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3 Best Things to do in Canada

Holiday Ayo - Canada is as vast as it is diverse. From the laid-back British Columbian coast to the rolling hills of the Okanagan and the serrated peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the west of the country is often where outdoorsy tourists flock to en masse — with trips to Whistler, Banff and Vancouver high on most people’s itineraries. The vast stretch of land between British Columbia and Ontario is where you’ll find the 2,000km-long valley of grassy plains, forest and farmland of the Canadian Prairies — the delightfully rural provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Central Canada offers culture and history courtesy of some of the country’s most exciting cities — Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Ottawa — but there are special experiences that are reserved for those who venture further afield. Canada’s Atlantic provinces in the east offer unspoilt, windswept landscapes, cities with charm, wildlife spotting and deep fjords; while the country’s north is where you’ll go to seek out the northern lights, remote communities or polar bears.

1. Take in Niagara Falls

source: Alamy

One of the world’s most spectacular waterfall systems, Niagara Falls sits on the Canada-United States border — but the best views are from the Canadian side. The falls consist of three sections: the concave, 640-metre Horseshoe Falls is the largest and is where 90 per cent of the Niagara River flows over. The American Falls, about 330 metres across, is on the US side, but the best views of it are from the Canadian side. A smaller section, known as Bridal Veil Falls, is located in between the other two. There’s also a lot to do in the vicinity: check out the lively main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake for some window shopping and ice cream, and then visit a vineyard to sample a Niagara ice wine.

2. Meander the Cobblestone Alleys of Old Quebec

source: Getty Images

As European as it gets in Canada, Old Quebec will have you feeling like you’ve just popped across the Channel rather than the Atlantic Ocean. The only walled city north of Mexico, Old Quebec is the historical and cultural heart of Quebec City and is the nucleus of French North America, with some of the oldest and most imposing architecture in all of Canada. Fill your days exploring the fortified walls and ramparts, eating fine Mediterranean food and wandering the length of Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest shopping streets in North America. Don’t leave without checking out the shops and marina of Old Port and Château Frontenac, the grand beacon of this destination.

3. See the Northern Lights

source: Getty Images

The Nordic countries may be more well known for their aurora borealis sightings, but one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights is actually Canada. In fact, in the Northwest Territories, they’re said to be visible 240 nights a year. Although the northern reaches of Canada are tough to cross (and freezing), the almost complete lack of light pollution and human settlements mean the skies are clear and vibrant green streaks across them are easier to spot. Yellowknife is perhaps the best place to view the lights from — with a 90 per cent chance you’ll see them due to the town’s flat landscape and position directly under the auroral oval. Visit from mid-November to April for the best viewing opportunities.

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