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Canadian Tourism Commission Releases Signature Experiences Collection

Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. (By Benson Kua)

Ever been asked what are must-see spots by friends visiting from abroad and drawn a blank, or thought about taking a trip to another province but not known what’s on offer besides a city stop?  The Canadian Tourism Commission has released their Signature Experiences Collection. The federally funded program has released an initial list of 48 (undoable in 48 hours, so don’t get any ideas of a Guinness-worthy task) attractions to see, spanning east to west. Aimed at high-end tourists from Europe and Australia, they’re not exactly the waterfalls and whale watching your parents took you on when you were kids.

The list does a fair job of spanning what Canada is known for–from rainforest tours and dinosaur excavations to kayaking and dogsledding–and there are also some more leisurely pursuits like brewery and winery tours and rail routes. While most Canadians won’t find anything too surprising about the list, one eyebrow raising omission is that none of the 48 include a trip to Ottawa. The CTC told Toronto Star travel editor Jim Byers that they hope to have the list up to 100 by the end of the year, though whether these will start to encompass more cultural pursuits (so far the only activity close to theatre, museums and galleries is the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario). And while any Canadian from coast to coast will tell you that our climate isn’t nearly as unpredictable as some might think, most of the activities call for fairly temperate weather.

A full list of all 48 is below. Which do you consider must-sees for Canadians and visitors? What would you like to see added to the list?

British Columbia

  • The Inside Passage Coastal Adventure – BC Ferries Vacations
  • Great Bear Rainforest – Bluewater Adventures
  • High Flying Summer Adventures – CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures
  • Granville Island Market Tour – Edible Canada
  • Eye of the Wind/Adrenaline Adventures – Grouse Mountain
  • Organic Winery and Bistro – Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Luxury in the Wilderness – Sonora Resort
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights – Rocky Mountaineer

Alberta

  • Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House Ride – Brewster Adventures
  • Journey Atop a River of Ice – Brewster Travel Canada
  • The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth – Calgary Stampede
  • Dinosaurs Unearthed – Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology
  • Fondue with a View: Chocolate Mountain High – Great Divide Nature Interpretation

Saskatchewan

  • Cypress Hills Cowboy Adventure – Historic Reesor Ranch
  • Canada’s Iconic Mounted Heroes – Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre

Manitoba

  • Marvels of Manitoba – Churchill Nature Tours
  • Birds, Bears and Belugas – Churchill Wild
  • Polar Bears by Tundra Buggy – Frontiers North

Ontario

  • Unique Sky High Adrenaline Rush – CN Tower
  • Colonial Life in the 19th Century British Military – Fort Henry
  • Reliving the Days of the North West Company and the Canadian Fur Trade – Fort William
  • Historical Park Beyond the Stage – Stratford Shakespeare Festival
  • Ice Wine Tours and Harvest Table Dinners – Inniskillin Winery
  • Flightseeing over Niagara/Heli-Wineries Experience – Helicopter Tours

Quebec

  • Icy and Urban Adventure – Ice Hotel Canada
  • Sugaring-Off – Sucrerie de la Montagne
  • The Grand Festival of Winter – Quebec Winter Carnival
  • A Closer Look at Nature – Space for Life Montreal
  • Mountain Get-away – Chic-Choc Lodge

New Brunswick

  • Hopewell Rocks and Bay of Fundy Coastal Tour – Roads to Sea Guided Tours
  • Dive into Acadian culture – Village Historique Acadien
  • Lobster Tales – Shediac Bay Cruises

Nova Scotia

  • Step Back in Time to the Birthplace of Great Beer – Alexander Keith’s Brewery
  • History on High: Halifax Citadel – the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
  • Cape Breton Island Multi-Sport Kayak, Bike and Hike – Freewheeling Adventures
  • Tidal Bore River Rafting and Mud Sliding – Schubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Park and Cottages

Prince Edward Island

  • Tong and Shuck – Future Seafoods Inc.
  • Giant Bar Clam Dig Adventure – Tranquility Cove Adventures

Newfoundlandland and Labrador

  • Sagas and Shadows – L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada
  • A Guided Adventure on Your Own – CapeRace
  • Iceberg Viewing with the Iceberg Man – Twillingate Island Boat Tours Ltd.

Yukon

  • Through the Last Great Gold Rush of 1898 – Klondike National Historic Sites of Canada
  • Alsek and Nahanni River Rafting Adventure – Canadian River Expeditions/ Nahanni River Adventures

Northwest Territories

  • Aurora Wonderland by Dogsled – Beck’s Kennels
  • Lodge Life and Cultural Traditions – Yellow Dog Lodge

Nunavut

  • Cruising Adventures Redefined – Adventure Canada

National

  • Historic Railway Hotels – Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
  • Trans-Canada Experience on the Canadian – VIA Rail Canada

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