Many of Canada’s major cities offer great outdoor activities, captivating cultures, award-winning dining, and artistic flair. From Vancouver and Winnipeg to Toronto and Quebec City, visitors will enjoy friendly and welcoming communities, impressive accommodations, and world-renowned attractions.
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The capital of Canada’s Ontario province, Toronto is a dynamic metropolis that is situated along the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario. The city is filled with soaring skyscrapers, all of which seem small when compared to the iconic CN Tower. Toronto has a number of lush-green parks that are equipped with trails and recreational facilities, including Trinity Bellwoods Park, Tommy Thompson Park, and High Park. This waterfront city features several exciting attractions for visitors to explore, such as the Toronto Zoo, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and St. Lawrence Market. Toronto also boasts a very diverse and highly acclaimed food scene; visitors can satisfy their appetites at award-winning restaurants that include Buca, Dandylion, and Alo.
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Situated on an island within the Saint Lawrence River, Montreal is Canada’s largest city in the Province of Quebec. Montreal is a bustling, exhilarating city filled with highly-acclaimed restaurants, globally recognized museums and landmarks, and premier shopping boutiques. Some of the city’s top attractions include the Notre-Dame Basilica, Old Montreal, Mount Royal Park, Montreal Botanical Gardens, and Cathedral of Marie-Reine-du-Monde. With Montreal getting a taste of every season, visitors can enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities; such as boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, snowboarding, downhill skiing, and cross-country skiing. The city is also Canada’s center for French-language films, theatre, radio, television productions, print publishing, and multimedia.
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Located in the Canadian Province of Alberta, Calgary is a cosmopolitan city that is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. The city features several towering skyscrapers, beautiful parks, fascinating landmarks and museums, and sensational restaurants. A mile-high city, Calgary is known for having fairly unpredictable weather. Experiencing all four seasons, residents and visitors have a large variety of outdoor recreational activities to choose from. The city offers numerous entertaining attractions for visitors to check out, including the Heritage Park Historical Village, Prince’s Island Park, Calgary Zoo, and famous Calgary Stampede.
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Within the Province of Ontario and approximately 125 miles east of Montreal, visitors will find Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. The city’s park-lined Rideau Canal is typically filled with boats in the summers and ice-skaters during the winters. With the city being situated along the powerful Ottawa River, visitors will have unrivaled access to fun and exciting water activities, including boating, jet-skiing, fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. Ottawa is loaded with world-class attractions for visitors to explore, such as Parliament Hill, the Canadian War Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Peace Tower.
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Situated on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton is the capital city of Canada’s Alberta province. Edmonton has a rich culture and arts scene where visitors can enjoy live theatre, explore numerous art galleries, and attend countless festivals. The nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of the world will appreciate the Elk Island National Park and William Hawrelak Park. Edmonton features some of Canada’s hottest hyper-local bistros, indie bakeries, and craft beer taprooms. The city is also home to some of the trendiest independent boutiques, including The Helm Clothing, Miss Boss, and Hye Fashion. Visitors should also be sure to check out the Winspear Centre, Fort Edmonton Park, and Muttart Conservatory.
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Mississauga is a large waterfront city that is located in the Canadian Province of Ontario. The city neighbors Toronto and is found along the shores of Lake Ontario. The city’s Port Credit features numerous shops, a large marina, and a working lighthouse. Mississauga has several beautiful parks for travelers to visit and residents to enjoy, such as the Brueckner Rhododendron Garden, Erindale Park, Lake Aquitaine Trail & Park, and Kariya Park Japanese Gardens. Mississauga offers a variety of fun and interesting attractions for visitors to explore, including The Riverwood Conservancy, Absolute World Towers, Bradley Museum, and Square One Shopping Centre.
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Known for its welcoming and friendly spirit, Winnipeg is a culturally diverse city that is the capital of Canada’s Manitoba province. Over the last several decades, Winnipeg has become a cosmopolitan city that is complete with exciting attractions, swanky boutiques, a rich culture and arts scene, and top-notch eateries. The city’s Exchange District is a popular place for visitors to explore with its numerous art galleries and well-preserved 20th-century architecture. The city’s heart and soul is The Forks – a historic location at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. This area features old warehouses that have been converted into unique shops and restaurants. Whether it’s shopping, dining, or a fun festival, Winnipeg has it all.
