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Visit Montreal in 2017 | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Visit Montreal in 2017 | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
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11 Reasons You Haven't Already Heard for Exploring Canada in 2017

Picture of Hayley Simpson
Updated: 9 June 2017
Canada has a lot to offer visitors. It’s home to beautiful cities, wide open spaces, Arctic archipelagos, and the Rocky Mountains. In case you need more reasons to justify a visit to this incredible country in 2017, here are 11 of them.

Celebrate its 150th birthday

Visit Canada to help the country celebrate its 150th birthday this year. Although there are events, competitions, and special offers happening throughout the year, the best celebrations will take place on Canada Day on July 1, 2017. Vancouver hosts the biggest event outside of Ottawa, which will go over two days in 2017 (July 1–2). Whereas in Ottawa, the party is on Parliament Hill, with various events, fireworks, and musical performances.

Celebrating Canada Day in Vancouver | © GoToVan / Flickr
Celebrating Canada Day in Vancouver | © GoToVan / Flickr


This year, 2017, in particular, is a great time to come to Canada for Europeans and Americans, as the exchange rate is currently working very much in their favor. At the time of writing, one euro is buying CAD$1.41, while US$1 is buying CAD$1.33, which is a big jump from a few years ago – travelers should definitely take advantage.

Canadian food

When you think of Canadian food, nothing probably comes to mind. The country isn’t known for a lot of specialties, but the national dish is poutine. This concoction includes fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. It may not look, or sound, appetizing, but it’s very popular. A sweet option is beavertails, which are flat Canadian fried pastries served with a variety of toppings, such as chocolate, maple, cinnamon, or fruit. Other sweet treats include Ontario’s butter tarts and British Columbia’s Nanaimo bars.

Poutine | © Traci / Flickr
Try some poutine, Canada’s national dish | © Traci / Flickr

Lonely Planet says so

Lonely Planet named Canada its top destination for 2017. Lonely Planet is the world’s top travel publication, so if they say Canada is the best country in the world to visit this year, you should probably listen.

Positive Prime Minister

Lonely Planet mentions in its praise of Canada that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unleashed a “wave of positivity.” He’s extremely popular with Canadians due to his modern-day approach to issues such as gay marriage, refugees, and women’s rights. But after recent political dramas in other countries around the world, it’s refreshing to see some positivity.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | © John McCallum / Flickr
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | © John McCallum / Flickr

Variety of landscapes

You may already know Canada is beautiful, but did you know just how many different landscapes call this country home? In British Columbia, it’s all about cute coastal towns and impressive ski resorts, like Whistler Blackcomb. Alberta has the Canadian Rockies and its turquoise lakes, as well as the barren Badlands — two completely different landscapes. Head north to Nunavut, and you can explore the Arctic as well. Canada truly has it all.

Celebrate Montreal’s 375th anniversary

Montreal is also celebrating a big milestone this year, with more than 175 musical performances, festivals, cultural events, and activities scheduled for 2017. Some of the most anticipated events to celebrate the city’s 375th birthday include an open-air museum, the illumination of its Biosphere, Les Hivernales festival, and a symphony concert in the summer.

Visit Montreal in 2017 | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Visit Montreal in 2017 | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Free national park passes

Another excellent reason to visit Canada in 2017 is that Parks Canada is giving away Discovery Passes for the entire year. This pass allows people to gain free access to all Canadian national parks, marine conservation areas, and national historic sites. It’s a big saving and a big incentive for exploring Canada this year.

Wide open spaces

“Think of Germany, where 82 million people are packed into 357,000 square kilometers [137,838 square miles]. We have 34 million people in almost 10 million square kilometers [3.9 million square miles].” This example by Canadian Bucket List perfectly highlights why Canada is great for people looking for wide, open spaces. Around 90% of the country is uninhabited – filled instead with icy landscapes, forests, and the prairies. Even in cities like Vancouver, you can drive from the city center and be in the mountains within 30 minutes.

Rural Alberta | © Wilson Hui / Flickr
Rural Alberta | © Wilson Hui / Flickr

Advantages in every season

There are advantages to visiting Canada in all seasons. Summer may mean crowds, but it’s also when cities come out of hibernation with free festivals and events. Winter has its benefits, mainly the fact that you can visit one of the country’s many excellent ski resorts. Eastern Canada is beautiful in fall when the trees shed their red, gold, and orange leaves. Finally, spring means cheaper skiing and thawing lakes and rivers.

Never be bored

Finally, the perfect reason to visit Canada in 2017 is that you can never be bored. There’s always an outdoor activity to enjoy, no matter the season. Kayaking, skiing, hiking, cross-country skiing, zip-lining, snowshoeing and ice skating are all activities you can do across the country. Plus, in the cities, there are free walking tours, museums, and attractions for the whole family.