Top 5 Most Eco-friendly Destinations in Canada
When it comes to holidays, everyone wants to go to their dream destination. Secretly, we long for those getaways to faraway places with breathtaking landscapes, stunning architecture and everything perfect. But that's not always possible — especially when our bank account can't handle the expensive airfare and accommodations. We need to focus on quality, not budget, when planning our ideal holiday. A quality holiday in Canada can be eco-friendly if you know where to look.
Many people dream of swapping their daily lives and going on holiday. Travelling allows us to meet new people, explore beautiful and different places, see animals or things we only know from T.V. or the internet or take a break from everyday life to relieve stress — thank goodness! A recent travel trends survey by Booking.com found that 50 per cent of respondents believe they can do their bit for the environment on holiday by choosing accommodation near public transport, using products such as reusable water bottles or other sustainable options.
The top 5 green travel destinations in Canada are Tofino, B.C., the Yukon, Mont-Tremblant, Que, Cape Breton Island, N.S., and the Muskoka Lakes region of Ontario.
Tofino, British Columbia: The Surfing Capital of Canada
Tofino is a small town located on Vancouver Island. It's an excellent place for tourists to visit because it's an eco-friendly community. The city is next to Clayoquot Sound, designated by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve because of its ecological importance. The sound is home to many species of marine life, including dolphins, seals and whales; it's also known for its beautiful beaches and remote islands where visitors can camp overnight without having any human interaction! The town itself has many eco-friendly accommodations such as hotels made out of recycled materials like wood chips or cardboard boxes and restaurants specializing in locally sourced food that offers vegetarian options too!
Tofino has been named a top 10 Sustainable Destination by National Geographic.
If you're looking for an eco-friendly getaway that's also a great time, Tofino's the place for you. With rugged terrain and gorgeous beaches, Tofino is one of Canada's most beautiful destinations. Because it's so remote — and has a small population — it's also the perfect place to practice sustainability.
One of the best things about Tofino is how many people go out of their way to help protect the environment. The community is highly eco-conscious, and local businesses are very good at making sustainable choices and using local materials. For example, Storm Glass Studio uses recycled glass to create beautiful art pieces, and it avoids using toxic chemicals in its studio space. Storm Glass sells work by many local artists, so you can pick up some beautiful souvenirs while supporting a sustainable company. You can even tour the studio to see what the studio is doing with all those recycled materials!
Another environmentally friendly business in Tofino is Live to Surf. They have been selling surfboards since 1985 and are known for their environmentally conscious practices — they use eco board blanks made from recycled foam scraps.
Even though it's a small town, there are many ways to be sustainable when travelling to Tofino. For example, you can take an electric bus from the airport or ferry terminal (which runs on 100% green energy), bike around town, or walk along the lovely shoreline of Clayoquot Sound. You can use reusable containers to eat any snacks you buy and bring your water bottle everywhere, so you're not buying single-use plastic bottles. There are plenty of restaurants that serve locally sourced food, many of which have vegan and vegetarian options!
Tofino is famous for its adventure tourism, with whale watching and surfing options. However, the city is also known for its commitment to sustainable living, making it an excellent place for people who love nature and want to protect it.
A significant way that Tofino commits to sustainable living is through driving programs. Transportation accounts for over half of B.C.'s overall greenhouse gas emissions, so Tofino has committed to shifting away from fossil fuels. In 2016, they became the first city in North America to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, and now they plan to do the same thing with gas-powered lawnmowers.
In addition to driving programs, Tofino is also working hard on waste management. The city has banned Styrofoam containers and is working on educating people on how to recycle correctly. They are also increasing their recycling plant capacity as more people move into the area.
Kluane National Park and Reserve, Yukon
It's no secret that Canadians are some of the most environmentally conscious people globally. As a Canadian citizen who believes in keeping my environmental impact as low as possible, I'm always looking for new ways to travel with a light footprint. I was thrilled when I discovered Kluane National Park and Reserve in Yukon.
Not only is Kluane one of the most beautiful places on the planet (seriously, you haven't lived until you've seen this place), but it's also one of the most sustainable in Canada. The park is 100% off-grid — which means that it relies solely on solar power to generate its electricity. All water is collected from rainwater and filtered through an on-site treatment plant.
Meaning that if you're travelling to Kluane, there are a few things you'll have to keep in mind:
-If you need to charge your devices or use your laptop or other electrical appliances, you'll have to do so during daylight hours.
-If you're planning on staying at Kluane overnight, make sure you bring appropriate bedding for a night under the stars — there are no hotels here!
-You can stay at one of the campgrounds or rent a cabin for up to 5 people at a time. You have access to electricity and running water here, but only used for certain times of day (usually around 8 pm-10 pm).
-There are no roads to the park, so you must hike, canoe or floatplane to get there.
-The nearest grocery store would be in Whitehorse, about 40 minutes away by plane. It would be best to have food brought before visiting Kluane to reduce back and forth food trips.
The reserve is also home to Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. The park is easily accessible by land and air, making it a popular destination for photographers to see nature in its pristine glory. With 1,600 kilometres of marked hiking trails and an extensive backcountry camping system, Kluane offers many opportunities for hiking in Canada.
The Yukon is also home to several hot springs perfect for any weary hiker. Takhini Hot Springs, for example, is located just outside of Whitehorse and offers many pools for relaxing. There's also a pool at Takhini Hot Springs, kept at 38°C, making it the perfect place to relax after a strenuous hike.
