Canada Vacations

Canada is the country with the largest land mass in North America, but it is also one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Within Canada there are over 40 national parks and national park reserves that cover over 300,000 sq. km. The largest park is Wood Buffalo National Park that covers over 44,000 sq km and is located in the Alberta Region. Canada is also home to the Horseshoe Falls along the Niagara River, which is a waterfall that generates the world's largest amount of water by volume. Canada has numerous ski resorts located in every province. The most famous ski resort is located on the west coast where the Rocky Mountains converge in Whistler and it was the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Another beautiful ski resort is located Banff National Park. Due to Canada's low population density and high mountain ranges, there are numerous natural wonderlands, plateaus, and historic fishing villages to explore. Canada has had three main influences in it's culture, the British, the French and their indigenous population.

Canada Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

Canada Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Canada

Canada Geography

Since only 16% of the Canadian land mass is suitable for agriculture, over 30,000 square miles have been set aside as part of the Canadian National Park System. The park system was originally land owned by the Canadian Government but has been established with the cooperation of the local provincial governments. The first park system to be established in Canada was Banff National Park which was setup in 1885 and today there are at least 38 National Parks and 8 National Park Reserves.

Canada is really big, in fact, you can fit 60 France’s inside this giant country. The total area of the country is almost 10 million square kilometres, and with over 200,000 km of coastline, the nation truly stands from sea to sea to sea. The country is divided into 10 provinces, to the south, and 3 territories in the north. The capital is located on the border of Ontario and Quebec in Ottawa, Ontario. Geographically, the country is divided into six distinct regions. The Appalachian Mountains extend up to the Gaspe Peninsula and throughout the Atlantic region. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands are located in the south of Ontario and Quebec and where the vast majority of the population lives. Canadian Shield is in northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and some parts of Alberta and is home to rocky land and thousands of lakes. The Canadian Interior Plains are home to vast grass and agricultural land and is located in southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. The Western Cordillera area stretches from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean and contains numerous mountain ranges and large coniferous forests. Finally, the Canadian Arctic sits to the north and includes anything above the permafrost line.

The Canadian Pacific Railway is a transcontinental railway constructed in 1881. The railway connected Eastern Canada to British Columbia. About 15,000 temporary workers from China built it in harsh weather conditions. The corporation expanded to building hotels, airlines, telecommunications industries, and shipping lines. The Trans Canadian Railway provides tours across the country from Halifax or Toronto to Vancouver. The length of the tours is between 7 to 16 days passing locations that includes Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, and prairies.

The Appalachian Mountains extend from Alabama up into the Atlantic Canada with a range of 2,000 miles. It encompasses the Annieopsquotch Mountains in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Chic-Choc Mountains in Quebec to New Brunswick.

In the region of southern Ontario are three lakes Ontario, Huron and Erie. The lakes are between the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic Ocean. A famous location that attracts both Canadian and American visitors is the Niagara Escarpment at the border of Canada and New York state. Niagara Falls is apart of the escarpment, made up of three waterfalls called the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls which is North America’s most aggressive falls. A high force of water rushes in a downward direction of 165 km. It drains the water of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

The Appalachians are from Alabama to Atlantic Canada with a range of 2,000 miles. It encompasses the Annieopsquotch Mountains in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Chic-Choc Mountains in Quebec to New Brunswick.

The Pelly Mountains are in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory with an area of 44,014 km.

Canada History and Culture

Canada has been home to recorded first nation populations since 2000 BCE, but it could be earlier. The first nation culture of Canada was extremely complex, and groups starched from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast and included Inuit in the far north. These groups remain today and have a unique attachment to their oral and written histories. The first European contact was around 1000 when Viking sailors settled in Newfoundland for a season. However, it would take until 1497 when John Cabot landed in Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland for Canada to really experience European colonialism. From that time on, Canada would become a country that was dominated by both the British Empire (Upper Canada and Halifax) and French Empire (Lower Canada and Cape Breton). The colony was relatively peaceful, and although there were skirmishes between the two powers, the colony was considered a resourceful one with fish, furs and lumber coming from its ranks. After the Seven Years War, Canada was given to the British from the French and began a rule from 1763-1931. During this time, Canada was attacked, unsuccessfully, by the United States in 1812, and was granted a dominion and home rule in 1867. In 1931, the Statute of Westminster officially gave Canada sovereignty over its own foreign policy and thus allowed Canada to become an independent nation within the British Commonwealth. Today, Canada is a member of the G7, G20, NATO, and UN, and continues to be a Westminster Democracy, with the Queen of England as the head of state.

Due to the vastness of the country, Canada can truly be called a mosaic of cultures. The country itself is very open to immigration, which has seen vast populations of South Asian, and European immigrants make their homes in the larger cities. They have brought their customs and culinary history with them, which allows Canada to have some of the best ethnic food spots in the world. The national dishes are still fought about within the regions, but the popular choices are always poutine, butter tarts, Bannock, date squares, back bacon and the Caesar cocktail. However, it should be noted that you should experience real maple syrup while in Canada, as the country is the world’s largest producer of the sticky treat. Musically, the country is extremely diverse. To name a few of the top performers: The Tragically Hip, the Canadian Tenors, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Drake, Great Big Sea, Nickleback., the Guess Who, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams and the list can go on and on.

Canada is one of the countries in the world that has a reputation for national parks that are untouched by man. The most popular tourist cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. The eastern part of Canada is a melting pot of cultures of people from Europe, Africa, Asia, Caribbean and South America. The original habitants of the country are called the First Nations with 634 bands of tribes that live primarily in British Columbia and Alberta. The two main languages in Canada are English and French with 79.7% of the population speak French are in the province of Quebec..

Canada Landmarks

*Rideau Canal
Located in the capital, Ottawa, the Rideau Canal is the oldest continual operated canal systems in North America. Opened in 1832, the canal stretch from Ottawa to Kingston, and has provided a vital link to the capital from the Great Lakes. During the summer, the canal is in operation, and during the winter, the Canal opens up as a 7 km natural skating rink that stretches from Dow’s Lake to the Ottawa River.

*L’ans aux Meadows
Located on the out edges of Newfoundland, L’ans aux Meadows is the earliest known European settlement in America outside of Greenland. The site is from the 11th century and has been restored to its original size. It is a bit of a drive from the capital of St. John’s but well worth for those wanting to experience this amazing place.

*Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
Located on the border of British Columbia and Alberta, the Rocky Mountain Parks are home to some of the best scenery and truly amazing places in the country. Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, Kootenay National Park and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park are all worth a hike or drive through. Make sure to bring your camera, as the views and the wildlife will ensure your SD card is filled by the time you return.

*Pacific Rim National Park
Located on the western edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Pacific Rim National Park has long been an attraction. You will be able to witness amazing sunsets, and the even better surfing conditions that have made this park so popular. Tofino and Ucluelet are located near the park and offer a wide selection of great food and hotel options. Make sure to come during storm season to see the Pacific like you have never seen it before!

The main locations that attract visitors to western Canada are Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Lake Louise. Tourists can take advantage of natural falls, lakes and outdoor activities that include canoeing, mountain climbing, river rafting, snowboarding, skiing and fishing. In addition, golf ranges with the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains provide an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in the summer.

The Laurentian Mountains are in eastern Canada in the province of Quebec. The mountains consist of rock deposits called Cambrian which is 540 million years old. The outdoor activities are ziplining, bicycle ecotours, dogsledding expeditions, and mountain adventures.