We start our top things to see in Canada by the city of Montreal, a virtually mandatory crossing on your trip! A very cosmopolitan and multicultural city, to have lived there for 3 years, I can tell you that we find in Montreal a lot of activities to do.
List of interesting Places in Montreal that you should not miss:
- The Plateau Mont-Royal with its typical houses with colorful facades and long stairs outside
- Mount Royal Park and its famous belvedere to enjoy a panoramic view of the city
- Old Montreal, the historic district
- The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and its impressive interior
- The Old Port for a walk along the St. Lawrence River
- Saint Joseph’s Oratory, an imposing building on one side of Mount Royal
Direction than the second city of Quebec province after Montreal, Quebec.
Here, no buildings like in Montreal, Quebec is a small town in the old, more European type than its big sister. Classified as World Heritage by Unesco, it has retained all its charm and has a unique cachet that gives it its old houses and small streets. Personally, I loved the very warm atmosphere that reigns there. Perhaps also that at that time it reminded me a bit of my country of origin, France.
Overview of places to see when visiting the Quebec city:
- Chateau Frontenac, the city’s icon and one of the most photographed hotels in the world
- The promenade of the Dufferin terrace offers a breathtaking view of the castle but also on the St.
- Lawrence River, the island of Orleans and the Lower Town of Quebec
- The Petit-Champlain district, the oldest in North America, with its illuminated pedestrian lanes in all seasons and it’s Place Royale where the city was founded in 1608
- The citadel of Quebec and its fortifications
- The Plains of Abraham, an immense green space where the Summer Festival of Quebec is organized each summer. It’s the biggest music festival in Canada, and there are great international artists such as
- Rolling Stones, Muse, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga etc … There’s something for everyone!
- A few minutes drive from Quebec City, I also advise you to see the falls of Montmorency. You probably do not know it but they are higher than Niagara Falls. Their flow is really impressive and they are all beautiful in winter when they are frozen. A bridge located at the top allows you to cross, feelings guaranteed!
Good even if the Montmorency falls are impressive, we must recognize that they are still less famous than the famous Niagara Falls.
For me, this is without a doubt one of my fondest memories in Canada and one of the attractions to really not miss on a tour in Canada.
Niagara Falls can be admired from every angle and in many ways:
By boat of course! put on your poncho (blue smurf the year of our visit!), climb on the boat and go for a good cold shower! The boat takes you to the foot of the falls where the roar of the water is striking and where you can feel all the power that emerges.
In the elevator. You will descend right behind the huge curtain of water to enjoy a unique view. Here too you may be a little wet. From the top of the Skylon Tower and its panoramic terrace
And for the “luxury” version, in a helicopter. It is certainly not given, but it is undoubtedly an experience you will remember all your life!
Toronto is not far from Niagara Falls, a good reason to visit Canada’s largest city. Toronto looks a lot like New York with its skyscrapers, many shopping districts and some with a more bohemian vibe.
The major attraction of Toronto remains undoubtedly to climb at the top of the CN Tower, so I tried it. Knowing that I’m dizzy, you can imagine that I found this impressive. First, you have to take the elevator and taking out a clear glass floor allows you to admire the view 1 13 floors down. Floor-to-ceiling windows also offer an exceptional panorama of the entire city.
If you need more to be impressed, no problem, I suggest you try the highest ride in the world. You will be able to walk on the edge of the tower simply attached by a harness.
List of other places of interest in Toronto:
- The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest natural history museum
- Canada’s Ripley Aquarium with 16,000 marine animals
- Historic distillery district with restaurants, art galleries, and trendy clothing stores
- The Ontario Museum of Fine Arts
- The Toronto Islands with their charming 1920s vacation homes
- The Thousand Islands
- During my visit to Niagara Falls and Toronto, I took the opportunity to take a boat trip to the
- Thousand Islands, a place less known in Canada.
- The best way to visit them is to opt for a cruise of one or more hours. The boats leave the cities of
- Rockport, Gananoque or Kingston. Most are tourist boats (about 50 people on board) but you can also take a private boat.
- The cruise will allow you to sail in the middle of some of the 1865 islands.
- Mont Tremblant
- Mont Tremblant one of the most famous places in Canada to admire the colors of Canadian autumn.
And yes, this is where you will find the iconic postcard landscapes, with trees in warm and colorful tones. The colors are from yellow to intense red. If you are lucky enough to be in Quebec in the fall, it is to integrate into your circuit!
