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Canada Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major world cities to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Halifax, Vancouver, and other major cities.
What to see: Montreal, Niagara Falls, Old Quebec, Downtown Toronto, Ottawa Parliament Buildings, Old Cabot scenic drive, Canadian Rockies, Vancouver / Victoria
Currency: Canadian dollar
Official language(s):
English, French

Oh Canada!

Canada boasts cosmopolitan city centers like Toronto, old French charm in Quebec -- and Yukon adventures that will take your breath away.

From the rugged Rockies to scenic Nova Scotia you can count on an incredible variety of travel experiences coast-to-coast.

Just up ahead, make your way north for a whirlwind tour of adventure and discovery in the largest country in North America, with a wide expanse of wilderness still pristine and untouched.

Covering almost 4 million square miles over six time zones (Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic AND Newfoundland) -- it's impossible to see it all in a single trip.

For most visitors from Europe and the US Northeast, the major cities of Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City are what defines a vacation holiday in Canada.


Street scene in Old Montreal

In the historic district of downtown Montreal (Old Montreal or Le Vieux-Montréal) visitors from Europe might think they never left home.

Like any Old World metropolis, Montreal - an equal mix of French and Canadian - is best seen on foot with attractions that include the Vieux-Port (Old Port), the city's waterfront, with a stop at the nearby Montreal Science Center. Also don't miss a stroll through Place Jacques-Cartier, a fine pedestrian mall with free entertainment provided by street artists and musicians, as well as some of the city's top restaurants and art galleries in close proximity.

Also wend your way to Notre-Dame Basilica, the city's gothic architectural gem, or spend time paying homage to Mother Nature with a stroll around any one of Montreal's handful of world-class city parks, including one of the planet's largest botanical gardens, the Jardin Botanique (metro stop Pie-IX or Viau.)


Quebec City is another one of the most European cities In look and feel, especially in the quaint Old Town neighborhood where French flavor is at its most distinct.

A cafe in Old Quebec

Walk Old Quebec's steep and winding street, Côte de la Montagne, that connects Upper Town and Lower Town and imagine yourself in the Montmartre section of Paris complete with its own funiculaire to help ease your way.

Also don't miss a visit to the huge and iconic hotel Chateau Frontenac (and if you can't stay the night, lunch and drinks in the lobby will do.) Then, head straightaway to nearby Dufferin Terrace boardwalk for a sweeping view of the St. Lawrence River.

For more awe-inspiring views, visit one of the tallest buildings in Quebec, the Observatoire de la Capitale offering a panoramic view of the whole city. Another major attraction is the Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park (named for the battle that saw the British conquer Quebec in 1759), now used for for music concerts and other public events or green leafy strolls around its meandering paths.


Toronto skyline
Toronto skyline and CN Tower.

The "New York City of the North" is the largest city in Canada and aptly named for its urban sprawl. It encompasses some 6 million people across six districts - Old Toronto (Downtown), Etobicoke, York, East York, North York, and Scarborough.

Like the Big Apple, Toronto is also the most ethnically diverse city in the country offering its own Little India, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Koreatown.

Walking the city is probably the best way to take it all in beginning with Downtown Toronto and the Harbourfront Centre, the historic Distillery district (transformed into shops and a pedestrian mall) along with greener pastures at Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Gardens in North York.

Also don't miss a cheap ferry ride to the Toronto Islands featuring a breathtaking view of the iconic CN Tower and the Toronto skyline on the way back.

Niagara Falls

Niagara FallsFrom Union Station in Toronto, the trip is about 2-1/2 hours to Niagara Falls, where photo 'ops' abound. This natural wonder that is still dubbed "The Honeymoon Capital of the World" that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

On arrival, elbow your way through the crowds to see the famous Horseshoe Falls running directly between the US and Canadian borders.

For the full experience, follow the signs to purchase tickets to climb aboard the Maid of the Mist boat tour and "The Journey Behind the Falls". At night, Queen Victoria Park, along the Niagara Falls Parkway. provides for best viewing of the nightly illumination of the Falls and the summer fireworks displays on Friday and Sunday nights during the summer.


The iconic Centre Block of
Canada's Parliament Buildings

The capital city of Canada, much like Washington DC, has much in the way of museums and cultural offerings.

The No. 1 tourist attraction in Ottawa is, of course, Parliament Hill with its Gothic revival spires and air of history. In summer, arrive in the late afternoon to take the 1-hour tour to learn more about Canadian history and government, then stick around for the multimedia sound and light show projected onto the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

Nearby, stroll around the famous Byward Market, a four-block city square of fresh produce, trendy restaurants and specialty stores. Elsewhere around town, museums abound including the family-friendly Canada Science and Technology Museum featuring hands-on interactive displays. and the very popular Canadian Museum of History just across the river in Gatineau.

also see -> Do Americans Need a Passport to Travel to Canada?

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More about Canada travel & tourism around the Web:

Travel Canada
- Pick your playground from a cool clickable map of the entire country or browse the categories for activities, attractions trip planner and package finder to top Canadian destinations nationwide.

Lonely Planet World Guide: Canada - Our favorite travel guide takes on the Canuks with an in-depth travel guide from coast to coast featuring "a lot more...than maple trees, Niagara Falls and wide open spaces."

Super Natural British Columbia - Check out the official guide including hotel, restaurant and adventure guides, online booking, maps, photos, and driving tours.

Prince Edward Island Visitors Guide - Places to stay and things to do, pictures and video clips, with more in-depth information in the complete All About PEI.

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