Known for its untouched natural wildernesses, strikingly turquoise lakes, and towering cloud-covered mountains, Canada is home to some of the most beautiful and famous natural landmarks in the world.
However, despite being such a relatively young nation, Canada also boasts a rich and vibrant history, with historical monuments to rival those of some much more established countries, and even boasts no less than 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
From internationally recognized natural landforms to monumental historical man-made complexes dating back to the Age of Exploration, these are the most famous Landmarks in Canada you have to visit.
The 18 Most Famous Landmarks in Canada
1. Niagara Falls – Ontario
Niagara Falls is not only the most famous landmark in Canada but also one of the most iconic waterfalls in the world.
Nestled along the Canada-US border in southern Ontario, Niagara Falls consists of three distinct waterfalls, with the most photographed and recognizable being the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the river.
Visitors can observe the iconic landmark from the riverfront walkway and observation towers on either side of the river.
Alternatively, you can also get a unique perspective of the waterfalls along the Maid of the Mist boat tour or the Journey Behind the Falls, or even get a bird’s eye view along a helicopter tour of the area.
2. Lake Louise – Alberta
Competing with Niagara Falls as Canada’s most popular tourist attraction, Banff National Park is home to over six thousand square kilometers of breathtaking natural wonders and picturesque vistas.
And of its numerous lakes and mountainous views, the emerald pool and snow-covered mountains of Lake Louise are the park’s most celebrated and is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Canada.
From skiing on winter slopes to hiking to wondrous viewpoints, Lake Louise promises year-round natural beauty and is a must-visit destination you have to add to your Canadian bucket list.
3. The CN Tower – Ontario
Completed in 1976, the CN Tower held the record of being the world’s tallest freestanding structure and tallest tower for 32 years. And while both records have since been eclipsed, the tower remains one of the most iconic buildings within the Toronto cityscape.
After nearly 50 years, the CN Tower remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Toronto and promises some of the best views of the city.
The tower’s EdgeWalk experience allows harnessed visitors to walk along the complex’s external edges at an elevation of 356 meters above the ground, garnering the tower yet another world record as the highest external walk on a building anywhere on the planet.
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4. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal – Quebec
While it may not be as famous as its Parisian namesake, the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal is one of the most monumental religious landmarks in Canada and attracts about 11 million people each year.
Built between 1824 and 1829, Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica was the first Gothic Revival-style church ever constructed in Canada and continues to promise timeless beauty consisting of intricate architecture, statues, and stained glass windows.
5. Chateau Frontenac – Quebec
Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in 1892 and Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981, the Fairmont le Château Frontenac is an iconic symbol of Quebec City and has even become one of the most photographed hotels in the world.
The impressive medieval castle-designed hotel features a combination of Chateauesque and Victorian Styles to provide luxury 5-star accommodation steeped in history and opulence.
While staying in one of the complex’s 610 guestrooms is the best way to experience this landmark, visitors staying off-site are also welcome for a guided tour.
6. Peggy’s Cove – Nova Scotia
Another of Canada’s most photographed Landmarks, the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove today was built in 1915, replacing an older wooden structure that had occupied the site since 1868.
The postcard-perfect lighthouse boasts classic red and white coloration and reaches an impressive 15 meters in height. Over a century since its construction, the lighthouse is still operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.
7. Moraine Lake – Alberta
There is no shortage of natural beauty in Banff, and Canada’s first national park is home to not just one but two of the country’s most famous landmarks. Located just 14 km from Lake Louise, Moraine Lake is half the size of its more famous counterpart but is no less breathtaking when it comes to striking scenery.
Popular among photographers, the lake’s pristine turquoise waters and intrepid Valley of the Ten Peaks also make for fantastic outdoor adventures, including kayaking, hiking, and more.
8. Parliament Hill – Ontario
The heart of Canadian politics, Parliament Hill, is one of the most famous political landmarks in the country’s capital city and is a must-visit attraction in Ottawa.
The complex is home to the three Parliament Buildings, consisting of the Centre Block, the West Block, and the East Block. Of Parliament Hill’s many historical structures, the most monumental is the Peace Tower, which houses the Memorial Chamber and an observation tower from which to admire the city.
The Centennial Flame is found at the foot of the Peace Tower. First lit in 1966 by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, this iconic flame continues to burn today and is a permanent reminder of the enduring unity and history of Canada.
9. The Canadian Rockies – British Columbia & Alberta
Not only are the Canadian Rockies the largest natural landmark in Canada, but they have also become a symbol of Western Canada as a whole. Home to a rich biodiversity and plenty of scenic vistas, the Canadian Rockies are a paradise for outdoor lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Of the Rockies’ many peaks, Mount Robson is perhaps the most famous. The highest peak in the mountain chain, this iconic mountain promises daring hiking trails and breathtaking views from its perch within Mount Robson Provincial Park.
