Best nightlife in Canada
It’s no secret that Canadian ski towns and cities put on some great nightlife options.
Friendly Canadian culture
Canadians are an exceptionally friendly bunch, and when visiting the country you’ll discover their genuine love of celebration.
Whether it be the arrival of a warm and sunny summer, the stunning golden hues of fall, the first dump of winter powder or one of the countless Canadian music, food or culture festivals that begin in spring, there always seems to be a reason for jolly festivity.
And who are we to get in the way of a good time?
The major cities of Canada like Montreal, Québec, Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver are all known for their hip and cultured bar scene. You’ll have no trouble stumbling across a party in these vibing cities.
As always, it’s best to chat to a local about hot spots if you want to avoid the tourist crowds and enjoy a genuine experience.
Canadian entertainment for the sophisticated
If boozing isn’t your thing, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary are hubs for music gigs – modern, classical, opera and ballet. And there are plenty of movie theatres and good restaurants if you’re after a quiet night, or somewhere to take the kids.
A general rule is that the smaller or more remote the town, the simpler the entertainment options. However, even wild Canada has its share of kooky local pubs and great venues for live music, so make sure you get out and about to see what’s on offer.
Canadian ski town nightlife
If you’re a fan of the après-ski lifestyle, you’ll be able to live out this dream quite comfortably in most of the major ski towns. Don’t leave without sampling an alcoholic hot chocolate - they’re dangerously good!
While Canadian ski towns like Sun Peaks, Big White and Tremblant are focused on good old fashioned family fun and don’t have a huge array of nightlife, most of the Canadian ski resorts have a few great watering holes filled with rosy-cheeked snow bunnies and live music.
Essentially, if you go looking for night time adventure in a Canadian ski town, you’ll find it – you may just have to leave the comforts of your ski resort and head down the road to the closest township do so.
In terms of the best après ski vibe, Whistler is a great spot. This mammoth resort has an incredible variety of entertainment and is famous for its nightlife. There’s no shortage of amazing bars, pubs and lounges.
Our favourite Whistler clubs are Moe Joe's, Buffalo Bills and Tommy Africa’s – be sure to ask the locals which nights are best.
As a side note, summer months in Whistler are also a lot of fun, with dock parties and river floats being a speciality.
Best shopping in Canada
For the tourist at heart
Canada is loaded with all the souvenirs you can poke a bobble-headed plastic Mountie at. So if it’s grizzly bears, maple syrup or local crafts you're keen to remember Canada by, or hand out as gifts, they’re everywhere. Sports paraphernalia is another popular option – Canadians are crazy for ice hockey and NHL.
In a more traditional sense of retail therapy, all the big North American chains are found in the huge shopping malls around the country. Canadian shopping malls are pretty impressive. The famed West Edmonton Mall has more than 800 shops, 100 eateries, luxury accommodation, movie theatres, a waterpark, skating rink and themed attractions making it the largest indoor shopping and entertainment complex in North America!
And here's a tip: Alberta is the only province with no sales tax so you might like to stock up while travelling the province.
In Toronto visit the largest underground shopping complex. Amongst the 30km network of pedestrian tunnels you will find Toronto's Eaton Centre, a landmark in its own right where you will find a shop for just about anything.