Why you should visit Canada in 2017
By Alana Lojek
2017 marks Canada’s Sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Not coincidentally, Canada has been named the Top Country to Visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet, and took the number one spot in the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2017.
Interest in Canada is soaring. Our charismatic prime minister, the second-youngest (and arguably handsomest) leader in the country’s history, has garnered attention, but it is the diverse landscapes and dynamic cities that are drawing visitors from around the world. The generous current exchange rate with the US dollar probably hasn’t hurt, either.
A (very) brief history
The Dominion of Canada was born July 1, 1867, when the British North American Act melded Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The remaining provinces and territories were stitched together over time, with Nunavut being the most recent addition, officially becoming its own territory in 1999. Canada as we currently know it, with 10 provinces and 3 territories, is only turning 18, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
What to expect
Don’t let our polite demeanour fool you: we Canadians know how to party. Here in the north, festivities are in the works from coast to coast to observe Canada’s 150th. Provinces are planning year-long events to celebrate the anniversary, with particular emphasis, of course, on Canada Day, July 1st.
While each city will provide its own cultural flair, highlights will be Vancouver, where First Nations art and music will take centre stage; the nation’s capital, Ottawa, which will host a massive street party with flyovers by the Snowbirds (and maybe even a special appearance by the Queen); and an all-day concert showcasing the musical talents of PEI‘s Charlottetown, the Cradle of Confederation.
Anticipate high volumes of traffic in city centres, and hotels booked to capacity. Parks Canada is offering free admission to National Parks, Historic Sites, and Marine Conservation Areas for 2017, so these areas will be busier than usual. A little extra planning will make for smoother travels.
Join us this year to see what all the fuss is about!
(ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al – perfect the pronunciation and dazzle your friends)