Canada is by size, the largest country in North America, second in the world overall (behind only Russia). Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a major tourist destination.
A city unto urbanism itself, Vancouver is clean, modern, and efficient. Owing in part to its mild climate (that never gets too cold or too hot), the city has a strong outdoorsy streak in it. Vancouver is a city where you can hit the beach and the ski slopes in the same day. The city was also host to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, and third largest in Canada, with a population of 2.6 million. Located at the southwestern corner of the coastal province of British Columbia, it is well known for its majestic natural beauty, as it is nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently ranked as one of the “best cities to live in” and is certainly a beautiful destination to visit.
As the largest city in Canada, Toronto is economic and cultural capital of Canada (particularly Anglophone Canada). Toronto prides itself on its diversity and is famous for landmarks like the CN Tower. But Toronto is also a very eclectic city, home to endless neighbourhoods that offer quality shopping, cuisine, and cultural amenities. The city is also home to the third largest live theatre scene in the world (after New York and London).
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. It is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto, with a population of 2.6 million, is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) which contains 6.2 million people. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe region, which wraps around Lake Ontario from Toronto to Niagara Falls and totals over 8.5 million residents, approximately a quarter of Canada’s entire population.
Once Canada’s largest metropolis, Montreal can still pack a serious punch as one of the most unique cities in North America. It is the cultural heart of Canada’s francophone culture, and the city’s multilingualism is one of its defining aspects. Have a Montreal-styled bagel in Mile End, stroll the streets of Old Montreal, take the metro to Olympic Park, visit one of the city’s innumerous festivals, and take in the views atop Mont-Royal.
Montreal is the metropolis of the province of Quebec. Quebec City is the political capital but Montreal is the cultural and economic capital of Quebec and the main entry point to the province. The second largest city in Canada, it is a city rich in culture and history and a well-deserved reputation as one of the liveliest cities in North America. Montreal is sometimes referred to as The Paris of Canada.
4. Quebec City
Quebec’s capital city, which is well known for its quaint Old City, its grand winter festival, and gorgeous architecture, such as the Chateau Frontenac. Visitors and locals alike boast about Quebec City’s charming European feel.
Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. Located at a commanding position on cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway, Quebec City’s Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only city in North America (outside Mexico and the Caribbean) with its original city walls.
Quebec City is the capital city of the province of Quebec. Much of the business here is of the administrative and bureaucratic nature, which would normally make a city quite dull. Fortunately, the city has a remarkable history, as the fortress capital of New France since the 17th century. Although the town’s day-to-day life leaves things a little yawny at times, the vibrant historical centre makes for an incredible visit.
Confident and modern, Calgary is booming like nowhere else in Canada currently. Every summer, it plays host to the Calgary Stampede, a near city-wide celebration of Calgary’s ranching heritage. The city is also home to the Calgary Tower, Calgary Zoo, and Canada Olympic Park (the city hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics). Calgary is a stepping off point for visitors to Banff and the Canadian Rockies, 1 hour away.
Calgary, Alberta’s largest city, is situated where the prairies end and the foothills begin. As such, it is the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and an important centre of trade and tourism for the western prairies. It is your most likely point of access for Banff and Jasper, and a worthwhile destination in its own right. Calgary is the heart of the largest metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver, with over 1,239,220 people as of 2016, making it Canada’s third largest metropolitan area.
Sitting in Eastern Ontario with a view of Quebec across the river, Ottawa is the national capital of Canada. It’s home to Parliament Hill, many national museums, the ByWard Market, and the best Canada Day celebrations.
Ottawa started as a humble lumber town, then called Bytown, named after Colonel John By. Colonel By oversaw the construction of the Rideau Canal, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, much of which was done by hand, between 1826 and 1832. Lumber mills were built along the Ottawa River in the mid-nineteenth century and those brought employment and wealth to the growing population. The centre of action then, as now, was the ByWard Market. While it’s still the centre of the city’s nightlife, it has changed appreciably from the rough and tumble early days of brothels and taverns.
home to the second largest natural harbour in the world, Halifax is rich in history with architecture dating back to colonial times. The city is very compact and walkable, meaning most amenities are just a short walk away (if you’re downtown), such as the Citadel Hill, Canadian Museum of the Atlantic, the Public Gardens (oldest park in Canada), and Pier 21.
Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia and the largest city in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. The city’s origins and rich maritime history derive from a strategic location and one of the world’s great natural harbours. In the 19th and early 20th century, Halifax was the entry point for European immigration to Canada. Today, Halifax is a busy Atlantic seaport and the economic and cultural hub of Eastern Canada.
Formerly known as the “Bulls Eye of the Dominion”, this city has a rich mixture of culture, including Metis and French-Canadian. Winnipeg also contains the Royal Canadian Mint, the old skyscrapers of the Exchange District, and the vibrant Forks.
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in Manitoba, and a major centre on the Canadian Prairies. About 700,000 people live in the city proper, with about 825,000 in the entire census metropolitan area. “The Peg” is a city as diverse in and of itself as the whole of Canada. It is a well rounded city with a stable economy. It is a destination for architecture, rivers, history, money (mint), arts, and museums. It has something for everyone — from boutiques to cheap value stores, Winnipeg has a great retail market, where a lot of new concepts are tried.
9. Niagara Peninsula
The Niagara Peninsula is located in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, encompassing most of the City of Hamilton and all of Niagara Region.
The main geographical feature of the region is the Niagara Escarpment, running in an east-west direction. The best known portion of the escarpment is where it meets the Niagara River, creating the beautiful Niagara Falls. The Niagara Region is home to some of the best farmland in Canada (although the area’s proximity to Toronto also attracts human settlement, and farmland has been devoured by urban sprawl in certain areas over the past few decades).
Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon.
Whitehorse has been capital of the Yukon since 1953, and currently has a population of around 24,000. The city is located along the banks of the Yukon River, and due to it being in a rain shadow area, Whitehorse has the distinction of being Canada’s driest city. Whitehorse Transit operates city buses and there are taxis operating in town. The Trans-Canada Trail runs through the city, and there are some bike trails.