Canada is the second biggest Country in the world after Russia and lies to the North of USA. It stretches from the USA in the South to the Arctic circle in the North and covers some 3.8 million square miles. This huge country is renowned for its stunning scenery and vast landscapes, many of which are completely untouched. It has some of the best cities in the world, amazing outdoor activities, in fact, everything that you could want from a holiday destination.
Whenever you choose to go the one thing that you can be certain of is that there will be something happening. The 35 million inhabitants that make up Canada come from all over the world but the over-riding influences come from the British and French immigrants that arrived in Canada. It has only had full independence from Britain since 1982 and there is still a strong British feel to many of the cities but Canada is its own country and has developed its own independence and flavor. There is a vast amount to do in Canada but below are 10 highlights of places to go and things to see.
One of Canada’s major cities, Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario. It is in Toronto that you will fully understand the eclectic mix of nations that reside in this amazing country, the city itself is represented by over 140 different nationalities and it has a really diverse, multi-cultural feel. Toronto offers its visitors plenty of things to do, from art galleries and museums to theatres and amazing restaurants the choice is wide and varied. The city has a large student population so has a young vibe to it and for night life there is always something going on. The large multicultural mix of the city is reflected in the many restaurants that offer food from around the globe.
The best times to visit the city are from Spring through to Autumn, the Summer’s do get hot but the Winter’s get very cold. For those wanting to soak up a bit of culture whilst away, the Toronto International Film festival is held from mid-September and is a big draw for major Hollywood players. If outdoor activities are more of your scene then Niagra Falls is just two hours away.
Montreal, named after the three peaked hills that are in the heart of the city is a fascinating place steeped in history and culture. The largest city in the province of Quebec, it is set on the Island of Montreal in the Saint Lawrence river. Montreal is a bilingual city, with French being the most common language spoken and it is the most bilingual area in Canada. There is a definite European feel to the city, which is evident in the many stunning buildings and architecture around and the culture of the city has a European flair to it.
Montreal hosts many festivals throughout the year which adds a real dynamic to it. Along with all of the festivals on offer, Montreal also offers its visitors plenty of stunning architecture, both old and new with a fascinating array of churches including Notre Dame Basilica, smaller but none the less impressive than its French name sake. As with many areas of Canada, the Spring and Autumn months are a great time to visit, they experience hot Summer’s and cold Winter’s but the Spring and Fall seasons are ideal.
Moving over to the West coast of Canada, another place that is a must to visit is Vancouver. This seaport in the province of British Colombia is a relatively new city, at just 125 years old, but there is plenty to do and see. With miles of coastline and an amazing backdrop of mountain ranges, Vancouver is the place to go to if you want to combine urban entertainment with outdoor adventures. Vancouver is the largest urban area in British Colombia and is consistently named as one of the top five places to live in the world. Like many other cities in Canada, it has a strong multi cultural mix which adds to the flavor of the city.
This is a city that sits on the edge of stunning scenery so there are plenty of opportunities for out door adventure. If this is not to your taste then move into the city where you will be able to experience many cultural activities from theatre to art galleries to great restaurants and amazing festivals. Vancouver is also a major filming city with hit shows such as The X Files having been filmed here. Vancouver has the mildest climate in Canada and the best time to come to get good weather is between July and October. The winter months are very wet with although the temperatures never drop below freezing generally.
Canada’s capital city, Ottawa sits on the Ottawa river in Southern Ontario near Montreal and within close proximity to the USA border. The city started with very humble beginnings. Originally called Bytown, it was once a lumber town. Its fortunes changed in 1857 when Queen Victoria chose Ottawa to be the capital. Now the capital is a thriving city, bilingual with English being the first language though French is widely spoken and another city in Canada that has a diverse ethnic mix.
As well as a great multi-cultural vibe, Ottawa is also home to a large number of museums and galleries, many fine restaurants and a great number of stunning parks to walk around. Ottawa is a fine place to explore on foot and there are many interesting buildings and grand examples of Victorian architecture to be seen whilst walking around. One of the most popular tourist sights is Parliment Hill which sits over looking the river. The city is best visited in the Summer months. July is the hottest but also the wettest month. The summer months have a tendency to be warm and humid whilst the winter months get very cold.
Halifax – Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia meaning New Scotland in Latin is one of the four Atlantic provinces in Canada. It lies to the Eastern side of Canada above the USA. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and consists of a peninsula and also some off-shore Islands. The capital of the province is Halifax which has a long and varied history, with a rich maritime theme especially. One of the finest harbors in the world is situated in Halifax and is a wonderful place to stroll along. The maritime theme runs throughout Halifax with major museums detailing the history of the province and its sea tales. Halifax has seen over 1 million immigrants pass through into Canada and also has connections with the Titanic and has played a major part in key events such as the War of 1812.
Halifax is dominated by the Citadel, a star shaped fortress that can be seen from all over. The fortress is carved into the hill which sits in the middle of Halifax. As well as visitors being attracted by the rich and varied history of Halifax, it is also a great city for festivals and cultural events. The city has a great mix of clubs and pubs, with lots of venues playing live music. Halifax has warm pleasant Summer’s and the Winter months are milder than in many other parts of Canada.
Wherever you go in Canada you will be sure of a warm and hospitable welcome. This stunning country has the best of both worlds, rich, cultural cities with plenty to see and do and stunning wild scenery with many great outdoor activities to experience. The diversity of the country runs throughout everywhere you go. Towering skyscrapers with majestic mountains as a back drop. Many bilingual cities that have a European feel mixed with a North American attitude. Canada is a mesmerizing country that just longs to be explored and offers its visitors the experiences of a lifetime.