If you are a tourist, one of the best periods to visit Canada is during the summer. This is because Canada can be unusually cold and summer gives people the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. The truth is that the nice warmth of the summer months allows just about any vacation activities without weather-based interruptions.
Summer break in Canada typically falls in July/August. During summer in Canada, you can plan just about any activity without getting scared of the extreme cold or snow. In addition to that, summer gives you the opportunity to wear light clothes and travel light. Having said that, if you have plans to visit Canada during summer, here are some of the best places you should visit.
Best Places to Visit in Canada During Summer
Table of Contents
- Niagara Falls
- The CN Tower
- Ottawa’s Parliament Hill
- The Royal Ontario Museum
- The Art Gallery of Ontario
- High Park
- The Toronto Zoo
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- The Toronto Islands
- Jasper National Park, Alberta
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
- Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
- The Bay of Fundy
- Victoria’s Inner Harbour
- Vancouver’s Stanley Park
Niagara Falls is Canada’s most famous natural attraction, bringing in millions of visitors each year, especially during the summer period. Niagara Falls is just over an hour’s drive from Toronto. These massive falls drop approximately 57 meters. You can see the falls at an astoundingly close distance from several key points.
The Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge have been attracting tourists and daredevils for over a century. Between the mid-19th and 20th centuries, there were numerous attempts to plunge over the falls in various types of homemade boats and barrels. This, along with tightrope walkers and other spectacles, led to the adjacent town of Niagara Falls developing a carnival-type atmosphere that still persists today.
The CN Tower
The CN Tower is a 553.3 m-high concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Built on the former Railway Lands, it was completed in 1976. Its name “CN” referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. Following the railway’s decision to divest non-core freight railway assets prior to the company’s privatization in 1995, it transferred the tower to the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation responsible for real estate development.
The CN Tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years, from 1975 until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa and was the world’s tallest tower until 2009 when it was surpassed by the Canton Tower. It is currently the ninth-tallest free-standing structure in the world and remains the tallest free-standing structure on land in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It also belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers. It is a signature icon of Toronto’s skyline and attracts more than two million international visitors annually.
Ottawa’s Parliament Hill
Another attractive place you should plan to visit during the summer in Canada is Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. Ottawa’s Parliament Hill stands high above the Ottawa River and is graced by the Neo-Gothic-style Parliament buildings built in the last half of the 19th century. The most prominent feature is the Peace Tower, which divides the House of Commons and the Senate on either side.
In front of the Parliament buildings is the Centennial Flame, lit in 1966 to commemorate the centenary of the Canadian Confederation, and behind the buildings is a sculpture garden. You will enjoy your visit during summer because the Changing of the Guard takes place on the front lawn of the Houses of Parliament, weather permitting. Below Parliament Hill, a lovely walk runs alongside the Ottawa River.
The Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is yet another attractive tourist attraction to visit during summer. The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of art, world culture, and natural history in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada.
It attracts more than one million visitors every year, making the ROM the most-visited museum in Canada. The museum is north of Queen’s Park, in the University of Toronto district, with its main entrance on Bloor Street West.
The museum subway station is named after the ROM and, since a 2008 renovation, is decorated to resemble the institution’s collection. Established on April 16, 1912, and opened on March 19, 1914, the museum has maintained close relations with the University of Toronto throughout its history, often sharing expertise and resources.
The Art Gallery of Ontario
Another attractive tourist site you should plan to visit is The Art Gallery of Ontario. The Art Gallery of Ontario is an art museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The museum is located in the Grange Park neighborhood of downtown Toronto, on Dundas Street West between McCaul and Beverley streets just east of Chinatown.
The museum’s building complex takes up 45,000 square meters of physical space, making it one of the largest art museums in North America and the second-largest art museum in Toronto after the Royal Ontario Museum.
In addition to exhibition spaces, the Art Gallery of Ontario also houses an artist-in-residence office and studio, dining facilities, event spaces, a gift shop, a library and archives, a theatre and lecture hall, a research center, and a workshop. It was established in 1900 as the Art Museum of Toronto, and formally incorporated in 1903, it was renamed the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1919, before it adopted its present name, the Art Gallery of Ontario, in 1966.
High Park is yet another tourist center that you should put on your bucket list of places to visit in Canada during the summer. High Park is a municipal park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. High Park is a mixed recreational and natural park, with sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds, and a zoo. One-third of the park remains in a natural state, with a rare oak savannah ecology.
High Park was opened to the public in 1876 and is based on a bequest of land from John George Howard to the City of Toronto. It spans 161 hectares and is the second-largest municipal park in Toronto, after Centennial Park. High Park is located to the west of downtown Toronto, north of Humber Bay, and is maintained by the City of Toronto Parks Department.
The Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is a zoo located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Encompassing 287 hectares, the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. Some animals are displayed indoors in pavilions and outdoors in what would be their naturalistic environments, with viewing at many levels.
It also has areas such as the Kids Zoo, Waterside Theatre, and Splash Island. It has one of the most taxonomically diverse collections of animals on display worldwide; it is currently home to over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species.
