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Top Canadian Landmarks You Need to Visit

Come with us on a journey through one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Also, if you love natural wonderlands and epic waterways, then you have just found yourself a gem! Learn about the top Canadian Landmarks to visit.

One of the most fun and basic facts about Canada is that if you combine every other country’s amount of lakes, it will still have more lakes than that! Yup. That’s a lot of gorgeousness all wrapped up in one stunning place, my hometown, Canada.

This list of Canada Landmarks is overflowing with unforgettable adventures, spellbinding landscapes, and memories. All just waiting to be found by you, as you embark on your way to enjoy the best of Canada!

Canada has some of the most fascinating and out-of-the-box landmarks, and we’ve put them all together in this guide to the most famous landmarks in Canada, and where to find them!

canadian landmarks

Alberta Attractions

Enjoy the all-encompassing beauty of Alberta, one of Canada’s most stunning provinces! Experience the bliss of mountain ranges, prairies, magical forests, and desert badlands. You can find one of the most amazing landmarks in Canada whilst basking in a treasure trove of priceless natural environments.

One of the famous Canadian things to do is visit lakes, and Alberta has over 600 lakes for you to explore and admire. These lakes are overflowing with mineral deposits, and are perfect for lazy dips during Summer!

PLANNING A TRIP TO ALBERTA? CHECK OUT THESE POSTS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP:

Four Day Jasper National Park Itinerary
Things to Do In Jasper National Park in the Summer
Top Things to do In Banff National Park in the Summer 

CANADIAN LANDMARKS

Raymond Cua from Travelling Foodie

Banff National Park

If you look for the most popular attractions in Canada, you will for sure come across the Canadian Rockies, which includes Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, and Jasper National Parks. None is more popular than Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park. The park is open all year round, but you can also visit the information centers in Winter (January 1 – May 14) between 9 am to 5 pm, and during Spring (May 15 – June 17) between 9 am to 7 pm.

Located in Alberta, 128 kilometers west of Calgary, Banff National Park is known for its picturesque mountains, glacial lakes, waterfalls, and steep canyons. With hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, scenic drives, and ski routes to enjoy.

The easiest way to explore the park is by taking the Icefields Parkway, a 232-kilometer highway that takes you along a scenic drive offering views of the glaciers and the Rockies’ tallest peaks. There’s a good chance of spotting wildlife during the drive. The parkway is one of the world’s most famous drives and is shared with Jasper National Park.

While you’re at Banff National Park, you cannot miss its popular attractions like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Peyto Lake. The most iconic of which is Lake Louise with its turquoise blue waters surrounded by snow-capped mountains. There are so many beautiful lakes in Banff.

The good thing about Banff’s attractions is that you don’t need to hike most of them to enjoy its beauty. There are overlooks available that are drivable or a short walk from the parking lot.

Carol Perehudoff from WanderingCarol.com

The Columbia Icefield

In a land of ice and snow, the Columbia Icefield is a blockbuster sight. Located on the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, it’s part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open 24/7. If you want to catch a tour, though, the best time to go would be between 9 am to 6 pm.

This massive ice field blankets 125-square miles of ground, high up on a mountain plateau. Most of the ice field is invisible to visitors, hidden away behind craggy peaks, but one of the most accessible parts of this amazing force of nature is the Athabasca Glacier, a surviving relic of a gigantic ice mass that once enveloped the mountains.

The glacier is one of six ‘toes’ of the Icefield and is the most-visited glacier in Canada. In fact, it’s the most-visited glacier in all of North America. Visitors can sign up for an Ice Explorer tour in a specially designed vehicle that is equipped to cover icy terrain and step onto the glacier for themselves.

Another popular activity here is to visit the Skywalk, a dramatic glass walkway that juts out over the Sunwapta Valley – but not recommended for people who have a fear of heights. When you visit, your first stop should be the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, where there is a cafeteria and restaurant, a gift shop, and an information desk. It’s your starting point for any of the tours.

Part of Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefield is an hour’s drive south of Jasper and two and a half hours from Banff. The drive from Banff to Jasper is worth the trip as the Parkway is one of the most scenic stretches of highway in Canada.

