15 experiences you can only have in Canada
Canada is a multi-faceted country that is bursting with memorable experiences. You have a world-famous mountain range, striking Pacific and Atlantic Ocean coastlines, the world’s highest concentration of lakes, arctic terrain, and cosmopolitan cities.
This exclusive mix makes for once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Known as Canadian Signature Experiences, these tours and activity packages are offered by local Canadians who are passionate about their country and love to share their knowledge with visitors. There are over 100 experiences on offer, covering everything from ventures into the Arctic to foodie tours in the big cities. There is something for everyone but we have rounded up 15 of most memorable experiences to give you an idea of why Canada is one of the world’s most unique holiday destinations.
1. Witness the highest tide in the world
New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada is home to the Bay of Fundy – where you’ll find the world’s highest tide. You can witness the high tide from the cliffs, but you can also walk along the ocean floor when the tide is out and admire the erosion on the Hopewell Rocks.
2. Voyage into the Niagara Falls
No holiday to Ontario is complete without a day-trip to Niagara Falls. While admiring the falls from the sidelines is still a breath-taking experience, everyone should voyage beyond the falls into the 130-year-old tunnels where you can hear the thundering Horseshoe Falls all around you.
3. Live 19th Century British Military Life
On the island of Nova Scotia you can fire the rifles, eat the food, and live the life of a 19th century soldier at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada. The Citadel was once a key defence point of Halifax Harbour and the Royal Navy Dockyard
4. Witness the aurora borealis
The Yukon is one of the best places on earth to witness the stunning Northern Lights. Tucked into the corner of northern Canada and far away from any of the major cities – your chances of spotting this beautiful display are very high. Book yourself a guided tour into the wilderness to increase your chances.
5. Bike through the Canadian Rockies
We all know about the iconic Rocky Mountaineer and the self-drive opportunities – but did you know that you can book a bike trip through the stunning Rocky Mountains?
6. Explore the Arctic
If you’ve ever wanted to embark on a wilderness adventure through the Arctic – Canada is the place to do it. Several adventurous tours are on offer: including a cruise around Baffin Island, sailing through the Northwest Passage, a dogsled ride in Nunavut, and an arctic safari where you’ll be on the look-out for polar bears, beluga whales and the mysterious narwhal!
7. Ride an Olympic Bobsleigh
At Winsport in Calgary, you can ride down the track made famous by Team Jamaica during the '88 Winter Olympic Games, which was also featured in Disney’s Cool Runnings film. The pilot will slide a group of 4 through 10 turns hitting speeds of 80+ km/hr and you will feel the force of over 2 G’s!
8. Sail along Iceberg Alley
Newfoundland & Labrador is home to the fascinating Iceberg Alley, where you can get up close to these natural wonders. You can choose to stand on the shore and view them or you can book a day cruise that also includes whale watching!
9. Immerse yourself in Cowboy Culture
In both Saskatchewan and Alberta, you can fully immerse yourself in the cowboy culture that is integral to the culture of these two provinces. Including a horseback ride through the prairies, ranch-style meals, and cowboy storytelling.
10. Fish for your own dinner
Love seafood? The Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island serves it up fresh at its many seafood restaurants. Some of it was caught literally 10 metres from the table, but if that’s not quite fresh enough – you can also catch your own. Book yourself onto either a (or both!) lobster fishing tour or a clam digging adventure, where you’ll then boil your catch on the shore for a beach-side feast!
11. Walk along the edge of the CN Tower
You’ve seen the images of the CN Tower soaring above the Toronto skyline. Now imagine looking out over the edge with only a harness. It is the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk, and circles the top of the Tower’s main pod, 356m/1168ft (116 storeys) above the ground.
12. Hunt for fossils
Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta is one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. Fifty-eight dinosaur species have been discovered at the park and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums around the globe. The park is also noted for its striking badland topography.
13. Stay in a hotel made from ice
Twenty minutes north of Quebec City you’ll find Hôtel de Glace, aka the Ice Hotel. Home to 42 rooms with intricate ice sculptures, this is one hotel experience for the bucket list. You can even get married there!
14. Visit the world’s first museum dedicated to human rights
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, you’ll explore 11 galleries covering different aspects of human rights. Including the life of Indigenous Canadians, the Holocaust, the long campaign for human rights, and where society and human rights are today.
15. Watch the sunset from the stunning Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s most scenic drives. It laps around the top of Cape Breton Island and passes through scenic mountain ranges as well as seaside towns. Remember to stop and catch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean during your journey.