The largest city in Canada and arguably the best-known, Toronto is not the country’s capital (Ottawa is), but it is the Ontarian. Like a more civilised, clean-cut New York, Toronto has its skyscrapers downtown, glitzy shopping in Yorkville and Bohemian districts in Queen Street West. It is also home to the CN Tower, once the world’s tallest, at 1,815 feet.
2. Niagara Falls
Straddling the US-Canadian border, Niagara Falls is within reach of Toronto – and well worth it. The three falls combined, the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world (around 2,400 m3 per second). Once you’ve seen the Falls (take a Maid of the Mist tour), explore the theme park-esque town that lives off the natural wonder’s tourist appeal.
The second largest city in Canada, Montreal is France’s home away from home. The city’s official language is French and spoken by more than half of the population. The French also lend the city its sense of cool, laid-back chic. It is a cultural hub with more than a few international flavours and boasts more than 100 festivals a year.
Vancouver has been named the “best place to live in the world” more than a few times. The west coast city in British Columbia boasts a buzzy cultural life, a rich platter of ethnically diverse restaurants and a cosmopolitan population.
5. The Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies span British Columbia and Alberta and is one of the world’s most impressive mountain ranges. Boasting mind-boggling scenery and a number of Canada’s highest peaks, the region is ideal for explorers. There are also a number of ski resorts in the mountain range, including Banff.
6 . The Yukon
The north west corner of Canada is a sparse expanse of peaks, wildlife and adventure. The Yukon is home to the highest mountain in Canada, Mount Logan (5,959m) and is a treasure trove of pristine nature. Sports enthusiasts can paddle lakes and rivers in canoes and kayaks, ride or walk trails, ski and snowboard or try ice climbing and dog sledding.
For a capital city, Ottawa is small and friendly and nowhere near the size of counterparts Toronto and Montreal. The city is charming and bike-friendly, peaceful and civilised, and a great base for exploring the Canadian wilderness on its doorstep in Ontario.