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Canada Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Canada

Canada-Covehead-Harbour-Lighthouse-SunsetOccupying most of northern North America, Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean.  Blessed with impressive natural splendour, from the Canadian Rocky Mountains and flat prairie lands to the heavily forested central and eastern parts with many lakes and rivers all the way to the rugged shoreline of Atlantic Canada, this fine country is a photographer's dream and has something to prickle everyone's interest.  Even if you are not a fan of the great outdoors, Canada's cosmopolitan areas are not only home to great cultural attractions but also provide a range of accommodation options, from cheap hostels and self-catering apartments to luxury chain and boutique hotels. 

Top things about Canada

Canada-Lake-MoraineA holiday in Canada can really be two holidays in one; visitors can spend time in the art galleries of Montreal, the shopping malls in Vancouver, and explore the historic sites in Toronto, and then head out to the wilderness of the Canadian prairie or the Rocky Mountains.  Fabulous outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and many more are offered on a grand scale in a stunning diversity of landscapes.  Canada's most popular natural attractions include of course the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Nahanni National Park Reserve, Cabot Trail and don't forget that Niagara Falls is located on the border between Canada and the United States.  The Falls are a popular day trip by bus or car from Toronto, or you can truly splash out and take a helicopter trip from the city over the breathtaking attraction.  The national parks all house a diversity of wildlife (mainly elk, mountain goats and deer) and it's a truly unforgettable experience to go whale watching in Nova Scotia – and one that is well worth the journey north.  Natural beauty, abundant wildlife, a great outdoors and fresh air turn Canada into a top holiday destination for visitors from all over the globe. 

Best cities to visit in Canada

The older, eastern cities in Canada all have a very different feel from their younger west coast neighbour, Vancouver.  All Canadian cities have some things in common, however; art, shopping and fantastic dining are combined with vibrant nightlife scenes from sea to sea in the cosmopolitan and clean cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec, Winnipeg, Calgary, Jasper, Ottawa and Montreal.  If you enjoy culture and historical attractions, stay in the east, while Vancouver is the ideal destination for holidaymakers looking for North American wilderness grandeur; the city is also close to the major skiing resorts located in Whistler, Banff, and Lake Louise.  A day trip to Vancouver is a great alternative to another day on the slopes if you are in Canada on a skiing trip. 

Canada hotels and accommodations

Canada-Traditional-Poutine-and-BeerCanada is such a large country, with such a well-established tourism industry, that there is no shortage of accommodation designed to fit all tastes and budgets.  From bargain chains to luxury 4- and 5-star hotels, boutique hotels, cheap hostels, and self-catering apartments and condominiums, there are a variety of options available in each of the cities.  In the more rural areas, the luxury options may be a bit thinner on the ground, but visitors can find a comfortable, clean bed for the night in a variety of rural lodges, bed and breakfasts, and guesthouses. 

Getting Around Canada

Due to the vast distances and poor public transport in Canada, flying between cities and driving out of the cities is the best way to get around.  There are some exceptions though with some scenic railway journeys.

Trains:  There are few Canadian passenger trains operating but  VIA Rail (tel: 1 888 842 7245, , runs a fast efficient service between Montreal and Toronto. VIA also runs operates prestige routes for tourists among some of  Canada’s most magnificent  scenery, as well as the lengthy service between Toronto and Vancouver,  a  two-day journey from Jasper to Prince Rupert, as well as several others.

Some road distances in Canada:

Toronto to Montreal: 5 h 24 min (540.5 km) via ON-401 E

Quebec to Montreal: 2 h 45 min (256.1 km) via Route Transcanadienne O/Autoroute 20 O

Vancouver to Seattle: 2 h 50 min (229.4 km) via I-5 S

Scenic Driving in Canada:

Vancouver to Squamish: 1 hour (40 miles) (64.1 km) to Squamish via BC-99 N

This drive to Squamish is stunning. The cliff-side route is one of the most scenic drives in Canada.

Toronto to Niagara Falls: 1 h 46 min (80 miles) (128.2 km) to Niagara Falls via Queen Elizabeth Way/QEW . No trip to Toronto is complete without a drive out to Niagara Falls one of the greatest waterfalls in the world, with many viewing points and places to stay.

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across Canada. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team