Canadian Dollar (cad)
Canada is a massive country that is in the northern part of North America, just above the United States. People from all over the world flock to visit Canada for its incredible natural beauty and impressive great outdoors. This north American country has ten provinces and three territories that extend all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean making it the world's second-largest country in the world. Canada might be sparsely populated because most of the land is occupied by forest, tundra, and the Rocky Mountains but it is highly urbanized, not to mention its First Nation culture is an integral part of Canadian society.
Canada is a country full of allure and excitement. It is unusual for a country that is so big and has such a diverse population to be so peaceful and inherently nice.
WHY WE LOVE
We think everyone should visit Canada because Canada really does have it all. In fact, Canada is repeatedly mentioned as one of the world's most liveable countries. It has the great outdoors and cosmopolitan cities that are clean, safe, friendly and multicultural. It doesn’t matter if you’re a theatre nerd in search of the Arts or an adrenaline-junkie looking to get your next adventure fix, Canada won’t disappoint.
Canada has many modern, multicultural cities, each with its own distinct personality. Toronto is different than Quebec which is different than Ottawa, etc, not to mention these cities are clean (mostly) and manageable! We value good urban planning which Canada does seem to have unlike many major cities located in the country below (cough, cough, Boston) not to mention there are bike paths and many green areas!
Now although we could gush about Canada’s amazing cities all day we must admit that it is not the main thing that stole our hearts…what we love most about Canada are its natural wonders. This fascinating country is home to breathtaking landscapes and boasts with an insane amount of spectacles like it’s incredibly long coastline, it’s stunning mountain ranges, lakes, and forests. Visit Canada! It is so cool it features part of the Arctic and even has a small amount of desert! This huge and dramatic country is exciting for its diverse landscape that comes full of surprises.
“Canada is like an expanding flower—wherever you look you see some fresh petal unrolling” —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1914
Did you know…?
- Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world's lakes combined.
- Canada’s coastline is the largest in the world.
- “Canada” means “village” in Iroquois.
- Canadian Police sometimes give out "positive tickets" when they see people doing something positive… no wonder Canadians are known for being nice.
- Hawaii didn’t invent Hawaiian Pizza, Canada did. This is also the most popular pizza in Australia.
- There is a part of Canada that has less gravity than the rest of the Earth.
- Kids have free access to all of Canada’s national parks.
- Canada's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 C) in 1947.
- NBC named Canada as the most educated country in the world.
Canada travel guide
When to go
You can travel to Canada any time of the year. Canada is a magnificent country that offers wonderful adventure every season. Now, if you aren’t fond of the cold we suggest you stay away from the colder months, November to February. Summer is both beautiful and slightly crowed. July and August are the peak months, this is when you will find the largest amount of tourist in the major cities. If you’re more into the shoulder season we suggest you visit during the fall which is an excellent time to visit Canada. Autumn is when everything has cooled down but remains comfortable, summer crowds have left, prices drop, and fall foliage shows its colours.
How to get there / around
Canada is a massive country with many international airports, it is very well connected. Chances are you will be able to fly into any major and or nearby city from an airport near you.
Once you arrive in Canada, you will have access to various rail systems, buses, and car services. Major cities are filled with route maps and getting around is easy. Buses are the most common form of public transportation and can be found in most town. Keep in mind that most bus services are commuter-oriented, and offer only limited or no services in the evenings and on weekends.
Bike rentals are readily and many cities have hundreds of kilometres dedicated to bike paths. Ride-sharing services are also available and rapidly expanding across Canada.
What to see & do
If you’re okay with braving Canada's snowy sub-zero winter weather than you’re in for many treats. Winter in Canada offers incredible activities like skiing, city excursions, the Quebec Winter Carnival and Winterlude (the World’s biggest winter festival), or ice skating in the world’s longest ice rink! Fall celebrations include pumpkin, apple and wine festivals. These festivals are spectacular because they force you to get out of the city and into farms and orchards, not to mention you get to eat and drink at them! There are a lot of things to do in Canada regardless of the season. Canada has a lot to offer including incredible sites like Quebec, which offers a spectacular historical district, ice hotel, and surrounding landscape. The Bay of Fundy is also a must-see. Often referred to as ‘Canada’s natural wonder’ this bay is home to some extraordinary geological and hydrological areas.
What to pack
- Winter is frigid in Canada, so best to go prepared. Make sure to pack;
- Warm undergarments
- Wool Socks
- Warm gloves
- Some cool clothing (shorts, t-shirts, tank tops)
- Warm clothing (jeans, pants, sweatshirts, etc.)
