The 20 Most Underrated Places In Canada, According To Canadians

Because there’s more than Toronto and Quebec.

Last week, we asked fellow Canadians what they thought were the country’s truly hidden — and widely overlooked — gems.

Creative Commons / Flickr: patrickorielly

Because Canada is more than Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, and Niagara Falls.

Here are some of their favourite “secret” spots:

(that deserve more international love)

1. “Wawa, Ontario”

Creative Commons / Flickr: making-you-think

Creative Commons / Flickr: making-you-think

 

First of all, the name “Wawa” will instantly bring a smile to your face. The township sits off of Lake Superior, giving its residents beautiful water-side views, but the most charming fact about Wawa is that it is most known for its ginormous Goose statue (see above left). The goose is made of metal and stands to be over 8.5 meters tall.
One Facebook commenter added “the place so nice they named it twice!”

Submitted by Susan Mawhiney and Sheryl D Silva.

2. “North Bay, Ontario.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: pommegranny

 

The city straddles several masses of water (Ottawa River, Great Lakes Basin, Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake) which means serene sceneries and and breathtaking views. One user claims it has “the best fall foliage in Ontario–by far,” while another says it’s their “favourite place in the world.”

Submitted by LindsayChechak.

3. “Northern Ontario” in general.

Creative Commons / Flickr: 50498803@N02

Creative Commons / Flickr: deejay08

 

Much of Ontario gets overwritten by its southern cities (Ottawa and Toronto), but the northern regions of the province are truly beautiful.

4. “Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick”

Jamie Roach / Shutterstock

Creative Commons / Flickr: rossanderin

 

New Brunswick is home to some of the world’s tallest tides and rock formations. Each of these wonders stands about four stories high.

Submitted by courtneyk9 (and multiple users!)

5. “Cavendish Beach in P.E.I.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: curtox

Creative Commons / Flickr: reinvented

 

Prince Edward Island, as one user put it, is “one dream of a place,” and Cavendish Beach is one of the dreamiest. If its magical shoreline views isn’t enough of a draw, its famous red sandstone cliffs (above right) will surely give you wanderlust.

Submitted by sarae13 (and multiple users!)

6. “P.E.I” in general.

Creative Commons / Flickr: kk

 

We got countless shout-outs for Prince Edward Island — and for very good reason. The Maritime province is as magical as it looks: lighthouses, boardwalks, ocean coves and rolling pastures are just some of its most charming and romantic features. Heaven is a place on Earth.

7. “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta.”

 

“Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump” (yes, that is the name) was first (and continually) used by aboriginal peoples 6,000 years ago. The preserved landmark is also an archeological insight into native hunting practices, buffalo jumps, and the remarkable lifestyles of North American Plains People.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has placed it among the world’s greatest heritage monuments, like the pyramids, Stonehenge and the Galapagos Islands.

Submitted by Twitter user @gepose.

8. “Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: 42373177@N07

Haida Gwaii, which literally translates to “Islands of the Haida people,” is an archipelago off the north coast of BC. Its residents are mostly indigenous Haida people, which, beyond its marvelous natural landscapes, also houses great preservations of aboriginal culture.

Submitted by mikaelac4edc83b2c.

9. “Kamloops, British Columbia.”

Kamloops calls itself “BC’s Friendliest City,” but its more famous draw is the picturesque landscape of the city. One user summed it up nicely: “Two rivers meeting and a thousand mountains!”

Submitted by emmy1994.

10. “Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia.”

 

Blue Rocks is a cute, village-sized community in Nova Scotia known for its fishing culture. From the looks of it, life seems pretty easy and breezy.

Submitted by kristicolleen.

11. “Nova Scotia” in general.

 

Nova Scotia is the second smallest province in Canada and largely underrated (for whatever reason we still don’t quite understand). One of our users has taken and shared some truly stunning images of her hometown — some even in her own backyard.

