Canada is located in North America, above the United States with which it shares a large number of borders. Sometimes referred to «Welfare State», in other words, the land of the «kind government», it is renowned to welcome visitors with open arms. Although all the provinces without distinction contribute to making Canada the great country it is, 2 of them stand out when it comes to tourism. Isn’t about time to flirt with Quebec and Ontario?
La Belle Province (The Beautiful Province), as Quebecers themselves call it, is the biggest one in the country. Rich in history, it also abounds in sites and tourist attractions that its history defines. When talking about this province, most of the time, 2 cities comes in mind: Montreal & Quebec. Without taking anything away from the other regions, we can say that Montreal & Quebec are 2 of the most beautiful and charming jewels of the province. See what they have in store for you!
Montreal, lovable Montreal
With a population of close to 2 million people, its sites, renowned boroughs, and its lively downtown, Montreal has acquired the status of a Metropolis. When talking about this city, it would be awkward to not mention places that are visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors. Whether it is Chinatown, Little Italy, or the Jewish borough, these are all communities that are greatly contributing to the economic and cultural richness of the city.
The streets of Chinatown are full of shops and restaurants. It is where you can try some of the most delicious Cantonese seafood, barbecue, and dim sum. Most of the shops and restaurants offer products directly imported from China and Vietnam that are difficult, maybe even impossible to find elsewhere in the city.
As surprising as it may sounds, Italians have been in Montreal almost as long as the French. At the beginning of the 1950s, Italians began to settle around the area of the Jean-Talon Market; that’s how the borough got its name. There are many eateries and cafes with fairly good prices.
The Jewish borough extends along St-Laurent Boulevard, between McGill University and Mile End, and is known for many things. Visitors strolling through the streets of Historic Jewish will run into interesting spots such as the Museum of Jewish Montreal, historic eateries like Schwartz’s Deli, the famous St-Viateur Bagel Shop, and many more.
Quebec, oh charming Quebec
As the administrative capital, Quebec is probably the city that describes the province’s history best. With its numerous old sites, buildings showing their amazing architecture, tourist attractions that will blow you away, the city has an unparalleled charm and a little something for every taste.
Unlike what its name may let believe, this building isn’t a castle. Being the emblem of the city, Chateau Frontenac is perhaps the most visited attraction. Built during the 19th century, it is one of the castle-like hotels throughout Canada. According to some sources, it is the most photographed hotel in the world.
Plains of Abraham
This vast urban park often hosts major events, like the celebration of June 24th, Quebec National Day, better known as St-Jean-Baptist day. The park is where the famous Battle of Quebec occurred on September 13, 1759. There are exhibits and the remains of 2 Martello towers that explain a bit this battle.
St-Lawrence River & Montmorency Falls
The St-Lawrence is a large river that flows roughly in the north-east direction. Although Montrealers can enjoy this river, it is the citizens of Quebec City who seem to benefit more from it. Just like for them, it can allow you to view the best landscapes of the city by boarding on a ferry that navigates between the capital and Levis, an adjacent borough.
During your visit, the only attraction you will never forgive yourself if you miss is Montmorency Falls. Beyond breathtaking, they are said to be 30 meters higher than those of Niagara. No matter if you’re climbing the scenic stairway, riding the gondola, or simply crossing the suspension bridge, watching these falls will knock you off of your feet. They’re found 15 minutes from downtown.
Promenade des Gouverneurs
If you’re someone who loves to take a nice walk, whether alone or with your sweet half, Promenade des Gouverneurs (Governors’ Boardwalk) is definitely for you. A giant boardwalk without the beach that will charm you. The path is elevated and links the Plains of Abraham to the Dufferin Terrace and Chateau Frontenac. The cliffs are steep, and there are more than 300 steps to reach the top. Once up there, the views of the river, the Old-Quebec, and Ile d’Orleans are beyond breathtaking.
Food tour at Quebec
It is unthinkable to visit Quebec City and not enjoy its gastronomy. For the past few years, it’s as if the city has gone under the «gastronomic scalpel» to be now home to several forward-thinking and restaurants will well-thought concepts that any tourist should try. Don’t worry about finding good ones with a great quality/price ratio.
This islet covering a 193 km2 area has only a few thousand of inhabitants. A visit will let you connect with the locals and understand how they are living their lives with simplicity. Stop by the artisan outlets and farm stands and taste sampling of their different products. The visit will take you back in the past, during the rural Quebec of the 18th century.
Ile d’Orleans is a very important city, as it is the birthplace of French North America. It is the ground zero for many families that came from France and made the continent their home. The islet has the honor of housing 5 of the most beautiful villages in the province.
Just like La Belle Province, Ontario is beautiful, rich in history, sites, and tourist attractions. Overlooking the Great Lakes region, it is the second-largest province of the country and home to Ottawa, the federal capital. In some way, Ontario can be considered more popular than Quebec, especially because it is home to some of Canada’s top attractions and Toronto, the country’s most populated city.
It would be extrapolating saying that Niagara Falls is enough to describe Ontario. However, would Ontario be the same without Niagara Falls? The city alone makes you want to discover the entire province. There are endless attractions to see and things to do in the city. There’s no shortage of choice.
Though they may not be among the highest ones in the world, the Niagara Falls are probably Canada’s most beautiful gem. Astonishing and quite intimidating once you’re in front of them, these falls have amazed countless foreign and local tourists. One of the best ways to enjoy them is with the Hornblower Cruise. The view of the falls from the boat will simply knock you off of your feet. If you suffer from seasickness, you can at least take pictures from the large terrace.
Located very close to the falls, this tower is an architectural masterpiece standing at 236 meters high. Though it is much shorter than its sister the CN Tower in Toronto, Skylon is as much as popular, and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. At the top, there are 2 restaurants: Revolving Dining Room Restaurant & Summit Suite Buffet Dining room. You can eat in either one of them while having an impressive view of the falls from up above.
Don’t let the name of this attraction fool you into thinking it’s insignificant. This real clock located north of the Botanical Garden has a circular shape with its surface covered with about 15,000 flowers that create a colorful design; yes, that’s right, 15,000! Every 15 minutes, the clock chimes. Its back door can be opened to take a look at its mechanism and pictures of the previous designs.
Niagara Wine Region Tour
The lakeside area of Niagara Falls is known for its multiple fields of vines. Therefore, numerous wineries can be spotted in that region, thus giving tourists a lot of choices. Many winery tours are offered to discover at least one of the vines and taste some of the most delicious wines and other like-wine drinks. Whether you like red or white, there’s, of course one that will seduce your taste buds. Without doing any advertisement, one of the most popular wineries of the province is Reif Estate Winery; you will not regret a visit there.