Canada: Bon voyage!

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Editorial, General, UNESCO World Heritage

© George F.G. Stanley

© George F.G. Stanley

Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world and a population well over 36,5 million, Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country’s tourism is centred in the following (busiest) regions: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver/Whistler, Niagara Falls, Vancouver Island, Canadian Rockies, British Columbias Okanagan Valley, and the national capital region Ottawa. The large cities (cities in Canada) are known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites. There are 17 World Heritage sites in Canada, including one of the oldest, Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, and one of the newest, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of these 18 sites, 8 of them are Cultural Heritages and 10 are Natural Heritages. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories. Domestic and international tourism combined directly contributes 1% of Canada’s total GDP and supports 310,000 jobs in the country. Most visitors arriving to Canada in 2015 came from the following countries of residence: United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and India. Canada ist host to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Edmonton - West Edmonton Mall - Sea Life Caverns wing © Rowanlovescars/cc-by-sa-4.0

Edmonton – West Edmonton Mall – Sea Life Caverns wing © Rowanlovescars/cc-by-sa-4.0

Alberta is the western of the three Canadian Prairies provinces next to the Rocky Mountains. Its two major cities are Calgary, and Edmonton, the provincial capital. The Village of Stirling has close to 1,000 inhabitants. Being one of only three communities in Canada that are designated National historic status, tourism is a very important part of Stirling‘s economy. Edmonton is well known for West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, formerly the largest in the world. Edmonton is also known as Canada’s festival city, with over 60 festivals happening year round. Edmonton is home to the area of Old Strathcona, a historical district with boutique shopping, music, arts, and many restaurants. Another world-class attraction is the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, housing the largest collection of dinosaur fossils under one roof in the world. Alberta also contains significant natural scenery, including 5 of Canada’s 18 UNESCO World heritage sites. These are Banff and Jasper National Parks, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. In the southeast, Alberta shares with Saskatchewan the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, a geographic region of importance both to aboriginal history and to the North-West Mounted Police. Alberta has no provincial sales tax.

Alberta is an important skiing destination for tourists. It has several world-class ski resorts. Canada Olympic Park, with its downhill ski and ski jumping facilities, is located in the city of Calgary.

Read more on Alberta Tourism, – Alberta, Wikitravel Alberta, Wikivoyage Alberta and Wikipedia Alberta.

Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria © - Brandon Godfrey/cc-by-sa-2.0

Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria © – Brandon Godfrey/cc-by-sa-2.0

British Columbia
British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province and touches the Pacific Ocean. The winters in the coastal areas are relatively warm in comparison to the rest of Canada. British Columbia is one of the three Canadian Maritimes provinces and one of four Atlantic Provinces. British Columbia is divided into 6 regions: Vancouver, Coast & Mountains, Thompson Okanagan, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, and Vancouver Island. British Columbia (BC) is Canada’s most mountainous province and has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Alpine skiing is a major draw for the province. The province has about 33 large ski resorts spread out from Vancouver Island to the Alberta border. Whistler nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains, is consistently ranked as the #1 ski resort destination in North America and co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Vancouver, the largest Canadian metropolitan area west of Toronto, is one of Canada’s most multi-cultural cities. There is a large community of people of Asian origin. Vancouver is a harbour city and provides beautiful landscapes of mountains and ocean. Sites of interest in Vancouver are Capilano Suspension Bridge (a 136-metre-long (446 ft) bridge 70 m above the Capilano River), Stanley Park (a large forested park near downtown, the largest city owned park in Canada. Eight million visitors each year), Granville Island (a small island near downtown with a public market, marina, shopping and theaters), Chinatown (one of the largest in North America), Robson Street (a bustling upscale shopping district with a good selection of restaurants), Gastown (a mix of tourist-oriented businesses, restaurants and nightclubs), Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver Museum, and Science World at Telus World of Science.

Victoria located on scenic Vancouver Island, is a major Canadian tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year. Popular activities for tourists are whale watching, enjoying the busking in the inner harbour area and visiting world-famous Butchart Gardens. Long Beach (Pacific Rim National Park) and the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet are popular tourist areas. Tofino, a town of only a few thousand, hosts more than one million visitors each year. Many new resorts are being built in the area to accommodate surfers, beach lovers, storm watchers and golfers. Whale watching is common along the coastal areas of BC as is Pacific storm watching along the west coast of Vancouver Island during the winter months. Wine tours are common in the Okanagan Valley, BC’s wine and orchard country. The Okanagan valley area has some of the best beaches and warmest summer temperatures in Canada, as well as Canada’s only hot desert around the town of Osoyoos. There are 53 golf courses and two major ski resorts in the valley. British Columbia is also a popular location for the production of many Hollywood films, it is the third largest film centre in North America only trailing California and New York.

