COUNTRY FILLED WITH UNEXPECTED WONDERS
The capital of Canada is Ottawa which is located on the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec, with an estimated population of 943,260 making it the fourth largest city in Canada. The ByWard Market (Lower Town), Parliament Hill and the Golden Triangle (both in Centretown – Downtown) have been the focal points of the cultural sights of Ottawa. There are also many popular streets within the city which are home to many boutiques, museums, theatres, galleries, cafes, bars and nightclubs.
Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories each of which has its open capital city. These provinces and territories are grouped into five regions. The Atlantic Provinces are: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In Central Canada there is: Quebec and Ontario. Prairie Provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. West Coast: British Columbia. Finally in the North: Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory. The total population of all these provinces and territories is 34,568,670 with most people living in southern Ontario and Quebec, southwest British Columbia and Alberta. The lowest populated area is the north because of the cold climate in this area.
For thousands of years Canada was inhabited by ‘Aboriginal peoples’ these are people whose family lived in Canada before the arrival of European explorers, pioneers and settlers. These aboriginal peoples are all from a variety of different cultures and of several major linguistic groupings; First nations, Inuit and Métis. The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal culture included permanent settlements, agriculture, civic and ceremonial architecture and trading networks. The total amount of Aboriginals within Canada is approximately 1,400,685 which is 4.3% of the National population. Nowadays Canada is seen to a very multicultural country welcoming tourist and visitors from all over the world.
Niagara Falls is the second largest falls on the globe and is one of Canada’s main attractions. Niagara Falls is the collective name for the three waterfalls that overlap the international border between Canada and USA. More specifically between the state of New York and Ontario they then form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. The three waterfalls from largest to smallest; the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. These together are renowned for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Straddling the Canadian – US border and being in the province of Ontario and the State of New York, Niagara Falls attracts an average 12 million tourists each year.
Canada is usually associated with cold weather and snow, however, its climate is just as diverse as its landscapes. Canadians can enjoy 4 very diverse seasons throughout the year especially the more populated regions along the US border. Summers can be hot and very dry on the prairies, it is a lot milder on the coasts and can get very humid in central areas of Canada. On average the daytime summer temperatures can reach to 35°C and higher. In the spring and fall is when you start to see the more moderate temperatures, spring generally being pleasant across the country and autumn is frequently crisp and cool, but is brightened by orange and red leaves on trees. Winters are usually cold with periods of snow and tend to be a lot milder and wet on the west coast in cities such as Vancouver and Victoria.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The most popular times to visit Canada are during the spring, summer and autumn months. In spring you will be seeing the blossoming of tulips and daffodils across the country along with warming days and off-peak season tourist rates. Autumn you will view the fall foliage with comfortable temperatures as you enjoy the sightseeing and outdoor activities Canada offers.
Summer is considered as the peak tourist season in Canada during the months of June, July and August. The days are characterised by warms days and cool night with humidity being more intense on the coastal areas of the country. During these months, city tours, sightseeing, outdoor activities, the famous Rocky Mountain tours and hiking trails are all packed with visitors. Summer is also Canada’s festival time. The famous festivals you could attend during the summer include, the Calgary Stampede, Montreal Jazz Festivals, Caribana and more. Around this time you do see a rise in prices of accommodation and flights so it is worth being prepared and advance book if you’re are looking to travel in these months.
The winter months are also very recognised as the weather can transform Canada into a ski resort for winter sport haven. The winter months are November through to March with temperatures hitting as low as -25°C. These months appeal greatly to the winter enthusiasts with an added advantage of relatively low accommodation and flight rates as well as many festivals which take place including the famous Carnival de Quebec (winter carnival).
Health & Vaccinations
We would recommend that you contact your GP around 8 weeks before you travel to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You can find Canada’s specific health information and advice through the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) and useful information about healthcare abroad is available from NHS choices.
Passport & Visa
When travelling to Canada your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay, no additional period of validity beyond this is required. If your passport has less than six months validity remaining when you arrive in Canada it may take longer to pass through immigration control. Under additional measures which were put in place in mid-2014, the Canadian authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates.
Usually British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada during a short period. However, if you have a different British nationality or you intend to travel for a longer period of time, you should check entry requirements with the Canadian High Commission. As you arrive in the country you will need to be able to prove that you have enough funds available to support yourself during your stay whether you are staying with family and friends or not.
WHERE TO STAY