THINGS TO DO IN CANADA
Here is a partial list of just some of the many amazing things to do in Canada! We've broken down our list of 100 things to do in Canada by province, so you can easily find things to do in the province where you are applying to study.
1. Retreat from the city to experience harmony and tranquillity in the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, on the edge of Vancouver's Chinatown.
2. Bike along Vancouver's 10-kilometre sea wall through Stanley Park, one of North America's largest urban parks.
3. Wander through 22 hectares of gorgeous flowers at Butchart Gardens, in Victoria.
4. Storm watch. Storm watching on Vancouver Island has become something of a spectator sport, with the Tofino area providing some of the best front-row seats for the crashing waves and howling winds of nature's fury.
5. Test your endurance by hiking the 75-kilometre West Coast Trail along cliffs, across beaches and through the old-growth-forest eco-tourist heaven of Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.
6. Roam through the Queen Charlotte Islands, also known as Haida Gwaii, by ferry, cruise ship or kayak. You can see the haunting remains of aboriginal Haida villages, memorial and mortuary poles, and two-metre-thick shell heaps.
7. Take a dip in one of BC's many hot springs when there's snow all around.
8. Mountain bike in the Kootenays, with snowcapped mountains, hot springs, clear lakes and wildlife as your backdrop. Rossland hosts the annual Rubberhead Mountain Bike Festival every summer, with nearby trails to suit all levels.
9. Visit one of the sites of the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler/ Blackcomb. Here you can ski...or climb a mountain with no experience. On the summit of Whistler mountain, take the Via Ferrata (Italian for Iron Way) -- a climbing route with permanently fixed cables for protection and metal ladder rungs to make it easier.
10. Ski at world-renowned Banff. Possibly over a nine-metre pool of slush at Banff's annual Slush Cup, held in May to celebrate the ski season's end.
11. Revel in dinosaurs in southern Alberta, which used to be a subtropical coastal plain. Dinosaur Provincial Park has yielded 300 dinosaur skeletons since the 1880s and many are displayed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
12. See the skeletons, butchering camps, meat caches and cooking pits at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, the site where Aboriginals herded bison over cliffs to provide life's requirements of meat, hides, sinew, bone and horn.
13. Get lost in the West Edmonton Mall's water parks, playgrounds, roller coasters, skating rink and, oh yes, stores.
14. See petroglyphs and pictograph rock art in sacred sites at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.
15. Take the train through the Rocky Mountains -- an absolute must for spectacular views of snow-capped peaks and granite ridges. Go east, west or both directions with Via Rail's Art Deco style cars, the privately-owned Rocky Mountaineer or the luxurious Royal Canadian PacificSaskatchewan
16. Drive across the prairies to see the rippling wheat fields, wide horizons and old-style wooden grain elevators.
17. See the remote lakeside cabin of Grey Owl, the famed conservationist and author, in Prince Albert National Park.
18. Decide for yourself -- was Louis Riel a hero or traitor? No matter which, he was pivotal to Canadian history, as a visit to Batoche National Historic Site will show. Here, Riel and his Metis supporters surrendered in 1885 after the last battle on Canadian soil since Confederation.
19. Join a day- or week-long archeological dig for dinosaur bones at the T.rex Discovery Centre near Eastend.
20. Savour the regional specialty: Saskatoon berry pie.
21. Tour the RCMP Museum, watch new recruits learn how to march and enjoy the Tuesday night sunset ceremonies.
22. Explore Churchill for more than just its polar bears -- it's also a prime viewing spot for beluga whales, birds, northern lights and the Prince of Wales Fort.
23. Delight in one of Canada's cultural treasures: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents Ballet in the Park, July 26 to 28 for free.
24. See where our loonies and toonies are made, plus coins from many foreign nations. Tour the Royal Canadian Mint.
25. Honour the memory of Margaret Laurence, famous author of The Stone Angel and other Canadian classics, at her former home in Neepawa.
26. Winnie the Pooh was named after a pet bear, named for the city of Winnipeg, who ended up in the London Zoo and inspired A.A. Milne. See a bronze statue of Winnipeg the Bear in Assiniboine Park where there's a zoo, sculpture garden and walking trails.
27. Crash through the "bus eater" or other walls of white water -- it's whitewater rafting on the mighty Ottawa River, prized amongst aficionados for its large volumes of warm water and thrilling runs.
