Weather and best time to visit
The peak season in Canada is during summer, when the weather is warm and schools are out. If you’re planning to go in summer, you might want to book your tickets months in advance. The summer season sees a rise in the country’s national park experiences. Due to the crowds, you can expect a rise in the price of travel and accommodation. Although summer is the peak season, many consider the fall months as the best time to visit Canada, from September to November. The weather significantly cools down, the summer crowds would have left and the prices go down. The changing foliage of the fall provides a beautiful backdrop of colourful hue for your photos. In addition, fall is also a festive season with celebrations such as pumpkin, apple and wine festivals in full swing. These give you a chance to visit the otherwise out of the way farms and orchards.
Where to stay
Hotels covering every budget, luxury hotels, bed and breakfast inns, camping facilities in national parks (mid- May to September), lodges, youth hostels, apartment hotels and cabins are available in every major city. There are even many independent backpackers’ hostels. Most universities even offer budget price accommodation during the summer vacation- usually from May to the middle of August.
What to eat
Fooooood, glorious fooooood… You can’t try every single dish in Canada, but there are dishes that you just have to try!
- Poutine- Crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds and gravy combine to form this popular dish, with toppings that include pork, beef and smoked meat.
- Butter tarts- Butter tarts are made by filling flaky pastry shells with butter, sugar and egg filling.
- Seafood- Atlantic and Pacific salmon, smoked salmon, arctic char, East Coast lobsters like Nova Scotia lobster rolls.
- Montreal- style smoked meat- Beef brisket is salted and cured for a week with a range of spices, before being smoked and steamed to perfection. Then it’s served with rye bread sandwich with yellow mustard.
- Beavertails- Not the tail of a beaver cooked and served. It’s a slab of deep fried dough, covered in numerous toppings like Nutella, peanut butter and more.
- Split pea soup- Quite popular during the harsh winters, split pea soup is made of peas, pork and herbs blended together.
- Tire d’erable sur la neige or maple taffy- This is made by pouring boiling maple syrup over snow, which causes it to immediately harden. Then you roll it up on a Popsicle stick and slurp on it.
What to do
Canada has more scenery and natural wonders to offer to tourists than many countries combined. National parks, bays and the foliage- it’s quite a treat for the senses.
Located just over an hour from Toronto, the Niagara Falls is the country’s most famous natural attraction. The waterfall drops to 57 meters, and you can observe the falls at an astonishingly close distance from several points.
Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
The National park lies in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, and the scenery attracts millions every year. Snowcapped mountains, turquoise blue lakes and glaciers all add to the beauty of this Canadian natural landscape. Perhaps the most famous lake here is Lake Louise, where the green water reflects the mountains and glaciers surrounding it. You can stroll around the lake for some of the most picturesque pictures. At the south end of the park is the Banff Town, where you can find accommodation, go shopping, dining and enjoy the nightlife. The town is also a major winter sports area where you can go skiing.
CN Tower, Toronto
One of Canada’s famous landmarks, CN Tower, lies on the shores of Lake Ontario. At the top, you can enjoy a meal at the revolving 360 restaurant overlooking the city and the lake. The LookOut and the Glass Floor offer views of the entire area. The tower is visible from almost every part of the city, and at night, it’s a vision as it is lit in different colours.
No, it’s not a real stampede. The ten day event takes place in the month of July in Western Canada. The city of Calgary becomes a Western town- people pull on jeans and cowboy boots instead of suits to work. At the Stampede Grounds are daily rodeo events with participants from all over North America, games, thrill rides, food and the nightly Grandstand Show. Free Stampede Breakfasts, usually consisting if pancakes, are hosted all around town by many establishments, either indoors or outdoors.
Stanley Park, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Stanley Park is situated in on a peninsula and is surrounded by the ocean. Adding to the scenery are the huge red cedar and Douglas fir trees, which are quite a site to see during fall. The park has a walking, jogging and biking path with designated lanes for each. The Vancouver Aquarium, Beaver Lake, Stanley Park Pavilion and Rose Garden and numerous totem poles exist within the park.
Bay of Fundy, Eastern Canada
Known for its spectacular tides, the Bay of Fundy has more than just the surf- various cliff and rock formations entice visitors to the place every year. Some of these are at Hopewell Cape, Fundy National Park, Fundy Trail Parkway and the Grand Manan Island.