16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Canada
Canada, the second largest country in the world, has no shortage of beautiful landscapes and unique sites for travelers to explore. From coast to coast to coast, the country is home to vibrant cities rich in culture, along with incredible natural wonders.
In western Canada, the Rocky Mountains and the cities of Vancouver , Victoria , and Calgary dominate most itineraries. In central Canada, Niagara Falls , Toronto , Ottawa , Montreal , and Quebec City are some of the most popular destinations. For those who venture to the Eastern Canadian Maritimes, the beauty of Gros Morne National Park, along with the cities of Halifax and St. John’s, provide their own unique character.
Off the beaten track, but just as impressive, is Canada’s North, where great rivers flow into the Arctic Ocean, creating incredible territory for canoeists, and where polar bears can be seen in the wild. Travelers can explore the remote beauty of places like Nahanni National Park and the towns and cities of Churchill, Whitehorse , and Yellowknife .
For ideas to help you plan your trips, check out our list of Canada’s top attractions.
1. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is Canada’s most famous natural attraction, attracting millions of visitors each year. Located just over an hour’s drive from Toronto, along the US border, these massive falls drop approximately 57 meters. You can see the falls at an astonishingly close distance from several key points.
Niagara Falls and Niagara Gorge have been attracting tourists and daredevils alike for more than a century. Between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries there were numerous attempts to dive over the falls in various types of boats and homemade barrels. This, along with tightrope walkers and other shows, led the adjacent city of Niagara Falls to develop a carnival-like atmosphere that still persists today. Families will enjoy a walk up Niagara ‘s raucous Clifton Hill leading to the gorge and falls.
2. Banff National Park and the Rockies
Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
Banff National Park is located in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta , and showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada. Turquoise lakes, snow-capped peaks, and glaciers are easily accessible in this stunning park.
The jewel of the park is Lake Louise , where the green waters reflect the surrounding mountains and glaciers, and visitors can easily stroll along the shorelines. A short drive away is Moraine Lake, another stunning alpine lake with an even more dramatic setting.
The Icefields Parkway , which runs from Lake Louise to Jasper, is an unforgettable drive and another top Banff attraction. At the southern end of the park is the charming little town of Banff, which offers all kinds of lodging, shopping, dining, and nightlife options.
Banff is also a major winter sports area and home to Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village , two of Canada’s most prominent ski destinations.
3. Toronto CN Tower
Toronto skyline with the CN Tower
On the shores of Lake Ontario, in Canada’s largest city, stands the iconic CN Tower, one of Canada’s most famous landmarks. The tower stands at an impressive 553 meters tall and dominates the skyline.
At the top you can find great dining at the 360 revolving restaurant and enjoy a meal while looking out over the city and lake. The LookOut and the glass floor offer beautiful views of the entire area. But even those who choose not to climb the tower will find themselves stopping to look at the structure, which is visible from almost everywhere in the city. At night, the tower lights up in different colors.
4. Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)
Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Canada’s historical gems. Spread over upper and lower Quebec City, this area contains the most historic buildings in the city. The Lower City, along the Saint Lawrence River, is the site of the original settlement and home to the exceptional Fairmont Le Château Frontenac , as well as numerous other treasures. Upper Town rests on 100-meter-high cliffs and is home to the Citadel , the Plains of Abraham , the Place d’Armes , and the Parc Historique de l’Artillerie .
Old Quebec is one of the most popular historic areas in Canada and is well developed for tourism. In addition to the historic sites, other highlights include artists displaying their work on Rue du Trésor; interesting museums, such as the Museum of Civilization; and unique shops and restaurants.
Just a two-hour drive from Vancouver is the famous ski resort and town of Whistler. While Whistler has always been a major winter sports area, it has also become a popular summer destination, with year-round golf, mountain biking and a lively city scene.
The town gained international attention in 2010 when it became one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The area offers world-class skiing, hotels and restaurants, as well as a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities and beautiful landscapes. mountain.
6. Ottawa Parliament Hill
Ottawa’s Parliament Hill rises above the Ottawa River and is graced by Gothic Revival Parliament buildings built in the last half of the 19th century. The most prominent feature is the Peace Tower , which divides the House of Commons and the Senate on either side. In front of the Parliament buildings is the Centennial Flame , lit in 1966 to commemorate the centenary of Canadian Confederation, and behind the buildings is a sculpture garden.
In the summer, the Changing of the Guard takes place on the front lawn of the Houses of Parliament, weather permitting. Below Parliament Hill, a beautiful boardwalk runs along the Ottawa River.
7. St. John’s Signal Hill National Historic Site
View of San Juan from Signal Hill
At the entrance to St. John’s Harbor, overlooking the city and the sea, is Signal Hill National Historic Site. It was here, in 1901, that the first wireless transatlantic signal was received . It also played a strategic role in the Seven Years’ War with France, although the current fortifications were built during hostilities in 1812.
Cabot Tower is one of the key sites on Signal Hill. It was built in 1897 to commemorate the fourth centenary of the discovery of Newfoundland. It now also commemorates Guglielmo Marconi’s reception here in 1901 of the first transatlantic radio telegraphy signal, transmitted over a distance of 2,700 kilometers from Poldhu in England. In the tower there are exhibits on the history of Signal Hill and the history of communications (with a special section on Marconi). From the top, you can enjoy sweeping views of the city and coastline all the way to Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America.
