Prince Harry and Meghan chose Canada as their recent family Christmas holiday destination, and it has made many curious about the appeal of the US’ northern, snowy, overly-nice neighbour. Canada is the second largest country in the world, and thus it’s not surprising that there are a multitude of vibrant cities, historical landmarks and natural wonders to see. Here’s a rundown of just a few of the most popular tourist must-see destinations.
Niagara and Montmorency Falls
Arguably the most famous Canadian attraction, Niagara Falls borders New York, just an hour outside Toronto. For over 100 years, the 57 meter drop has attracted tourists from around the globe. Standing 30 meters higher is Quebec’s lesser-known Montmorency Falls. You can view this natural wonder from several staircases, or for the truly brave, from a suspension bridge that traverses the crest of the falls.
The CN Tower
The Toronto skyline would be unrecognisable without the 553 meter tall silhouette of the CN Tower. The structure is eye catching enough from the city streets, even being lit up at night in various colours, but one can also venture up to its lookout deck and glass floor platform. Calm your vertigo with a meal from the panoramic rotating restaurant at the Tower’s summit.
Built in the late 1800’s, the Neo-Gothic edifice of Ottawa’s parliament buildings bears a striking resemblance to its British counterpart. The House of Commons and Senate are divided by the iconic Peace Tower, and the entire structure provides a fitting backdrop to the Centennial Flame, burning since 1966. In the summer, witness the changing of the guard on the front lawns, and take a stroll through the sculpture garden.
Since being one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, this ski resort town has become a popular tourist stop over. Nestled in the mountains a short drive from Vancouver, book accommodation one of Whistler’s famed ski resorts. The town is just as busy in the summer months, offering activities such as golf, mountain biking and nature hikes for those less inclined to blustery weather.
Old Montreal and Quebec
The picturesque quaint town of Old Montreal sits on the waterfront, and is the place to go for fine dining, luxury shopping, and the general feel of a step back in time. Wander through the old town’s various landmarks, including the 1870’s City Hall and the Notre Dame Basilica. Similarly, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Quebec is steeped in history and charm. Visit the roots of the original settlement in the Lower Town, or venture into the Upper Town to see the Citadel and Parque Historique de l’Artillerie.
Churchill’s Polar Bears
One of Canada’s most unique natural wonders is the annual polar bear migration from the Manitoba region, out onto the ice. The ideal season for polar bear sightings is usually in October and November while the majestic creatures await freezing temperatures before attempting their crossing.
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