Things to Do in Canada’s Top University Cities

Here are some ideas for how to spend a day with your family in Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton and Halifax.
 

Photo by benedek/iStock

Make the day before dropping your student off at university or college a memorable one. Here are some ideas on how to spend the perfect morning, afternoon and evening in four Canadian cities.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Capilano Suspension Bridge, photograph by Maridav/Shutterstock.

Morning: Take a family run or walk along the Seaside Greenway that circles False Creek, an inlet south of downtown. Explore the local farmers’ market or lunch on a spicy tuna burger at Bridges on Granville Island.

Afternoon: Think moving away is scary? Try testing your bravery on the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver, which spans 70 metres above the Capilano River. You may want a White Spot burger first, for courage.

Evening: Admire Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca sculpture next to the Vancouver Convention Centre before walking to historic Gastown to check the time on the Steam Clock and heading to a local pub for dinner.

Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton Mall World Waterpark, photograph by Nick Fox/Shutterstock.

Morning: Whyte Avenue is the trendiest street in the city, with boutiques housed in historic buildings. Indulge in a few last-minute school purchases before lunching on Cajun Calamari at New Orleans- themed DaDeO.

Afternoon: The whole family can feel like kids at West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark, the biggest indoor park of its kind in North America. Find out which family member can stay standing the longest in the wave pool.

Evening: See the whole city at once, and enjoy fine dining, at Edmonton’s only revolving restaurant, La Ronde, located downtown atop the Chateau Lacombe Hotel. You’re in Alberta, so order the AAA prime rib.

Hamilton, Ontario

Beach Park, photograph courtesy of Tourism Hamilton.

Morning: Nestled against Lake Ontario, Confederation Beach Park features a strip of beaches. Enjoy a walk along the shore before hitting the patio at Barangas restaurant for some tzatziki or spanakopita.

Afternoon: The Art Gallery of Hamilton mounts a number of permanent and changing exhibits. THIS IS SERIOUS: Canadian Indie Comics is on display through Jan. 5, and includes works by Marc Bell and Chester Brown.

Evening: Enjoy a few laughs at Landmark Cinemas Jackson Square. Get tickets for a film screening in one of the theatres featuring seats that fully recline, and enjoy one more family movie night before school starts.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, photograph by Rob Crandall/Shutterstock.

Morning: Chances are your family has watched Titanic once or twice. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic displays artifacts from the doomed ocean liner, including personal items that belonged to some of the passengers.

Afternoon: Make your family bond even stronger by visiting the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Explore your family’s history and be inspired to add to the museum’s archive by contributing your story online.

Evening: No trip to Halifax is complete without enjoying East Coast music and hospitality—and ale for those old enough. Enjoy the fish and chips at The Lower Deck Pub on the Halifax Waterfront.

[This story appears in the August 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]