Yes! Lonely Planet has just named CANADA as the
number one travel
destination in 2017.
Don’t you just love it?! Well, especially if you are a Canadian, that is.
They say Canadians don’t have an abundance of national pride. That just might be because we are also known as a modest and polite group of people. We don’t like to brag. But hey, if you feel like this is a day that deserves a little chest-busting, I think it would be A-OK.
Photo credit Mat Kelman
Canadians, let the good word be known:
Canada is the number one destination for travel in 2017!
Canada’s West Coast
Come and see our great Canadian Rockies in the west. Drive through slowly on a wide modern highway. Stop for deer and bears and elk crossing the highway or in the ditch. Go white-water rafting on the Kicking Horse River. Ride horseback through the mountain trails. If you come in winter, enjoy some of the best ski hills in the world.
Canada is the country of a million clean-water lakes set in the pristine forests of the North. Listen to the haunting sound of the loons echoing across a lake in Northern Saskatchewan.
Drive through the flat prairies with shimmering fields of golden wheat or yellow canola and blue fields of flax. Stop in a small town. Everyone will stare. Someone will come over and ask you where you’re from, and soon half the place will be sitting at your table. We’re an inquisitive lot.
On a still and clear fall evening around midnight, watch the incredible Northern Lights dancing across the sky. September is the best time of the year, away from any city lights and of course on a cloudless night. A dazzling light show will leave you awestruck as it swirls and streaks across the sky changing colours and shapes in seconds. It will be an experience you will never forget.
You just have to experience the amazing natural phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy where you can actually walk on the ocean floor for a short period of time!
Walking on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
New Brunswick, Canada, in Autumn
Check out Newfoundland, “the Rock”, and the land of wild winds and dramatic coastlines. If you come in Spring, see the huge icebergs that creak and shine like ice castles in the water.
Prince Edward Island
The tiny island, Prince Edward Island, is a must-see. Drive the coastal road stopping each evening at a cozy Bed & Breakfast. PEI is simply pure charm.
Prince Edward Island 3
Of course you must go eat “Poutine” in Quebec and wander Quebec City’s streets. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe.
There are 10 provinces in Canada and 3 territories in the North. It is a huge country.
The Canadian People
But what about the people? Who can really describe a Canadian?
Ok, so we are polite. We say “sorry” all the time. And we mean it. We don’t like to be rude.
Don’t Push Too Far
We are generally non-aggressive, but watch out – if you cross that line, you will see plenty of backlash. Canadians are not totally passive. They like to be seen as considerate and polite, but we don’t like Bullies. If you try to push too far, you will get pushed back.
Canadians are considered to be down-to-earth and considerate of others, but we can’t stand arrogant people, know-it-alls and pushy or aggressive people. So don’t come here to tell us what or how to do things, or how wonderful you are. We may nod politely, but we will soon turn and leave your presence.
Canadians Don’t All Speak French
And no, we don’t all speak French. Almost everywhere we travel, as soon as people hear that we are from Canada, they say, “Oh, you speak French then.” Um. No. People in the province of Quebec speak primarily French, and some people (32%) speak French in New Brunswick, and some people (37%) in the government capital city of Ottawa. In the other 90% of Canada, the people speak English.
Most Culturally Diverse Nation
You won’t find the kind of racial prejudice in Canada that you find in many countries. Canada is truly a multi-cultural country. If your skin is a different colour or you speak a different language or you behave differently, we find that intriguing and interesting. We love all types of food and music and dance from other countries.
Canada, after all, was populated by Immigrants. Canada is in fact one of the most culturally diverse nations on the planet. In Canada you are more likely to be judged on your level of and sense of responsibility, rather than class, ethic status or background.
First Nations People
Everyone in Canada descended from Immigrants arriving from foreign countries, except our indigenous First Nations People. In this respect, I am embarrassed to admit that there are obvious prejudices, even the most subtle and systemic prejudices. They were here first. We have invaded their land. We’re working on it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Perry Bellegarde
Canadian First Nations Dancers
Tolerance and Respect
For me, two words describe Canadians: tolerance and respect.
Canadians are Not like U. S.
And if you truly want to insult us, assume that we are just like Americans of the U. S. We are all North Americans on this continent, but Canadians are drastically different in personality than our U.S. neighbors. Sorry, no negative implications to our U.S. friends. Sorry.
Please, Thank You, Sorry
Please and Thank You are important in Canada.
Canadian Sense of Humour
With the exception of hockey, our national sport, aggressive boasting and boisterous conduct is generally not acceptable, though we do appreciate a lively discussion. A good sense of humour will also take you a long way in most of Canada. Our humour is often self-deprecating.
Friendly but Reserved
Generally, Canadians are modest and reserved. Though not unfriendly, it takes them a little while to warm up to someone they don’t know. They will be polite and hospitable however, and if you maintain a friendly, calm and courteous manner, you can expect to make some satisfying and lasting friendships.
Canadian Bacon, eh?
Oh yah, and we love Food. We have every kind too, because we have people and their foods from almost every country in the world plus Canadian Bacon, local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, wines and even wild meats, if you dare, eh? We also tend to say “eh” at the end of our sentences.
As in most countries, people in the big cities are not as down-to-earth and friendly as the people in small towns and the countryside. Rural Canada is the more likely place to find the authentic Canadian culture.
Canada is a huge country. The culture and etiquette of each of the 12 provinces may vary greatly. What might be seen as rude in Toronto (a big city) may be quite different in another city, province, or in the rest of the country. You can’t judge a country by its big cities.
Canadian Summer is Better than Winter
And don’t come in winter – unless you love hockey, skiing, snow storms and 3o degrees below zero temperatures, all of which can be quite beautiful!
Canadian Women’s Hockey
Canadian Winter Saskatoon
You Cannot Do Canada in a Week
From one end of Canada to the other is over 6,000 km (4000 miles), and it is the 2nd largest country in the world. So don’t expect to “do Canada” in a week. Even in a month it would be difficult to see all of Canada. If you do your research, and decide what parts of Canada appeal to you the most, then plan on spending a week in each area, you would have a more satisfying trip and gain a much deeper understanding of the diversity of people and places in Canada.
Must Do’s in Canada:
As difficult as it is to make recommendations, here are our Must-Do’s in Canada:
- Take the ferry through the gorgeous Gulf islands between Vancouver city, British Columbia and Victoria, Vancouver Island, B.C.
- Drive through the incredible Rocky Mountains near Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta
- See the beautiful lakes of Northern Saskatchewan, the Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba, drive through a sea of wheat fields, then stop at any small town in the prairies
- Go to a show in Stratford, Ontario and drive through the African Lion Safari near Hamilton, Ontario
- Walk Quebec City in Quebec and stop at any small town in Quebec
- Drive the stunning vistas of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
- Try to get invited to a kitchen party with fiddle music in any of the Eastern Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador).
- Drive around the enchanting Prince Edward Island (PEI)
- Search for dramatic icebergs on the craggy coast of Newfoundland and Labrador
- The great Northern Territories (Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories) are remote and isolated but if you have the time, amazing to experience the countryside, the people and the wildlife.
Alberta, the Rocky Mountains
Maritimes Kitchen Party
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador Icebergs
Nunavut Territory in Summer
Baffin Island, Nunavut in summer
Yukon Territory in Summer
Yukon Territory in Summer
the number one world travel destination
We are so proud of you!