The City of Markham is located north of Toronto and home to 350,000 residents. The local secret is that there are some truly amazing parks in Markham – some well-known and others not so much. Whether you’re looking to get out for fresh air, trying to stay active, wanting to explore new trails, find your […]
Canada Travel Guide
True North, Strong, and Free. Home is Canada and so I may be a little biased but it is one beautiful country from coast to coast.
Canada is vast nation that is filled with the prettiest of landscapes, friendly people, and incredibly diverse in culture. While we don't necessarily get the wanderlust that I think we deserve, those that make it here are will have a chance to see the sky-clawing Rockies of the west, the hustle and bustle of Toronto, and pink-sand beaches of Prince Edward Island. Canada has a lot to offer for every type of traveller so make sure you schedule enough days off.
This Canada travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Facts about Canada
- Electricity - 110V,
- Currency – Canadian Dollar ($ CAD)
- $1 CAD = approximately $0.75 USD
- ATMs can be found all over and credit cards are accepted everywhere
- Cellular - You can find pre-paid no contract SIMs at grocery stores and convenient stores
- Tipping - Customary to tip 15-20%
- Unit of Measure - Metric (Celsius, Meters)
Money Saving Tips
Go Outdoors - It doesn't cost a lot of money to enjoy the great outdoors. In the summer, there are a ton of options all over the country to go camping, canoeing, biking, and hiking. In the winter, there's snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more camping if you're feeling adventurous. All you need to do is rent some gear and you're on your way.
Flights - Canada is a big country and so you will most likely be relying on the plane to get from place to place. Since there aren't any low-cost carrier per say, you'll want to make sure that you book early and also pay attention to seat sales offered by WestJet, Porter, or Air Canada.
Celebrate Festivals - Summer is when the cities come to life and what better way to see how locals enjoy good weather than to go to a free festival. Toronto has Carabana, Montreal has a festival practically every weekend, and Vancouver has the International Jazz Festival.
Top Packing Tips
Canada has longer winters and shorter summers. Like countries of the north, what makes summer awesome is the fact that the days are extremely long so you can be out in day light until past 9PM. With a country the size of Canada, the climate varies dramatically so you want to make sure you do your research and pack accordingly.
- Warm - Some parts of Canada can become frightfully cold (yes I'm looking at you Ottawa and Quebec) so you want to make sure you have good warm layers. The jacket is probably the most critical and companies like Columbia have high quality down feather jackets that are really good at retaining heat. Oh and if you're going something REALLY cold you need to make sure you have good shoes because those are going freeze up first.
- Stay Bug Free - Anytime you're in the outdoors, there's a chance of mosquitos and other sorts of flies that might bite so make sure you have good repellant on hand.
- Sun Protection - Nothing new here. Make sure you have sunglasses, sunsreen and a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Things To See and Do in Canada
- Curling - Try your hand at this winter sport that is way more fun to play than to watch. Just be prepared to fall on the ice at least once and struggle at being effective sweepers.
- Ice Canoeing - You've probably never heard of this one but Quebec City has this crazy thing where you canoe in the iceberg filled St. Lawrence. It's pretty intense but totally worth it if you can swing it.
- Dogsledding - We do get a lot of snow and so what better way to enjoy the white fluff than to get pulled by the cutest dogs on a dogsled.
- Winter Carnaval in Quebec City - Every winter, Quebec City turns into a wonderland of magic and wonder. It might be pretty cold out there but this is a fun month-long event full of activities, food, and shows. If you're lucky you'll be able to meet the mascot, Bonhomme.
- Snowmobiling - Oh what a thrill it is to get behind the "wheel" of a snowmobile and zip through forests and backcountry roads created specifically for snowmobiles. Quebec has some of the most amazing trails.
- Canoe Trip in Algonquin - It doesn't get more Canadian than renting a canoe, paddling out to the middle of a provincial park, and camping in the open wilderness with no access to cellular signal. Trust me, it's therapeutic as heck!
- Explore Toronto - If you come to my hometown, you'll be treated with a sprawling metropolis comprised of distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own character. There's so much to see and do in a city that many say is like a New York City, but cleaner, and with nicer people.
- Calgary and the Rocky Mountains - Calgary is often looked at a gateway into Banff and Jasper but as I discovered, there's a lot to see and do in this charming city. Pair this with the Rocky Mountains and you have an awesome itinerary.
- Waterfalls North of Toronto - You don't need to go to Niagara Falls to see waterfalls. Just outside the big city are a ton of waterfalls that are all unique and beautiful in their own right.
- Tobermory - This little gem north of Toronto is a beaut. The dramatic rocky cliffs along with crystal blue waters, and possibly the best fish and chips in the province make this a perfect weekend getaway in the summer.
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