Canada is in the northern part of North America and is the second largest country in the world by area after Russia, so all that elbow room makes it a great place to explore!
Canada, the country of the maple leaf and maple syrup, consists of ten provinces and three territories meaning the natural beauty can be discovered endlessly on a trip to this huge country.
Visit the Mounties on their horsebacks in the Canadian Rockies or the breath-taking views of Niagara Falls as it straddles the border with the United States. The Table Rock site allows you to stand a metre from the edge of Horseshoe Falls, or alternatively, take flight with Niagara Helicopters.
Canada has more lakes than any other country, at around 3 million, so ‘heading up to the lake’ is not just a favoured national phrase. Ontario’s prime Lake District, Muskoka, is a top summer destination with its lovely freshwater lakes.
Ice-Hockey is more than a sport in Canada; it is a national obsession so why not check out a game while you’re visiting!
Canada boasts some of the best reasons to haul your skis or snowboard up the slopes, or if you haven’t before, learn! From Lake Louise in the West to Quebec in the East, Canada is ski country.
Top places to visit
Canada has an abundance of places to visit across its provinces and here are some top picks:
Toronto: This is the most populous city in Canada so there is plenty to do and see. It is only a 90 minute drive from Niagara Falls and it is well worth the trip! Visit CN Tower as you definitely can’t miss it, mainly because at 554 metres high it takes over the landscape and you can walk on air on its Glass Floor. In the winter, over 50 outdoor ice-skating rinks are in the city with the most popular in Nathan Philips Square. Take in some culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, or for something different, the Bata Shoe Museum, displays over 13,000 footwear items. Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada and has two special additions: two giant Pandas. Toronto is home to Canada’s premiere ballet company, the National Ballet of Canada, and with an ever-changing programme they are sure not to disappoint.
Ottawa: A visit to the capital city of Canada cannot be complete without a visit to Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada’s federal government, with changing of the guard every morning and a Sound and Light show every evening! Cultural attractions in Ottawa come no finer than the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. The UNESCO Rideau Canal is a historic waterway filled with boaters in spring through to autumn and is the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink in winter. On July 1st, Ottawa hosts the biggest party in the country for Canada Day so maybe consider having your trip overlapping the festivities.
Vancouver: the coastal seaport city is where to experience island life in Canada. The Grouse Mountain Grind path, locally known as ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster’, is built of wooden steps and takes you 850m up the mountain; the easier option is the Skyride, an airborne gondola! Canada’s only nudist beach, Wreck Beach, has a panoramic view of the ocean and distant Sun Juan islands so might provide a few unforgettable sites! You can take a horse-drawn carriage around Stanley Park, which is bigger than New York’s Central Park, for remarkable waterfront views. It may rain a lot in Vancouver but the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden offers covered walkways and beautiful views.
Montreal: In old Montreal not much has changed since the rapid urbanisation of the city, horse-drawn carriages take you around the notable sites of the Basilique Notre-Dame and Bonsecours Market. The Montreal Botanical Gardens has 10 large greenhouses each tailored to a specific theme making it a flora heaven. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the city’s most prestigious museum Finally, the Montreal Biodome which once housed the Olympic bicycle-racing stadium, now is home to four different eco-systems so why not stroll around and feel the change in temperature.
As Canada is such a large country, the weather varies widely depending on where you are, as the most southern tip lines up with Northern California but has a very different climate to the northern most regions which reach the Arctic.
Canada has four distinct seasons with temperatures cooler in the north and milder on the west coast. Spring begins in February and summer begins in late May, extending through September.
For many travellers the months of September and October are the best times to visit Canada, as most days are pleasantly cool.
The Canadian winters are cold and snow can cover the ground almost six months of the year, so be prepared to wrap up warm and bring your winter essentials if you going during this season. However, the level of snow makes Canada an ideal ski destination for adventurous travellers!
For up to date weather in Canada visit our partner site World Weather Online.
Canada has been influenced by European culture, especially British and French traditions, so don’t be surprised if you see something you would expect to be in mainland Europe.
Canadian humour is an integral part of Canadian identity, so be prepared to get involved and have a laugh on your visit.
Make sure to consider what season you are planning on travelling in as winter and ski appropriate clothes are not required all year round, so don’t get caught out!
Canada is an ideal destination for the adventurous traveller who wants to ski and snowboard, or climb mountains. People who enjoy boating will want to branch out to the many different lake districts.
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