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Canada's UNESCO Sites

In Your Own Backyard

Canada is studded with treasures, but 15 sites stand out, making up an exclusive list – the UNESCO World Heritage list – for their outstanding universal value. Six cultural sites and nine natural sites set the scene for wonderfully historic visits across Canada. Whether nearby or a flight away, each site boasts its own reasons to visit, so research – and go!

Alberta

Waterton Lakes National Park joined with Montana's Glacier National Park in 1932 to become the world’s first International Peace Park. (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

For thousands of years, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump has been the resting place of bison driven over the cliff by Plains Indians. It's the largest, oldest, best-preserved bison jump in the world. (website: www.head-smashed-in.com)

Some of the most extensive dinosaur bone fields in the world are found in Dinosaur Provincial Park. (website: alberta.ca)

Bison still roam free in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada's largest park and the second-largest national park in the world. (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are made up of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks. Out-of-this-world landscapes of towering mountains, snowy peaks, crystal-clear lakes and sparkling waterfalls make up its landscape. Full disclosure: We cheat a little here, as not all the parks are in AB; the spectacular mountain landscape is part BC's too. (websites: www.pc.gc.ca)

L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

The Vikings were here. At the edge of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland you'll find reconstructions of three Norse buildings, evidence of the first European presence in North America. (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

Historic District of Old Québec

The only walled city in North America; almost half of the buildings were built before 1850. The cobblestone streets and stone buildings evoke the best of Europe in Canada. (website: www.ville.quebec.qc.ca)

Old Town Lunenburg

The town in Nova Scotia was established in 1753 and is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Of the 400 major buildings in the Old Town, 70 per cent date from the 18th and 19th centuries. A charming, charming town. (website: www.explorelunenburg.ca)

Rideau Canal

Built by the British in the 19th century, the canal covers 202km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario. Its attractions between May and October are obvious - biking or hiking along the paths, boating on the water. In the winter, it turns into the world's largest skating rink. (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

SGang Gwaay

The standing totem poles and remains of cedar longhouses offer a glimpse into what a traditional Northwest Coast First Nations village was like. SGaang Gwaii (formerly Anthony Island) is one of the 138 islands that make up Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands). (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

Gros Morne National Park

The park offers breathtaking, see-before-you-die landscapes, including shimmering waterfalls, deep, clear pools, fjords and sandy beaches. The highlights are Western Brook Pond, Trout River Pond and the Tablelands. (website: www.pc.gc.ca)

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Preserved in these cliffs are the creatures who walked, crawled and slithered during the Coal Age, 300 million years ago. Find at the cliffs the most complete fossil record that you'll find anywhere. (website: jogginsfossilcliffs.net)

 
 
Brittany Dietz
Brittany has travelled to France, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, Canada and all over the U.S. She's passionate about travel and has big plans for future trips! Brittany is a Content and Social Media Executive at Cheapflights.