Small Towns in Canada for Visiting

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The Most Fascinating Small Towns in Canada

Small towns in Canada can be a perfect choice for any tourist. The country offers some breathtaking natural scenery. It can be the tranquil atmosphere of the Great Lakes or the amazing landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. There are many national parks, beautiful islands, and good roads that allow adventurous trips into the wilderness. All these Canadian spectacles can be also discovered in its small towns.

The history tells us about the first French settlers and British colonists, and Aboriginal peoples that have profoundly marked the practices of different communities. Today Canada represents a mixture of cultures and even generations, where gold rush towns still resemble gold rush towns; and railways adjacent to forests and European castles as well. Here is a list of the best small towns in Canada to live in.

Small Towns in Canada: Nelson, British Columbia

Nelson has abundant natural resources to support forestry and mining. The population is less than 10,000 that enjoys a laid-back lifestyle and location as the town situates opposite the shores of Kootenay Lake, among the largest in BC.  Nelson’s quality of life made it an important arts community – the sanctuary for the arts, writers, and musicians. The one can still discover here many Victorian-era homes. So this mountainous community is open to all kinds of spiritual practice. The local stalls offer organic food, including healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and water sports in the summer and skiing, sledding and skating in winter. The community is very friendly and accepting, with a flourishing music life and coffee shop culture.

Small Towns in Canada: Legal, Alberta

Legal, located just 50 km north of Edmonton is another clean and peaceful community. Once you enter the town, you can feel the charm and romance of the ancient appearance it kept through the ages. The population of 1225 is both, French and English speaking. On one hand, the closeness to Edmonton allows local residents to commute to the big city for employment; but on the other hand, fertile lands and farms contribute to the agricultural community. Every July, it holds a festival known as the Fete Au Village. People come together to celebrate French culture. Legal is also renown for more than dozens of murals adorning the town. Legalians love to spend their leisure time in the recreational area called Citadel Park. This vast area offers the indoor facilities, curling rink, baseball diamonds, and playgrounds.

Small Towns in Canada: Forget, Saskatchewan

The small and cute prairie towns of Saskatchewan, definitely, deserve our attention; especially, a town with the name Forget. This town doesn’t have a vibrant life, yet, it has been another escape for artists and performers. The Ananda Arthouse reestablished to back arts in southeast Saskatchewan that holds regular performances and a variety of exhibitions. Locals love to hang out in the Happy Nin café, which is a place to relax and enjoy delicious food.

Small Towns in Canada: Flin Flon, Manitoba

Flin Flon is a mining city in Canada. The origin of its name combines facts and fiction. So the factual story is when the C.N.R. was asking for a list of places for sites along the rail line leading north out of the Pas. The diary of Hudson and Bay Mining and Smelting Co, Limited’s radio operator record the following: “They say they will call it Flin Flon if they don’t hear from us”. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting never responded to the C.N.R. request. Consequently, took the name Flin Flon, and it is still the only city in the world that carried the name of a science-fiction character. Popular American artist Frank Stella created here some of his most famous paintings known as the Flin Flon series.

Small Towns in Canada: Port Hope, Ontario 

Port Hope, the antique capital of Ontario, is located 100 km east of Ontario. The town is home to about 16,000 citizens with a street that preserved the 19th century architecturally significant building. The downtown is made up of a wide variety of retailers, restaurants, galleries, service providers, banks, parks, and walking trails. Port Hope is a good place for business start-ups and expansion. The Capital Theater provides year-round entertainment with live theater, concerts, films, and private functions.

Small Towns in Canada: Hudson, Quebec

Hudson is a picturesque little town with a population of 5,000 surrounded by forests and farms. A 35-mile drive will bring you to Montreal. Immigrants represent the largest part of its bilingual population that came from England, Ireland, and the USA. Nearly 50 percent of businesses are engaged in arts and crafts. Hudson holds several festivals around the year, including a Shiver Fest, Street Fair, and St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The cuisine here is exceptional and truly, it is the most pleasant small town to live in the province.

Small Towns in Canada: Victoria-By-The-Sea, Prince Edward Island

This small fish town is made up of just four blocks painted in bright colors. Resting on the shores of the Northumberland Strait, the historic seaport of this town has been transformed into an artist enclave that embraces painters, potters, sculptors and even fishermen and farmers. Old villages can boast tiny art galleries with the possibility to do pottery and make candles. You can rent a bike or kayak to discover the red sandy beaches and visit the old lighthouse museum.

St. Andrew-By-The-Sea, New Brunswick

Canadians love to visit this town in the summertime as it becomes the best summer destination. Interestingly, it was the first seaside resort community in Canada. Restaurants offer one of the best lobster rolls and fresh seafood. The town with a population of about 2000 boasts a public art gallery, a community college, a world-class golf course, and other amenities.

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Mahone Bay is a very beautiful maritime town. With a population over 900, it is a gateway to more than one hundred islands. Growing in summer tourism, high-quality schools and shops rest on the main street, offering abundant romantic, outdoor and weekend escapes. Those who like active outdoor activities can go hiking along the South Shore. The town is replete with 19th-century buildings, taking visitors back to Mahone Bay’s glorious days. The town’s recognizable three churches are the most photographed in all Canada.

Dawson City, Yukon

The town is known as the Paris of the North. In old times Dawson City was the biggest city west of Winnipeg and north of San Francisco. During the Gold Rush, people literally flooded this small town, but most of them didn’t make any money. Currently, with a population around 1300, this unspoiled town is home to a few national historic sites and attracts hundreds of visitors from other provinces.

Rankin Inlet, Nunavut

Rankin Inlet is the second-largest city (2500 people) after Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut. The Kivalliq region is a center for business and transportation and provides its residents with services that can’t be found in other northern communities. These are cell phone service, cable, satellite, and recreational facilities. The Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Historic Park offers untouched nature scenes, which is also a popular site for hiking, fishing, and bird watching. People often meet together for dances, craft shows, festivals, and Christmas activities.

Fort Smith, Northwest Territories

Fort Smith is a diverse community encircled by boreal forests, with a population of 2500. The town is adjacent to the largest national park in Canada –  Wood Buffalo National Park. Life in Front Smith is deepened in history, beauty, and adventure. People take pride in their culture and are extremely friendly to newcomers. If you like wildlife, then you’ll enjoy endless trails and unfenced nature in summer along with South Slave Friendship Festival held in August.   Throughout a year, Fort Smith also attracts artists and different musicians.