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Vancouver is a bustling port city that is located along Canada’s west coast, in the province of British Columbia. It is one of Canada’s densest and most culturally diverse cities. Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city connected to nature, making it easy for visitors to combine urban getaways with outdoor adventure. Surrounded by soaring, picturesque mountains and the Strait of Georgia’s Pacific waters, the city provides an idyllic and popular filming location. Vancouver is also known for its continuously thriving music, theatre, and art scene. The city is filled with fun and exciting things to do, including exploring Stanley Park and Granville Island, taking a trip to the Museum of Anthropology, or enjoying a romantic moment atop the Vancouver Lookout.
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Brampton is a diverse and vibrant city that is located in Ontario, Canada’s, greater Toronto region. With over 6,000 acres of well-manicured and picturesque parklands, Brampton provides its residents and visitors with countless opportunities for outdoor activities. The city is also positioned near several lakes, including Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Scugog. Travelers can enjoy boat tours on many of these lakes, as well as fishing, kayaking, jet-skiing, and more. Some of the city’s top attractions include the Rose Theatre Brampton, the Heart Lake Conservation Area, Peel Art Gallery Museum & Archive, and Professor’s Lake Recreation Centre.
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Hamilton is a bustling, Canadian port city that is located on the western edge of Lake Ontario. It’s a city known for its vibrant culinary offerings, stunning natural beauty, renowned museums, and National Historic Sites. Hamilton is also known for its thriving arts scene, from century-old institutions to grass-roots galleries. The lower part of Hamilton is situated between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, surrounded by picturesque waterfronts and forested trails. Hamilton provides visitors with plenty of opportunity for enjoying fun activities, such as taking a sightseeing tour on the Hamilton Harbour Queen, rollerblading around Hamilton Waterfront Outdoor Rink, or exploring the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
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Positioned on the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City is a large city within the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec. The city is brimming with heritage attractions, museums, and amusement parks, some of which include the Fortifications of Quebec, Valcartier Vacation Village, and Museum of Civilization. The Old City is very similar to an open-air museum and can be explored by foot fairly easily via guided tour. Beyond the city’s historic district, visitors can enjoy local attractions that include the Ice Hotel, Montmorency Falls, and the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Shrine. Quebec City is also filled with many world-class restaurants, such as Laurie Raphael, iX pour Bistro, and Bachir.
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Surrey is a beautiful, waterfront city that is nestled between the winding Fraser River and shimmering Boundary Bay in British Columbia, Canada. The city is situated just southeast of Vancouver, along the United States and Canada border. Travelers can head to Crescent Beach where the Ocean Park Shoreline Walk is located, and look for starfish, crabs, and sand dollars during low tide. Surrey is a city brimming with natural beauty and plenty of scenic parks to enjoy it in, including Peace Arch Provincial Park, Blackie Spit Park, Redwood Park, and Tynehead Park. Surrey’s burgeoning culinary scene provides foodies with a plethora of delectable restaurants to choose from, such as The Vault, Old Surrey Restaurant, and An Indian Affair.
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Surrounded by the winding Prairies River, Laval is a larger city within the Canadian province of Quebec, located just northeast of Montreal. Parc De La Riviere Des Mille has several picturesque, waterfront trails for visitors to explore. The city’s Nature Center features several ponds, beautiful gardens, and a plethora of farm animals. Visitors should definitely add the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul historic district to their itinerary, they’ll appreciate the cozy cafés, casual eateries, and neoclassical architecture. Laval has a number of interesting landmarks and attractions for visitors to check out, including the Cosmodome, Centropolis, Salle Andre-Mathieu, and the Colossus Laval Movie Theater.
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A bustling port city on Canada’s eastern coast, Halifax is the capital city of the country’s Nova Scotia province. What makes this city so special is its perfect balance of urban and rural surroundings, complemented by the mighty North Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can enjoy everything from a bonfire on the beach to a round of golf along the Atlantic to a night out at a trendy club. Halifax provides the perfect environment for a number of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, and sailing, and camping. The Citadel National Historic Site, Historic Properties Wharf, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and Halifax Public Gardens, are just a handful of the city’s attractions worth checking out.
