Tourism in Canada

Tourism in Canada

Canada, as a rich Western country, has both a large domestic and foreign tourist industry. Canada is known for its large, majestic landscapes and several record-holding landmarks. Some of the major attractions of the country include its cities but it is probably better known worldwide for its extensive, lightly populated or unpopulated areas of wilderness and its natural sights.

Canada's provinces and territories

British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province, along the Pacific Ocean. The winters in the coastal areas are relatively warm compared to the rest of Canada. British Columbia is broken into 6 regions:
*Vancouver, Coast & Mountains
*Thompson Okanagan
*Cariboo Coast Chilcotin
*Northern British Columbia
*Kootenay Rockies
*Vancouver Island

British Columbia (BC) is Canada's most mountainous province, boasting some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the world. Not surprising then that 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, British Columbia, nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains, is consistently ranked as the #1 ski resort destination in North America [] and will co-host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Vancouver, the largest Canadian metropolitan area west of Toronto, is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities, with a large proportion of people of Asian origin [] . Being a harbour city, Vancouver enjoys beautiful landscapes of mountains and ocean.

Sites of interest in Vancouver
* Capilano Suspension Bridge, a 136m long bridge 70m above the Capilano River
* Stanley Park, a large forested park near downtown, the largest city owned park in Canada. 8 million visitors each year.
* Granville Island, a small island near downtown with a public market, marina, shopping and theaters.
* Chinatown (Vancouver), 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
* Science World at Telus World of Science

Vancouver is home to the
*B.C. Lions, Canadian Football League
*Vancouver Canucks, National Hockey League

Victoria, British Columbia, located on scenic Vancouver Island, is a major Canadian tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year. Popular actives 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 with a population of only a few thousand hosts more than one million visitors each year. Many new resorts are being built in this area to accommodate the 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 boasts 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 center in North America behind California and New York.


Alberta is a province in Canada's western prairies next to the Rocky Mountains. Its two major cities are Calgary and Edmonton, the provincial capital. Edmonton is well-known for West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America. 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 13 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. 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.


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.

The prairie province also has the most golf courses and water bodies per capita than most provinces. Statistically the warmest summers with the most sunlight hours in Canada occur in Saskatoon as well. Natural attractions include Cypress Provincial Park, the Great Sand Hills, Scottie the Dinosaur (the largest intact Tyrannosaurus Rex found in North America).


Manitoba was the 5th province to enter confederation in 1870. The province is home to many lakes and rivers with over 14.5% of the land are covered by lakes. This offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, 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
* Assiniboine Park and Zoo
* Costume Museum of Canada
* La Maison Gabrielle Roy
* Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum
* Dalnavert Museum
* Louis Riel statue near the Manitoba legislative building. See a figure of Manitoba's leadership.
* Manitoba Children's Museum
* Manitoba Museum
* Naval Museum of Manitoba
* The Fire Fighters Museum
* Transcona Historical Museum
* The Forks
* Upper Fort Garry
* Western Canada Aviation Museum
* Winnipeg Art Gallery
* Winnipeg Railway Museum

Winnipeg is also home to:
* Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League
* Manitoba Moose Of the American Hockey League
* Winnipeg Goldeyes of the baseball Northern League

Other sites of interest in the Province
* 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
* Sam Waller Museum in The Pas

Festivals and Events
* Festival du Voyageur held every Frebruary in Winnipeg
* Folklorama held annually every August in Winnipeg
* Jazz Winnipeg Festival
* Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
* Winnipeg International Writers Festival
* Winnipeg Music Festival


Ontario, the most populated province in Canada, is also home to the nation's capital, Ottawa. In addition, Ontario contains Canada's largest city, Toronto, which is the provincial capital and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Toronto embraces Lake Ontario. Toronto's CN Tower overlooks the harbour. The forests and numerous lakes of Central Ontario and Northern Ontario also provide popular hiking and camping destinations.

