With the sun shining, the water glistening and snow capped mountains hovering in the distance, there is no better time to visit Canada than in the summer. June to September sees warmer weather come to stay, beckoning locals and visitors alike to enjoy the great outdoors.
Canada is blessed with truly spectacular scenery and once spring hits, the flowers are in full bloom, winter coats are abandoned and the country revolves once again around outdoor activities.
Stanley Park in Vancouver is a 400-hectare oasis boasting secluded beaches, lavish gardens and well worn paths that are loved by keen walkers, joggers and bikers. Burn those holiday calories as you stroll the manicured grounds featuring half a million cedar, fir and hemlock trees.
Inside the park, you’ll also find the country’s largest aquarium. Home to more than 70,000 fascinating sea creatures, the Vancouver Aquarium is a treat for animal lovers of all ages. The dolphin show is always a crowd favourite.
For tasty eats, check out the Granville Island Public Market. You’ll find all the best summer produce with sumptuous displays, ranging from fresh seafood to freshly baked breads, elegantly styled desserts and plump fruits and vegetables.
Summer in Canada also means festivals galore, including the legendary Calgary Stampede. Join one million fans for one of the biggest rodeos in the world. Don your best western attire and revel in the festive atmosphere as you enjoy nine heart-pounding rodeo events across ten days.
Continue your cowboy adventure and explore Alberta’s legendary high ranch country. Drive the Cowboy Trail and make your way through rolling hills and meadowlands towards the Rocky Mountain Foothills and experience a taste of western life.
Over in Montreal, you could swoon to the smooth sounds of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Witness the world’s greatest jazz musicians from around the world with hundreds of concerts and live performances. It’s also a breeding ground for new talent.
The warmer months are also the perfect time to appreciate Canada’s lush landscapes. Enjoy an adventure through the Canadian Rockies in the summer, when the roads are clear, the trains are operating and the lakes have returned to their dazzling aqua glory.
Alberta is teeming with wildlife year round. Visit the Elk Island National Park, less than an hour east of Edmonton and you can paddle a canoe in the turquoise lakes or hike the 80 kilometre network of trails. You also have the chance to spot whitetail and mule deer, moose, elk and even coyotes.
Take a ride in the Lake Louise Gondola for breathtaking sky-high views. As you admire the sprawling alpine meadows and the sparkling waters of Lake Louise below, keep your eyes peeled for grizzly bears, cougars, lynx, mountain goats, big horn sheep and wolves.
Biking in Banff National Park is also a wonderful way to see the striking surrounds up close. Make your way through sub-alpine forest and beside glacier-fed lakes as you admire the picture-perfect scenery. The tracks vary according to skill and cater for both beginners and the more experienced.
Whale watching is also a popular pastime in summer. British Columbia is touted as one of the best places to spot these majestic creatures, with tours departing regularly from Vancouver Island. You can also go whale spotting in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Thrill seekers can find exhilarating adventures in British Columba with zip-lining or bungee jumping opportunities. Fly through the forest at speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour on one of the world’s highest and longest zip-lines.
Whistler is not just a winter wonderland. In summer, you can make the most of the mountainous scenery, dotted with sprawling lakes, beaches and parks. Fly high on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, trek the Whistler Valley Trail or simply relax and unwind at the Scandinave Spa.
There is no shortage of activities to enjoy while the sun is shining, from horseback riding to golfing, fishing and jet boating. You can also join a bear viewing tour with the rare chance to see black bears and their cubs in their natural habitat.
If you are in town for July 1, you can also join the locals and celebrate Canada Day. Canadian cities will burst to life with festivals, parades and fireworks to celebrate their home country.
Canada’s capital, Ottawa typically hosts all day celebrations with a Changing of the Guard Ceremony, music and dance performances and family activities, all topped off with a massive fireworks finale.