The unmissable list
If you have the time and are in the area, then these are the top ten things to do in Canada as recommended by Trail Canada.
10. CN Tower
A visit to Toronto is never complete without visiting the world’s tallest building, the CN tower. Standing at 553m above the ground the views of Toronto and Lake Ontario are unbeatable. Take the elevator to the top and then to the SkyPod – the world’s highest observation deck at 147 storeys (1,465ft / 447m). In 1995, the CN Tower was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World!
9. Rocky Mountains (snow train to Jasper)
The Rocky Mountains are an icon of Canada and an unparalleled sight that is impressive in every way. VIA Rail offers a train service from Toronto – Winnipeg – Saskatoon – Edmonton to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains or from Vancouver to Jasper. The Rocky Mountain Rail Tour company offers a similar service further south from Vancouver to Banff and on to Calgary.
8. Banff National Park and Lake Louise
In the heart of the Canadian Rockies is Banff National Park, a World Heritage Site designated by the UN. Lake Louise and the Lake Louise Ski Resort are nearby. If you want to enjoy snowsports, wildlife watching or explore the beautiful mountains, Banff is a good place to start.
7. Stanley Park
A pride of Vancouver and the biggest park in the city. Stanely Park is over 1,000 acres in size. Surrounded by the Seawall, a walking, rollerblading and bicycle route that stretches 8km around the park, through original rainforest and past sandy beaches. The Vancouver Aquarium Children’s Farmyard, Miniature Railway, tennis courts, putting course, beaches, a children’s water park, a heated ocean-side swimming pool, Theatre Under the Stars, and miles of trails are all inside the free to enter park minutes from downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver, British Columbia
6. Whistler Blackcomb
One of the largest ski and snowboard resorts anywhere in the world. Whistler Blackcomb offers world-class snowsports on 8,000 acres of terrain. Whistler Blackcomb is one of the sites for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Whistler Village is a pleasant place to stay with high quality hotels and great restaurants. Activities on and off the mountain are available all year and are suitable for everyone – skier or not.
Whistler, British Columbia
5. Quebec Winter Carnival
Carnaval de Québec in Quebec City is the world’s biggest winter celebration, and the third largest carnival. Held annually from the end of January for 2 and a half weeks, the carnival attracts people from all over the world to experience snow baths, night parades, slide runs, ice fishing, concerts, snow sculptures, horse-drawn sleigh rides, husky powered dogsled rides, Ice Tower and skating. Make your visit even more interesting by staying at the famous Ice Hotel!
Quebec City, Quebec
4. Peggy’s Cove
According to legend, Peggys’ Cove was named after the only survivor of a schooner that ran aground and sank in 1800. A lighthouse was built on this spot in 1868 and 100 years later the Sou’Wester Restaurant opened. The lighthouse is one of the most photographed buildings in Canada and Peggy’s Cove is popular among tourists year round.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
3. Calgary Stampede and Rodeo
The annual Calgary Stampede features the famous million dollar rodeo, world-famous chuckwagon races and spectacular evening grandstand show. The city of Calgary comes alive during this unique event.
2. Canada’s Parliament buildings
Loosely modelled after the British houses of Parliament, the Parliament Hill in Ottawa is the centre of Canada’s federal government. Centre Block (the main parliament building) is free to visitors and it is possible to see the Commons and Senate.
For photos of the Canada’s Parliament Buildings and Ottawa, click here
1. Watch Polar Bears at Churchill
Every year around September the small, northern Manitoba town of Churchill on the edge of Hudson’s Bay welcomes its furry white visitors – Polar Bears. The bears move between the ice and the land during this time and pass by the town making polar bear watching tours possible.
Almost in the top 10! – more unmissable things to do
Other recommended places to visit in Canada and things to do whilst you’re visiting Canada include:
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Canada, Granville Island is a mecca for touristy things. The parks, restaurants, street entertainers and markets are an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Algonquin Provincial Park
With over 7,725 square kilometres of forests, lakes and rivers, Algonquin Provincial Park north of Toronto is the best way to escape into true Canadian wilderness. Camping, fishing, kayaking and hiking are popular and great ways to experience Canada for what Canada really is.
The 298km long trail loops around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. Passing through numerous communities and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the trail leads through beautiful scenery and is an excellent opportunity to see Canada on foot.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
The most popular theme park in Canada. Canada’s Wonderland has plenty of rollercoasters, over 200 attractions, and a 20 acre waterpark. Canada’s Wonderland is open during the summer.
Cavendish and Anne of Green Gables village
Visit the Lucy Maud Montgomery house where the owner wrote the famous books about Anne of Green Gables. The recreated village is nearby and open to visitors to see what life used to be like in this fictional town. The beautiful beach at Cavendish and Rainbow Valley theme park is also nearby.
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
West Edmonton Mall
The largest mall in the world and with no Provincial Sales Tax, the West Edmonton Mall is a great location for shopping. With over 800 shops, restaurants, a huge amusement park, ice rink, water park, putting golf, and submarine lake.
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne in Western Newfoundland is one of the wonders of the world. Created by tectonic plate movement the fjords and mountains at Gros Morne are rivalled only by those in Norway. In the park you can go whale watching, hiking, fishing, cycling, swimming and skiing.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador