Ten hidden gems to discover
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017, we encourage you to plan your holidays early!
Canada is a vast country with incredible diversity of land, history and awe-inspiring places to explore and experience. So let’s go Canada! Our list will give you a taste of some of Canada’s hidden gems worth exploring!
Where? Quebec, where the Saguenay River meets the Saint Lawrence River, near Tadoussac.
Why? Scan the horizon from the shore and suddenly, you may spot a whale! Then, a pod of beluga whales shines white as they pop to the surface – you feel as if you're a privileged spectator at a one-of-a-kind show! Recognized as one of the best places worldwide for whale watching, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park offers a range of experiences that are out of the ordinary.
When? Open to the public on June 17, 2017.
Where? At the tip of the island of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula.
Why? Let your inner Viking shine! Meet resident Vikings, listen to Vinland Sagas in the main hall, and view demonstrations on Norse iron forging and textile art. You can even try them out for yourself. It is the only authenticated Norse site in North America and one of the heritage treasures of the world!
When? Opens to the public on June 1, 2017.
Where? Western Bank of the Red River in Manitoba.
Why? Bake bannock from scratch over an open fire, prepare a batch of delicious heritage hot chocolate, or build a traditional tipi in the Indigenous camp. Experience the early fur-trading days of the mid-1800s, sharing stories of the Indigenous and local people who lived and worked there during its heyday as a Hudson’s Bay Company post.
When? Opens to the public on May 15, 2017.
Where? Southern Saskatchewan.
Why? Come and explore our Ecotour Driving Adventure, diverse trails, and guided experiences. Discover some of Canada’s rarest wildlife, darkest skies, astonishing dinosaur fossils, over 12,000 teepee rings, and varied landscapes, from buttes and valleys to breathtaking badlands. You can sleep in an oTENTik, teepee, or campsite. Your surprise awaits!
When? Open to the public all year.
Where? South-central Ontario, just three hours from Toronto and Montreal, and 90 minutes from Ottawa.
Why? Journey to the picturesque granite islands and windswept pine trees of Thousand Islands National Park. Spend a day by the river with an overnight in a waterfront oTENTik. Plan to explore secluded bays by kayak or powerboat and discover the hidden joy of camping under the stars on an island in the Thousand Islands.
When? Opens to the public May 19, 2017.
Where? British Columbia in the south-eastern Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Why? Come and view our towering rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and 28 peaks, over 3,000 metres in height, or walk to one of the Burgess Shale Fossil sites. This guided hike is like taking a time machine back in time. You will experience one of the world’s most significant fossil finds that dates back 505 million years!
When? Yoho National Park is open to the public all year and Burgess Shale hikes are offered from June through September.
Where? Nova Scotia.
Why? Fun packed days for families at Kejimkujik take you from hiking or biking to paddling ancient Mi’kmaw canoe routes through interconnected water ways or along the expansive Kejimkujik Lake. Sign up for the 38 Foot Mi’kmaw style guided Canoe Paddle. Test out the dark sky kit in this Dark Sky Preserve where the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye as the sun sets over the western shores of Kejimkujik Lake. This gentle wilderness is perfect for families. Come for the paddle and stay for the stars.
When? Opens to the public on May 20, 2017.
Why? Head west from Winnipeg to Riding Mountain National Park’s aspen parkland; one of the best wildlife-viewing destinations in Canada. Watch for bison, elk and wolves, count wildflowers in the prairie grasslands, and camp on the shores of Lake Audy, where the calm lake surface is a mirror for sunsets, midnight stars, and northern lights.
When? Open to the public all year.
Where? Downtown Ottawa, Ontario.
Why? Home to two former Prime Ministers, this hidden gem is preserved as a time capsule of Canadian Government leadership. View 10,000 original artefacts (and step behind the barriers by participating in a white glove tour), get a real taste of life as a Prime Minister at one of the State Dinner experiences, or enjoy afternoon tea on the verandah.
When? Open to the public starting May 20, 2017.
Where? Near Longview, Alberta.
Why? This is your chance to live like a cowboy. Explore the ranch and visit with the ranch hands. Learn to rope a steer, saddle a horse, repair a bridle or boil up cowboy coffee on a fire. Wander the trails and dirt roads to discover the history of ranching in Canada. Pop into the stables, the post office and, of course, the cookhouse to learn about "home on the range."
When? Open to visitors from May 15, 2017.