Canada is a treasure trove of fascinating and quirky attractions. Whether you’re into nature, history, art or just good old-fashioned fun, there’s something for you. Here are 5 of our favourites.
Lakeside Park Carousel – St Catharines, Ontario
St Catharine’s vintage hand-carved and hand-painted carousel is definitely a cheap thrill at only 5 cents a ride. Where else can you have so much fun for peanuts?! Enjoy a budget-friendly day trip and feel like a kid again with as many rides as you like on the century-old carousel, a picnic lunch in the adjoining park and playground, followed by a wander along Lake Ontario. And to top it off, parking is free! Of course, if you’re in the mood to splash some cash there’s ice cream on offer and a cute stand selling carousel-themed and nostalgic toys and knick-knacks to satisfy any shopping urges.
Image credit: www.outdoorvancouver.ca
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park – Pemberton, British Columbia
When it comes to jaw-dropping natural beauty, this place takes the cake. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park (Canadian for national park) is home to three glacier-fed lakes in the most stunning turquoise hue you are ever likely to lay eyes on. Whether you’re into hiking, camping or fishing, you can bet there’s an outdoorsy activity on offer in the park to suit your interests, fitness level and the time you have available. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local residents as you wander; keep an eye out for black bears, cougars, bobcats, wolverines, mountain goats and deer.
Galerie d’art Au P’tit Bonheur – La Malbaie, Quebec
This unique art gallery in the small town of La Malbaie showcases the varied work of some 30 local artists, painters and sculptors housed in a beautiful building that looks out across the St Lawrence River. Learn about modern Canadian art as you browse the works under the expert guidance of owner Marie-Eve Tremblay and her staff. Entry is free and there is no pressure to buy anything. But if you do fall in love with a particular piece, prices are surprisingly affordable, payment plans are available, and the staff will even help you package your purchase so it doesn’t get damaged on the trip home to Australia.
Image credit: www.heritage.nf.ca
Bell Island Mine – Bell Island, Newfoundland
Bell Island’s historic mine opened in the 1890s, growing to become one of the largest producers of iron ore in north-eastern North America, finally shutting up shop in 1966. Catch a scenic 15-minute ferry (cars or foot passengers welcome) to Bell Island from the mainland, then drive or walk to the mine from the ferry terminal. The 1-hour guided mine tour ($12) offers an insight into the gruelling life of the miners, and the guides all have family ties to the mine and recount incredible stories that add a personal touch to the tour. After you visit drop into the above-ground museum, gift shop and café.
Image credit: https://bigrockbeer.com
Big Rock Brewery – Calgary, Alberta
Calling all craft beer lovers – you CAN’T miss this one if you’re visiting Calgary. Canada’s leading craft brewery Big Rock offers fun, fact-filled 90-minute tours run by expert brewers with a passion for beer. You’ll get an in-depth look at the brewing process and have a laugh along the way. Before you ask… of course you can sample their wares at the end-of-tour tasting! They have heaps of seasonal beers on offer, and even some ciders. With names like Rhine Stone Cowboy Kolsch Style Ale, Citradelic Single Hop American IPA and Midnight Rhapsody Dark Ale, you know it’s going to be good. Tours cost $25 including tasting.