Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (free illustrated PDF guide)

Chapter 29: The best adventures in Canada

Published: 02-03-2020



The best adventures in Canada

The Trans-Canada Highway

The 7,821-kilometre-long Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) travels from St John’s (Newfoundland) to Victoria (British Columbia) through all ten provinces. One of the longest routes of its type in the world, it follows the Saint Lawrence River, takes you through the Great Lakes, the Prairies, the Rockies… basically, every kind of scenery you’re dreaming of seeing in Canada from the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on the west. In Eastern Canada, the PEI and New Brunswick sections of the TCH offer a scenic drive along the ocean while in Western Canada it cuts through the Canadian Rockies.

However, long stretches of the TransCanada Highway are, well, just a regular highway without much to see. If you decide to follow this route, plan detours to dive into Canada’s wilderness.

The very comprehensive TransCanadaHighway website gives a complete overview of the TCH’s history and features itineraries and trip tips with planning advice, things to see along the way and detours.

By the way, did you know that the longest street in the world is in Canada? The 1896-kilometre-long Yonge Street intersects with five other major streets in downtown Toronto and goes all the way to the Ontario/Minnesota border.

You can still experience a cross-country adventure without the TransCanada Highway. “The Canadian” VIA Rail train runs between Toronto and Vancouver. It’s a four-night three-day journey you won’t have to spend alone if you head to the “Skyline car” to share a drink or snack with other passengers from all walks of live. The only downside is the price of the adventure—around $450 for a one-way ticket and up to $2500 for a sleeper plus class ticket. To learn more about train travel in Canada and in the US, read the section “Taking the train.”

Parks and heritage sites

With 47 national parks, four national marine conservation areas and more than 170 National historic sites in every province and territory, Canada offers options for nature lovers, those interested in marine ecosystems and those reading the story of the country. Parks Canada sells a Discovery Pass with unlimited admission for 12 months to over 80 places for $67.70 (adult) and $136.40 (group up to 7 people).

There are also dozens of provincial and territorial parks (more than 450 in British Columbia alone!). You will have to pay an entry fee even if you have the Discovery Pass since it only covers national parks.

Want to visit some of humanity’s most outstanding achievements and nature’s most inspiring creations? Nineteen heritage sites in Canada are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, for instance the Rideau Canal (Ottawa, Ontario), Dinosaur Provincial Park (Alberta) and the Canadian Rockies Mountain Parks (Alberta and British Columbia).

Plenty to explore, right?

Indigenous communities across Canada

Learn about Canada’s three distinct groups of Indigenous peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. More than 1.4 million people in Canada identify themselves as First Nations, Métis and Inuit people and their cultures are alive throughout the country.

Many Indigenous and Canadian organizations offer activities indoors (e.g. museums, craft making) or outdoors (guided nature tours, etc.) to see a very different side of Canada. And don’t forget the many pow wows held throughout the country during summer!

Indigenous Tourism Canada’s website features a helpful interactive map to explore Indigenous events and experiences across Canada. Several provinces and communities also have their own active not-for-profit aboriginal association.

Chapter 29 of 34


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