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Calgary

As the largest city in Alberta, Calgary is an important center of tourism and trade for the western prairies. Calgary is also considered as the heart of the biggest metropolitan area which is between Vancouver and Toronto. Thousands of tourist flock to this interesting city , as it offers a myriad of attractions and destinations that would be a delight to all types of travelers and tourists. Here are some places that would be great to visit.

1. Telus World of Science

This is one of the best attractions to visit especially for those who would be traveling with their family and kids. It features a telescope and a planetarium, as well as two exhibit halls and a large-domed theater, providing plenty of things to see and learn.

2. Glenbow Museum

This is the largest museum in Western Canada, with more than 93,000 square feet of space that houses over 20 galleries. The extensive array of collections mainly focus the local history of Calgary and Canada.

3. Fort Calgary Historic Park

Before Calgary became a city back in 1894, it was where Fort Calgary can be found. Today, the fort is the oldest historic monument in the city and is visited by many tourists every year.

4. The Military Museums

This is Canada’s second most extensive military museum after Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum. The Military Museums features galleries that are mainly devoted to the four local Army regiments, along with their service during the Boer War, the Cold War, the Korean War and the World Wars.

5. Calgary Stampede Grounds

This is the site of the world-famous rodeo and exhibition of Calgary. It is situated in Victoria Park, on the Beltline’s east end. It is where the Calgary Stampede is held every July. Aside from this, it also has a casino and a conference and exhibition center.

6. Prince’s Island Park

This is the largest inner city park in Calgary that features many beautiful trails where visitors can walk and relax. It is where Shakespeare in the Park, Carifest and the Calgary Folk Music Festival are held.

7. Calgary Tower

Although not as impressive as Toronto’s CN Tower, the Calgary Tower does offer a spectacular view of the city and the surrounding areas. If you would be visiting on a clear day, you should be able to see the Rockies on the west side. Aside from an observation deck, the tower has a revolving gourmet restaurant and a bar.

8. Chinatown

An interesting place to visit, Chinatown is located on the northeastern area of the downtown Calgary. It is the center of Asian Diaspora in the city. It offers a dense network of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and many other Asian restaurants and shops, as well as housing and cultural facilities.

9. Calgary Zoo

This is a world-class zoo that has more than 1,000 animal species on display. Aside from this, it also has a Prehistoric Park and a Botanical Garden. Calgary Zoo is Canada’s second largest zoo and is one of the most family-friendly tourist attractions in the city.

Quebec

The largest Canadian province in area, Quebec is predominantly a French-speaking region. It is situated in the eastern part of Canada. Its three largest cities would be Quebec City, Montreal and Gatineau. Today, it is considered as one of the most unique tourist destinations in the country, primarily because of its French heritage that was a result of being a French colony for over two centuries. Here are some of the most recommended tourist attractions in the province.

Montreal Botanical Gardens or the Jardin Botanique de Montreal

Located near Olympic Park, this huge botanical garden features more than 20,000 various plant species that are in 31 specialized gardens which includes the largest Chinese Garden that is outside of Asia. It also has a Japanese Garden that has a tearoom and an extensive bonsai collection. The garden’s Insectarium also offers an “Insect Tasting” during the months of November and December.

Old Quebec or Vieux Quebec

This is a historic area of Quebec City and was founded in 1608. “Upper Town” or the upper parts is walled and has ramparts, making Quebec the last remaining walled city that is north of Mexico in the Northern American region. The lower part or “Lower Town” is where the historic Notre-Dame des Victoires can be found. It is also where many 17th century structures and buildings are located. Visiting Old Quebec would let you experience the diverse architecture of the city.

Notre-Dame Basilica or Basilique Notre-Dame

Built in 1656, this is the oldest Catholic church in Montreal and is popular for its intricately designed interior. It has stained glass which chronicles the rich and colorful history of the city.

The Citadelle de Quebec

Also referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Americas,” the Citadelle de Quebec occupies the highest point of Cap Diamant and is about 100 meters over the St. Lawrence River. It is where the residence of Canada’s Governor General can be found, making it a military installation as well.

The Battlefields Park

Created back in 1908 to mark the 300th anniversary of Quebec’s foundation, the Battlefields Park has an area of approximately 108 hectares with over 6,000 trees and not less than 80 species of shrubs.

Place Royale

Considered as the birthplace of French America, the Place Royal is a historical site that welcomes thousands of visitors annually. It has magnificent narrow streets and building which are components of the cultural complex that is managed by the Musee de la Civilisation.