28. Lace up your skates for the longest skating rink in the world: the Rideau Canal has been nominated to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
29. Go four storeys underground at the Diefenbunker, built in the 1950s to house the Canadian government in case of nuclear war.
30. Forget Broadway -- see spectacular musicals and live theatre like in Toronto.
31. Brush up on your Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival, where you can also enjoy lighter musical theatre such as Oliver! or South Pacific.
32. Marvel at the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world on the Trent Canal in Peterborough -- it actually lifts boats and water from one level to the next.
33. Camp in a tent, canoe across still lakes, and toast marshmallows over a campfire in Algonquin Park. On the east side, you can visit Canadian painter Tom Thomson's cabin and search out the gnarled old jack pines he painted near the Achray campground.
34. Scuba dive or snorkel in super-clear water around the shipwrecks at Tobermory.
35. Follow the ancient Niagara Escarpment through old-growth forests by hiking the Bruce Trail, Canada's oldest and longest footpath.
36. Warm up your polka shoes and get ready for bratwurst for Oktoberfest in Waterloo, Oct. 6 to 14 this year.
37. Eat cotton candy, ride the Ferris wheel, examine weird-shaped vegetables and watch thundering workhorses pull wagons at the Carp Fair, or any other small-town fair across Canada.
38. Focus your binoculars for bird watching and monarch butterfly spotting at Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point in Canada and a haven of winged wildlife.
39. Visit Canada's heritage Parliament buildings in Ottawa.
40.Visit dramatic Niagara Falls. Find out why it's one of the most popular destinations in the country and in the world!
41. Do you dare to climb the over 553 metres of Toronto's CN Tower? OK, there's an elevator too. Until 2007, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world. Eat at the 360 Restaurant offering incredible views from high above Canada's biggest city.
42. Dig for amethysts, find the sleeping giant and watch freighters on rugged Lake Superior near Thunder Bay.
43. Vieux Montreal, with buildings from the 17th to mid-19th centuries, features cafes, nightlife, street performers, horse-drawn caleches, warehouses converted to stores and hotels, and picture-worthy public squares. The Sulpician Seminary is Montreal's oldest building; don't miss Notre-Dame Basilica's stunning grandeur.
44. Go sugaring off! Lick maple taffy made on fresh snow or pour the golden syrup over a stack of pancakes when you visit a working maple bush, often called a sugar shack.
45. Tour the only walled city in North America -- Quebec City's old stone buildings and cobblestone streets are on the UNESCO heritage list for good reason. Walk from the Plains of Abraham, where the continent's fate was decided in 1759, to the Citadel (fort), and along the Dufferin Terrace to the turreted Chateau Frontenac, and then take the funicular or steps to Lowertown's quaint shops.
46. Montreal is the city of festivals: for comedy, fireworks, and film. But the largest is the Montreal International Jazz Festival, featuring 2,500 artists from 20 countries.
47. Montreal's Cirque du Soleil is world famous but you can often see their show launches Montreal in the spring.
48. Eat one of the regional favourites: poutine. But for haute poutine, try one of the 22 varieties at La Banquise, 994 Rue Rachel in Montreal. Pizza poutine, anyone?
49. Explore Montreal's natural world at the Botanical Garden, Insectarium, Planetarium and Biodome that presents plants and animals from five biospheres -- tropical forest, Antarctic, Arctic, St. Lawrence marine and Laurentian forest.
50. Watch for whales where the Saguenay River meets the St. Lawrence. Although whales can be seen in many places in Canada, this is where you can observe the greatest variety -- belugas, humpbacks, blue, minke and more.
51. Visit charming villages, fish for salmon, come face to face with a moose, tour a wind generator plant and see the famous Perce Rock at the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula.
52. Hike up the place Montreal was named for: Mont Royal, a 233-metre-high hill crowned with a lighted cross. Have a picnic and watch the drummers in summer, or toboggan, skate, cross-country ski or snowshoe in winter. Great views and many hidden paths. Check out the famous people buried in the cemeteries (like hockey legend Maurice "Rocket" Richard).
