What Is Canada Known For? 9 Things That Make Canada the Country it is

It’s a sprawling mass on the map, but what is Canada best known for?

Aside from the politeness of its citizens, Canada is known for having breath-taking landscapes, an array of wild animals and world-class skiing. Canada is also famous for maple syrup, ice hockey, Niagara Falls, the Northern Lights, poutine and cool cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Read on to find out what else makes Canada so special and why it should be a destination that tops your bucket list… 

1. Epic Canadian Landscapes

As Canada is a huge country, it is home to such varied and beautiful scenery that even the most avid and discerning traveller would struggle to find mundanity or mediocrity in its landscapes! With mountains, valleys, lakes, cities, coastlines and more, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

Many of Canada’s landscapes are among the most photographed places on Earth, be that by famed Nat Geo journalists or everyday users on Instagram who are astounded time and time again by its beauty. It’s, therefore, no wonder that Canada is an epic destination for road trips as you can drive and drive, continuing to find locations that make you marvel along the way!

2. Bears - and Other Wildlife

If you love bears and wildlife, Canada is the place for you as this vast wilderness is home to countless species such as grizzlies, black bears, Kermode bears and polar bears, not to mention whales, wolves and much more! Thankfully, Canada knows how important this wildlife is and aims to protect them with the creation of around 40 national parks across the country as well as provincial parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Canada has some impressive lodges and wildlife guides that are experts in offering intimate wildlife watching experiences without negatively affecting the animals in any way. Head to British Colombia for chances of seeing black and brown bears and Churchill in Manitoba for some of the best polar bear watching experiences on the planet!

3. Maple Syrup - Try it Fresh in Canada

With around 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup being produced in Canada, it’s hardly surprising that this is one of the main things that Canada is famous for. The sweet stuff is produced by tapping maple trees, mainly in Quebec, in order to collect the tree sap which is then refined to become the golden nectar we know and love today.

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener which is much healthier than processed sugar or fructose, and it is an excellent addition to hot drinks and desserts, not to mention pancakes which are the perfect start to any day exploring Canada!

4. Ice Hockey - The National Sport

Ice hockey is arguably the biggest sport in Canada and therefore watching a game should definitely be on your to-do list when visiting the country. This fast-paced, sometimes brutal sport was created in Canada in the late 1800s and The Stanley Cup, the championship trophy, was introduced by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1893. Canadians, therefore, have a long history of ice hockey and it’s no wonder pretty much every person in the country has a favourite team and player.

If you get the chance, try to check out a match with the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers or the Vancouver Canucks, and you’ll be in for a treat!

5. The Northern Lights

Europeans often think about Iceland, Norway and Finland as Northern Lights destinations, but Canada too is an excellent location for this natural phenomenon and is much more accessible for travellers from the Americas. Canada has the benefit of having large swathes of untouched wilderness which are perfect for seeking out the Northern Lights as they do not have any light pollution to spoil the view.

There are a number of locations across Canada which lie on or above the Arctic Circle including Whitehorse in the Yukon, Churchill in Manitoba, Kuujjuaq in Quebec, Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and Edmonton in Alberta.

Plan your trip between November and March for the best chances of seeing the dance of the Aurora Borealis in all its glory!

6. Niagara Falls

While many people only think of Niagara Falls as being American, it’s important to point out that these stunning falls span the border and can also be seen from the Canadian side. Anyone visiting Lake Ontario should plan to visit Niagara Falls during their trip as this spectacular natural wonder really is a bucket-list-worthy destination!

Niagara Falls are actually split into three separate waterfalls: the American, the Bridal Veil, and the Horseshoe and the views of each are arguably even better from the Canadian side than they are from the US.

If you have time, take a cruise on one of the Maids of the Mist boat tours to witness the power of the falls up close and personal!

7. Skiing

If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, it’s probably inevitable that Canada is on your bucket list as it is well known as being one of the most enviable ski havens in the world! From Lake Louise in Banff National Park to Sun Peaks, Big White and Whistler Blackcomb in British Colombia, Canada has some epic spots to tear up the slopes.

Canada is an especially good destination for advanced skiers as there is pretty much nowhere that is off-limits, with Cat-skiing and heli-skiing also being available in most resorts! Unlike Europe, everywhere within the ski area boundary is avalanche controlled and patrolled so no matter how steep or challenging it is, you can give it a go knowing there is some level of protection.

The ski resorts of Canada are also inviting for those who don’t ski as many feature luxurious spas, boutique shopping and world-class eateries to keep you entertained!

8. Lakes - Visit All 3 Million of Them?

Canada is home to the highest number of lakes in the world (yes, around 3 million in total!), so they were definitely deserving of a mention on this list! Not only does Canada boast the Great Lakes – a collection of five lakes that hold a whopping one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water – but there are loads of smaller lakes too that make lovely day trips and destinations wherever you’re travelling in the country.

Lakes play an essential role in the ecosystem of Canada, with as many as 150 species of fish native to the Great Lakes and a whole host of bird species using the lakes as waystations during their migratory cycles. This is ideal for both the animals and the thousands of wildlife-loving tourists who come here to spot different species each year.

Even if you’re not into wildlife, you can still appreciate the beauty of the lakes and the variety of outdoor adventures that you can enjoy on them!

9. Cool Cities

Vancouver, Canada

When you learn that the World Health Organization ranked Canada’s air quality as the third cleanest in the world, as well as the fact that many of the country’s cities are regularly voted amongst the Most Liveable Cities in the world, it’s not surprising that cities are one of the things that Canada is famous for.

Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver each have their own characteristics and charm that make them top destinations for both residents and visitors.

Vancouver especially is a popular spot for travellers due to its beauty, food scene, proximity to nature and outdoor activities and its general liveability. The city features awesome sports teams, cool bars, varied high street, designer and boutique shops all while being located on a waterfront that is perfect for walking, kayaking and boat trips. What more could you want?!

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