Travel in Canada

(continuer en français) – Published: July 1, 2021

When I think of Canada, cold and immensity come to mind first.

Province / Territory Population Area Density Capital Member
  est 2020 km2 inhab/km2   since
Alberta 4 438 012 661 848 6,7 Edmonton 1905
British Columbia 5 147 653 944 735 5,4 Victoria 1871
Manitoba 1 380 974 647 797 2,1 Winnipeg 1870
New Brunswick 780 812 72 908 10,7 Fredericton 1867
Newfoundland and Labrador 520 330 405 212 1,3 St. John’s 1949
North-Western Territory 45 110 1 346 106 0,03 Yellowknife 1870
Nova Scotia 979 326 55 284 17,7 Halifax 1867
Nunavut 39 250 2 093 190 0,02 Iqaluit 1999
Ontario 14 772 039 1 076 395 13,7 Toronto 1867
Prince Edward Island 159 811 5 660 28,2 Charlottetown 1873
Quebec 8 585 999 1 542 056 5,6 Quebec City 1867
Saskatchewan 1 178 958 651 036 1,8 Regina 1905
Yukon 42 237 482 443 0,1 Whitehorse 1898
           
Canada 38 070 511 9 984 670 3,81 Ottawa 1867

The cold, not only in its intensity, but especially in the length of the winter. In Toronto, from November to May, it is too cold outside to go out comfortably without covering up. Geographically, few countries lie partly beyond the polar circles, and all of “southern” Canada seems to share the consequences.

The immensity is quickly perceived as soon as one moves away from the comfort of the cities, the distances become longer. The long straight and monotonous roads, progressing between two rows of fir trees or in infinite plains, they seem even more endless.

Consequently, Canada is the country of Nature. With this cold, human activity hardly develops, just 38 million inhabitants in 2020, not enough to mark all the immense territory. The benefit for the traveller will be to discover landscapes left to their original appearance. Even better, the many national and provincial parks take care of the best places, protecting them and making them accessible in good conditions. It feels like travelling through a postcard, as everything looks so perfect.

Sometimes too much care and attention produces mixed results. The commercial overuse of Niagara Falls almost makes you forget the natural attraction of the site, just as the diversion of part of the flow to generate electricity reduces its power.

Despite the small number of people and the size of the territory, the population tends to be concentrated in large urban centres whose attractiveness goes beyond national borders. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are regularly ranked among the most pleasant cities to live in.

Modern cities in essence, their history dates back only a few centuries. Before that, the Amerindian civilisations did not leave lasting monuments as they did further south on the continent. The vestiges of the past therefore take the form of log cabins, the older wards dating back to the end of the 19th century at best.

So here we are, now it’s time to head out into the vastness of the ten provinces and three territories that make up Canada.

Strangely enough, few Canadians have done this, not only because of the distances involved, but also because of the lack of holidays, the two or three weeks a year, eaten up by days when you need to take a day off, leave little time for long journeys. Long journeys that make flying necessary, so if you have to fly, you might as well fly in search of the sun and the exotic, the rest of Canada will always be there for another time.

What season to choose. Winter is too cold, summer is too hot in the cities and the countryside is infected with mosquitoes. Spring does not exist, at best a weekend that winter pushes back to the latest. There is still autumn, the celebration of shimmering colours mixed with the nostalgia of the good days that are going away.

Now for the Traveller, Canada is a land of dreams. Just look at the map, follow the route of the Trans-Canada Highway, and the dream begins to grow.

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9 comments

    • The North is probably the part of Canada that is most fantasised about, although this is relevant only to a small number of Canadians. But going north, takes us closer to the harsh conditions in which Canada was built.

      Like

  1. I’d love to visit every province and territory of Canada someday. We haven’t explored too much of Canada largely because (prior to the pandemic), a flight out west cost the same as a flight to Europe. And well, Europe seemed more exciting at the time. Now I’ve come to appreciate more of our natural beauty and can’t wait to explore more of it. But as you said, there never seems to be enough vacation days though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right, there are too many temptations and not enough time. I was lucky enough to travel through Europe when I lived there, which takes the pressure off of me to visit Canada coast to coast.

      Liked by 1 person

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