Four of the finest cities to visit for a luxury Canada break
When it comes to a luxurious rural getaway, few nations have quite as much to offer as Canada. With its sprawling landscapes made up of glistening lakes, snow-capped mountains and pretty waterfalls, it’s about as picturesque as any holiday destination could get – but despite the wealth of natural beauty on offer, Canada is about so much more than its breath-taking vistas alone.
Its numerous exciting cities are often overlooked by the luxury traveller, but the likes of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal have a lot to offer those in search of a high-end getaway – and those are just for starters. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Canadian culture, schmooze with the nation’s high-rollers at an action-packed casino resort or dine out on some of the very finest cuisine from around the world, Canada’s top cities have got it all.
Getting to Canada couldn’t be simpler, with hundreds of flights leaving from London every week. Visa-exempt foreign nationals must have a valid ETA to enter Canada, allowing you to stay for up to six months and with validity lasting for up to five years – so don’t forget to apply at eta-canada.com before you leave.
Here are our top four picks for a luxury city break in Canada – it may be a little further to go than Europe, but they certainly won’t disappoint.
The largest city in Canada and perhaps also the most iconic, Toronto should be your first port of call on any city break. Although it is not the capital city, you could be mistaken for thinking it was – with a slick cityscape characterised by towering skyscrapers, and all the bustle and excitement you’d find in New York or London.
Home to the iconic CN Tower, which was once the world’s tallest standing at 1,815 feet, there is plenty to see and do in Toronto. Head to the Bohemian districts in Queen Street West – cited in Vogue magazine as one of the coolest neighbourhoods on the planet – to find a plethora of great luxury restaurants, theatres and bars. No other area of the city offers quite as much diversity or excitement – and if you’re looking to invest in some new designer goods whilst you’re here, then there are plenty of luxury boutiques and shops, too.
The second largest city in Canada, Montreal is a bustling metropolis boasting a rich culture and history. Awash with French influences, it has a laid-back sense of cool about it, with a chic and sophisticated edge making it a stylish and trendy hotspot you’ll want to visit more than once.
The city’s official language is French and spoken by more than half of the population – so brush up on your bonjours if you’re planning to visit. A cultural hub that plays host to more than 100 festivals a year, expect a busy urban atmosphere and international feel. Here, there are fine-dining eateries aplenty to choose from, offering top class cuisine from around the world.
Vancouver has got a lot going for it, and has been named ‘the best place to live in the world’ on more than one occasion as a result. Surrounded by the natural beauty of mountains and water from all angles, creeks and inlets penetrate deep inland, making for some great views if you’re staying on the upper floors of some of the city’s very finest hotels.
Vancouver is fast becoming a popular hotspot for tourists, and its diverse and friendly population tend to welcome visitors with open arms. If you’re looking for the perfect balance of beaches, nature and urban city cool, then this place has got it all.
Renowned for its scenic beauty and endless outdoor activities, Ottawa is a small and friendly city that bucks the trend of capital cities worldwide. Considerably smaller than Canada’s other key cities, it offers a charming and more personal feel when compared to its counterparts – it’s clean, civilised and friendly, and that’s all part of its charm.
From the busy ByWard market and Parliament buildings to its range of eclectic restaurants and addictive café culture, there’s a lot to love about Ottawa – and it’s also a great base for exploring the Canadian wilderness on its doorstep in Ontario. When it comes to luxurious five-star hotels, take your pick – we love the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, which enjoys a privileged location close to some of the city’s main sights.
Whichever city you choose to visit in Canada, you’re never far away from the mountains and lakes that make this country so naturally beautiful – so if you’re torn between the two holiday styles, then it couldn’t be simpler to combine the two. Why not take a longer trip and visit Banff, Niagara Falls or the Canadian Rockies along the way? There’s so much to see here, you simply won’t want to leave.