Canada is ready and waiting to welcome Britons back, with the reopening of its border to double vaccinated travellers on 7 September.
Visit Canada – Soak up the culture on a city break in Toronto, Ontario
Over the past year, COVID-19 restrictions have deprived many of the chance to explore museums, theatres and other cultural hotspots. With the reopening of Canada’s borders, now is the perfect time to take a trip to Toronto and embrace all that this bright and bustling city has to offer. Culture vultures can spend their days roaming The Royal Ontario Museum or popping into the artisan boutiques and creative art galleries in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, the epicentre of the city’s arts and culture scene. Wandering around Toronto’s culturally diverse neighbourhoods, tourists can enjoy tasty local treats at St. Lawrence Market, or even catch a Toronto Maple Leafs ice-hockey game at the Scotiabank Arena. Ontario boasts many bucket list worthy experiences including observing the cityscape from the dizzying heights of the EdgeWalk at the iconic CN Tower, or taking a day trip to see the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. Many new hotels await Toronto’s international guests, including the brand new 1 Hotel in King West Village, which captures the beauty of Lake Ontario in its sustainable decor, using locally-sourced materials to create a luxurious urban retreat that celebrates the city’s surrounding natural environment. Opening later this year, W Hotel Toronto is also not one to miss, offering guests an urban oasis amongst the high-end shopping boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and must-see attractions of Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville neighbourhood. www.destinationontario.com/en-ca
Visit Canada – Enjoy an exhilarating adventure in Québec
Adventurous travellers should visit Québec’s newest national park, Parc National d’Opémican, which opened in 2019 (yet to be discovered by many international visitors) in the beautiful Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, where over 22,000 lakes and rivers shape the landscape. The park is a giant playground for thrill seeking tourists, with opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking and camping. Visitors can even embark on an exhilarating whitewater rapids adventure down Rivière Kipawa if they’re feeling brave! Another activity fit for dare devils awaits in the Outaouais region, where the world’s first interprovincial zipline, Interzip Rogers has just launched, stretching 430 metres between the city of Ottawa in Ontario and Gatineau in Québec. What better way to take in the beauty of the Ottawa River than by dangling 12 storeys above it, flanked by Parliament Hill to the right and Chaudière Falls to the left, hurtling 40km/h towards Gatineau. Visitors to the region also won’t want to miss Québec’s largest city, Montréal, an urban metropolis known for its tasty local cuisine, fun festivals and mesmerising murals. www.bonjourquebec.com/en
Visit Canada – Step into the wild in the polar bear capital of the world, Manitoba
Located within the heart of Canada, bordered by Saskatchewan and Ontario; Manitoba is a multi-cultural hub of exploration and adventure. Manitoba’s most remote and untouched region, Churchill, offers travellers the chance to see the natural phenomenon that is the northern lights or Aurora Borealis. Streaking across the Manitoban skies the aurora can be viewed nearly 300 nights a year. With its ideal position under the auroral oval, Churchill really does offer eager nature enthusiasts the best views of the aurora in the world. Travellers to Manitoba don’t just need to look skywards to reconnect with nature, Churchill is the polar bear capital of the world and wildlife lovers can travel to this small town to witness the magical creatures in their natural habitat. Mid-October to mid-November is the best time to view the bears as they migrate from their summer habitat inland to their seal-hunting territory on the frozen shores of the Hudson Bay. Wildlife enthusiasts can revel in complete seclusion surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of taiga, tundra and boreal forest. Visitors have the opportunity to see polar bears weighing as much as 681kg resting before the sea ice forms, or even mothers playing with their cubs. Plus, along the way, travellers might spot some of the other wildlife in the area, including moose, seals and Arctic foxes. For an even more immersive experience, visitors can get up close and personal on a walking safari with the polar bears, located directly on the Hudson Bay coast, deep in the heart of bear country. See the bears at eye level on a safe, guided tour – perfect for aspiring photographers to get that money shot. www.travelmanitoba.com
Visit Canada – Need to book: Last-minute packages
Abercrombie & Kent offers a bespoke 15-night Classic Ontario & Québec package featuring Niagara Falls from £3,750 per person, based on two people sharing. The package includes flights, transfers, accommodation on a B&B basis and some guiding. A&K’s flexible booking policy applies if booked before 31 December 2021.
Bon Voyage offers a luxury rail tour of Eastern Canada, including Québec and Ontario from £2,980 per person based on two people sharing a room. The package includes return flights, 10-nights deluxe accommodation in sought-after city locations, city tours in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Québec City, day trip to Niagara Falls and business class rail tickets between each city.
Trailfinders offers a seven-night trip to Manitoba from £4,849 per person based on a twin/double room for select October dates. The package includes direct flights from London, three- to four-star hotels including Lazy Bear Lodge in Churchill, a five-night ultimate polar bear tour and a two-day tundra wilderness experience.
Visit Canada – Need to know: entry requirements
Canada is currently on the amber list for England. Provided the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, Canada intends to reopen its border on 7 September to travellers that have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Upon arrival, travellers need to present a negative PCR test certificate with a QR code conducted within 72 hours prior to departure. Alternatively, they can present proof of a positive COVID-19 test taken between 14 and 90 days before their scheduled flight. All travellers are required to submit their contact information, their quarantine plan, COVID-19 symptom self-assessment and vaccine information into the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours before arriving in Canada. Further information can be found here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/canada. Requirements for each province can be found here: www.travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.