What to do in Canada

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Canada Travel

Canada is the second-largest country in the world, behind Russia. Its natural beauty stretches from Toronto in the south to the Nunavut province in the north, and from Newfoundland in the east to Vancouver in the west. You can hear people speaking French in Quebec, English in Ontario and Inuktitut in Nunavut. Canada is a huge, diverse place with breathtaking beauty, and this guide can help you navigate it.

What to do in Canada

Because Canada is so huge, with big cities and tiny towns scattered from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, a trip to Canada rarely includes “seeing it all.” If you drive across the New York-Ontario border for a trip to Toronto, don’t count on making a side trip to Quebec City or Vancouver. Use this section to learn about Canada’s unique landscape and the cities and towns that punctuate it, so you can customize your trip to this great northern land.

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  • Many of the sites listed below will be used frequently throughout this guide because they contain so much information. Some of the sites are all-in-one stops for Canadian travel, offering flights, suggestions, maps, blogs and more. Two of the most commonly mentioned sites are: The Official Site of the Canadian Tourism Commission and Trail Canada.
  • There are countless blogs and forums that allow travelers to share their experiences and advice with others. We’ve listed a few of those specific to Canada below. For a more in-depth explanation of these sites, visit the findingDulcinea Blogs Web Guide.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known as “Mounties” in their distinctive red uniforms, are Canada’s “national, federal, provincial, and municipal policing body,” according to their Web site []. You may run into them while you are in Canada. Ontario, Quebec and areas of Newfoundland and Labrador are the only places with their own police forces (the Ontario Provincial Police, the Sûreté du Québec, and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary).

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Canada Travel Requirements

Canada is generally a safe placeæno question about it. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared when you arrive. This section offers resources to help keep you safe and healthy abroad, and provides an introduction to Canadian customs and traditions.

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  • Canada’s Constitution recognizes English and French as the two official languages. But the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik, as well as Quebec, also consider Inuktitut (Inuit languages) an official language.
  • When entering Canada from the United States, some form of government-issued photo ID is necessary, like a driver’s license, as well as proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or passport. For U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country, a passport is required. To be safe, U.S. citizens are advised to carry a passport at all times, no matter where they’re traveling from, when driving into Canada.
  • The majority of the population in the province of Quebec speaks French, while English is the majority everywhere else. In 1969, the province of New Brunswick declared itself officially bilingual (English and French), and today French speakers comprise over a third of the population.
  • This section mentions some Canadian traditions. For more information on one of Canada’s most treasured traditions, ice hockey, take a look at the findingDulcinea Hockey Web Guide.
  • Technically, it is illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the United States from Canada.

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Getting to Canada

The United States and Canada share the world’s longest undefended border, stretching 3,145 miles. This makes it easy for residents of the northern United States to cross over and explore but from elsewhere, a flight may be required. Visit the sites in this section to get the scoop on making your way to Canada.

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  • When you cross the border from the United States, be prepared to answer any questions that border security may ask about where you’re going and why. Due to tightened border security following the Sept. 11 attacks, crossing the border may require more time (and patience) than it did pre-9/11.

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Canada Hotels

Canada offers a variety of accommodations. To step inside from the cold, stay in one of the many fine urban hotels. There are also plenty of options available for the budget traveler. And if you’re heading to some of Canada’s famous ski slopes, don’t miss out on the accompanying resorts.

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  • The sites listed below are general resources for locating a place to stay in Canada. If you know the city you’ll be staying in beforehand, consider visiting that city’s official tourism Web site for listings specific to the city. For examples, visit the Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal tourism Web sites.

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Getting Around in Canada

Earlier in the guide we mentioned that visiting Montreal and Vancouver in the same trip might not be in your best interests. That doesn’t mean it is impossible or that you shouldn’t do it. If traversing Canada’s cities and provinces is an essential part of your itinerary, you’ll need a way to get from place to place. Travelers have buses, trains, planes and cars at their disposal.

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  • For buses in Canada, there are only a few major service providers in each region, listed below. While this gives you fewer options, it does make it easier to choose a company.
  • This section mainly focuses on domestic Canadian airlines. For other major airlines that can get you around Canada, see the “Getting to Canada” section of this guide.
  • For the best deal on long-term travel on Via Rail Canada, buy a CanRail pass. It affords unlimited travel for 12 days in a 30-day span.
  • For maps on getting around Canada and individual cities, take a look at some of the links in the first section of this guide, “What to do in Canada.”

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