Visiting Canada

WHERE TO GO

Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world. Don’t underestimate it’s size. It’s a big country but has a relatively small population of 35 million, so there are lots of open spaces. It can be tricky deciding where to go and what to see. Moose focuses on the prime regions in both east and west that will show you the very best of Canada.

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Moose offers tour routes on both sides of the country. We don’t cover the middle of Canada, as we chose to spare you the 3000 km of prairie flats. Wheat fields, while interesting for the first couple of km’s, soon become a little repetitive with 2997 km to go! But, we dig into all the amazing regions at each end of the country. Pick one side or both, but come experience the real Canada with Moose!

Canada has a variety of landscapes to enjoy.  There are the amazing modern cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, or Victoria.  But Canada’s real uniqueness comes in the form of the open spaces in between the cities and towns.  The wilderness is where it’s at!  You can see waterfalls, rivers, lakes, beaches, mountains, glaciers, giant trees, hot springs, wildlife and so much more…

Be bold and adventurous, come join Moose and get out there to experience it!

Athabasca-campfire

Sit by a campfire, roast a marshmallow, grab a bevvie and see the millions of stars in the Milky Way.

 

WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?

Expect a variety of weather.  We can bring you into Canada’s desert to a great beach with 40C heat and the next day you can be high in the mountains, standing on a glacier, experiencing the chill of snowflakes landing on your face! Make sure you bring clothes that can accommodate the weather changes.  However, in the Summer you will find most days are warm or even hot.  We love getting out and about to do walks, hike and swims.

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IS IT EXPENSIVE?

Costs of most things are going to be similar to the USA and Australia (not quite the bargain you’ll find in South East Asia). Moose will help you get the best deals and show you local happy hours and specials.  Hostel dorm accommodation is roughly between $20-$40 Canadian.  Expect an average of $34-$35 per night, but the hostels are generally a high standard. Food is kept affordable while on tour as Moose stops at supermarkets and all the hostels have kitchens.  There are also plenty of reasonably priced restaurant and cafe options.  We do include some meals (see itineraries for details) and most of the hostels have an included breakfast so you are not going to “break the bank” to eat while with Moose.

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IS IT SAFE?

Canada is a safe country to travel. As a multicultural country we are home to many different ethnicities and relate well to people from all over the world.  People are generally friendly and welcoming to visitors.  Our cities have low crime rates, but like anywhere, you will still want to take precautions and not leave valuables unattended or hitch hike with strangers.

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DO YOU HAVE TO SPEAK FRENCH?

Canada has two official languages, English and French.  French is mainly the language of choice in Quebec and some small communities in New Brunswick.  English is the main language in the rest of Canada.  In Quebec, the main city of Montreal is highly bi-lingual so English or French works.  Once you get out of Montreal, the locals become primarily French speaking.  Quebec City, an amazing and historic city, is mainly French but English will get you by in the main part of town, the locals are friendly so you don’t have to worry!

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CAN I SEE BEARS?

Wildlife viewing is one of our most unique features.  Bears, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, mountain goats, whales, racoons, squirrels, eagles, beavers, and many more animals are commonly sighted on Moose tours.  We go out of our way to get on the roads where you are most likely to see these creatures and our buses are smaller and agile, so we are able to get into places and pull over to view the wildlife!

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WHAT ARE THE CITIES LIKE?

The big three cities are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Toronto – With a population of 5.5 million, our most populous city is the industrial heart of Canada.  Toronto is the 4th laregst city in North America (after New York, LA and Chicago).  The home to most corporate head offices, it is the uncontested business centre of the country.  Remarkably clean for a city of its size, Toronto is a multicultural city with many things to see and do.  Toronto has a humid continental climate, with warm humid summers and cold winters.

Montreal – With 3.8 million people, Montreal is Canada’s 2nd largest city (9th in North America).  Once the business centre of Canada, it was surpassed by Toronto in the 1970’s when trade with the USA surpassed our reliance on the former colonial ties with England and France.  Still a large, colorful and mulitcultural city, Montreal is a great place for the tourist with plenty of festivals and life in the city.  Montreal is also in the humid continental climate zone with the warm humid summers and cold winters.

Vancouver – With 2.5 million people, Vancouver is Canada’s 3rd largest city.  Vancouver has a completely different vibe that its eastern counterparts, and perhaps more in common with the easy going Westcoast USA that Eastern Canada.  The city core is one of the most densely populated city centres in North America (behind only New York, San Francisco, and Mexico City).  This brings a lot of life into the city core, which is exciting and fun to visit. Consistently ranked in the top 3 cities in the world for livability and quality of life, it is a very attractive and clean city where the mountains meet the sea.  A highly multicultural city with strong Asian influences due to it’s location on the Pacific as a gateway to Asia.  The climate is Oceanic, which features warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Other Cities of Note – Canada has other, smaller, cities of interest.  Quebec City is a historic city of 500,000 with a unique walled old city that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Ottawa – the capital of Canada has a population of 900,000 and is home to the Parliament buildings and other points of interest. Victoria – a city of 350,000 is the capital of BC.  The “garden city” has an attractive harbour and a beautiful downtown core that shows off an “english” flair, which ranks it as one the country’s top tourist cities. Calgary is a city of 1 million and is a mini version of Toronto, with an emphasis on business.  As the centre of the oil and gas industry, Calgary is subject to boom and bust periods, but it is an clean city only 1.5 hours from the Rocky Mountains and home to the world famous Stampede (the world’s largest rodeo)!

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