- A hike from the bottom of the village up to the summit of the Mount allows you to admire the lake and its colorful trees with different views. It does not climb much!
- In winter, Mont Tremblant becomes one of the best ski resorts in Canada and is a delight for winter sports enthusiasts. There are a hundred tracks and a snow park of 7 hectares, with ramps and slides bars.
- Finally, in summer, you will find a summer toboggan run, mini golf and of course you can enjoy many water sports on the lake.
And if you did like me and visit the capital of Canada, Ottawa, during your stay?
A list of places to see in Ottawa:
- Parliament Hill, home of the federal government of Canada.
- Climb to the top of the Peace Tower for a 360 ° view
- Along the edges of the curtain canal, known to turn into the largest natural ice rink in the world in winter
- Discover the BY Market area, a very lively area all day long
Visit one of the many museums:
- The Canadian Museum of History, the Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum.
- Banff National Park
- Banff National Park offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. No doubt it has its place in my top things to do and see in Canada!
- This natural park is located in the Canadian Rockies, a mountain range known to be among the most impressive in the world. The landscapes are simply extraordinary.
Icefield Parkways / La promenade des glaciers
The Glacier Parkway (Highway 93) is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in Canada, and for some, in the world. I strongly advise you to integrate it into your program during your stay.
Over nearly 230 km it connects the cities of Banff and Jasper through national parks. Many parking and gazebo have been arranged to stop to admire the beautiful natural scenery and make beautiful pictures. Waterfalls, canyons, glaciers, rivers, lakes, nature lovers will be filled!
On the road, you can see:
- Bow Lake, one of the most popular
- Lake Peyto has the particularity of being in the shape of fox or wolf (according to the opinions)
- Waterfowl Lake
- The Columbia Glacier
- Tangle Falls
- The valley of the 5 lakes
- Jasper National Park
- The Jasper National Park is the largest part of the Rockies.
One of the main sites of this natural park is the Athabasca Falls, fed by the melting of the same glacier. You can also walk the glacier on foot or on a bus with huge wheels specially designed to ride on it.
Also not to be missed in the park:
- Maligne Canyon deep 50 meters
- Maligne Lake and Spirit Island in the middle
- Medicine Lake.
- For hikers, I recommend the Skyline Trail, which will make you discover the beautiful rocky landscapes on about 43 km.
In Canada, you will enjoy an unusual activity, the Rocky Mountaineer. Embark on one of the most beautiful train trips in the world and also one of the most expensive – I prefer to warn you right away.
The train takes in the beauty of the Canadian Rockies through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. You will be able to explore inaccessible places by car during the day and at night you will sleep in splendid hotels because the train only rolls by day to miss nothing of the landscapes. And as it is a luxury train, excellent meals are served on board!
Several itineraries are possible with different departure cities (Vancouver, Jasper) and varied stays (from 2 days to 3 weeks). The cheapest package, with 2 days of train starts at 1050 €.
Visit other national parks in Canada
I spoke of national parks of Banff and Jasper are the two most famous in Canada. But did you know that in Canada there are more than 45?
For all outdoor enthusiasts and hiking, Canada is just THE ideal destination.
I propose a small overview of the most beautiful so that you can include some in your program of things to see:
- The Prince Edward Island National Park allows you to swim on one of its many sandy beaches
- Pacific Rim Nature Reserve is known for one of the best surf spots in Canada
- Bruce Peninsula National Park known for its turquoise waters
- Gros Morne National Park and its 100 km of hiking trails in the wilderness
- The Hautes-Terres-du-Cap-Breton National Park including the Skyline Trail will allow you to admire the sunset on the St. Lawrence River
- Mauricie National Park between Montreal and Quebec
- Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest in Canada
Vancouver is a great city to discover during a trip to Canada and regularly ranks among the top 5 most enjoyable cities in the world. Skilfully blending an urban center with beautiful natural landscapes, the city is full of things to do.
I give you some ideas to discover it well:
- Stroll in Stanley Park
- Go to Granville Island to stock up on local produce
- Cross the suspension bridge of Capilano, 70 meters above the river
- Browse the Seawall, a 22km waterfront promenade, a paradise for cyclists and joggers
- Visit the VanDusen Botanical Garden
- The Gaspe National Park
- The Gaspesie is a lighthouse region to visit, it is also increasingly tourist. Perhaps this is because of the
- National Geographic has been classifying it for years as one of Canada’s must-see destinations.
