Canada is a North American country that includes 10 provinces and territories. It is the world’s second largest country, covering over 3.85 million square miles. Canada’s history and culture are vast and plentiful.
Millions of people from all over the world flock to Canada annually for rest, adventure, scenery, and the landmarks. Below are 10 famous Canadian landmarks.
Famous Canadian Landmarks
1. CN Tower
The CN Tower, located in Toronto, Canada, is an impressive 1,815 foot high communication and observation tower. Completed in 1976, “CN” refers to Canadian National, the railroad company that built the tower.
In 1968, the idea for the landmark was born. The thought was to build a television and radio tower to show the strength of Canadian industry and ingenuity. The concrete tower is the world’s 9th tallest, freestanding structure.
Currently there are 3 observation decks, a revolving restaurant,and for the adventurous, an edge walk. The complex hosts over 2 million visitors a year.
2. Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a 1,001 acre park in Vancouver, British Columbia. The park is a peninsula, surrounded by the waters of the English Bay and Burrard inlet.
The iconic lighthouse on Brockton point marks the park’s most eastern point. Stanley Park is larger than New York City’s Central Park.
The land the park inhabits has a long history. The forested area was originally occupied by indigenous people for hundreds of years before being colonized by the British in 1858.
People then went on to mine for gold in the region, and it was then used as a military fortification. Finally, the land was sold to the National Park system for one dollar. The park was named after Lord Stanley, the 16th Earl of Derby.
Stanley Park is not the result of landscape architects, but of natural evolution and urban development. The over 8 million visitors a year can enjoy an array of activities including, trails, beaches, lakes, children’s play area, aquarium, monuments, and a mini railway. Trip Advisor named it a “top park in the world”.
3. Moraine Lake
Located in Alberta, Canada, Moraine Lake is glacially fed and nestled between beautiful snowy peaked mountains. Banff National Park is where Moraine lake calls home.
The lake spans 120 acres, has an elevation of 6,181 feet, and a depth of 46 feet. Since its waters are fed by the nearby glaciers, the Moraine does not crest until mid to late June. At this time, the water is a uniquely beautiful shade of azure blue. This is from the refraction of light that comes off the rock flour in the lake.
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The lake and surrounding scenery is so gorgeous that it was placed on the Canadian $20 bill. It’s also a featured image on Windows Vista and Bing search engines. There are several hiking trails and canoeing available.
4. Royal Ontario Museum
Located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, this museum of world art, culture, and natural history is the largest museum in Canada. It attracts over 1 million visitors annually.
Opened in 1914, the museum is partnered with the University of Toronto. The two share resources and expertise to give visitors the best experience possible. The Royal Museum contains over 6 million items in 40 galleries.
The collection includes:
- Canadian and European historical items
- The world’s largest collection of fossils from the Burgess shale
Some of the galleries are dedicated to:
- Costumes and design
The museum is open daily and tickets are available for purchase online.
5. Fairmont Banff Springs
This historic hotel is located in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The hotel and the town both lie inside Banff National Park. Known as the castle in the Rockies, at 195 feet high, it can be seen for miles.
Opened in 1888, by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the chateauesque style building is surrounded by rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs. The interior of the hotel is just as impressive as its exterior.
It features oak beams, stained glasswork, terrazzo floors, and engraved animal carvings. A terrace garden and a pool with a cave are offered to take in the spectacular views.
Whether you are a guest or not, the hotel invites everyone to stroll the hotel and enjoy the many activities.
Guests and visitors can enjoy afternoon tea, shop at one of the many boutiques, listen to one of the many ghost stories (rumor has it the hotel is haunted), or play a round of golf on the same course that once hosted Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
The Fairmont Banff Springs has the distinction of being a National Historic site of Canada.
6. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
The centerpiece of this park, located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, is the expansive suspension bridge. The bridge is 460 feet long and is 230 feet above the Capilano River. Over 1.2 million adventurous people visit the park each year.
