Get To Know CanadaBy Classic Travel
A Land of Unparalleled Beauty
Discover a treasure trove of natural and man-made wonders. Marvel at sights like Vancouver Island’s rainforests, the majestic snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the great plains of the Prairies, the brilliant Northern Lights, the polar bears in Churchill, the vast waters of the Great Lakes, the spectacular Niagara Falls, the scenic Saguenay fjord, the magnificent Cabot Trail, and thousands of kilometers of spectacular Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coastline.
- Capital City: Ottawa
- Type of Government: Constitutional monarchy
- Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General Julie Payette
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
- Official Languages: English and French
- Area: 9,976,140 km2
- Population: 37.59 Million (201)
- Religion: Roman Catholic 45%, Protestant and other 55%
- Currency: Canadian Dollar ($ CAD)
- Number of Time Zones: 6
- Weights and Measures: Metric system
Land and climate
Canada is the second largest country on earth and has three ocean borders:
- The Pacific Ocean in the west;
- The Atlantic Ocean in the east; and
- The Arctic Ocean to the north.
Canada has a multitude of landscapes and borders the United States in the south and in the northwest.
There are areas with high mountains, different types of forests, prairie grasslands and arctic tundra where the ground is permanently frozen. Canada is also home to many rivers and lakes.
Canada goes through transitions of four different seasons: spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter.
- Summer lasts from around June to September and the weather varies from warm to hot, with daytime temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius or Centigrade (68- and 86-degrees Fahrenheit) or higher. In southern Ontario and Quebec, it can often be very humid.
- Fall and spring are transition seasons, which mean the weather starts getting colder or warmer, and there is a lot of rain.
- Winter is very cold in most places with temperatures often below zero degrees Celsius. Snow covers the ground from around December to March or April. In southwest British Columbia (around Victoria and Vancouver), rain is more common in winter than snow.
Must visit Places & Activities to Do
A tour is all about visiting and exploring new places, and Canada has so much to offer.
Visit CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario (one of the largest museums in North America), Niagara Falls, Casa Loma, Distillery District, High Park/High Park Zoo, and Toronto Islands
- The ‘Edge Walk’ at the CN Tower which involves a hands-free walk on a 1.5-meter-wide ledge around the outside edge of the main pod, at an elevation of 365 meters
- Visit downtown Toronto at night and take a picture with the famous neon Toronto sign
- During winter, the pond in front of city hall turns into an ice skating rink
- Cruise at Niagara falls
- Eaton Center Mall for your shopping
- Annual Toronto Christmas market at the Distillery District
- Open air theater production known as ‘Shakespeare in High Park’ during July/August
- Centreville Amusement Park
- Take your Instagram pictures at Graffiti Alley
Visit Mont Royal Park, Notre Dame Basilica, The Oratoire Saint-Joseph, Parc Jean Drapeau, Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Pointe-à-Callière, The Catholic Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, McCord Museum, Lachine Canal National Historic Site
- La Ronde Amusement Park
- Annual summer Festival International de Jazz de Montréal held in late June and early July
- Atwater and Jean Talon Markets
- Chinatown for Asian restaurants and shops
- Barbie Expo
- La Grande Roue de Montreal
- Grevin Wax Museum
- Old Montreal Ghost Walking Tour
Visit Museum of Anthropology, Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Gastown, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
- Granville Island Public Market
- Winter wonderland on Grouse Mountain to ski, snowboard etc
- Flyover Canada – flight simulation at Canada Place
- See the 4th of July fireworks display at English Bay
- Take a walk on the Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Robson Street for shopping
- Whale watching
Visit Studio Bell – National Music Center, Drumheller, Calgary Stempede, Banff & Lake Louise, Calgary Zoo and Prehistoric Park, The Hangar Flight Museum, The Military Museum
- Walk on the 360 degree viewing deck with a glass floor at Calgary Tower
- DIY Craft beer tour
- Rocky Mountaineer Rail Journey
Visit Royal Alberta Museum – Canada’s largest museum, Elk Island National Park & Beaver Hills, Alberta Railway Museum, University of Alberta Botanic Garden, TELUS World of Science, Muttart Conservatory
- Explore the largest mall in North America – West Edmonton Mall
- World Waterpark
- K Days – a festival held end of July
Visit Château Frontenac, Montmorency Falls, Jacques-Cartier National Park, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine, Aquarium du Québec
- Ice fishing
- Petit-Champlain for local shops
- Take a cable car ride / go Ziplining at Montmorency Falls
- Kayaking and canoeing at Jacques-Cartier National Park
- Village Vacances Valcartier – Eastern Canada’s largest theme park
Depending on where you are arriving from, you may be quite surprised by the cold and snow during your visit. Be sure to pack your winter coat, boots, gloves and a hat to keep you warm if you are
Visiting during the winter months. With the right clothing, you will be prepared to enjoy the unique beauty of a Canadian winter.