Read more on British Columbia Tourism, – British Columbia, Wikitravel British Columbia, Wikivoyage British Columbia and Wikipedia British Columbia.

Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg © Wpg guy/cc-by-sa-3.0

Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg © Wpg guy/cc-by-sa-3.0

Manitoba was the 5th province to enter confederation in 1870. Manitoba is the eastern of the three Canadian Prairies provinces. The province is home to many lakes and rivers with over 14.5% of the land area covered by lakes. This offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, and some of the finest beaches in North America. The province is a four-season travel destination offering cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities, as well as many miles of groomed ski-doo trails. Churchill on the Hudson Bay is a popular attraction due to the large polar bear and beluga whale population. The capital city Winnipeg, with a population of near 700 000, offers many cultural and artistic events, museums and year-round festivals. Other cities with more than 10,000 people are Brandon, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Steinbach.

Sites of interest in Winnipeg are Assiniboine Park and Zoo, Costume Museum of Canada, Fort Gibraltar, La Maison Gabrielle Roy, Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum, Dalnavert Museum, Louis Riel statue (near the Manitoba legislative building), Manitoba Children’s Museum, Manitoba Museum, Naval Museum of Manitoba, Royal Canadian Mint, The Fire Fighters Museum, Transcona Historical Museum, The Forks, Upper Fort Garry, Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Winnipeg Railway Museum.

Other sites of interest in the Province are Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon, Lower Fort Garry in St. Andrews, Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin, Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum in Austin, Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum in Elkhorn, Marine Museum of Manitoba in Selkirk, Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli, Oak Hammock Marsh in Stonewall, and Sam Waller Museum in The Pas.

Read more on Manitoba Tourism, – Manitoba, Wikitravel Manitoba, Wikivoyage Manitoba and Wikipedia Manitoba.

Old Government House in Fredericton © Laurenp3412/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old Government House in Fredericton © Laurenp3412/cc-by-sa-3.0

New Brunswick/Nouveau-Brunswick
New Brunswick is renowned for its sandy beaches especially along the Northumberland Strait which in summer has the warmest water north of the US state of Virginia.

Saint John, The largest city in New Brunswick and the oldest Incorporated in Canada at the mouth of the Saint John River. Steeped with history from Irish immigration to a great fire in the 19th century. The port city has numerous Victorian houses and amazing 18th and 19th century architecture in the Uptown area. The Saint John port welcomes close to 80 cruise ships a year with sites including: The Bay of Fundy, Saint John River, Partridge Island, Reversing Falls, Market Square, Saints Rest Beach, New Brunswick Museum, Saint John Jewish Historical Museum, and Prince William Street.

Moncton, the province’s second largest city and the recreational centre of the province, with tourist attractions such as Magnetic Hill Zoo, Casino New Brunswick, Magic Mountain, and Tidal bore, twice daily on Petitcodiac River.

Fredericton, the province’s capital and third largest city, is a cultural and educational centre housing the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, and is filled with neighbourhoods featuring large Victorian-style homes.

Other attractions include: Cape Enrage, Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick Potato Museum, and Whale watching and the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island are also draws.

Read more on New Brunswick Tourism, – New Brunswick, Wikitravel New Brunswick, Wikivoyage New Brunswick and Wikipedia New Brunswick.

Jelly Bean Row and waterfront in St John © - Kenny Louie/cc-by-2.0

Jelly Bean Row and waterfront in St John © – Kenny Louie/cc-by-2.0

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador attracts many tourists because of its icebergs and fjords. Newfoundland and Labrador is one of four Atlantic Provinces. It was settled by Leif Ericsson, an Icelandic sailor, in 1000 A.D. Remains of this settlement can still be found in L’Anse aux Meadows, northern Newfoundland. Europeans settled in 1497, headed by an expedition by John Cabot. The province’s capital, St. John’s, is the oldest city in North America, founded in 1497 by John Cabot. It contains many historical locations, such as Cabot Tower, receiver of the first wireless trans-Atlantic message in 1901. Steeped in a long, proud history and home to a rich, unique culture – St. John’s residents are known for their hospitality, and their city is a major travel destination in Newfoundland both domestically and for foreign travellers. In recent years, St. John’s has become a popular stop for cruise ships originating from ports in Canada, the United States and Europe. The cruise industry has brought tens of thousands of tourists to the St. John’s area. In the city’s downtown core, George Street, renowned for its nightlife, is home to the most bars and pubs per square foot in North America. Just outside St. John’s lies Cape Spear, the most eastern point in North America. From this point, London in the UK is closer than Vancouver.