53. Watch Montreal's famous bagels being made at the open-all-night bagel shops in the Plateau district of Montreal
54. Enter the annual sandcastle contest on the Iles de la Madeleine or learn techniques during sandcastle workshops.
Wonder at the weird shapes the highest tides in the world (up to 15 metres) can carve out of stone at the Bay of Fundy. Fundy National Park provides many opportunities to marvel at rock formations, caves and fossils uncovered by the tides.
56. Savour a Salvador Dali painting plus extensive collections of British and Canadian paintings, including ones by Cornelius Krieghoff and Emily Carr, at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.
57. Close your eyes (unless you're the driver), cross your fingers, hold your breath and make a wish while going through the world's longest covered bridge, at Hartland, and legend says it will come true.
58. Learn about lobster aboard a Shediac Bay cruise where you help haul in the traps, cook the lobster, crack it properly and then feast on it. You can also compete in a lobster-eating contest during the lobster festival in Shediac -- the self-declared lobster capital of the world.
59. Mingle with the mollusks at the Shippagan Marine Centre, where touch tanks let you pet sea cucumbers and starfish as well. See harbour seals at feeding time and 31 tanks filled with sea creatures. You can also visit the Acadian Village and if you are there in the summer there is the Tintamarre Acadian Parade.
60. Explore salt marshes, tidal rivers, bogs, shifting sand dunes and sheltered lagoons at Kouchibouguac National Park where bird watching includes terns and piping plovers.
Prince Edward Island
61. It's unthinkable to visit P.E.I. and not give a nod to "Anne." See the long-running musical Anne of Green Gables in Charlottetown or the continuing story of Anne and Gilbert in Summerside. True Anne enthusiasts will visit Green Gables at Cavendish and the many surrounding villages that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery's series about the red-haired orphan.
62. Drive across the 13-kilometre-long Confederation Bridgefrom New Brunswick to P.E.I. (about 12 minutes) but take the ferry back for old times' sake.
63. Sleep in a lighthouse. The West Point Lighthouse is a combination working lighthouse, museum, restaurant and inn with nine cosy rooms furnished in the era of light-keepers.
64. Discover Province House, where Canada was born. In 1864, representatives from P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec -- the Fathers of Confederation -- met in Charlottetown to discuss a union of British colonies. Details were hammered out later and the Dominion of Canada was declared on July 1, 1867.
65. Walk the long golden beaches and sand dunes at Prince Edward Island National Park, where you'll also see red sandstone cliffs, wetlands and forests and, if you're lucky, the endangered piping plover.
66. Tour the decks or go for a cruise on the Bluenose II, the ship made famous on our dime.
67. Visit Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site full of lots of charming, colourful wooden buildings, local craft shops and great seafood.
68. Pay tribute to the man who invented the telephone -- Alexander Graham Bell's vacation home in Baddeck honours his life's work and experiments.
69. Join a retired miner underground in a coal mine in Glace Bay and experience complete darkness when they turn out the lights for a few seconds.
70. Imagine lining up a cannon, on the Fortress of Louisbourg's ramparts, to fire on British invaders. Built by the French and restored to its 1745 grandeur, right before the first siege, the fortress played a key role in the French-British power struggle.
71. Make sure your camera batteries are charged for quaint Peggy's Cove -- one of the most photographed fishing villages with its pristine lighthouse and weathered granite rocks.
72. Follow the steps of fictional Evangeline, created in poetry by Longfellow to tell her sad story of separation. But visit Grand-Pre for the facts about the Acadian Expulsion, the forced removal of Acadian people in 1755. See the archeological sites at Grand-Pre that are nominated for UNESCO status.
73. Visit the town of Digby, world-renowned for their huge and delicious Digby scallops. If you're there in early August, enjoy the Digby Scallop Days festival.
74. Nova Scotia's capital, Halifax (founded in 1749), has been the gateway to Canada for immigrants from around the world. Visit Canada's Immigration Museum at historic Pier 21, which welcomed millions of immigrants, war brides, displaced people and evacuee children to Canada since the 1920s.
75. Take in the awesome beauty of old mountains, pretty fishing villages, hiking trails, soaring gulls and the Cabot Trail hugging the steep seaside cliffs of Cape Breton Island.
76. For an experience of Celtic music and culture, travel Cape Breton island. In the summer, ther are over 25 different music festivals and events to enjoy.
77. See the fossil forests of Joggins -- a potential UNESCO site -- plus invertebrates, fish, amphibians, early reptiles and fossilized tree trunks up to six metres high.
