O Canada! Train Holidays Around the Great White North
What is Canada Day?
Fête du Canada, Canada Day, is the national day of Canada and the day that the nation was officially born! On July 1, 1867 the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, however Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. The holiday was first called Dominion Day and was officially established in 1879 but many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens, did not observe the festivities.
It wasn’t until the 100th anniversary of the nation’s official creation, in 1967, that saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism, and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day, the new name wasn’t formally adopted until October of 1982. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world where Canadians are living abroad.
How to celebrate?
Well there are a number of ways to celebrate Canada Day.
First, a parade! Parades are held in cities, towns and villages all over Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have also established a group called the RCMP Musical Ride where 32 officers, who are rotated after three years’ service, perform equestrian drills for the public.
Picnics, festivals, sporting events and fireworks are also typical Canada Day celebrations.
Key Canada Day events are planned all over the country, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Victoria
Top Rail Journeys in Canada
Canada’s vast expanses can be easily explored using the country’s rail network. Here are some of the highlights:
Stretching from Toronto in the east to Vancouver on the Pacific Coast, the Canadian travels 2,775 miles on one of the world’s most epic rail routes. You can do the whole thing in one go in five days or break your journey with a few stops in the Rockies.
The Ocean (or Maritime Way)
For a shorter journey (a mere 836 miles), you can discover Canada’s Atlantic Coast by travelling between Montreal in the French speaking region of Quebec and Halifax in Nova Scotia. Our Eastern Canada Discovery takes in some of this route.
Winnipeg to Churchill
This service runs three times a week and is the only line carrying passengers up 1,054 miles up to the fringes of the Arctic Circle. Churchill is truly remote, 250 miles from the nearest town, so a great place to watch the Northern Lights as well as offering unrivalled opportunities for seeing polar bears and migrating beluga whales.
The historic Canadian Pacific Railway provided the first rail link between eastern Canada and British Columbia. This line can now only be travelled aboard the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer. Your route provides awe-inspiring mountain scenery and as you twist and turn through the Canadian Rockies you are welcomed by big skies and uninterrupted views. Within the carriage you are seated in plush surrounding and luxurious panoramic windows.
On board the train you have two service options to choose from, Silver or Gold Leaf. Both offer comfortable accommodation and have the panoramic, specially designed windows. Your meals are all freshly prepared and served on board accompanied by complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The off-train excursions that are included within your trip are also not to be missed, these include: a helicopter ride over Banff National Park, an Ice Explorer ride onto the Athabasca Glacier, a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
For information on any of these rail routes, please visit our Canada Holidays by Rail page or get in touch to plan a tailor made rail holiday.