Tourism in Canada

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Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world, Canada's incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country's tourism is centered around Canada's four largest metropolitan areas, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa, well known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites.

In 2012, over 16 million tourists arrived in Canada, bringing US$17.4 billion in international tourism receipts to the economy.[1] Domestic and international tourism combined directly contributes 1% of Canada's total GDP and supports 309,000 jobs in the country.[2]

World Heritage Sites in Canada[edit]

Canada's provinces and territories[edit]

British Columbia[edit]

British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province and touches the Pacific Ocean. The winters in the coastal areas are relatively warm in comparison to the rest of Canada. British Columbia is divided into 6 regions:

  • Vancouver, Coast & Mountains
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Cariboo Coast Chilcotin
  • Northern British Columbia
  • Kootenay Rockies
  • Vancouver Island

British Columbia (BC) is Canada's most mountainous province and has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Alpine skiing is a major draw for the province. The province has about 33 large ski resorts spread out from Vancouver Island to the Alberta border. Whistler, British Columbia, nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains, is consistently ranked as the #1 ski resort destination in North America [3] and co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Vancouver, the largest Canadian metropolitan area west of Toronto, is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities. There is a large community of people of Asian origin [4]. Vancouver is a harbour city and provides beautiful landscapes of mountains and ocean.

Sites of interest in Vancouver

Vancouver is home to the

Victoria, British Columbia, located on scenic Vancouver Island, is a major Canadian tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year. Popular activities for tourists are whale watching, enjoying the busking in the inner harbour area and visiting world famous Butchart Gardens.

Long Beach(Pacific Rim National Park) and the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet are popular tourist areas. Tofino, a town of only a few thousand, hosts more than one million visitors each year. Many new resorts are being built in the area to accommodate surfers, beach lovers, storm watchers and golfers.

Whale watching is common along the coastal areas of BC as is Pacific storm watching along the west coast of Vancouver Island during the winter months.

Wine tours are common in the Okanagan Valley, BC's wine and orchard country. The Okanagan valley area has some of the best beaches and warmest summer temperatures in Canada, as well as Canada's only hot desert around the town of Osoyoos. There are 53 golf courses and two major ski resorts in the valley.

British Columbia is also a popular location for the production of many Hollywood films, it is the third largest film center in North America only trailing California and New York.

Alberta[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Alberta

Alberta is a province in Canada's western prairies next to the Rocky Mountains. Its two major cities are Calgary, and Edmonton, the provincial capital. Edmonton is well known for West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, formerly the largest in the world. Another world-class attraction is the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, housing the largest collection of dinosaur fossils under one roof in the world. Alberta also contains significant natural scenery, including 5 of Canada's 17 UNESCO World heritage sites. These are Banff and Jasper National Parks, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Wood Buffalo National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. In the southeast, Alberta shares with Saskatchewan the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, a geographic region of importance both to aboriginal history and to the North-West Mounted Police. Alberta has no provincial sales tax.

Alberta is an important skiing destination for tourists. It has several world-class ski resorts. Canada Olympic Park, with its downhill ski and ski jumping facilities, is located in the city of Calgary.

Saskatchewan[edit]

Saskatchewan offers two major cities, Regina and Saskatoon. Regina is home to one of Canada's most significant attractions, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Academy at Depot Division where visitors can view the Sergeant Major's Parade held weekdays and the seasonal Sunset Retreat Ceremonies. Regina is also home to the RCMP Heritage Centre which opened in May 2007. Saskatoon is home to the largest branch of the Western Development Museum, which houses important artefacts and recreations of the early settlement of the Canadian prairies.

The prairie province also has the most golf courses and water bodies per capita of any other province. Statistically the warmest summers with the most sunlight hours in Canada occur in Saskatoon. Natural attractions include Cypress Provincial Park, the Great Sand Hills, Scottie the Dinosaur (the largest intact Tyrannosaurus Rex found in North America).

Manitoba[edit]

Manitoba was the 5th province to enter confederation in 1870. The province is home to many lakes and rivers with over 14.5% of the land area covered by lakes. This offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, boating, and some of the finest beaches in North America. The province is a four season travel destination offering cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities, as well as many miles of groomed ski-doo trails. Churchill on the Hudson Bay is a popular attraction due to the large polar bear and beluga whale population. The capital city Winnipeg, with a population of near 700 000, offers many cultural and artistic events, museums and year round festivals. Other cities with more than 10,000 people are Brandon, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Steinbach.

