Recent Canada reviews
"As soon as we stepped onto this property, our breath was truly taken away. The outside of the cottage has a spanning yard space and a wraparound deck that is fitted with a picnic table, a barbecue, some lounge chairs and even a hot tub! The far end of the yard has steps that lead down to the Sooke River. We spent many days trekking up and down the river or just sitting near the bank admiring our incredible surroundings. I hesitate calling the Sooke River Cottage a cottage at all because it is more like a dream home! Seriously, Gary and Meredith, I want a copy of the blueprints ;). The house has one master bedroom with a washroom just off of it, a spacious sitting and dining area and a loft with another bed and sitting area. The kitchen was fully-equipped with everything we could ever need. All we brought along were a couple spices and we were set for a week of good food! The decorating was impeccable and was filled with all kinds of subtle details that made the cottage feel like a real home. I certainly could have gotten used to living there! When we weren't taking advantage of the amazing home and yard, we ventured out into the charming town of Sooke that has all the necessary amenities and some very friendly locals. If you go to the Village Foods Market, remember to mention you're a tourist - they give you a discount! We also found an off sale liquor store called Buffy's which we used when the provincial liquor board store was closed. The cottage was about an hour's drive from Victoria, and we enjoyed doing some sightseeing there as well. One of my favourite things about the trip was visiting the Sooke River Potholes. It was only 1.5 kilometres from the cottage, and we were pleased with all the hiking we got to do there. We spent almost an entire day at the Potholes, hiking around, swimming, and just enjoying the scenery. It's a picture perfect place that is just steps away from the cottage - what could be better? For beach-goers, we were about a 30-40 minute drive from the Juan de Fuca straight/ West Coast. We visited the popular French Beach, but my favourite spot was Sandcut Beach. It wasn't as busy, had a small hike from the parking lot to the beach, and we spent an entire day going up and down the beach enjoying the mountain view - fantastic! Our stay in Sooke was truly phenomenal. Gary and Meredith were amazing hosts who were incredibly welcoming and kind. I hope we will be able to return again soon. You gotta stay here! :)"Guest: Kate, Leo, Seth and Jordan Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: August 20, 2014View listing
"my husband and I stayed in this terrific condo june 2014. steve and trish were so helpfull. steve helped me to book bikes which we used to tour the city. the condo is very very clean, it was equipped with everything you would ever need, location was perfect. I loved sitting on the balcony, condo had great comfortable bed, lovely sitting area, I do not generally cook when I am on vacation but I did cook in the condo kitchen because it was a great kitchen to cook in. I also loved being able to do my laundry before moving on to tofino. I would highly highly recommend this condo. Kim and David"Guest: kim Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: July 2, 2014View listing
"This property exceeded our expectations. The location was great, convenient to public transportation and with lots of restaurants and shops within a couple of blocks. We found the apartment spotless and quite charming...even better than the photos... with lots of natural light on the main floor. Having the two bedrooms on two different levels worked really well for us. I appreciated the well-stocked kitchen and comfortable furniture. We enjoyed eating meals on the deck. The rental process, from inquiry to arrival to departure, was smooth and easy, and Paulette responded quickly to our questions. I've used VRBO a number of times, and this has been our best experience. I highly recommend this property. Try Lola's Kitchen and the Indian restaurant next door to Lola's--both great choices with many gluten free options."Guest: Carole Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: July 17, 2014View listing
"After a few months hard work, we managed to hide in this beautiful log home besides Shuswap River in July and had a relaxing peaceful time. It is a 10 minute drive to Mabel Lake from the house, and we loved the part that it is far away from the crowd and has no cell service! We loved waking up in the fresh air in the morning; we enjoyed moonlight shining into the living room, stirs. It was such a magic feeling to watch the blue mountains and fields through the windows in a full moon night. My husband enjoyed fishing in the river… The photos are accurate on the website, however, there is much more the photo didn’t tell. Our experiences are much better than we expected. We will definitely come back again."Guest: Anonymous Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: August 21, 2014View listing
Canada Travel Tips
Canada is a massive country known for its pristine wilderness, but it also has some world-class cities filled with vibrant culture. If you’re planning your Canada travels, here are some tips for making the most of your vacation in this beautiful country:
Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is Canada’s largest city and it boasts diverse cultures and interesting architecture. While you’re in Toronto, consider taking a 90-minute drive to quaint and famous Niagara Falls on the U.S. and Canadian border. Another must-do is to take an elevator ride to the top of the CN Tower - the second-tallest freestanding structure in the world at 1,815 feet. You can dine at the 360 Revolving Restaurant or just see the sites below from the sky pod. Experience history, nature and science at premier Toronto attractions like Ontario Science Centre, the historic Casa Loma Castle, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Toronto Zoo. If you’re a hockey fan, don’t miss the impressive Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. There’s plenty to see at the Harbourfront Centre and you can find good deals at the bustling Kensington Market or enjoy a leisurely stroll and gourmet foods at the St. Lawrence Market. If you need to escape the bustling city, hop on a ferry to the Toronto Islands for beautiful scenery, peace and quiet as well as awesome Toronto skyline views.
