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Attractions and Travel - What's So Good About Canada?

Updated on October 5, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!

Tulip Festival @ Agassiz, BC, Canada
Tulip Festival @ Agassiz, BC, Canada | Source

Lake(s) Ontario

I remember an old TV tourism commercial that ended with a woman singing in a beautiful, crystal-clear voice, "On - tar - ee - airy - oooooo." The photography of the ad was full of lakes containing clear waters and surrounded by pristine forests. I remember only the images and that one sung word - the name of the province. The commercial suggested clean air, clean water, green open space, healthy living, and sustainability; and Canada is known for all of these things years later.


Canada is known for its wide open spaces, especially in the western provinces and northern territories. These are the lands of brisk winds and fresh waters, abundant wildlife, First Nations living by tradition, and the Northern Lights. With Eastern Canada, one thinks of the Maritime Provinces, the eastern seaboard and fishing; Quebec today and during the 1968 World's Fair, of the City of Toronto, where the majority of the entire country's population resides; the Great Lakes, Thunder Bay, and other natural wonders.

In the farthest west, one is reminded of British Columbia and its Vancouver Island, where Victoria welcomes visitors from all over the world. Ferry boats and orca in the Inner Harbour are iconic, as are the Parliament, the dozens of museums, the international cuisine, the downtown mall in historic buildings, the graciousness of all the people - and the fog horns of the cargo ships sailing by.

On my first visit, I'd looked for the RCMP in traditional attire, only to find them on motorbikes, wearing yellow rainproof riding uniforms.

Finding Cuban cigars in the tobacconists' shops was another surprise - since the US maintains its 1960s embargo against Cuba, I'd never seen such a cigar. Large Numbers of First Nations peoples were everywhere as well.

British Columbia

Alberta, Settled in 1795

The Calgary Stampede- This huge rodeo event is a celebration of the Old West in Canada. Many people from Alberta seam to wear cowboy hats, attesting to the province's history of horses, cattle, pigs, and bison, and agriculture. Many elements of events similar to US state fairs occur at the Stampede as well, and a Grandstand offered several professional appearances by entertainers. See more at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The Alberta Pipeline - Natural gas and oil are abundant in Alberta and are being piped to a Native American Reservation in western North Dakota, where jobs are growing and hundreds of oil wells are expected to go up by 2015 because the the oil discovered there as well. The oil and gas partnerships of Canada with Alaska and North Dakota are well known.

Yukon Best Poet: Robert W. Service

Service was an English bank clerk that traveled to the Canadian Yukon.
Service was an English bank clerk that traveled to the Canadian Yukon.

Yukon Territory - Gold and Poetry

This territory bears crosses country borders to extend into the Alaskan Yukon. The poet and writer Robert W. Service (1874-1958) wrote much of his famous poetry during the Gold Rush era in the Canadian Yukon.

He wrote additional stories and other materials about northern Canada. As a member of an international poetry organization, I found that the founder had memorized Service's entire work of poetry and could recite it on command, even in her late 80s.

The Canadian Yukon was settled by Europeans around 1800 and became an official Canadian Territory on June 13, 1898. Another cold region, the summer temperature may not climb to 60 degrees F. The economy is supported by industries like agriculture and explosives, lumber, and agriculture, but gold is still occasionally found (first discovered in 1896).


First settled in the early 1600s, this territory was admitted to Canada as such on April 1, 1999. A colder land area, the temperature does not rise much above 60º F in the summer. Nunavut is an Inuktitut language word for "Our Land" and Inuit and Inuit-related nations live here.

The local economy is made up of First Nations traditional animal husbandry activities and the mining of metals. Very few roads exist in Nunavut and people sue dog sleds, snowmobiles, and airplanes.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories were admitted to Canada in 1870. This is another cold place that is known for lumbering and forestry, cold mining, and oil and natural.

Nearly 50% of the population is made up of the First Nations peoples that first arrived in what is now Canada approximately12,000 years or longer ago.

In addition, some historians and anthologists think that an earlier wave of immigration may have occurred approximately 25,000 years previous to that. Regardless, it is more or less a First Nations land, with traditional activates adding to the economy.


Settled in 1774, this land became a province in 1905 and growing wheat is its main industry. Oil and natural gas are also a part of the economy, along with uranium and gold mining, and other minerals.

Saskatchewan is the province where the training facility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is located. The RCMP website tells us that March is Fraud Prevention Month.


Manitoba was settled later, in 1789; admitted to the nation as a province in 1812. Nicknamed the Keystone Province, it features two Canadian National Parks:

  1. Riding Mountain National Park. 135 Wasagaming Dr, Onanole, MB R0J 1N0, Canada
  2. Wapusk National Park

Magazines and other printing and publishing are big industries in Manitoba.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Niagara Falls TransportationAndrew Haydon ParkHistoric Parks in Hamilton, Ontario
Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum | Source
Niagara Falls Transportation
Niagara Falls Transportation | Source
Andrew Haydon Park
Andrew Haydon Park | Source
Historic Parks in Hamilton, Ontario
Historic Parks in Hamilton, Ontario | Source


Ontario was settled in the early 1600s and also admitted to the nation in 1867. Its capital, Toronto, is the largest city in North America. Its City of Ottawa is the capital of the nation.

Although Ontario is known for agriculture and minerals, it is also well known for tourism and outdoor sports, especially water sports. Downtown Toronto is home to not only a large Chinatown and the largest bookstore in the world, but to the University of Toronto and CBC Television, from which has been broadcast the Red Green Show.


Settled early in the 1600s, Quebec became a province in 1867. Over 80% of its residents claim French as their first language. A colleague of mine lives in Quebec City and speaks no French, while her next door neighbors speak no English, making for difficult communications.

The local economies are based in agriculture, lumber, manufacturing industries, tourism, minerals, and refining petroleum, as well as some other businesses.

Maritime Provinces
Maritime Provinces | Source

Maritime Provinces

New Brunswick

Settled in 1604, this land became a province in 1867 as well. Industries include fishing, forestry/lumber, mining, hydroelectricity, and tourism. many whales are indigenous to this area.

Prince Edward Island

This is the smallest province (center province on the map to the right), settled in 1723 and admitted to the Confederation in 1873. Main industries are agricultural, including food crops, cattle and pigs, and tobacco; along with tourism.

Nova Scotia

This "New Scotland" is in the far eastern portion of the Canadian Provinces and is very well known for its fishing industry. I've known individuals that have followed in their families' decades-old fishing and fish processing industries quite successfully. The province was settled in 1605 and admitted into the Confederation of Canada in1867, the same year as many others were admitted - just after the US Civil War.

Newfoundland and Labrador Controversy

By some reports, Newfoundland was founded in 1000 AD by Vikings from Northern Europe, although much older evidence of First Nations peoples has been found in this province. In fact, First Nations lived in this land at least 9,000 years ago in 7,000 BC.

This era figures logically, if their ancestors crossed the Bering Land Bridge around 12,000 or more years ago and migrated eastward across a few thousand years. The very first Indigenous Peoples were "Dorset", but shortly after them came the Mi'kmaq, Innu, Inuit, and Beothuk peoples. The Vikings, the English, and others arrived much later.

Some fans of Vikings and Viking culture have published profoundly irate web pages against these findings. it is very interesting that the 1638 Coat of Arms of Newfoundland and Labrador shows two First Nations men in native dress, carrying longbows.

Newfoundland-and-Laborador is largely known for fishing, aquaculture (since the mid-2000s), mining, and oil, as well as tourism.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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