What is Canada you say? Easy answer, it is a scenic, clean, spacious and fun place to visit! And, by world standards, really quite inexpensive! Now wait, don't go away, please give us a chance to explain! But first, a few statistics about Canada's ten provinces and three territories;
Our scenery abounds in a menagerie of colour and depth from the sparkling west coast Pacific waters hemmed by tall trees and mountains through to the vibrant Atlantic's rugged shorelines more than 5500 kilometers (3400 miles) away on the east coast. In between you can stare in wonderment at the majestic Rockie Mountains bordering British Columbia and Alberta, gaze endlessly at waving, rolling grain fields through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, become completely inspired by the brilliant fall colours in Ontario and Quebec, and finally see an almost perfect blend of nature, farm and town in the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland- Labrador. Those craving adventure and sights not found near the American border, can travel as much as 4600 kilometers (2900 miles) north to the high arctic to experience the many snow fringed delights of the Yukon and the North West Territories.
It does not take long for a visiter to realize that there is a lot to like in Canada! It covers almost 10 million square kilometers (4 million square miles) and is the third largest country in the world next to Russia and China. But unlike these Asian countries, Canada has less than 36 million inhabitants, less than the state of California! Our country is divided up into 10 provinces and three immense territories to the north but the vast majority of the population is located in a narrow band along the United States border. Canadians are as well mainly an urban people with 75% living in cities, leaving huge tracts of largely unspoiled wilderness with low population densities. Yet we remain surprisingly loyal to originating cultures and traditions. In touring this country, you can meet and mingle in multicultural environments as in few other countries, from native Indian and Inuit to all manner of European and Asian ethnic groups. However, our two predominant cultures remain as British and French where government recognition is officially extended to both languages. These distinct societies will likely continue in spite of massive amounts of media coverage available to a majority of Canadians from our American friends to the south. In fact, happily our border with the US is known as the longest unguarded border in the world at 6379 kilometers (3964 miles).
A visitor to Canada will find the amenities of the world's larger cities here in our metropolitan areas but on a smaller, less hectic scale. You can partake in a delightful old English tea shop in Victoria or view an opera in Vancouver, experience western vitality in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg, encounter almost all of the world's cultures in Toronto (which at just under 3 million is Canada's largest city), see the splendor of our federal parliament buildings in Ottawa, speak French with the helpful people of Montreal, view history at Quebec City's Plains of Abraham along the mighty St. Lawrence and be treated royally by the richly accented inhabitants of Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown and St. John's, where a lobster maritime treat is not to be missed.
Our Country is a nation of sport enthusiasts with golf, softball, baseball, soccer and football being predominant in good weather and basketball, bowling, skiing, curling and hockey (who does not know of hockey's great one, Wayne Gretzky?) are our winter season choices. The less confining sports in our vast territory involve outdoor activities like hunting, fishing (there are 400,000 lakes in Ontario alone), sailing, swimming, biking, hiking and mountain climbing. Name a sport and chances are you can become involved in Canada, either as a participant or as a viewer of the action and every region throughout this country can rightfully boast of dedicated sports activity!
For a country of immense area, travel is relatively easy and inexpensive in all but the extremes of our winter weather. Whether by boat, train, plane, bus or private automobile, transportation corridors are everywhere. Travel agent bookings can be made to just about any place in Canada and car rentals are usually available at any destination for further exploration. But we have said Canada, for all its scenery and spaciousness is a bargain hunter's delight. How so? Well, for example, you can still find lodging almost anywhere for less than $150 Canadian per night. Add $50 to $75C per person and you can enjoy basic but wholesome meals for each day. Transportation costs will vary from center to center (one liter of 87 octane gasoline is around $1.00) but a return airflight from Victoria to St. John's can be booked for less than $2000C. Play a round of golf or ski for a day for around $75C at most courses or resorts. And remember, as of this date, the American dollar is worth about $1.05C although Canadian taxes such as PST and GST or HST tend to quickly absorb the difference.
Finally, do ask any Canadian, whether French, English or any of a hundred different ethnic backgrounds, if he does or does not live in the best of all possible worlds and he will more than likely give you a resounding YES! And you do not have to look far to find a typical Canadian as 90% of us live within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Trans Canada Highway. The TCH is nearly 8000 kilometers (5000 miles) long, with water ferry routes at each end, and spans the country from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John's, Newfoundland. In between, you have a kaleidoscope of awe-inspiring beauty and a race of people who are generally thought of as quiet and hospitably! You can be sure that we will do our best to help you enjoy our country!For more information about tourism in Canada, check out our external links
Your comments are welcome just Email dhaaheim at telus dot netHttp://www.tourcanada.com -- Revised: July 25, 2010