Canada is a great choice for a vacation, whether you’re travelling solo, as part of a couple, or as a family. With a total area of nearly four million square miles, it’s the world’s second-largest country, which means that there’s a huge array of things to see and do there. This variety can also be found in the cities and towns that stretch across Canada from the Pacific to the Atlantic, so you’ll never be bored on a Canadian holiday, and even if you already call Canada your home, there are sure to be exciting destinations just waiting to be discovered by you. With this in mind, here’s our guide to the ten Canadian cities, towns, and resorts that you simply must see.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with a population of over two and a half million, and it really has something for everyone, of all ages. From world leading art galleries such as the acclaimed Art Gallery of Ontario to large peaceful parks and bustling shopping streets with designer boutiques and big-name brands, it’s a city that rewards an extended stay. Toronto is also a magnet for sports fans, hosting NBA, MLS, MLH and NFL franchises. If you’re a hockey fan, the city’s Hockey Hall of Fame is a venue you won’t forget.
One of the great things about visiting Toronto is that thanks to leading airlines such as Fly Porter, you can use it as a hub to see other unmissable Canadian destinations, such as Ottawa. You can see a range of flights from Toronto on flyporter.com, including flights from Toronto to Ottawa. It is a city well worth exploring and has been the capital city of Canada since 1867. For that reason, it is arrayed with historic and beautiful buildings including the Centre Block Building and the dreamily romantic Château Laurier.
Montreal often features highly in lists of the world’s greatest cities, and its youthful, vibrant population helped it achieve the accolade of the best city in the world for students to live and study in. It’s a great place to visit as well as to live, and thanks to regular flights from Fly Porter from across Canada and beyond, it’s easy to reach as well. With its origins dating all the way back to 1642, you won’t be surprised to see lots of historic streets and buildings here, but there is also stunning modern architecture to observe, including the towering skyscrapers along the St. Lawrence banks.
The capital city of Nova Scotia sits on Canada’s Atlantic coast, and it has a charm and character all of its own. There’s always something to do in Halifax, and that’s because there are a number of festivals that are spread across the calendar year, celebrating everything from music and the arts to food. The city is a food lover’s paradise, and its locally sourced lobster dishes are an elegant treat that everyone should try. It also has a number of interesting museums, including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
5. Quebec City
You don’t have to fly to Paris to get an authentic taste of France, for Quebec City is proud of its French heritage. It can be seen everywhere from street signs to world-class restaurants, as well as in the language you’ll hear people speaking. Quebec has an atmosphere and style unlike any other Canadian city, and its buildings are among the finest to be seen in the whole of North America. It’s an especially magical place to visit in January and February, as it hosts the Carnaval de Quebec, the largest winter festival in the world. You should also check out the historic old town, which has been made a World Heritage Site thanks to its beauty and importance.
Canada is globally famous for its winter sports, and especially for the quality of skiing that it offers. Whether you’re an experienced skier or wanting to take to the slopes for the first time, Mont Tremblant in Quebec Province is an ideal destination. It has nearly 80 kilometres of slopes on offer, but with 400 lakes and streams across its national park, it has a lot more to offer as well. Despite its mountain surrounds, Mont Tremblant is surprisingly warm in summer, sending people flocking to its public beaches.
New Brunswick is one of Canada’s four Atlantic coast provinces, and to many, it’s the most beautiful. It was one of the first parts of Canada to be colonised by European settlers, and that history of conflict and conquest is especially evident in its capital city of Fredericton. Thankfully, it’s a much more sedate place today than it was during conflicts such as the Drummer’s War in the 1720s. Tourists today can enjoy salmon fishing, canoeing, or simply relaxing in the city’s stunning Odell Park.
8. Sault Sainte Marie
Sault Sainte Marie in Ontario province may not be one of Canada’s most famous cities, but it certainly stays in the memory of those who visit. It’s close to the American border, so is a great choice for those travelling from the United States. The city is much loved by those who enjoy the wild scenery and getting close to nature in its rawest form. If you love hiking, this is the destination for you, although the stunning region around Sault Sainte Maris can also be explored by boat or helicopter if you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation.
9. St. John’s
The coastal city of St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador province, and it makes an ideal place from which to explore Newfoundland island itself. It is believed to be the oldest city in North America, having been founded by the famous Venetian explorer John Cabot in 1498. You can feel the history oozing from its stones and streets, but it also has a modern city centre that epitomises Canada’s youthful charms. The city’s major landmark is the breathtaking Cabot Tower, which was first opened at the end of the 19th Century to mark the 400th anniversary of the explorer’s arrival. It’s also worth taking a stroll down George Street, home of many exciting cafes and bars.
Moncton is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and yet life has a much more relaxed pace there than in many other North American cities. The Lazy River running through Moncton is aptly named, as the sprawling park alongside is the perfect place to lie back and watch the cloud float overhead. There’s one other thing that visitors to Moncton simply must do, however, and that is to visit Magnetic Hill. The hill produces an optical illusion which makes it look like cars are rolling uphill, and it has to be experienced to be believed. It’s a unique effect you won’t see anywhere else in Canada – or the world for that matter.
These ten destinations across Canada all have their own charms and attractions, from Moncton’s magnetic hill to Toronto’s hockey museum and Ottawa’s parliament buildings. What they all have in common, however, is that they are friendly and beautiful locations, and thanks to inexpensive flights, they are all easy to reach. Whether you fly from Toronto to Ottawa or elsewhere, you’re sure to enjoy seeing more of what Canada has to offer.