Montreal is considered the most European city in all of Canada. Unlike other parts of the country, French is the primary language spoken here, though English is commonly used as a second language. While you’re in Montreal, hitting up Vieux-Montreal - the old town - is a must. You’ll find cobblestone streets, quaint shops, French architecture and excellent dining options here. Art-lovers will want to spend at least three hours exploring the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which hosts a massive collection of everything under the sun, including works by famous European painters Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt, Miro, Matisse, Dali, Picasso, Rodin, Goya and El Greco.
Other must-visits are the beautiful Montreal Botanical Gardens, St. Joseph's Oratory, the Parc du Mont-Royal and the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Vancouver is a harbour city and the third largest in Canada, located on the West Coast and close to the United States’ Pacific Northwest region. Take a tour on an old steamboat in Vancouver Harbour and head to Granville Island’s open-air public market, where kids can also check out the Kids Only Market. You can rent kayaks on the island or make waves at the free water park. Other must-visit natural areas in Vancouver are stunning Kitsilano Beach, the 400-acre Stanley Park, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where you can cross the famous bridge and hike on the trails including the daunting Cliff Hanger Walk. Don’t miss the Vancouver Art Gallery, the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Science World and a ride in a gondola up Grouse Mountain for stunning views.
Canada’s historic capital also has plenty to do and see. Take a scenic bike ride or walk along the Rideau Canal - a 125-mile waterway that cuts through the city center. Take a free tour of the three neo-gothic structures that make up Parliament Hill, and be wowed by the futuristic architecture of the National Gallery of Canada - just across from Parliament Hill - before stepping inside to see famous works by Picasso, da Vinci and Michelangelo, as well as various traveling exhibits. Ottawa is swimming in excellent museums - some others include the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Elgin Street is the perfect spot for fine dining and nightlife, and Gatineau Park, north of the city, is the place to go to escape the crowds.
Canada has too many beautiful natural areas to name, but the hands-down best are Glacier National Park, Banff National Park and the Butchart Gardens.
Glacier National Park is a fairytale-like park in the Rocky Mountains, about a six-hour drive northeast of Vancouver and a four-hour drive west of Calgary. It has stunning vistas, more than 700 miles of hiking and walking trails, opportunities for every type of outdoor recreation and it sits on more than 500 square miles of pristine forests, mountains and meadows. Banff National Park isn’t far from Glacier National Park and offers similar sights and opportunities on more than 2,500 square miles. It’s truly the gem of Canada.
The Butchart Gardens are a National Historic Site of Canada, and they’ve been in bloom for 100 years. They’re located near Victoria on Vancouver Island and are simply breathtaking, with acres and acres of flowers, plants and trees, many of them very rare, and all cultivated and placed in a way that makes them appear surreal, as if they’re from a storybook.