Photos of Canada’s stunning scenery pop from the pages of glossy magazines. Think snowy peaks against blue skies, glittering lakes surrounded by pine forest, and a token grizzly waving a paw. But what is it like in real life? Can it live up to those sleek promo shots? These 15 amateur snaps from summer holidaymakers prove that Canada is every bit as beautiful as the professional photographers would have you believe.
1. Peyto Lake, Alberta
One lucky holiday-goer sent in this cracking shot of Peyto Lake in Banff National Park. The startling turquoise colour is thanks to the glacier which feeds the lake. The glacier grinds the mountainside into a mineral-rich ‘rock flour’ which is deposited in the lake. It’s those suspended, reflective particles which give Canada’s glacial lakes their eye-popping hues.
2. Glacier Bay on an Alaska Cruise
View these otherworldly pinnacles on a cruise from Vancouver to the wilds of Alaska’s Glacier National Park. The ice remains even in June when this shot was taken. In the warmer months you can watch ice chunks the size of houses “calving” away from the glaciers and crashing spectacularly into the ocean.
3. Bow Lake, Alberta
Thanks, Kim for sending in this great June snap on Facebook! Bow Lake lies along the Icefield Parkway – one of the most scenic driving routes in the world. The parkway takes in dozens of stunning natural attractions on its route between Banff and Jasper.
4. White-sided dolphin, BC
This adorable ocean critter was papped off Canada’s West Coast. Tours around British Columbia offer reliable sightings of dolphins and whales breaching, particularly in the coastal waters off Vancouver Island. Go in the summer months between May and October for the best chance of spotting whales and other marine life.
5. Moraine Lake, Alberta
Moraine Lake in the valley of the Ten Peaks is one of the most photographed lakes in Canada. It reaches its crest – and the height of its beautiful blue colour – in late June after it has been fed by glacial meltwater.
6. Lake Louise, Alberta
Glacier-fed lakes like Lake Louise might be chilly, but when the summer temperature in the Rockies can top 25°C you’ll want to cool off! Take your selfie stick like John for an enviable Facebook profile pic.
7. Bald eagle, BC
Our Facebook fan snapped this impressive shot in British Columbia. These majestic birds are surprisingly massive in real life, and are easy to spot all over the West Coast. Expect to see plenty – including nesting pairs – if you travel on the Rocky Mountaineer.
8. Calgary Stampede
One of our absolute favourite events of the summer, the famous Stampede takes place in Calgary each July. Our Marketing Manager Annabel had an arena-side view of the cowboys getting geared up for the rodeo.
9. Coal Harbour, Vancouver
Coal Harbour may be right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, but it’s also a peaceful and beautiful spot. Bursting with natural beauty in an urban surrounding, it sums up Vancouver in the summertime.
10. Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
The mile long aerial journey on the Grouse Mountain Skyride is a must-do if you’re in Vancouver. Just 20 minutes from downtown, Grouse Mountain’s lofty vantage point offers great photo ops with views over Vancouver and Vancouver Island, as team member Georgi discovered.
11. Granville Market, Vancouver
One of the most vibrant and colourful places to visit, Granville Market on Vancouver’s little Granville Island is the perfect place pick up a picnic lunch on a sunny day.
12. Rocky Mountaineer, Banff
Gleaming in all its splendour on a sunny morning, the Rocky Mountaineer is majestic. For the holiday treat of a lifetime, ride this luxury train through the Rockies in summer and spot the bears out of hibernation.
13. Niagara Falls
The summer weather on Canada’s East Coast can be a little rainier, but this fantastic panorama proves the scenery is just as beautiful with a moody sky.
14. Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
The pretty Francophone city of Montreal comes alive each year with the Canadian Grand Prix. As our team member Richard discovered, the atmosphere at the Île Notre-Dame based racetrack is electric.
15. Toronto – Day & Night!
Day or night, Toronto is a vibrant place to be. The city hots up in the summer with a fantastic array of festivals and events. Richard recommends a drink at the Amsterdam Brewery on the waterfront, where you can sip al fresco and people-watch as city life bustles by.