New Brunswick Attractions

Breathe in that rich, rejuvenating air whilst gazing into an open oasis of natural splendor in New Brunswick! Here you will find some of the most astoundingly magnificent landmarks of Canada. Find yourself surrounded in endless mountainous landscapes, mesmerizing rivers, and picturesque pine forests.

Some of the most famous monuments in Canada are naturally formed, and some are part of Canada’s diverse history.

Kevin from Wandering Wagars

Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park in New Brunswick is of Canada’s most iconic destinations. Although it’s a little off-the-beaten-path for many travelers to Canada, this land of epic tides is well worth the visit. Here you can experience the largest tides in the world all year round. If you want to enjoy the facilities of Fundy National Park, they are open from mid-May to mid-October between 9 am to 10 pm. These include a golf course, heated saltwater pool, and camping grounds.

These tides are so massive that you can be walking far out on the ocean bottom in the morning, and kayaking among the famed Hopewell Rocks in the afternoon. You need to respect the tide warnings while you visit, however. They run in 6-hour and 13-minute intervals, so timing your trip can mean witnessing the incredible 22-foot change in coastal depth.

Along the Fundy coast is the Fundy Coastal Trail. This postcard-perfect route stretches between the towns of St. Stephen and Moncton. It is dotted with quaint motels and bed and breakfasts. Evenings are spent watching the sunset while the nights are filled with music and stargazing.

Fundy National Park is best traveled during late spring to early fall months, as winter access to many of the features of the area is restricted. The Fundy Coastal Drive snakes the length of the southern shore of New Brunswick along Routes 114 and 111. The entire drive is a 391 km trip through quaint villages and beautiful parks. To get the most out of the trip, we recommend at least two days to make the trip.

Whilst in New Brunswick to see Fundy National Park, be sure to check out the New Brunswick Museum to feast your eyes on inspired local artwork and learn more about the history of this wonderful province.

Tourist Attractions in Ontario, Canada

The city and landscape of Ontario are both exquisite! The city showcases old Victorian architecture and is home to some of the most interesting and famous Canadian monuments. As well as some unique Canadian landmarks, like the world’s longest street, Yonge Street –  feel free to add that onto your growing list of ‘Canada Facts’.

This is a place with unique charm, and plenty to see and enjoy! A trip to Ontario is a must when visiting Canada. You can also partake in fun winter activities at Blue Mountain!

Christopher from Rudderless Travel

The CN Tower

I’m not sure why everyone from other parts of Canada hates Toronto.

Wait. I’m lying. I know why – It’s probably because most Torontonians, like myself, think that Toronto is Canada. Maybe it’s our unwavering pride, maybe it’s our diversity, maybe it’s our trendy coolness. Hell, maybe it’s Drake.

I wrote a detailed 48-Hour Toronto Itinerary which quite honestly, made me fall in love with my city even more – but I digress. Love us or hate us the truth is, you’d be hard-pressed to find a book about Canada, written by a self-respected author, that does not mention the CN Tower within its pages.

It’s not just the symbol for our city, it’s one of the top Canadian landmarks. You can visit this beaut every day of the year, well, besides Christmas, but we can forgive that. It‘s open early in the morning from 9 am and only closes at 10 pm.

The Canadian National Tower is the ninth tallest free-standing structure in the world and the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. Speaking of Drake, the national icon and landmark were featured on the cover of Drake’s critically-acclaimed album “Views”.

Lastly, the CN Tower is home to the revolving 360 Restaurant – A world-class award-winning restaurant managed by Executive Chef John Morris and General Manager of Restaurants and Events Cameron Dryburgh.

 

Akanksha from According to Ak

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful natural parts of Canada. It is actually made up of three waterfalls: The American Falls,  Bridal Veil Falls, and The Horseshoe Falls. The Canadian side has the best of all these views and is an incredibly popular tourist spot all year round, and it is open for viewing 24/7.

