Fall in Canada is a glorious season: there’s the crisp air, the golden leaves, the awesome surfing. Wait…what? Yes, autumn is a fantastic time to be Canadian, and probably for more reasons than you even realize.
If you’re in Canada’s capital of year-round surfing—that would be Tofino, BC—fall is one of the best times to visit. The crowds have died down, the surf schools aren’t quite as busy, but the waves are still manageable enough for beginners. Surf’s up!
Love the idea of watching balloons soaring majestically with the Rockies as a backdrop? Don’t miss the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival in High River, Alberta, especially its “Night Glow,” where the balloons will be inflated and tethered, glowing in the dark.
During fall migration, many spots across the country are visited by huge numbers of migrant birds on their way south for the winter. Check out Point Pelee National Park (the southernmost tip of the country), the islands of B.C.’s Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve or Fundy National Park in New Brunswick for an up-close look at migrating species.
With the bugs, heat and humidity gone, all you’re left with is incredible scenery and that fabulous sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet. For a gorgeous view of the fall foliage, check out Bruce Peninsula National Park’s 20-metre viewing tower, then hike along the rugged coastline for spectacular views of caves and crystal clear water. On the East Coast? The East Coast Trail boasts 540 kilometres of incredible scenery.
Get prepared for all manner of deep-fried food-on-sticks with a cross-country roster of fall fairs. Check out the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver or the Markham Fair in Markham, Ontario, which is one of the country’s oldest.
Visit Quebec’s Eastern Townships for the Mount Sutton Fall Festival and get a bird’s eye view of the foliage with a chairlift ride over the leaves. For a weekend getaway in northern Ontario, check out the Agawa Canyon train running from Sault Ste. Marie to the remote Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park.