Canada is located above North America and there are many things to discover and do within its many great cities. The population of Canada is 37,308,624 people. We have outlined five of the largest cities in Canada and each offers you a taste of what to expect as backpackers. Canada’s cities embody a multi-cultural lifestyle; from food, places to discover and the city culture
Explore The City Of Toronto
Toronto is the capital city of Ontario and the biggest city in Canada with a lot of diversity in terms of people from diverse nationalities and cultures. Toronto enjoys lots of savoring experiences for any backpacker coming to visit. You will enjoy traveling this city with a 3-4 day itinerary. There is so much to experience from, museums of art and ethnic food.
Toronto moreover has a vibrant history dating back to more than 8,000 years ago. The French were the first explorers to set foot in Toronto and then a few years later the British invaded and took over. Toronto also hosts the longest street in the world known as Yonge Street going up to 1,900 kilometers. The city was established in 1834, and it was previously known as Fort York.
One of the places you cannot afford to miss is the CN tower. From here you can view the whole of Toronto in its entirety. The top of the tower boasts of shops, expensive dining and have an opportunity to walk along the exterior edge of the tower. Another breathtaking place to visit it the Art Gallery of Ontario. At this location, you will find thousands upon thousands of art pieces. The best day to visit is Wednesday night when admission is free.
Also, another natural beauty you cannot afford to miss visiting is the Niagra Falls. Niagra Falls flows majestically just outside the city of Toronto. It consists of three waterfalls. The first one is called Horse Shoe Falls found on the border of Canada and the United States. The other two waterfalls namely American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, lie in the United States.
Visit The Wonderous City Of Calgary
Calgary is one of the budget cities in Canada. If you are backpacking during summer then you must attend the annual event called the Stampede. This event brings together cowboys from all over the world. Lots of parties happen here and there is a cost of 18 CAD to enter the park. There is additionally a showcase of rodeo attractions that bear an extra cost. Calgary has some beautiful parks strewn all over the city. There are hiking trails to explore and a great way to spend a budget afternoon where you can pack a meal, carry a book and just spend the afternoon relaxing.
Additionally, you can also visit the Calgary Zoo and prehistoric park, which have a botanical garden to experience the flora and fauna. A great time to explore is during the Christmas season where the Zoo hosts an outstanding show that consists of 3 million lights. It costs 23 CAD to access the zoo.
If you are a fan of chocolate then you wouldn’t want to miss the chance of visiting the Bernard Callebaut Chocolate Factory. You can simply have a tour around and learn the process of making chocolate. In addition to this, you get to have free samples. Most of the attractions in Calgary offer coupons for discounts and you can take advantage of these if you are planning to visit many places in Calgary.
Venture Into The City Of Vancouver
Vancouver is a versatile city. You get to enjoy a lot of sceneries while at the same time experience the lifestyle of living in an urban setting. There are many things to do and so much to discover from the arts, food markets and of course taking some nature trails.
If you enjoy the outdoors one of the places you will have to pass by is the Grouse Mountain. This is considered by locals a top attraction. A Sky Ride Gondola is available to take you up the mountain. Relish incredible views and after, do some snowboarding and skiing if you visit the area during winter. If you visit during the summer, take a trail walk down the surrounding forest.
Another place to stopover while in Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. However, this is not a place for you if you are afraid of heights. The suspension bridge is located just outside Vancouver City. The area surrounding the setting of nature trails makes it a favorite place to visit.
Whale watching is another activity you can do while in Vancouver. Take a boat ride to watch Orca whales. The tour is pricey as one would cost 170 CAD. If you miss a sight, the tour companies will offer you a voucher for another trip. Hopefully, you will get another chance to see them.
Make A Trip Through Nova Scotia
The first European to be documented to arrive in Nova Scotia was a man named John Cabot in 1497. 5,000 years before this, a mixture of different cultures from Africans and the French inhabited the area. The Canadians here are known to be very friendly people. Nova Scotia has about 100 beaches, scenic lighthouses, and unlimited sailing opportunities.
The Skyline Trail is seven miles long. You can opt to take this trail in one afternoon or make it a full day trip. From here you will see breathtaking views of Nova Scotia. Another place to see is the Point Pleasant Park. Spend a calming day here with a spectacular view of the ocean. Some activities that you can do while here include having a picnic especially if you are backpacking in a group. There are lots of activities to do from walking the paths.
You can also experience a great photographic opportunity from a lighthouse at a place called Peggy’s Cove. What better way to experience Nova Scotia’s beach than taking an ocean drive. The drive is 185 miles and it loops Cape Breton Island passing through the Cape Bretton Highlands National Park. Nova Scotia has lots of other scenic and natural places to experience from museums such as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, watch whales to viewing historic sites and gardens.
Tour The Famous City Of Montreal
Want to visit a city with history? Then Montreal is the place to go. A rich history with heavy French influence, it is also one of the original cities of Canada. It is blessed with many museums, art galleries and boasts of the second biggest botanical garden in the world. There are parks spread across the city. This is a place that will keep you busy from start to finish. Here are some of the wonderful things you will enjoy.
The Parc La Fontaine is a great experience for any budget backpacker. There are lots of cheap activities to take part in from volleyball, tennis or just having a picnic with family and friends. The area also has free performances for visitors. Mount Royal is a beautiful serene park that allows you to take part in activities such as picnics, yoga, and jogging. You can just go and relax. The area also has beautiful places to go and view the city’s skyline line.
Montreal has a part of it called the Old Montreal. There is a museum you can explore including the many exhibitions here. A chance for you to learn more about Montreal’s history. Place De Armes is another place to visit. There are three main squares in the Old City, and Place De Armes is one of them. The square has the Notre Dame Basilica.
The Biodome is a spectacular building and the only one in the world that showcases four environments that represent beautiful places that can be found in North, South and Central America. The Biodome is located in the Velodrome where the Olympic Games were once hosted. The entrance costs 20 CAD.
Tips on Backpacking On A Budget
Research the cities thoroughly, and it would help in getting a map or use google map searches before you set out. This will help in your local tours. Most of these cities are best experienced on foot where you will see historic buildings, natural sceneries and beautiful urban buildings.
In the largest cities in Canada, one of the activities you will enjoy while backpacking in the wintertime is ice skating. Some of the rinks offer free ice skating. A visit to the public markets will also have you enjoy local and very affordable food delicacies. Look out for places to tour that do not require you to pay. Some of the government institutions like the City Halls offer free tours. In addition, the tours are guided by staff. Backpacking on a budget will require you do extra leg work to compare various rates, from the cost of accommodation, meals and taking tours.
The big cities like Toronto and Vancouver tend to be pricier than smaller cities. Besides, the rural areas are even much cheaper. That said, it would be even better if you plan your backpacking in phases so that you get to experience all of Canada from the big cities and to the smaller cities.