Canada - my chosen home country. Canada is the second largest country on the planet and its dimensions are truly huge, it spans nearly 7700 km from east to west. Nearly 90% of its population congregate within 100 km of the US border. Canada's climate can be a bit harsh in the winter, but the summers tend to be hot and intense. Officially Canada is a bilingual country with Quebec being the center of francophone life. Canada's native cultures have left an imprint all across the country.
Canada is composed of numerous provinces and territories, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.
Its landscapes are extremely diverse, from rolling hills and steep cliffs that drop down to the ocean in the Maritime provinces, to the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec, to the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield with its thousands of lakes in Ontario (including Algonquin Park), from the infinite horizon and the crisp blue skies of the Prairie provinces, to the mountainous charm of the Alberta and British Columbia, to the wilderness of the Canada's northern territories, Canada is composed of varied landscapes.
To many people, Canada is known as the great land of wilderness, and there is certainly a lot of that. Hikers, canoeists, campers, fishermen, hunters and outdoorsy folks all have a great time here. With its oceans, lakes and rivers Canada is also a mecca for water sports fanatics. Skiers will love find opportunities in the Eastern part of Canada, particularly in Quebec, and in the West, in places like Whistler, Banff, and Lake Louise, just to name a few. On top of it, Canada is a world class golf destination, with literally thousands of golf courses, and many of them affordable. But Canada has much more to offer: its cities are full of culture and sophisticated recreational opportunities, from museums to theatres to fine dining and shopping.
One of my favourite parts about Canada is its diverse population. Cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are places where immigrants from all over the world have congregated and brought with them their lifestyles, traditions and cuisines. My new home town of Toronto, renowned for its multiculturalism, has more than 7000 restaurants that reflect the culinary traditions of the entire globe.
Quebec City is the only fortified city in North America with an architecture dating back to the 1600s. Montreal has a unique European flair with its outdoor cafes and street life. Ottawa is the seat of Canada's government and in the winter the Rideau Canal turns into Canada's biggest outdoor skating rink. Toronto is home to people from more than 100 cultures and is a multicultural mosaic with all its diverse neighbourhoods and festivals. Vancouver has one of the most stunning sites, being located right on the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by high mountains. And there are many more interesting cities to visit, Calgary, Victoria, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Niagara Falls and many more.
Canada's recreational and cultural diversity will surprise you.
Here are some essential links for Canada:
Canadian Tourist Commission
Official tourism website for Toronto
Official tourism website for Montreal
Official tourism website for Vancouver
Official tourism website for Quebec City
Official tourism website for Ottawa
Here are some essential travel books for Canada: