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13 Reasons It’s Great Living in Canada

Everybody knows about our publicly-funded healthcare, clean and beautiful landscape, and the overall amazing quality of life that come with living in Canada. But what about all the little things that make it great to be a Canuck? Here are 13 often-overlooked reasons it’s awesome to live in Canada.

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Living in Canada - Yoga at ParliamentPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Do Yoga on Parliament Hill

Heading to Ottawa this summer? Every Wednesday afternoon through to the end of August, the lawn of our nation’s capital is covered in yoga enthusiasts! This unusual tradition years ago with an instructor from a local Lululemon store and several students, and it has since morphed into a weekly one-hour free class, often with about 1,000 participants. The largest group so far has reached 2,500 people. Here are 12 more awesome things you didn’t know were in Canada.

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Living in Canada - kayak with icebergPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Paddle Past Icebergs

 

One of the best things about living in Canada is the opportunity to spot icebergs, and in Newfoundland you can do it from shore, on a tour boat or even a guided sea kayak adventure. These great white giants break off of glaciers in western Greenland and float south along a route known as Iceberg Alley. You can even spot their positions via satellite using.icebergfinder.com. If you’re already touring Newfoundland, here are 10 more experiences to add to your East Coast itinerary.

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Living in Canada - Gray whale migrationPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Watch the World’s Longest Mammal Migration

 

Every spring about 20,000 gray whales swim north near the western coast of Vancouver Island towards summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. They’ll cover a 16,000 to 22,500 km round trip, with their spring journey bringing them right to the Vancouver coast. Some whales can be spotted from shore, and boat tours are readily available. In mid-March, Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve celebrate with the annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival.

Psst—Tofino also made our list of the best beaches in Canada!

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Living in Canada - Northern lightsPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can See Mother Nature’s Most Spectacular Light Show

 

Living in Canada, we’re treated to some of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, including the legendary Northern Lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis). The best seats in the house for this spectacular light show belong to the folks in Yellowknife. Why there, specifically? Well, there’s the convenience of accommodations in the territorial capital, the landscape is mostly flat, there are plenty of clear nights, and—most importantly—it’s one of Canada’s most active areas for the Northern Lights. (In fact, here’s what it’s like to see the Aurora Borealis.) The best time for viewing is mid-August to April. Don’t miss our countdown of Canada’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders.

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Living in Canada - Great TrailPhoto: Shutterstock

You Have Access To The World’s Longest Recreational Trail

 

Four out of five people living in Canada are within 30 minutes of the epic 24,000 km Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail). Completed in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, it’s now the world’s longest recreational trail, spanning all 13 provinces and territories.

Can’t get enough of the great outdoors? Don’t miss the 10 greatest hikes in Canada.

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Living in Canada - Swim with polar bearsPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Swim with a Polar Bear

 

Only in Cochrane, Ontario, will you get an opportunity to have your photo taken while swimming with a real polar bear. Okay, not really—but the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat is an unforgettable experience that’s the next best thing (and much safer, to boot). In a small wading pool next to the polar bear pool, summer visitors can have their photo snapped with a 740 lb. giant. The trick? The polar bear and the wading pool are separated by thick, clear Plexiglas. Here are more polar bear pictures that will melt your heart!

Don’t miss these other quirky roadside attractions across Canada.

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Living in Canada - Hotel de GlacePhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Sleep in an Ice Hotel

 

The days of igloos may be long gone, but each winter, brilliant architects living in Canada build whole hotels out of ice, with beautifully carved bars, chapels and even bedroom suites with fireplaces. The largest and most famous is Quebec City’s Ice Hotel, and now Montreal has a similar hotel, complete with ice rooms, igloos and an ice restaurant. If you’re not so sure if an overnight stay is for you, you can drop in during the winter season for a day-trip.

Looking for more one-of-a-kind accommodations? Don’t miss our countdown of Canada’s greatest hotels.

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Living in Canada - Canoe Yukon RiverPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Take Part in the World’s Largest Canoe and Kayak Race

 

Starting in Whitehorse, kayak and canoe paddlers from around the world race day and night some 444 miles (715 kilometers) to Dawson City, Yukon, in the annual Race To the Midnight Sun. It’s a gruelling race, and true to its name, by the time the competition ends each year, paddlers will be so far north the sun won’t set until nearly midnight.

Looking for more cool weather escapes? Check out Canada’s best winter travel destinations.

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Living in Canada - Bay of FundyPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Paddle or Walk Through One of the World’s Most Dynamic Bays

 

Every day, more than 100 billion tons of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy, which stretches between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia—that’s more than all of the world’s freshwater rivers combined! The tide is so powerful it exposes ancient fossils in the rock faces along the shore, and causes water to rise up in some spots to more than 50 feet. At sites such as Hopewell Rocks, you can kayak around flowerpot islands, then walk on the ocean floor just hours later. Here are a few of the amazing sights you can expect to see when you walk the legendary Fundy Trail.

Check out more experiences that deserve to be on every Canadian’s bucket list.

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Living in Canada - dinosaur fossilsPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Visit a Real Jurassic Park

 

Want to feel like a real Indiana Jones (or perhaps Alan Grant, for all you Jurassic Park fans)? The badlands in the East Block of Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan are the richest resource for dinosaur fossils in Canada (and among the richest in the world). Parks Canada has a visitor centre to help guide you through this real dinosaur park, though there are some canyons close enough that you can explore yourself and even take photographs of the site’s plethora of fossil finds.

Already been to Grasslands? Explore 50 more gorgeous parks across Canada.

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Living in Canada - Athbasca GlacierPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Walk on the World’s Most Accessible Glacier

 

The Icefields Parkway, a spectacular 232 km route that winds its way through the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper, takes you past the foot of the world’s most accessible glacier. From mid-May until mid-September, you can hop aboard an off-road vehicle and go right out onto the Columbia Icefields Glacier—just be sure to watch your step.

Planning your own trek through the Canadian Rockies? Consider taking the journey on the legendary Rocky Mountaineer, and don’t miss our countdown of the best things to do in Banff.

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Living in Canada - Vintage Canada postage stampPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Put Your Face on Postage Stamps

 

Haven’t quite become Prime Minister yet? Don’t worry, you can still commemorate yourself by having your own stamps made. Canada Post has a service that lets you create stamps using your own photos, logos, etc. You can design them using their website or mobile app. Don’t miss these other mind-boggling facts about Canada.

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Living in Canada - Belugas in Churchill, ManitobaPhoto: Shutterstock

You Can Snorkel With Beluga Whales

 

Western Hudson’s Bay is home to about 27,000 little white beluga whales, and near the east coast community of Churchill, Manitoba, about 3,000 belugas gather each summer. Local tour operators will take you out to view, or even to have and “in the water” encounter. Cold water snorkelling gear is provided, fortunately.

Looking for more getaways in the Great White North? Check out the 10 places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.