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Six Tips for experiencing Canada like the locals

Hunt down local cafés, avoid the chains and go where the lines are long in Canada

CANADA: It can sometimes be difficult not to stand out like a sore thumb when visiting a new country. The camera around your neck and guide book in your hands may just scream ‘tourist’ to anyone who walks by. However, experiencing a country like a local opens up so many more opportunities. If you’re planning a trip to Canada any time soon, here’s how to blend in like one of the locals.

Alberta has some amazing attractions

Visit in the summer

Plenty of tourists head to Canada in the winter, thanks to their beautiful ski resorts and log cabins in the woods. However, if you want to live more like a local in Canada, then you have to visit in the summer. According to Ben Groundwater’s ‘The One Thing’ blog on 1Cover, the one thing you have to do in Canada is visit in the summer. This is the best time to go camping under the stars, hiking through Yukon, or even sip your coffee on the streets of Montreal.


Winter Garden Theatre

Romantic in Ontario. Ontario is one of the most romantic destinations in the world thanks to Niagara Falls. It’s thought that around 50,000 honeymooners visit here every single year! However, if you want to experience Canada more like a local then skip the waterfall and head to Toronto instead. Here you can have dinner at the revolving CN Tower restaurant, cuddle up together with a book at The Monkey’s Paw, or take in a show at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Get on public transport. A key to feeling like a local in any country you visit is to use public transport. Not only is it cheaper than taxis or hiring a car, but it is also a great way to explore the town or city you’re in. Even if you don’t have a specific destination in mind, hop on a bus or streetcar and see where you end up. Try the 501 Queen streetcar if you’re in Toronto, as it’s one of the longest streetcar routes in the whole of North America.

Follow the long lines

Hunt down local cafes. Canada is packed full of quaint places to eat and drink, so you’ll be really spoiled for choice if you want to enjoy a break from sightseeing. If you want to experience this country like a local, however, you’ll want to look for the local cafes. Avoid the chains and go where the lines are long, as this tends to mean they serve good food and coffee. Grab yourself a seat outside in the sunshine and watch the world go by, just like a local.

Mind your manners. If there’s one thing you’ll likely hear a lot of in Canada, it’s the word “sorry.” That’s not because Canadians are constantly doing something wrong, it’s simply because they have some of the best manners in the world (other than the Brits). So, it’s essential you don’t offend any of the locals by not saying, “please,” “thank you” or “sorry,” when required.

Philip A. Nortvedt
Philip A. Nortvedt
I use to rent a studio in an Italian village and pop up to watch the history and architecture for inspiration. My favourite bar is next to the central Piazza, they do surprisingly fruit drinks and delicious pizza. One day I will tell you the exact location


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