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Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Canada’s capitals: All unique, different and RV friendly

Although not the youngest country in the world, Canada is less than 150 years old and, if you include every lake, sea, and land area that makes up this beautiful country, you will realize it’s the second largest in the world. Very impressive.

Stretching between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and as far north as the Artic Ocean, Canada has 10 provinces and three territories with a diversified population unlike any other country. Well known for being friendly, Canadians are very welcoming to RVers who come to explore, and what visitors discover when they arrive in Canada is phenomenal.

Each of the capital cities in Canada, including Canada’s own capital city are each as varied and unique as the people who call Canada home. You will hear many languages being spoken throughout the country, but the two official languages are English and French.

Ottawa, Ontario

Once a logging town, Ottawa has become a popular tourist destination and, since it is the capital of Canada, Parliament Hill should be your first stop before even considering visiting some of the many museums Ottawa is known for. The population is around 900,000 with a variety of RV parks right in the city to choose from. Public transportation is available and many tour operators have organized city and cultural tours that are worth signing up for.

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

This port city is the oldest and most eastern city in North America and its rich history is very evident as its visitors wander past the many colorful jelly-bean row houses and stroll along the narrow crisscrossing streets once used by horse-drawn carriages in days past. There was a time when the harbor was filled with fishing schooners and this is definitely the place to be if you like seafood.

The most eastern province of Canada isn’t heavily populated and covers a lot of territory, so be prepared to plan your route and arrange for camping in advance. A daily year-round super ferry service operates from Nova Scotia to the island of Newfoundland and carries hundreds of vehicles each time. This is a popular destination for many RVers so make reservations ahead of time.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

The second largest harbor city in Canada, Halifax is the cultural center for the Maritimes and known for it’s musical events, many festivals and interesting heritage sites. Stop by the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada and if possible attend a performance at the Neptune Theatre.

There’s only one campground within the city, but the Province of Nova Scotia is beautiful with it’s rocky shoreline and historic sites so take your time and explore everything from beachfront camping, boat tours, lobster fests, and self-guided driving tours.

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Situated on the banks of the Saint John River, Fredericton has a population of approximately 60,000 residents with all the amenities RVers should need. Visit the Historic Garrison District and watch a reenactment of the adventures of the British troops who were garrisoned here from 1784 until 1869. Those RVers who only require basic services will be happy with the camping facilities in Fredericton as well as those who want full services. They have it all.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Residents take pride in their vibrant community and their rich history and visitors to Charlottetown will appreciate the well manicured tree lined streets and beautifully painted historic homes. This seaside community is just one of the many stops visitors should take when visiting the easily accessible island. Take your RV on one or all of the suggested drives to enjoy the beautiful scenery and historic sites along each route.

Fans of the book “Anne of Green Gables” will enjoy visiting the island and Avonlea Village.

Carol - Quebec City
(Photo courtesy of Asymetric/Finn O’Hara)

Quebec City, Quebec

The old town of Quebec City is the only fortified city north of Mexico City and a World Heritage Site. Located on the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City is much different than any other city in Canada with it’s European architecture and French speaking residents.

The popular tourist area has narrow streets and can be quite crowded so put on a good pair of walking shoes and leave your vehicle back at the RV park because parking is very expensive. It might be a good idea to learn a few French travel phrases just in case you need information and the person doesn’t speak English.

Toronto, Ontario

Only an hour from the United States border, Toronto is popular with many American travelers and RVers. Once you are set up in a campground it’s possible to use their extensive public transit system to get around the city.

The most famous landmark is the CN Tower and although there is plenty to see and do here it’s only a short distance to Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. RVers will enjoy the diversity of the campgrounds and RV parks in this region ranging from luxurious to the very basic and include both private and provincial sites.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Home to the Royal Canadian Mint, Winnipeg is a friendly city and was once an aboriginal trading center where the newly arrived Europeans could trade goods for furs. Known today as ‘the cultural capital of Canada’ Winnipeg has changed a great deal over the years with plenty of historic sites to visit, events and festivals to attend, and visitors should visit the Manitoba Museum and their planetarium. There are campgrounds within the city and outlying areas that will satisfy most RVers.