Canadians enjoys diverse dishes which were influenced by British and French colonials. Here are some of the most famous and absolutely mouthwatering delicacies you should try.
Authentic Canadian Poutine
|For the Poutine Gravy||For the Deep Fried Fries||For the topping|
|· 3 Tbsp cornstarch
· 2 Tbsp water
· 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
· 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
· 20 oz beef broth
· 10 oz chicken broth
· Pepper, to taste
|· 2 lbs Russet potatoes (3-4 medium potatoes)
· Peanut or other frying oil
|· 1 – 1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese curds (Or torn chunks of mozzarella cheese would be the closest substitution)
- Prepare the gravy: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown.
- Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in about half the cornstarch mixture and simmer for a minute or so. If you’d like your gravy thicker, add a more of the cornstarch mixture, in small increments, as needed, to thicken. Season with pepper. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary, to taste. Make ahead and re-warm or keep warm until your fries are ready.
- For Deep-Fried Fries: Prepare your potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Place into a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to stand at least one hour or several hours. When ready to cook, heat your oil in your deep fryer or large, wide, heavy cooking pot to 300° F.
- Remove the potatoes from the water and place onto a sheet of paper towel. Blot to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
- Add your fries to the 300°F oil and cook for 5-8 minutes, just until potatoes are starting to cook but are not yet browned. Remove potatoes from oil and scatter on a wire rack. Increase oil temperature to 375°F Once oil is heated to that temperature, return the potatoes to the fryer and cook until potatoes are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined bowl.
- To Prepare Poutine: Add your fried or baked fries to a large, clean bowl. Season lightly with salt while still warm. Add a ladle of hot poutine gravy to the bowl and using tongs, toss the fries in the gravy. Add more gravy, as needed to mostly coat the fries.
- Add the cheese curds and toss with the hot fries and gravy. Serve with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately
|For the Crust||For the filling||For the topping|
|· 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
· 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
· ½ tsp salt
· 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
· ½ cup walnut pieces
· 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
· 1 large egg, lightly beaten
|· ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
· 2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder
· Pinch of salt
· 3 Tbsp milk
|· 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan and line it with parchment paper so that it comes up the sides.
- For the crust, combine the graham crumbs with the cocoa powder and salt, then, add the coconut & walnut pieces.
- Stir in the melted butter and the egg and stir until blended. Press this into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool the crust completely before preparing the filling.
- By hand, beat the butter with 1 cup (130 g) of the icing sugar, the custard powder and a pinch of salt until smooth.
- Add the milk and vanilla and beat in (don’t worry if it doesn’t look smooth at this point – it will smooth out), and then beat in the remaining 1 cup (130 g) of icing sugar.
- Do not overbeat – the filling should be smooth but not fluffy. Spread this evenly over the cooled crust.
- For the topping, melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring gently with a spatula until melted. Cool the chocolate slightly and then pour this over the filling, spreading to cover it.
- Chill the pan for about 2 hours before slicing into bars.
|· ½ cup butter
· ¾ cup milk
· 1 ½ cups sugar
· 1 tsp salt
· ⅓ cup cocoa powder
· 1 tsp espresso powder
· 1 ½ cups rolled oats
· 1 ½ cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
- In a large pot combine butter, milk and sugar and heat over high. Once mixture begins to foam reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until a candy thermometer reads 230°F. Remove from heat.
- Stir in cocoa powder, espresso powder, oats, and half the coconut. Stir to combine.
- Chill in refrigerator until mixture is firm and cool, about 30 minutes.
- Once mixture is cool, roll into about 1 1/2-inch balls.
- Roll balls in remaining coconut. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator
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