Este ou oeste do Canadá?

Por Johanna Read

Fotografia por Getty

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Canada is an immense country. Covering six time zones, it would take 75 hours of driving – plus almost nine hours on two different ferries – to drive the 7,500km from the western-most provincial capital along the Pacific Coast (Victoria, British Columbia) to the easternmost (St John’s, Newfoundland). But which region wins the ‘best of‘ contest? Canadian writer Johanna Read shares the cultural, foodie and wild highlights of both.

A vida selvagem

Vá para oeste

Occasionally deer or even bears wander into some Canadian cities, especially in the west, but you’ll need to get out into the wilderness for a chance to see Canada’s most iconic animals. Vancouver ups the ante for ‘wild’ cities – the downtown area is surrounded on three sides by water, so there’s a chance a whale or a seal might swim by. Plus, on a day trip to the Badlands, you can even see dinosaurs. True, they’re no longer very lively, but Drumheller is the dinosaur capital of the world…

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Small animals such as raccoons and rabbits live in many city neighbourhoods, but for a chance to see larger beasts in the wild you’ll need to add a hire car to your booking and drive into rural Quebec. Head to the lake chalets in the Laurentian Mountains or Mont Tremblant, where you might spot bears, moose or deer. Or take a day trip from Montreal to Quebec City for the chance to see beluga whales and seals on a cruise along the Saguenay–St Lawrence Marine Park.

  • Dinosaur Provincial Park Tours © Brooks Regional Tourism.

    Monte a sua sela

    Discover hoodoo rock formations and dinosaur fossils at Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World, in the Canadian Badlands of Alberta.

  • Admire a esplêndida fauna canadiana © Getty.

    Get outdoors

    Discover outstanding wildlife and stunning landscapes in some of Canada’s many national parks.

    Descubra o Canadá

A gastronomia

Vá para oeste

Vai comer bem em quase todo lado no Canadá, mas em especial em Vancouver. Graças a um clima relativamente ameno e a uma terra excelente para a agricultura, as refeições confecionadas com produtos frescos locais eram já uma forma de vida aqui muito antes de se tornarem moda na indústria alimentar. A principal tendência é a cozinha de inspiração asiática, com ingredientes sazonais da costa oeste, especialmente marisco e peixe frescos. Prove estes sabores no restaurante do chef, Alex Chen, o Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar, onde se serve um delicioso prato à base de lorcha e amêijoas com salsicha Chiang Mai e pesto com manjericão tailandês.

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French Canadians, of course, know their food well, and Montreal’s Toque and Joe Beef are two classic institutions you won’t want to leave off your list. Can anything compete, though, with Toronto’s abundance? From pastry perfection at Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns and Khao San Road’s authentic khao soi curries to high-end dining at The Chase, Toronto has it all.

  • Reserve uma mesa no Boulevard Kitchen, Vancouver.

    Pequenos-almoços fabulosos

    Boulevard Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch – try the smoked heritage pork ‘croque madame’.

    Explore Vancouver

Ar livre

Vá para oeste

There’s nothing more spectacular than the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia, which begin just outside Calgary. Take a helicopter ride over the majestic Rockies, the first of many mountain ranges, or board the train to Vancouver, which rolls past waterfalls and through mountain passes, snow tunnels and forests thicker than you can imagine. Once you arrive on the Pacific Coast, Vancouver is among the world’s prettiest cities – where else can you ski in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon? And speaking of skiing, the pristine slopes of Whistler are especially inviting with ample snow and luxury touches.

Vá para este

Enquanto que cada uma das quatro províncias da costa este do Canadá tem um charme único, nada se compara à grandiosidade impressionante das Cataratas do Niagara, perto de Toronto. Para um passeio que jamais esquecerá, reserve uma excursão de helicóptero.

A cultura

Vá para oeste

Canada’s west coast is too young to have much of a distinctive culture beyond ‘work hard, play hard’, though you’ll find the art, cultural, and historic influences of Canada’s indigenous peoples strongest here and in the North. Calgary’s culture is noticeably cowboy – keep your eye out for the cute Stetson hats on some downtown traffic signals and businessmen wearing cowboy boots.

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Toronto – the fourth largest city in North America – avoids a megalopolis feel by being a city of neighbourhoods that are full of character. The Danforth (Toronto’s Greektown), little Ukraine, little Portugal, and not one, but two Chinatowns do give Toronto extra culture points, as does its marvellous arts and entertainment scene, from blues bars to opera. But la societe distincte is found in the Francophone province of Quebec. Montreal and Quebec City feel more like Europe than North America, and the language, fashion, art and architecture all reflect this – see it for yourself on a Montreal walking tour.

  • Do as the locals do, throw on a Stetson and explore the city © Getty.

    Boas vibrações

    Fans of the film Cool Runnings will recognise parts of the city, as the film was set in Calgary during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

  • Get a good night’s sleep at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

    Um tempo só para mim

    Why not treat yourself to Afternoon Tea at the hotel’s fabulous restaurant Notch8?

    Reserve um voo para Vancouver

Onde ficar

Vá para oeste

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a veritable castle in the city, with two grand ballrooms and bags of designer shopping.

Em Calgary, o moderno Hyatt Regency Calgaryé constituído por três edifícios históricos.

Vá para este

Le Germain Maple Leaf Square Toronto é um sofisticado hotel boutique a apenas alguns passos dos principais pontos turísticos de Toronto. Alguns quartos até têm camas redondas.

W Montreal é um hotel elegante e atraente no edifício histórico do "Banque du Canada" e tem uma localização privilegiada entre a Velha Montreal e o centro financeiro.

Saiba que…

Contrariamente ao que a maioria das pessoas pensa, a maioria dos canadianos não diz "eh?" no final de cada frase. No entanto, quando sair das cidades grandes vai reparar que há mais pessoas empenhadas em afirmar a sua compreensão, interesse e concordância com esta entrega ao facto de ser canadiano.

O que é que todos os canadianos têm em comum, independentemente do local onde moram? Bem, somos todos muito simpáticos, pedimos desculpa a todo o momento e adoramos receber visitantes que querem explorar o nosso país.