(Photo courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan/Hans-Gerhard Pfaff)
(Photo courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan/Hans-Gerhard Pfaff)

Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina is home to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and only training center for new cadets. Visiting their Heritage Centre is where visitors learn about the RCMP’s history and traditions. Situated in Canada’s prairie province, Regina is home to many art galleries, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum; Wascana, one of North America’s largest urban parks, and it’s downtown area is perfect for taking a self-guided walking tour. There are many RV parks and campgrounds in this area to choose from.

Edmonton, Alberta

Be prepared for 18 hours of daylight during the summer months which is perfect for visitors to get the most out of each day since there is plenty to see and do in Edmonton. It’s home to the West Edmonton Mall, the largest entertainment and shopping center in North America; the Edmonton Queen Riverboat; the Telus World of Science, the Alberta Aviation Museum and the Muttart Conservatory.

Create a base in one of the many parks in this area while you explore this ‘Gateway to the North’.

Victoria, British Columbia

Situated on the most southern end of Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast it is easily accessible by ferry from BC or Washington and was originally a fort for the Hudson Bay Company. Victoria’s strong British heritage is clearly visible in the downtown area with it’s distinct architecture, beautiful gardens, double decker buses, tea rooms, parliament buildings, and horse-drawn carriages.

Set up in one of the many RV parks near the city and either drive into town in your tow vehicle or use public transit. Parking is at a premium and not a place where you want to bring your RV.

Iqaluit, Nunavut

Once called Frobisher Bay, Iqaluit isn’t accessible except by water or air so, unfortunately, RVers can’t visit this friendly community unless they decide to take a side trip and park their RV for a few days.

(Photo courtesy of Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen)
(Photo courtesy of Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen)

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

If you have never seen the northern lights (Aurora Borealis), then Yellowknife is where you need to be. It definitely is remote. But, once you arrive, you will find that Yellowknife has everything you need in the way of amenities and a history colorful enough to keep you interested long after you leave.

This region has campsites for every type of camper with most services RVers wish to have to be comfortable.

Whitehorse, Yukon

The Yukon’s neighbor to the west is Alaska and many travelers seeking an adventure visit Whitehorse on their way to Alaska, with a stop at the MacBride Museum of the Yukon. The gold rush was important to the development of the Yukon’s largest and liveliest city and the Museum is the best place to learn about the areas history of mining as well as the First Nations.

With many choices for camping in this region, RVers shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a site that suits them.

Spectacular scenery, outstanding recreational opportunities, interesting festivals, a rich history, a diversified culture, a year-round destination and peace of mind for their safety draws thousands of visitors each year.

RVers will find that the Canadian highways are easy to maneuver, the citizens friendly and welcoming and the capital cities interesting enough to want to return a second time. Take your RV on an interesting and exciting adventure to Canada’s capital cities.

Resources

Map of Canada and Capital cities: http://ftp2.ctis.nrcan.gc.ca/pub/geott/atlas_tif/atlas6/Reference/English/can_eng.pdf

GoRVing Canada: http://gorving.ca

Marine Atlantic Ferries: http://www.marineatlantic.ca

St. John’s: http://www.stjohns.ca/visiting-our-city/st-johns-information/tourism-links

Newfoundland Labrador: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/TravelTrade/AboutTheProvince

Nova Scotia Campgrounds: http://www.novascotia.com/places-to-stay/campgrounds

Nova Scotia: http://www.novascotia.com

Whitehorse Campgrounds: http://www.whitehorselodging.worldweb.com/Campgrounds/

Campgrounds in the Northwest Territories: http://nwtparks.ca/campgrounds

Iqualuit: http://www.city.iqaluit.nu.ca/visitors/getting-here

Prince Edward Island RV Touring: http://www.tourismpei.com/rv-tour-planning

Toronto: http://www.seetorontonow.com

Tourism Winnipeg: http://www.tourismwinnipeg.com

Travel Alberta: http://www.travelinalberta.com/Edmonton.cfm

Hello BC: http://www.hellobc.com

About Carol Ann Quibell

Carol Ann Quibell is an RVer currently living in beautiful British Columbia. She is a freelance writer and columnist who enjoys sharing her travel tips and information. You can view her websites online at http://roamingrv.com and http://writefortravel.com

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