You can find romance in all corners of Canada, but each year Amazon Canada puts together a concrete list of the most romantic cities in the country.
The tenth annual ranking is compiled by comparing which cities are buying the most romantic items on Amazon. The data looks at what cities are buying the most romance novels, romantic comedies, relationship books, jewellery and sexual wellness products.
This year Victoria, B.C. claimed the number one spot for the seventh consecutive year, but some cities are new to the list. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it had us thinking: what are some of the most romantic (and just plain fun) things to do in Canada’s most romantic cities?
So, we made our own list:
Victoria, British Columbia
If you want to dine out – Take a walking food tour that allows you to sample local ingredients from local restaurants. The tour makes six to eight stops through three different historic parts of the city so you can learn and exercise while you indulge.
If you want adventure – Take advantage of being on Canada’s Pacific coast and join a whale watching tour with the sunset as your backdrop. A popular attraction in Victoria, there are plenty of companies to choose from.
If you want relaxation – Mountain views, fresh air and jaw-dropping seascapes are all part of your spa experience at Victoria’s only oceanfront spa Boathouse Spa. Dip into one of three heated outdoor mineral pools then choose the couples spa package or zen out separately.
If you want culture – The Victoria Symphony is the largest performing arts organization on Vancouver Island. If you happen to be there over the August long weekend, the Symphony puts on an outdoor event that includes a performance on a barge in the harbour.
If you have your kids with you – The Victoria Bug Zoo is home to 50 different kinds of unique bugs. Think giant walking sticks, preying mantises and glow-in-the-dark scorpions. Even adults will learn some interesting facts about the creepy crawlers.
If you want to dine out – Grab a sweet treat or lunch from Patisserie Lasalle and have a romantic picnic in nearby Ouellette Park. The family-owned restaurant has been operating for 30 years and offers pastries, pizza, bread and specialty cakes.
If you want adventure – There are 24 kilometres of bike paths in LaSalle, eight of which are right along the water. For a more urban ride, there’s a path bordering the Aqueduct Canal that includes a rest at Angrignon Park. Rent a BIXI bike and off you go.
If you want relaxation – There is oTENTik camping right along Lachine Canal in Montreal, which is just a few kilometres up the canal from LaSalle. Hang out on the porch of your glamping-style cabin and watch the stars at night, then go for a canoe ride the next day.
If you want culture – There’s just something romantic about windmills, especially the Fleming Mill. Visit the five-storey restored windmill along the St. Lawrence River. There are free guided tours on certain summer days and a history lesson in the form of theatre performances.
If you have your kids with you –Parc de Rapides is the ideal spot to take in the river rapids, plus it’s home to a federal migratory bird sanctuary. Cross-country ski and snowshoe in the urban park in the winter and kayak and stand-up paddleboard in the summer.
Fort McMurray, Alberta
If you want to dine out – Share new sushi dishes at Yoshi Sushi. The local favourite is known for its friendly staff and vast menu. It’s a smaller restaurant with limited seats so you can have a cozy conversation.
If you want adventure – Maybe you’ll get lucky … at the casino. The Boomtown Casino is right downtown. There’s onsite entertainment and a dance floor if you don’t have the best poker face or you lost to the slots.
If you want relaxation – Fort Mac is one of the best places to to see the Northern Lights. You can see them on most evenings from October to March. Go all out and book an overnight package that includes a private viewing site, astronomer and boreal forest guide.
If you want culture – Since Fort Mac is in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands, visiting the Oil Sands Discovery Centre is a must. You’ll learn about the history, science and technology of the oil sands.
If you have your kids with you – MacDonald Island Park is the ultimate place to take your family. From a library and restaurant to rock climbing and a water park, everyone will be happy. It’s Canada’s biggest community rec, leisure and social centre, and includes a fitness facility, golf course and a stadium.
North Vancouver, British Columbia
If you want to dine out – A lazy brunch for two is the perfect way to end – or start – a trip to North Vancouver. Lift Breakfast Bakery’s cozy interior will remind you of home, but the Eggs Benedict and pancakes will remind you that you’re still on vacation.
If you want adventure – Stand among the highest treetops in North America on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The world-famous bridge offers breathtaking views nearly 30 meters above the forest floor.
If you want relaxation – You can’t not feel relaxed at Park & Tilford Gardens. It’s made up of nearly three acres of fountains, bridges, flowers and a Japanese-style garden. For ultimate relaxation, hit up a matinee movie next door.
If you want culture – Get lost together in Londsale Quay market. The market is filled with local artisans, has a wide-array of different cuisines and more than 80 unique shops. Then, step outside and enjoy one of the best views of Vancouver’s skyline.
If you have your kids with you – In the summer soak up the sun while the kids make sand castles at one of the beaches. Travelling in the winter? There are three local mountains to ski and snowboard, or rent snowshoes and have a local guide show you the way.
Spruce Grove, Alberta
If you want to dine out – Take a step back in time to the ’60s at Jack’s Drive-In. The local icon first opened in 1961 and has been a staple in the community ever since. Grab a burger, share a milkshake and listen to your song on the jukebox.
If you want adventure – The Get Hooked Fishing Adventure is an all-inclusive, year-round guided fishing trip. Your guided tour will show you fossil beds, point out wildlife and teach you about the history of the area.
If you want relaxation – The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary provides a peaceful backdrop for a romantic date. Tip: bring some birdseed with you – there are lots of critters and birds to see along the boardwalk and in the marsh.
If you want culture – Go inside for a tour of the last remaining wooden grain elevator on the CN Rail line west of Edmonton. The Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Heritage Society turned it into a museum and provides tours by donation.
If you have your kids with you – Spruce Grove’s Rotary Playscape was designed by kids for kids. There’s even a climbing wall and instrument section. It’s the largest playground of its kind in North America and has free Wi-Fi for parents.
Check out the complete list of Amazon’s most romantic cities in Canada.