Canada conjures up the pioneering spirit in all of us, being the second largest country in the world means there’s an untamed wilderness out there waiting to be explored. Canada’s success as a tourist destination is largely due to its outstanding natural landscapes and attractions, incredible wildlife with magical mammals like polar bears, whales and grizzly bears, and some of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in North America.
In Western Canada the Rocky Mountains are an ever popular source of adventure, with Banff National Park showcasing some of the country’s most majestic scenery. At the heart of the park is Lake Louise where visitors can walk beside the almost unreal green waters. In winter Banff becomes home to two leading winter sports destinations, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village. Of course, Whistler retains the title of Canada’s most prominent and famous ski resort.
Vancouver is one of Western Canada’s most visited metropolitan areas, a beautiful city enhanced by its 405 hectare Stanley Park. Victoria is also popular with its picturesque Inner Harbour, and many holidaymakers plan their vacations around the month of July when all eyes are on Calgary, hosting its very famous annual event, the Calgary Stampede.
Moving across into Central Canada, Ottawa is the nation’s capital with the delightful Rideau Canal running through its centre. Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario, is the largest and most culturally diverse city, and home to an iconic man-made landmark, the CN Tower. A distinct French flavour engulfs Montreal and Quebec City. Bustling Montreal has the largest French-speaking community outside of Paris, France and the old section is adorned with cobbled streets and historic buildings attracting tourists wanting to soak up the atmosphere. Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adorned with historic buildings to admire, its pièce de résistance being the much photographed and supreme Château Frontenac, overlooking the city. This region is also home to Canada’s most famous natural attraction, Niagara Falls which continues to captivate millions of tourists each year. The Ontario side of The Falls, Horseshoe Falls, has the best views and has given rise to a vast array of activities and excursions, like the Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Eastern Canada has a palpable maritime quality. Along with the cities of Halifax and St John’s, places such as The Bay of Fundy known for its extraordinary tides, and the mountains and fjords of Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park all add to the watery mystique.
Finally to the North, the remote beauty of Nahanni National Park and an opportunity to see polar bears in the wild. One of Canada’s very special wildlife attractions is the polar bear migration from land out onto the ice in Hudson Bay. This spectacle occurs around Oct-Nov each year. The nearest town of Churchill in Northern Manitoba offers visitors tundra buggy tours, for a safe but exhilarating up close encounter! What could be more special?
Canada captures our imaginations with beavers and bears, moose and Mounties, mountains and maple syrup. This is a place where wilderness meets community, which both challenges and conforms to meet visitor expectations - the inimitable charisma won’t disappoint - thrill, inspire, entice - if anywhere can, Canada can!