One of many events happening in Ottawa’s Ontario during the Winterlude Festival. Photo by Saffron Blaze.
Ottawa is especially attractive during the Winterlude festival, Toronto excellent for lively and diverse big city life as well as easy access to Niagara Falls.
Quebec and Montreal, French east Canada
Frontenac Castle, Quebec City, Quebec. Photo by Wladyslaw Benutzer.
The French speaking province of Quebec offers great night life and cuisine especially la petite, jolie Quebec City and her big brother Montreal, but there’s also plenty of outdoor action though lacking the Rocky Mountain highs.
The Change Islands in Newfoundland, Atlantic coast.
The Atlantic Provinces encompass Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, offering tourists the laid back, rustic charms of little fishing villages and splendid hiking, biking or driving routes full of rugged coastal views.
There’s terrific golfing and fishing, Canada’s best beaches (though Vancouver might argue the point) and good seal or whale watching.
Grizzly Valley in the Ogilvie Mountains of north Canada. Photo by Rick McCharles.
The primary tourist attractions in north Canada are bleak arctic landscapes, northern lights (aurora borealis) and wildlife, especially polar bears, arctic foxes and seals around Churchill, though outdoor activities ranging from winter sports that include snow cycling to summer hikes with big views are popular with local people who like to escape the huddled masses.
A young polar bear investigating a mobile meat locker – aka Tundra Buggy – near Churchill in Manitoba.
Best Canadian Festivals
H2Orchestra performing on a Balnaphone at the Winterlude Festival, Ontario.
January-February, weekends only, La Fete des Neiges (Snow Festival), Montreal (Qu), dominated by a huge and labyrinthine snow castle.
February, weekends only, Ottawa (Ont) Winterlude festival features parades, dances, snow races, ice sculptures, sleigh rides and more, but especially skating.
January-February, Quebec City, Carnaval de Québec, a vigorous 10 day celebration of parades, themed parties, ice sculptures and, bien sur, winter sports of every description.
April, World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler (BC), snow and music combined!
June – July, Montreal (Qu) International Jazz Festival.
Mid-May, Ottawa (Ont) Tulip Festival, a five day city-wide street party for all ages surrounded by 100, 000’s of tulips.
July, Just For Laughs, Montreal (Qu), a world comedy festival.
Summertime sees lunatic ‘Fringe’ theatre festivals all over Canada, from Victoria to Montreal.
August, Montreal Pride, a huge performing arts festival, gay, but not exclusively so. Free concerts, shows, parties conferences and more.
Summer, one week, Toronto (Ont), Caribana West Indian carnival, complete with parades of calypso bands, parties, ethnic foodstuffs and dancing in the street.
July, Calgary Stampede, a 10 day world-class rodeo riot.
Early November, Whistler (BC) Winterstart Festival, carnival and events galore.
For some precise dates see: English Speaking Festivals
The far north USA state of Alaska is also wild, unspoilt and speaks English!