Read more on Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, – Newfoundland and Labrador, Wikitravel Newfoundland and Labrador, Wikivoyage Newfoundland and Labrador and Wikipedia Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yellowknife from Bush Pilots Monument © Robinsoncrusoe

Yellowknife from Bush Pilots Monument © Robinsoncrusoe

Northwest Territories
At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km² (442,000 sq mi) and population of 45,000, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967. The Northwest Territories are bordered by Canada’s two other territories, Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west, and by the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to the south.

Among the festivals in the region are the Great Northern Arts Festival, the Snowking Winter Festival, Folk on the Rocks music festival in Yellowknife, and Rockin the Rocks.

Northwest Territories attractions include Aurora Borealis, Northern Life Museum, Yellowknife Historical Society, Wood Buffalo National Park, Tuktut Nogait National Park, Nahanni National Park Reserve, South Nahanni River, Canol Heritage Trail, Aulavik National Park, Coppermine River, and Mackenzie River. During winter, many international visitors go to Yellowknife to watch aurora. Aulavik National Park is in the northern part of Northwest Territories.

Read more on Northwest Territories Tourism, – Northwest Territories, Wikitravel Northwest Territories, Wikivoyage Northwest Territories and Wikipedia Northwest Territories.

Halifax at night © Alexk001/cc-by-sa-3.0

Halifax at night © Alexk001/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is known for its lovely scenery; most renowned is the Cape Breton Highlands. The historic 18th century Fortress Louisbourg is also a major draw. Nova Scotia is one of the three Canadian Maritimes provinces and one of four Atlantic Provinces.

Halifax, the provincial capital, has several major attractions, such as the Pier 21 museum, Citadel Hill, and the Public Gardens. The Scotiabank Centre is home to numerous events both sport-related and otherwise, such as the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Downtown Halifax is considered the prime tourism district in Halifax, with most historic attractions located here as well as the waterfront harbourwalk, a continuous 3 km (2 mi) stretch of boardwalk home to street vendors, entertainers, the Casino Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Downtown Halifax is also the location of several major hotels.

Read more on Nova Scotia Tourism, – Nova Scotia, Wikitravel Nova Scotia, Wikivoyage Nova Scotia and Wikipedia Nova Scotia.

Iqlauit waterfront © Sebastian Kasten/cc-by-sa-3.0

Iqlauit waterfront © Sebastian Kasten/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nunavut is probably the most expensive of all the tourist destinations in Canada. Tourism in Nunavut focuses on outdoor activities and culture of the local Inuit, the indigenous people of Nunavut. Wildlife watching is a popular tourist attraction, as the territory is home to a number of wildlife and bird sanctuaries. It is possible to spot walrus, polar bears, a large variety of birds and belugas throughout Nunavut. Outdoor adventure activities are also popular. Nunavut has a wide and lengthy river system, meaning that there are a large number of canoeing and kayaking opportunities to suit experienced travellers. Nunavut’s vast expanse of uninhabited territory offers many opportunities for hiking and camping. However, the region’s often extreme conditions and remote location often necessitates a guide, even for experienced campers.

Attractions in Nunavut include Auyuittuq National Park, Quttinirpaaq National Park, Sirmilik National Park, Ukkusiksalik National Park, and Ovayok Territorial Park.

Read more on Nunavut Tourism, – Nunavut, Wikitravel Nunavut, Wikivoyage Nunavut and Wikipedia Nunavut.

Harbourfront and Downtown Toronto © Wladyslaw/cc-by-sa-3.0

Harbourfront and Downtown Toronto © Wladyslaw/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ontario is the most populous and second largest province in Canada. Southern Ontario is home to the Nation’s capital, Ottawa and Canada’s largest city, Toronto, which is the provincial capital and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The forests and numerous lakes of Central Ontario and Northern Ontario also provide popular hiking and camping destinations.

Sites of interest in Ottawa are List of attractions in Ottawa, Parliament Hill, National War Memorial, Rideau Canal, National Art Gallery, Chateau Laurier, ByWard Market, Canadian War Museum, Canadian Aviation Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, Canada Agriculture Museum, TD Place Stadium, and Canadian Tire Centre.
Parliament Hill in Ottawa © Taxiarchos228/cc-by-sa-3.0

Parliament Hill in Ottawa © Taxiarchos228/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sites of interest in Toronto are List of attractions in Toronto, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Fort York, Air Canada Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Ontario Place, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Eaton Centre, St. Lawrence Market, Queen Street West, Bata Shoe Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Kensington Market, Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Canada’s Wonderland, and Hotels in Toronto.

Other sites of interest in Ontario are List of attractions in Hamilton, Ontario Tourist Routes, Science North and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Marineland, Muskoka Lakes, Algonquin Park, Fallsview Indoor Water Park in Niagara Falls, Fort Henry, Kingston’s Old Town, Upper Canada Village, The Thousand Islands, Boldt Castle, Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Pelee Island.

