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Chapter 10: A Look at Canada

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Back by popular demand, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver top the list of Canadians' most visited domestic destinations. And what works for locals is also preferred by out-of-towners. The top three destinations were also the visited most by international travellers. Maybe it's the milder climates, but west coast cities Whistler and Kamloops both fared well in 2013 as the two cities in the Top 20 with the biggest jumps in popularity - both up two spots to 15 and 19.

Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler rose in popularity amongst Canadians in 2013, moving up two spots to number 15. Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler is Canada's premier, year-round destination with loads of attractions for outdoorsy travellers. It is home to two majestic mountains, epic skiing and snowboarding, championship golf courses, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world.

Kamloops, British Columbia

Whistler wasn't the only city in British Columbia to see a spike in popularity. With over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, Kamloops' spectacular landscapes and relaxed western hospitality bumped the riverside town into the Top 20 List of Most Visited Cities by Canadian Travellers. Whether you prefer adrenaline-charged thrills or laid-back activities, Kamloops offers unsurpassed opportunities to get outside and experience the area's stunning wilderness.

Top 20 Domestic Destinations for Canadians

City Province 2013 Rank 2012 Rank
Toronto ON 1 1
Montreal QC 2 2
Vancouver BC 3 3
Niagara Falls ON 4 5
Edmonton AB 5 4
Ottawa ON 6 6
Calgary AB 7 7
Quebec QC 8 8
Victoria BC 9 9
Banff AB 10 10
Winnipeg MB 11 11
Halifax NS 12 12
London ON 13 14
Saskatoon SK 14 13
Whistler BC 15 17
Kelowna BC 16 16
Canmore AB 17 15
Regina SK 18 18
Kamloops BC 19 21
Kingston ON 20 20

Most Expensive: Provinces $145 and up

Within Canada, the picturesque east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador was the most expensive with its average prices paid coming in at $179. Interestingly, no other east coast provinces made the top five, as the remaining contenders were scattered across Canada, from Prairie Provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan ($151 and $150, respectively) to the Northwest Territories and French province, Quebec.

Most Expensive: Provinces $145 and up

Rank Province 2013 ADR 2012 ADR YoY ADR
1 NL $179 $172 4%
2 AB $151 $149 1%
3 SK $150 $144 5%
4 NT $149 $162 -8%
5 QC $148 $149 0%

Canadian City Extremes: Most and least expensive Canadian cities

You've got to be rolling in dough if you want to visit the west coast this year! Or at least consider saving up beforehand as the five most expensive destinations in Canada are all found in western Canada. The stunning Lake Louise in Alberta, known for its sparkling blue waters and snow-capped mountains, topped the list with prices paid averaging $289 per night.

Most Expensive: Popular Canadian Cities Over $215

City Province 2013 ADR 2012 ADR YoY ADR
Lake Louise AB $289 $280 3%
Brentwood Bay BC $258 $204 27%
Field BC $256 $291 -12%
Fort McMurray AB $225 $202 12%
Tofino BC $218 $222 -2%

But we've got good news, as the west coast does have wallet-friendly alternatives too! If you're looking for a hotel deal, consider visiting cities off the beaten path in British Columbia. In the first half of 2013, six cities made the list of lowest average daily hotel rates, with Merrit, BC, offering the best deals at $97 a night.

Least Expensive: Canadian Cities $100 or Less

City Province 2013 ADR 2012 ADR YoY ADR
Merritt BC $97 $94 4%
Chatham ON $97 $99 -2%
Portage La Prairie MB $99 $96 3%
Saanichton BC $99 $98 1%
Langley BC $99 $98 2%