- Here are the main attractions that make Gaspésie famous :
- The Gaspesie National Park, an ideal area for hiking
- The rock pierced in front of the village of Percé (original no?)
- The gannet colony that lives on Bonaventure Island and from which you can get as close as possible
- Forillon National Park of Canada and its magnificent cliffs plunging into the sea
- The Gardens of Metis occupying more than 100 hectares
Observe whales in Canada
One of the most memorable activities to experience during your stay in Canada is to go whale watching.
The best place to try to see them is at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, Tadoussac specifically. The whales find plenty to eat and come back every year.
In Tadoussac, you will have the choice between several types of cruises: in a big boat, in the zodiac and even in a kayak for the bravest ones.
The most favorable period for this type of observation is from mid-May to October, but the whales are in greater numbers in September and October, so if you have the chance to be there at that time you will be able to certainly see some.
Calgary is a good stopover town for anyone wishing to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. Its location between the Canadian Rockies and the meadows gives it a unique attractiveness.
The city itself is very effervescent in all seasons, although it is best known for its annual Calgary Stampede Rodeo, held every summer in July for 10 days. The festival attracts more than a million people and is broadcast across Canada. On the program, a rodeo of course, but also shows concerts and a carnival. And especially every morning you can enjoy the breakfast of pancakes: everywhere in the city, pancakes are cooked and served for free and at will! Just for that, I love Calgary!
Other than that, in Calgary, do not forget to:
- You get to Winsport to a bobsled run or experience the longest zip line in North America
- Visit the historic Heritage Park village where you can board a steam train or paddle steamer
- Walk along the Bow River and stroll on St. Patrick’s Island
- Eat at Kensington Village which has lots of good restaurants
- Climb to the panoramic terrace of the Calgary Tower to enjoy the 360 ° view and walk on the glass floor
- Discover the Glenbow Museum to learn about the history of the region
- Take a picture of the Peace Bridge that lights up at night
Nova Scotia is a beautiful region of Canada that has kept all its authentic charm. Famous for its beautiful natural scenery but also for excellent seafood food, you will not be bored for a second while visiting this region on Canada’s east coast.
Overview of the main attractions of the region of Nova Scotia:
- Ride the 300 km of Cabot Trail to discover some of Nova Scotia’s finest coastal views
- Visit the city of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the most preserved colonial city in
- North America
- Discover the Capital of the Region, Halifax
- Hike through Cape Breton Highlands National Park to the cliff top to watch the sunset (a heck of a wedding proposal!)
- Go to the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse, a red and white lighthouse overlooking the bay to make the famous souvenir photo, emblematic of the region
- The Yukon
- Yukon is a less touristic destination in Canada. It is the dream if you want to stay off the beaten track in the country!
- The region offers beautiful wild landscapes where you will also feel like alone in the world. The opportunity also to discover peoples with fascinating culture and traditions, First Nations.
- A short list of things to see in the Yukon:
- Kluane National Park with Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada
- Whitehorse, the capital, the ideal starting point to visit the region
- Yukon Wildlife Sanctuary to observe caribou and bison in their natural environment
- The Miles Canyon with the hiking trails that borders it
- The hot springs of Takhini Hot Springs and their pools at 40 °
See Aurora Borealis in Canada
Your trip to Canada will give you the opportunity to discover a fascinating and marvelous spectacle: the aurora borealis that colors the sky in colorful hues.
For that, you will have to go to the North of the Country, closest to the magnetic pole, that is to say from 60 degrees of latitude. Winter is the season where you will have the best chance of seeing it because the sky must be clear and total darkness. And of course, you will have to watch because most occur between 10 pm and 3 am.
The most famous places to observe the aurora borealis are in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. You can also go northeast to Nunavuk and Nunavit on the territory of the Inuit.
To put the most chances on your side to witness this breathtaking phenomenon, you can consult this site which gives forecasts of aurora borealis in real time.
Snowmobiling in Canada
One of the most popular activities and a must during a tour in Canada is to go on a snowmobile ride. Canada has a network of marked trails where you can practice this sport safely. You will have the choice between several organized excursions, whether for a few hours or even a few days.
Most provinces in Canada offer this activity. However, if you are a beginner, choose the shores of the St. Lawrence River and the Charlevoix region, which has easy trails.
The Laurentians, La Lanaudière, La Mauricie, Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean, the Eastern Townships, and Gaspesie are all places where you can snowmobile.