Dreaming of a white Christmas? Why not spend it in one of Canada’s winter wonderland destinations. Canada is not only known for its vast expanse of natural beauty but also for its quaint charming cities and festive events. Cities all over the globe come alive over the December/January period but Canada is truly something special to behold.
Top winter destinations include Toronto, Whistler, Niagara Falls and Montreal among others. Imagine snow-covered trees lining streets lit by thousands of magical lights, Santa Claus parades and Christmas markets filled with delicious sweet treats, Christmas carols, laughter and cheer. This and more awaits you this festive season in Canada. But be sure to submit your Canadian visa application early as the processing time can take anywhere between 7 to 65 days depending on where you are applying from.
Ready to step into a winter wonderland? Simply click the link below and we’ll get your travel visa sorted while you plan your travel itinerary in one of the world’s most visited holiday destinations.
Bustling with culture and activities, Quebec is considered to be one of most charming and festive places in Canada. If strolling down cobblestone streets dotted with Parisian-style cafes, boutiques and sparkling lights sound dreamy, then Quebec is the city for you this season. Be sure to pop by the German Market (22 November - 23 December) in the heart of Old Quebec and don’t miss the spectacular fireworks displays during the last 4 days of December. Mont Tremblant is a skier’s paradise with over 654 acres of slopes to explore. Not sure where to stay? How about the famous Ice Hotel, decorated with neon lights and carved entirely out of ice.
Montreal on any other day is special in its own right, however, come wintertime the city comes alive with the spirit of Christmas. Le Grand Marché de Nöel (8 December), Montreal’s largest outdoor Christmas market, offers numerous craft activities, as well as delectable Christmas treats. Of course, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a Santa Claus Parade or experiencing Luminothérapie, an interactive light installation, held from 28 November 2019 - January 22 2020.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and attracts over a half a million people every year. You can find a number of festive events held throughout the holidays, including the Toronto Christmas Market (14 November - 22 December), a 5-week event celebrating all things Christmas in the Distillery Historic District; Cavalcade of Lights (30 November) the official tree lighting ceremony featuring a variety of musical talent, fireworks displays and a DJ rink; and Conservatory by Candlelight (running until mid-January) which takes place at various gardens such as Allan Gardens Conservatory and Centennial Park Conservatory and highlights various flora lit by candle at sundown. Christmas Casa Loma (December - January) celebrates historical Gothic architecture illuminated by thousands of magical lights.
Fancy ice skating on the Rideau Canal, the world's largest naturally frozen ice rink? Ottawa offers this and more, including the Santa Claus Parade, Magic of Lights and the tree lighting ceremony held by Justin Trudeau himself. Or how about ice skating on Parliament Hill or some cross country skiing in Gatineau Park, sampling a “beavertail” (a local treat) at one of the many Christmas Markets? One thing is for sure. Christmas is truly a special time of year in Ottawa. The highlight of the festive season has to be Winterlude, a 3-week long festival centred around the frozen Rideau Canal (31 January - February 2020).
If you’re in the area, The Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls is a must-see. Running from November 16 - January 12, these light displays never disappoints. It is an 8km long route which includes a number of iconic displays such as Zimmerman Fountain, Skylon Tower and over 50 trees dressed in lights, in Dufferin Island. There is also an Ice-wine Festival held every year where people can sample some of the regions finest dessert-style wine.
3. British Columbia
Vancouver hosts the magical Festival of Lights, with candy cane trees, gingerbread walks, Santa’s workshop and over a million colourful lights displayed in the lush Vandusen Botanical Gardens (1 December - 6 January). Another amazing light display can be found at Stanley Park at the infamous Bright Nights (29 November - 5 January). The iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge also offers a breathtaking display of lights, known as Canyon Lights (November 22 - 27 January), over the festive season, however, is closed on Christmas Day. There are also beautifully handcrafted jewellery and mouthwatering delicacies to sample from local vendors at The Vancouver Christmas market.
Just north of Vancouver lies Whistler, a perfect winter getaway destination for the whole family. This alpine village is known as the ski capital of Canada where visitors can also enjoy snowboarding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Top festive events include the weekly Fire & Ice Shows (22 December - 29 March), the Arts Whistler Market (30 November - 1 December) and Family Après. There are also numerous New Year's Eve Events including the Masquerade Ball, fireworks and a number of parties and events.
Grouse Mountain is a must-visit destination this festive season. You can enjoy skating on an 8,000 square foot mountain top ice skating pond surrounded by snow-dusted trees, visit Santa’s enchanted Workshop at Vancouver’s North Pole or enjoy watching Christmas movies at Theatre in the Sky or stroll through the exquisite light tunnel known as the Light Walk.
Other fantastic places to spend your holidays include:
- Banff, Calgary;
- Winnipeg, Manitoba - Festival du Voyageur;
- Whitehorse, Yukon - Northern Lights
How Do I Apply for My Travel Visa?
The Canadian Visitors Visa allows you to enter and stay in Canada for up to 6 months. A single entry allows you to enter once while a multiple entry visa allows you to come and go as often as you please as long as the visa is valid. As mentioned before, Canadian visa application processing times for visitors depends on where you are applying from and can take anywhere from 7 to 65 days.
How We Can Help You With Your Canadian Visa Application
For more information on visa requirements, as well as how to go about preparing for your Canadian visa application, we strongly recommend chatting to one of our seasoned immigration and visa consultants. We know how complex and time-consuming this task can be, so why not let one of our informed RCIC professionals guide you through the Canadian visa application process.
All you have to do is click here to get the ball rolling on the assessment process and you’ll be one step closer to boarding your flight to Canada!