11 Sustainable Travel Destinations in Canada

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11 Sustainable Travel Destinations in Canada

Date: Jun 9, 2023
Author: Collins.cidar 1059 No Comments

The name “Canada” likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” meaning “village” or “settlement.” In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec.

The influence of the indigenous community is still felt today throughout the shining star north of the United States. The beautiful natural heritage includes fields of Dinosaur bones, Glaciers, and even a national park that straddles two countries and stands as a physical symbol to the hope of World Peace. When attempting sustainable travel in the western hemisphere, few places can rival the glorious mountain peaks, canyons, waterfalls, and cliffs that were home to many of the First Nations. Sustainable and adventure travelers can find a plethora of destinations to activate a transformative trip for singles, couples, or families. But where to begin? We recommend British Columbia and continue westward.

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks/ Photographer: Mark Koch/Image: Unsplash

Renowned for their scenic splendor, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are comprised of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks. Together, they exemplify the outstanding physical features of the Rocky Mountain Biogeographical Province. Classic illustrations of glacial geological processes — including ice fields, remnant valley glaciers, canyons and exceptional examples of erosion and deposition — are found throughout the area. The Burgess Shale Cambrian fossil sites and nearby Precambrian sites contain important information about the earth’s evolution.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park/Photographer: Ric Matkowski/Image: Unsplash

Dinosaur Provincial Park contains some of the most important fossil specimens discovered from the “Age of Dinosaurs” period of Earth’s history. The property is unmatched in terms of the number and variety of high quality specimens which, to date, represent more than 44 species, 34 genera and 10 families of dinosaurs, dating back 75-77 million years. The park contains exceptional riparian habitat features as well as badlands of outstanding aesthetic value.

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park/Photographer: Krista Kankula/Image: Unsplash

Gros Morne National Park, located on the Great Northern Peninsula in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, illustrates some of the world’s best examples of the process of plate tectonics. Within a relatively small area are classic, textbook examples of monumental earth-building and modifying forces that are unique in terms of their clarity, expression and ease of access. The property presents the complete portrayal of the geological events that took place when the ancient continental margin of North America was modified by plate movement by emplacement of a large, relocated portion of oceanic crust and ocean floor sediments. The park also presents an outstanding demonstration of glaciations in an island setting. The fjords, waterfalls and geological structures of the park combine to produce a landscape of high scenic value.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Canada | SpringerLink

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs have been termed the “coal age Galápagos” and are the world reference site for the “Coal Age”. Their complete and accessible fossil-bearing rock exposures provide the best evidence known of the iconic features of the Pennsylvanian (or Carboniferous) period of Earth History.

Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek

National Park Service
Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek …

The Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek national parks and protected areas along the boundary of Canada and the United States of America contain the largest non-polar icefield in the world as well as examples of some of the world’s longest and most spectacular glaciers. Characterized by high mountains, icefields and glaciers, the property transitions from northern interior to coastal biogeoclimatic zones, resulting in high biodiversity with plant and animal communities ranging from marine, coastal forest, montane, sub-alpine and alpine tundra, all in various successional stages. The Tatshenshini and Alsek river valleys are pivotal because they allow ice-free linkages from coast to interior for plant and animal migration. The parks demonstrate some of the best examples of glaciation and modification of landscape by glacial action in a region still tectonically active, spectacularly beautiful, and where natural processes prevail.

Located in Canada, on the east coast of Quebec, Miguasha National Park protects and presents the Escuminac Formation, a rock formation with a rich fossil heritage recognized for the large number of exceptionally well-preserved fossil specimens it contains which are representative of the Devonian period. The fish, invertebrate and plant fossils at Miguasha bear witness to life as it existed on Earth 370 million years ago.

Miguasha National Park

Miguasha National Park/ Photographer: Stephanie Bergeron/ Image : Unsplash

Located in Canada, on the east coast of Quebec, Miguasha National Park protects and presents the Escuminac Formation, a rock formation with a rich fossil heritage recognized for the large number of exceptionally well-preserved fossil specimens it contains which are representative of the Devonian period. The fish, invertebrate and plant fossils at Miguasha bear witness to life as it existed on Earth 370 million years ago.

Nahanni National Park

Nahanni National Park/Creator: benedek | Credit: Getty Images

Nahanni National Park World Heritage property, located in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is a 470,000 hectare undisturbed natural area of deep river canyons cutting through mountain ranges, with huge waterfalls and complex cave systems. The geomorphology of the property is outstanding in its wealth of form and complexity of evolution. Fluvial processes and features predominate. Within the property are examples of almost every distinct category of river or stream that is known, along with one of North America’s most impressive waterfalls, Virginia Falls. The Flat River and South Nahanni River are older than the mountains they dissect and have produced the finest examples of river canyons in the world, north of 60º. The injection of igneous rock through tectonic activity has resulted in spectacular granitic peaks.

Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

Waterton Glacier International Peace Park/Photographer: Michael Olsen/ Image: Unsplash

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park has a distinctive climate, physiographic setting, mountain-prairie interface and tri-ocean hydrographical divide. It is an area of significant scenic values with abundant and diverse flora and fauna.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park/Photographer: Patricia M. Lachance/ Image : Unsplash

Wood Buffalo National Park is an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes encompassing some of the largest undisturbed grass and sedge meadows left in North America. It sustains the world’s largest herd of wood bison, a threatened species. The park’s huge tracts of boreal forest also provide crucial habitat for a diverse range of other species, including the endangered whooping crane. The continued evolution of a large inland delta, salt plains and gypsum karst add to the park’s uniqueness.

Pimachiowin Aki

UNESCO World Heritage CentrePimachiowin Aki – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Pimachiowin Aki, part of the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg people at the headwaters of the Berens, Bloodvein, Pigeon and Poplar rivers, is an exceptional example of cultural tradition of Ji-ganawendamang Gidakiiminaan (Keeping the Land) that involves honouring the Creator’s gifts, observing respectful interaction with aki (the land and all its life), and maintaining harmonious relations with other people. The forest landscape, dissected by free-flowing rivers, lakes and wetlands, includes portions of the lands of four Anishinaabe First Nations: Bloodvein River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, and Poplar River First Nations and extends to 2,904,000 hectares. It encompasses slightly less than a quarter of the lands occupied by Anishinaabeg peoples.

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