T Brand Studios, the branded content arm of the New York Times, has captured the transformative power of Canada in four captivating videos. In each film, creative Canadians were able to show just how their passions are shaped by the places in which they live.
Featured in those videos are a number of attractions and destinations that you can visit and experience for yourself.
Picturesque lakes where you can swim, paddle, and fish, endless hiking, skiing, and snowshoe trails, local produce galore, and small town charm — this is what the Lanaudière region of Quebec brings to the table. Just a quick drive northeast of Montreal, this unsung area is an absolute paradise for those who love the outdoors. In the New York Times video, canoe-builder Jean-Daniel Petit can be seen paddling, cliff jumping, and simply floating in one of the region’s seemingly endless array of lakes. But this region is a four-season destination and has a ton to offer at any time of year, from colorful fall hikes to bicycle touring to snowmobiling.
Mount Royal (Montreal, Qc)
Located right in the heart of downtown Montreal you’ll find its namesake: Mount Royal. This small mountain is located within a large park of the same name that was actually designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the man behind New York’s Central Park. The two landmarks serve a similar purpose: providing an outdoor oasis in the city where people meet, hang out, play sports, and much more. Climb to the lookout point at the top (as you see Petit do in the video), visit the giant cross and snap photos of the city’s best view. Or, stop by on a Sunday for one of Mount Royal’s biggest draws: tam-tams. Tam-tams are weekly gatherings (weather-permitting) of drummers, dancers, vendors and just about anyone else.
St. Martins Sea Caves
Did you know that the record-breaking tides that flow into the Bay of Fundy twice each day could fill the Grand Canyon? While seeing 50-foot tides from the shore is impressive, getting out onto the water might just be the best way to really experience them. Join up with Red Rock Adventures, the tour company featured in our New Brunswick New York Times video, for a kayak adventure to the St. Martins Sea Caves. Paddle out of the charming, colorful harbor and into dramatic sea caves, carved out of the red rock cliffs over thousands of years by the powerful tides.
The Hopewell Rocks
If you want a photo that really captures the changing tides, the Hopewell Rocks is definitely your best bet. Located on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, these unique rock formations are the awe-inspiring result of tidal erosion. Visit during low tide to walk the ocean floor and look up at the massive rocks towering four stories above your head. Then, return a few hours later and snap a photo of the tops of those same rocks, sitting above the waterline. You can also head out on a kayak tour for that immersive experience.
The Fundy Footpath
Are you a true outdoor adventurer who likes to leave the crowds behind and challenge yourself? The Fundy Footpath is a 50-kilometre stretch of untouched coastal wilderness that will knock your socks off – just ask Red Rock Adventures co-founder Mike Carpenter. From postcard views of the Bay of Fundy to tidal river valleys and red rock cliffs, this hike is more than bucket list-worthy. Strap on your best shoes and don’t forget to bring a camera.
Vancouver’s many murals (Vancouver, BC)
You could easily spend a week just looking at the stunning urban art in Vancouver. Thanks to a slew of talented artists—including, of course, muralist Ola Volo who starred in the first New York Times video—as well as events like Vancouver Mural Festival, the city is a giant gallery waiting to be explored. Check out the Vancouver Mural Festival’s handy mural map and head outside to enjoy some art.
Harbour Air (Vancouver, BC)
If you want to see all of Vancouver, and you genuinely mean ALL of Vancouver, your best option is to book a flightseeing tour with Harbour Air Seaplanes. Harbour Air is part of the world’s largest all-seaplane airline, and offers a number of different sightseeing options, that you can pick based on your mood. Book one of their popular Vancouver Panorama tours and take a quick flight over the city and surrounding mountains, camera at the ready. Feeling more adventurous? Try the Alpine Lakes and Glacier tour for an unbelievable flight over the peaks of Mount Mamquam and a remote alpine lake.
Stanley Park (Vancouver, BC)
Vancouver is all about incredible, accessible nature close to, or often within, the city, and Stanley Park is as good as it gets. The 1,000-acre park provides an unparalleled green escape right downtown. Walk or cycle the famous Seawall for impressive views of the Burrard Inlet, making sure to stop, as Volo did, to take in Instagram-worthy Siwash Rock. Then head inland and lose yourself among the towering Douglas firs or the impressively old western red cedars. There are also three beaches, a pitch-and-putt course, a world-class aquarium, several restaurants and a number of totem poles within Stanley Park. No shortage of ways to spend a day.
Kitsilano Beach (Vancouver, BC)
While on the topic of accessible nature, Vancouver has an impressive nine beaches within the city boundaries, so you never need to walk far to enjoy some warm sand beneath your feet. National Geographic even named it one of the world’s 10 best beach cities. In the New York Times video, Volo strolls along beautiful Kitsilano Beach, a popular hangout located within the neighborhood that shares its name. It’s a popular destination for foodies and yoga-lovers, and the main stretch along 4th Avenue makes for an awesome boutique shopping experience.
Alicja Confections (Ottawa, ON)
Do you have a sweet tooth? Is your idea of a fully balanced meal three different kinds of chocolate? Then don’t leave Ottawa without making a pit stop at Alicja Confections. Founder Alicja Buchowicz, the local featured in our New York Times video, shows a different side of the city in every little bonbon or bar, by using fresh ingredients from local producers to really spice up her creations. She’s also the mind behind the chocolate postcard, a chocolate bar that can be signed, stamped and sent in the mail.
Of course, Alicja Confections is just one example of Ottawa’s incredible maker community. Check out Little Victories Coffee Roasters for your daily caffeine fix, quench your thirst on a Brew Donkey tour of local breweries, or visit Freewheeling Craft to discover more of Ottawa’s creators and artisan events.
The Rideau Canal
No matter what time of year you visit Ottawa, the Rideau Canal is a must-visit attraction. While it’s known worldwide as the largest naturally frozen skating rink (at 4.8 miles long), the Canal is definitely a year-round destination for outdoor entertainment. Yes, when the water freezes, skating along a seemingly unending ice surface, winding your way through downtown with two blades strapped to your feet, is absolutely unforgettable. But when the ice melts and it’s t-shirt weather outside, you can take the same journey via voyageur canoe or while on a relaxing boat cruise. You can also explore the Canal by walking, running, or cycling (as you saw in the video) along its banks, so get outside and enjoy it!
Fresh produce, cheese galore, endless baked goods, every meat you can imagine… this is the ByWard Market. One of the country’s oldest and largest public markets, “the By” has connected farmers and craft merchants to the city’s foodies and makers like Buchowicz since the early 19th century. Still going strong, the market provides you with the opportunity to see, listen, touch, taste, and smell your way through over 150 stands, including everything from butter chicken to bubble tea.
Want to see all of these attractions in action? Watch each of the four videos on the New York Times website.