The 20 Most Quirky Roadside Attractions Across Canada
They may not be destinations in and of themselves, but these quirky roadside attractions certainly make the journey more interesting!
1. The Signpost Forest
Where you’ll find it: Mile 635, Alaska Highway, Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
If you’re cruising along the Alaska Highway, it’s worth making a pitstop at one of its quirkiest roadside attractions. Back in 1942, a homesick GI from Danville, Illinois, put up the first sign at Watson Lake to show just how far he was from home (2,835 miles, to be exact). Today, his sign is joined by more than 80,000 others in what’s become known as the “Signpost Forest.”
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2. The Sourtoe Cocktail
Where you’ll find it: Corner of Second and Queen, Dawson City, Yukon Territory
The Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City has a rather unusual item on its drinks menu: a cocktail containing a mummified human toe. Yes, really. The toe is said to have belonged to a turn-of-the-century rum runner who lost his digit to frostbite while evading the local law enforcement. If your passengers can manage to down a Sourtoe Cocktail (and “kiss” the toe which bobs around in your glass) they’ll walk away with a little extra swagger—and a certificate to commemorate the achievement.
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3. The Moss Lady
Where you’ll find it: Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
If you’ve got kids in the car and they’ve seen the Disney flick Moana (that’s pretty much a given), they’ll be doubly enchanted with Victoria’s “moss lady.” Artist Dale Doebert’s 35-foot-long sculpture of a dozing figure looks as though it could rise from the earth at any moment, just like Te Fiti in the film.
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4. The Glass House
Where you’ll find it: 11341 Highway 3A Boswell, Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
When David H. Brown retired from the funeral business he found a curious use for all the empty embalming fluid bottles he’d collected over the years: he built a house with them. The Glass House of Kootenay Lake, B.C., was built from some 500,000 thousand bottles and spans 1,200 square feet.
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5. The Enchanted Forest
Where you’ll find it: 7060 Trans-Canada Highway, Revelstoke, British Columbia
Step out of the minivan and into a fairy tale. In the Enchanted Forest at Revelstoke, British Columbia, you can frolick through the woods on a nature walk (where you’ll find 350 folk art figurines amongst the foliage), climb the province’s tallest and grandest tree house and even go ziplining.
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6. The World’s Largest Easter Egg
Where you’ll find it: 45th Street, Vegreville, Alberta
The Vegreville Pysanka was built in 1975 as a tribute to the early Ukrainian settlements east of Edmonton. With a claim to fame as “the world’s largest Easter egg,” this roadside attraction is a true marvel of design, its patterns containing 3,512 facets, 2,206 equilateral triangles and 524 star shapes. Puzzle fiends young and old will find it fascinating—and an irresistable Instagram opp.
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7. Torrington Gopher Hole Museum
Where you’ll find it: 208 1st Street South, Torrington, Alberta
Making the trek from Calgary to Edmonton? About halfway along the route, you’ll find the hamlet of Torrington, and a roadside attraction that’s truly one-of-a-kind. The Torrington Gopher Hole Museum boasts no fewer than 70 taxidermized gophers, which star—fully costumed—in a series of dioramas. Watch the gopher townspeople wait for the train, do a little gardening and even shoot a game of pool. It’s a portrait of rural country life—gopherized.
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8. The World’s Largest Dinosaur
Where you’ll find it: #60 1st Avenue West, Drumheller, Alberta
Jurassic Park fans will need a selfie with this massive T-Rex that stalks Canada’s Badlands. She (yes, she’s recognized as a lady dino), stands over 46 metres high—that’s 4.5 times bigger than the real deal, and enough to earn her the title of “World’s Largest Dinosaur.”
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9. The UFO Landing Pad
Where you’ll find it: Corner of 50th Avenue and 53rd Street, St. Paul, Alberta
This extraterrestrial parking spot was built in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial and has been attracting earthbound visitors ever since. Snap selfies with little green men and check out the UFO exhibit in the tourist information centre. As pitstops go, this roadside attraction is out of this world.
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10. Mac the Moose
Where you’ll find it: 450 Diefenbaker Drive, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Sadly, Mac was recently stripped of his title as “World’s Tallest Moose” when a town in Norway dared to build their own moose—and give it an extra 30 centimetres in height. The Scandinavian municipality has since agreed to let Moose Jaw’s quirky roadside attraction reclaim his title—once he’s installed with an even larger rack, that is. Until that time, you can still admire mighty Mac with his original antlers.