- Shoes / Sandals
- Sweater (polar fleece or wool)
- Raincoat / Windcheater
- Cap and Beanie
The weather in the transitional and summer months is much milder and requires lighter/cooler clothing. With that being said, we suggest you pack, wool socks, a polar fleece and or wool sweater, beanie, and layerable clothing along with other articles.
Where to go
Some travel insights from our experts about Canada
- Don’t be afraid if you happen to hear a gunshot and or siren around 10 pm, especially if the location you’re staying at is notorious for polar bear sightings. The noise is meant to scare off any bears nearby.
- NEVER run away from a polar bear rather get into a submissive pose that is low to the ground and or play dead.
- Carry bear pepper spray.
Do: Know that Ottawa is the capitol city, not Toronto.
Do: Understand that Maple Syrup reigns supreme in Canada, the maple leaf is even on the flag!
Do: Come prepared for the cold, especially when visiting in winter. See our section on Canada Travel Guide for more information.
Do: Take the time to stop and eat. Eating while walking in public is considered weird. Remember, you’re in Canada, not New York.
Do: Keep your space and avoid being overly familiar with too much body contact. Canadians generally greet with a handshake unless they are getting a close friend or are from a French-speaking region.
Do: Arrive on time.
Don’t: Make a big deal about the British Queen being all over Canadian Dollars.
Don’t: Don’t comment on French-English relations unless it is brought up or you approach the topic with discretion. Canada has a conflicting colonial past involving both French and English empires as well as a history of oppressing the indigenous population. Keep in mind that there are still historical and cultural topics that can be considered controversial.
Don’t: Criticize Tim Hortons…it’s basically a Canadian institution. Best to visit and grab a coffee and doughnut with a smile.
Don’t: Assume that all Canadians are the same. Despite Canada being one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, it is important to note that both its geography and people are very diverse…not to mention there are regional identities.
Don’t: Assume that Canada is like the United States or that Canadians are like the British. Canada is its own country, with its own people who are proud of their land.
Cuisine delights: 3 Must-Try Canadian dishes
There are few things in this world that are more Canadian than poutine! This French Canadian fast-food dish is made up of French fries and cheese curds, drizzled with gravy. Some people might jazz it up a bit but usually, it’s just those three ingredients. It’s heavy, it’s greasy, and it pairs perfectly with some water after a night out on the town. Few Canadian dishes are as world-renowned as the glorious creation known as poutine.
Bannock is a delicious and versatile dish made from a doughy flat-ish bread that was once a key staple in the Aboriginal diet. Originally cooked over a fire, bannock has elevated and modern versions of it have appeared. Baked versions of this bread are dense whereas the fried versions are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Different variations with different toppings are always being invented and bannock has received a recent surge in popularity, many bakeries and cafes now serve this delicious bread.
Tire d’érable (or maple taffy) is one of those foods that is just as Canadian as poutine. We suggest you enjoy this treat after your bannock and substitute it for dessert because it’s really sugary and sweet…not to mention, delicious. This candy is prepared by pouring boiling maple syrup over snow, which causes the concoction to harden immediately. Then, the new creation gets rolled up with a popsicle stick and eaten! This alchemistic treat is rich in maple flavour and has a gooey texture!
CHATTING CORNER – SURVIVAL GUIDE - Slang
Canada has two official languages; English and French. Because the language spoken varies on the region you visit we decided to go with a third more impartial option which is to mention a few Canadian slang words. Below you will find a list of words, mostly specific to Canada, that we believe are foreign to English speaking visitors.
Slang term for Canadian people, it is considered inoffensive like when New Zealanders are referred to as ‘kiwis’. It is also the name for Vancouver’s national ice hockey team.
Chirping or beaking
‘Chirping’ is used in eastern Canada, whereas ‘breaking’ is used in the west. This term refers to making fun of someone or mocking in jest.
A slang term that means to give it all you got when all else fails.
This word refers to someone who is considered a ‘brown-noser’ or eager to demonstrate their knowledge in a certain situation, such as in the classroom.
Refers to an intense debate, argument, or sometimes even a fight. Expect to hear this word at a hockey game!
Loonies and Toonies
Loonies refers to Canadian one-dollar coins and toonies is the term for their two-dollar coins.
Also known as a flask, or 375ml bottle, of liquor.
This one might not be too far off, especially for some American Southerners. ‘Pop’ is what Canadians call a carbonated soft drink or a soda.
Napkin, similar to the French term ‘serviette’ which also means napkin.
A beanie. This warm winter hat is a MUST when visiting Canada.
A term used instead of ‘OK’ or ‘okay’. Do not confuse it with ‘okay’ as in the expression of validation.