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Canada: East Coast versus West Coast

3rd July 2016

Canada is touted for its magnificent natural beauty but this vast country is also home to buzzing big cities – it really is the best of both worlds. Whether you are seeking a snow-covered getaway or a multicultural adventure, Canada does indeed have it all.

The dilemma that faces many Aussie travellers is whether to go to the east or the west. Rest assured, both sides of Canada have their merits for a North American Holiday and will leave you wanting more.

West Coast

Closer to Australian shores than the east, the best place to start on the west coast of Canada is Vancouver. This pretty city boasts an enviable waterfront setting framed by snow-capped mountains. Stanley Park is an oasis in the heart of the city, featuring verdant rainforest, historic landmarks and a popular walking trail that follows the seaside.

A walkway along the Stanley Park seawall in Vancouver is festooned in autumn colour. Stanley Park in autumn provides peace and colour to Vancouver. Picture: Getty Images

 

Thrill-seekers can visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, while gourmands can hunt for edible treats at the Granville Island Markets. All year round, Grouse Mountain delights will its spectacular city views and myriad adventure activities.

British Columbia is also home to Victoria, often dubbed the most romantic city in Canada. With a historic downtown area, vibrant waterfront and thriving museum scene, it is a must for budding photographers and history buffs. For mountainous vistas, there’s no place like Whistler. While winter sees many gather to enjoy the snow, the mountains are also a hive of activity in summer as lakes, beaches and parks burst to life.

Then, there are the glorious Canadian Rockies, a haven of awe-inspiring natural beauty. Arguably, the jewel of Canada’s west coast, Banff National Park is home to soaring peaks, glacial lakes, fascinating wildlife and the legendary Lake Louise.


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East Coast

While the east coast of Canada is a little further afield, it is equally as enticing. Begin in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, known for its energetic vibe, endless green spaces and glittering skyline.

The CN Tower dominates Toronto's sparkling night skyline. Picture: Getty Images The CN Tower dominates Toronto's sparkling skyline. Picture: Getty Images

 

Climb the iconic CN Tower for thrilling city views, visit the popular Royal Ontario Museum or admire the priceless works at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Hockey fans will also relish time at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Toronto is the perfect getaway to visit the life-changing Niagara Falls. You’ll also be just a hop, skip and a jump to bucket-list big cities in the United States like New York, Chicago and Boston.

Step into in the Canadian province of Quebec and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe. The French-influenced Quebec City boasts a unique francophone culture, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Canada. Stroll the cobblestone street and admire the city’s historic buildings and romantic atmosphere, but don’t forget to brush up on your French!

Continue your love affair with French Canada in Montreal. This lively city is known to delight the young and old with its history, culture and natural beauty. Be inspired by the dramatic Notre-Dame Basilica or roam the Montreal Botanic Gardens.


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