Bonsecours Market

Situated in the tourism and cultural heart of Old Montreal, the Bonsecours Market is housed in a neo-classic building that dates from the 18th century. Today, it is used primarily as an exhibition hall that has sidewalk cafe, souvenir shops, boutiques and many fine art galleries.

Chateau Ramezay Museum

This museum is where Governor Claude de Ramezay lived and today, serves as a museum which chronicles the interesting history of Montreal from the pre-colonial days up to the present day. It is a historic building that was built in 1705 and features a big collection of photographs, antiques, costumes and paintings.

Ottawa

Located along Ottawa River’s Ontario side, Ottawa is Canada’s capital city. It is the fifth largest city in the country and is home to various international cultures as it is where thousands of immigrants reside. Due to its booming business sector, it has become one of North America’s fastest-growing cities. Here is a list of the best attractions in Ottawa.

1. Parliament Hill

This is a magnificent group of buildings which house Canada’s parliament. There are free tours which are available throughout the year. It is also the setting for many national celebrations such as Canada Day.

2. National Gallery of Canada

This spectacular structure made with glass and granite houses a myriad of Canadian and other international masterpieces and works of art. It also offers plenty of seasonal exhibitions. If you would be traveling with children, they would certainly find Louise Bourgeois’ Maman, a giant bronze spider sculpture, which is located outside, especially interesting.

3. Chateau Laurier

This is an Ottawa landmark which is majestically set in the center of the city. It overlooks many other attractions such as Parliament Hill, Congress Center, the Ottawa River and the ByWard Market. It was once part of the historical Canadian Pacific Railway hotels and features turrets as well as other French chateau architectural elements. It is still operational until this day and runs under the management of the Fairmont hotels.

4. ByWard Market

This is an open-air market which is located a block away from Parliament Hill. ByWard Market is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood which offers different agricultural items and arts and crafts products year-round. Aside from these, it is also where many good restaurants and charming boutiques can be found.

5. Museum of Civilization or Children’s Museum

Located in Gatineau, a couple of minutes drive from downtown Ottawa, this family-friendly museum is where the Canadian Postal Museum, the IMAX theater and the Canadian Children’s Museum can be found. It also offers an exhibit of Canada’s First Peoples, which showcases the history of Canada and other important history-makers.

6. Canadian War Museum

This is where you can learn all about the personal, national and the international dimensions of the military history of the country. Some of the collections of the museum include medals, military artillery, numerous works of art and a CF-Voodoo jet fighter. All of the artifacts in the museum showcase the experiences of the men, women and children during the conflicts which have shaped Canada and its history.

7. Royal Canadian Mint

Situated in an Ottawa heritage building in central downtown Ottawa, this museum offers and exhibit of hand-crafted commemorative and collector coins, medals, medallions and gold bullion coins.

8. Supreme Court of Canada

If you want to learn more about how the judicial system of Canada works, you can visit the Supreme Court of Canada and take a tour which explains several legal issues and information about the country.

8. Gatineau Park
Although technically located in Quebec, it is about 15 minutes away from Parliament Hill. It has hundreds of kilometers of hiking and biking trails as well as forests that have more than 50 tree species and a wide array of wildlife.

Montreal

Montreal is the cultural and economic center of the province of Quebec. It is Canada’s second largest city and has a rich culture and history. Here are some of the best attractions to go in Montreal

1. Montreal International Jazz Festival

Held every June/July, this music festival features around 500 concerts, most of which are free of charge. It hosts about 2000 artists and musicians from more than 20 countries in the world. Approximately 2 million visitors go to the event which is considered as the most popular international jazz rendezvous.

2. Mount Royal

Similar to New York City’s Empire State Building and Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Mount Royal serve as a natural global positioning system. You can take a hike to its summit and be rewarded with the most breathtaking view of the whole city. The lookout point would be in Mount Royal Park, a park that was landscaped by the same person who landscape Central Park in New York, Frederick Law Olmsted.

3. Old Montreal and Old Port

Situated along St. Lawrence River, Old Montreal was originally a fortified city that has turned into a vibrant community. It offers a setting which is very European with cobblestone streets, historic architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries and a cafe culture that make it a quaint and unique community among the other cities in North America.

4. Montreal Biodome

This is an ecological zoo and science center rolled into one and is home to four ecosystems: the temperate Laurentian Forest, the St. Lawrence Marine Ecosystem, the lush Tropical Forest and the Polar Worlds of the Antarctic and Arctic.

5. Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

A gallery which has an extensive collection of more than 7,000 works of art made by over 1,500 local and international artists.

6. Montreal Casino

To add a bit of excitement and fun to your trip, you can also go to the Montreal Casino. It offers numerous gambling activities and is housed in the France and Quebec pavilions from Expo ’67.

7. Point-a-Calliere Museum

This museum features the history of the city of Montreal through a variety of archaeological artifacts. You can take advantage of the museum’s free guided tour which would give you the chance to see an actual archaeological dig which is located inside the building.

8. Jean-Talon Market or Marché Jean-Talon

Although it is more frequented by local residents, it gives tourists the chance to choose from more genuine product ranges and truer prices. This market is definitely worth a visit, especially if you want to have experience a true Montreal marketplace, eat some delicious lunch or buy a couple of Montreal souvenirs.

9. The Lachine Canal

Once used as a route to avoid the Lawrence River’s Lachine Rapids, it is now a national historic site which offers more than eight miles of pathways for cycling and walking. It is also a great place to have a picnic and to do some outdoor activities. If you want to escape the metropolis, you can try paddling or biking along the Lachine Canal.

Vancouver

With the largest metropolitan area in the western region of Canada, Vancouver has been ranked as one of the most beautiful destinations to visit and one of the best cities to live in the world. It is known for its spectacular natural beauty and great attractions, which are just some of the reasons why tourists flock to this big city.

Vancouver is split into three districts: Downtown, the Westside and the Eastside. The downtown area covers Central Business District-Yaletown, Gastown-Chinatown and Stanley Park and the West End. It is where most of the city’s attractions, restaurants and luxury hotels are located. It also has many structures which display fine architecture as well as four beautiful beaches: Sunset Beach, First Beach or English Bay, Second Beach and Third Beach. The Westside district covers Kitsilano, UBC, South Granville and South Vancouver. This district also offers plenty for tourists such as beaches, gardens, the Granville Island markets and several fine museums. Lastly, the Eastside district covers South Main, Commercial Drive and Punjabi Market. It is a large and mostly residential part of the city but also offers ethnic restaurants and unique shops that are certainly worth a trip.

Vancouver offers the mildest climate among the major Canadian cities. As a matter of fact, you can even see palm trees growing here. The city experiences plenty of rain, especially during winter; however, during the summer, Vancouver receives the least amount of rain among the Canadian cities. The best time to visit the city would be between July and October since that would be the time when the weather is usually perfect for having a holiday. The rainy season usually starts in mid-October.

Although the city of Vancouver is fairly “young”, it offers different attractions for tourists. Most of the landmarks and historical structures are located downtown while the Vancouver Convention Center, Canada Place, the Marine Building and Hotel Vancouver’s old luxury railway can be found in the central business district. In Gastown and in the West End, you would be able to find Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium and Coal Harbour Walkway.

If you wish to learn more about the people, history and culture of the Northwest Coast, you can go to the Museum of Anthropology which is at the popular University of British Columbia. The museum is home to many significant collections of different ethnographic materials and archaeological objects from different areas of the globe. You can also visit the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown which offers both local and international collections and the Vancouver Public Library which houses the largest library in the city.

If you are looking for parks and gardens to visit, Stanley Park would be a great place to start. It offers many trails for cycling and walking, along with beaches and other magnificent views and attractions including the Vancouver Aquarium.

For outdoor activities, you can always go jogging, biking or rollerblading along the Seawall. You can also go to Granville Island and rent a speedboat on the waters of Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. Skiing and snowboarding can also be done on any of the three hills which are Cypress, Seymour and Grouse Mountain that are located on the North Shore.

Places to See in Canada

Toronto is the most populated city in Canada and is the provincial capital of Ontario. It is also the cultural and economic center of English Canada. Although it began as an Anglo backwater, it has been transformed in recent decades as one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the world. Aside from this, Toronto is also where many galleries, museums and other tourist attractions can be found. Here are some of its most popular attractions.

1. Art Gallery of Ontario

This is the largest art gallery which can be found in Canada. It houses the world’s largest Henry Moore sculpture collection and a great Canadian painting’s exhibit. It also has one of the most expensive paintings in the world, Ruben’s The Massacre of the Innocents, on display.

2. Royal Ontario Museum

Originally built in 1910, this museum is a handsome revival of the Romanesque period, with numerous carvings of events and people. Aside from the original building, the museum also has an additional structure that is made of glass and steel. It houses thousands of specimens and artifacts and even the largest totem pole in the world.

