Canada Customer Reviews
We are very proud of the feedback that we get from our trips and are pleased to share reviews from past travellers. These are kept as up to date as possible. Please have a read through these Canada customer reviews to get a real sense of the kind of experience that you might have on a family trip.
Bunyan Family (with children aged 9 & 11)
Travelled Summer 2023
Hi Helene. Yes, we are indeed back although most definitely very reluctantly! If we could have stayed longer we would have. We had the most amazing time! It’s very hard to pick out favourite activities as we found the whole itinerary very varied and all amazing in their own way. There was some debate originally as to whether we should go ahead with both the bear and whale watching trips on the same day – in the end we are so very glad we stuck with them both as we felt they were both so very different from an experience point of view that it didn’t matter that we were out on the water for quite a few hours in the same day. We were very lucky to see a variety of wildlife across both trips! We all loved the white water rafting – it was a first for all of us and won’t be the last!
The full-day canoe trip on Clearwater is another one that stands out for us. Our guide was ever so friendly and knowledgeable. We canoed, hiked up to Eagle’s view, and had a lovely picnic lunch in a beautiful spot by the side of the lake – just a perfect day all round.
We also thought the bike tour in Vancouver at the very start was a lovely way to start the holiday. It was a nice, gentle, very relaxing way to see the sights of Vancouver. The most memorable moment for our girls has to be quite literally bumping into a mother bear and her cub while hiking at Moraine Lake…! Whilst slightly terrifying, we were very lucky that they both were very calm and just carried on walking past us. It definitely ticked the box for spotting a bear though!
From a hotel point of view, we all loved our hotel on Vancouver Island and the location of the hotel in Banff was perfect. The other hotels were all clean and comfortable and we were perfectly happy with them.
Our hire car – we ended up having to upgrade at the airport as they said they didn’t keep sat navs on site so to use a sat nav we had to upgrade to a car with inbuilt sat nav. But it worked out fine in the end as the new car was slightly bigger which worked well for us.
We very much hope to return to Canada one day to carry on exploring!
A big thank you for everyone’s help in planning and booking our Canadian adventure.
Burrows Family (with children aged 10 & 12)
Travelled Summer 2023
Hi Helene. Thanks so much for all your help organising. It all went pretty smoothly and we loved everywhere we went. The kids are converted and want to live there!! We really enjoyed our few days In Ottawa and would highly recommend the bike tour – we saw so much of the city we would have missed. Algonquin trip overall was fantastic. The guides were amazing and we loved all the canoeing and the camp-out meals. The main lodge is also lovely. Overall we loved our trip. The cottage at Niagara on the lake was lovely and a great location to stay away from the madness of Niagara. We also loved the Blue Mountain resort and the hotel was perfect. We even managed to get a “free” play all-day pass for all of us which was a bonus. The kids loved all the activities and again I would highly recommend them. Another thing to mention was the 100 Island Kayak Tour. We would have never found this ourselves and it was so an enjoyable morning. The guides again were great and really encouraging of the kids. Great way to see the islands.
Murdock Smith Family (with children aged 6, 9 & 11)
Travelled Summer 2022
Hi Helene. We had an amazing time in Canada – thank you so much. All of the activities were fabulous and having all the maps and info in one place made it very straightforward. We managed to fit an awful lot into 2 and a half weeks – definitely wouldn’t have managed that on our own! Regarding activities – in Vancouver, we did the Science Museum and it is absolutely brilliant. We love London’s but this was even more hands-on for kids (6, 9, and 11 year-olds all involved), and would definitely recommend it. We also hired bikes and cycled around Stanley Park which was another great day. In Revelstoke, you can get a play-all-day ticket at the resort where you can do ace throwing, 2 goes on the toboggan, frisbee golf, and aerial adventure. A really good fun day. Thanks again.
