Ah, summer! With school out and work vacations well underway across much of Canada and the United States, the freedom of these long, hazy, and carefree days are the stuff of dreams for most. However, the inescapable truth of this time of year, especially north of the border, is that days like these are fleeting, and are not to be taken for granted.
So when the weather is at its peak in this country, Canadians take full advantage of it by leaving the city behind and embracing any one of the countless lakes that dot the expansive landscape beyond the urban one. While many have their favourite spot (and they ain’t telling anybody!), there are some lakes that are unquestionably popular among the locals in Canada.
This article will introduce you to three lightening rods for domestic tourism in Canada, so if you want to experience a Canadian summer, its best to go to these places in order to get a taste of it.
Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
Located within a four hour drive east of Vancouver, a city that is lush with foliage from near constant rains in the winter time, is a region that is its exact opposite, as the Okanagan Valley, shielded from Pacific moisture by the Cascade mountains, possesses a semi-arid climate that sees sunshine 2,000 hours per year.
This has fostered a culture centred around watersports, an envy-inducing selection of local wines from vineyards that thrive in the abundant sun, and long hot days where the thermometer regularly soars above 30 degrees Celsius.
Sylvan Lake, Alberta
While most of the lakes in Alberta can be found north of Edmonton, as the rains in the north of the province are more plentiful, Sylvan Lake is a notable exception. Fed by a massive underground aquifer that has its roots in Jasper National Park, Sylvan Lake warms rapidly in the long days of its short summer season, as the lake is no deeper than 20 feet at its deepest point.
Its proximity to Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, 1-2-3 in population in Alberta, ensures an active social life in town, with plenty of attractions (water park, go karts, etc) and nightlife opportunities that go a long way to helping you have an excellent weekend away from the urban centres of this booming province.
Lake Muskoka, Ontario
With the seemingly infinite number of lakes that dot the fractured landscape of the Canadian Shield just north of Toronto, it can be hard to pick a definitive lake to hit within easy reach of the Greater Toronto Area. Lake Muskoka comes close though, as its large size, landscape of smooth sculpted granite, and the number of cottages that show off the wealth of the region make it a great choice.
Whether you want to rough it (Algonquin Park with its many canoeing and hiking opportunities can be found here) or enjoy the place in style (boat cruises can take you on a grand tour throughout the area), Lake Muskoka and vicinity offers many opportunities to unwind from the pressures of urban Ontario.