With its beautiful unspoiled landscapes, its multicultural society, and bilingualism, Canada is a delight for all who decide to travel around the country or move there permanently. Thanks to its multiculturalism policy, put in place back in the 70’s, communicating across cultures is one of the things that make The True North so attractive for travelers and expatriates. Here’s what to expect when exploring the best of Canada.
So, what exactly is there to visit in Canada?
Welcoming around 250,000 newcomers each year, Canada is one of the most popular places for foreign residents. The largest country in North America and the second largest in the world – right behind Russia – offers you something new and exciting to see at every turn.
Exploring the Best of Canada
First of all, if you have the luck of actually moving to Canada, you will have plenty of time to explore its wonders.
But if you are there on vacation, you might have some sort of time limit.
The best cities to visit are, of course, the ones that are well-known; yet surprisingly enough, you might find something of interest when visiting some lesser known towns, like Winnipeg, the center of the Canadian Prairies, or Whitehorse in Yukon Territory, starting point of the legendary Yukon Quest race.
Places like these might show visitors a completely different side of Canada.
Top Cities to Visit in Canada
Want to see what Canada is all about, although you only have about one week or so for your visit? Here are the highlights you shouldn’t miss out on:
One of the country’s largest and most popular cities, and often mistaken for Canada’s capital, attracts a huge number of tourists for multiple reasons. Located only a couple hours from Niagara Falls and the US border, Toronto boasts, for example, a world-famous film festival: Its vibrant cultural life and the landmark CN tower are only a few reasons for its fame.
In recent years, Toronto has become known as one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the world, with over half the city’s residents being born outside Canada.
This has resulted in a great diversity of cultures to explore, from cuisine to events. Toronto is also nicknamed “the city within a park” thanks to its miles of parkland around the streams and rivers that flow through the city.
Ranked as one of the most livable cities in Canada, will dazzle you with its French and English influences. Whether you want typical Canadian specialties or a Québec experience with a quaint French feel, Montréal has it all.
A “Parisian New York”, “City of festivals”, “City of a hundred bell towers” – there are many ways to describe Montreal, a city which is unlike any other in the world.
In Montreal 17th century architecture and beautiful cathedrals rub elbows with typical 1970’s skyscrapers.
Montreal is famous for its European flair. Despite being one of Canada’s largest cosmopolitan cities, the city has a nice a laid back attitude.
Montreal was named the second best city to dine in North America. It is a food lover’s heaven with cuisines from all over the world mixing with European influenced local specialties.
Montreal is also famous for its many festivals and events, which ranges from the Jazz fest which is held in different places around town, to Montreal International Auto show which is held in the Palais des congrès convention center.
When visiting the city, make sure to check what events will be on while you’re there.
Host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver thrives in terms of visitors wanting to ski, although the city is also conveniently located on the sea. Thus Vancouver offers you the opportunity of going for a walk on the coast and racing down a snowy slope (sled dog racing) on the very same day.
With its laidback attitude and unique beauty, Vancouver charms every casual visitor as well as every expat who moves there permanently.
With such a diverse nature surrounding Vancouver, it’s not a mystery why the city is all about sports and the outdoors!
Vancouverites spend all their free time skiing on Grouse Mountain, surfing at Wreck Beach and kayaking in English Bay.
If they can’t leave the city, there is always Stanley Park, a 400-acre park which is the city’s pride and joy.
Going to Canada for a little bit longer? Why not take the lovely drive across the country from coast to coast?
This way, you will not only be able to see other wonderful cities like Quebec City, Winnipeg, or Calgary, but also its gorgeous scenery, which makes Canada such a special place.
One of the most visited cities in Canada, Quebec is known for its breathtaking surroundings and unique history.
Quebec’s Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage site and the city walls surrounding it are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America north of Mexico.
Although not as buzzing as Montreal, it’s a great city for a relaxing romantic weekend
Although Whistler is more a village than a city, it is still one of the most popular destinations in Canada, both in summer as well as winter.
Whistler is one of those places where people come for a weekend visit and somehow end up staying for 25 years – a story which is far from uncommon there.
Many locals who have moved to Whistler say they came for the awesome skiing, but stayed because of the summer.
Winter is the most popular time to visit Whistler; however, summer has a lot to offer. For example, the mountain biking is some of the best in the world.
Exploring the best of Canada will lead you to unexpected places and no doubt, amazing scenery.
(photo credit: 1 – 1)
Lake Agnes Tea House