Canada is a beautiful country filled with nature and culture. If you’re planning a trip to The Great White North, take a look at our picks for the best spots to visit.
- Visit the tourist traps
Toronto has an impressive gambling scene to explore. The Casino Woodbine offers loads of live tables full of blackjack, poker, roulette, and over 3,000 slot machines. Or you could visit one of their three restaurants and play Crazy Time Live or Fortnite online, so long as you don’t ruin your appetite.
Where else would you get a stunning 360-degree view of a city? Toronto’s CN tower is the obvious option here, but for a good reason. You can dine in the famous revolving restaurant at the top, or step outside for the CN Tower Edgewalk, allowing you to walk around the building by harness 356 meters off the ground.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the historic gem of Canada, Old Quebec is another area to explore. Visit the country’s most historic buildings that look like something out of an old fable.
- Get in touch with nature
The rushing waters and expansive view of Canada’s most famous natural attraction, Niagara Falls, is an experience that will have you feeling very humble. Against the crashing falls of the water down 57 meters, you will feel very small and will not be heard easily.
There is also the Banff National Park in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Turquoise lakes, snow-capped peaks, and beautiful glaciers are all easy to find in this truly stunning park. Stroll around the shores of Lake Louise, take a scenic drive, or drive along the Icefields Parkway.
- Visit the festivals
The Toronto International Film Festival may not be the first thing you think of when you hear “festival,” but it is by far the country’s biggest and most well-known festival. Stars and directors from all over will arrive to aid the launch of their movies with Q&As held during the screening, creating a red carpet event that will last for about a week. It’s rare to hear an acclaimed film talk about its impact without mentioning its reaction at the TIFF. This year’s event will feature names like Benedict Cumberbatch, Kenneth Branagh, and Kristen Steward.
For the traditionalists looking for a music festival, there are many, many options to browse. Held on Parc Jean-Drapeau Island, the Osheaga festival is back for 2021 with a lineup led by Charlotte Cardin, Jessie Reyez, and Half Moon Run. Past names to the festival include Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Janelle Monae. Dig out your fringed top and body glitter and dance the weekend away in this 3-day event.
- Take in the French influence
The influence of the settlers of France is most obvious in Quebec. Once considered the capital of New France, its distinctive architecture, music, and food all point to a more cultured experience. Not to mention the language, which is far more accepted than other English-speaking countries’ attempts.
Several religious orders like convents and schools are decorated with roughcast walls, pavilions, and bell turrets which can be seen on Quebec’s city streets. The 17th-century architecture is still standing beautifully untouched, making for a journey that feels like stepping back in time. Take a look at the Basilica Notre Dame de Quebec for the oldest parish church north of Mexico in the new world.
But food is the best way to get a “taste” of culture, so take a scan of the “sides” section of any menu and see the poutine: fries covered in gravy and topped with cheese. Or try a meat pie like tourières and pate a la râpure, which shares a few ingredients with an English roast dinner. And no Canadian experience would be complete without a jar of maple syrup.