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Introducing Canada

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Bow River Valley, Banff National Park © Travel Alberta

Canada Travel Guide

The vast frontier of Canada is a land of windswept prairies, towering mountains, fields of glaciers, pristine lakes and rocky coastlines. Filled with diverse wildlife like wolves, moose, bears, eagles and other animals, the Canadian landscape is one of great natural beauty and provides ample opportunity for outdoor sports like hiking, canoeing, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, and even dog sledding.

While the image of Canada in most people's minds is one of untouched wilderness, Canada's cities are just as colourful. Whether you'd like to attend a rodeo in Calgary, marvel at the museums in Ottawa, browse the restaurants and art galleries of Toronto's Distillery District, or have a picnic in Vancouver's Stanley Park, the cosmopolitan cities spread across Canada offer a range of attractions that will please any traveller.

Canada is often thought of as a poor imitation of the United States, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The famously friendly locals provide a warm welcome to tourists, and anyone heading off to a holiday in Canada will soon discover it has a unique personality all its own.

Best time to visit Canada

The weather in Canada is extreme, ranging from frigidly cold in winter to uncomfortably hot in the peak of summer; so the best time to visit Canada is in late spring and early autumn when temperatures are more moderate. May and September are the best times to go for smaller crowds as well, as few American and Canadian families travel at these times. Read more on Canada's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Canada

- Stroll the cobblestone streets of Vancouver's historic Gastown district.

- Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

- See the enormous collections at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

- Take in the panoramic view of Toronto from the top of the CN Tower.

What to do in Canada

- Ride the Maid of the Mist to get a close view of the famous Niagara Falls.

- Get a taste of French-Canadian culture in Winnipeg's St. Boniface district.

- Hike on the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park.

- Go skiing at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.

Getting to Canada

There are dozens of direct cheap flights to Canada from the US and the UK, mostly to major hubs like Toronto Airport and Montreal Trudeau. As most cities in Canada are close to the US border, driving to Canada is a popular way to get there as well.

Read

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Klee Wyck by Emily Carr, and Consolation by Michael Redhill

Listen

Neil Young, Celine Dion, and Alanis Morissette

Watch

Strange Brew (1983), One Week (2008), and Toronto Stories (2008)

Drink

Ice wine or ice cider from Ontario and British Columbia.

Eat

Pancakes with maple syrup and fresh British Columbia salmon.

What to Buy

Hockey memorabilia and Native American art.

What to Pack

The warmest clothes possible (when travelling in winter).

What's on in Canada

The biggest rodeo in the world takes place each summer when Calgary hosts the famous Calgary Stampede.

Did you know?

Ninety percent of Canada's population lives within 100 miles (160km) of the US border.

A final word

An untamed wilderness dotted with cosmopolitan cities, a holiday in Canada really is the best of both worlds.

Become our Canada Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Canada travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Canada or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

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