Mont — Tremblant, Quebec
Mont Tremblant is the "Jewel of the Laurentians" in Quebec. It's the most popular ski resort in the province, visited by over 600,000 people. But although this world-class ski resort is only 70 miles from Montreal, it's far enough away that visitors can either drive their car (which can be problematic in the winter months) or take a bus or train. The good news is that both options are very energy efficient!
Tremblant offers eco-friendly activities such as hiking and cross-country skiing in an area protected for decades. Mont Tremblant is located in Quebec and is Canada's most popular year-round destination. It's also one of the most eco-friendly resorts in North America, offering travellers everything they need for a relaxing holiday without sacrificing sustainability.
The region is committed to providing visitors with an eco-friendly journey while maintaining the comfort and class that visitors expect. Mont Tremblant has been awarded Gold status as a sustainable destination for its commitment to preserving its natural beauty and finding ways to reduce emissions. For example, there's an electric car charging station if you want to rent an electric vehicle during your stay. And if you don't want to rent a car, public transport runs on clean energy.
Mont Tremblant is entirely sustainable. The resort was built with sustainability in mind and has received LEED certification for its efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Mont Tremblant is located in the Laurentian Mountains and encompasses more than 5,000 hectares of beautiful wilderness. The resort is committed to preserving this natural beauty by adopting environmentally friendly practices throughout its operations. Tremblant is powered exclusively by renewable energy, including wind power, hydroelectricity and biofuels. Every time you plug in your mobile phone or flip on a light switch during your stay at Tremblant, you're contributing to the fight against climate change.
The resort also takes environmental protection seriously, planting trees around its property and establishing a wildlife sanctuary within its boundaries to ensure that native species are safe.
Cape Brenton Island, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Cape Breton Island is one of the region's most biodiverse and ecologically intact areas. It's also a great place to start your journey towards sustainable travel in Canada.
A visit to Cape Breton Island won't disappoint nature lovers, as it's the best destination if you're looking for a sustainable holiday. With over 1,000 km of hiking trails, Cape Breton Island surrounds protected areas that provide a network of safe habitats for native species. The island is a fossil-free zone with many cycling and hiking trails. There are no cars and no pollution, making the island an eco-friendly paradise.
The Dark Sky Preserve in Cape Breton Highlands National Park was Canada's first Dark Sky Preserve and is one of the best places in Canada to see the stars with minimal light pollution.
These adventures are waiting for you! You can hike the Great Trail — formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail — along the east coast or through the rugged Highlands, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Or follow the world's first national park in the Kalido Wilderness — the Cabot Trail, rated one of the top 100 hikes in the world by National Geographic and one of North America's most beautiful coastal roads with breathtaking views at every turn.
Cape Breton is also known for its world-class outdoor activities such as golfing and whale watching and its rich Celtic culture. For a unique experience, take a trip to Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort, where you can stay in a handcrafted yurt overlooking St. Ann's Bay in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Don't miss a trip to Louisbourg Fortress.
Muskoka Lake Region, Ontario
Muskoka is a great place to visit if you're hoping to experience Canada's natural beauty and culture — from the award-winning restaurants and water sports in Gravenhurst, the spas and galleries in Port Carling, the beaches and shopping in Bala. It is also very environmentally conscious. They are home to many environmental initiatives and have made it their goal to reduce their carbon footprint. They have a variety of electric car charging stations and encourage carpooling. They also have an Earth-friendly package program that allows residents and visitors to become Eco-tourist by making small changes in their everyday lives.
The region is known for its beautiful lakes and cottages, but the city is home to several sustainability-focused initiatives. One destination is the Muskoka Brewery, which teamed up with The Beer Store to take its old beer bottles, wash them, and reimagine them as beer glasses. Now you can drink from a glass made from a recycled bottle while you sip on Muskoka Brewery's delicious craft beers.
Many cottagers are committed to keeping their cottages sustainable, and numerous programs help them do this. For example, the Muskoka Eco-Star Program allows cottage owners to assess their properties' environmental performance concerning energy use and waste management practices. If a cottage does not meet specific energy efficiency standards, it may not qualify for usage during peak season (which usually lasts from May through October).
But you don't need to be in the brewery or at a restaurant to find sustainably-minded products. You can find Muskoka Brewing Co.'s cans in stores all over Ontario, and those cans are from 100% recycled aluminium. It's not just food and beverage businesses focusing on sustainability in Muskoka. The city itself has launched numerous initiatives focused on keeping it green:
-Free carbon offsetting for local events (with support from the municipality)
-The launch of Muskoka's first community solar project
-The installation of 30 charging stations for electric vehicles across the city
-A pledge to become carbon neutral by 2035 (and 60% emission reductions by 2030)
Muskoka has several sustainable accommodations, from resorts to eco-lodges, including Deerhurst Resort which was named an official "green" resort by the Green Key Eco-Rating program.
Canada is the second-largest country in the world by total land area. If you've never visited its vast lakes and winding rivers, we suggest visiting one of its many vibrant ecotourism destinations. The goal of this list was to showcase some of the most eco-friendly destinations in Canada. Each entry on this list focuses on a specific resource and how it's become a sustainable resource itself. While not exhaustive, the list is diverse and combines the benefits of Canadian culture and green energy resources. Each featured destination uses a mix of sustainable practices to create a fascinating product for Mother Nature and its inhabitants.