Canada is the second largest country in the world (after Russia). It boasts of ski resorts, mountains and oceans, lakes and beautiful parks.It is divided into 10 provinces and 3 territories and enjoys a well-paced economy and high standard of living. Geographically Canada borders with the United States in the South and the North. It is washed by the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans and shares sea borders with France and Denmark!
It is a multicultural country with official languages being both English and French. The population is around 35,700,000 people, although it is a country of immigrants as there are so many ethnic groups. The most numerous are Canadians (30%), followed by British, French, Scottish, and many other nationalities. 77% of Canadians consider themselves to be Christians, of which Catholics make up 44%. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are home to the majority of Canadian Muslims.
The name Canada came from old word "kanata" meaning "village or settlement."
The climate is varies greatly across the country, depending on the region, although most of it is moderate. In the north there is a harsh winter with an average temperature of -15C and can reach as low as -45C! The average winter temperature in the south ranges from -4C to + 4C with the snow in Quebec averaging 337cm !! You will have to dress warmer than you think :-). This is a paradise for people who love winter sport and fun! The south, especially Vancouver, enjoys warm and mild winters with rain! The average summer temperature in the south is + 22C, reaching as high as 35-40C, but in the north the summer range is only -4C to + 4C.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa, with other larger cities including Quebec, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton. Remember to check the time zones as there are 5 !!! This means that the time is different across the regions of the country.
The national currency is the Canadian Dollar (1CAD = 0.80USD). The import and export of currency is not limited, but any amount over 10 000CAD requires a declaration. Currency exchange is best done in banks and exchange offices, as hotels and train stations charge a large commission. Never change money with people on the street. It is better not to use US dollars in Canada as you will be offered a poor exchange rate. Travelers checks and credit cards are welcome everywhere.
Hotels have their own classification, from budget and economy classes, to "T" (Tourist) class, through to 'F' (First) class. This is the same as the usual 3* being superior, 4* being dDeluxe and top class being 5*. Breakfast is not normally included in the room rate. Canada is renowned for offering the best campsite system in the world as they are available in all national parks and in the tourist villages, near major cities. The country is reasonably safe, but you should always be vigilant and watch out for your belongings, leaving valuables and money in hotel safes .
The country is so vast that air travel is preferable, although railway and bus transport is well developed and very comfortable. If you book tickets early, you can save money through discounts. There are daily crossings to the United States should you wish to visit USA. Rail tickets cost about 1.50 - 1.80CAD and an all day pass is 3.50 to 5.50CAD. The Montreal subway has three lines on which you can visit the most popular places for a ticket of only 1.75CAD. Taxis are expensive and you should not use them for long distances. Rental cars are readily available.
Canada is very beautiful with natural wonder from the diverse beauty of the mountains to the lakes.The most popular snow resorts include Kimberley, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, Big White and Whistler in Blackcomb. Vancouver, Richmond and Stiveston are the favorite skiing locations.
Among the many national parks are Mount Robson, Wood Buffalo (where you can see wild bison), Banff (one of the most popular among tourists and also the resort with hot mineral springs), Jasper, with its beautiful landscapes and icy lake area being inhabited by wild animals (bears, marten deer), Waterton Lakes and Glacier Klueyn, Pacific Rim (Vancouver Lake) where you can see the seals, Yoho and Kutno offer the opportunity to admire the waterfalls and glaciers and Oyuittik (tundra). One of the main attractions about visiting Canada is that these national parks are natural and untouched and are close to the large cities.
Modern architecture and ancient Indian tribal sites are both on display and make it very interesting to visit this country. The country is recognised as very progressive and multicultural and the Canadian government is quite different from the US government in that it has adopted measures to improve the quality of life within the country.
Canada offers many cafes and restaurants and you will find one for every taste! Canadians like to eat fish and meat, including a variety of steaks, vegetables and soup with croutons. Dessert consists of different pancakes, muffins and pies - and always with maple syrup! Most popular drinks include a variety of beers, especially "Molson" and "Labatt". Dinner will cost you around 30CAD. Tips are customary at 10-15% of the check.
The most popular souvenirs include items with symbols of Canada, such as the maple leaf, reindeer (caribou), beaver, Canadian horse breeds and the polar bear. Maple syrup and ice wine! Stores are often closed on Sundays.
Canada is very rich in magnificent and vast natural settings and scenes. The country's rich number of national parks hosts plenty of resorts, attractions for excursions and a variety of activities. Come and we'll discover some of them together.
