Canada is the subject of much love and wonderment for its simply astonishing landscapes – and quite rightly, too. No other country does vast mountain ranges and glittering glacial lakes quite like here. But there are more fantastic sights to see on your holiday to Canada, and not all of them are natural…
Canada is home to some of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in America. Perhaps surprisingly, for a country that is only celebrating its 150th birthday this year, these urban centres are also bursting with history and heritage. Our recent timeline of Canada’s age shows that its colonial history stretches back hundreds of years, resulting in some stunning architecture.
Take a look at our most Instagram-worthy buildings in Canada, papped by some of our handpicked bloggers. They are just back after being sent by us on an epic trip to celebrate Canada 150. Next time you visit, follow in their footsteps and make sure you squeeze in these sights!
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC
This world-renowned gallery was founded in 1931 and is recognised as one of North America’s most respected and innovative institutions. Alongside famous Old Masters, photography and sculpture, the Vancouver Art Gallery has a particular focus on First Nations art. You can learn a lot about Canada’s native peoples here and the building is a work of art, too.
BC Parliament Buildings, Victoria
These impressive buildings are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Facing the Inner Harbour and close to the iconic Empress Hotel, they are well worth a visit. The architecture combines Baroque details with rustic Romanesque Revival features, and forms one of the focal points in Victoria. Look out for the gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver atop the dome.
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa
Sitting in pride of place on Parliament Hill, these buildings are the centrepiece to Ottawa’s beautiful downtown architecture. The Gothic-style structures feature hundreds of individually carved gargoyles and grotesques. Unlike the parliament buildings in Victoria, these are the home of the federal government. Canada’s capital city is a fitting place for them!
Covehead Harbour Lighthouse, PEI
This is one of the smallest lighthouses on Prince Edward Island (which is famous for them) but is one of the prettiest. Thanks to its location on the edge of PEI National Park and its striking colours, it is just perfect for an Instagram snap. Covehead itself has preserved the traditional fishing community way of life and adds to the quaint charm of a visit here.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg
This striking new landmark in Manitoba stands at the National Historic Site of The Forks, where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet. It’s a place which has been spiritually important for thousands of years. Distinguished architect Antoine Predock beat 63 entrants from 21 countries in a competition to design the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The finished result is a masterpiece, inside and out.
Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal
This stunning place of worship and iconic Montreal landmark has evolved over centuries. From a wooden chapel first erected in 1642 to the decoration inspired by Paris’ Sainte-Chapelle in the late 1800s, the church has a rich history. Its location in the heart of charming Old Montreal adds to the atmosphere of this special place.
Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland
Located on the tip of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, this is the most easterly point in North America. Stand with your back to the sea and the entire population of the continent is before you. Stand facing the sea and there is nothing but ocean between you and the Irish Coast. This point is the first place in the country that the rising sun touches.
Gare du Palais, Quebec City
This has to be the most glamorous railway station we’ve ever seen. As the name suggests, it looks more like a palace than the place you board the 3:15. It was built in 1915 by the Canadian Pacific railway and mirrors the famous exterior of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. Today it is the place where you can catch your VIA Rail corridor train to Montreal.
On the picturesque coastline of Newfoundland, Cavendish is a great place to stop off at to see some of the recognisable, colourful fishing huts. They are a defining feature of the region, and are simply perfect for a colourful snap. You can even see an iceberg in the background – this is a great place to spot them thanks to its proximity to ‘Iceberg Alley’.
Green Gables Heritage Place
The home of Prince Edward Island’s most famous ‘resident’ is an absolute must photo opportunity if you are in the area. Green Gables Heritage Place is the house immortalised by Lucy Maud Montgomery in her beloved novel, Anne of Green Gables. You can wander through the rooms which are straight out of the book, or even join in a ceilidh to get into the spirit.
Remember, you can share great snaps on any social platform, turn them into a postcard, or stick them into an album. With pictures like these, you’ll want everyone to see them!