So, let’s talk about insta worthy locations in Canada. First off what makes a location insta-worthy? The answer is typically the same; somewhere picturesque where I can take a photo that will get a ton of likes on the gram. The reason an insta-worthy picture gets a lot of likes is because other users are searching the locations and hashtags used in a good picture, they want to see the world through your lens and maybe decide to add some of the locations to their own list of places to see.
So an insta-worthy image is more than just a pretty picture, it’s a travel guide for millions of people with their own dreams. A good picture serves as inspiration to work harder so we too can travel and see the incredible and beautiful places we pour over every day.
As it turns out, Canada has thousands, hundreds of thousands, to be fair probably millions of instagram worthy locations waiting to be snapped and shared. So let’s just scratch the surface of the potential for a visit to Canada.
Canada’s Instagram Treasure Chest
1. Lake Louise, Alberta
Let’s start with the most obvious and quintessential insta spot in Canada. Now you could replicate this at one of Canada’s two million other lakes, but what makes Lake Louise so special is the color of the water. That’s right, that’s au natural baby, no filters. The turquoise lake water is as a result of the incredible backdrop of the image, Victoria Glacier, which slowly feeds the lake it’s unique mineral water containing rock flour, providing one of the most epic backdrops you’ll ever find.
2. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia
What is it about a lighthouse? We cling to them, maintaining them and in the majority of instances, keep them working year round despite the fact that they have for the most part become redundant in the twenty-first century. Perhaps it comes down to what they embodied for sailors out at sea; hope, guidance, and a source of strength in difficult situations. It also doesn’t hurt that they are aesthetically beautiful and typically situated in raw and beautiful locations. So if you should find yourself at Peggy’s cove on a brisk spring morning as the sun prepares to rise off the Atlantic ocean to the east, you could capture a moment that could exist anywhere in between 1914 and today, frozen in time with the old lighthouse.
3. Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec
Just about all of the Montreal old city is an instagrammers paradise. Unless you geotag your location, anyone seeing your shot will immediately just assume you’re in Europe. Cobblestone roads, boutique shops and restaurants covered in greenery and adorned with retro signage. The Quartier Petit Champlain is Canada’s oldest commercial shopping district and after you’ve got the perfect snap, you can enjoy a little of what Canada does best; poutine and crepes!
4. Aurora Village, Yukon
What would a trip to Canada be without capturing the unforgettable Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis. We will warn you ahead of time that you will need a good camera and lens to really capture the lights and any periphery scenery you may want to include, the ol’ phone camera just won’t cut it. Be sure to book in advance with a tour group or for one of the epic teepees, because the snowy winter nights can get a little nippy, around -26 degrees celsius nippy!
The picturesque and classically charming little city of Yellowknife in the Northwest territories will also offer many opportunities to capture the Northern Lights and the Oldtown offers up many breweries, cosy diners and photo opportunities on the shores of the Great Silver Lake.
5. Canadian National Exhibition, Ontario
This year is only the second year since the fair’s inception in 1879 that it will not go ahead due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally running for three weeks from September into August, 2021 may be the best year yet to attend the 144th Canadian National Exhibition for a taste of everything that makes Canada great. Classic carnival games, food vendors in colorful old timey stalls, poutine, funnel cakes, doughnuts, all the bad things that make the best photos. Who can’t resist scrolling over image after image of junk food, and you get to have a whale of a time while you snap away.
6. Niagara Falls, Ontario
Like lighthouses, waterfalls are always photogenic. So the queen of all waterfalls deserves at least one one spot on your feed. Here is the best part; the most impressive and awesome part of the falls are on the Canadian side of the USA/Canada border! You will have access to three sets of falls including the most powerful and expansive, Horseshoe falls. There are tour boats that take you right up to the base of the falls for an unforgettable experience, just make sure you dry your phone afterwards!
7. Toronto, Ontario
The CN tower gives Toronto one of the most iconic skylines in the world. The tower held the record for the tallest freestanding structure in the world until the Burj Khalifa took that title in 2007. Jump on a ferry for a quick trip across to the Toronto Islands where you will be able to snap away for as long as you like, the last ferry only heads back to the mainland at 10:15pm on the weekends. The islands also have beaches, an amusement park with an antique carousel, numerous gardens and a lighthouse shrouded in mystery.
8. Rideau Canal, Ontario
Just a few hours from Toronto is the country’s capital city of Ottawa, and the city holds a canal of such grandeur it has been declared a Unesco world heritage site. Whether you visit in winter or summer, you will not be disappointed by the Rideau Canal. In summer the canal winds lazily through the beautiful downtown area, surrounded by magnificent buildings, cafes and natural beauty. In winter it freezes over to become the world’s largest and most incredible ice-skating rink you will ever encounter. Covering a distance of 7.8km in total, after a couple of laps through the city you will have a bevy of undoubtedly incredible pictures and be ready for a steamy bowl of poutine at one of the many rest stops that dot the canalside.
How Will You Travel?
Which visa you will need to get before visiting Canada all depends on your intentions while visiting Canada. If you’re only going to be travelling while you create the album of a lifetime, you will only require a tourist visa. The other option is to help pay for your travels by working your way through Canada. You can work in short term jobs for multiple employers while you travel, but you will need to apply for a working holiday visa aka the International Experience Category (IEC). Let’s take a quick look at the requirements for each.
Canadian Tourist Visa
Every traveller needs to be in possession of a valid passport (or unabridged birth certificate in the case of children) in order to travel across the Canadian border, no matter their country of origin.
The passport needs to have an open page for immigration and passport control officers to stamp as you move across the borders or airport control points.
A number of countries are exempt from applying for a visitor visa to Canada Visitor Visa, such as EU countries and the USA, but those that are not exempt need to appear in person at the Canadian embassy in their country of residence. A biometric screening is done by an embassy consultant and the travel documents that you must collect and present are checked for approval (generally over a 4-6 week waiting period).
Working Holiday Visa
To apply for a Working Holiday Visa, you will be required to:
- Be a citizen of one of the participating countries in the IEC programs, if your country is not participating in the IEC program, you may be able to use a registered organization (RO);
- Be under the age of 35;
- Be admissible to Canada;
- Create an online profile on the IEC government webpage;
- Have a minimum of $2,500 to cover your initial expenses;
- Have health insurance for the duration of your stay;
- Give biometrics at your local Canadian consulate; and
- Hold a valid passport or travel document.
Once your profile is complete, you will be entered into a pool of applicants. If you are awarded a Canadian Working Holiday Visa, you will also apply for an open work permit. An open work permit will allow you to work for any designated employer in Canada (excluding Quebec). Remember, if you have dependents they unfortunately cannot accompany you on an IEC Working Holiday Visa. There is always the possibility Canada opens its borders and you could be working and travelling through Canada this year already.