Mounties and maple syrup may spring to mind when you mention Canada, but the country has much more to offer its visitors. As a country it spans six time zones and borders three oceans.

Canada has everything – skiing or snowboarding over the huge mountains of Banff and Jasper National Park, sailing, visiting museums, immersing yourself in culture, shopping or watching the wild life. Western Canada is famous for its stunning countryside whereas eastern Canada mixes European charm with the trendy bustle of New York.

The most famous landmarks have to be Niagara Falls which separates the province of Ontario from New York State and the Rocky Mountains that stretch for 3000 miles from northern British Columbia right the way down to New Mexico.

Canada’s icy landscape of the Inuit territory of Nunavut in the far north is stunning as are the unspoilt beaches of Prince Edward Island. The country is so diverse there will be something to please everyone.

If you prefer the culture and luxury of a city break rather than the big outdoors, Canada also has its fair share of stunning cities. Montreal is one of the most attractive, with its bohemian atmosphere and lively nightlife. Toronto is equally worth visiting for its art galleries and excellent restaurants. But Vancouver offers the best of both worlds: a stylish city with beautiful parks and beaches.

Canada is a vast country (the world’s second largest) so when you plan your trip it is best to concentrate on one area to get the most out of your time there. Try to do too much and all you’ll so is spend many hours in a car or plane. 

The currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar. Money exchange facilities can be found in all the major towns, cities and tourist destinations. The most convenient - and often the cheapest - way of changing money is by credit or debit card at an ATM and of course, all major credit cards are widely accepted.




Standing on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto’s skyline is unmistakable with the CN Tower dominating the landscape surrounded by numerous skyscrapers. With its fair share of leafy residential areas and parks, Toronto offers a stylish and relaxing holiday destination.  

Toronto is the capital of the Province of Ontario and the fifth largest city in North America. Its population is incredibly diverse. Since the mass immigration towards the end of the 1950s Toronto absorbed new foods, new languages and new attitudes from Italy, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Caribbean, Asia and India creating areas of the city such as  Greektown, Little Italy and Chinatown.

It is a lively and cultural city with hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters. When the sun goes down its people indulge themselves at the city's numerous restaurants, bars and clubs, or at the symphony, opera and theatre. It is also home to the world’s longest street, Yonge Street, which runs from north to south through the city and the ‘Skydome’, a multi-purpose entertainment complex.

See & Do

There is so much to see and do in Toronto you’ll have a hard time fitting it all in. Listed below are just a few of the sights to see during your stay:

·         The Royal Ontario Museum

·         The Art Gallery of Ontario

·         CN Tower

·         Toronto Islands

·         Harbour front

·         Cabbage Town

·         Hockey Hall of Fame

·         Casa Loma

·         The Beaches

·         China Town

·         Little India

·         Greektown

·         Koreatown

·         Little Italy

·         Rogers Centre (Sky Dome)

·         High Park

·         Canadian National Exhibition Grounds

·         Bata Shoe Museum

·         Royal Ontario Museum

·         Ontario Science Centre

·         Toronto Zoo

·         Fort York

·         Gardiner Museum

·         Distillery Historic District

·         Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

·         Kensington Market


If you love to shop, you’ll love Toronto. It offers everything from the large shopping mall experience to local independent stores and markets.

The Eaton Centre is the largest shopping mall and a huge tourist attraction offering everything from high class stores to something for the bargain hunter and plenty of food outlets to sustain you during your shopping spree. For a mall catering for the higher-end stores, head for Yorkdale Mall.

Queen Street West is the area for the young and trendy set. Around this area is a wealth of independent clothing outlets, art galleries, street musicians and entertainers. The most exclusive shopping area is York Ville (Bloor West), home to the major fashion names, crystal, china, art galleries and high-end restaurants.

If markets are more your thing Toronto won’t disappoint. St Lawrence Market is a great place for food, arts and crafts. For vintage clothing head for Kensington Market along with fresh produce, fish, bakery items, cheese shops and coffee shops.

As for souvenirs, Toronto is full of shops selling maple syrup and gifts emblazoned with Mounties or maple leafs. However an alternate choice is Native American art, dream catchers or moccasins.

