I almost feel like a fraud writing a blog post on Canada. Such a big country and I have actually only seen a small part of it. However, any plans to return have to be put on hold for now, perhaps Canada will see my post and make an exception and let me in to explore the rest? Quite unlikely. With travel to the Great White North not possible at the moment, I decided to look back on a great trip I took in 2019.
I often travel alone- sometimes because I prefer it and sometimes because it’s the only option – it’s hard to find people who want to do the same things as you, go to the same places and have the time or financial means to travel. I had travelled on my own many times before Canada but the feeling of heading off to North America alone was empowering and a reminder that if you want to do it- just go and do it!
Top 5 Canadian memories:
- The people
I was really lucky to meet an amazing group of Canadians whilst I was working in Switzerland one summer (another story for another post!). One of my favourite parts about working in TEFL is the amazing people from all over the world you get to meet and…the great travel connections! I had already booked and planned my trip to Canada when one of those connections offered to host me in Toronto- of course I jumped at the chance. Whilst on that trip, I got to reconnect with my favourite camp roommate and even see a friend from home who was working out there- just two Welsh girls eating fish and chips in a Canadian pub- completely normal right? This post is dedicated to my wonderful host Mariam who spent her time driving me around to bus stops and train stations, taking me to eat amazing food (more below) and welcoming me into her family home.
2. The food
“If you want pretty lakes and mountains, you go to the West. If you come to the East, you gotta eat!”
These were some of the first words my wonderful friend and host spoke to me upon my arrival in Toronto and boy, was she right. The days I spent in Montreal consisted of three things: poutine, poutine and more poutine!!! For those unfamilar- fries, cheese curds and gravy make up this famous Canadian dish- every one’s late night takeaway dream right? My Torontonian host was dedicated to taking me to great food spots and her dedication even led to me eating ice cream in the pouring rain before I was heading back to Montreal- man that was good ice cream. Let’s no forget the legendary Tim Hortons coffee chain which no trip to Canada is complete without!
3. CN Tower, Toronto
So let’s actually get to some sights of Canada on my list! The famous tower in Canada was once the tallest in the world and is not for those afraid of heights! The price of the ticket at around $40 might put you off visiting but I promise it’s worth it. The views are, of course, incredible. Determined to get my money’s worth, I took a book, got myself a drink at the bar and spent a few hours there taking in the view.
4. Niagara Falls, Niagara
What is a trip to the East of Canada without visiting the famous waterfalls? They were every bit as impressive as you imagine. I spent a while just walking back and forth along taking in the falls. I went up the tower for a panoramic view and also took the “Behind the Falls” tour. I would have preferred the boat but unfortunately it was out of season when I visited. However, I did get close up to the falls and see the parts that were still frozen over from winter (Canada in April!) I will warn you that there’s not much else to do in the actual town of Niagara (unless you like steak houses and casinos) so I did end up aimlessly walking around until it was time to get the bus back.
5. Mount Royal , Montreal
I was really impressed by Montreal itself with its multicultural vibe. One of my favourite parts was the walk up to Mount Royal. I was a little jet lagged but didn’t let that stop me, you’re only in Canada once right? (or several times if they let you!). The views were great, the air was fresh and there was still snow on the mountain which, arriving from sunny Malaga, I was really excited to see. You can spend a while walking around the top and the parks as well as grabbing a drink. I really enjoyed my stay in Montreal from the mountain to the barbie museum (it was raining but still not to be mocked!).
So there you have my favourite 5 things about my trip to Canada. As I said, there is still so much left to see- I never made it to Quebec and I would love to explore the West to get to those lakes and moutains! Will you take a trip to Canada when you can?