Why We Love Canada
Mountains, rivers, greenery, cities, snow, and waterfalls. Think about it and you’ll struggle to name something that Canada does not have to offer travelers. It’s the perfect destination for urban explorers and naturalists alike with 39 national parks and some of the most beautiful, exciting cities on the planet including Quebec and Vancouver.
Start your Journey in the East stopping by Montreal with it’s unique French Canadian heritage and chow down on poutine as you wander the European-esq streets. Next, stop by the modern Toronto, or perhaps the charmingly tacky Niagara Falls before traveling West to Vancouver and the Rockies.
Skiing your thing? Check out Lake Louise in Alberta or Whistler Mountain a site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The powder is incredible and the Canadian Rockies are sure to offer some of the best slopes that North America has to offer.
Not so much of a snowbunny then travel to Canada in the summer and drive the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. We promise you, the clear lakes, green mountains, and the plentiful lobster rich restaurants are worth the winding drive! If you are feeling brave you can even pitch up camp and experience a pure serenity that a hotel just fails to offer.
From coast to coast, north or south, at any time of the year Canada goes down a traveler’s treat. The people are welcoming, the scenery is spectacular, and the beer is far superior to their Southern neighbor. You really can’t go wrong with this North American Gem.
Canada’s weather pater is much like that of Northern Europe or specifically Scandinavia. Warm summers but very cold winters with lots of snow. Canada is of course vast, its a huge country in fact its the second largest in the world (Russia is first, US third and China 4th). Due to the huge landmass the weaner patterns can differ from north to south and of course coast to coast.
As a general rule summer runs from June – August and winter December – February with Spring and Autumn slotting in between. The variation in temperature between summer and winter will vary ending where you are (inland, mountains, cost, cities etc) but the general four season rule applies!
The currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). At the time of writing £1GBP is equal to $1.65CAD but its worth keeping an eye on the exchange rate, please see XE.com for the least info.
Here are some general prices, do bear in mind these are just a rough guide to give you an idea and they may vary!
- 3 curse meal for 2 at mid priced restaurant: $64CAD or £38
- Domestic Beer: $6CAD £3.60
- Cappuccino: $4CAD or £2.40
- Can of Coke:$2CAD or £1.20
- 1 litre of milk $2CAD or £1.20
- 1kg bananas: $2CAD or £1.20
- Bottle of water: $2.20CAD or £1.25
- Bottle of wine: $15CAD or £9
- Taxi per km: $2CAD or £1.20
Local culture & language
The culture of Canada has been primarily influenced by the various European cultures and traditions of its constituent nationalities, particularly British and French culture. There are also influences from the cultures of its indigenous peoples, and from the neighbouring USA.
Core Canadian values include fairness, equality, inclusiveness and social justice. This is evidenced by the country’s approach to governance, which includes public health care, higher taxation to promote the redistribution of wealth, the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the abolition of capital punishment and the suppression of far-right politics.
Canada generally has a very open and accepting attitude towards other cultures and religions.
Canadian clothing is very much like that of the United States and most other western countries. The main thing to note is that it can get very, very cold in large parts of the country (with temperatures getting as low as -40C in some areas), so make sure you wrap up warm.
Language in Canada
The 2 official languages in Canada are English and French, with English having the vast majority of speakers at around 60%. Due to Canada’s historically welcoming attitude to immigrants, the overall language mix spoken in the country is very diverse, with reasonable populations speaking Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, German, and Italian, amongst others.
Canada is also home to a selection of aboriginal languages, which are spoken by the relatively small populations of indigenous peoples who reside there. Unfortunately, due to the very low numbers of native speakers, the majority of these languages are not expected to be able to survive for more than a few generations.
Etiquette & customs
Canadians are generally polite, tolerant and relatively informal. As with any large country, there is a great amount of variation in customs and etiquette from one region to the next. The most obvious difference is in the province of Quebec, which has more French influence than British. As a result it is not uncommon for people to greet each other by kissing each other’s checks, left and right, rather than the handshake popular in the rest of the country.
Canadians are generally very polite, and it is important to remember your manners if you want to get on well with people. If you are dining with locals, then table manners are fairly informal, and you need not worry about refusing particular dishes or asking questions about the food. Do make sure to say please and thank you. If you are invited to someone’s home for a meal, it is considered polite to bring a small gift such as a bottle of wine or some chocolates.
Canada is a country in the northern half of North America. Its territory extends across the width of the continent, and it is therefore flanked by the Pacific Ocean to its west and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. To the north, Canada is bordered by the Arctic Ocean, and to the south by the United States. By surface area, Canada is the second largest country in the world.
The Capital: Ottawa
Main Cities: Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver
Population: 36.3 million
Size: 9.98 million sq km (3.85 million sq miles)
Major Religion: Diverse, but Christianity is the largest, with 67% of the population
Main Languages: English and French
Climate: Mixed, but large areas have Arctic or sub-Arctic climate
Life Expectancy: 81 years
Dialling Code: +1
Emergency Numbers: 911
Currency: Canadian Dollar
ISO 4217 Code: CAD
Central Bank: Bank of Canada
Currency Sub-Units: Cents = 1/100 of a Dollar
Denominations: Notes: $100 $50 $20 $10 $5. Coins: $2 $1 50¢ 25¢ 10¢ 5¢
British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods, but you’ll need to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation before you travel (see below). If you have a different type of British nationality or intend to travel for a longer period, check entry requirements with the Canadian High Commission. When you arrive you will need to be able to show that you have enough funds available to support yourself during your stay, even if you’re staying with family and friends.
If you have any doubts about whether you’re eligible to enter Canada (eg if you have a criminal record or have been arrested even if it did not result in a conviction), or about visa matters generally, contact the Canadian High Commission before you travel.
Some unauthorised websites charge for submitting visa applications. These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Canadian government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees.
For up to date information please click here.