Honouring Canada: 7 Cities to Visit This Canada Day

Canada’s 154th birthday is on the horizon, and what better way to celebrate than a visit to its greatest cities? The words ‘history’ and ‘fun’ may not seem to go together, but with this list they can!

For this special day we’ve compiled the top 3 things you should do in 7 of Canada’s largest cities, while adhering to local guidelines.

Toronto

Scarborough Bluffs

Photos by Unsplash - Ravi Patel and Adriano Silva

The Scarborough Bluffs are a result of thousands of years of geological movement, and consist of nine parks along the lakefront. Enjoy a nice long walk, or a day at the beach at Bluffer’s Park!

First Story Toronto Tour

Described as ‘a new way to engage with Indigenous history’, this free walking tour app is the perfect way to get to know the city and its rich history. You will receive notifications when you are close to places of interest, and access to self-guided audio tours. Explore the gorgeous lower Don River and lakeshore area to get some physical activity and an important history lesson in one! 

Toronto Islands

Photo by Unsplash - Edward Koorey

The Toronto Islands are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and for good reason. These islands cater to a variety of interests, such as paddleboarding and biking, or a simple picnic in one of the many green spaces. Don’t forget to admire the view of the city’s skyline!


Halifax

Canadian Museum of Immigration

Similar to NYC’s Ellis Island museum, the Canadian Museum of Immigration is a fantastic way to see what it was like to immigrate to Canada many years ago. Explore real stories, and test yourself to see if you really know enough about Canada to be a citizen. Best of all, the museum is free on Canada Day!

Star of the Sea

This cozy accommodation is the perfect getaway this time of year. Located right near the ocean, it offers views of Mcnab Lighthouse, and includes free breakfast. Drink in the sea views and enjoy the glorious east coast of Canada.

Mcnabs Island

Photo via Halifax News

McNabs Island is a short boat ride away from Halifax, but with its natural beauty and historical past, it is well worth the trip. This beautiful island boasts stunning views, numerous hiking trails and various historical sites. The island was used by the military many years ago for guarding purposes, but can now be enjoyed by the public for several different activities.


Quebec City

Hotel Musée Premières Nations

This hotel-meets-museum offers a historical experience through appreciation of the Wendat First Nations people. Explore themes of territory, memory and knowledge while enjoying the traditional yet modern amenities and rooms. This unique location has permanent and temporary exhibitions, audio guides, cultural activities and guided tours, a spa, and a restaurant. Meet storytellers and learn the ancestral wisdom of the region’s history, while surrounded by the relaxing soundscape of the Akiawenrahk river.

Old Quebec

Photos by Unsplash - Matthieu Joannon

Explore the oldest part of the city, known as the birthplace of French North America. The historic architecture remains intact, and the entire city is photo-worthy. Discover many restaurants and shops, walk along the Dufferin Terrace, and check out the old churches to get the full experience of this beautiful neighbourhood.

Musée de la Civilization

Discover more of Quebec’s history at this popular museum. With an array of exhibitions covering several different aspects of Quebec’s past, you’ll leave with a fuller understanding of the second oldest city in Canada!


Ottawa

Canadian Museum of History

As the most visited museum in the country, the Canadian Museum of History is a must-see! There are tons of exhibitions and attractions to keep you busy all day long, all the while learning about the country’s past (the good, and the bad).

Parliament Hill

Experience the country’s capital fully with a visit to the Parliament building. While tours inside remain closed, it’s the outdoor green space that you won’t want to miss. And who knows, you may catch an important protest following the calls to cancel the nation’s holiday!

Bike Along the Rideau Canal

Photo via Ontario Bike Trails

Take in the sights and enjoy nature by taking a ride around the canal. There are several bike routes to follow, so you may choose your own adventure! 


Winnipeg

Assiniboine Park

This huge greenspace is open 24/7, and features a wide variety of activities! Gardens, a zoo, playgrounds, a cafe, and more will keep you entertained all day long. 

FortwhyteAlive

Explore the outdoors further at this cool adventure spot. See wildlife, walk the trails, have a picnic, and enjoy a day of environmental education and fun!

Glamping in the Woods

Get away to the woods for a unique camping experience! Located in Sandilands Provincial Forest, this luxury camping experience provides an opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment. 



Vancouver

Stanley Park

Photos by Unsplash - Kyle Thacker and Alejandro Luego

This park is the largest in the city, and has something for everyone. Bike along the sea wall, walk the many paths, relax on the grass, and enjoy the ocean view. You can easily spend the whole day here, in fact, we suggest it!

Gastown

Photo by Unsplash - Christian Mesina

Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, featuring many shops and restaurants. The cobblestone streets are iconic, as is the steam clock!

Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

Ainsworth Hot Springs is a resort like no other, offering a unique experience of historical relaxation. First visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples, the hot mineral waters are now open for guests to experience and appreciate. The property is owned by Yaqan Nukiy, and overlooks the beautiful Kootenay Lake. As a historic site, guests can experience a special combination of relaxation and history to celebrate the birth of a country while recognizing its true origins.

 

Edmonton

Fort Edmonton Park

Fort Edmonton Park has it all! Prepare for a full day of fun, full of history and tons of attractions. There’s an ‘Indigenous Peoples Experience’, allowing visitors to discover the importance of land and treaty. There are several areas focused on specific moments in history, and there’s even a midway and exhibition area. With cafes, ice cream, and pony rides, there’s something for everyone.

Royal Alberta Museum

Experience even more history at the Royal Alberta Museum. The museum has numerous exhibits showcasing both natural and human history, and many changing exhibits. Order tickets in advance to secure your spot!

Alberta Legislature Building

This historic government building is surrounded by a park and garden. Take a guided tour, or walk around outside on your own to take in its beauty and historic qualities.

 

These are just some of the amazing things you can do in Canada this Canada Day! Each city is unique in its own way, simply waiting to be explored. 

Check out our collection of Canadian-made travel essentials here.

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