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10 Places You Should Avoid on Any Trip to Canada

10 Places You Should Avoid on Any Trip to Canada

Picture of Kate Horodyski
Updated: 30 December 2017

Canada is an amazing country with so much to see and do, but there are a few spots we can safely say are not worth the trip! Avoid these areas around the country so that you can focus on all of the great places that the Great White North has to offer.

Marine Land, Ontario

Who wants to pay good money to see poor sea creatures stuck in captivity? No thanks! If wildlife is your thing, we recommend checking out our list of Canada’s best wildlife experiences, where you can enjoy seeing animals in their native environments rather than man-made pools.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

While the waterfalls themselves are stunning, everything surrounding the falls at Niagara is overpriced and tacky. From the casino to the sex shops to the ridiculously pricey souvenirs, the beauty of the falls is largely overshadowed by the tourist trappings. We recommend driving in to see the falls and then getting right back in your car and heading to one of the many beautiful towns in southern Ontario, such as Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Niagara Falls Canadian Tourism Commission

Niagara Falls | © Canadian Tourism Commission

CN Tower, Ontario

Toronto’s most iconic building, the CN Tower is cool to see from a distance but pretty much a big waste of time and money as an attraction in itself. You’ll wait in a long line, pay way more than is reasonable, and then take an elevator packed full with other tourists for a view of the city.

CN Tower Clifton Li

CN Tower | © Clifton Li

Avonlea Village, Prince Edward Island

Anne of Green Gables is one of the cornerstones of PEI’s tourism, and there are a lot of fun attractions to check out. Avonlea Village is not one of them. This tourist-driven spot is meant to simulate Anne’s town, but it’s just a collection of overpriced shops and restaurants. There are plenty of other sites on the island to visit.

Manitoba

It’s not that there are no pros to Manitoba, but it has a lot of cons. Besides, there are far more fascinating places to visit in the country. Aside from freezing cold winter temperatures, tons of mosquitos in the summer, and a capital city with some of the highest rates of racism in the country, it’s just kind of dull.

Winnipeg Tourism Manitoba

Winnipeg | © Tourism Manitoba

Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick

If you’re planning a trip to New Brunswick, chances are you’ll have come across a lot of promos for Magnetic Hill. Why? Who knows? New Brunswick has a lot to offer, and a trip to this spot isn’t one of them. Thanks to an optical illusion, this hill makes your car look like it’s rolling uphill. Yup, that’s it. Oh, and it’ll cost you $6 to go on the road.

Ottawa, Canada

We don’t want to bash the country’s capital, but it has been voted one of the most boring cities in the world and was given the nickname of “Coma City” by a local columnist. Come for the museums and pretty scenery, but head to livelier cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax for a good time.

Parliament Hill Ottawa Tourism Neil Robertson

Parliament Hill | © Ottawa Tourism / Neil Robertson

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Island has been named one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and it completely lives up to its reputation. Its largest city, Sydney, however, is worth skipping. There isn’t much to the town, and you’re better off spending your time enjoying the rest of the island.

Banff, Alberta

Okay, this one is up for serious debate. Every year, Banff is flooded with tourists—and for good reason. It’s absolutely stunning and has so much to offer, but it is incredibly touristy. If you want to enjoy the Rockies with slightly less touristy buzz, consider smaller resort towns such as Jasper and Lake Louise.

Skiiing Banff Lake Louise Tourism Paul Zizka

Banff | © Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka

Old Montreal, Quebec

Okay, don’t avoid the neighborhood of Old Montreal altogether because it is gorgeous and home to fantastic restaurants and shops. However, the majority of spots are severely overpriced, and many of the cobblestone streets are overrun with tacky tourist shops and vendors. Avoid the clearly tourism-focused streets and stick to the quieter, more authentic ones in the neighborhood.