Visit Canada Virtually With These Top Online Attractions by Sandra MacGregor
Forbes | May 14, 2020
Visit Canada Virtually With These Top Online Attractions
Sandra MacGregor / Forbes / May 14, 2020
So, you had hoped to visit Canada this summer, eh? Well, don’t let the coronavirus put all your travel plans on hold. Many of Canada’s most vibrant and historically rich cities are offering would-be-tourists the chance to take a virtual visit of some of their most popular attractions. From zoos, to museums and even icebergs, here are some of the best online adventures Canada has to offer.
Begin your virtual voyage of Canada with a visit to the virtual museum. This online-only museum features a collection of stories and experiences from Canada's top museums and heritage organizations.
Lines of Sight: a Guided Virtual Reality Experience is a five-minute virtual reality film that takes viewers on a heli-skiing journey through British Columbia’s majestic Columbia Mountains. The area is so remote that it’s only accessible via helicopter.
Check out Vancouver’s wild side and see how some of its animal residents are doing. The Vancouver Aquarium has numerous cams so you can take a live peek at the penguins, otters and jellyfish as they go about their day. If you think kittens and puppies are cute, wait until you see baby eagles. Hancock Wildlife has live cams of several nesting eagles so you can go gaga over the hatchlings as their very vigilant parents overseeing their care.
Vancouver’s famed Museum of Anthropology offers lots of opportunity to experience its attractions online. You can discover nearly 50,000 objects in the MOA Collections online or take a 360° virtual tour of the Great Hall. In the MOA Archives you can study historical documents and photographs about the museum, First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, the history of the province and more.
Get inspired by nature with a virtual tour of the wildlife-rich Robert Bateman Centre and learn about things like the Great Bear Rainforest and BC dinosaur fossils via the Royal BC Museum’s learning portal.
Banff Ave. Downtown Banff
The town of Banff (one of the most awe-striking towns in Canada) has a fascinating online historical tour that lets you meander through cemeteries, historic streets, the downtown core and more. You can also experience a series of engaging online 360-degree excursions of Banff and Lake Louise. You’ll immerse yourself in the serenity of Johnston Canyon and explore one of the largest non-polar icefields in the world, the Athabasca Glacier and more.
Get a Forest Fix and tap into tranquility with a virtual forest therapy walk through the verdant landscapes of Banff and Lake Louise. The walk concludes with a virtual tea ceremony and sharing circle.
While many film festivals around the world have been postponed or cancelled, The Banff Centre has put together an “Epic Films for the Great Indoors” program that allows viewers to partake in a carefully curated selection of free films the whole family can enjoy.
Take in amazing footage of Banff National Park and its wild locals as wildlife photographer Amar Athwal and Susan Staple of Parks Canada share their stories via video.
Though the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Zoo is physically closed, you can still take a look at the lives of meerkats, tigers, polar bears and more via Facebook. The zoo live-streams special 'creature features' a couple of times a week on its Facebook site.
Join guides from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for a fascinating series of virtual tours of the museum’s exhibits and architecture. You can also download the museum’s mobile app to check out the entire museum, gallery by gallery.
Discover Winnipeg Art Gallery’s incredible collection online via hi-res images to peruse collections like Canadian Art, Indigenous Art, Contemporary Art and Government of Nunavut—there are over 30,000 works online. The WAG’s Inuit Art Centre is scheduled to open in late 2020 and will be home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. You can take a look at the building’s construction with architect Michael Maltzan.
Go on an adventure through Ontario’s provincial parks via Ontario Parks series of videos. While it’s certainly not as fun as actually experiencing the great outdoors in real life, it’s the next best thing—and you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes!
Ottawa is Canada’s political center and its dynamic capital city. Wander around the new House of Commons, explore iconic landmarks with Ottawa in 360° and visit the Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland’s legendary iceberg tours can be wet and chilly but now you can stay warm and cozy at home as you get up close and personal with an iceberg while sailing through gorgeous Trinity Bay on a Virtual Iceberg Tour With Skipper Bob Bartlett.
Get ready for an immersive tour of Johnson GEO CENTRE, a geological interpretation center located on Signal Hill. You’ll explore the intriguing geology of the region and learn why the “coolest things are always underground” with these panoramic tours.
Watch Tale Blazers, a new video series where armchair travelers can follow along on a road trip with two friends as they travel the province in search of adventure.
Take the Google Maps Virtual Tour of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to explore the galleries and exhibits online and sample marine history and stories from the country’s oldest and largest maritime museum.