10 places that will help you understand Canada’s story

As the second-largest country in the world, Canada can seem like a daunting place to understand. Fortunately, historic sites across the country offer a window into myriad aspects of Canada’s diversity. When you visit them, you might find yourself learning about the past by baling hay, putting on a vintage dress or sleeping in a tipi!

Indigenous peoples have inhabited North America for millennia. Over that time, many cultures emerged, each with unique languages, foods and traditions adapted to the landscapes in which they lived. Did you know, for example, that the first residents of Canada’s prairies used just about every part of the bison they hunted? As well as eating bison meat, they made bowstrings and snowshoes from sinew, arrows and bowls from horn, soap and candles from tallow, and clothing, blankets and drums from hides.

Some 1,000 years ago, Norse adventurers set foot in what is now Newfoundland. Centuries later, waves of European explorers, missionaries and settlers—largely from France and the British Isles—arrived. You can follow in their footsteps as you stroll the cobblestone streets of Quebec City or explore a woodland fort.

As the country grew, it came to be seen as a place of new beginnings for people from around the world. Some fled slavery or persecution, while others arrived seeking farmland or gold. Sometimes, conflicting ambitions led to friction; those stories, too, are captured in Canada’s historic sites, where you’ll see medals awarded for bravery and gravestones of long-gone heroes.

Here are 10 of the countless places where you can immerse yourself in Canada’s story.


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