Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal... These cities nurture their differences and reveal their treasures to curious travellers. Set out to conquer the Great West before getting wet at Niagara Falls. Finally, wrap it up with Montreal, Canada's culture capital.
Days 1 and 2: Vancouver, Canadian dolce vita
Sophisticated and green... Vancouver is incredibly rich. Dive into Western Canada and discover a city full of surprises.
Travel back in time at the Museum of Anthropology
During your stay in Vancouver, you will quickly discover that Native American culture is prevalent in British Columbia. To learn more about the first nations, head to the fascinating Museum of Anthropology. You will find out the names of the 12 native American nations, the languages they spoke and their way of life. Arthur Erickson's state-of-the-art architecture features a large array of ethnic artefacts from around the world, most of which carry their beliefs and humanist values. At the entrance, immense totems from different tribes set the tone for this cultural exploration.
Vancouver Museum of Anthropology
6393 NW Marine Dr
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
+1 604 822 5087
Cross the mythical Capilano suspension bridge
Certainly one of the most popular attractions in the city, this iconic suspension bridge located in North Vancouver will offer you a dizzying experience. 137 metres long, it spans over the Capilano River at a 70-metre height. Do not miss this spectacular attraction that will take your breath away in a completely unique panoramic landscape!
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
3735 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1
+1 604 985 7474
Where to eat?
Throwing a barbecue on the beach is a must to really experience local customs in Vancouver. Enjoy a sunny evening and settle with family or friends on one of the many beaches: Third Beach, Kitsilano, West Vancouver and Point Gray provide self-serve barbecues. Just bring coal and food and enjoy a delicious grilled feast by the water.
Where to sleep?
The Burrard is the perfect place to stay for a night or more in Vancouver. This former motel has kept its colourful 1950s patina with a “Miami-like” feel in the patio, planted with palm trees. The rooms are modern, comfortable and pleasant. The real plus of The Burrard? Bikes for rent to energetically explore the city!
1100 Burrard Street
Vancouver, V6Z 1Y7
+1 604 239 8461
Days 3 and 4: Toronto's melting pot
Toronto is a typical North American global city that offers a trip around the world in just one stop.
Get blown away at Niagara Falls
If you are staying in Toronto, Niagara Falls is a must-see that lives up to its reputation. Spreading over Ontario and the State of New York in the United States, they are made up of three waterfalls, the most famous of which, the "Horseshoe", is on the Canadian side. Once there, board a ferry and get up very close to the falls, make it to the top of Skylon Tower (236 metres high) or take a helicopter for an amazing view of the falls.
A shot of art at Power Plant Gallery
The Power Plant Gallery is a former coal power plant converted into a contemporary art gallery that welcomes artists from around the world. Heaven for upcoming talents and major stop for contemporary art lovers, the Power Plant Gallery is a hub of Canadian art showcasing temporary exhibitions in turn thematic or devoted to a single artist. The Power Plant Gallery is headed by Gaëtane Verna, for whom "art constantly renews our perception of the world", an optimistic vision to reflect on during your visit.
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
231 Queens Quay W
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8
+1 (0)416 973 4949
Where to eat?
At Mildred's Temple Kitchen, Donna Dooher serves comfort food that you will devour all the while hoping your plate remains full. The restaurant is set up in a former warehouse displaying an industrial decor adorned by small wild-flower bouquets. Donna revisits Canadian staples with a gourmet twist: fish donuts, pork chops or even tapas. In the summertime, the sunny terrace is the perfect place to relax after a day on the town.
Mildred's Temple Kitchen
Shops at King Liberty
85 Hanna Ave
Toronto, ON M6K 3S3
+1(0)416 588 5695
Where to sleep?
For all great dreamers and movies buffs, The Gladstone is a must. Each of the 37 rooms has been decorated by a different artist based on a theme – you will be (pleasantly) surprised. The hotel is a colourful backdrop for numerous works of art, nicely displayed around arched windows and brick walls.
The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St W
Toronto, ON M6J 1J6
+1 (0)416 531 4635
Days 5 and 6: Montreal, patchwork of different atmospheres
Next to the skyscrapers, Montreal offers intimate and charming neighbourhoods that exude the sweet life.
Montreal's luscious green heart
As a 1,620 sqm oasis of greenery in the heart of the city, the Montreal Biodome houses some of America's most beautiful flora and fauna (including penguins, beavers and crocodiles). Meaning “house of life”, the biodome exposes visitors to genuine American nature, striking and surprising, whilst recreating original climate.
4777, avenue Pierre-de-Coubertin
Montreal H1V 1B3
+1 514 868 3000
Old Town Montreal, back in time
You will want to visit Old Montreal by foot. Let your curiosity lead you through the streets and cobbled-stone alleys along the St. Lawrence River. The old stone buildings mix with the newer ones. Enter the Notre-Dame Basilica, an architectural jewel stunning both outside and inside: the choir, organ and stained-glass windows are splendid. The Bonsecours market, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, now houses the headquarters of the Conseil des métiers d'arts du Québec and a dozen designer boutiques.
Where to eat?
At the end of the day, after wandering through Old Montreal all afternoon, head to Les 400 Coups restaurant for dinner. Enjoy local and creative cuisine, beautifully crafted by chef Jonathan Rassi. Indulge in the beef gravlax or snow crab with grilled cabbage, swede, celery and dashi. In the room, the black brick walls, high ceiling and wooden bar all contribute to creating an intimate atmosphere.
Les 400 Coups
400, rue Notre-Dame Est
Montreal, QC H2Y 1C8
+1 514 985 0400
Where to sleep?
On the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the Auberge du Vieux-Port (Old Port Inn) takes you back in time: stone-walls, exposed beams and antique furniture. In this old factory dating back to 1882, modern touches come in the shape of flat screen TVs and a Jacuzzi. In the evening, climb up to the rooftop terrace and enjoy the view of the Old Port. In the summertime you may also enjoy a meal before the panorama of the old town.
It is almost time to go back home, and nostalgia already sinks in. In just a few days, Canada has revealed beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, a sense of welcoming, rich and ancient history… and yet there is still so much to see!
Auberge du Vieux-Port
97, rue de la Commune Est
Montreal, QC H2Y 1J1
+1 888 666 7678