The expanse of Canada’s natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes and forests, is almost unparalleled worldwide. But Canada’s allure is not just the great outdoors, Canada has cosmopolitan cities that are clean, safe, friendly and multicultural. In fact, Canada repeatedly is lauded as one of the world’s most livable countries. Whether your interests are river rafting or live theatre, Canada won’t disappoint.
Canada has many modern, multicultural cities, each with its own distinct personality. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are possibly the best known, but there are so many others that highlight different aspects of Canada, such as its maritime culture, mountainous landscape, French history, or its indigenous people. Each city is delightful for different reasons.
In addition, Canadian cities are generally much smaller than the biggest counterparts in the U.S.A., so they are easy to get around.
Canadian people – even in big cities, tend to be friendly to strangers and crime is relatively low.
Although it’s doubtful you’ll get to all of them in one trip, the following cities are the most popular destinations for visitors to Canada.
Vancouver, British Columbia, has been a hot spot in Canada for years now as far as the number of people who want to live there goes. No wonder. It is on the water and next to a mountain range making it postcard pretty. In addition, in a country where winter reality can be harsh, Vancouver has a moderate climate, which includes not much snow and an early spring. Downsides include lots of rain, low housing availability despite high prices.
Calgary, Alberta, is probably most famous for its Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo that attracts more than a million people every July. Calgary is a natural gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
Niagara Falls, Ontario, is home to the Horseshoe Falls, the most powerful waterfall in North America and possibly the best-known in the world.
The city itself is very touristy but there’s more charming places nearby.
Toronto, Ontario, is the biggest, brashest city in Canada, often mistaken as the national capital. Its 2.7 million residents are a diverse mix of English, Chinese, East Indian, Irish, Scottish, Italian and more. Vibrant and textured, Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Ottawa, Ontario, is Canada’s capital and home to the country’s government. The city has a cultured, yet friendly vibe.
Montreal, Quebec, is Canada’s second largest city but arguably the cultural capital of the country, with its wide range of festivals and museums. It is European and quite liberal in character. Much of the old part of the city has been preserved and is a highlight when visiting.
Quebec City, Quebec, is a stunning city due to its location, architecture and level of historical preservation. French is even more common here than in Montreal though most workers in the tourist trade will speak English too.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, represents all that is great about the Maritimes (group of three provinces in Eastern Canada that all border the Atlantic Ocean): Friendly, down-to-earth, fun, affordable and scenic.
Victoria, British Columbia, has a rich English history dating back to the 1840’s when the city was established as a trading port, but a deeper provenance as an aboriginal community.
Few countries boast the number and range of natural wonders that Canada does.
With more coastline than any other country, mountain ranges, lakes, forests, arctic and even a small amount of desert, Canada has a diverse landscape full of surprises.
The following are some of Canada’s most spectacular and popular natural attractions:
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Nahanni National Park Reserve
Canada is an affordable vacation choice. Historically the Cdn$ is worth less than the US$, thus prices in Canada generally seem reasonable to travelers. The 2005 Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey ranked Canadian cities among the most affordable. Toronto, even as the most expensive Canadian city, sits at number 82 out of the 100 most expensive cities, and Ottawa stands out as the most affordable city in North America.
One of the best reasons to visit Canada is to take advantage of the fabulous outdoors — and there’s a lot of it. Canada is the second largest country in the world but it’s population is relatively small. Consider that the U.S.A. has about nine times the number of people that Canada does on a slightly smaller land mass. We have expansive uninhabited land that gives Canadians and visitors room to roam.
We’re happy to share our trails, mountains and lakes with visitors. Some of the most popular outdoor activities in Canada are:
Skiing / Snowboarding
Hiking, Mountain Biking, Climbing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Skiing, and Snowshoeing Trails across Canada.
Canadians know how to put on a party. Just check out any one of these popular Canadian events and festivals to find out how hospitable a group we really are:
Celebration of Light, Vancouver (Largest fireworks competition in the world)
The Calgary Stampede
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival
Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa
Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec City
Celtic Colours International Festival, Nova Scotia
Lots of Canadians head for warmer climates in the winter, but while they’re leaving the country, skiers and other winter enthusiasts from around the world are pouring in. Canada is a famous “northern” destination, yet it’s not all igloos and snowcaps. Spring, summer and fall have their own charms and add to Canada’s appeal.
Of course, because Canada is so large, the climate varies greatly, allowing for a wide range of activities year-round.
For example, Western Canada, including Vancouver, has a relatively moderate climate with not much snow and an early spring. Contrast that to Montreal, which has long, cold winters with loads of snowfall. It definitely pays to know about your destination and what to expect weather wise.
French culture remains a prominent part of Canada, mostly in Quebec, but also in Ontario and the Maritime provinces. Canada is officially bilingual, although it’s certainly not necessary for tourists to speak French.
Settled by the French in the 1600s, Quebec, is where visitors can visit Montreal and the provincial capital, Quebec City. Quebec remains very European in feel. Its rich history and distinct heritage make it a unique tourist destination.
Canada’s laid-back attitude and huge variety of fun outdoor activities and events make it a fantastic travel destination for families travelling with children. From hiking or skiing / snowboarding to visiting Quebec Winter Carnival or the The Calgary Stampede, a Canadian vacation with kids is good fun for the whole family.
Diverse cultures, climates and landscape make Canada a destination to suit any interest.
Canada is a country of immigrants and has a policy of encouraging diversity. Thus, urban hubs feature a range of ethnic neigbourhoods, restaurants, and shops.
In addition to rich and varied urban centres, Canada’s natural environment is one of the most beautiful in the world. From pristine coastlines to rugged mountains and sparkling lakes, Canada’s geography inspires awe coast to coast.