Canada Travel Guide
Canada is a country that begs to be explored. With the breathtaking scenery as well as the wildlife of Canada, the Atlantic coast, the raw beauty of Alaska, the flat lands of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the hills of Ontario not to mention numerous welcoming friendly cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec, Calgary and Montreal to name but a few. Canada is just a country that everyone loves, myself included.
A huge country that consists of 10 provinces and 3 territories from the Atlantic in the East to the Pacific in the West, not to mention the Arctic Ocean to the north! The weather is different depending on when and where you travel but expect extremes from sub-zero to hot and humid. Canada is also home to 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites and some of the best National parks in the world including Banff, Whistler, and Niagra Falls. The skiing is out of this world with the longest ski season anywhere!
Something that takes some getting used to is that despite most people speaking English there is a large French-speaking population in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick Ontario, and Manitoba.
There is so much of Canada to see and enjoy. It’s certainly not a country you can discover on one holiday but rest assured once you have been you will be back!
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Memories Of Canada
After a couple of visits to Canada in the 1990s – to Vancouver on a stopover en route to Hawaii and to Toronto at the end of a road trip through the heart of the USA, I always wanted to take a road trip through Canada.
That dream of hiring a camper van and taking off in search of bear, moose, dramatic mountain scenery, and crystal clear waters still exists. However, I did do a little road trip to celebrate my 50th birthday back in 2018. Flying into New York I headed up the Old Canada Road to the Canadian border and then on into Montreal and Quebec. This scenic byway, the cities, and then also the national parks I encountered such as the Jacques Cartier National Park 50kms north of Quebec was me fulfilling that dream.
There is no doubt that I have to see more of Canada in my lifetime – it’s a country that makes you feel alive.
Canada on Film
With so much to enjoy about the country where do you start when planning?
Hiring a car or an RV (recreational vehicle) is an ideal way to get about on the wide open roads where great views are never far. You do need to be 21 years of age and have had a license for over a year but other than that it should be fairly straightforward.
Flights as you would imagine are plentiful from all of the key sights with Westjet and Air Canada being the two main domestic airlines. However, think of what you are missing in between.
The Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver or Ontario’s Polar Bear Express are two well-known scenic railway options however surprisingly normal passenger train travel is fairly limited.
Greyhound buses are common and another way of taking the load off your feet and mind when travelling from point to point.
Places To Stay in Canada
Canada's Top Attractions
Banff National Park, Alberta
The oldest National Park in Canada and home to the Grizzly Bear as well as the towns of Banff and Lake Louise which is accessed by the iconic route called the Icefields Parkway
The Rockies, British Columbia
A 3,000-mile mountain range stretching from British Columbia down to New Mexico in the United States. For awesome scenery, wildlife, and just fresh air there are few better places in the world to switch off and be inspired by nature.
Whistler, British Columbia
The top ski resort in all of North America is dominated by the two famous mountains Whistler and Blackcomb. In the spring and summer, the resort is perfect for hiking and mountain activities.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
A place for outdoor adventures particularly with the Cape Breton Highlands National Park offering amazing hiking and outdoor pursuits.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Whether you choose to view Niagara from the US or the Canadian side it is a spectacular sight. The Horseshoe falls on the Ontario side and offers observation towers, restaurants, souvenir shops, and casinos to entertain.
For wildlife, this relatively small town on the Hudson bay offers visitors the chance to view polar bears, beluga whales, and birds and witness the amazing aurora borealis.
Home to the world-famous rodeo event, the Calgary stampede, this city boasts a wealth of attractions including fantastic shopping, zoos, galleries, botanical gardens, and amusement parks and it also hosts regular music, film, and dance events.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Back in the early 1990’s I first put foot on Canadian soil in Vancouver and immediately fell in love with the country. I just found it so authentic which sounds bizarre but that’s what I loved. Stanley Park for its green spaces, Granville Island for its food, or Chinatown for the shops and chaos.
A city I visited back in the 90s and one that I loved for its cosmopolitan friendly feel. A trip up the world-famous CN tower is of course a must.
The capital of Canada is a relaxed easy-going city offering historical highlights like the Byward Market as well as open green spaces, parks, and waterways.
Montreal, Quebec Province
A welcoming city offering excellent shopping and nightlife plus a wander through the cobbled streets of Old Montreal a must to witness street musicians and artists.
Quebec, Quebec Province
A historic small city with its French heritage and feel. I loved the cobbled streets, the fine restaurants, and the central square with probably the best Christmas shop in the world at the heart of the city.