Canadian Travel Destinations Over The Holidays
The holiday season is always a popular time for Canadians to take time off and travel. Whether it is to a far-away destination or within Canada’s borders, many people choose this time of year for a vacation.
According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between August 20 and August 25, 2015, less than 2 in 10 Canadians surveyed would like to celebrate the holiday season in Sydney, Australia followed by 1 in 10 Canadians who showed an interest in ringing in the New Year at Times Square in New York City.
Other popular destinations mentioned in the survey were Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, London, England, and the Strip in Las Vegas. Finally, only 6% of Canadians surveyed showed an interest in travelling to Hong Kong, whereas 4 in 10 Canadians would like to ring in 2016 doing something else.
Perhaps that “something else” could include these popular Canadian cities, all of which have an abundance of fun and exciting holiday activities that the whole family can enjoy this winter.
Toronto, the provincial capital of Ontario and located in the southern region of the province, is the largest city in Canada and thus has some of the biggest holiday activities.
Toronto holds one of the largest Santa Claus parades in the world, attracting half a million people annually. Also exciting is the Cavalcade of Lights, a holiday and winter-themed festival that kicks off the holiday season with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree in front of Toronto’s City Hall.
Don’t forget to take a stroll past The Hudson Bay Company’s Christmas windows, where you will find the most festive and creatively adorned retail displays in town.
Ottawa, Ontario is the capital of Canada and a breathtakingly beautiful city at that. It stands on the bank of the Ottawa River and offers wondrous sights of the Canadian Parliament buildings illuminated with thousands of Christmas lights every December.
The ceremony that lights them is on December 2 this year and includes free hot chocolate, holiday carols and delicious beaver tails – an Ottawa staple treat of fried sweet dough.
Don’t forget to pack your ice skates and take a spin on the Rideau Canal outdoor skating rink, where you can skate right on the frozen river. Finally, bundle up in a warm blanket and take a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic downtown Ottawa.
Vancouver and Whistler
Vancouver is home to many fun holiday activities, including the Rogers Santa Claus Parade on December 6 and the German Christmas Market through the month of December. If you’re longing for snow, head up to the top of Grouse Mountain for the Peak of Christmas – a fantastic event that includes a trip to Santa’s North Pole workshop, ice skating, sledding and live reindeer!
Also be sure to visit the Stanley Park Bright Lights Christmas Train – millions of twinkling lights will mesmerize you as you travel via train through an enchanted holiday forest.
Finally, don’t forget Whistler, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in the world and home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here, you can peruse the village for holiday shopping and delights, head up the mountain for some skiing or snowboarding, and even holiday skating with Santa.
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve here are huge celebrations. Edmonton is home to a real-life “Candy Cane Lane” – a spectacle of eight blocks of the most amazing residential Christmas light displays north of the border.
If you and the family enjoy thrills, head up to the Sunridge Ski Area (east of Edmonton), where you’ll find the province’s only tube park. From December onwards, Sunridge becomes a hub for snow tubing, complete with daring hill chutes and a lift that pulls you back to the top of the hill so you can head down your next run! For safety purposes, Sunridge offers tubing to those seven years and older.
Montreal, Quebec is one of the most charming cities in Canada. With holiday shopping on St. Catherine’s Street, outdoor skating at the Old Port Bonsecours Basin and wandering through Old Montreal’s amiable European-style streets, there is no lack of winter fun. Bundle up though because Montreal is known to have blustery days!
Québec City is so historically charming; they don’t have to try very hard to look festive in December. Visiting Quebec City is so akin to being in a quaint European village at Christmas that you may find yourself checking that you’re still in Canada!
The charm of the city is wondrous with cobblestone lanes, fluffy white snow and some of the most amazing and historic architecture in Canada. Be sure to check out QuebecAdabra!, a large-scale light show, and the authentic German Christmas Market, where you might find some extra special artisan gifts this holiday season.
Looking to celebrate Christmas in true Canadian style? Visit an authentic maple syrup farm in Nova Scotia.At the Sugar Moon Farm, 90 minutes from Halifax, you’ll learn all about making – and tasting – the delicious Canadian delicacy of Maple Syrup.
Sugar Moon Farms offer farm tours, all day brunch and hiking experiences. Or take part in the Victorian Christmas celebrations at the Halifax Citadel, the city’s historical fort.
Wherever you decide to visit this holiday season, may your Christmas holidays be full of joy and your New Year full of life and prosperity.