During the winter, if you’re lucky, you are able to catch the falls with partially frozen sections. There has been only one time in history that the falls have stopped from being frozen over! If you feel like comfort food one of these cold days, you won’t find a shortage of places that stock ingredients for Macaroni and Cheese. One of the odd facts about Canada is that it is the nation that eats more Mac ’n Cheese than any other! There are also lots of other farm-fresh meals you can cook!

There are so many options for things to do, for people of all ages. You can easily spend a busy (or relaxing) weekend exploring the Niagara Falls, one of the most famous Canadian landmarks.  

There are many different packages that can be purchased, that would cover a variety of activities offered around the Niagara Falls depending on how long you are staying there. But since this is a constantly busy destination spot, planning in advance can be very helpful!

Here are some suggestions for things to do:

  • Start your day early with a beautiful view of the sunrise over the falls. Surprisingly, whether its summer or winter, you will see quite a few committed people on walks around the area.
  • If you want to stay relaxed, have a picnic with your loved ones or go for a walk through the Niagara Botanical Gardens. There are many spas that you can visit which offer exquisite services and leave you feeling rejuvenated. At night, you can check out the incredible Greg Frewin magic show.
  • If it is a rainy day and you want to stay indoors, Clifton Hill has so many attractions to offer! Check out the Ripleys Believe it or Not museum which is a place fun for all ages. There is also the wax museum where you can get selfies with the best of the celebrities! The Bird Kingdom is also a great place to spend some time getting close to unique birds and having a chance to feed them as well. The Skylon Tower offers many entertainment options including some of the best views of the falls and a revolving dining area! There is also The Fallsview (massive) Indoor Waterpark which might be the getaway a family might need.
  • If you want to get outdoors on a beautiful day, there are many options for hiking around the Falls for some stunning views. The Maid of the Mist tour is a must-see for all, through which you can get very close to the stunning horseshoe falls for a unique perspective. For more of a thrill, you can book a ziplining adventure right by the falls or a helicopter tour over them. Wine tours are also incredibly popular around this region and could be just what you need on a relaxing day out!
  • During golden hour, get on the Niagara Skywheel for the best seat to watch the sunset. Catch the fireworks at 10 pm.
  • If you’re looking for nightlife, there are numerous bars and clubs to check out. The popular Fallsview Casino might be the spot to get you lucky that night!

Kathryn from Kathryn Anywhere

Flower Pot Island

Flowerpot Island is only accessible by boat and is one of the best experiences in Fathom Five National Marine Park! The island is famous for its natural “flower pot” rock pillars, caves, historic light station, and rare plants. This is a great spot for easy to moderate level hikers – my kids have no problem on these trails.

Here you will find great swimming and snorkeling, picnic areas, and overnight backcountry camping if you are adventurous. Be sure to bring your bathing suit in a day bag with you and have sturdy shoes, don’t come in flip flops and try to do the hiking – I don’t recommend it.

According to the Parks Canada website, they recommend that you spend 4-5 hours to hike and see it all.

We were not prepared for the beauty here – it is so awe-inspiring! The water really is the color of these photos – no filter, I swear!

There are a couple of boat charter companies to get you there from Tobermory, Ontario. You can combine a shipwreck viewing tour or simply take an express boat direct and they have ticketed return times when they drop you off.  Side note, there is really nothing to purchase on Flower Pot Island, so be sure to bring your own food and water!

Also, there are not a whole lot of places to dispose of garbage here, so please plan to take back with you what you bring.

 

Corinne from Have Baby Will Travel

Toronto Islands

Toronto is Canada’s biggest and busiest city, but you’d never know it after a 15-minute ferry ride. The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is located downtown at the foot of Bay St, and every 15-30 minutes you can hop on a boat headed to either Ward’s Island, Centre Island, or Hanlan’s Point.

The Toronto Islands–officially Toronto Island Park–is a cluster of 15 small islands, mostly connected by bridges and a great escape from the hustle and bustle for Torontonians of all ages. For visitors, the view of the city’s skyline is picture postcard perfect and a day spent exploring is likely not what you’d anticipate doing on a city trip.