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London is a city located in Canada’s Ontario province, nestled among three North American Great Lakes – Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Travelers visiting London for their first time can get a great feel for the city via self-guided walking tours. They should start their journey at the city’s iconic Covent Garden Market, where they can enjoy a local tradition that’s been in place since 1845. Visitors will also have the chance to check out The Forks of the Thames – a focal point of the Thames River redevelopment, Museum London, and the historic Eldon House. Comic book buffs can lose themselves on Dundas Street, where the award-winning stores of Heroes Comics and La Mood Comics & Games are located.
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Located within the Greater Toronto Area, Markham is a vibrant city located approximately 19 miles northeast of Downtown Toronto. It is part of the Regional Municipality of York, in Southern Ontario, Canada. In Markham Villages, Thornhill, and Unionville, visitors can stroll through award-winning heritage districts. They’ll also have the opportunity to travel back through time at the 25-acre Markham Museum, peruse the nationally acclaimed Varley Art Gallery, and enjoy world-class performances at the Flato Markham Theatre. If travelers can squeeze it in, they should check out Toogood Pond Park, Whittamore’s Farm, the Reesor Farm Market, and Milne Dam Conservation Park.
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Located in the Regional Municipality of York, Vaughan is a beautiful and modern city north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Vaughan’s diverse entertainment and social scene is sure to meet the needs of most of the city’s residents, visitors, and newcomers. Those looking to do a little shopping while in town should head to the 120,000-square-meter Vaughan Mills mall, equipped with over 200 retail stores and 35 places to dine. Canada’s Wonderland amusement park, and the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto are a couple of Vaughan’s top attractions that provide fun for the whole family. For fans of the Group of Seven, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a must-visit.
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Gatineau, or Ville de Gatineau, is a bustling city settled in the southwest part of Canada’s Quebec province, a couple of miles north of Ottawa. The city’s extensive network of paved, recreational pathways makes it easy for residents and visitors to explore Gatineau by foot or bike. Travelers can find all types of entertainment in Gatineau, including everything from hot-air balloon rides to fireworks shows to live concerts. Gatineau has a lot of wonderful scenery to offer, some of which can be found at the MosaiCanada 150 gardens, Gatineau Park, and Jacques Cartier Park. Visitors will also appreciate the city’s many fine eateries and trendy microbreweries.
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Saskatoon is a beautiful and vibrant city that is favorably positioned on the South Saskatchewan River, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Nine different bridges span the river’s gentle flow, linking west to east. All year-round, outdoor enthusiasts head to the Meewasin Trail, where they can enjoy running, walking, and biking on paved pathways around the scenic river. Those looking for cultural experiences will also find museums, historic sites, and well-manicured parks all along the trail. There are a number of other popular attractions for visitors to explore, including the Western Development Museum, Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo, Ukrainian Museum of Canada, and the Beaver Creek Conservation Area.
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Longueuil is a welcoming and entertaining city in the Canadian province of Quebec. This city has everything needed for a memorable trip – plenty of scenic nature areas, historic sites, concerts and festivals, and highly-acclaimed gastronomy. During the summer months, the municipal beach is a great place for friends and family to spend a fun-filled day. They can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and recreational bike paths. Longueuil has a variety of interesting attractions for visitors to explore, such as the Co-Cathedral of Saint-Antoine-De-Padoue, Michel-Chartrand Park, and Boise du Tremblay – a wildlife reserve. Open year-round, residents and visitors can get fresh produce and local products at the bustling public market.
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Kitchener is a city located in the southeast part of Canada’s Ontario province near Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. The city is full of attractions that are suitable for everyone, from historic to arts and culture to recreational. Culture buffs will find the city’s museums quite interesting, including the Joseph Schneider Haus Museum, THEMUSEUM, and the Waterloo Region Museum. For the nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Kitchener offers the sprawling Victoria Park, Huron Natural Area, and the Iron Horse Trail. The city also provides a bevy of recreation and sports opportunities, such as community pools and centers, skate parks, sports fields, and the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex.
