Best things to do in Canada
Find out more about those top places in Canada
Sprawling along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, Canada’s largest and most diverse city Toronto is one of North America’s most livable cities. Toronto’s main attractions, including the iconic CN Tower, are nearly all located in Downtown or Uptown while the city’s famously efficient public transit system means even the furthest suburbs are within striking distance. Toronto is undoubtedly a city on the up. Approaching from the water, the city’s futuristic skyline has almost entirely been built in the last two decades and the remnants of Toronto’s old town are becoming less visible. Despite this, the legacy of the city’s Victorian heyday is being revitalized with the opening of warehouse nightclubs, pop up restaurants in old factories and, most notably, 401 Richmond, a vast artistic complex houses in an early-20th century lithographers.
The CN Tower was named for the company that constructed the tower and was originally referred to as Canadian National. This 553.3 m high communications and observation tower was constructed with concrete and completed in 1976. It can be found in downtown Toronto.
The Royal Ontario Museum is the largest museum in Canada and one of the largest in the entire continent of North America. It is a museum of art, world culture, and natural history and is located in Toronto. Every year, the Royal Ontario Museum receives over one million visitors which makes it the most visited in Canada.
The Distillery District where only pedestrians are allowed can be found in some pretty old 19th century buildings that used to house a large whiskey distillery. This district draws a huge number of tourists to its cobblestone streets that have bars, boutiques, and hip indie restaurants lining the entire length. For art lovers, there are outdoor sculptures, galleries, music, dance and various stage performances in the many theaters that can be found here. The annual Toronto Christmas Market is an event that takes place on these streets in December.
A chain of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario, south of mainland Toronto comprises the Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands are made up of only the groups of islands that can be found in the western part of Lake Ontario. Similarly, they provide some form of shelter for the Toronto Harbor and can be found just offshore from the city center.
Ripley's Aquarium is home to over 20,000 marine animals and is the largest indoor aquarium in Canada. Ripley's Aquarium of Canada boasts of the world's most extensive jellyfish exhibits and there are daily live dive shows put up here. Similarly, you can find horseshoe crabs, bamboo shark touch pools and stingray while on your tour of the Aquarium.
A full-day trip from Toronto for a tour of the beautiful Niagara Falls is one that no tourist should miss out on. Enjoy a taste of different local wines, a ride on the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, take in the sights on the Niagara Whirlpool and Niagara-on-the-Lake alongside some other random sightseeing.
The Bata Show Museum remains one of the foremost cultural landmarks in Toronto and is a world-renowned institution with a massive reputation for meeting and surpassing global standards. It features an extensive and awe-inspiring collection of footwear which is one of the larger in the world. Designed by Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, the building is shaped like a shoe box and embraces you with its unique architectural design filled with light. Apart from exhibiting footwear, the museum also collects, researches and preserves them as well. Take a tour of this impressive museum and check out the four innovative gallery spaces with rotating shows and artifacts. Also, a documentary of a 4,500-year footwear history titled "All About Shoes" is in order as well.
This tour is especially for lovers of great and exquisite wines. While on this tour, a visit to 3 boutique wineries avails you the opportunity to taste Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Riesling and Cabernet franc alongside some other wonderful wines. A tour of the wineries and cheese pairing as you meet the various teams in charge of making these wines are some other activities you would do on this tour. Walk the streets of Niagara on the Lake and check out the various landmarks and luxury shops after enjoying a delicious local lunch at an award-winning winery.
Perched above the placid waters of the Ottawa River, the Canadian capital of the same name is often overlooked by visitors to Canada favoring the much brasher city of Toronto. Despite being the capital, Ottawa is in many ways Canada’s understated hidden gem with a clutch of national museums and a gothic revival parliament building to rival that in London. The city center spreads out around the gargoyle-clad parliament building, which sits astride the leafy Parliament Hill, while museums celebrating the best of Canada pepper the cityscape. Indeed, the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum will fascinate those seeking to learn more about the history of the maple-leaf nation.
Commonly referred to as The Hill, Parliament Hill can be found in downtown Ottawa and is an area of Crown land that is specifically located on the southern banks of the Ottawa River. As its name denotes, this location is home to the Parliament of Canada and some other elements that have symbolic importance to the nation of Canada. The buildings there also reflect the Gothic style which you would see while on a tour of the place.
