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Ever been to Canada in spring? If you haven’t, then you really need to start planning a holiday during springtime as this beautiful country becomes even more spellbinding.
As the canvas of snow begins to melt away and temperatures begin to rise, you’ll see cherry blossoms turn cities into magical places and national parks come alive. There’s so much you can do during your family holidays to Canada whilst visiting at this special time of year and Sasha Naslin, the travel blogger behind The Alternative Travel Guide blog and who has visited Canada on several occasions tells us:
“Spring is a great time to visit Canada because you can witness how the unique majestic Canadian nature wakes up, and in addition, you can benefit from the discounts on airfares and accommodation before summer’s high travel season starts.”
So, with spring just around the corner, we look at the best places you can visit across Canada in spring.
Kootenay National Park
Location: British Columbia
Spring is the perfect time to get outside and explore and there’s no better place to do so than in Canada.
There are over 40 national parks dotted across Canada from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coasts, right up to the Arctic coast. The parks come in all shapes and sizes with the Georgian Bay Island National Park covering an area of just 13.5km compared to the enormous Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada standing at around 45,000 km, which is the biggest national park in the country and one of the world’s biggest too.
Sasha Naslin from The Alternative Travel Guide, says, “If you are a nature lover and seek adventure and calm, head to one of the National Parks. Kootenay National Park in British Columbia is a great choice as it’s open in springtime. You will be fascinated by its biodiversity.
“The park is home to various ecozones, ranging from tundra to mountain valleys. It is not surprising that the slogan ‘From cactus to glaciers’ became the motto of the park. Enjoy fabulous scenery of Marble Canyon, the Rockwall and Fire Landscapes, and have a relaxing bath in Radium Hot Springs.”
Here are some other national parks that are great to visit during the spring:
•Elk Island National Park (Alberta) – great for hiking, sailing and kayaking. You are also likely to see lots of bison and elk during the spring.
•Point Pelee National Park (Ontario) – spring is a great time of the year to visit with events like the Festival of Birds where you can witness the migration of several species of birds taking place.
•Prince Albert National Park (Saskatchewan) – The boreal forest and free-ranging plains come alive during spring as bison and other wildlife roam these areas. You can go canoeing, cycling or just relax and lounge on the beach as the weather heats up as well.
•Banff National Park (Alberta) – spring is one of the best times to visit this national park as the bears come out to play and you can enjoy the warmer weather by hiking trails like Tunnel Mountain and Sundance Canyon.
SEE ALSO: Canada’s Greatest National Parks
Location: British Columbia
Spring is certainly the season of rejuvenation in Vancouver as gardens bloom, whales migrate and the entire city thaws out and comes alive.
There are so many ways you can explore the city during this time of year; from shopping and dining to kayaking, golfing or exploring nature.
Chrystal Webster from the north east of England who is now the editor at the Luxury Editor, tells us about her experience of Vancouver in the spring:
“In spring this city really comes alive as the cosmopolitan vibe seamlessly intertwines with outdoor living. The whale-watching season starts in March and the following months are the best to catch a glimpse of the magnificent orcas in action.
“The farmer’s markets tend to start in May and present the perfect opportunity to mingle with locals, sample fresh produce and really experience the delicious and talented craftsmanship of each of the neighbourhoods.
“And who doesn’t enjoy a spot of alfresco dining? With the warmer weather creeping in the patios and outdoor spaces of indie run cafes are buzzing. Find your favourite spot and sit back and watch the world go by!
“Where to stay. One of our favourite places is the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver. With such a central location, all the major sights of the city are easily accessible and the opulent Asian inspired interiors ooze glamour. The acclaimed restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the ultimate in luxury Spa at Shangri-La both onsite means you don’t have to venture far to unwind and indulge after a day out exploring the city.”
