Bienvenue au Canada!

Welcome to my home, the proud, north strong and free. If you ask a traveling Canadian what they miss about home, it’s hard to choose. It could be the early morning mists of the Great Bear Rainforest. Catching sight of a pod of playful orcas off the stern of a ferry deck on the way to Victoria. Wandering the quaint cobblestoned streets of Old Quebec City. Bargain hunting on Calgary’s 17th Ave or watching the Northern Lights dance across the Yukon Sky. From Roadtripping through the Rockies or listening to some Great Big Sea as you enjoy a pint on the rocky shores of St. Johns Newfoundland. For me, it’s mid-afternoon strolls up into the cool, dense rainforests of North Vancouver with my four-legged friend. From Coast to coast, and everywhere in between, Canadians are a friendly bunch. We love the elements, good food, good fun and yes, from time to time, we may even apologize for it.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Canada

  1. Over 31% of the country is covered in forest
  2. 80% of the world’s Maple Syrup supply comes from the province of Quebec
  3. No, we don’t all say “eh”, drive dogsleds to work, play hockey or love poutine
  4. There are over 600 recognized First Nations bands and approximately 60 Indigenous languages spoken across the country
  5. Over 20% of Canadians were born outside of Canada
  6. Northern Canada is home to 60% of the world’s polar bear population
  7. Canada is home to one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world
  8. The name “Canada” actually derives from the Iroquois word “Kanata”, an indigenous group who lived in Quebec in in the 16th century.
  9. Canada is home to the only walled city in North America north of Mexico (Quebec City)
  10. The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which covers a whopping 7604 kilometres (4725 miles in length!

Best Time to Go

Low Season (Nov – Apr) 

Canadian winters are renown for being unforgiving in some parts, unfortunately with climate change, conditions are changing. However, while chilly weather from November through April keep the city crowds away, it’s the time of year when skiers, snowboards and cold weather enthusiasts flock to the mountains for some of the best conditions on Earth.

Shoulder Season (May, Sep & Oct)

May is the beginning of the Alaska cruise season in Vancouver, British Columbia, but accommodation rates are still reasonable and the weather can be moderate. September and October sees a few crowds coming to admire spectacular displays of Fall foliage from Ontario all through the Maritimes.

High Season (June – Aug)

From coast to coast, sunshine and warm weather prevail – Expect to pay 30-40% more for accommodation, enjoy extended attraction hours, outdoor festivities, and easier access to Canada’s National Park system.

Looking to top up that bucketlist? Check out these amazing Canadian experiences:

  1. Spend a romantic weekend overlooking Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest and most impressive waterfalls.
  2. Take a stroll through Montreal’s Old City and be sure to visit the city’s finest example of Gothic-revival architecture at  Notre-Dame Basilica
  3. Rent bicycles at the foot of Vancouver’s Denman street and cycle the seawall around Stanley Park, recently voted the world’s best urban park.
  4. Spoil yourself for a night or two at Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies”, the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and world UNESCO Heritage site. Once you’re all rested up, hit the road and explore Banff National Park and Lake Louise, it’s breathtaking.
  5. Visit the Yukon’s gargantuan Kluane National Park, home to Canada’s tallest peak (Mount Logan, an altitude 19,551 feet), icy blue glaciers, lush valleys, and a rugged wilderness that can only be seen from the skies above.
  6. It’s time to stop supporting zoos, and start supporting species in their natural habitat, so head north to Churchill Manitoba, and get up and personal with our beloved polar bears.
  7. Learn to surf in Ucluelet, on the rugged coast of Vancouver Island – The summers here are postcard perfect, and the winters bring some of the best storm-watching on Earth.
  8. Explore the idyllic Nova Scotian fishing town of Peggy’s Cove, home to Canada’s most famous lighthouse, and quintessential East Coast charm.
  9. Go on an archaeological dig for dinosaur bones in Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park, home to the richest dinosaur deposits in the world.
  10. Wander Canada’s version of the Galápagos, Haida Gwaii. Once named the Queen Charlotte Islands, this collection of 450 islands lying just 80km off the west coast of British Columbia is rich with First Nations culture and artistry, home to a plethora of flora and fauna species, and is one of the most fiercely protected nature reserves in Canada.

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