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Canada’s unique neighborhoods

Sun Yat Sen Gardens in Vancouver's Chinatown

Canada’s unique neighborhoods

Canada is a multicultural patchwork of people from more than 200 countries. This diversity is reflected in vibrant communities and people across the country. With so many backgrounds represented and celebrated, Canada’s neighbourhoods are home to food, art, culture and more that is a reflection of all the people that call the country home.  


Get to know Canada’s unique neighborhoods that proudly mix quaint charm with global flair.      

Little Italy

Montreal, Quebec

Credit: Alison Slattery - Two Food Photographers / Tourisme Montreal

Bohemian, artsy, and seductively French -- that's Montreal. Though there are many colourful pockets in this diverse city, you'll want to spend time in vivacious Little ItalyExternal Link Title. It's been an Italiano hub since the 19th century, where you'll find leafy green parks and quaint architecture. And of course, there's the food. Check out the bustling outdoor cafes in and around St-Laurent Boulevard , and sample Italian fare (hand-rolled pasta, calamari, pizza, espresso), especially at standout Primo & Secondo. If you're up for more, the famed Jean-Talon public market showcases international cuisine, fresh produce, and artisan goods that can inspire a chef-worthy picnic spread or whet your appetite before a meal out. Once you've had a taste of the cuisine, take in the sites. Stroll the streets and spot the fresco-adorned Church of the Madonna della Difesa and shop the charming boutiques!


Toronto, Ontario

Photo of Downtown Toronto

Credit: Shawn Squires

Giving New York and London a run for their money, Toronto is "Canada's Downtown" and  multicultural capital. You'll hear more than 180 different languages and dialects spoken as you explore-- Toronto's population is made up of beautifully diverse people from around the globe, residing in communities like Little India, Portugal Village, Greektown, and Chinatown. Neighbourhoods like CorktownExternal Link Title, where many Irish immigrants settled, and family-oriented Roncesvalles VillageExternal Link Title, a historically Polish district where you can now eat Lebanese, French, Spanish and Thai, are definitely worth a visit. But Toronto's ParkdaleExternal Link Title is a gem that's still being discovered. Here you'll find West Indian, Tibetan and North African enclaves mixed in with creatives and artist types. On Queen West near King Street West and the lake shore, this neighbourhood is in transition, meaning it's unpolished and interesting, with trendy bars and eateries sandwiched between old Victorians, industrial lofts and diamond-in-the-rough buildings. Dine at trendy MoMo House or sip on a tropical cocktail at Miss Thing's. Catch live music, go out for cocktails and shop vintageExternal Link Title and vegan fashion. 


Vancouver, British Columbia

Photo of people walking through Chinatown in Vancouver, BC
Credit: Tourism Vancouver / Nelson Mouellic

Downtown Vancouver is home to mountain views, boutique shops and Canada's largest ChinatownExternal Link Title. It's a cool area with a vintage feel; where colourful and eclectic storefronts blend with bustling and authentic storefronts. Immigrants working to build British Columbia's railroad settled here in the 1800s and that history can still be felt today. You'll know you've arrived when you pass through the elaborate Millennium Gate on Pender Street. Wander the sidewalks and peruse stacks of dried fish and exotic mushrooms, burlap sacks brimming with medicinal herbs, shops lined with aromatic  teas, painted porcelain bowls, intricate silk dresses and glazed whole ducks roasting in window rotisseries. These mainstays are mixed with modern touches as artists and other makers have found inspiration among the vibrant streets. Sit down in one of many eateries for some authentic Chinese fare, like dim sum, or go new-age at trendy restaurants like Bao BeiExternal Link Title and JukeExternal Link Title. Then, relax at tranquil Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese GardenExternal Link Title, host to an annual autumn full moon festival and late winter's spectacular Chinese New Year parade. 


On Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photo of people walking around lake Winnipeg
Credit: Liz Tran

Norse heritage is front and centre in GimliExternal Link Title, one hour north of WinnipegExternal Link Title, where a massive Viking statue standing watch over Harbour ParkExternal Link Title welcomes visitors. Dubbed "New Iceland" back in 1875, today Icelandic culture and Viking heritage still permeate everything in Gimli from the restaurants and the arts to community activities. Sample vinatarta (a traditional prune torte) or scan the Book of Life, a log of family histories housed at the New Iceland Heritage MuseumExternal Link Title. Enjoy outdoor winter sports Norse-style, including Nordic skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling, or spend a summer day swimming and lounging on the Gimli Beach shoreline. Indulge in fresh pickerel on the waterfront (try Lakeview ResortExternal Link Title), browse the art galleries, and shop for unusual souvenirs, including Viking helmets, at the wonderfully vintage 1899 H.P. Tergesen and Sons general storeExternal Link Title.


Yukon Territory

Credit: Fritz Mueller

Up in Canada's North, a thriving  Filipino community calls Whitehorse homeExternal Link Title. Check the Canadian Filipino AssociationExternal Link Title's website or flyers around town for folk dances, music festivals and other cultural heritage events. Just beyond Whitehorse's internationally inspired restaurants, you'll find yourself surrounded by pristine nature. The Yukon River runs alongside the city leading you down to a local hiking hotspot, Miles CanyonExternal Link Title. If you're looking for more outdoor options, the city is close to hundreds of kilometres of hiking and mountain biking trails to enjoy. After all that fresh air,  he city's museums and cultural centres, like the Kwanlin D?nExternal Link Title Cultural Centre and SS Klondike National Historic CentreExternal Link Title, will be ready to welcome you.

Kensington Village

Calgary, Alberta

Photo of Kensignton Village in Calgary
Credit: Tourism Calgary

In the centre of Calgary near the park-lined Bow River, Kensington VillageExternal Link Title--with its retro brick buildings and tattoo parlours--is home to a mixture of cultures that make it one of the city's hottest places to spend an afternoon or evening out. Go for outstanding outdoor dining (from Indian to green smoothies), packed bars, retail therapy of the homespun and funky kind and live music. Favourites include cantina-hideway-vibe Native TonguesExternal Link Title for its innovative taqueria menu which includes barbacoa de cordero (slow-roasted lamb neck) and hongos (locally cultivated mushrooms and kale), Peacock Boutique for trendy consignment and vintage vinyl and cassettes at Hot Wax RecordsExternal Link Title. Share wood-fired Napoletana pizzas on the patio at modern-chic Ristorante PulcinellaExternal Link Title, then go for dessert at Amato GelatoExternal Link Title with 72 rotating flavors, open late. Kensington puts on a plethora of local eventsExternal Link Title a year, including beer tastings and art crawls.


Near Moncton, New Brunswick

A pretty harbour town at the head of the Bouctouche River, 40 minutes northeast of Moncton,  Bouctouche is as famed for its sandy beaches and its Acadian culture.
Credit: New Brunswick Tourism

A pretty harbour town at the head of the Bouctouche River, 40 minutes northeast of MonctonExternal Link Title, BouctoucheExternal Link Title is as famed for its sandy beaches and its Acadian culture. The AcadiansExternal Link Title are French descendants of colonists who settled in Acadia (Quebec and the Maritimes) in the 17th and 18th centuries. They speak Acadian French and music is central to their culture. Founded back in 1785 by two brothers, Bouctouche celebrates its past at Le Pays de la SagouineExternal Link Title, a recreated historic village with gem-coloured cottages that house music, comedy, dance and plays inspired by the award-winning book La SagouineExternal Link Title. Golf or hike and cycle through giant sand dunes along the trails and boardwalks at Irving Eco CentreExternal Link Title, one of North America's longest natural sand spits.


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Photo of building in downtown Saskatoon
Credit: Greg Huszar Photography

You don't have to look far to find pierogies smothered in sour cream and bacon bits in SaskatoonExternal Link Title, on the South Saskatchewan River. Here, among forested boulevards and framed by the river that runs through the city, many residents are known to have Ukranian heritage. The Ukrainian Museum of Canada hosts many fun public events along the riverbank, where you can also pick up traditional clothing and textiles at the gift shop.  Eat like-mom-cooked-it cabbage rolls at no-frills Baba's Homestyle PerogiesExternal Link Title or authentic and exotic dishes at the friendly, thatch roofed Touch of UkraineExternal Link Title.
No need to globetrot to get to know different cultures: Stroll a traditional Chinese garden, eat authentic Italian, Filipino and Ukrainian and celebrate Viking heritage -- all in Canada!