Sproston Family (with teenagers aged 18 & 20)
Travelled Summer 2022
British Columbia – WOW !!! A truly memorable family activity holiday, which brought the family together and will provide great memories for years to come. We provided Stubborn Mule with a list of the activities we enjoy, some ideas of where we wanted to explore and a budget to work within. They were very patient, and accommodated a few suggested tweaks, before settling on what was a jam-packed itinerary; one that included glacial mountains, lakes & rivers, coastal seaside resorts, and the cities of Vancouver & Victoria.
Activities included an alpine hike, forest & coastal walks, kayaking, cycling, surfing, swimming in a lake, watching a Canadian football game, and 3 wildlife safaris (inc. black bears, grey whales, seals & sea-lions, sea & river otters, chipmunks, and marmots). We also enjoyed learning about the culture and history of the First Nations. This trip had everything – thank you!
Terry Family (with children aged 10 & 13)
Travelled Summer 2022
Hi Helene. Canada was brilliant with something for the whole family. It was action-packed, meaning we felt like we had a really long break (in a good way). Highlights for us were cycling in Vancouver, a great way to see the city and find our feet. We diverted off the sea wall cycle path up to Pier Point which was worth it for the views. We also went to the Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver which we really enjoyed – we did this in the morning before the ferry trip. On to Vancouver Island next, where we enjoyed the bear boat trip and whale watching. We would have probably preferred to split this over 2 days so we could have more time to explore Tofino and Ucluelet.
We did visit Long Beach which is incredible – you only need to pay for parking here and do not need a park pass, which was a bonus. Great waves and tons of sand. The Woodside Grill was a gem of a food find, a small shack on the main road between Ucluelet and Tofino, burgers, tacos all homemade and seafood caught on their own boats and there is an ice cream shop next door. Kayaking was so much fun and a friendly seal took a liking to us as we explored the harbour. Ucluelet Brewing Company was ideal for family dining, as was the floating restaurant, which was within walking distance from the cabins (we loved the cabin accommodation).
When we got back to Vancouver via ferry the next few days we could take in the spectacular scenery.
Jasper was great, some lovely food places here, again the Jasper Brewing Co was great for families, we also had a more upmarket dinner at Syrah in town (they served Elk, buffalo, and Canadian fare). We also ate at Kimchi a fab understated Korean restaurant in town – amazing food.
Lake Louise was a worthwhile stop although apart from the lake not much else – we ate at the pizza restaurant in the hotel and it was delicious and would recommend. I should say it would help to mention in your paperwork that as you get to Jasper you will need to buy a park pass, because we were there for 7 nights it was cheaper to buy an annual pass ($140) it wasn’t an issue for us but may be worth mentioning to families to expect this expense.
From Lake Louise, we did a little detour to zip lining which the family really enjoyed and we would highly recommend. The last stop was Banff – we just loved it and wished we had a little more time. The accommodation was exceptional, pools, location, and facilities great. The boys chose a ghost walk tour for our first night which was an excellent way to navigate the streets of Banff and set us up for our free time the next day.
The icefields and glacier were wonderful; glass walkway was fun too. All unmissable. We really enjoyed Banff the Three Bears Brewery was excellent for food and you could sit outside. There was so much choice and everything was accessible. Before we left Banff we visited the Hotsprings – you can visit the caves here for free with your park pass and it is worth it.
We then made our way to Calgary, we did stop and the Iron Springs Mall en route back which the kids really enjoyed as a change and they were able to buy any last-minute gifts etc.
All in all a fantastic time – thank you so so much for all of your help and advice. We are looking at South America next year so any advice or recommendations welcome. We would definitely use Stubborn Mule again! Thank you.
Sharman Family (with teenagers aged 14, 17 & 19)
Travelled Summer 2022
Hi Liddy. Thank you so much for organising such a great trip for us to Canada – we had a blast! We all particularly enjoyed the Algonquin experience, even with the torrential rain on day one; it made the dry moments and sunshine even more special. Our group and guide, Will, were amazing and helped make it such a great experience too. The more detailed notes on how to get to the starting point were very useful as GPS would not have got us there alone. We also loved Toronto and especially the CN Tower and Aquarium, plus our visit to Toronto Islands with bike ride.