The Toronto Zoo is open to the public every day of the year except December 25. The zoo is a corporation owned by the municipal government of Toronto. Founded by John Cameron Egan and business partner, Hugh A. Crothers, an industrialist who became the first Chairman of the Metro Toronto Zoological Society in 1966.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
This is another attractive tourist site you should include in your bucket list of places to visit when you travel to Canada during the summer. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a public aquarium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The aquarium is one of three aquariums owned and operated by Ripley Entertainment.
It is located in downtown Toronto, just southeast of the CN Tower. The aquarium has 5.7 million liters of marine and freshwater habitats from across the world. The exhibits hold more than 20,000 exotic sea and freshwater specimens from more than 450 species.
The Toronto Islands
The Toronto Islands is yet another tourist site that is worth visiting during the summer. The Toronto Islands are a chain of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario, south of mainland Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Toronto Islands are located just offshore from the city’s downtown area, they provide shelter for Toronto Harbour, and separate Toronto from the rest of Lake Ontario.
The islands are home to the Toronto Island Park, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, several private yacht clubs, a public marina, Centreville Amusement Park, a year-round residential neighborhood, and several public beaches. The island community is the largest urban car-free community in North America.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
Jasper National Park is a national park in Alberta, Canada. It is the largest national park within Alberta’s Rocky Mountains spanning 11,000 km2 (4,200 sq mi). It was established as a national park in 1930 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Its location is north of Banff National Park and west of Edmonton. The Park contains the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, springs, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains.
When you visit Jasper National Park, some of the popular attractions can easily be reached by road and they include the Mount Edith Cavell hiking area, Maligne Lake (which features hiking and boating opportunities), Maligne Canyon, Miette Hot Springs, Pyramid Lake, the Jasper Skytram and the Athabasca Glacier, (an outlet glacier of the Columbia Icefield which features snow coach tours). The Marmot Basin ski area is the most popular winter attraction in the park.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park is surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and the park features some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll find in the entire country. The world-famous Cabot Trail winds through the park, so you can experience the rolling vistas without ever leaving your car.
You will want to pull over every so often to walk a few of the park’s 26 hiking trails, which range from short and easy boardwalk loops to more challenging hikes up to 12 kilometers long.
Be sure to put the Skyline trail at the top of your must-hike list: this trail is on the longer side (8.2 kilometers for the full loop) but is relatively easy, leading you out to viewpoints over some extremely daunting – but beautiful – cliffs overlooking the sea. It’s also a popular hike for moose-spotting, although you have a chance of spotting moose just about anywhere in the park.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
St John’s, Newfoundland is the major Canadian city with the coolest climate during the summer. It has the lowest average daily temperature and gets the least number of really hot days during June, July, and August. Gros Morne National Park is a Canadian national park and World Heritage Site located on the west coast of Newfoundland.
At 1,805 km2 (697 sq mi), it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada after Torngat Mountains National Park, which has an area of 9,700 km2 (3,700 sq mi). Gros Morne National Park got its name from Newfoundland’s second-highest mountain peak (at 806 m or 2,644 ft) located within the park.
Its French meaning is “large mountain standing alone,” or more literally “great sombre.” Gros Morne is a member of the Long Range Mountains, an outlying range of the Appalachian Mountains, stretching the length of the island’s west coast. It is the eroded remnants of a mountain range formed 1.2 billion years ago. In 1987, the park was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
The Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy is yet another tourist center that you should put on your bucket list of places to visit in Canada during summer. The Bay of Fundy, located in Eastern Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is known for its amazing tides. The variation between high and low is the largest in the world, measuring up to a maximum of 19 meters (10 fathoms).
While there are many ways to appreciate this natural wonder, some of the most popular locations and sights along the Bay of Fundy are the cliffs and rock formations at Hopewell Cape, Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail Parkway, and Grand Manan Island.
Victoria’s Inner Harbour
Another attractive tourist site you should plan to visit is Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a great place for strolling, relaxing, shopping, dining, and watching street performers all against the backdrop of the harbor.
The centerpiece of Victoria’s Inner Harbour is the historic Empress Hotel, one of the city’s most lovely buildings. Over the years, the Empress has welcomed kings and queens and, today features a traditional high tea, one of the highlights for many visitors coming to Victoria. While the harbor area is popular year-round, it is particularly lively during the summer months.
Vancouver’s Stanley Park
Lastly, Vancouver’s Stanley Park is yet another tourist center you should put on your bucket list of places to visit in Canada. One of Vancouver’s greatest treasures is the 405-hectare Stanley Park, conveniently located on the west side of the downtown area. Situated on a peninsula, the park is surrounded by the ocean and home to huge red cedar and Douglas fir trees.
The seawall, which rings the park, has an extensive walking, jogging, and biking path with designated lanes for walkers and bikers. From the seawall are some lovely views of the city and mountains. A scenic drive also winds through Stanley Park with numerous pullouts.
Vancouver Aquarium, scenic Beaver Lake, the Stanley Park Pavilion, and Rose Garden are within Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Also of special interest are numerous totem poles, some of which were erected more than 100 years ago. In the spring, the cherry trees burst into bloom in an amazing display.