For families, a day spent on Centre Island can’t be beaten. Centreville is a charming, small amusement park that’s perfect for toddlers and little kids. The Far Enough Farm, a hobby farm and petting zoo, and Franklin’s Children’s Garden will round out the day and have them snoozing on the ferry ride home.

And everyone will enjoy exploring the paths via tandem bike or quadricycles or relaxing at the four public beaches. There’s even a clothing-optional area at Hanlan’s Point.

 
Christopher Mitchel from Traveling Mitch

 

Parliament Hill

It would be difficult to imagine a list of top Canadian landmarks without the addition of Parliament Hill. Parliament Hill, as you might surmise, is home to the Parliament of Canada, and in many ways, it’s the most prominent building we have to represent our governmental history as a constitutional monarchy. This is one of the most famous buildings in Canada, and it is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.

I’ve always found it funny how few people actually know about Parliament Hill, or at least the sheer scale of it. As a tour guide in Ottawa, I used to eat my lunches on “The Hill,” and I’d watch people enter the gates, walk towards the Centennial Flame (which commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a confederation and was built in 1967), and watch their eyebrows raise and their mouths drop. It was as if to say, “why don’t more people travel to see this?!”

That being said, I wouldn’t say that it’s an “underrated site” either, as nearly 3 million people come each year to see it. It’s worth noting that if you’re going now, you’re going to see a fair bit of scaffolding as most of the buildings on Parliament Hill are undergoing extensive renovations, but it’s still something to behold.

You’ll also usually find a rally or demonstration taking place, which I appreciate, as it signifies our nation’s commitment to free speech!

Gregory George from Follow Summer

Prince Edward County, Ontario

Like the rural quaintness of the French River of Nova Scotia and the excitement of the Napa Valley of the 1980s, Prince Edward County continues to captivate her visitors with a spirit and engagement that is exciting to witness.

We love carrying ourselves off the Friday-crazy east-bound 401 via Carrying Place and into The County’s green and yellow rolling fields of corn and cereal rye, beckoning our city-weary eyes up to billowing, blowing clouds, dramatic against an electric blue Friday afternoon sky. Rustic red barns, some falling, some brand new, dot the rocky countryside, many with The County’s latest eclectic offering: over 100 welcoming and eye-popping freshly painted Barn Quilts entice us further on and into her rural charms as beacons of rural folk art. This weekend we are planning to explore the Athol and North Marysburgh areas of The County, with stops in Waupoos, Lake on the Mountain, and Cherry Valley.

Our Saturday begins with a tasting and lunch at Waupoos Winery, the oldest established winery in The County. Waupoos, which in Ojibway means running rabbit, began operations in 1983 when Ed Neuser and Riata Kaimins took one look at the apple orchard and rocky, undulating 100 acres they had just purchased and decided to plant grapes instead. Flash forward to 2001 and their first vintage. Today winemaker Amy and husband, General Manager Kyle Baldwin produce 19 different varietals, the largest in The County. Kyle flashes a smile and adds “Pinot Gris is our most popular.”

Set in a beautiful limestone historic house and green rolling property with outstanding views west to Waupoos and onto Lake Ontario, The County Cider Company continues to be a popular meeting place for those who love a unique taste of Ontario cider. Their patio is a popular and busy option especially in summer with their wood-fired oven serving an apparent County winery or cidery must-have: wood-fired pizza.

 

 

 
West Point Lighthouse at Sunset (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

 

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s most mesmerizing eastern maritime provinces! Enjoy the unusual red-sand beaches, flourishing countryside, and picturesque lighthouses. You can also get a taste for authentic seafood, such as lobster and muscles.

Jerry Godinho from Four Columns of a Balanced Life

Found on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island is well-worth venturing to!

The Confederation Bridge is an engineering marvel that connects Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick over the Northumberland Strait. This magnificent accomplishment is 8 miles and is the longest continuous multi-span bridge over ice-covered waters in the world.

The speed limit is 80km/hr and takes about 12 minutes to go from one side to another. The drive is an amazing experience and the highest point is about 60 meters. There is a reason that it is curvy to keep the driver alert when driving.