Sites of interest in Winnipeg

Winnipeg is also home to:

Other sites of interest in the Province

Festivals and Events

Ontario[edit]

Ontario is the most populous and second largest province in Canada. Southern Ontario is home to the Nation's capital, Ottawa and Canada's largest city, Toronto, which is the provincial capital and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The forests and numerous lakes of Central Ontario and Northern Ontario also provide popular hiking and camping destinations.

The CN Tower is a major tourist attraction in Toronto.

Sites of interest in Ottawa

Sites of interest in Toronto

Other sites of interest in Ontario

Quebec[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Quebec

Quebec, a majority francophone province, is a major tourist draw. Quebec City is a taste of old France in the new world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Montreal, the second largest francophone city in the world, has several tourist attractions.

Sites of interest in Montreal

Sites of interest in Quebec City

Other sites of interest in Quebec

New Brunswick[edit]

New Brunswick is renowned for its sandy beaches especially along the Northumberland Strait which in summer has the warmest water north of Virginia.

Saint John, The largest city in New Brunswick and the oldest Incorporated in Canada at the mouth of the St. John River. Steeped with history from Irish immigration to a great fire in the 19th century. The port city has numerous Victorian houses and amazing 18th and 19th century architecture in the Uptown area. The Saint John port welcomes close to 80 cruise ships a year with sites such as;

The Bay of Fundy Saint John River Partridge Island Reversing Rapides Market Square Saints Rest Beach New Brunswick Museum Saint John Jewish Historical Museum Prince William Street

Moncton, the province's second largest city and the recreational center of the province. With tourist attractions such as,

Fredericton, the province's capital and third largest city, is a cultural and educational centre housing the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, and is filled with neighbourhoods featuring large Victorian-style homes.

Other attractions include:

Prince Edward Island[edit]

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the birthplace of Lucy Maude Montgomery's character, Anne of Green Gables, and a recreation of her literary home serves as a museum to the character. PEI is also famous around the world for its potato farms and rich red mud beaches.

Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

Newfoundland and Labrador attracts many tourists because of its icebergs and fjords. It was settled by Leif Ericsson, an Icelandic sailor, in 1000 A.D. Remains of this settlement can still be found in L'Anse aux Meadows, northern Newfoundland. Europeans settled in 1497, headed by an expedition by John Cabot.

The province's capital, St. John's, is the oldest city in North America, founded in 1497 by John Cabot. It contains many historical locations, such as Cabot Tower, receiver of the first wireless trans-Atlantic message in 1901. Steeped in a long, proud history and home to a rich, unique culture - St. John's residents are known for their hospitality, and their city is a major travel destination in Newfoundland both domestically and for foreign travelers. In recent years, St. John's has become a popular stop for cruise ships originating from ports in Canada, the United States and Europe. The cruise industry has brought tens of thousands of tourists to the St. John's area. In the city's downtown core, George Street, renowned for its nightlife, is home to the most bars and pubs per square foot in North America.

Just outside St. John's lies Cape Spear, the most eastern point in North America. From this point, London in the UK is closer than Vancouver.

Nova Scotia[edit]

Nova Scotia is known for its lovely scenery; most renowned is the Cape Breton Highlands. The historic 18th century Fortress Louisbourg is also a major draw [5].

Halifax, the provincial capital, has several major attractions, such as the Pier 21 museum, Citadel Hill, and the Public Gardens. The Halifax Metro Centre is home to numerous events both sport-related and otherwise, such as the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Downtown Halifax is considered the prime tourism district in Halifax, with most historic attractions located here as well as the waterfront harbourwalk, a continuous 3 km (2 mi) stretch of boardwalk home to street vendors, entertainers, the Casino Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Downtown Halifax is also the location of several major hotels.

Yukon Territory[edit]

With its history of the Klondike Gold Rush, First Nations culture and spectacular wilderness, the Yukon Territory has an extensive tourism industry, welcoming over 300,000 visitors a year. Tourist attractions include the gold rush town of Dawson City, Kluane National Park and Reserve and a number of attractions in Whitehorse and other communities. Opportunities for wilderness adventure tourism and ecotourism abound (hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, dog-sledding), but the territory is also served by a well-developed road network, with most places accessible by road.

Northwest Territories[edit]

Northwest Territories attractions include:

Nunavut Territory[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Nunavut

Nunavut is probably the most expensive of all the tourist destinations in Canada. Attractions in Nunavut include:

Neighbouring countries[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]