Top Tips… Canada!

Top 3 Reasons To Visit  ·   Jack’s Bucket List 6  ·   Tales From Canada

Canada. The second largest country on earth, with geography so immensely diverse and extreme, it may be my favourite country in the world to explore. From surfing in the wilderness on Vancouver Island, to polar bear spotting in Churchill, to eating chips, cheese and gravy in Québec City’s Old Town, the phrase ‘something for everyone’ could not be more apt than when describing this incredible country.

Top 3 Reasons To Visit

1. Outstanding natural beauty

Without doubt, the number one reason to visit Canada is for its outstanding natural beauty. Very few places on earth are as spectacular or as geographically diverse as Canada. The serene frozen tundra and clear skies of the North are ideal for viewing Aurora Borealis, as well as polar bears, whilst the Rocky mountains of the West sandwich vast rainforests against the rugged Pacific Coast.

Lake Louise, BC

2. Come any season

Canada is not just a Winter paradise, oh no, during the Summer, its very Southern reaches can easily hit sunbathing temperatures; the people of Vancouver and Montréal know this better than anyone as their beaches prove extremely popular during the warmer months. Whilst in the Autumn (or Fall), many of the striking colours you expect from the forests of New England, can be spotted throughout the woods of the Canadian South-East.

3. Generous working Visas

In all honesty, the first reason I was drawn to Canada was their fairly generous working holiday scheme. For British citizens between the ages of 18 and 30, 5,000 work permits are handed out each year – whilst countries like Ireland, Australia and France hand out many more than that. You pick your city, I would highly recommend Vancouver, and live the Canadian lifestyle for a year or longer.

Jack’s Bucket List 6

1. Hike the Rockies – British Columbia & Alberta (2 weeks)

Mount RobsonThe Rocky mountains, although sometimes affiliated more with America, are far more spectacular North of the border. The granite monoliths straddle the border between British Columbia and Alberta and include several spectacular hikes and sights including Moraine Lake, the Athabasca Glacier and Lake Louise. The highest point of the Canadian Rockies is Mount Robson (see right), which itself is worth the long drive. As well as hiking mountainous terrain, the Rockies also incorporates the four adjoining national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. Each bursting with spectacular plant and animal life including elk, wolverines and, of course, grizzly bears. (

2. Ski down an Olympic slope – Whistler (1 week)

WhistlerOne of the world’s most popular ski resorts, Whistler increased to legendary status as it hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Every Winter, the small town transforms into a metropolis for the rich and famous, extreme sport enthusiasts as well as thousands of regular skiers and snowboarders looking to try their luck on the fabled slopes. Sandwiched between the mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb, between which you can ride inside the highest gondola in the world, there are enough slopes to cater for all levels and abilities. After the sun sets behind Whistler Mountain, the town comes alive with a restaurant, bar and nightclub just around every corner. ( from $999 for one week lodging and lift pass

3. View polar bears in the wild – Churchill (1 week)

Polar BearOne of the few sights that will almost certainly leave you lost for words. Admittedly, Churchill is not one of the easiest places to get to – there are no roads and a two-day train ride or flight are required to reach the town – but it is well worth a trip to the tundra. In Winter you are almost certain to come across a polar bear or three – the town sits on their migration path – whilst in the Summer, beluga whales pour into Hudson Bay, with which you can canoe alongside, or even swim amongst. As well as the wildlife, you have a very good chance of spotting Aurora Borealis at its dancing best. ( $380 rail return to/from Winnipeg


4. View Niagara Falls – Ontario (1 day)

Niagara FallsYou sort of have to visit the falls if you are in the area and they are a mighty fine sight. They might not be the tallest, or indeed the widest falls in the world, but the Canadian horseshoe waterfall is astonishingly unique. The crowds can be a little overwhelming, and in some cases simply off-putting, so make every effort to make a visit during off-peak hours – especially if you plan on taking a boat trip into the heart of the waterfall. It is a crying shame that the whole area surrounding the falls weren’t preserved as a national park though, the town of Niagara Falls does leave a lot to be desired. ( from $20

The Road Trip. Drive the Trans-Canada Highway – Coast to coast (1 month at least)

The Trans-Canada HighwayCanada’s answer to Route 66, but on steroids. The best way to see as much of the country as you can, if you have at least a month to spare – ideally three. Stretching all the way from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, this near eight-thousand kilometre highway is a dream for road trippers. Passing through the cities of Montréal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver, the longest highway in the world also requires three ferry rides to complete it’s full length. However, the real beauty of the road is not through the cities but through the Canadian Rocky Mountains (see left), in particular Banff National Park. (

Wildcard. Explore ancient rainforests – Haida Gwaii (1 week)

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Canada is considered ‘wilderness’, few areas are quite as wild as the island of Haida Gwaii (see below). Located 80 kilometres off the coast of British Columbia, this isolated forested island is home to the Haida people, who have miraculously managed to survive and thrive there for at least the last 17,000 years. Much of their history and culture can be explored and experienced, although the mighty spruce and cedar rainforests still guard many secrets of the so-called ‘Galápagos of the North’. One of the wettest climates on earth outside of the tropics, some of the very last woolly mammoths roamed Haida Gwaii until their eventual extinction. Take a step into the wild. ( $750 flight return to/from Vancouver

Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii, BC

Tales From Canada

Moose or Consequences

December 5th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager made its final journey South to a thunderous wall of water before being put up for sale in Toronto. In a short week seventeen, the very last, a bidder must be found before the journey comes to an abrupt end at an airport terminal in Mississauga. Day 113 – Toronto So…

Niagara’s Walls

December 2nd, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager achieved its own American dream by reaching Maine, the fiftieth and final state of its journey across the continent. In week sixteen, the endless frozen tundra of Quebec province is left as far behind as is possible as the final destination appears on the frostbitten horizon. Day 106 – Montreal to…

The Maine Objective

November 30th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager circumnavigated skyscrapers in NYC and soared with the Eagles in Philly before reaching a frostbitten New England. In week fifteen, the journey nears its conclusion as a momentous milestone draws closer. Day 99 – Brattleboro, VT to Gorham, NH Our final few days in America begun with a leaky water carrier…

Rendezvous at The Rhino

August 29th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees In its first seven days the Voyager has ascended high mountain roads, camped next to glaciers, visited two national parks and crossed a provincial border. In week two the backdrop of The Rockies remain as the journey heads South, across the American border, into Montana for a meeting in Missoula. Day 8 – Banff Week…

Guarded by Giants

August 20th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Welcome to my journal. What you are about to read is the factual goings-on of four people, three from Wales and one from South Korea, driving two elderly minivans with an entire continent to break-down around. It is a tale of the best feeling in the world, a travellers freedom. Day 1 – Vancouver to…

A Canadian Summer

August 12th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Fresh off of the plane from arctic Anchorage and Summer was well and truly under way in VanCity. The Women's World Cup had rolled into town and had completely taken over the city, and indeed the whole country. The hosts played a number of games in Vancouver including a quarter final in which, despite my…

A Canadian Spring

April 27th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees From the island of O'ahu, in the middle of the Pacific, to Bowen island just off the coast of West Vancouver. A fifteen minute ferry ride from the mainland and you get transported to a quaint, quiet world free from the madness of Downtown Vancouver. It makes for an extremely popular home for rich, working…

A Canadian Winter

January 28th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees The headquarters for the North American leg of my trip is Vancouver, from here I'll be able to plan my visits to states number one and two, Hawaii and Alaska, as well as my forty-eight state road trip around the US. This road trip will take over five months to complete and give me the…

Updated: Summer, 2017.

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