, there are events and festivals that you can join. Immerse yourself in the world’s largest comedy and jazz festivals in Montreal. Enjoy summer folk festivals in Edmonton and Vancouver. Attend one of the most glamorous and largest film festivals in the world during t the Toronto International Film Festival. Join one of the most spectacular celebrations of western heritage at the Calgary Stampede, billed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Mingle with more than a million attendees of the annual Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls. And even when you attend all of these big events, you are barely scratching the surface. There is always something going on wherever you go in Canada—literary festivals, music events, cultural celebrations, food fests and the list goes on.
With rich natural resources, the people have access to healthy and incredibly fresh produce. The Pacific salmon is not considered as a delicacy but rather a staple in the local diet. Yes, Canada is not all about Tim Hortons coffee, tomato chips, poutine, bacon, and maple syrup.
As a country that takes great pride in its diversity, the food represents it well. You go to China for authentic Chinese food, or India for Indian food, or France to sample French culinary creations. In ethnically diverse Canada, you can have a taste of the world. The coexisting cultures in Canada contribute greatly to the diversity in its culinary offerings. There is a wealth of eclectic street food, international restaurants, chic café, and casual dining selections all around the country.
There are heavyweight attractions in Canada when it comes to natural spectacles. Unsurprisingly, there are 18 world heritage sites in the country.
Here’s a quick rundown of the eight cultural and ten natural world heritage sites in Canada:
What’s on your wishlist for your holiday in Canada? We, at CLB Global Travel, will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you. Keeping in mind every destination, sights, and experiences you are looking forward to as well as your budget and schedule. Contact me at [email protected] or call me at +44 (0) 7484 703 647 for more information or a quick quote.
Charles is a world traveler having lived in 44 states and 11 countries and traveled to dozens more. He and his wife spend time between London, Ireland, Canada, and the Philippines.