The National Gallery of Canada is located within a granite and glass building on Sussex drive. This is Canada's first art gallery and it offers an amazing view of the Parliament Hill on which the Canadian Parliamentary buildings are located.
Byward market encompasses the entire sites where Canadians lead exciting lives. This ever-busy market houses various specialty food shops where maple-infused chocolate and Canadian cheese are for sale as well as outdoor farmers' market stalls. It is also notable for its resplendent street art and stores that are filled with clothes and crafts made by local designers. Eateries that serve BeaverTails which are fried pastries that are shaped in a beaver's tail and Sharwarma are scattered along the market length. Nightlife comprises exclusive gay bars and rustic taverns which you should check out while on your night tour of the market.
The sights along the Ottawa River are indeed a beauty to behold and are up to 55 in number. While cruising along the Ottawa River during your tour, ensure that you check out sites such as the Parliament Buildings, the Chateau Laurier Hotel, the Prime Minister's House and the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum was specially constructed to house aeronautical exhibits of great historical importance and symbolic value. It also houses civilian and military and offers biplane rides which you should try out on your tour.
An exciting experience is guaranteed during your experience of the original outdoor Haunted Tour of Ottawa. A night out with great tour guides who are also the best of local storytellers with stories to make your jaw drop. Explore this unknown side of the capital city of Canada.
Vancouver announced itself as one of the world’s most striking cities with the 2010 Winter Olympics, which saw the futuristic metropolis ringed by snow dusted mountains and icy fjords broadcast across the globe. While the secret is well and truly out, Vancouver remains Canada’s hidden gem through its geographical isolation from the country’s other major cities. Located in British Columbia, Vancouver looks across the Pacific Ocean rather than towards Atlantic Canada for inspiration. Today, the city is home to North America’s best Asian dining scene, which, although scattered across majority ethnic-minority suburbs, is centered on the cobbled streets of Gastown and Chinatown. What is more, Vancouver is a gateway to the great outdoors with Grouse Mountain just a short trip on public transport away from the city center and the expansive vistas of the Sea to Sky Highway, one of the world’s most spectacular drives, starting in the city’s mountainous eastern suburbs.
Stanley Park has a very long history and was one of the first places to be discovered and explored within the city. This 405-hectare public park is almost completely surrounded by waters of the English Bay and Vancouver Harbor. It also borders the downtown of Vancouver in British Columbia.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge extends to about140 meters in length and has a height of 70 meters above the river. This simple suspension bridge in the District of North Vancouver crosses the Capilano River. It attracts over 800,000 visitors every year and requires an admission fee since it is part of a private facility.
Gastown is well-known for its Victorian buildings that house decor stores, indie art galleries and a number of souvenir shops alongside its famous whistling steam clock. For food and drink, there are various restaurants and cocktail lounges that serve both local and gourmet cuisines. The Railtown district is where different edgy fashion studios can be found while hip eateries dot the neighboring Downtown Eastside landscape.
A tour of the Vancouver Aquarium is bound to leave you astounded at just how much there is to learn from an aquarium. Get a close look at some creepy crawlers from the Amazon or some Sea Lion show. For an adorable sight, you could catch some Sea otters holding hands and educative cum entertaining programs that include the 50,000+ animals that live in the aquarium.
Butchart Gardens can be found in Brentwood Bay close to Victoria on Vancouver Island. It is a group of floral display gardens and receives over one million visitors every year. The Butchart Gardens have been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Embark on a ride to the famous Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and drink in the sights of Howe Sound alongside coastal rainforests and mountains at the top. Similarly, go on to explore the Shannon Falls and Whistler Village while enjoying the various scenic landscapes from Sea to Sky Highway on your exhilarating tour.
Quebec’s largest and Canada’s second largest city, Montreal fuses the best of the old and new worlds. The gas lamp lit cobbled streets of Vieux-Montreal rival that of nearby Quebec City with their intoxicating European ambiance and French bistros while the city’s position as western Canada’s economic and cultural powerhouse means it is a bastion of modern multiculturalism in a deeply traditional Francophone province. Undoubtedly the city’s main draw is the old town, which includes the eye-catching Notre-Dame Basilica and the buzzing Rue St. Denis. However, beyond this Gallic charm is a vibrant and modern city with a clutch of challenging art galleries, such as L’Arsenal, clustered in the up and coming neighborhood of Griffintown.
