There’s no doubt that Canada is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In fact, it ranks as the ninth most popular location in terms of annual visitors, with some 32 million people making the trip from overseas in 2019.
There’s certainly a great deal to see and do when visiting Canada, which remains the second-largest country by total area and boasts the single longest coastline in the world. The nation is also home to a diverse selection of activities, from traditional sightseeing and high-octane adventures to a deep exploration of Canada’s bustling city hotspots.
If you’re planning an extended trip to Canada and want to bounce from one location, it’s important that you create a clearly defined itinerary. But what items should feature on this and how can you spend your downtime here? Let’s get into it!
Exploring Canada – What are the Best Hotspots?
In addition to Canada’s immense size, the country is also home to completely different types of locations and terrain. This creates multiple opportunities for adventure, whether you’re an avid city break fan or someone who loves the great outdoors. Recently, we’ve even seen celebrities taking to the country and praising the natural beauty of the province.
Certainly, no trip to Canada would be complete without visiting Ontario, which is the largest of the country’s 13 provinces and home to both a bustling city skyline and some exceptional coastline. Here you can scale Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, which is located at 301 Front St W in the heart of the city’s downtown area. The CN Tower resembles a soaring hypodermic needle that bursts out of the ground and pierces the Toronto skyline, while it has the distinction of being the tallest structure in the whole of the Americas at a staggering 1,815 feet.
This location is also home to Toronto’s most extreme urban attraction, in the form of the ominous-sounding EdgeWalk. This enables you to embark on a hands-free walk around the 150-metre long (and 1.5-metre wide) outer ledge that encircles the primary pod at the top of the tower, and while it isn’t for the faint-hearted, you’ll be relieved to note that you’ll also be attached to an overhead safety rail and harness system throughout!
Ontario’s borders also host four of Canada’s five great lakes (namely Lakes Ontario, Superior, Huron and Erie), which offer a far more tranquil travel experience and one that will see you encounter numerous national and provincial parks.
A particularly large number of parks are concentrated at Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, with the French River Provincial Park being particularly superb. Here, you can enjoy everything from water sports like kayaking to fishing, making it ideal for the adventure enthusiasts among you. Then there’s ‘Killbear’, which has a number of beaches and hundreds of miles of golden coastline and is especially popular among families.
If you’re a hiking fan, you’ll also love the Bruce Peninsula National Park, which sits just outside of Tobermory and features several stunning trails. The same can be said of the iconic Killarney Provincial Park, which also has the distinction of being naturally beautiful and characterized by a white quartzite mountain range that towers above a shimmering blue lake.
From Northern Ontario, you can also take a trip on ‘The Canadian’, which is one of the world’s most iconic rail journeys and one that starts in the city of Toronto. From here, it crosses the province’s scenic lakelands and mountain ranges, before traversing the western plains of the prairies and emerging at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. It then passes through Vancouver and finishes on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia!
How to Spend Your Downtime in Canada
Of course, this potential itinerary only scrapes the surface of the places that you can visit and the available attractions in Canada. No matter how busy your holiday schedule is, however, you’ll still have plenty of downtime on your travels, and you’ll need to identify viable ways of spending this while on the move. Here are some ideas to keep in mind!
- #1. Gamble Online (When in Ontario): Ontario legalized iGaming and sports betting markets on April 4th, 2022, with sports betting alone generating total revenue of over $1.48 billion during the first year. So long as you’re aged 19 or over and are located within Ontario’s state boundaries when you wager, you can bet on a range of iGaming verticals and sports betting markets, while Time2play’s Jovana Gjorgievska reviews the best-licensed mobile casinos in the province and identifies what sets them apart from their rivals.
- #2. Read a Book or Two: Travelling across Canada and between different locations can be time-consuming, which is why casual gambling is such a popular pastime in Ontario. The Canadian railway trip takes three days alone to complete, but if you don’t want to spend quite so much time staring at your screen, you could pack a book or two and make some time for reading. This is relaxing and good for your mental well-being, and it will surely help to pass the time on your trip!
- #3. Go for a Run: If you want to take a break from sightseeing, you could also make use of Canada’s stunning greenery and vast open spaces to enjoy some physical exercise. If you’re in the British Colombia region, for example, we’d recommend going for a run along the iconic West Coast Trail, which is a multi-day hiking trail that’s both breathtaking and capable of providing variable slopes and gradients depending on your level of fitness!