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Directly east of Vancouver, Burnaby is a wonderfully picturesque, cosmopolitan city in British Columbia, Canada. Burnaby is an idyllic destination for anyone that loves a bit of outdoor recreation, shopping, entertaining festivals and events, and world-class dining. The city is brimming with incredible attractions that should be added to any itinerary, such as the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Burnaby Village Museum, and Grouse Mountain. There are several beautiful parks within Burnaby for visitors to explore, including Central Park, Confederation Park, and the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. From hiking to golfing to kayaking to winter sports, visitors can enjoy it all.
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One of Ontario, Canada’s best kept secrets, the city of Windsor is an International Gateway between Canada and the United States. The city and its incredible community offer world-class entertainment, unparalleled waterfront gardens and parks, and fascinating historical landmarks. Windsor is committed to fostering a vibrant and creative community by encouraging artistic expression and celebrating cultural diversity. Whether visitors are interested in the very best heritage and recreational exploration opportunities, or artistic and intellectual experiences, Windsor has it all. Some of the city’s main attractions include the Adventure Bay Family Water Park, Ojibway Nature Centre, Olde Walkerville Neighborhood, and Chimczuk Museum.
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Set approximately 10 miles southeast of Last Mountain Lake, Regina is the capital city of Canada’s Saskatchewan province. The city’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the past, present, and future of the province like never before. They’ll enjoy exhibits relating to aboriginal history, as well as earth and life sciences. The Fat Badger is a locally-owned Canadian pub that offers nightly food and drink specials in downtown Regina. Visitors will also want to find time to check out the Stone Hall Castle, Wascana Centre Park, Saskatchewan Science Centre, and the bustling Regina Farmer’s Market. Visitors will have access to plenty of sensational restaurants, trendy boutiques, and impressive art galleries.
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Richmond is a coastal city that is surrounded by the Fraser River just south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Richmond is home to the Vancouver International Airport, receiving several million visitors each year. The city is known for having Asian influences and being the site of an International Buddhist Temple – a very elaborate complex that resembles Beijing’s Forbidden City. In the Golden Village district, visitors will find a large cluster of Asian shops and eateries. Visitors should make it a point to check out the city’s many famed attractions, including the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Stevenson Heritage Fishing Village, and the wonderfully picturesque Garry Point Park.
25 of The Largest Cities in Canada
- Toronto, Photo: Courtesy of anderm - Fotolia.com
- Montreal, Photo: Courtesy of Nicolas - Fotolia.com
- Calgary, Photo: Courtesy of pabrady63 - Fotolia.com
- Ottawa, Photo: Courtesy of UlyssePixel - Fotolia.com
- Edmonton, Photo: Courtesy of Jason - Fotolia.com
- Mississauga, Photo: Courtesy of Atomazul - Fotolia.com
- Winnipeg, Photo: Courtesy of Thamyris - Fotolia.com
- Vancouver, Photo: Courtesy of MF - Fotolia.com
- Brampton, Photo: Courtesy of blondsteve - Fotolia.com
- Hamilton, Photo: Courtesy of maron - Fotolia.com
- Quebec City, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Surrey, Photo: Courtesy of daniel - Fotolia.com
- Laval, Photo: Courtesy of VladBrik - Fotolia.com
- Halifax, Photo: Courtesy of Atelier Knox - Fotolia.com
- London, Photo: London Tourism, Ontario, Canada
- Markham, Photo: Courtesy of jhvephoto - Fotolia.com
- Vaughan, Photo: City of Vaughan
- Gatineau, Photo: Courtesy of malkolm - Fotolia.com
- Saskatoon, Photo: Courtesy of Scott Prokop - Fotolia.com
- Longueuil, Photo: Courtesy of pepsee30 - Fotolia.com
- Kitchener, Photo: Courtesy of Marek - Fotolia.com
- Burnaby, Photo: Courtesy of vasilydomashev - Fotolia.com
- Windsor, Photo: Courtesy of Vladimir Mucibabic - Fotolia.com
- Regina, Photo: Courtesy of Henryk Sadura - Fotolia.com
- Richmond, Photo: Courtesy of Volodymyr Kyrylyuk - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jovannig - Fotolia.com