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Start your race across amazing Canada

A final look at all the amazing sites visited throughout The Amazing Race Canada, so you can start planning for your next Canadian travel getaway.
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Rebecca Cuneo Keenan, September 16, 2013 2:19:19 PM

The Amazing Race Canada finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CTV. As exciting as it is to find out who wins, it’s also sad that their whirlwind tour of the country is coming to an end. Let’s take a final look at all the amazing sites visited throughout the race, so you can start planning for your next Canadian travel getaway.

The Race began with the teams flying across the country from Niagara Falls to British Columbia. Deep-sea diving to the bottom of the Okanagan Lake or walking a tree-top skimming plank might not on your must-do list, but a visit to Vancouver should be. The teams paid tribute to both the 2010 Olympics and to Vancouver’s Chinese community through their challenges. This fittingly beautiful city is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders. Nestled amidst forests, mountains and beaches, Vancouver also boasts a myriad of markets, restaurants and cultural festivals.

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Next, The Amazing Race Canada brought us to Alberta, home to some of the country’s richest history and brightest future. Dinosaur Provincial Park has yielded a treasure of fossils, many of which have been assembled for display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. The teams competed in challenges both here and in the provincial capital of Calgary. Home to the renowned Calgary Stampede, Calgary is also a thriving boom town with a popular mayor and a strong sense of civic pride and community that saw them through severe flooding earlier this year.

The teams then headed north to Yellowknife in The Northwest Territories and to the Yukon where their challenges included a Polar Bear Dip, hatchet toss, dog sleighing and more. The northerly isolation of Yellowknife can be equally harrowing and majestic. Near-total darkness in the winter gives way to 22 hours of sunlight in the summer, fantastic fishing and breathtaking natural wonders. Perhaps the best reason to visit Yellowknife, however, is for the magnificent view of the Aurora Borealis or northern lights.

From there, the teams flew to Regina, Saskatchewan where they learned to embrace the prairies by digging in vats of lentils, passing inspection at the RCMP Heritage Centre, Ukrainian folk dancing and running football drills at the Roughrider’s Mosaic Stadium. After visiting the RCMP Academy Depot and taking in a football game, there is even more fun to be had in Regina for travellers at local craft breweries and farmer’s markets.

There was no time to spare for The Amazing Race Canada competitors, and so they quickly moved on to Quebec City. The teams visited the Levis Forts and Chateau Frontenac, rode a ferry across the St. Lawrence River, carved an ice sculpture and prepared crepes. Quebec City is known for its Old World charm and unparalleled romance. From the galleries and chocolatiers of the historic Old Town, to the world-renowned fireworks competition, L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, and from the wintertime Carnaval du Quebec to the Hotel de Glace made entirely of ice, there’s never a bad time of year to visit.

The territory of Nunavut, on the other hand, is about as cold and remote as you can get in Canada. The Amazing Race Canada teams had to translate an Inukitut phrase upon landing in Iqaluit, find a pair of traditional throat singers, travel by sled and snowmobile, throw a harpoon, build an igloo and eat Muktuk. The vast frozen expanse of Nunavut is captivating on its own, but the tundra encompasses a wealth of natural wonders that include Beluga whale watching, caribou, walrus, muskox, Arctic fox, hare, seals, and a myriad of birds. Add to this the opportunity to experience the 4,000-year-old, living Inuit culture and Nunavut could very well be your trip of a lifetime.

The teams quickly moved on to Halifax, Nova Scotia where they camped at Pier 21, a port of entry for one in five Canadians. You can learn about Halifax’s pivotal role in the response to the sinking of the Titanic on many local tours. A visit to the Maritime Museum of the Maritimes, the Halifax Public Gardens and The Halifax Citadel is not to be missed and there is an abundance of culture in the city’s many festivals. The Amazing Race Canada competitors stopped briefly in Mahone Bay, NS, which hosts an annual Scarecrow Festival, and then moved on to Lunenburg, NS, home of the famous Bluenose. Lunenburg has also received a historical designation for being the best example of a British colonial establishment in North America. Be sure to visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and dine at one of the town’s wonderful seafood restaurants while soaking up the history.

Our teams finally left Nova Scotia and found themselves in Saint John’s, Newfoundland. Their challenges involved the Terry Fox monument that marks the start of his journey, a kitchen party, a shot of screech, folk tales and a Newfoundland dog. Beyond the local charm, of which there is plenty, the Newfoundland coastline is something to behold. The Cape Spear Lighthouse marks the most eastern point in Canada and on clear days you can look out upon icebergs and whales. Make sure not to leave Canada’s newest province before sampling both traditional dishes and new exports like local microbrewery Quidi Vidi’s Iceberg Lager.

The Amazing Race Canada wraps up in Toronto, the country’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city. Something tells me, though, that the teams won’t have Toronto’s abundance of museums, sports teams, historical sites, restaurants or theatre on their minds.

“The Amazing Race Canada” finale airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.

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Rebecca Cuneo Keenan

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