Food & Drink

Toronto has many diverse ethnic areas and this is reflected in the variety of cuisines available in the city. Offering everything from fine dining to fast food, there is something for everyone.

College Street, also known as Little Italy is where you’ll find most of the Italian restaurants. For the best Greek food head for the Danforth area, China Town for great Chinese and King Street West is home to some of the best ethic restaurants in the city.

Here are just a few suggestions from the many hundreds of restaurants in Toronto that you might like to try:

  • Bar Italia
  • Grappe Restaurante
  • The Lone Star
  • North 44
  • Opus
  • Truffles
  • Indian Rice Factory
  • The Paddock Tavern
  • Rain restaurant
  • Bistro 990
  • Senses
  • Vanipha Lanna
  • The Boiler House
  • 360 Revolving Restaurant


There is so much to keep you entertained in Toronto it’s hard to know here to begin. When you are in the city look out for the free magazines NOW and Eye which list what is happening and are widely available. But just to give you a taster of what is possible, here are a few suggestions:


  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • Air Canada Centre
  • Skydome

Theatre (King Street West):

  • Princess of Wales Theatre
  • Royal Alexandra Theatre


  • Casino Niagara


  • Paramount
  • Varsity


  • Ice Hockey – Toronto Mapleleafs
  • Basket Ball – Toronto Raptors
  • Baseball – Toronto Bluejays


  • Second City
  • Yuk Yuk’s


  • C’est What?
  • The Wild Indigo
  • The Dock’s
  • Panorama Lounge
  • The Madison Avenue Pub


  • Fluid
  • Hotel Boutique Bar Inc.
  • Tonic
  • El Convento Rico
  • Joe
  • Muzik
  • Lot 332
  • Tryst Nightclub
  • The Guvernment
  • Park Lane


  • May – International Children’s Festival of the Arts
  • June – International Dragon Boat Festival & Toronto Pride
  • July – Beaches International Jazz Festival
  • August – Festival of Beer
  • September – Toronto International Film Festival
  • November – The Santa Claus Parade
  • December – First Night Toronto



Although the city of Toronto offers visitors a huge range of things to see and do, you might want to see what else this part of Canada has to offer. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Niagara Falls & Niagara on the lake
  • Kingston
  • Algonquin National Park
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg
  • Elora


Health & Safety

The tap water in Toronto is safe to drink. Healthcare is of a high standard, but can be very expensive, so private medical insurance is essential.  

Toronto is a very safe city with extremely low levels of any sort of crime. However you would be advised to take the usual precautions regarding your valuables. Don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you and be aware of pick pockets in crowded areas.




Vancouver sits on the unspoilt southwest coast of Canada. Lapped by the Pacific and with mountains as a backdrop, Vancouver offers not only beautiful views but also a variety of activities and attractions to tempt all tastes.  Even when you are in the heart of downtown Vancouver you are never more than an hour away from the whale-rich coastal waters and beautiful beaches. Close by are the snow-covered mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb – one of the world’s most exclusive ski resorts.

The city is divided by the wide water of False Creek which is constantly buzzing with a stream of boat traffic. It is quite an experience to hop on the SeaBus to get from downtown to North Vancouver.

Downtown is famous for its historic Gastown and trendy Yaletown areas located on the Burrard Peninsula, as are the residential West End and Stanley Park with its dense cover of fir and cedar. The Lions Gate Bridge links the city with North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains across Burrard Inlet. To the east are the city's large Chinatown and the multicultural Commercial Drive area, while False Creek and the lively public spaces on Granville Island separate Downtown from the larger part of the city to the south.

Vancouver is also home to Canada’s largest city park, Stanley Park. This covers hundreds of acres with lush green forest and crystal lakes. 

During the winter, snow sports are the order of the day on nearby Grouse Mountain, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. And with the 2010 Winter Olympics coming to Whistler there is a lot of interest in the snow sporting scene. 


See & Do

Vancouver is a city with a huge number of attractions and sites to be seen. Below is a list of just some of the highlights offered by the city.

