One of my main life goals is to travel as much as I can, and one of the places on my list is Canada. My husband spent a few months living in Canada and I love to hear stories about the beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the people and even the cold weather!
We’re planning on visiting as soon as we can, though Canada is a little more expensive to visit than our usual holidays so it will take a little while to save up. Until then, though, I’ve been doing lots of Canada-based research and I thought I’d share it with you, so here are some reasons to visit Canada and why I’d love to visit!
The Intense Seasons
Canada has harsh winters and warm summers, so not only do you truly experience the Earth’s seasons, there is always something to do. If you go in the winter you can spend your time having a go at skiing and snow-sports; one of the largest ski resorts is in Whistler, so we’re thinking about renting one of the Whistler vacation homes available.
In the summer you can swim, hike and go camping. However, if you visit in autumn you get to experience Canada at its very most beautiful, lavished with brown, red and orange leaves.
One of the reasons Canada is so beautiful is its intense changing seasons. My husband told me that while he was living in Canada, the winter literally came overnight. One autumn day it was fine and sunny, the next day the snow came and the area was suddenly five inches deep in it; how magical does that sound?
The Stunning Great Outdoors
For the great outdoors, I can’t think of many places better to visit than Canada. There is a plethora of national parks and wonders to choose from such as Niagara Falls and Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. Canada’s landscape is incredibly diverse: it has more coastline than any other country, mountain ranges, lakes, forests, arctic and even a small amount of desert.
There are also many animals to spot in Canada, including reindeer, lynx, moose and deer, though I’d rather not come across the native polar bear, grizzly bear or mountain lion…
Personally, food is one of the most important aspects of visiting any new place, and I’ve heard great things about Canadian food. In particular, ‘Poutine’ – a specialty in French Canada (Quebec) which is basically chips covered with cheese curds and gravy. It sounds tremendous.
I’ve heard the mac and cheese in Canada is superb, and though my morals tell me it sounds awful, the ‘turducken’ is certainly intriguing (it’s a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. Yes really).
If you fancy something fresher, Canada is known for its seafood such as lobster and oysters, my favourite.
The Friendliness of Canadians
Canadian’s are known for their friendliness; it’s probably the most flattering stereotype we have. I have met a few Canadians in my time and I can confirm that they were all lovely, but I would love to actually visit a place that is known for its nice people. Yorkshire tends to be a amiable area and I love living here, so I am sure I’d enjoy meeting the inhabitants of Canada. I was recently told that one of a Canadian’s most-used words is ‘sorry’, which they definitely share with us Brits!
The French Heritage
If you know me you know I love all things French, so I’m really interested in exploring and understanding Canada’s French heritage. The culture is found mainly in Quebec, but is also found in Ontario and the Maritime provinces. There are currently 6.5 million French-Canadians living in Canada and the country is officially bilingual, but most people speak English so it’s not vital to learn French before visiting.
I’d very much like to visit Old Quebec, which looks just like a European city lined with cathedrals, museums and little cafes.
The Incredible Difference Between Cities
Canada is huge; so it’s only right that its cities can be vastly different. Each Canadian city has its own traits, heritage and landmarks. You can visit busy Vancouver for its rich green parks and and easygoing charm, or Toronto for its urban and artistic atmosphere. Halifax is a haven for wine-lovers (me) and smaller cities like Winnipeg are perfect for indie-restaurants and bars. There are more than 1,100 restaurants in Winnipeg, some that hold Michelin Stars. If you want mountains of snow, Whistler is home to Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area offers snowshoeing, tobogganing and ski jumping at the Olympic Park, a venue for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
As the cities of Canada are so different, it’s important to do your research before you go.
Canadian’s love to have fun, so there are plenty of festivals throughout the year, from the rodeos of the Calgary Stampede to the Montreal International Jazz Festival to the sleigh races of Quebec City’s Winter Carnival. For a true Canadian celebration, you can head over to the capital city, Ottawa, and see the fireworks to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.
Writing this post has seriously increased my desire to visit Canada, so it’s firmly on my wishlist. I’d love to hear anybody’s tips for visiting the country so do contact me with any posts you may have!