British Columbia visitors need a long list of superlatives when describing their trips – the words spectacular, breathtaking and jaw-dropping only go so far. But it's hard not to be moved by towering mountains, wildlife-packed forests and dramatic coastlines that slow your heart like sigh-triggering spa treatments.
The breathtaking four-seasonal palette of Ontario's vast wilderness, endless forests and abundant wildlife awaits. Around 40% of Canada’s population lives here for good reason: Ontario is larger than France and Spain combined. Over 250,000 lakes, including the Great Lakes bordering the US, contain a fifth of the planet's fresh water.
Stretching from coastal Horseshoe Bay as far inland as the verdant Fraser Valley, this region encompasses the towns and suburbs within an hour or two by car or transit from downtown Vancouver, including those communities immediately adjoining the city that together are known as Metro Vancouver.
Alberta does lakes and mountains like Rome does churches and cathedrals, but without the penance. For proof head west to Jasper and Banff, two of the world’s oldest national parks which, despite their wild and rugged terrain, remain well-trammeled and easily accessible. No one should leave this mortal coil without first laying eyes on Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield.
If Nova Scotia were a film, its protagonist would be a handsome, rugged boatman with a kind and loving family. It would be shot against a backdrop of rolling green fields and high sea-cliffs, its soundtrack would feature fiddles, drums and evocative piano scores, and its plot would be a spirited romp around themes of history, community and adventure.
The largest populated landmass between western North America and New Zealand – around 500km long and 100km wide – Vancouver Island is studded with colorful, quirky communities, many founded on logging or fishing and featuring the word 'Port' in their name. The locals are a friendly bunch, proud of their region and its distinct differences.
Newfoundland & Labrador
With rocky crags, drifting icebergs and puffins flapping by, Canada's easternmost province – and historically its most rebellious – floats in a stunning world of its own. The island that has long moved to its own beat maintains its own time zone (a half-hour ahead of the mainland) and lilting old-world dialect (the Dictionary of Newfoundland English provides translation).
Arcing around Lake Ontario is a heavily populated industrialized zone encompassing a number of the GTA's 'satellite' cities. Highway 403 will get you to Hamilton and Brantford, but most will take the 401 for Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond: it's an impenetrable concrete artery linking Toronto to the US border at Windsor, and the Québec border to the east.