The most significant fact about the Mount Royal is that it is where the name 'Montreal' was gotten. The Mount Royal which is located in Montreal City, west of Downtown Montreal in Quebec is a large volcanic-related Hill or small mountain. It is a part of the Monteregian Hills which can be found between the Appalachian Mountains and the Laurentians. An electric fat tire bike tour of the Mount Royal is not to be missed.
Located in the historic and symbolic district of Old Montreal, 100 Notre-Dame Street West right on the corner of Saint Sulpice Street, this Basilica has its street named after it. The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal is one of the best maintained Basilicas in Canada.
This museum was established in 1860 by a group of Montreal art patrons and collectors as the Art Association of Montreal. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is one of the premier museums in North America with an encyclopedic collection to its name. This encyclopedic collection boasts over 43,000 works from times past to this present age which makes it stand out in Canada.
The Montreal Tower Observatory is a puzzling edifice mainly due to its dramatic incline. However, a tour of this structure helps you better understand the mechanism by which this building still stands. Basically, the top of the tower and a mass of 8,000 tons which is a permanent attachment alongside a solid concrete base that is buried 10 meters below ground. The base boasts of a mass of 145,009 tons.
The Old Port of Montreal dates to as far back as 1611 where it is recorded that it was already used as a trading post by the French for trades. It stretches over 2 km along the Saint Lawrence River and hosts about six million tourists annually. Montreal's Port activities were shifted to the present day Port of Montreal which is in the borough of Mercier - Hochelega-Maisonneuve. The Old Port was then redeveloped in the early 1990s to become the popular tourist attraction it is today.
Quebec City is unlike any city in North America and not just because of its majority Francophone population. Ringed by fortifications that were begun by the French in the 1750s and completed by the British a century later, Quebec’s vast city walls and gun batteries were designed to defend against an American invasion that never came. While the city walls today no longer serve a practical purpose, they add a touch of old world charm to the streets of Quebec City and separate the spectacular La Citadelle from the city’s downtown. Beyond the fortifications, Quebec City’s dominant landmark is Le Chateau Frontenac, the elegant claimant to the title of world’s most photographed hotel, while beneath the hotel fittingly Parisian boulevards stretch alongside the St Lawrence River.
Old Quebec is not called 'Old' simply because of old buildings, it is called Old Quebec due to its richness in museums and historic landmarks. With fortifications dating back to the 17th-century binding it, Old Quebec is divided into two - upper town and lower town. The upper town is home to the 1800s Citadelle fort, Terrasse Dufferin which is a wide boardwalk that overlooks the city and the grand Chãteau Frontenac hotel. With a funicular connecting to Lower Town and the Quartier Petit Champlain, a walking tour of this location is in order. A 1688 stone church, some charming boutiques, and Place Royale square can be found on Rue du Petit Champlain.
The original design of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was to be a stopover for railway travelers and was built in the late 19th century. The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was built by William Van Home, who was the general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway at the time.
With its location only 15 minutes from the Old Quebec, the Montmorency Falls Park presents itself as an outstanding and excellent historic site. The landscape is dominated by the fall which is 83 meters high and there are many ways to feel the strength of the waterfall depending on where you approach from.
Also known as La Citadelle, the Citadella of Quebec can be found atop cap Diamant and it adjoins the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. This location is to the present day, the secondary official residence of both the Governor General of Canada and the Canadian monarch. A private tour with a local guarantees that you discover all the sights there are to see.
When exiting the Tadoussac Marina or Baie-Ste-Catherine Pier, you would happen upon these elegant mammals right in their natural Marine habitat. To enjoy this particular tour, get on a Zodiac inflatable boat and have a great time watching the Whales in the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park.
Quebec City is home to a special outdoor/indoor aquarium that overlooks the St. Lawrence River. This exclusive aquarium features indoor displays of various aquatic animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles and some invertebrates. Meanwhile, the outdoor habitats house walruses, arctic foxes, polar bears, and seals.