Review by

(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741045710 1741045711

At 10 million sq. km. in size, Canada is the second largest country in the world. This Lonely Planet guide is also big, with 912 pages. The 1.25 inch- (3.5 cm)-thick softcover book introduces readers to Canada's population of 33 million people, their country and culture.

Canada is well-organized by province, region and city. Numerous sidebars provide explanations and interesting details. For example, a sidebar describes the top five free things to see in Quebec City (the farmers' market in the old port, Erico Chocolate Museum, a doll hospital, the Museum of Civilization and Fou-Bar for Tuesday-night jazz).

National parks

An insert on Canada's National Parks, discusses backpacking, rock climbing, park itineraries and websites. Sidebars feature Top Five Lesser Known Canadian Parks, Top Five Parks for History and Top Five Parks for Scenery.

Small color images depict highlights like whale-watching in Newfoundland and Louisbourg National Historic Site in Nova Scotia. Photos include images of Auyuittuq National Park, Yoho and other Canadian National Parks.

City maps

A colored relief map locates attractions like Iles de la Madeleine and Grand Manan Island. B&W maps of Canadian cities and regions have distance scales in kilometers and miles and symbols for restaurants, hotels, attractions, transportation and entertainment.

The Language section explains the differences between Canadian French and European French.

Canadian slang words

A glossary defines Canadian words like Cow Town (a nickname for Calgary), gite du passant (bed and breakfast or B&B in Quebec), screech (a strong rum from Newfoundland) and toonie (a slang name for the Canadian two-dollar coin).

Local Voice sidebars interview residents, such as a lighthouse keeper on Machias/Seal Island, the last manned station in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick.

Where to hike

Top Five sidebars describe highlights like The Top Five Hikes in Algonquin Park, Ontario (Booth's Rock, Centennial Ridges, Lookout Trail, Mizzy Lake and Track & Tower).

The Lonely Planet Canada culture chapter is filled with interesting facts. For example, it explains that the most common family name in Canada is Tremblay (one in 50 Quebecers).

Tours of Canada

The Itineraries chapter describes several Canada tours, ranging from the classic (Toronto and Niagara Falls to Quebec City) to the Cabot Trail (from Halifax to St. Ann's Loop). Specialty Canadian tours focus on food, adventure, history and ecotourism.

Sidebars explain things Canadian:

Aboriginal Tourism—With 612 Aboriginal bands and 2,600 First Nations reserves across the country, First Nations tourism employs more than 10,000 people in Canada. Many First Nations people open their homes to visitors and teach native skills like how to paddle a canoe. During homestays in the far north, visitors can taste maktaaq (whale blubber), smoked whitefish and caribou stew, hike in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, kayak at Pond Inlet and make moccasins at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

The Underground Railroad—Southwestern Ontario has many sites associated with the secret network of people who helped slaves escape from the US to Canada before the American Civil War, e.g., Uncle Tom's cabin in Dresden. An estimated 40,000 people escaped by the Underground Railroad.

Moose Facts—Did you know that moose were imported into Newfoundland in 1904 and now number over 120,000? This St. John's sidebar explains that moose eat 22 kilos of vegetation daily and Newfoundlanders eat 22,000 moose each year.

Klondike Gold Rush—The Yukon gold fields attracted over 40,000 prospectors in 1897. Many sourdoughs lost their lives traveling overland from Skagway to Dawson City. This sidebar describes the Gold Rush Trail (Klondike Highway) from Skagway to Whitehorse and Minto. From here, visitors paddle the Yukon River to follow the path of the prospectors.

Unique Canadian celebrations—This sidebar describes the Canadian national celebrations of National Flag Day, Victoria Day, Aboriginal Day, Canada Day and Thanksgiving.

Poutine—This French-Canadian food is most popular in Quebec. Its calories come from French fries covered with cheese curds and gravy plus toppings like ground beef and green peppers.

Lonely Planet Canada


On the road
Canada highlights
Destination Canada
Getting started
The culture
Food & drink
Canada outdoors
Canada's national parks
  • Ontario
    • Toronto
    • Niagara Peninsula
    • Southwestern Ontario
    • Georgian Bay & Lakelands
    • Northern Ontario
    • Eastern Ontario
    • Ottawa
  • Quebec
    • Montreal
    • The Laurentians
    • Montreal to Quebec City
    • Quebec City
    • Charlevoix
    • Saguenay
    • South Shore
    • Gaspe Peninsula
    • North Shore
    • Iles de la Madeleine
    • Far North
  • Nova Scotia
    • Halifax
    • South Shore
    • Annapolis Valley & French Shore
    • Central Nova Scotia
    • Sunrise Trail
    • Cape Breton Island
    • Eastern Shore
  • New Brunswick
    • Fredericton
    • Upper St. John River Valley
    • Western Fundy Shore
    • Fundy Isles
    • Saint John
    • Eastern Fundy Shore
    • Southeastern New Brunswick
    • Northumberland Shore
    • The Miramichi River Valley
    • Northeastern New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Charlottetown
    • Eastern PEI
    • Central PEI
    • Western PEI
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • St. John's
    • Avalon Peninsula
    • Eastern Newfoundland
    • St-Pierre & Miquelon
    • Central Newfoundland
    • Northern Peninsula
    • Western Newfoundland
    • South Coast Outports
    • Labrador
  • Manitoba
    • Winnipeg
    • Lake Winnipeg
    • Southeastern Manitoba
    • Western Manitoba
    • Northern Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
    • Regina
    • Southern Saskatchewan
    • Saskatoon
    • Northern Saskatchewan
  • Alberta
    • Edmonton
    • Calgary
    • Banff & Jasper National Parks
    • Southern Alberta
    • Northern Alberta
  • British Columbia
    • Vancouver
    • Lower Mainland
    • Sea to Sky Highway
    • Whistler
    • Sunshine Coast
    • Vancouver Island
    • Southern Gulf Islands
    • Fraser & Thompson Valleys
    • Okanagan Valley
    • The Kootenays & The Rockies
    • Cariboo, Chilcotin & Coast
    • The North
  • Yukon Territory
    • Whitehorse
    • Alaska Highway
    • Haines Highway
    • Klondike Highway
    • Dawson City
    • Dempster Highway
    • Arctic Parks
  • Northwest Territories
    • Yellowknife
    • North Slave
    • South Slave
    • Deh Cho
    • Sahtu
    • Western Arctic
  • Nunavut
    • Iqaluit
    • Baffin Region
    • Kivalliq Region
    • Kitikmeot Region
Behind the scenes
World time zones
Map legend


Karla Zimmerman, James Bainbridge, Celeste Brash, Natalie Folster, Scott Kennedy, John Lee, Graham Neale, Brandon Presser, Charles Rawlings-Way, Sarah Richards, Aaron Spitzer and Ryan Ver Berkmoes.

More things to see and do in Canada:

Canada hotels, restaurants and activities

Return to Travel Index