These Canadian cities are large, diverse, and full of new sites and activities to discover. Learn more about why Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver should be on your next vacation shortlist.
The most populous city in Canada and the capital of Ontario, Toronto is a diverse, thriving city of nearly 3 million residents. This city is home to professional sports teams, convention centers, and numerous historical sites and museums.
Art, History, and Natural Wonders
For kids and adults interested and history and art, there is no shortage of options in the Queen City. Among them is the world-renowned Royal Ontario Museum, showcasing an array of art plus captivating cultural and natural exhibits.
Niagara Falls Excursions
A modern and family-friendly city, Toronto has something for everyone. Just over an hour from the US border, the attractions start before even reaching the city proper. Even if you’ve been to Niagara Falls before, Toronto offers opportunities to experience the excitement all over again. Tour options include Niagara Falls by plane and bus, with stops at some of Canada’s finest wineries along the way!
Activities for Kids
For those traveling with children and teenagers, Toronto’s educational attractions are not without their thrills. Among the most popular is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, a sprawling 135,000-square-foot marine wildlife center where wonder and immersion can easily fill an entire day. With exhibits that include the Rainbow Reef, the Dangerous Lagoon, and the Discovery Centre, kids of all ages are sure to be impressed by these natural wonders.
Known as a little piece of Europe in North America, Montreal is a hub of Canadian culture, art, and architecture. This walkable city is filled with well-maintained cobblestone streets plus a blend of baroque and modern architecture sure to delight any traveler.
Stunning Natural and Man-Made Sites
Major architectural attractions include French-inspired sites like the St. Joseph’s Oratory, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral—made all the more spectacular by a vibrant autumn palette or fresh winter snow.
Additional outdoor activities include year-round parks and other public spaces like the Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques and the highly-rated Mount Royal overlooking downtown. If nature-themed attractions are your thing (or your family’s) try Montreal Botanical Garden or the Montreal Biodome to take in flora from all over the world.
The Biodome is among several landmark sites informally commemorating Canada’s hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Other local attractions from this era include the succinctly-named but unforgettable Montreal Olympic Stadium, now utilized as an all-purpose special events facility featuring concerts, themed conventions, and shows of all types.
Wet and Wild
Montreal has attractions for all ages and is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families of all sizes. For those wanting a thrill, the Six Flags brand amusement park La Ronde has rides and attractions for both children and adults. The SuperAquaClub, a combination of beach and water park, brings natural and man-made attractions together with water slides overlooking the Lac des Deux Montagnes (or the Lake of Two Mountains).
Vancouver is a renowned escape for both winter and summer adventurers featuring stunning mountain peaks for world-class skiing or vast North American landscapes for hiking. While any traveler would doubtless enjoy these outdoor activities, Vancouver is also a center for museums, fine dining, and cultural attractions of all kinds. Positioned on Canada’s Pacific Coast, Vancouver enjoys a reputation for its unique and laid-back culture, similar to that of the US’s Pacific Northwest.
Hiking and Outdoor Fun
Taking a vacation is all about relaxation and an outdoor hike is a great way to experience the benefits of fresh air and exercise. One great thing about hiking in Vancouver is that one does not have to venture far to enjoy the kind of natural splendor you’d only expect to find in Canada’s wilderness regions. Directly outside city limits are 3,000 acres of unincorporated land called the University Endowment Lands or UEL. This sparsely populated area is home to miles of public hiking trails, ranging from very easy to very difficult to complete.
Skiing and Snowboarding
No guide to Vancouver would be complete without highlighting its well-earned reputation as a winter sports paradise. It would take nearly a lifetime for even the most avid skier to enjoy this region’s hundreds of skiing and snowboarding runs throughout Vancouver’s multiple winter resorts. Vancouver’s most notable resort may be Whistler Blackcomb, situated just over an hour outside the city proper.
Vancouver Activities and Excursions
For kids, there are a number of exciting and educational activities in Vancouver. Just outside of city limits is the Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove. This ideal family outing features 140 different animal species from around the world. Kids will be wowed by the rare Siberian Tiger or the zoo’s Southern White Rhino, Theodore. Kids can see the animals up close during the scheduled “Keeper Talks” where employees describe an animal’s day-to-day habits and their interaction with it.
For adults, Vancouver features stunning boat tours of the scenic Coal Harbor. Witness spectacular cityscapes offset by a backdrop of mountain ranges during a sunset boat tour of the harbor and surrounding waters. When you’ve docked at the marina, enjoy any number of upscale dining options.