This famous Canadian bridge was designed in 1889 by George Grant MacKay, a Civil engineer from Scotland. Originally made of hemp rope and planks, the bridge was replaced with cable in 1903. In addition to this bridge with a beautiful birds’ eye view of nature, the park has many other attractions.
There are 7 footbridges suspended between giant fir trees 98 feet above the forest floor, historical attractions, monuments, cultural events, children’s activities, a trading post, and a month-long Halloween celebration in October.
7. Fairmont Le Château
Located in the “Old Quebec” section of Quebec City, the grand hotel is a stone’s throw from many attractions. The hotel building is a classic example of the chateauesque style of architecture.
The chateau was designed by Bruce Price and opened in 1893. It was one of the first of the grand hotels opened by the Canadian Pacific Railway president, William Cornelius Van Horne. His goal was to build a series of majestic hotels that would attract travelers to his railroad.
The hotel was built upon a bluff overlooking the iconic St. Lawrence River. The massive castle-like structure is 260 feet high, has 18 floors, 610 rooms, 4 restaurants, spa facilities, and a pool.
While maintaining its historical charm and majestic stature, the hotel has managed to keep up with modern needs. They offer a gym, free babysitting services, and pets are allowed.
Fairmont Le Chateau is a UNESCO World Heritage site. They were voted one of the top 35 hotels in all of Canada.
8. Art Gallery of Ontario
With over 120,000 pieces, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the most well known and distinguished museums of art in North America. Located in downtown Toronto, the museum was established in 1900.
In 1911, the organization was bequeathed The Grange mansion to house the growing collection. Over the years, more property was purchased and extensions built.
Today, the museum’s complex is more than 480,000 square feet. The collection includes a large quantity of art by Canadian artists dating from the pre-confederation era to modern day.
Featured artists include:
- Tom Thomson
- Cornelius Krieghoff
- David Milne
- Alex Coleville
- Christi Belcourt
There is also a gallery dedicated to Indigenous artists and the history of the Indigenous people.
In addition to paintings and prints, the museum has a large collection of historical artifacts, diaries, and papers significant to Canadian art and its progression.
9. Banff National Park
Established in 1885, Banff is the oldest national park in Canada. Located in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, the park is 2564 square miles.
Its characteristics include mountainous terrain, glaciers, ice fields, dense forests, and alpine landscapes. A unique characteristic is the town that lies within the park.
Banff park has a subarctic climate with pine and spruce trees that makes it perfect for cold-loving wildlife.
Some animals that call Banff park home are:
- Grizzly bears
- Big horn sheep
- Hundreds of species of birds
In addition to the natural beauty and wildlife, this national park also offers an endless number of activities.
The over 4 million visitors a year have enjoyed:
- Dips in the upper hot springs
- Ranger led tour of the original hot springs
- Snow tubing
- Rock climbing
- Horseback riding
Banff village, located inside the park, offers shopping, restaurants, hotels, art galleries, and a host of other activities. The park is protected by the Canadian National Park System and is a Canadian Historical site.
10. The Butchart Gardens
Located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, The Butchart Gardens is an internationally known, 118 year old display garden spanning 55 acres. In 2004, on its 109th birthday, the garden was given national historical site status.
The garden was started quite accidentally by cement manufacturer Robert Pim Butchart and his wife Jennie. Butchart owned a home near his quarry in Brentwood bay. In 1907, the Butcharts commissioned Japanese floral designer Isabaro Kishida to build a garden at their home.
By 1909, Butchart’s quarry had exhausted its stone. Mrs. Butchart again commissioned Kishida to construct a sunken garden in the quarry.
Butchart Gardens grew from there. Today, visitors can delight in the beautiful Japanese gardens, Italian gardens, Ross fountain area, and the Star Pond area. As well as the over 900 varieties of bedding plants.
The garden also has a wide variety of seasonal activities, including fireworks and music during the summer and ice skating in the winter.