We know there is no shortage of reasons to love Canada (our headquarters is in beautiful Victoria, BC, after all). Sure, people fall in love with Canada’s vast wilderness and national parks, the European flair of Québec, the Rocky Mountains, and the Northern Lights, but as a nod to Canada Day, we’re digging a little deeper and taking a look at our 10 favourite ways to fall in love with Canada that you might not find in the latest guidebook.
Try your luck at the Biblio-Mat
Visit the Monkey’s Paw in Toronto and you’ll easily be able to spend a few hours poring over its quirky collection of antique books and prints. You won’t find old editions of bestsellers here. Instead, you’ll find a highly curated collection of books delving into visual culture and super-specific topics with titles like Recipes for Starving Actors and Letters to Dead Authors. Our favourite part of a visit to the Monkey’s Paw? Buy a $2 token from the counter, insert it into the Biblio-Mat (the world’s first coin-operated book vending machine), and you’ll get a randomly selected vintage book to take home with you.
Sleep in a Sphere Suspended from Trees
You can find all the great reasons to explore Vancouver Island elsewhere, but as far as where you should sleep during your time there, it doesn’t get more memorable than sleeping in a sphere suspended from the treetops. Book a night in one of three handcrafted Free Spirit Spheres, dubbed Eyrn, Melody, and Luna, explore the surrounding nature, and don’t be alarmed when your sphere sways with the trees — that’s just part of the experience.
Soak in hot springs
Whether you’ve been hitting the slopes and need some R&R for your sore muscles or you just want to take in the views of Mount Rundle, a soak in Banff Upper Hot Springs is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day. After you’ve soaked to your heart’s content, hit the hiking trails starting from the hot springs parking lot and explore the grandeur of Sulphur Mountain.
Escape to the Shameful Tiki Room
Harkening back to the days when tiki bars reigned king, the Shameful Tiki Room brings back that retro tiki style in every way. From classic cocktails to colourful tiki decor all set in a dimly lit interior, this is the place to gather a group of friends, don your finest island wear, and fall in love with the perfect retro vibe that has been recreated here. Visit the Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver or Toronto and don’t forget to grab a matchbook and a few swizzle sticks on your way out.
Discover vibrant street art
Montréal may be best known for its European cobbled streets, but visit and you’ll soon see one of the city’s main draws is also the plentiful street art. Keep your eyes peeled for vibrant works of art as you explore the city or take a more deliberate approach and follow this map to the city’s art pieces.
Enjoy a memorable meal
Whether your evening plans include catching a show at the Avon Theatre or lingering over conversation and cocktails, dinner at Revival House, located in an old church just a few minutes from the theatre, will tick all the boxes. The gorgeous space retains details like the church’s original stained glass windows and organ. French-influenced brunch, lunch, and dinner are served in three distinct spaces, the dining room, the upstairs Belfry, and the outdoor patio.
Run across an ocean floor
For just a few hours on a few days a year, the tides are low enough in the Bay of Fundy for runners to actually run across the ocean floor. Sign up for the Not Since Moses 5K or 10K run and experience it for yourself…and be prepared to get muddy.
Float in Canada’s Dead Sea
Cross Canada’s version of the Dead Sea off your bucket list with a visit to Little Manitou Lake. This small saltwater lake is located in Saskatchewan and thanks to the high salinity of the water, visitors can easily float.
Snorkel with Salmon
From late July through the end of September, thousands of salmon make their way back to the Campbell River. You can check it out from a guided raft or don a wetsuit and snorkel the river with the salmon. Tours operated by Destiny River Adventures are $135 per person and must be booked in advance.
Stay in the John and Yoko suite
The famous suite where John and Yoko’s second bed-in for peace took place at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montréal has undergone a recent renovation giving it a facelift for those who want to relive that famous moment in history. The suite, where the song “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded, now boasts a virtual reality experience, plus tons of in-suite details like audio and video from the historic event.