While most people think of snowy peaks, glaciers, and acres upon acres of forests when they think of Canada, it is actually quite a diverse country. Being one of the largest countries in the entire world, Canada sprawls over more than nine million square kilometers. While nine million square miles are surely a daunting task to explore, do not worry - you do not have to see every single spot in Canada to know its beauty. The forests of Canada feature animals most people can only see in a zoo, such as the beautiful grizzly bears, which can be watched safely on one of the many guided tours across all Canada. You can even witness with your own eyes the natural habitats of orcas and whales without having to visit any sea world. However, Canada is not only great outdoors, as it features multiple huge, clean cities with friendly locals and plenty of attractions to occupy you during your vacation. To help you get a better grip of what Canada has to offer, we have prepared this Top 10 Things about Canada Culture and Traditions list, which showcases some of the most interesting facts to know about this gorgeous country.
Cities of Canada
While a lot of tourists think that only the outdoors is what matters in Canada, the country is actually filled with beautiful cities which can be perfect vacation destinations. The cities are also highly varied among themselves, as some of them even speak different languages! If you can’t decide at which city to stay, Vancouver might be of interest to you. The city is large, though not as huge as cities in the United States, but its people are friendly and the crime is low. Vancouver is the go-to destination for locals, because of its gorgeous location on the water and right next to tall mountains. Moreover, while the climate in Canada can be quite harsh, Vancouver is on the milder side of the spectrum. There isn’t a lot of snow even in the winter, and spring arrives early. However, prepare for a lot of rain and high prices!
Even though nature is not everything that is interesting about Canada, it is definitely among its biggest upsides. The landscape of Canada is highly diverse, featuring a lot of hidden gems and surprises. Canada also has the longest coastline of all countries in the world, though most of it is rather cold so, sadly, you probably won't be able to swim in the ocean. There are also dozens of tall mountain ranges with snow-touched peaks and hiking routes, perfect for both skiing and exploring. Lakes and forests fill most of the country's land area, with huge national parks that are just as gorgeous as those in the United States, if not more! Finally, there are also a couple of small deserts in the country, adding to the already huge variety of different landscapes you may find in Canada.
Canada is actually one of the few places in the world where you can see the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights or polar lights. Aurora Borealis is a gorgeous natural display of light, seen around the Arctic and Antarctic, which are caused by the solar winds hitting the magnetosphere of Earth. This phenomenon emits light of all kinds of colors which bring tourists from all over the world to Canada. The best place to see the Northern Lights in Canada is the province of Yukon, as you need to be as far north and as high as possible to see the aurora. If you do not know how to find a proper place for watching the gorgeous light display, don’t worry - there are plenty of guided tours that will guarantee that you see the polar lights. You can even download the app Auroracast, which will tell you when the next aurora will happen.
While you may think that riding a train is nothing extraordinary, you certainly have not used the Rocky Mountaineer! Rocky Mountaineer is the name of a Canadian rail-tour, located in the west of the country and operating between British Columbia and Alberta. This picturesque railway journey will show you some beautiful landscapes along the way, as the rails twist and curve along the uneven terrain. There are four routes to choose from: The first passage to the West, which will take you along the Kicking Horse River to Banff. The journey through the clouds takes on a slightly different route, as it travels through the Coastal Mountain Range, as well as the Fraser Canyon, providing some of the best views of Canadian mountain ranges. The Rainforest to Gold Rush route takes three days to finish and begins in North Vancouver while ending in Jasper. The last route is a return trip, called the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb.
If you thought that the Rocky Mountains are only in the United States, they actually span for almost five thousand kilometers and pass through a large portion of Canada. The Rockies are the perfect place for camping with tons of campsites and cycling routes, also featuring some of the most well-known Canadian animals such as elk, deer, big horns, and, of course, moose. If you’re lucky and are visiting in the first quarter of the year, you may even witness some winter sports competitions taking place in the mountains, which are always fun to watch and you can even compete yourself. You may even get to see a couple of artists painting the surrounding mountains, as a lot of local painters take inspiration from the Rockies.
Whenever you think of Canada, you think of gorgeous lakes. After all, it is not without a reason that most Canadian postcards feature one or another of the many lakes that fill the Canadian countryside. The Lake Louise, for example, located in the Banff National Park in Alberta, perfectly exemplifies the beauty of Canadian lakes. While this glacial lake is not the biggest lake in Canada, its green water resembles the color of an emerald, and the surrounding trees and mountains create a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The lake itself is situated by Mount Victoria at the elevation of almost two thousand meters, so prepare for a healthy hike to reach it. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can find tons of activities around the lake - you can hike on one of the many routes, rent a bike and go mountain biking, or even try ice fishing!
Canadian cuisine is a favorite among the people of the United States, but you haven’t truly tasted Canadian food until you have tried it in its homeland. With Canada being so rich in natural resources, you can rest assured that the ingredients your food will be prepared with are of the highest quality. There is also very much variety to the Canadian diet, as every region of Canada has its own favorite dishes. In some areas of the country, you will find that fish like salmon dominate the menu, while in Quebec, for example, you will find ample amounts of cheese, smoked meats, and of course poutine, the favorite Canadian dish abroad. Even when it comes to fast-food, you won’t find many McDonalds, as Canadians prefer their own, national brand - Tim Hortons.
It is hard to find a Canadian who is not a sports fan, and sports themselves are a huge part of Canada culture and traditions. There is also a whole arrangement of different games and disciplines which Canadians practice, so there is plenty to choose from. The most popular sport in Canada is, of course, ice hockey, which is played all throughout the year, and you will see that ice rinks are quite a frequent sight in Canada. Canadians also like to play a game called Lacrosse, which is actually the oldest of all organized sports in North America, first played by the indigenous people of eastern Woodlands. In this team game, players use lacrosse sticks to catch and shoot a ball, and the objective of the game is simple - score more goals than the opposite team. All players also wear protective gear and padding, as similar to most Canadian sports, Lacrosse is a contact sport and accidents are not uncommon.
If there is one thing that makes Canada famous across the world, it is the friendliness and openness of its population. You have surely heard jokes about Canadians apologizing for everything, but that is actually a huge part of Canada culture and traditions, as politeness is a huge thing among the locals. However, that does not mean that Canadians are always calm and docile, which can be seen while watching a hockey match as the players often get into fights with each other. Since conflicts between Canadians can often lead to unpleasant situations, most locals try to avoid conflicts at all with politeness and good manners, because when people are friendly, things seem not to get out of hand as often. If you’re planning to visit Canada, remember to act politely and with respect to others!
Canada is a very diverse, multicultural country in which people from all over the world settle down to create one big community. Since the founding of the country, immigration has been a huge part of Canada’s integrity. Even today, Canada is among the countries in the world with the highest immigration rate and has one of the most open social policies. Immigrants actually compose over twenty percent of Canada’s total population, which is the highest percentage among the leading countries of the world. You can find the most immigrants in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. Don’t be surprised if you hear multiple languages at once in the streets of Canada, as people frequently spoke their home languages. There are two official languages, French and English, but over two hundred languages are spoken in this country on a day to day basis!