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Outdoor Activities in Canada

Updated: March 18th, 2021


There are many reasons why millions of people around the world visit Canada for their vacations and what better time than summer! With the longest coastline in the world and over 40 national parks to explore, you will never be bored during the Canadian summer.



You may think that winter snow and cold temperatures offer the perfect opportunity to stay indoors by the fireplace, but this is actually your chance to enjoy the Canadian winter with plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained all day long.


Whether you are coming to Canada to work, learn or explore you should take advantage of the unique outdoor activities on offer. If you live in any of the main Canadian cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal) then you are probably only a short distance away from some of Canada’s best natural landscapes. 

When the weather isn’t in the minus degrees you will find hikers, cyclists, yoga buffs, and adventure seekers on every corner. Canada Explore (Explores) is the YouTube Channel of the Canadian Tourism Commission and has a wide range of fun Canadian activities for you to view. We have carefully selected a few of our favourite outdoor activities in Canada to get your taste buds going:   

Whale Watching on Vancouver Island

Have you ever played hide and seek as a child? Well if you remember counting to ten and holding your breath every time you thought you had found the other person, whale watching is this thrill multiplied by 1000.

This is an eye-opening experience that will leave you with lifelong memories. We went with Prince of Wales Tours and had an excellent guide on the trip. He spoke just enough, allowing plenty of time to feel lost at sea and providing us with some nice little facts on wildlife in the pacific. I won’t spoil it by going into too much detail but this is an activity that everyone should experience at least once.

Glacier Skywalk, Alberta

This is one of Canada’s newest attractions being developed by Brewster Travel. It promises to provide jaw-dropping scenery and just the right amount of nerves that a walk over a real glacier should provide. Here is a sneak preview of the Glacier Skywalk in Jasper.

Edge Walk at the CN Tower in Toronto

This tourist attraction will literally take you all the way to the edge of your seat. As you stand on the top of one of Canada’s highest buildings you look down and realize what adventure is supposed to be about. You know that you are on a true adrenaline rush experience when you are provided with a list of conditions before you take part. 

White Water Rafting in Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa River is well known as one of the world’s most famous rafting sites. This is a great group activity and a great way to spend a day of your weekend. Try to meander through one of the fierce whirlpools like Butcher’s Knife or hold your breath waiting to do a 5m drop at Garvin’s Chute waterfall. If you want a more chilled out day you can try surfing the smaller rapids of the Main Channel. Prices range from anywhere between $89.00 – $159 for an adult depending on the raft experience (soft or high adventure) and most rafting experienced providers offer a BBQ lunch with each package. 

Fresh Powder on Whistler Blackcomb

You haven’t experienced anything outdoors until you try your hand at skiing or snowboarding down Whistler Blackcomb Mountain. Whistler is located 125km north of Vancouver and has over 200 marked trails. The mountain offers great beginner slopes and all the terrain an experienced rider will need to enjoy an adventure-packed trip. Known for its play all day, party all night attitude Whistler is one of the world’s top ski resorts. Locals know the best off-piste tracks so don’t be afraid to ask around when you are out and about sampling the village nightlife.

And when winter arrives and there’s a bit of a chill in the air, it’s the perfect time for some good old Canadian fun – ice skating! There are so many amazing outdoor skating rinks across the country. 

The Forks Outdoor Skating Trail

This skating path winds along two rivers in Winnipeg – the Assiniboine River and the Red River. All in all, the rink stretches over 9 km. Alongside the rink, skaters will find unique warming huts. Artists and architects from around the world build these huts as part of an art competition. While skaters can admire them as they glide across the ice, the shelters are also useful. They give people a place to rest and warm up during a long day of skating.

Roulston Lake

There’s not one, not two, but at least 20 outdoor rinks at this winter hotspot. Every February, the town of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, hosts the World Pond Hockey Championships. More than 100 teams from around the world come to compete in the games, all of which are played on rinks constructed atop frozen Roulston Lake. But it’s not all about hockey. For those who’d rather skate than shoot a puck around, the rinks are open to the public during the rest of the winter.

Rideau Canal Skateway

No list of ice rinks is complete without this famed spot. Besides being a World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest naturally frozen ice rink on the planet. In fact, its skating surface is bigger than 105 NHL skating rinks! From January to early March, thousands of skaters descend upon the canal to glide over the ice. The Skateway begins in downtown Ottawa and stretches for an incredible 7.8 km. That makes it the perfect spot for people looking to skate the day away!   

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