Top Destinations in Canada
Located in Southern Ontario, Toronto boasts more residents than any other city in Canada. There's a reason why people love living here. As Canada's thriving economic center, Toronto is both a sophisticated city and a cultural mecca that sets high standards of living, cleanliness, and hospitality.
Those with an interest in live theater will want to catch a show while they're in town. Whether you're a fan of the ballet or the opera, dramas or comedies, you can find a performance most nights of the week. Some theaters to check out are the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, and what used to be the O'Keefe Hummingbird Centres. During the summer sit in on an outdoor production of Shakespeare in High Park or a concert in the Molson Amphitheater.
If you'd rather pay to see something on the silver screen, head to Ontario Place which houses the Cinesphere movie complex and an IMAX theater. Serious movie buffs attending the Toronto International Film Festival, an important event for industry insiders, may want to find a rental in downtown Toronto.
Most travelers agree that Toronto's weather is moderate, so any fears one might have about the Canada's cold weather should be relieved. What makes Toronto especially unique is that it experiences four distinct seasons, something several American cities (especially in the South) aren't accustomed to. Be aware that like most cities on the water, Summer is rainy season in Toronto, so make sure to have an umbrella on hand at all times - just in case.
You'll feel as if you're in a European city when you visit Quebec City, which lies along the St. Laurence River and is part of French-speaking Canada. With its cobblestone streets, quaint architecture, and provincial way of life, you'll get taken back to a richer, easier way of life.
In Quebec City, taking the time out to enjoy simple pleasures, like eating fresh artesanal cheese or enjoying a cup of mid-afternoon coffee, is something the locals take very seriously. While you're there be sure to try a local delicacy, indicative of Quebec's French influence: the crepe. Whether sweet or savory, crepes are delicious little pastries that can be found all over Quebec City. For a more touristy experience, try Chez Cora. Or go out on a limb and try Au Petit Coin Breto for savory crepes filled with boar, seafood or ham.
Locals love celebrating the seasons in Quebec City, and its Summer Festival and Winter Carnival attract tourists worldwide each year. Consider renting a condo in downtown Quebec City and be in the middle of all the action. While Summer is a popular time to visit, with 11 days of outdoor shows and concerts, Winter Carnival features an Ice Palace, showcases a world-famous ice sculpture show, and transforms the plains of Abraham into a winter wonderland with winter sports the entire family can enjoy.
The Old City is divided into Upper and Lower Towns. It's best to explore the city on foot and the weather is usually pleasant enough to accommodate this, even during the winter (if you bundle up). Stroll through Lower Town's Place Royale, a market where you can find all sorts of crafts and souvenirs, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. There is much sightseeing to be done in Upper Town, with famous landmarks like The Citadel, as well as other religious and military sites. You'll appreciate the well-preserved seventeenth and eighteenth century architecture (which make great backgrounds for photos).
After Paris, France, Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in the Western world. Known as Canada's Cultural Capital, it's a hub of publishing, performing, New Media and print. It's also no stranger to the festival circuit, with events taking place year-round, like the largest comedy festival in the world Just for Laughs, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Montreal Fireworks Festival, and the Francofolies.
Like most large cities, Montreal is divided into neighborhoods that are distinctive and make up the local milieu that defines this diverse metropolis. Experience the city through the eyes of the people who live there in your own Montreal apartment rental. From upscale Westmount to eclectic Gay Village, to trendy Quartier Latin (and those are just a few), you can spend a week in Montreal and still not even break the surface. Most people walk in Montreal, and you'll on get a sense of the thriving energy that permeates the entire city when you explore on foot. Be sure to check out West Island, East End and North Island - or of course, Central Montreal.
Sports fans should see a hockey game if they have time. Hockey is huge in Montreal and it's the national winter sport of Canada. Attending a Canadiens game is a fun way to take in some of the local color. Even if hockey isn't your favorite sport, who doesn't like to people-watch? Bribe your special someone with a night on the town, in return for tickets to a Sunday game.
Vancouver is another Canadian city that consistently ranks high on “Most Livable City” lists. Residents make it known that they love their fair city and what’s not to love? With an eco-conscious agenda that makes large green spaces like Stanley Park available, a thirst for innovation, and an appreciation for the arts, Vancouver has all the makings of a world-class city. Not to mention it’s low sprawl makes it easy and convenient to get around. There are also several vacation rentals near the ocean in Vancouver for a relaxing vacation away from it all.
The economy is thriving so you’ll want to get out and hit the shops in Vancouver. If you’re into the latest in home décor and fashion, head to Robson Street where you’ll find local boutiques alongside national chain stores. Stop for a cappuccino at one of the trendy coffee shops or a grab a bite to eat at a vegan café. Travelers looking for a different kind of shopping experience should head to Granville Island, a public market with everything from fresh seafood to local produce. Shopping there and cooking a meal in your Vancouver apartment is an easy way to truly experience the local flavor – for less money than you’d pay in a touristy restaurant.
Art buffs won’t want to miss the Vancouver Art Museum, one of the most famous contemporary art museums in the world. For a time out, swing by the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the heart of the city and take a moment to reflect – if not on the deeper things in life, then on what will be next on your itinerary. Like most metropolitan cities, Vancouver has a cuisine that is eclectic and reflects the diversity in cultures of the people who live there.
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