This is Canada’s year to shine but how do you choose which destinations to visit in our massive country? The best people to ask are other travellers, of course. These are the 20 top tourist destinations in Canada, according to TripAdvisor.
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1. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is so beautiful that it’s become a hit with filmmakers: so much so that the city has the nickname Hollywood North. Among the most popular attractions here are Stanley Park, Granville Island and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
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2. Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is North America’s largest ski resort and was the host mountain resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Summer activities here include hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and golf.
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3. Quebec City, Quebec
Founded in 1608 but first settled in 1535, Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest European settlements. Attractions here include the historic Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the Château Frontenac and, in winter, the Ice Hotel.
RELATED: 20 Little Known UNESCO World Heritage Sites
RELATED: 20 Little Known UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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4. Montreal, Quebec
If you can see only one Canadian city in 2017, Montreal should be at the top of your list. Home to attractions such as the Notre-Dame Basilica and Old Montreal, Canada’s second most populous city celebrates its 375th anniversary this year.
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5. Toronto, Ontario
The joke may be that Toronto is New York City run by the Swiss, but the city on the shores of Lake Ontario is a vibrant, multicultural city with fascinating museums, stunning architecture, beaches and a great restaurant scene. The best-known attraction is the CN Tower, which you can now dangle off of.
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6. Canmore, Alberta
Canmore is one of the gateways to Banff National Park but is also a destination in its own right. The town in the Canadian Rockies is an outdoor lover’s paradise and also hosts a variety of festivals and the Canmore Highland Games during the year.
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7. Kelowna, British Columbia
Located on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is in the heart of the Okanagan wine country. Outdoor pursuits such as boating, hiking and golf are popular in summer while the nearby ski resorts attract visitors in winter.
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8. Niagara Falls, Ontario
A popular honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is home to attractions such as a butterfly conservatory that is one of the largest in North America. The main attraction though is the set of three waterfalls the city is named after.
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9. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Island is home to a unique style of fiddling, a rich Scottish Gaelic heritage and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. The island is also very scenic, with attractions like the Cabot Trail and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
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10. Stratford, Ontario
Like its namesake in England, Stratford is located on the banks of a river named Avon. The city is famous for its Shakespeare festival, its music festivals and for being the hometown of Justin Bieber.
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11. Calgary, Alberta
The oil industry has made Calgary a prosperous and multicultural city. However, its location on the edge of the prairies means it’s still cowboy country, and the Calgary Stampede is the city’s most famous – and raucous – event.
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Canada’s capital is also its most educated city and home to most of the country’s national museums. The main attraction here is Parliament Hill, and in winter, a must-do is to go skating on the Rideau Canal.
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13. Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton has a vast park system with hiking and biking trails and is one of the cities where you may be able to spot the Northern Lights on a clear winter’s night. Other attractions include the TELUS World of Science, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and North America’s largest shopping mall.
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14. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg hosts some great festivals during the year and is also a popular destination for sports lovers. The city’s architecture and museums are among its greatest attractions, with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights the ultimate showcase for both these aspects.
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15. Mississauga, Ontario
Mississauga is really a suburb of Toronto, and its long shoreline makes it perfect for waterfront dining and shopping. With plenty of amusement parks and festivals, Mississauga is especially popular for family vacations.
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16. Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria’s location on Vancouver Island, its many stunning beaches and its Mediterranean climate make it one of Canada’s best boating destinations. Historic architecture, the Royal BC Museum and Butchart Gardens are some of the city’s other attractions.
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17. London, Ontario
London is located on the banks of the Thames River – the one in Ontario. Festivals like the Sunfest world music festival and the London Rib-Fest as well as attractions like Springbank Park and the Fanshawe Pioneer Village draw many visitors in summer.
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18. Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton has been used as a filming location for movies as diverse as Hairspray and the Resident Evil franchise. The city’s attractions are diverse too and include Dundurn Castle, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Bruce Trail, African Lion Safari and more than 100 waterfalls.
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19. Richmond, British Columbia
Richmond is located just south of Vancouver, at the mouth of the Fraser River. With more than half of Richmond’s population of Asian descent, this is a fantastic destination for lovers of Asian cuisine. The city is also home to great shopping and the impressive International Buddhist Temple.
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20. Halifax, Nova Scotia
As a busy port city, many of Halifax’s attractions are related to the sea. They include North America’s oldest lighthouse as well as the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Citadel Hill with Fort George is one of the city’s most well-known historic sites.