Canada is the second largest land mass in the world after Russia, spanning over nine million square kilometers. It is made up of ten provinces and three territories, each with its own distinctive flavor. From one coast across to the other, a tourist will encounter all sorts of geography (from mountains, to oceans, to the beautiful prairies) as well as cultures. This country prides itself on being a diverse, hospitable and an exciting place to visit.


Because of its unique history, Canada is a bilingual country. The government has acknowledged two first languages – English and French, and by law in all provinces there are elements of both languages to be found. For example, 'stop' signs will also have the word arête on them as well. This is so to embrace the country’s history and diversity.

The majority of its residents are English speakers (approximately seventy to eighty percent) and only about eighteen percent speak both French and English. French is the predominant language spoken in Quebec. Canada also enjoys an Aboriginal population that speaks its Native language; however this is rarely encountered as Aboriginals usually speak English as well. Although the main languages are French and English, each province – mainly British Columbia and Ontario – have large pockets of different ethnic communities who of course speak their mother tongue.


The Canadian currency is called the Canadian Dollar. In August 2006, $1 was equal to €0.69 and £0.47.

  • Coinage in cent(s) – one (a “penny”); five (a “nickel”); ten (a “dime”); twenty-five (a “quarter”)
  • Coinage in dollars – one (a “loonie”); two (a “toonie”)
  • Paper – five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred


Each province experiences all four seasons, but to different intensities. The further North one travels, the colder the climate becomes. Canada is known for its infamous winter, and in some parts of the country, the dipping temperatures and heavy snowfalls give credibility to this reputation. The coastal regions are more rainy and humid and endure milder winters than the prairies.


Canada caters to any type of tourist. This land mass boasts everything from metropolitan cities, to vast prairies. A true experience of nature and the wilderness can be found here, unlike in many other countries. A tourist can choose to travel during specific seasons to take advantage of what they offer. In the summer months there are constant festivals all over Canada ranging from jazz to street to Caribana, an internationally recognized Caribbean festival.

If it’s sun, sea and surf that you are looking for, the coasts offer amazing beaches. The mountainous ranges offer amazing ski slopes in the winter, and hiking trails in the summer months. Canada is a great combination of cosmopolitan cities with their usual array of museums, bars and city attractions to quiet, peaceful camp grounds.

The following are some cities found in Canada that offer unique attractions and experiences; this is just a handful of the many exciting places found there:

  • Whistler, British Columbia – this is a world renowned destination for skiers which offers fabulous skiing and snow boarding slopes and other winter sports.
  • Banff, Alberta – a picturesque area offering beautiful camp-grounds in the summer and ski slopes in the winter. It is easy to connect with nature and find some calmness when surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.
  • Toronto, Ontario – a large North American city that offers the buzz and excitement of a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city. With its modern architecture and glamorous nightlife, a tourist will experience the bustle of a big city. It is also a hop-and-skip away from Niagara Falls, an incredibly large and beautiful waterfall which is a popular tourist attraction.
  • Montreal, Quebec – a charming city that has a combination of quaint, traditional cobblestone streets and churches mixed with an urban metropolis.
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia – Halifax sits on a large natural harbour and offers great fishing and camping.


Canada is home to large shopping malls that contain anything and everything one’s heart desires. In fact one of the largest shopping centers in the world exists in Edmonton and spans over seven blocks. The shopping in Canada offers expensive boutique shops to vintage clothing stores and discount warehouses. Also look out for uniquely handcrafted Aboriginal jewelry and accessories (i.e. hand-bags).


There is a vibrant nightlife in the big cities, with Toronto especially offering a huge diversity of clubs, bars, theatres and opera houses.


Canadians drive on the right side of the road. Valid International licenses are accepted in Canada, however the vehicle must be insured. Canada’s road system is predominantly made up of highways; in fact the longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which spans 5000 miles across Canada. Also note that the metric measurement is in kilometers and liters.

Food and Drink

Fast food is prevalent in North America and it is not surprising to see a Starbucks on every block or McDonald’s golden arches in the horizon. There are plenty of restaurant chains as well as authentic establishments offering ethnic foods. Canada takes pride in its beef, so steaks and hamburger are common and juicy. Also indulge in poutine - a combination of cheese, gravy and fries – a dish loved by Canadians.

Tourist Information

The Canadian Tourism Commission Suite 1400, Four Bentall Centre1055 Dunsmuir Street, Box 49230Vancouver, British ColumbiaV7X 1L2, CanadaTelephone:

All car hire locations in Canada