Canada’s wild, natural landscape and vibrant cities put it at the top of many travellers wish lists, but where to start? We harnessed the power of local insights and looked at the most popular domestic destinations among Canadian travellers.*
The Distillery District in Toronto
Toronto boasts both enviable views of Lake Ontario and award-winning cultural institutions but the city’s historic Distillery District is also well worth exploring; its distinctive red-brick cobbled streets are lined with coffee houses, restaurants, bars, art galleries and designer boutiques. Pick your favourite café and settle in for some people-watching, followed by a short walk home to the nearby Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square.
Fireworks over Niagara Falls
Every year thrill-seekers and nature-lovers from across Canada flock to Niagara Falls. It’s impossible to visit this frothing and thundering natural wonder without spending a few moments lost in amazement. And there are plenty of opportunities for rafting and jet-boat tours, too, or hiking through the Queen Victoria Park followed by an evening at the spectacular Niagara Falls fireworks. For some traditional Canadian hospitality – and yes that includes a breakfast swimming in maple syrup – check in to the Bedham Hall B&B.
The Saint Joseph Oratory in Montréal
For an unforgettable introduction to Montréal, start by hiking up Mount Royal. Here, you’ll be treated to views stretching out past the shimmering Saint Lawrence River and Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Perched at the top of 100 stone steps, the Oratory is a white, copper-domed church that features a pile of walking sticks, abandoned by 'cured' worshippers. Finish up with a wander around the city’s Museum of Fine Arts, just a few minutes’ walk from the Petite Auberge Les Bons Matins.
Royal Square in Quebec City
Quebec City is steeped in history and Canadian travellers make regular trips to explore its Old Town district. The architecture here mimics traditional European building styles in which houses tend to lean forward, designed to prevent goods and furniture from banging into the walls when winched into top-floor windows. Cobbled streets and colourful roofs add to the quaint feel and, unsurprisingly, many of the buildings have been turned into boutique accommodations. Outside the Old Town, the Morrin Centre is a must-see 200-year-old building that started as Quebec City’s first prison and today houses the city’s only English library.
The Canadian Parliment in Ottawa
Ottawa is home to Canada’s National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the National Library and Archives, as well as a fabulous array of restaurants, bars and coffee houses. Despite all these indoor attractions, one of the best ways to make the most of your trip to Ottawa is to simply go for a walk. Take a stroll up Parliament Hill, along one of Ottawa’s three rivers, or through the many parks to discover just how beautiful Canada’s capital city can be. Or, if you’re in a hurry, check into the Auberge des Arts Bed and Breakfast and let the knowledgeable owners take you on a whistle-stop tour of the town.
** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the top destinations in Canada, visited by Canadian travellers.