The Best Cities in Canada in 2016
Canada’s cities are modern metropolises, but locals (and visitors) love that even in the heart of urban living, you’re never too far from nature.
The romantic, 55-acre Butchart Gardens are just outside Victoria. In Montreal, cyclists can pedal along hundreds of miles of dedicated paths. Readers who voted the two cities as among the best in Canada made note of both features.
Each year in our World’s Best Awards survey, we ask our readers to rate their travel experiences with hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights/landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
The urban centers that topped the list are very different—Toronto, No. 5, is an unmistakably modern city, while Quebec City has a Parisian feel, with narrow cobblestone streets and European-influenced architecture. It's been on the World’s Best Cities list for more than a decade, thanks in part to its friendly locals who don’t laugh at tourists' attempts to resurrect their high-school-level French.
But in addition to natural resources, all these winners offer a wealth of experiences for visitors, not to mention dynamic food scenes. Toronto (or the City of Neighborhoods) is especially diverse, with its Greektowns, Chinatowns, a Koreatown, and even a Little Portugal.
Whether you’re close to the border and looking for a weekend getaway, visiting from the far reaches of the world, or a Canadian eager for a staycation, this is your reader-curated list of the cities that belong on your bucket list.
No. 5: Toronto, Ontario
No. 4: Montreal, Quebec
No. 3: Victoria, British Columbia
No. 2: Vancouver, British Columbia
No. 1: Quebec City
Few cities bring together Old World and New World quite so beautifully. With the historic district's striking, 400-year-old stone buildings, Quebec “looks more like Europe than Europe,” observed one T+L readers. And the local cuisine takes strong cues from French fare. But Quebec City also has a fresh energy that keeps it from feeling stuck in the past. Whether they're visiting for a day or a week, travelers will find plenty to do, from wandering charming streets to exploring First Nations culture to taking a gondola ride in Montmorency Falls Park.