"8000 km Coast-to-Coast (5000 miles)" Top 5 Page for this destination Canada by Bwana_Brown
Canada Travel Guide: 41,358 reviews and 97,592 photos
At almost 10-million square kilometres in size and stretching 8000-km from the Atlantic shores of Newfoundland to the Pacific waters of British Columbia, not to mention north to the Pole, Canada is the second largest country in the world (but still only half the size of Russia!). I was born on the Atlantic coast, so had a lot of ground to cover before I could finally say in 2001 that I had been to all ten Provinces!
Both the landscape and demographics of the population change as you make the journey westward from the eastern shores, where the Vikings landed in the year 1000, way ahead of the next batch of European explorers who set foot in North America in 1497. The rugged island of Newfoundland (and its mainland section of Labrador) is a little world of its own, not even joining Canada until 1949, despite having Europeans of one sort or another fishing in its waters since about 1500.
The three small 'Maritime Provinces' of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island make up another unique part of Canada with their laid-back way of life stemming from the traditional fishing, logging and farming activities. This area is a mixture of English and French cultures (with New Brunswick being the only bilingual province in Canada) in an area rich in coastlines and forested rolling interiors.
Then there is Quebec, the bastion of French culture in North America as the proud inhabitants dating back to the mid-1500s protect and hold onto their values despite being surrounded by a sea of English-speaking people in North America. Being Canada's largest province, it has both the rugged coasts, remote and watery lands stretching far to the north and also two of the world's great cultural cities - Montreal and Quebec City.
Next door is Ontario, the economic engine of Canada and the bastion of the Engish settlers since long before the formation of the country in 1867. With the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, Toronto and its remote northern areas Ontario too has a lot to offer. It takes a full day just to drive along the wild northern shore of Lake Superior if you are heading west to Manitoba.
The Prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are where the country gradually changes from the rocks and trees of the east into the flat lands where wheat and other feed crops thrive. It is also an area where bone-chilling Arctic winds and summer tornados can make life very interesting! The immigration policies of the early 1900s led to thousands of people of Eastern European and Scandanavian heritage settling this broad area of Canada.
Suddenly rising up from the Prairies are the Rocky Mountains, where Alberta gives way to British Columbia. BC is another unique part of Canada, thanks to the warm and moisture-laden airs of the Pacific Ocean being caught on the mountain ranges that make up BC, generally making this the most temperature-friendly part of the country. It also boasts a very large Asian population because of its traditional links with the Far East.
Although I have had a couple of trips 1000-km (600-miles) or so north (one to Labrador and another to the James Bay/Hudson Bay part of Quebec), I have yet to make it to the far northern areas of Nunavut, Northwest Territories or the Yukon Territory - despite having them on my 'wish-list' for years.
This Canada page will take you across from Newfoundland to British Columbia as I recount some of the things that impressed me on my travels. This Intro photo is of an abandoned homestead I came across in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia (my 'Greenwood' page) and it is typical of many that you will see across the country as a result of the migration of people off the land as they head for the easier city life.
- Pros:Friendly, safe and lots to see and do
- Cons:Too big to cover in a lifetime
- In a nutshell:I love it!
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