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11. Ghostown Blues B&B
Where you’ll find it: Maple Creek, Saskatchewan
If you’ve ever imagined yourself starring in a western, you’ll be tempted to turn this pitstop in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, into an overnight stay. At the Ghostown Blues B&B, you’ll get the full cowboy experience, from eating your dinner out of the back of a covered wagon, to sleeping under the stars. Can I get a yeehaw?
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12. Spirit Sands
Where you’ll find it: PTH 5 south of Highway 1, Spruce Woods, Manitoba
It may not technically qualify as a desert, but the sprawling sand dunes in Spruce Woods Provincial Park sure come close. Located smack in the middle of the Prairies, this arid landscape is home to Manitoba’s only lizard, two types of cacti and other rare and exotic species of plants and animals. Take a horse drawn wagon ride or hike at your own pace on the self-guided trails. (Next, check out the greatest hikes in Canada.)
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13. The World’s Largest Lumberjack
Where you’ll find it: 1123 North Shore Road, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario
When it comes to photo opps in Ontario’s Algonquin Highlands, Sawyer the lumberjack stands head and shoulders above the competition. Have your shooter stand back (WAY back—the golden giant stands 14 feet high, after all!), then grab your end of the crosscut saw to help him slice through that massive log. You’ll find this charming roadside attraction outside the Stanhope Heritage Discovery Museum, where it pays homage to the region’s rich logging history.
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14. The Big Toonie
Where you’ll find it: Old Mill Park, Campbellford, Ontario
What better way to pay tribute to the artist who designed the Toonie than to erect a 27-foot tall version of it in his hometown? Brent Townsend’s polar bear artwork for our two-dollar coin can be admired larger-than-life at this roadside attraction on the banks of the Trent River in Campbellford, Ontario. Photo tip: If you stand with your arms in the air in just the right spot, the pic will make it look as though you’re holding the colossal coin in your own two hands. You’re welcome.
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15. The Diefenbunker
Where you’ll find it: 3929 Carp Road, Carp, Ontario
Back in 1959, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker commissioned a 100,000 square-foot bunker to house key members of the military and government in the event of a nuclear attack. The site has since been decommissioned and now operates as Canada’s Cold War museum. Between its fascinating history and decidedly 21st-century attractions (including the world’s largest escape room experience), the Diefenbunker is a very necessary stop on any road trip to Ottawa.
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16. The Grand Gathering
Where you’ll find it: 564 Route de la Mer, Sainte-Flavie, Quebec
If you’re taking a road trip along the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River, keep your eyes peeled for this haunting roadside attraction near the town of Sainte-Flavie, Quebec. Emerging from the river and onto its banks are 100 life-sized concrete and wood figures designed by artist Marcel Gagnon. It’s an unexpected and somewhat eerie vignette that changes throughout the day: the figures start to submerge when the tide comes in!
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17. The Giant Squid
Where you’ll find it: Main Street, Glovers Harbour, Newfoundland
Back in 1878, the fishermen of Glovers Harbour, Newfoundland, snagged a 55-foot long giant squid. Their legendary catch still holds the Guinness Record as the world’s largest squid. What better way to commemorate the historical haul than a to-scale model of the monstrous mollusc—right on Main Street!
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18. The Giant Lobster
Where you’ll find it: 229 Main St., Shediac, New Brunswick
Not to be outdone, New Brunswick boasts its own super-sized sea monster in the town of Shediac, known as the “Lobster Capital of the World.” On your way to a delectable lobster dinner at one of the local restos, you’ll find this monument of a life-size fisherman accompanied by a larger-than-life lobster.
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19. Magnetic Hill
Where you’ll find it: Mountain Road, Moncton, New Brunswick
Drive to the bottom of this world-famous hill, shift into neutral and then brace yourself as your car starts rolling uphill. It’s a gravitational mystery you’ll have to see—and feel—to believe. Don’t miss these essential east coast experiences on your road trip through the Maritimes.
20. The World’s Largest Potato Sculpture
Where you’ll find it: 1 Dewar Lane, O’Leary, Prince Edward Island
Is it really a road trip through Prince Edward Island if you don’t stop at this 14-foot statue of a Russet Burbank spud? While you’re there be sure to grab an order of fries from a nearby chip truck and check out the charming Canadian Potato Museum.
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