Visa Requirements:Visa on arrival
Languages Spoken:English, French
Currency Used:Canadian Dollar
Canada extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles), making it the world's second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. The majority of the country has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southerly areas are warm in summer. Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land territory being dominated by forest and tundra and the Rocky Mountains. It is highly urbanized with 82 per cent of the 35.15 million people concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its five largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa.
he roots of organized sports in Canada date back to the 1770s. Canada's official national sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. Golf, tennis, skiing, badminton, volleyball, cycling, swimming, bowling, rugby union, canoeing, equestrian, squash and the study of martial arts are widely enjoyed at the youth and amateur levels.
Places To Go
Renowned for its beautiful and still mostly untouched nature, Canada is the largest country in North America and the second largest in the world. A country with close ties to the US and Europe, Canada is a popular touristic destination for its natural wonders such as the Niagara falls, its vibrant cities and high quality of life standards. Canada is a very safe country, and is often viewed as a safe haven compared to the US where crime and violence is still an issue.
Live on the edge in Torontoto
You've heard of the CN Tower - the iconic, 1,815-foot needle shooting straight out of Toronto's skyline. But did you know it now has an EdgeWalk experience (photo top) that allows you to walk around the building's restaurant level... on the outside? Yes, the outside. Pull on the red jumpsuit, strap into a harness and prepare for an urban adventure to end them all (videos and photos are included in the price). Glass floors will never be the same again.
Meet a polar bear in Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba (population 813), might seem like a dot on the globe. But come the winter freeze, the subarctic outpost claims a unique tourism distinction: it's the Polar Bear Capital of the World. November is the best time to trek north. It's then that the carnivores migrate along the town's icy thoroughfares towards the ice caps of Hudson Bay. Locals share stories of encountering the animals outside the local diner, but tourists are thankfully more likely to see them from the safety of a robust tundra buggy.
Mountain Biking magic in British Columbia
As some of the most outdoorsy folks on the planet, Vancouver have mapped some of the best mountain bike trails on the planet. The towns of Smoke and Campbell River on Vancouver Island are two of the biggest hubs for the sport and make the perfect springboard for the nearby natural terrain. Simply pack some trail mix, strap on the GoPro and keep an eye out for bears.
Fall in love in Quebec City
An increasingly popular weekend getaway for amorous New Yorkers, Québec City's charm still remains something of a secret affair. The city's UNESCO-treasured Old Town hosts a bijou box of colonial streets which make you feel like you're meandering through a French fairy tale. To soak up the oh là là flair, head to Le Château Frontenac hotel for a glass of Québécois cidre (cider), or try Le Chic Shack for a feast of local poutine.
Feel the spray in your face at Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls straddles the US/Canadian border, but the best views are from the Canadian side. The drive from Toronto takes about 90 minutes and along the way you'll pass vineyards selling the local delicacy 'icewine', so do pop in for a sample. When you arrive, get up close and personal with the three enormous cascades that make up the falls on the Hornblower Boat Trip. Prepare to get drenched, even with the fetching free raincoat.
Party 24/7 in Vancouver
Now home to the country's wildest nightlife, Vancouver's clubbing scene is out of hibernation with a bang. The main party areas surround Granville Street and Gastown, but keep tabs on pop-up It-spots. Insider tips? Head to Fortune Sound Club (fortunesoundclub.com) to catch star DJs on the decks; Celebrities (celebritiesnightclub.com) for crunk house parties and drag shows, or former porn theatre Fox Cabaret (foxcabaret.com) for some alternate edge.
Paddle your own Canoe in Banff National Park
If you close your eyes and conjure up an image of an idyllic canoeing scene, the icy blue lakes of Banff will surely appear. With the craggy Canadian Rockies, millions of fir trees and perfectly still waters, the setting is the perfect place to pick up a paddle.
Drive the Cabot Trail
Canada's Maritime provinces are too often bypassed, but for seasoned road-trippers Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail may well be the country's finest. The spectacular 300km route kisses the coast of Cape Breton while oozing all the rugged charm of a maple-leafed Wild Atlantic Way. Be sure to take a pit stop in the postcard village of Ingonish en route.
Take off Heli Skiing in British Columbia
Are you bored of run-of-the-mill ski lifts and blue slopes? Craving a little more excitement on your skis? Well, throw a helicopter into the mix, and adventure is all but guaranteed. On this jaunt, a chopper will drop you into the stunning mountain wilderness of British Columbia for an off-piste experience you'll never forget. The terrain is huge, and the log cabins you'll sleep in are utterly adorable.
Canada is geologically active, having many earthquakes and potentially active volcanoes, notably Mount Meager, Mount Garibaldi, Mount Cayley, and the Mount Edziza volcanic complex. The volcanic eruption of the Tseax Cone in 1775 was among Canada's worst natural disasters, killing an estimated 2,000 Nisga'a people and destroying their village in the Nass River valley of northern British Columbia. The eruption produced a 22.5-kilometre (14.0 mi) lava flow, and, according to Nisga'a legend, blocked the flow of the Nass River.
Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary from region to region. Winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, particularly in the interior and Prairie provinces, which experience a continental climate, where daily average temperatures are near −15 °C (5 °F), but can drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) with severe wind chills. In non coastal regions, snow can cover the ground for almost six months of the year, while in parts of the north snow can persist year-round. Coastal British Columbia has a temperate climate, with a mild and rainy winter. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C (70s °F), while between the coasts, the average summer high temperature ranges from 25 to 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), with temperatures in some interior locations occasionally exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).
Some Canadian cities may have some rougher areas, but overall the country is very safe to visit, Canadian people are welcoming and very helping, and there is a great police presence in the country.
Canada has a low crime rate (1.6 per 100,000 while in the US it is 4.5 per 100,000), and violent crime is confined to specific regions of the great North (Crime is higher in states of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut; see the map here). Still, the tourist areas are very safe. There might be some rare cases of snatch and grab from vehicles in Montreal or pick-pocketing, but they are very uncommon.
Crime & Scams in Canada
Like said before, Canada is a very safe country. Still, do not leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle, and use a lock to keep your bike theft – bike theft can be an issue in Montreal and Vancouver.
Drugs in Canada
Marijuana is illegal in Canada (although the new government is about to legalize it), but Medical Marijuana can be obtained. If drug enforcement authorities often look away from marijuana use, it is still technically illegal and can get you deported from the country.
Natural Dangers in Canada
Because of its Northern location, Canada is prone to some very harsh winters with ice storms and blizzard. Temperatures often go below 0F / -20C and roads in winter can be blocked by snowfall : It is best to travel with an emergency kit in your car. In summer, forest fires are an issue in the British Columbia Province. If you are going to remote locations, bear attacks can be an issue. For more details, see city specific advice or take a look at our travel articles.
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Canada is a very safe country. It is ranked 8th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There is nearly no pickpocket risk in Canada. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pick pocketed.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Canada is a safe country regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some urban areas are best to be avoided at night.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are virtually no scammers in Canada.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transports and taxis are generally very safe in Canada.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There can be some occasional natural hazards (meteorological) in Canada, because of the strong weather during winter.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Canada has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks. There have been 2 mass shootings in Toronto and Edmonton in 2012, but these were isolated incidents.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Canada is generally very safe for women travelers.