Canada, Destination

4 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Canada

Jack Lake-Alberta

Canada is one of the largest countries on the planet, coming in second to Russia. Given the sheer size, it stands to reason that there will be quite some difference from one end of the country to the other, which is why you’re probably reading this post. Here you will find four things you need to know before visiting this great country, Canada.

Check if You Need Either a Visa or Travel Authorization (eTA)

You may be aware that your current citizenship means that you’re from a visa-exempt country for travelling to Canada. However, most citizens of foreign countries will more than likely still require an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter the country, if not a Canadian visitor visa. So it’s crucial to check what applies to you before planning your visit. 

You may not have realized that an eTA is required for a visit. The eTA system intends to help Canada accomplish its common goal of improving border security and increasing economic competitiveness with the United States. Its goal is to make acquiring travel authorization to Canada for eligible people as simple as possible. It also makes it easier to identify inadmissible travellers and those with lengthy criminal records in order to prohibit them from entering the nation. It provides IRCC with enough information to track various travel patterns, allowing for significant security improvements.

You can find a list of visa-requiring and visa-exempt countries at canada-eta.com and make your application if required. Quite often, you can obtain travel authorization within minutes.

Make your trip as hassle-free as possible for a great start to the trip of a lifetime. 

Understand How Big Canada Is

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Canada is known for its beautiful landscapes. However, you might be surprised to learn that the northern land’s national parks are so large that they exceed the total size of several other countries. Albania, for example, would fit neatly within the 11,602 square miles of the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories!

Considering the size of the country, about 40% of Canada is located north of the Arctic Circle, while its southernmost point extends deep into the continental USA. To put it mathematically, Canada also spans more than 40 degrees of latitude from north to south and about 90 degrees of longitude from west to east. 

Prepare for Diverse Weather

Visiting Mont Tremblant in the summer

Given how huge a country Canada is, it’s no wonder that it boasts one of the world’s most diverse climates, so you’ll need to pack your bags accordingly, depending on where you’re going.

Apart from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, much of the country has a classic continental climate, with relatively cold winters and hot (occasionally extremely hot) summers. Here are some instances of how the climate varies depending on which province you visit:

Ottawa

Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In the country’s southeast, the Canadian capital has harsh winters and hot, bright summers, with brief periods of cooler weather in the spring and autumn.

British Columbia

The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, British Columbia

Vancouver is a Canadian city noted for its delectable cuisine, thriving beer culture, and breathtaking scenery. The weather is quite similar to that of the United Kingdom, with lows of just above freezing in the winter and highs of the mid-20s in the summer.

Newfoundland

Western Brook Pond NFLD

Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland

Despite being somewhat further south than Vancouver and on the same latitude as Nantes in France, St John’s is significantly colder in the winter and cooler in the summer on the east coast.

Arctic Bay

Ice fjords in Greenland

Arctic Bay, located in the far north, has a typical arctic environment, with temperatures below freezing for eight months of the year and only a few degrees above freezing during the brief summer.

Know What Language to Expect

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, Canada

After learning that Ryan Reynolds and Jim Carrey are Canadians, you may assume that Canada is an English-speaking country; nevertheless, Canada is a multilingual country with two official languages: French and English.

In Canada, the French-speaking population is enormous. If you know French, you’ll fit right in, especially if you’re planning a trip to Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, or New Brunswick, where the language is particularly widely spoken.

Having said that, Toronto is a city that celebrates language diversity. According to the 2011 census, around 200 distinct languages are spoken here, with 45 percent of people speaking a mother tongue other than French or English.

While these four tips are just the beginning of your vacation planning, they are the most important to remember in order to have a stress-free experience and create lifelong memories.

 

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