CANADA

Wild and beautiful, cosmopolitan and prosperous, Canada is a paradox in more than one way. The second largest country in the world, Canada has only 29 million people who despite the 10 provinces and 2 territories live mostly in two areas -Quebec and Ontario. Cities where they exist are large, busy and multi-ethnic -- you can hear a babble of tongues and see faces from different nationalities. But wander into the forest or the frozen tundra and you may hear no human voices except your own.

Quiz fans and trivia lovers will be thrilled to know that Canada is where the game of Trivial Pursuits was devised as also the all-important zipper. Insulin was discovered here, as was the use of cobalt for treating cancer. Environmentalists will already know that Canada is where the powerful Greenpeace group was born. All you folks going ga-ga over the radio, know that a lot of battery-less radio technology was developed first in Canada! Science buffs, did you know that the electron microscope, the snowmobile, chainsaw, snow plough and snow blower were all invented in Canada? So, don't wait too long to visit Canada, the country of many firsts!

It is believed that the name Canada has been derived from "kanata” community or village, a Huron-Iroquis word and harks back to the days when the country consisted of trading posts. Visitors will find plenty to be enthralled by in Canada - some of the world's best natural vistas, great, fun-filled cities and warm and friendly people. Space is certainly not at a premium here and you can go do your own thing -- people-watching, sightseeing, adventure sports, nature treks. Be what you want to be in Canada and go where your heart commands you here.

Capital: Ottawa

Best time to visit:

  1. One can visit Canada at any time during the year, as the country has something in store for every season. 
  2. The Best time to Visit the country is during Spring, Summer and Autumn, encompassing the months of April to October.
  3. Similarly Autumn (September to October) witnesses the fall foliage in Canada, with the temperatures comfortable to still enjoy sightseeing and outdoor activities, yet escaping the tourist rush of summer. 
  4. Within the range of an ideal time to visit Canada, summer season is regarded as the peak tourist season. 
  5. The summer months of June to August are characterized by warm days and cool nights, with humidity being more concentrated on the coastal areas.
  6. Winter months occur during the November to March, with the country witnessing colder temperatures, stronger winds and snowfall. However this season too has its own charm, as the weather transforms Canada into a ski resort and winter sport haven. Further attracting the winter enthusiasts, is the added advantage of relatively lower accommodation and travel rates as well as the many festivals, which take place including the season, including the famous Carnival de Quebec (Winter Carnival)

Minimum days required: 7 days

Places of Interest:

  1. Victoria – Butchart Gardens, Royal British Columbia Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Discovery Island
  2. Vancouver – Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium, Capilano Suspension bridge, Playland, BC Place, Canadian Rockies, Canada Place
  3. Mount Whistler
  4. Montreal – La Ronde, Bell Center, Montreal Biodome, Mount Royal, Old Port of Montreal
  5. Ottawa – Ridieu Canal, National Gallery of Canada, Chateau Laurier, Calypso park, Canadian War Museum
  6. Toronto- CN Tower, Toronto Zoo, Toronto Eaton Center, Ontario Science Center, Casa Loma
  7. Niagara Falls

Climate:

  1. There are four distinct seasons in Canada -spring, summer, autumn and winter. Therefore depending on the latitude and the timing of the seasons, temperatures vary from place to place. 
     
  2. For the country in general, summer is between the months of June to August, with July and August tending to be the hottest months of the year. The warmest parts of the country lie towards the south, closest to the North American border. 
  3. Wintertime in Canada is during the months of November to March, with January and February pegged as the coldest month, as temperatures fall to an average of minus 20 degrees Celsius. Most of the country is capped in snow during these months. 
  4. Spring and autumn seasons occur between the months of April to May and September to October respectively. Being transitional months, they tend to experience milder climatic conditions, compared to the extremes of summer and winter, whilst also adding to the landscape beauty of this country due to the flora and fauna witnessed during these time periods. 
  5. To better understand the climatic variations of Canada, we may divide the country into different areas. 
  6. The Northern part of Canada experiences Arctic type climate, with the summer temperatures dropping to minus 15 degrees Celsius on certain days and winter being well below freezing point.
  7. Within the central part of Canada, the summer temperatures range between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, with the winter being harsher and windier witnessing low temperatures averaging minus 15 degrees Celsius.
  8. Due to their proximity to the oceans, the coastal areas experience the greatest share of rainfall and humidity.
  9. The towns within the coastal areas, witness an average summer temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and winter falling to 0 degrees Celsius. 

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Things to carry:

  1. Depending on the season, bring appropriate clothing: light clothes for summer and plenty of layers for winter.
  2. Gloves, scarf and hats are a must for winter.
  3.  Sturdy walking shoes are great for those explorations. An umbrella is a good idea for those rainy days.
  4.  Bring a swimsuit along - you can swim in the ocean, lake, hotel and motel pools!

How to get there:

Air

1)      You are likely to arrive to Canada by air, most likely into Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver (the 5 largest cities, from East to West).

2)       Many other cities have international airports as well, with the following being of particular use to visitors: Halifax, St. John's, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Victoria.

3)      Air Canada and WestJet are the country's only national air carriers, covering the entire country and international destinations (Note that a number of regional domestic airlines also exist as well as charter airlines serving only international destinations).