I left Canada in September 2018 and I am still both speechless and in love. There are so many things to discover in the Great White North, let us start with a few:
Vancouver & surroundings
Van City is THE place to be in the world for nature buffs. I found the city extremely attracting in outdoor activities to do – it is true what they say: you can go skiing in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. Whistler, Garibaldi Lake, Vancouver Island – all of these places offer such a diversity and invite you to try out every single sport you have ever wanted to try. Nevertheless, I must admit that Vancouver itself does not have too much to offer. It mainly consists of its magnifying nature and the city is more or less a place to sleep and eat. If you want to find a nice restaurant, Granville Street has many great to-go places, such as Hungry Guys. A very unique part of Vancouver is Gastown, it was my favourite place to be by far. They have a great choice of good restaurants with a special kind of vibe.
What shall I say, the 6ix got me in my feelings. 🙂 Toronto is often referred to as The 6ix and is the best example for successful multiculturalism in my eyes. Here, all kinds of cultures come together and live peacefully side by side, form a unity. Toronto is a very unique place in my eyes. The Queen Street West has many stores with a vintage kind of vibe. I adored the ROM musuem. The Distillery District is a great idea for the evening: dinner at El Catrin and shopping in individual boutiques. Last but not least, Toronto Island is a hidden gem which you should not miss out on. Take your time there and walk until the end of the island – I had the wonderful feeling of standing right in front of the ocean, even though it was just Lake Ontario.
The Canadian Rockies are definitely a must-do on your Canada trip. I joined a tour from Vancouver with three over-nightstops in Valemount, Calgary and Revelstoke. There are many different kinds of vegetation you will cross if you start from Van. Generally speaking, Banff and Jasper National Park are the ones with the most famous lakes – my favorite ones are Peyto and Moraine Lake. If you are really brave, gather all your strength and courage and dip into one of the lakes – it will be a memory you will always laugh at with a heart full of wanderlust!
Ottowa is Canada’s capital. I spontaneously flew to Ottowa with a friend for 22 hours (because frankly, what are you waiting for?). This city felt very British to me as the parliament reminded a lot of the one in London. Nevertheless, it is interesting to visit and explore the city a little. Byward market is an ideal location for breakfast. I also crossed the bridge and set foot on the state of Québec as it is only a 15 minutes walk from Downtown Ottowa. If you want to get a different kind of view onto the parliament building, I suggest going to Major’s Hill Park and also discovering the Ottowa Locks. And should you come here in winter: the city’s river Rideau turns into an ice-skating rink!
This city has a lot of history with a beautiful French past as it was one of the first French cities in Canada. The enormous country is roughly split into two parts: the English-speaking West and the French-speaking East. Therefore, the Old Town of Montréal has a magical charm with a medieval-feeling The Place des Armes is one of the main sqaures there. With an endless selection of museums and galleries (such as the Musuem of Fine Arts with free admission for under 30 years olds), parks, delicious French-like cuisine you will have a lot to do in Montréal. Last but not least, the jazz clubs in the city will make you want to stay forever. Some even like to compare Montréal with New Orleans in Louisiana.
Halifax is a rather smaller city with 400.000 inhabitants. It was once a very menaingful part of Canada as many immigrants arrived here by boat, similiar to Ellis Island in NYC. Frankly, the town itself is not as spectacular as its surrounding: Nova Scotia. Due to 40% o fthe state’s population already living in the capital Halifax, it is a very quiet and lovely place for hiking, fishing, exploring, road trips, letting yourself go, finding yourself. I do not want to giv emuch advice on what to do in Nova Scotia, because I think that it is perfect place to just follow where you heart takes you to and not think about your next ten steps. Have fun discovering.