  • Stanley Park
  • Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • Vancouver Museum
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum
  • Granville Island
  • Historic Gastown and the Steam Clock
  • Grouse Mountain
  • HR MacMillan Space Centre (Pacific Science Centre)
  • Harbour Centre Tower Lookout
  • Chinatown
  • Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Science World
  • UBC Botanical Garden & Nitobe Memorial Garden
  • Museum of Anthropology
  • Pacific National Exhibition
  • Lonsdale Quay
  • PNE Playland
  • Greater Vancouver Zoological Centre


If you love shopping, you’ll love Vancouver. It has everything you could possibly want and more. Whether you enjoy hitting the big malls, browsing for arts and crafts, market shopping or just people watching while enjoying a coffee, you won’t be disappointed.

The main area for shopping is the intersection of Georgia and Granville Street. This is home to The Bay (Canada’s leading department store) and the Pacific Centre, a large above and below ground mall. Other malls in the city include Royal Centre, Sinclair Centre and the Metrotown.

Robson Street and Alberni Street offer some very upmarket shopping with numerous designer outlets and posh restaurants. In contrast the areas of Gastown, Chinatown and Little India offer fascinating curios and ethnic arts and crafts. For people watching, Commercial Drive offers art galleries, delicatessens, cafes and restaurants.

If you venture further out of the city centre, the Kerrisdale area offers an upmarket shopping experience while Yaletown is home to numerous galleries and expensive restaurants.

Vancouver also has several markets, the most popular of which is Granville Island market with its bohemian display of arts, crafts and food. Chinatown and Little India also have lively and colour markets.


Food & Drink

Vancouver is a truly international city and this is reflected in the cuisine that is available. It has everything from fast food to fine dining. For real authentic ethnic food, head for the areas of Little India and Chinatown.

There are thousands of restaurants to choose from but here are a few of the best to try during your stay.

  • Lumiére
  • Bishop’s
  • Le Gavroche
  • Piccolo Mondo
  • Hy’s Encore
  • The Fish House in Stanley Park
  • Kirin Mandarin Restaurant
  • Tojo’s Restaurant
  • Bin 941
  • The Cannery Seafood Restaurant
  • Cin Cin Restorante and Bar


Vancouver has everything from bars, discos, clubs, restaurants and karaoke and much more besides. Listed below are just a few of the venues you might like to try during your stay (for listings of events and venues look out for the Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight publications).



  • Bacchus Lounge
  • Sylvia Lodge
  • Delilah’s
  • The Lennox
  • Gerard Lounge
  • Piccadilly Pub
  • Ginger Sixty Two
  • Loose Moose
  • Subeez


  • Shine
  • Sonar
  • The Roxy
  • Caprice Night Club
  • The Odyssey


  • IMAX

Live Music:

  • Commodore Ballroom
  • Orpheum
  • General Motors Place
  • The Brickyard
  • The Cellar
  • Yale


  • Centre for Performing Arts
  • Arts Club Theatre
  • Vancouver Playhouse


  • Vancouver Opera Company


  • Ice Hockey – Vancouver Canucks


  • March – International Dance Festival
  • May – Vancouver Marathon
  • June – Dragon Boat Festival
  • July/August – Celebration of Light
  • August – Festival of Vancouver
  • October – New Music Festival
  • December – Festival of Lights


As we have already seen there are numerous activities to see and do in the city of Vancouver, but if you want to explore more of what this stunning area has to offer, listed below are just a few of the highlights:

  • Victoria and Vancouver Island
  • Whistler
  • Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast
  • Squeamish
  • British Columbia’s wilderness
  • Victoria
  • Whale-watching
  • Grouse Mountain
  • Gulf Islands
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • San Juan Islands

Health & Safety

The tap water is safe and you should have no problems finding medical attention in Vancouver should you require it. Hospital care is extremely modern and sophisticated.  

Vancouver in the main is a very safe city to walk around and it is very unlikely that you will be a victim of any sort of crime during your visit. However you should exercise the usual precautions to protect your valuables especially when in crowded areas.  The main area to avoid is the notorious downtown Eastside, Vancouver's most deprived area.


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