Five fab reasons to visit Canada in 2017

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This year Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the political act that laid the foundations of the modern nation. The prospect of seeing fireworks over Ottawa on 1 July is just one of many reasons to visit Canada this year.

So why else should you visit Canada over the months ahead? Here are five ideas.

Enjoy free admission to Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada administers the country’s marine conservation areas, national historic sites and national parks. To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Parks Canada is providing free entry.

From Alberta’s Banff National Park, the oldest in the country, to Yukon’s Kluane National Park and Reserve, the home to Canada’s highest mountain, Mount Logan (5,959 metres or 19,551 ft), you can visit them all for free, in 2017, with a Discovery Pass.

Free entry to national parks? Sound the trumpets!
Free entry to national parks? Sound the trumpets!

Canada has 39 distinct natural regions and Parks Canada’s aim is to be representative of all of those landscapes.

Naturally, you can enjoy a range of experiences. Within Fundy National Park, in New Brunswick, you can view the ebb and flow of the world’s highest tides. In Nunavut’s Auyuittuq National Park, on Baffin Island, you might see dog teams at work and arctic foxes padding across the remote landscape.

Wood Buffalo National Park, the country’s largest, sprawls across the border of the Northwest Territories and Alberta and can be reached by driving along the MacKenzie Highway.

Keep your eyes open for wildlife while in Canada.
Keep your eyes open for wildlife while in Canada.

Follow royal footsteps in British Columbia and Yukon

Accompanied by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, visited Yukon and British Columbia during September 2016. It was the first overseas trip together for George and Charlotte.

Bella Bella, Carcross, Haida Gwai plus the Okanagan Valley and Whitehose were among the destinations the royals visited during their trip.

Statue of Queen Elizabeth II in Regina.
Statue of Queen Elizabeth II in Regina.

They experienced travel by seaplane between Victoria, on Vancouver Island, and mainland British Columbia. In Whitehorse they watched a performance at Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, where First Nations heritage is preserved and demonstrated.

Did the Duke and Duchess try one of Yukon’s infamous Sourtoe cocktails? The drink features an amputated toe. The toe has to touch a drinker’s lips to be deemed correctly downed, and there’s a sizable fine if the digit is swallowed.

People horse riding on a Canadian ranch.
People horse riding on a Canadian ranch.

Enjoy good food on Nova Scotia’s Seafood Trail

If you enjoy eating good seafood then you’ll already known about the quality of the lobsters, scallops and mussels harvested from the North Atlantic off Nova Scotia.

The Seafood Trail, featuring 85 participating food outlets, offering in excess of 200 seafood-related experiences, is another reason to visit the province. You’ll have the chance to see oysters being shucked, then taste the product, and tuck into seafood chowder along the way.

The food experience pairs well with the Good Cheer Trail, which has been encouraging visitors to Nova Scotia to imbibe products including beer, wine and rum since 2015.

Go fishing in Canada? Or simply enjoy the seafood?
Go fishing in Canada? Or simply enjoy the seafood?

Discover more about Canada’s Aboriginal tourism

Hundreds of indigenous nations live across Canada. Many offer tourism products and experiences, allowing visitors to build a greater understanding of their culture, heritage and way of life.

This means you can visit cultural centres, museums, join guided tours and stay at hotels and lodges.

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) represents around 1,500 of Canada’s Aboriginal-owned tourism products. Take a look at the website to find out more about the breadth of offerings.

A moody sky.
A moody sky by an inlet to the Atlantic Ocean.

Cross Canada on the Canadian

The Canadian is a rail service which runs for 4,466 kilometres between Toronto and Vancouver.

The long-established passenger service and widely regarded by rail aficionados as one of the world’s great train journeys. It runs between Union Station in Toronto and Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station, taking three nights and four days. Panoramic windows provide opportunities to enjoy scenery en route.

The first-class section has been described as a ‘five-star hotel on rails’.  Find out more about the Canadian and other rail services on the VIA Rail website.

A Via Rail train at sidings.
A Via Rail train at sidings.

For more ideas about things to do and see in Canada, take a look at the Explore Canada website.

Canada's national flag.
Canada’s national flag.


  1. Rodney Meyer says:

    I’ve shared this post with my group. Loving the idea of visiting.

  2. Stuart Pennell says:

    Great ideas. I have ordered my Discovery Pass. Thanks for the suggestion.

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