my salute to Canada 150

July 1, 2017, marked the 150th birthday of Canada. As so many of my readers are from countries other than Canada, in this tribute post I thought I would salute the diversity of my great country by hi-lighting its different regions.


If you love lighthouses, Atlantic Canada is the place for you! Check out this list of Canadian lighthouses.

atlantic region: canada 150

I visited New Brunswick earlier this year, so let’s begin with Atlantic Canada on Canada’s East Cost. That includes the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, as well as the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. On the culinary side, Atlantic Canada is best known for its abundance of fresh shell fish such as lobster and white-fleshed fish such as cod and haddock. The Atlantic Ocean plays a very important role in every aspect of life in Atlantic Canada.


Bird Rock at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve was one of our favourite places to connect with nature while exploring Newfoundland.

If you’ve never been to the region, allow yourself two weeks to visit New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. If you plan to visit Newfoundland and Labrador, allow yourself two weeks just for this province, as it takes a long time to drive from St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula on the east coast of Newfoundland to Corner Brook and Gros Morne National Park on the western side of the province.

quebec: canada 150


A highlight of visiting the old towns of Quebec City or Montreal is a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to transport you back in time when everything moved a lot slower. Pictured here is a street in Old Town Montreal.

Quebec is unique and diverse in that French is the province’s primary language, and many people who live in rural Quebec do not speak English–which is the primary language of the rest of the country.

The largest province in Canada, Quebec is extremely proud of its French heritage, and while strolling the streets of the old walled city of Quebec, or old town Montreal, you will indeed feel like you are in France rather than Canada. The rest of Montreal is very modern and chic, and is one of Canada’s premiere chocolate destinations. I visited Montreal, in addition to Mont Tremblant, Oka, and the Eastern Townships in late July, and posted about my French-infused adventures on this site.

ontario: canada 150

The second largest province in Canada, Ontario is situated in between Quebec and Manitoba and offers great diversity from the Canadian Shield ruggedness of northwestern Ontario to the largest city in the country (Toronto) and the nation’s capital (Ottawa.) Ontario is also home to Canada’s Great Lakes and a fabulous destination for campers, hikers, and lovers of the great outdoors.


The Parliament Buildings of Canada are located inn the nation’s capital city of Ottawa, Ontario.

An Ontario highlight for me is visiting the city of Ottawa, for its impressive Parliament Buildings, fantastic museums, world class culinary scene, great chocolate, and an overall level of service that is top-notch due to the cosmopolitan nature of the city.

prairies: canada 150

Next on our path west across the country are the Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. I have lived all of my life in Manitoba, born in the capital city of Winnipeg, but having spent more years living outside of the city than inside it. A highlight of any visit to Winnipeg should be a trip to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.


The Esplanade Riel Bridge is a Winnipeg icon that connects the downtown to St. Boniface, the city’s French Quarter.


I now live 45 minutes north of Winnipeg in a tiny resort community on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. It is just 20 minutes south of the town of Gimli, where my grandparents immigrated from Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century. The Viking statue in Gimli is a tribute to the Icelandic immigrants who first settled the area in 1875.

To the west of Manitoba is province of Saskatchewan. I love the city of Saskatoon, for its iconic University Bridge–viewable from just about anywhere in the city–and the abundance of walking trails. I also love the literary culture and vibe of the city.


Located on Canada’s Yellowhead Route, Saskatoon is a small city with a big arts and culture scene.


The Rocky Mountains are breath-taking and the highlight of any visit to Alberta.

Further west is Alberta, the province best known for its Rocky Mountains. The political capital of Alberta is Edmonton. Its business capital is Calgary, the hub of Canada’s oil industry.

You’ll find British Columbia on the Pacific coast of Canada. The business capital is Vancouver, located in the Lower Mainland region. Victoria is the political capital, situated on Vancouver Island, and though in close proximity to Vancouver, it is a world away.


This photo was taken from North Vancouver, where you can watch the cruise ships  and freighters coming and going from Vancouver’s downtown port and cruise ship terminal.


One of my favourite parts of Canada is Vancouver Island. If you love a slow pace and admire nature and breath-taking scenery, I highly recommend a visit to Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

One of my other favourite BC destinations is the Okanagan Valley, one of Canada’s top wine destinations. I’ve been to the Okanagan several times in all seasons and highly recommend it to anyone who loves fine wine, great cuisine, and the peacefulness on inland lakes.


One of our favourite places in British Columbia is the Okanagan Valley. Spirit Ridge is a wine resort in Osoyoos with a strong First Nations presence as it is situated on land owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band.

Canada also includes the northern territories of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. I was briefly in the Yukon while visiting Alaska via the White Pass Rail Line, but have never been to the NWT or Nunavut.

Have you explored Canada coast to coast to coast? What is your favourite part of Canada?

Happy 150th birthday, Canada. You amaze me with your diversity of humans, wildlife, and natural beauty like no other country on earth.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

39 Responses

  1. Ami says:

    Happy Canada day to you. The country is so beautiful with its natural assets and heritage. And what I loved was how well maintained it is. I have cousins there who have been inviting me to visit. Must take up the offer

  2. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Canada is indeed a fascinating place. There are so many charming destinations there and you have everything from towns with vintage charm to nature in all its glory. I am awed by the Rocky mountains and charmed by Quebec.