Newfoundland and Labrador
78. Duck your head stepping inside the recreated timber-and-sod longhouses at the ancient l'Anse aux Meadows Viking settlement in Newfoundland. The remains of eight buildings and hundreds of Viking artifacts of iron, stone, bronze and bone have been found.
79. Pack a breakfast picnic and watch the sun rise at Cape Spear, the easternmost point of North America and site of Newfoundland's oldest lighthouse.
80. Hold onto your hat when you climb windy Signal Hill and the Cabot Tower just outside of St John's where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received in 1901.
81. Tour fiords carved by glaciers and hike breathtaking mountains in Gros Morne National Park, where trails and tours vary from 30 minutes to several days.
82. Dodge towering icebergs on a boat tour of northern Newfoundland's famous Iceberg Alley. Many tours also combine whale watching and puffin spotting.
83. In the summer, watch huge humpback whales feed in the deep water just off St. Vincent's beach.
84. Visit Bird Rock at Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve (Located about 200 km southwest of St. John's). It is one of the best and most accessible places in the world to see nesting seabirds from as close as 10 metres away. During the breeding season, it is home to 24,000 Northern gannet, 20,000 black-legged kittiwake, 20,000 common murre, and 2,000 thick-billed murre, as well as more than 100 pairs of razorbill and, more than 60 pairs of black guillemot. It's an incredible sight!
85. See a real inukshuk, the stone towers that are on the newest territory's flag, on Mallik Island near Cape Dorset.
86. Tour the Inuit workshops and perhaps meet a print artist or sculptor at the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. Or meet tapestry makers at the Uqqurmiut Centre of Weaving and Printmaking in Pangnirtung.
87. Take a wildlife tour by boat, snowmobile or dogteam, from Iqaluit or anywhere in Nunavut, to see caribou, muskox, walrus, seals, narwhal, bowhead whales, polar bears.
88. Follow in the wake of explorers like Franklin, Amundsen, Larsen and others as you travel the Northwest Passage, either by ship, icebreaker or charter flight. Explore the Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park's self-guided walking trail that describes the explorers' quests and visit Beechey Island's gravesites, the last known place that the doomed Franklin Expedition visited.
89. Sleep in the northernmost lodge in the world -- Arctic Watch Lodge -- where you can go on artic safaris to see belugas and bears, go birding, see prehistoric Inuit sites, go sea kayaking and sample muskox and arctic char.
90. Greet the summer solstice in Arctic Bay, the northernmost point of Baffin Island.
91. Learn to drive a dog team on a dogsledding adventure or pick up tips from the experts at a community dogsled race.
92. Crane your neck to take in all the natural wonders as you canoe down the South Nahanni River, through four canyons. The visitor centre in Fort Simpson explains this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
93. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive bison, part of the largest wild bison herd in the world at Wood Buffalo National Park.
94. Stun your eyes with the Aurora Borealis (southerners call them northern lights). The aurora has a five- to-six-year cycle.
95. Sing and dance with northern artists at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik.
96. Experience the Dene culture during an educational tour that teaches folklore, traditional arts and crafts, what to do in a sweatlodge, living from the land and visits with guest elders. Or travel with an aboriginal family on the trapline and sample northern foods at traditional feasts.
97. Pan for gold and strike it rich. Then see how the big mining companies did it -- view the enormous Dredge No. 4 -- eight storeys high and two-thirds the size of a football field.
98. Spot the famous Porcupine caribou herd -- one of the largest ungulate herds in the world -- plus Dall sheep and thousands of breeding and migratory waterfowl at the proposed UNESCO site of Ivvavik/Vuntut/Herschel Island park.
99. Drive the Dempster Highway, a 750-kilometre gravel road through mountains, sub-artic tundra and across the Arctic Circle, from Dawson City to Inuvik. Great trip for adventure-seeking drivers and those who crave stunning scenery. Porsche and BMW use the highway as an extreme winter test site and a European extreme racing event is held on it each February.
100. Climb Mount Logan -- Canada's highest peak at 5,959 metres, located in Kluane (pronounced Kloo-wah-nee) National Park. By no means a stroll in the park -- this is serious mountaineering in a land of precipitous peaks and immense icefields and glaciers.