Sites of interest in Toronto
* Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome)
* Air Canada Centre
* Hockey Hall of Fame
* CN Tower
* Queen's Park
* Ontario Place
* Royal Ontario Museum
* Bata Shoe Museum
* Gardiner Museum
* Art Gallery of Ontario
* Yorkville
* Kensington Market
* Casa Loma
* Ontario Science Centre
* Toronto Zoo
* Canada's Wonderland
* "See also: Hotels in Toronto"

Sites of interest in Ottawa
* Parliament Hill
* National War Memorial (Canada)
* National Art Gallery
* Canadian War Museum
* Canadian Aviation Museum
* Canadian Museum of Nature
* Canadian Museum of Civilization
* Chateau Laurier
* Scotiabank Place
* Rideau Canal

Other sites of interest in Ontario
* Science North and Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, Ontario
* Niagara Falls
* Marineland
* Muskoka Lakes
*Fallsview Indoor Water Park, an indoor park in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sites of interest in the Kingston Area
* Fort Henry
* Kingston's Old Town
* Upper Canada Village
* The Thousand Islands
* Boldt Castle


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
* Saint Lawrence Boulevard
* Canadian Grand Prix
* McGill University
* Mount Royal
* Parc Jean-Drapeau
* Underground city, Montreal
* Biosphère
* Redpath Museum
* Canadian Centre for Architecture
* La Ronde
* Saint Joseph's Oratory
* Underground City

Sites of interest in Quebec City
* 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 Center
* Parc Aquarium du Quebec
* Jardin zoologique du Québec

Other sites of interest in Quebec
* Canyon Sainte-Anne
* Château Frontenac

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is renowned for its sandy beaches especially along the Northumberland Strait which in summer boast the warmest water north of Virginia.
Moncton, the province's largest urban centre and known as the Hub of the Maritimes, is a shopping mecca with an array of department stores, big box stores and retail oulets and is home to a number of attractions and popular day trips including,

*Magnetic Hill Zoo
*Palais Crystal Palace
*Magic Mountain Water Park
*Tidal bore, twice daily on Petitcodiac River
*Hopewell Rocks
*Parlee Beach
*Cape Enrage
*Fundy National Park
*Kouchibouguac National Park
*New Brunswick Potato Museum

Saint John, at the mouth of the St. John River, is the site of Reversing Falls, Market Square and welcomes numerous cruise ships in its port every summer and fall.

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.

Whale watching and the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island are also draws.

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.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador attracts many tourists because of its icebergs and fjords. 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, Newfoundland is the oldest English-founded city in both Americas. It contains many historical locations, such as Cabot Tower, receiver of the first wireless trans-Atlantic message in 1901.

Just outside St.John's lies Cape Race, the most eastern point in the Americas. From this point, London, United Kingdom is closer than Vancouver, British Columbia.

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 [] .

Halifax, the provincial capital, has several major attractions, such as the Pier 21 museum, Citadel Hill, and the Public Gardens. The Halifax Metro Centre is home to numerous events both sport-related and otherwise, such as the 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 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.

Yukon Territory

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 attraction in Whitehorse and other communities. Opportunities for wilderness adventure tourism and ecotourism abound (hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, ), but the territory is also served by a well-developed road network, with most places accessible by road.

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories attractions include:
* Aurora Borealis
* Northern Life Museum
* N.W.T. Mining Heritage Society
* Wood Buffalo National Park
* Tuktut Nogait National Park
* Nahanni National Park Reserve
* South Nahanni River
* Canol Heritage Trail
* Aulavik National Park
* Coppermine River
* Mackenzie River

Nunavut Territory

Nunavut is probably the most expensive of all the tourist destinations in Canada. Attractions in Nunavut include:
* Auyuittuq National Park
* Quttinirpaaq National Park
* Sirmilik National Park
* Ukkusiksalik National Park
* Ovayok Territorial Park

Neighbouring countries

* Canada shares the world's longest undefended border with the United States.
* A marine border is shared with both Greenland (a Danish territory) and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (a French overseas collectivity).

See also

* Backpacking (Canada)

External links

* [ Canadian Tourism Commission (Official Government Website)]
* [ Canadian Tourism and Travel - Ski, Golf and Hotels in Canada]
* [ Quebec Tourism Guide (QC)]
* [ Tourism British Columbia (BC)]
* [ Tourism Vancouver (BC)]
* [ Tourism Victoria (BC)]
* [ Travel Alberta (AB)]
* [ Banff Lake Louise Tourism (AB)]
* [ Edmonton Tourism (AB)]
* [ Tourism Calgary (AB)]
* [ Travel Manitoba (MB)]
* [ Destination Winnipeg (MB)]
* [ Tourism Toronto (ON)]
* [ Tourism Montreal (QC)]
* [ Tourism Yukon (YT)]
* [ Nunavut Tourism]
* [ Popular Canadian Travel Destinations]
* [ Travel Canada's Northwest Territories]
* [ Official 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Site]
* [ Canadian Travel Brochures]

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