Read more on Ontario Tourism, – Ontario, – Eastern Ontario, – Lake Ontario & Thousand Islands, – Northern Ontario, – Southwestern Ontario, Wikitravel Ontario, Wikivoyage Ontario and Wikipedia Ontario.

Charlottetown © MTLskyline/cc-by-sa-3.0

Charlottetown © MTLskyline/cc-by-sa-3.0

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the birthplace of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s character, Anne of Green Gables, and a recreation of her literary home serves as a museum to the character. PEI is also famous around the world for its potato farms and rich red mud beaches. Prince Edward Island is one of the three Canadian Maritimes provinces and one of four Atlantic Provinces. The provincial economy is dominated by the seasonal industries of agriculture, tourism, and the fishery. The province is limited in terms of heavy industry and manufacturing, though the McCain’s food conglomerate runs expansion operations from PEI. Many of the province’s coastal communities rely upon shellfish harvesting, particularly lobster fishing as well as oyster fishing and mussel farming.

The island’s cultural traditions of art, music and creative writing are supported through the public education system. There is an annual arts festival, the Charlottetown Festival, hosted at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. There is an annual arts festival, the Island Fringe Festival that takes place around Charlottetown. An annual jazz festival, the P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival. is a one-week-long series of concerts taking place at several venues including Murphy’s Community Center, outdoor stages, and churches in Charlottetown.

Water sports are very popular on Prince Edward Island during the summer, perhaps because the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait are warmer than the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of nearby New England.

Read more on Prince Edward Island Tourism, – Prince Edward Island, Wikitravel Prince Edward Island, Wikivoyage Prince Edward Island and Wikipedia Prince Edward Island.

Quebec City with Château Frontenac © Datch78/cc-by-3.0

Quebec City with Château Frontenac © Datch78/cc-by-3.0

Quebec, a majority francophone province, is a major tourist draw. Quebec City is a taste of old France in the new world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Montreal, the second largest francophone city in the world, has several tourist attractions.

Sites of interest in Montreal Olympic Stadium, Juste pour rire, Old Montreal, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Opéra de Montréal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McCord Museum, Crescent Street, St. Lawrence Boulevard, Canadian Grand Prix, McGill University, Mount Royal, Parc Jean-Drapeau, Biosphère, Redpath Museum, Canadian Centre for Architecture, La Ronde, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, and Underground City.

Sites of interest in Quebec City are Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée de la civilisation, Musée de l’Amérique française, Espace Félix Leclerc, Musée naval de Québec, Choco-Musée Erico, Musée des Ursulines de Québec, Musée du Royal 22e Régiment/La Citadelle de Québec, Musée de l’Abeille, Plains of Abraham Exhibition Centre, Parc Aquarium du Québec, Jardin zoologique du Québec, and Château Frontenac.

Read more on Quebec Tourism, – Québec City, – Montréal, Wikitravel Quebec, Wikivoyage Quebec and Wikipedia Quebec.

Scarth Street in Regina © Grahampurse/cc-by-sa-4.0

Scarth Street in Regina © Grahampurse/cc-by-sa-4.0

Saskatchewan offers two major cities, Regina and Saskatoon. Regina is home to one of Canada’s most significant attractions, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Academy at Depot Division where visitors can view the Sergeant Major’s Parade held weekdays and the seasonal Sunset Retreat Ceremonies. Regina is also home to the RCMP Heritage Centre which opened in May 2007. Saskatoon is home to the largest branch of the Western Development Museum, which houses important artefacts and recreations of the early settlement of the Canadian prairies.

Saskatchewan, the central of the three Canadian Prairies provinces, also has the most golf courses and water bodies per capita of any other province. Statistically the warmest summers with the most sunlight hours in Canada occur in Saskatoon. Natural attractions include Cypress Provincial Park, the Great Sand Hills, Scotty the Dinosaur (the largest intact Tyrannosaurus Rex found in North America).

Read more on Saskatchewan Tourism, – Saskatchewan, Wikitravel Saskatchewan, Wikivoyage Saskatchewan and Wikipedia Saskatchewan.

Whitehorse © - Bo Mertz/cc-by-sa-2.0

Whitehorse © – Bo Mertz/cc-by-sa-2.0

With its history of the Klondike Gold Rush, First Nations culture and spectacular wilderness, the Yukon Territory has an extensive tourism industry, welcoming over 300,000 visitors a year. Tourist attractions include the gold rush town of Dawson City, Kluane National Park and Reserve and a number of attractions in Whitehorse and other communities. Opportunities for wilderness adventure tourism and ecotourism abound (hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, dog-sledding), but the territory is also served by a well-developed road network, with most places accessible by road.

Read more on Museums in Canada, Yukon Tourism, – Yukon, Wikitravel Yukon, Wikivoyage Yukon and Wikipedia Yukon (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.

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