first visit to canada- any hints?

Jul 21st, 1998, 06:44 PM
Sandy Braiuka
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first visit to canada- any hints?

My partner and i are thinking of spending 6 months in Canada. We enjoy bushwalking, rock climbing, kayaking - almost anything outdoors and are happy to stay in camping grounds and backpackers. What are the "must see" places in Canada? How difficult is it to get around? How difficult is it to get work? What is the best time to visit? Your advice would be much appreciated.
Jul 22nd, 1998, 04:44 AM
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Canada is a vast country with a variety of places to go. I would recommend British Columbia as the best place to visit. Working in Canada will be almost impossible for a Non Canadian except in very special circumstances. There is no problem getting around in Canada. It's transpotation system is as developed as in the US. One thing that you must consider is the weather. I don't know what your preferences are but a 6 month period could result in some pretty nasty weather for a few months.
Jul 22nd, 1998, 05:22 AM
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I also recommend B.C., it also generally has the mildest weather - although can experience its share of rain. Depending on your budget, you can consider flying or taking the train to Toronto or Montreal. The train lets you see a lot and is very comfortable. I don't know about prices though. Let us know which province you are planning on focusing on - then we can give more advice. P.S. I once met a couple from France in Montreal who were planning on cycling across Canada in 1 week. It is sometimes hard to grasp the size of Canada!
Jul 22nd, 1998, 09:18 AM
Mike Stewart
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Since you indicated an interest in camping/hiking/etc., I'll focus on outdoor places.

Starting from the west - some must sees I would propose are:

- Vancouver Island, and in particular Pacific Rim National Park. It's quite near Clayquaot Sound, which is the old growth forest that is in the news so often, regarding logging.

- The Rockies from both the Coastal side (go up the coastal highway), and the Eastern side (i.e. Alberta) - Lake Louise, Jasper, etc..

- If you can manage it, Kluane National Park in the Yukon (or even a trip up to the Yukon or the Artic). This may not be practicable, since it's quite far north, and quite expensive to get there. As well, it will be extremely chilly if you go there anytime but the summer!

- The Praries in Alberta and Saskatchewan are worth a look - flat as can be, and wheatfields stretching to the horizon in every direction.

- Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior Park, Killarney Park, and/or Algonquin National Park, in Ontario - rent canoes, and gear and go camping into the depths of the parks for a while! In the forests and the lakes you can see Moose, hear wolf packs howl (particularly in Algonquin), and (for better or worse) perhaps even see bears (hopefully from a distance). If you go mid-week, you can sometimes go without seeing another human being.

- Take the Agawa Canyon train from Sault Ste. Marie - it takes you into the forests and canyons of Northern Ontario, near Lake Superior Park. In the fall, the colours of the tree are increadible.

- I gather there are some beautiful places along the north shore of the St. Lawrence, near Quebec City. I haven't been there, but friends enjoyed it.

- Cape Breton in Nova Scotia - a wonderful, hilly scenic drive along the coast is great. The area is also deeply Scottish in heritage, with signs, etc. in Gaelic in places.

- Gros Morne national Park in Newfoundland - again, while I haven't been there, friends have raved about it.

Overall, I would suggest you spend your six months from spring to fall (i.e. April/May - Sept./Oct.) Except for B.C. which simply gets lots of rain, the rest of Canada can get weather which makes outdoor activites and travelling rather uncomfortable in the winter! That's not to say there's not lots to do or see, but doing it outdoors is not as easy.


Mike Stewart
Jul 28th, 1998, 12:58 PM
libby kay
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To put Canada in perspective, remember that, since the break-up of the USSR, Canada is the largest country in the world. British Columbia is about the size of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho combined. Six months is not nearly long enough.
Jul 28th, 1998, 01:57 PM
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Canada is indeed a very large country and I have seen most of it. However, I don't want to disillusion you, but the United States is actually larger in area when Alaska is included.
Aug 10th, 1998, 12:26 PM
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Re previous message. Sorry to be a bore but Canada just beats the USA in land area with 9,970,610 km2 (USA has 9,372,614 km2, including Alaska). However, Russia still wins with 17,075,000 km2.

However, Canada has the longest total coastline in world at 243,792 km. Also east to west is 5,515 km as the crow flies (one very tired crow).

Canada is huge and I have seen maybe 2% of it in 36 years. I recommend Prince Edward island, Banff and Jasper national parks, Niagara Falls, Okanogan (British Columbia), Montreal, Quebec city and Toronto.

Best 6 months is summer (May - Oct.) and you should be able to avoid any snow.

Aug 10th, 1998, 07:39 PM
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I just returned from a 2 week trip to B.C. The area I enjoyed the most was Whistler/Blackcomb area - which although a prime ski resort in the winter is an excellent place for a summer vacation. It is an hour and a half from Vancouver and convenient to Victoria Island. We went whale watching in Tofino , north of Victoria. There are some great camping spots there. I recommend this area highly. Enjoy your trip !
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