8. Old Montreal
Old Montreal, lined with charming historic buildings, is a place to shop and eat well. While Montreal is a modern and vibrant city, Old Montreal near the waterfront is where most tourists come to soak up the atmosphere. Some of the must-see places in Old Montreal include Rue Bonsecours and the iconic Marché Bonsecours in the old City Hall building, the interior of the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica , the lively Place Jacques-Cartier , and the 1870s City Hall. .
9. Churchill Polar Bears, Manitoba
Churchill Polar Bears, Manitoba
One of Canada’s most unique attractions is the polar bear migration that sees these beautiful creatures make their way from the land onto the ice in Hudson Bay near the town of Churchill in northern Manitoba .
This small community opens up to tourists every fall. Tours take visitors on tundra carts with caged windows for up-close encounters with polar bears. The best viewing time is in October or November as the bears wait for the water to freeze before heading out onto the ice.
10. Vancouver Island
Although less than two hours by ferry from the mainland, Vancouver Island can feel like a world away. Most people head to Victoria, the capital of BC, for the sights and culture, but if you head north for the wild and remote landscapes, the island has some unexpected and unforgettable experiences. Nature lovers can hit the best hiking trails on Vancouver Island and set up camp at some beautiful spots . Those looking for more comfort can always turn to one of the island’s lodges or resorts .
On the rugged west coast, a magnificent scene of towering ancient trees, sandy coves, and dramatic rocky shorelines is revealed as you drive to Tofino . Around this small but incredibly popular off-the-beaten-path resort town, in the nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve , you can find amazing hiking trails , endless beaches, great surf spots, campgrounds , and places where you can just soak up nature. . peace.
Tofino is a year-round destination, although in the stormy season from November to March, many visitors get to appreciate the huge waves that wash ashore; some come to surf, and others just cozy up by a fire pit at one of Tofino ‘s charming resorts overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Other destinations around the island include Nanaimo , Parksville , and Qualicum Beach , all on the east coast, overlooking the Salish Sea. If you really want to get away from it all, head to the northern tip of the island and explore Cape Scott Provincial Park .
11. Bay of Fundy
Bay of Fundy
Located in eastern Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia , the Bay of Fundy is known for its incredible tides. The variation between high and low is the largest in the world, measuring up to a maximum of 19 meters (10 fathoms). While there are many ways to appreciate this natural wonder, some of the most popular places and attractions along the Bay of Fundy are the cliffs and rock formations at Hopewell Cape , Fundy National Park , the Parky Route of Fundy and Grand Manan Island .
12. Victoria’s Inner Harbor
Victoria Inner Harbor
Few Canadian cities have done as beautiful a job in developing their waterfront as Victoria and its inner harbor. This is a great place to wander, relax, shop, dine, and watch street performers, all against the backdrop of the harbor.
The centerpiece of this area is the historic Empress Hotel , one of the most charming buildings in the city. Over the years, the Empress has welcomed kings and queens and today she hosts a traditional high tea, which is one of the highlights for many visitors to Victoria. While the harbor area is popular throughout the year, it is particularly lively during the summer months.
13. Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park
Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park is more remote than many of Canada’s more popular national parks, but it’s well worth the effort to discover this beautiful landscape of mountains and fjords. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with steep cliff walls, waterfalls, and interesting rock formations carved by glacial-fed waters.
Most visitors take a boat tour to appreciate the scenery, but there are also hiking trails and kayaking opportunities. In winter, the park sees far fewer visitors, but it is open for backcountry skiing, complete with cross-country ski lodges.
14. Vancouver’s Stanley Park
Vancouver Stanley Park
One of Vancouver’s greatest treasures is the 1,000-acre Stanley Park, conveniently located on the west side of downtown. Situated on a peninsula, the park is surrounded by the ocean and is home to towering red cedars and Douglas fir trees. The boardwalk , which surrounds the park, has an extensive walking, jogging, and biking trail with designated lanes for walkers and bikers. From the boardwalk there are beautiful views of the city and the mountains. A scenic drive also meanders through Stanley Park with numerous exits.
Within the park are the Vancouver Aquarium , picturesque Beaver Lake , and the Stanley Park Pavilion and Rose Garden . Also of special interest are numerous totem poles , some of which were erected more than 100 years ago.
15. Calgary Stampede
This 10-day event is one of the most anticipated events in Western Canada, with many locals and summer travelers planning their vacations around the Calgary Stampede. For this week in July, the city of Calgary becomes a true western town, where people who would otherwise be wearing suits to work instead don jeans and cowboy boots.
At the Stampede Grounds there are daily rodeo events that attract participants from across North America, thrill rides, games, food, and the nightly Grandstand Show. Around town, numerous establishments host free “Stampede Breakfasts” indoors or outdoors and usually consist of pancakes. Many big-name country music artists also often come to town for this event.
16. Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Canadian Museum for Human Rights | AJ Batac / photo modified Share:
Winnipeg’s newest main attraction, which has attracted both national and international attention, is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Opened in 2014 near The Forks , the building showcases a unique design that is striking, to say the least, with geometry and colors based on images of the Canadian landscape.
Also unique is the concept behind the museum, which proved controversial when deciding which stories would appear here. The museum highlights personal stories, captures different perspectives, and focuses on a variety of themes.
Official site: https://humanrights.ca/
Information Source: PlanetWare