Just before the bridge take exit 51 and besides the restaurant and gift shop, enjoy the boardwalk, coastal forest, and marshes. This is also an ideal place to take the perfect picture for Instagram.

The bridge is a two-lane toll bridge, thirty-six feet wide, and rests on 62 piers.

This engineering project is the most innovative ever done in Canada and was designed and built by the international consortium Strait Crossing.

Confederation Bridge tolls are charged based on a vehicle’s axle-count and are calculated for the round-trip, regardless of the user’s initial point of entry to Prince Edward Island. Bridge tolls are collected when leaving Prince Edward Island at the toll plaza in Borden-Carleton, PE. Cash, Interac, and all major credit cards are accepted.

Yukon Attractions

This secluded and wild paradise is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada! We can’t speak about Canada’s landmarks without mentioning Yukon.

This beautiful stretch of land in Canada is entirely made up of dreamy rolling hills, enchanting landscapes, glacier-fed alpine lakes, serene streams, rich vegetation and magnificent wildlife. Yukon offers one-of-a-kind adventures, as well as the chance to see some Canadian natural landmarks.

Kluane National Park

If you love all things natural and breathtaking, then a visit to Kluane National Park will absolutely delight you! This park preserves pristine wilderness, with ice fields, ancient forests, and majestic mountain peaks. You can visit this gorgeous national park at any time of the day or night, as it is always open.

One of the most famous landmarks in Kluane National Park for hikers is the towering Mount Logan. You can also find thrilling hiking trails throughout the area, such as the King’s Throne, a trail that will take you on an epic journey through winding spirals to a dramatic viewpoint over Kathleen Lake.

If you are wanting to spot wildlife, be cautious, and bring a guide to venture with you to the Alsek River, the most prominent river that flows through this exquisite park. You will come across one of Canada’s most revered wild animals, the grizzly bear.

If extreme animal sightseeing isn’t your thing, you will also be able to spot Dall sheep and have a rare opportunity to spot over 100 diverse bird species, such yellow-rumped warblers, thrushes, and mountain bluebirds.

Mar Ward from To & Fro

Signpost Forest – Watson Lake, Yukon

The Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon’s most famous attraction, and a must-see if driving along the Alaska Highway.

Located not far from the Yukon-British Columbia border (at Historic Mile 635 of the highway), travellers from around the world have been bringing signposts from their hometowns to the Signpost Forest since 1942. The site is open 24 hours, so you’re always welcome to enjoy!

The tradition began during the Alaska Highway Project in 1942 when a homesick U.S. soldier spent time in Watson Lake. When completing a project to repair directional signposts, he added a sign that indicated the direction and mileage to his hometown in Illinois.

Others followed suit, and the trend caught on. As of 2012, there were approximately 75,800 signs and 1,600 posts on site! Each year, an average of 1,000 new signs are being added to the collection.

On a road trip from Anchorage, Alaska to Toronto, Ontario in 2013, we enjoyed wandering through the forest to view the maze of signs. There are street signs, ”Welcome To…” signs, license plates from around the world, and more – the variety is as broad as people’s imagination.

We were on the ultimate road trip, and it was fun to see all of the people that had taken a similar journey to us. Reading the signs and messages took us on a sort of “tour of the world”, without having to leave the ground.

While the Signpost Forest may be Watson Lake’s most famous attraction, there is a lot more to see and do in the Yukon’s third-largest town, including a Signpost Forest Visitor’s Centre, the North Lights Centre, and Wye Lake, which is perfect for an afternoon picnic.

Final Words on Canadian Landmarks

Canada is abundant with views that will whisk your breath away, adventures that will have you feeling exhilarated, fascinating historical monuments, and an endless variety of incredible places just waiting to be visited. Seeing these Canadian landmarks will help you to enjoy the best of this marvelous country, and bask in the magic it has to offer. People love Canada and migrating to Canada for many is a dream. 

Each Canadian landmark has something charming and unusual to offer, and these gems are some of my favorite parts of Canada! This earthly wonder will captivate you and steal your heart, and our guide to the best Canadian landmarks will ensure that.

Planning a trip to Canada? Check out these other blog posts to help you plan the ultimate trip:

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