Many tourists come to North America to see one of the true miracles of nature - the splendid Niagara Falls ("Thunder Water"). From a height of 50 meters water falls down with a roaring crash, creating an impressive cloud of steam. Its fascination lies in the energy and power of the flow of water. Long before the waterfall comes to sight in front of us, we hear the noise of crashing water. Part of the falls' popularity lies in the fact that they are situated right on the border between the two great countries - the United States of America and Canada. From the western border of Whitfield (New York) to the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, including the community of Niagara Falls, Youngstown, and Lewiston. They consist of three waterfalls - the American, the Fata and the Horseshoe (Canadian). Always worth a visit here, take many photos and take a ride on a boat ($13) near the waterfalls. Just don't forget to ask for a raincoat as getting wet is guaranteed :-)
The oldest park in Canada - Banff National Park - is located in a region 110-180km west of the city of Calgary (Alberta), on the state border between Alberta and British Columbia. It was founded way back in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains. Stretching for over 6641 square kilometers the park attracts climbers and winter sports enthusiasts. Many ski resorts are located in the vicinity of the famous city of the same name: Banff, which lies in the valley of the Bow River. The mountainous landscape is of indescribable beauty, the alpine scenery being completed by innumerable glaciers and thick pine forests full of wild animals. You can discover all the rich characteristics of the Canadian Rockies in several other parks: Yoho National Park to the west, Kootenay National Park or the facetted park system in Kananaskis Country Park to the the south-east. Access for adults is $8, children $4. For larger family groups it is $16.
The largest park in Canada, with an area of 44,000 square kilometers, is located more to the north in the province of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, with Wood Buffalo Park right in the center of the country. The park was founded in 1922 for the preservation and reproduction of the American bison. There are no roads and bisons naturally live and prosper in the beautiful and untouched wilderness. The park is also home to rare whooping cranes and pelicans, northern caribou and moose ... actually there are about 2500 animals! Coniferous forests stay naturally beautiful through warm summers and the cold long winter. Peace River, Athabasca River and Slave River create another attraction of this region - a labyrinth like water system forming the world's largest river delta.
Let us hop from one city to another, putting together a colourful puzzle of sightseeing. We will start in Montreal, heart of the french speaking state of Québec in the east. An enormous organ is located in the tower of the Catholic Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Montréal. Completed in neo-Gothic style, with a seventy-meter high tower, the cathedral once served as a reference point of the Old Montreal. The basilica is located on the Place d'Armes in Old Montreal. You can book a tour in English for just $4.
Saint Joseph's Oratory is another of the famous cathedrals of Montreal. It's the second largest dome in the world (after St. Peter's in Rome) and the largest church in Canada. The minor basilica is located on the hill Mont Royal. Over two million pilgrims visit this historical monument annually and it is believed that the Lord will hear the one who takes the steps to the cathedral on his knee and there are quite some steps to take: 278! Built in the style of the Italian Renaissance, the height of the temple amounts to 129 meters. Special attention deserves to be paid to the magnificent museum exhibition of nativity scenes, which is quite different to other exhibitions. Make sure to go and listen to the organ at a concert of organ music - it is very impressive!
Let us hop now to the far west of Canada. In British Columbia on the Pacific coast is located the dynamic seaport city of Vancouver, the heart of a rich region. Vancouver is separated by just the Georgia Strait from the amazing beauty of Vancouver Island. The capital of the island is the city with the beautiful name of Victoria. The island seems as if it has been created both for fans of extreme sport and relaxation. Everyone will find something different to do here..
An architectural attraction in the Vancouver region is the Capilano suspension bridge which was built in 1899, but which once looked quite different. Walk its length of 137 meters by feeling from the wind at a height of 70m high bridge! But this extreme passage is worth it as the beauty indescribable and enjoying the scent of fir trees, the river of the same name and the deep canyon.
You will be interested in excursions in Dare Gallery and the Gallery of Fine Art in Montreal, Avenue McGill University in the same city, a trip to Upper Canada Village, Monkland Avenue, Lurie, Bernard and Old Montreal - all attractions in Montreal.
Gestaun in Vancouver, Jasper Park, "Golden Square Mile" and the House of Sir George and Estena Cartier are also in Montreal. The Toronto Zoo is special - but there are also so many other interesting places to visit on your trip.
Quebec, Ontario, Nunavut and the Yukon, British Columbia, Labrador, New Scotland and Prince Edward Island all offer you a beautiful and unforgettable journey within Canada.
You can read about all these beautiful attractions in Canada but it is much better to see for yourself, feel all the emotions and energy of places, take many photos, choose your souvenirs and have unforgettable impressions.
Friends, unique emotions await you!