3. Black Creek Pioneer Village

This is a historic site which is located in the northern area of Toronto. The village shows a recreation of the life of people in Ontario back during the 19th century. It has more than 40 historic 19th century structures and buildings, complete with period furnishings and actors who are portraying villages. The best time to visit this attraction would probably be during the fall, as it would be the time when it would be least crowded with other visitors and tourists.

4. CN Tower

Undoubtedly the most popular attraction in Toronto, the CN Tower is the second tallest freestanding structure in North America. It is more than 500 meters tall and offers an incredible view at the top.

5. Spadina House

This is a historic mansion which dates from the 1860s. On its grounds, you would see a beautiful garden where you can walk around in. as well as a historic interior.

6. Toronto Zoo

If you would be traveling with your family or with children, the Toronto Zoo should definitely be on your itinerary. It offers world-class facilities and has indoor and outdoor displays alike.

7. Toronto Aerospace Museum

This is an educational and interesting tourist attraction that should also not be missed when taking a trip to Toronto. It was opened in 1997 and features everything from biplanes in the 1920s to the first Canadian satellite that was launched in 1962.

8. Canada’s Wonderland

This is a big theme park that is located in Vaughan and is considered as one of the premier amusement parks in North America. Featuring over 200 attractions, it certainly is an excellent destination for both children and adults.

9. The Distillery District

Originally the distillery lands of Gooderharm & Worts, it has been turned into a pedestrian-only village which is dedicated to everything related with arts and entertainment. It is where numerous great restaurants, art galleries and festivals can be found.

Tourist Attractions in Canada

With its beautiful mountain ranges and rich and colorful history and culture, Canada is definitely one of the best countries to visit in the world. If you are planning to go to Canada, here are some of the most popular tourist attractions that you might want to add to your itinerary.

1. The Canadian Rockies

This mountain chain is considered as one of the most breathtaking sceneries in the whole world. They are different from the American Rockies as they have mountains with sharp points and are separated by wide valleys that are gouged by glaciers, which is why many say that the Canadian Rockies offer a very distinct attraction.

2. The Niagara Falls

Similar to the Canadian Rockies, the Niagara Falls is also considered as a natural wonder and is actually made up of three separate, massive waterfalls: The American Falls, The Horseshoe Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The sight and the sound of the waters cascading on the mountains are truly mesmerizing, which is why tourists make sure that they visit this famous attraction when they travel to Canada. You could take one of the boats to see the falls up close or climb the stairs and go to the lookout which is on top of the Brock Monument, where you would be able to set your eyes on the entire Niagara Peninsula.

3. Pacific Rim National Park

Having a background of beautiful mountain ranges and facing the wide, blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, the park is considered as one of the most famous hiking trails in Canada.

4. Whistler

Located in Blackcomb, British Columbia, the town is a two-hour scenic drive from Vancouver. It is a popular ski destination and is one of the best worldwide. The resort town offer a lot, especially for adventurous travelers.

5. Banff National Park

This park is one of the five national parks that are located in the Canadian Rockies which attract countless tourists annually for hiking, camping, skiing, fishing, biking or just relaxing.

6. Cabot Trail

This is a trail that stretches about 300 kilometers through the highlands of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. It is a beautiful loop that is carved on the mountain side which rise high above the Gulf of St. Lawrence and winds around the northern shore of Cape Breton, ascending to the plateaus of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Some of the most recommended activities to do here would be whale watching, golf, hiking and camping.

7. Bay of Fundy

This is an ocean bay which stretches between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It has one of the highest tides worldwide, with an estimated 100 billion tons of water flowing in from and out to the sea during each tide cycle. The bay is home to about eight whale species and a wide array of species of porpoises, dolphins, seals, fish and seabirds. All of this marine wildlife is surrounded by the bay’s breathtaking rock cliffs, dramatic mud flats, bountiful marsh plateaus and eroded sandstone statues.

Famous Places to Visit in Canada

Canada occupies most of the northern region of North America and shares a common border with the United States. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean in its east to the Pacific Ocean in its west and northward to the Arctic Ocean. Because of its vast landscape, the country has many beautiful places that have become popular among both tourists and locals. Here are the regions in the country which are visited for their famous tourist spots and destinations.

1. Atlantic Provinces

This covers New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. This region is known for the historic beauty of Nova Scotia, the exceptional natural beauty of coastal areas and its big fishing and shipping industry.