  3. Canada is indeed an attractive destination. It appears to be an expensive one though. Canada is very popular amongst Sikh community in India. Atlantic Canada is my most favourite part. Islands, sea breeze, good food, the works! What more do you need in life?
    Abhinav Singh recently posted…#MyGrationStory of an Indian pastry chef aboard the Majestic Princess of Princess Cruise.My Profile

  4. neha says:

    Canada indeed has some most beautiful landscapes in the world. I have plans of some long vacation there one day. I want to visit most of the beautiful spots there when I go, particularly the national parks.

  5. Marc Smith says:

    It is hard to pick a favourite as I keep discovering more places to love. But… if I had to pick it would probably be the Okanagan for all the great wineries that I love.

  6. Leniel says:

    Doreen, thanks for sharing these photos and the write-up of the different regions. I am so proud to be Canadian and the beauty of this land and its people are only part of the reason why. We are so fortunate to live here.

  7. Anda says:

    Canada is fabulous! I’d like to come visit some more of it.

  8. I love how this year reminded Canadians just how special their own country really is – we are so lucky.
    Ayngelina Brogan recently posted…Canola Oil Cake with Sour Cherry CompoteMy Profile

  9. Happy 150th Canada. We are fortunate to live in the most amazing diverse country. The diversity of landscape, people’s and cultures is part of the charm of Canada.
    Thanks Doreen.

  10. Thanks, Doreen, for the lovely travelogue. I visited Montreal several times many years ago when my agency had the Air Canada advertising account (to encourage Canadians to use AC when they visited back forth between the US and Canada). But, alas, I went from the plane, to the office and back to the plane. I did visit Vancouver on another business trip and it is a beautiful, cosmopolitan city. My husband and I had planned a trip to Canada, but he became ill and we never went. I do want visit Canada. On my bucket list.Happy Anniversary, Canada!

  11. Rosary says:

    I’ve never been to Canada but have always wanted to visit, especially Quebec. I love your photos and the history behind this beautiful country. Hope to make a trip to Canada one day, thanks for sharing =)

    • Doreen Pendgracs says:

      You will love it, Rosary, but you are right in being focused on a specific or province to visit. Canada is a very big country!

  12. Jeri says:

    I am itching to explore more of Canada! I’ve been to Vancouver a couple of times, plus Waterton National Park. I’ve yet to make it to Victoria and would love to take a drive up the coast of British Columbia. When I make the transition to live in an RV, all of Canada will be on my travel list 🙂

  13. Beverly says:

    What an impressive tour of Canada you have provided for your readers through your writing and photographs. I will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017 along with many other people. From sea to sea Canada offers such diversity. I am a proud Canadian who has always lived in Canada and was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I hope everyone has a happy Canada Day.

  14. Wendy Peck says:

    Beautiful and respectfully-written summary of this vast country. I was born in Nova Scotia, and have lived in five of our provinces. I can’t think of one area that I could not be happy. As a place to visit, nothing rivals Newfoundland, and yes, I include the Rockies and the Gulf Islands in that comparison 🙂 ). Don’t forget the north, though. That vast land of exotic beauty and so few people. You could explore for a lifetime, and never leave our shores.

  15. Betty Jackson says:

    Thanks for the nice reminder of our beautiful country and all it’s assets.
    Travel is the only way to see and know all about it. My bucket list still includes the Yukon, New foundland , Labrador and the North West Territories.

    • That’s quite the bucket list, Betty! Those are all adventurous destinations, so be prepared. Have you thought about an Alaska cruise? We absolutely enjoyed that, and on the one we went on, we did get to visit Yukon, albeit briefly. but you do get that rugged adventure on the shore excursions, which both Reg and I loved.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…my salute to Canada 150My Profile

  16. Irene Gordon says:

    Happy 150th to you too, Doreen. Loved your photos and really enjoyed our visit with you last Saturday.

  17. Lovely tour of our home and native land – from coast to coast.!

  18. Linda says:

    Happpy Birthday Canada! You have much to be proud of. I believe you know you now hold the torch of hope for the world. I’ve only yet visited BC, which is phenomenal. I hope to explore each one of your unique provinces some day.
    Linda recently posted…Throwing a bomb at the heart of a nation.My Profile

    • Hi Linda and thanks for your comment. BC is indeed phenomenal. I love every part of it. But you will find great adventure in the rest of Canada as well. As I know you love the outdoors and hiking, both Ontario and Newfoundland would be super for you. And the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is absolutely stunning.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…my salute to Canada 150My Profile

  19. Phoenicia says:

    Thank you for the history lesson of Canada – always enjoy learning about the history of countries. The rocky mountain is simply breathtaking- what a beautiful view. For some reason, the photographs taken from North Vancouver reminds me of New York.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Resist the urge of “doing it all”!My Profile

    • Hi Phoenicia. New York and Vancouver certainly do have many similarities. Great city parks and greenery, lots of ships coming and going, superb culture and culinary scenes including great chocolate. 🙂

      The Rocky Mountains are a strip of breathtaking mountains that go on for miles. I just haven’t driven out west for a number of years, so most of my good mountain shots are not in digital format. the photo I included was taken from Canmore, where we went hiking. Truly beautiful!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…my salute to Canada 150My Profile

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