The Royal Ontario Museum was also a great family visit. Luckily, we got the CN Tower tickets in time and would totally recommend an early morning visit as it just gets super busy as the day goes on.
The Gananoque trip was a great day of kayaking and Mike and Ryan were especially good guides.
Niagara Falls lived up to expectations and was as good as I remember; we were all blown away by the prettiness of Niagara-on-the-Lake, which was the first visit for all of us. The historic fort in N-o-t-L was shut on Mondays and Tuesdays, our days there, which was a bit unfortunate, as we would have probably tried to squeeze in a visit otherwise.
The mountain resort was full of activity and amenities, especially after the wilderness experience. However, in hindsight, we would probably have stayed a day less here and added it on to Ottawa instead, as we only feel we just scratched the surface of the city with so much more to see. The accommodation was good and we particularly liked the B&B in Ottawa, great character and location.
While at the mountain resort, we did add on the additional activity of the high tree tops zip lines, and walkways – a great activity for all the family to enjoy. The hotel in Niagara on the Lake was really lovely too and a great location for exploring the area.
The Toronto hotel was perfectly situated, and we did find parking nearby. However, as we stayed in the city all the time, it just added to the parking costs. Instead, it might have been better and possibly cheaper to get the car for the day we left Toronto and take public transportation to the hotel from the airport.
As we are fans of Schitt’s Creek and our return flight wasn’t until the evening, we made visits to key filming locations in the Greater Toronto Area on our last day, a good use of a travel day. Overall, our travel was fine and we made it without too many problems.
Would totally recommend a holiday like ours to Ontario and we would happily travel again with Stubborn Mule.
Thank you so much again, we are very grateful for such a wonderful family holiday, and many memories to treasure.
Plummer Family (with children aged 9 & 12)
Travelled Summer 2022
Hi Helene. I’m pleased to report we had a great time away in Canada. We were very fortunate to see both species of bear, moose, elk, and the very rarely spotted Wolverine! I’ll happily send some pictures to you. On the whole, the accommodation was of a high standard…You did a great job and we have already passed your itinerary on to two sets of friends! Kind regards.
Vinecombe Family (with teenagers aged 15 & 17)
Travelled Summer 2022
After weeks of reports of chaos at airports and cancelled flights, it was with some trepidation that we set off to Heathrow for the first summer holiday in 3 years. I am delighted to report that we sailed through check-in and customs and even touched down in Vancouver ahead of schedule; a perfect start to our adventure. The boys headed off on a bike tour of Vancouver the next morning and I met them at the famous Totem poles in Stanley park, a great way to explore the city. That night we celebrated L’s 21st birthday with a superb steak at Black and Blue in downtown Vancouver.
The next day we head off on a group tour of Capilano suspension bridge and Grouse Mountain but were the only ones on the tour so had the guide and minibus to ourselves. The suspension bridge and high rope bridges through the forest made for a great day out and were only a few miles from central Vancouver.
Next stop on the tour was the car ferry to Vancouver Island and a picturesque drive north to the pickup point for our island lodge. Tim and Kelly run a great lodge with comfortable rooms and first-class food while offering bespoke activity packages to accommodate all interests. We saw Grizzly bears, black bears, Killer whales, Humpback whales, Sea otters, Eagles and more, it was like being in the middle of a David Attenborough documentary.
We also got to visit a First Nation Village and learn a little about their culture, language, and customs.
Everything was superbly planned and executed, for example when we went kayaking the guide packed hot chocolate and homemade cookies for when we stopped to explore an island. It is the little extra things that set places apart. Each night at 5 pm, Tim lead the ‘swim club’, encouraging staff and guests to jump off the dock. The water is 9 degrees centigrade and was certainly a life-affirming experience! Our 4-day stay on Vancouver Island was truly special and will live long in the memory.