12. “Dempster Highway in Yukon/Northwest Territories.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: russellmcneil

AKA the “Yukon Highway 5” or “Northwest Territories Highway 8,” the long stretch of road is best known for its surreal surrounding views, like this one. File this under “road trips you need to take.”

Submitted by nessg.

13. “Dawson City, Yukon.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: larrymyhre

 

Its population sits around 1,500, but it draws about 60,000 visitors a year. Whether that’s due to its charming architecture, or the old-town feel (reminiscent of its 1800s gold-mining days), or the annual International Sled Dog Race that runs through town, Dawson City is a cute northern community you’ll really have to visit to believe.

Submitted by CanadianDot.

14. “Whiteshell regions in Manitoba.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: phrawzty

Creative Commons / Flickr: vitch

 

The areas within and outside of Whiteshell Provincial Park (located along the Manitoba/Ontario border) hosts all sorts of natural sites: lakes, forests, granite ridges. But its most famous and mysterious feature is its petroforms, AKA geometric rock formations and arrangements that were created by native peoples for certain astronomical, religious, sacred, and teaching purposes.

The region is described, plain and simply, as “absolutely gorgeous.”
Submitted by kristau.

15. “The cultural coasts of New Brunswick.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: dalecalder2003

A commenter gives a compelling sell on NB: “There you’ll find the most charming French people with remnants of a culture that dates back to the 1700’s. If you want to discover a hidden cultural gem, that is it! And with the most amazing beaches in Canada might I add.”

Submitted by Dominique Lirette.

16. “Jasper, Alberta. And the drive from Jasper, AB south on Highway 93.”

 

We got a ton of love for the town and municipality of Jasper, Alberta but one commenter noted that the drive through and around Jasper is the only way to fully appreciate, and take in, all the wonders of your surroundings. They suggested embarking on the “drive from Jasper, AB south on Highway 93 (Icefields Parkway), to Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) all the way to Waterton National Park.”

Submitted by Karly Savoy (and multiple users!)

17. “Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: kneale

Even though it’s the largest city in Saskatchewan, Saskatoon doesn’t get the national/global recognition it often deserves. With only a population of ~260,000, Saskatoon has one of the country’s most riches arts & culture scenes. Plus, the province is kind of really stunning: “As someone who grew up in Saskatchewan and thought it was the most boring looking place on earth,” one user wrote. “I now realize it has its own quiet beauty.”

Submitted by Joshua Sannar (and multiple users!)

18. “Tablelands in Newfoundland.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: nanovivid

Creative Commons / Flickr: rjproduct

 

Newfoundland & Labrador’s geological Gros Morne National Park is a clutch-your-heart kind of sight, and its “tablelands”, AKA a mountain of flat-topped rock found in the deepest parts of earth’s mantle, is truly stunning.

Submitted by HapaxLegomenon.

19. “Twillingate, Newfoundland.”

Creative Commons / Flickr: greying_geezer

The shore town of Twillingate only has a little under 2,500 residents, but it epitomizes the intrigue and charm of life in Newfoundland. They pride themselves in their own rich culture: hosting folksy music festivals, sustaining the fishing industry, and really showcasing local talents.

Submitted by maggielambert816.

20. “Newfoundland” in general.

Creative Commons / Flickr: rjproduct

Creative Commons / Flickr: rjproduct

 

The most frequent response we received was a shout-out to the entire province (and island) of Newfoundland & Labrador:
One user described Newfoundland as “a rugged place with amazing geological sites,” while another had a pretty general compelling argument:
“Newfoundland. Just all of Newfoundland. But mostly Gros Morne. And Twillingate. And St. John’s. And Bonavista. And… oh screw it, just all of it!! Everyone go!”

…and Dildo Island, Newfoundland. Yes, it exists.

 

The most underrated place in all of Canada is, unofficially but deservingly, Dildo Island. We hear they have great *wink wink* adventure tours.

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