There is also a whole host of festivals that take place in the city throughout spring, but the one you must visit is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (4-28 April). In spring, more than 40,000 cherry trees line the streets of Vancouver in full blossom and to celebrate, this festival puts on a calendar of events such as arts events, community bike rides and cherry blossom viewing tours. It really is worth heading to the city when this festival takes place!
Suzanne Jones, a British travel blogger who shares her experiences on her blog The Travel Bunny, agrees that heading to the festival is a must:
“Springtime means blossom time and the season arrives first on Canada’s west coast before moving east across the country. Vancouver’s cherry trees are covered in a froth of pink blossom during April and there’s a cherry blossom festival to celebrate. Join guided walks to the best blossom spots, tune in to the concert and check out the Japan Fair.”
SEE ALSO: 48 hours in Vancouver, Where to stay in Vancouver
Toronto is another great destination to visit in spring as there is a whole host of festivals and celebrations that take place during this period.
Taking place on 6 April, the Spring Children’s Market is one such event that is great to head to if you are on a family holiday in Canada. Here children have stalls selling food and offering services such as nail salons and you and your family should head here especially if you are looking to buy a souvenir.
Vancouver isn’t the only city to be home to cherry blossom trees as High Park in Toronto is another great place to see this picturesque scene.
There are also lots of festivals and events taking place over spring in Toronto and here we’ve listed some of the most popular ones:
•Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (1-30 May)
•Hot Docs Festival (25 April-5 May)
•Canadian Music Week (6-12 May)
Other popular springtime activities in Toronto include going to the city’s parks like Trinity Bellwoods Park, watching the Blue Jays play and summiting the CN Tower.
SEE ALSO: Free things to do in Toronto, Where to Stay in Toronto
Location: British Columbia
While most areas of Canada are thawing out, Blackcomb Mountain still boasts snow and as a result, it attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the globe during spring.
There is deep, plentiful snow spread across the terrain and with great descents and the stunning scenery, this will be an alpine experience that you won’t forget. It is a great way to end the ski season too!
Chrystal Webster, who writes for The Luxury Editor, recommends skiers and snowboarders visit Blackcomb Mountain during spring. She says, “Spring is a great time to visit Canada, especially for those who love the great- outdoors. As a snowboarder myself I love the fact that the snow conditions allow snow sports much later into the ‘season’ than that is offered in Europe. With a warmer temperature than in the wintery months but with the snow still powdery, spring is the ideal time to make this trip and Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is even open in June! And if you want the ultimate adrenaline kick then this area is one of the best in the world for heli-skiing and cat-skiing.”
SEE ALSO: Why you should ski in Canada?
Enjoy Canada’s iconic maple syrup
Location: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
It is Canada’s best-loved export and with the maple syrup season running from February to the end of April, heading to one of the provinces which are famed for making it a great experience.
You will be able to see how farmers extract the sugary sap from trees by drilling a small hole in the trunk and then attaching a spout with a bucket below it.
The Travel Bunny’s Suzanne Jones, says, “Think Canada, think maple syrup. In March and April towns in the maple syrup producing provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick celebrate. Festivals, tastings and tours allow visitors to learn how it’s made and of course to indulge in the sweet, stickiness.”
Here are some popular maple syrup farms you could visit during your spring holiday in Canada:
•Sandy Flat Sugar Bush & Pancake House
SEE ALSO: How to enjoy maple syrup season
Nokomis is just north of Last Mountain Regional Park and is within easy access to the regions most popular activities like canoeing, golf and hiking.
While Nokomis is considered a great year-round destination, in spring the area around Nokomis is home to a spectacular experience. At the end of April and beginning of May, thousands of birds migrate to the area.
The Last Mountain Regional Park, which is only 30km away from Nokomis, has a Bird Observatory where you can watch the unique process of catching and banding these birds. It’s the only area where you can watch migrant birds get banded, which is where little electronic tags get attached to the bird’s legs to study their movements.
If you’re inspired to experience Canada in spring, then you should take a look at our Canada holidays and choose a package that is perfect for your family.