We spent the next 3 days travelling through the Rockies to Jasper. To be honest the boys got bored with the long car journeys and pitching up at a new hotel each night. Once in Jasper I decided to inject a bit of luxury into the holiday and we checked into the Fairmont, which was situated on a stunning lake just outside of Jasper and proved to be just what we needed. My son took the cable car up Whistler Mountain and then ran to the summit, (amazing views apparently!), whilst the rest of us relaxed by the pool and enjoyed a cocktail in the hot tub.
Jasper is the 2nd largest designated dark sky area in the world so that night we went on a star gazing trip and got to use high-tech telescopes to see many different constellations and planets. The boys loved it!
National Geographic claims that the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise is one of the most stunning car journeys in the world and I would certainly vouch for that. We stopped to see waterfalls, lakes, and canyons, each more beautiful than the last. The Lake Louise Inn was a great choice, with comfortable rooms, a nice pool, and mini golf on-site. We had good meals in both restaurants and it was a great base to explore the area.
Stubborn Mule’s suggestion of a visit to Emerald Lake was an inspired one, it was in fact our favourite lake and we walked all around it early in the morning and took some amazing photos.
Our final stop was in Banff, where we had a great duplex family suite, with a full kitchen and sitting area. After 2 weeks of eating out every day, this was exactly what we needed. Banff is busy, so we enjoyed staying slightly out of town and the bus stops right outside reception.
All guests receive free bus passes and a timetable, so it couldn’t have been easier to get around. We enjoyed a trip to the Banff Natural Springs, although at 40 degrees it’s best not to stay for too long. A cowboy ride and steak cook-up at some stables a few miles out of Banff was a great way to end the holiday. On our last day, we stopped at the outlet mall en route to the airport for the boys to hit the Nike shop and luckily we had a very smooth journey home.
Our trip exceeded my expectations and left me wondering why we have never been to Canada before. The wide open spaces, stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and super friendly people make it a perfect destination… We will certainly return!
I look forward to getting next year’s holiday organised in the next few weeks.
Hume Family (with grandparents and child aged 9)
Travelled Summer 2022
Helene – We had a brilliant time in Vancouver and very pleased we added this to our US trip. What a fabulous city! Thank you so much for all your ideas and help. Wish we had had time to explore beyond the city. All the activities were huge fun. Loved the Stanley Park cycle along the sea wall and enjoyed the heated pool at Second beach. A visit to the Museum of Vancouver was an interesting way to learn about the First Nations and Flyover Canada was great for everyone. Granville Island was fun too and F enjoyed getting around by aquabus. He also loved the Grouse Mountain trip, especially the ranger talk on the bears and the Lumberjack show. We were spoilt for choice when it came to places to eat and the hotel was perfect for us and well-positioned. We’ll definitely be back in touch to organise a longer trip soon – Vancouver Island, Banff, the coast all look incredible. Thank you so much again.
Copeman Family (with children aged 15, & 17)
Travelled Summer 2022
We’ve just landed. Had incredible trip. Thank you so much. I’d be delighted to talk it through and give written feedback.
Purdy Family (with children aged 11, 11 and 14)
Travelled Summer 2019
Canada totally exceeded our expectations. We got off to a great start with the bike tour in Vancouver. Our guide Jeremy was brilliant and the gelato was the best we’ve ever tasted. Vancouver Island was amazing. It was pretty busy in places but we soon found that the best thing to do was to buy a picnic in the morning and then head away from the crowds. You don’t have to walk far to get away from other people! We did a SUP tour in a really beautiful inlet near Tofino which the kids loved. P couldn’t master it at all and kept falling in, but this just made it all the more fun.
The Rockies were just as magnificent as we had heard and we had an incredible week exploring here. We were worried that the kids would get bored with all of the hikes but as long as we kept them well-fed, with a constant supply of snacks, they were very happy. The trail to Lake O’Hara in Yoho was a great recommendation, thank you, as the views were incredible. The lodge here was a real splurge but so worth it, we loved it.
Banff was also amazing. The hoodoo float tour was really fun – amazing views – and the kids also loved the Glacial Skywalk although I thought that this was total terrifying. All in all a great trip, thanks so much. We’ll be back for more!
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Canada in pictures
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