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Canada is a vast country with a tremendous variety of attractions for travellers. Each region has something distinctly different to experience.
The Maritime provinces offer friendly hospitality, luscious seafood, rugged natural beauty, seaside vistas, and some of the oldest historic sites on the continent. Quebec is passionate with cosmopolitan cities like Montreal and Quebec City juxtaposed against rural splendour and artisanal agriculture. Ontario is the centre of power and politics in the country with Canada's capital city, Ottawa, in the east and the country's financial hub, Toronto, to the south.
The Prairies have wide open spaces, waving fields of grain, First Nations heritage, dozens of national and provincial parks, and cultural centres like Winnipeg. Alberta and British Columbia have much of what many international visitors have in mind when they think of Canada — mountain ranges, towering trees in pristine wilderness, and rodeos with daring cowboys and cowgirls.
The Far North is extremely sparsely populated, especially outside of the territorial capitals Iqaluit (YFB), Whitehorse (YXY), and Yellowknife (YZF.) Adventurous tourists visit this region to glimpse the aurora borealis, see polar bears and other wildlife on the arctic tundra, go dog-sledding or ice-fishing, and experience a taste of traditional Inuit culture.
Every part of Canada has hidden gems and off-the-beaten path destinations waiting to be discovered.
Dozens of international and transborder airlines fly in and out of Canada from Alaska Airlines to Air Zimbabwe. All of the major airlines and alliances fly to Canada including American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, and United. Canada has many international airports in major centres such as Halifax (YHX), Montreal (YUL), Ottawa (YOW), Toronto (YYZ), Winnipeg (YWG), Calgary (YYC), and Vancouver (YVR). These airports also serve domestic flights and are supplemented by many more regional airports offering flights within Canada on domestic carriers like Air Canada, WestJet, Porter, and, Canjet. Toronto offers the largest selection of direct flights, and many international and transborder flights connect through this airport, but other cities do have some direct flights so it is worth taking a look to find the most convenient option.
A country with the enormous size and geographic diversity of Canada is nearly impossible to summarize. It has coastlines on three oceans, has a total area just slightly under ten million square kilometers, and is the second-largest country in the world.
Summertime is the most popular period for traditional sightseeing across Canada. Shoulder season is more difficult to gauge from region to region. Conditions tend to be milder and therefore the spring and summer last longer in temperate areas such as Vancouver and places close to the 49th parallel, than in northern areas where the weather is warm for a very limited time. Fall (September through November) is an excellent time to visit, especially in areas such as Ontario and Quebec where the deciduous forests become resplendent with fall colour in September and October.
Naturally, winter sports are a popular attraction in the Great White North and there are centres of excellence for every winter sport imaginable scattered across Canada that draw scores of athletes and fans alike during the winter months. Travelling in the remote North requires the greatest degree of planning as summer is short and conditions in the winter can be harsh and hazardous, but the payoff for the extra effort can be huge.