2. Quebec

This is probably the most unique region in Canada. It was originally part of New France and has a French-Canadian culture. It is known for the Quebec City’s Winter Festival, and two of the most commonly used ingredients in Canadian cuisine: the Poutine and Maple Syrup.

3. Ontario

This is largest province of Canada, based on population, and offers a wide range of activities to do and places to see. It is where Toronto, the largest metropolis and Ottawa, the national bi-lingual capital, are located.

4. Prairies

This region covers Manitoba, Alberta and Sasketchewan. From the east, the region has a rocky terrains and flat farmlands and eventually leads to the foot of the Rockies. The region is known for its geographic variety, from outstanding lakes to unique rock formations. Some of the major cities in this region would be Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

5. British Columbia

With Vancouver at its heart, this region is probably the most liberal and culturally diverse as it offers everything from skiing to nude beaches. Aside from these, you could also expect to see wineries and beautiful mountains and lakes.

6. The North

This region covers Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. This region is mainly made of vast wilderness, making it home to many unique and extraordinary animal species.

As for the cities, the nine most popular would be Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Ottawa is the national capital of Canada and is home to numerous government monuments such as Parliament Hill and to several major museums such as the Museum of Civilization. Calgary is probably the financial center of the country; however, it also offers a lot for leisure travelers such as the Calgary Tower, the Calgary Zoo, the Glenbow Museum and the Calgary Stampede. It is also located near the recreation area of the Canadian Rockies. Edmonton would be the city which is popularly known for its big malls, great cultural and educational institutions, stunning festivals and natural parks. Among these cities, Toronto would be the largest and is considered as the business, media and immigration capital of the country.

Some of the other popular destinations in Canada would be the Banff National Park, the Yoho National Park, the Terra Nova National Park, the Interlake Area, Cape Breton Island, Jasper National Park, Saint John River Valley, Algonquin Park and Hudson Bay.

Canada’s History

Aside from being home to a myriad of beautiful natural attractions, Canada also boasts of having one of the most colorful histories among the countries in the world.

The history of Canada dates back to more than 26,000 years ago, when Aboriginal Paleo-Indians discovered the land. They inhabited the land for thousands of years, shaping the systems of trade and social hierarchies as well as forming the basic foundations of civic and monumental architectures in the country. Some of the Aboriginal peoples who lives in Canada would include the First Nations, the Inuit and the Metis.

The civilizations of the Aboriginal peoples, however, were long gone before the first European settlers arrived after the brief settling of the Vikings in Newfoundland around 1000 AD. After that colony failed, the next known attempt at Canadian exploration was in 1497, when Giovanni Caboto, also known as John Cabot, an Italian seafarer explored the Atlantic coast of Canada for England. A couple of decades later, in 1534, a French explorer named Jacques Cartier explored Canada for his country. In 1603, another French explorer named Samuel de Champlain arrived, In 1605, he established the first permanent settlements of Europeans at Port Royal and a few years later, at Quebec City.

The French colonists of New France then settled in different areas of the country including in the Saint Lawrence River valley, Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi watershed.

Around 1610, the English established the fishing outposts in Newfoundland and later on established the Thirteen Colonies. Between the years 1689 and 1763, a series of several Intercolonial Wars, about four, erupted. In 1713, mainland Nova Scotia came under the British rule through the Treaty of Ulrecht and in 1763, the Treaty of Paris ceded Canada to Britain.

The Royal Proclamation in 1763 separated the Province of Quebec from New France and made the Cape Breton Island a part of Nova Scotia. in 1769, Prince Edward Island, formerly known as St. John’s Island, became a separate colony. To avoid conflict in Quebec, the Quebec Act of 1774 was passed by the British. This expanded the territory of Quebec to Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes. It also re-established the French language, the French civil law and the Catholic faith there. This fueled the anger of many residents which caused the American Revolution.

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris recognized American independence and then ceded territories which are to the south of the Great Lakes. About 50,000 United Empire Loyalists left the US to go to Canada. New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia because of a reorganization of the Loyalist settlements which are in the Maritimes. In order to accommodate the English-speaking Loyalists who are in Quebec, the province was divided through the Constitutional Act of 1791 into the French-speaking Lower Canada (which later became Quebec) and the English-speaking Upper Canada (which later became Ontario). Each of these regions were granted of their own elected Legislative Assembly.

In 1867, Canada was formed into a federal dominion of 4 provinces. Today, the country consists of three territories and ten provinces, and is governed as a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. The ten provinces would be Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, while the three territories would be the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.