Other portions of the Canadian Rockies can be explored within the Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks.
10. Hopewell Rocks – Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy is famous for being the home of the world’s highest tides. The best place to experience this natural phenomenon is at the unique rock formations known as Hopewell Rocks.
Formed over thousands of years of erosion caused by the shifting tides, the Hopewell Rocks are a collection of massive stone spires, rock formations, and caves that can be walked through during low tide.
However, the area boasts a limited visiting window, as the entire region is flooded by approximately 16 meters of ocean once the tide comes in.
11. Confederation Bridge – Prince Edward Island & New Brunswick
Taking four years to complete between 1993 and 1997, the Confederation Bridge connecting Prince Edward Island to the Canadian mainland in New Brunswick is not only the country’s longest bridge but also the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the entire world.
Costing approximately 1.3 billion CAD to build, the Confederation Bridge spans 12.9 km across the Atlantic Ocean, is a marvel of modern engineering, and is one of the most impressive man-made landmarks in Canada to date.
12. Signal Hill National Historic Site – Newfoundland & Labrador
One of the oldest and most celebrated military landmarks in Canada, the Signal Hill National Historic Site marks the location of the conclusive battle of the Seven Years’ War.
The Battle of Signal Hill occurred on September 15, 1762, and resulted in the British reclaiming the city of St. John’s and the surrender of French forces.
Today, the Signal Hill National Historic Site is a monumental destination of military history and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the breadth of the site’s many attractions along a 5 km trail network, where they will observe landmarks such as the Cabot Tower.
Built-in 1898 in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of discovering North America, this stone tower houses the visitor’s center where guests can learn the history of the site and of the community of St. John’s itself.
13. Rideau Canal – Ontario
Beyond Parliament Hill, the most iconic landmark within Canada’s capital is the Rideau Canal, which weaves its way through the heart of the city. The oldest continuously operated canal in North America, the Rideau Canal was first opened in 1832 to provide a secure supply route between Montreal in Quebec and Kingston in Ontario.
Commercial traffic through the canal ceased following WWI, but the waterway remained within Ottawa, becoming a celebrated site of recreational activities.
Throughout the summer months, the canal is filled with kayaks, paddleboards, and other recreational water crafts, while its riverside paths are popular amongst hikers, bikers, and walkers.
However, the Rideau Canal is especially popular throughout the winter. During the cold months, the canal completely freezes over, and skating along the historic waterway has become one of the most essential Canadian activities within the city today.
14. Old Quebec City – Quebec
While the Chateau Frontenac is its most recognizable building, Old Quebec City itself is one of Canada’s most famous historical landmarks. Founded in 1608, the city’s monumental history is contained within its historic district, affectionately named Old Quebec City.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Old Quebec City is best known for its fortified walls, cobblestone streets, and old-school European charms. The area’s attractions and tourist activities include the famous Plains of Abraham, the Quartier Petit Champlain, and enjoying the best views from the 4.6 walk along the Old City walls.
15. Halifax Citadel – Nova Scotia
The Halifax Citadel is perhaps the most impressive military fortification in Canada today. Set within the heart of the Nova Scotian capital, the citadel is the fourth fortress to occupy the site atop Citadel Hill since 1749. It was officially named a National Historic Site of Canada nearly two hundred years later, in 1935.
The iconic star-shaped fortress is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and welcomes visitors throughout the year to explore the site’s military history. Guests can explore centuries of artifacts at the complex’s army museum or immerse in live history with re-enactments and interpretations presented by the facility’s staff.
16. Jasper National Park – Alberta
While it may not be as internationally famous as the nearby Banff National Park, Jasper is just as beautiful and even eclipses Banff in size, covering an expansive 11,000 square kilometers, making it the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
Established in 1930, Jasper National Park hosts an average of 2.5 million visitors each year, with some of its top natural landmarks being Maligne Lake, Pyramid Lake, and Maligne Canyon.
With more area and fewer tourists than Banff, Jasper National Park is the perfect area in Alberta for escaping the tourism crowds to enjoy your own semi-private slice of Canada’s breathtaking wilderness.
Along with promising awe-inspiring nature for a year-round outdoor adventure, Jasper also boasts the title of being the world’s second-largest dark sky preserve, making it a great spot for stargazing and hobby astronomers.
17. The Butchart Gardens – British Columbia
Another not-to-be-missed landmark in Canada, The Butchart Gardens is a breathtaking 55-acre property with beautifully landscaped gardens accentuated by numerous floral displays.
Established in 1902 just outside of Victoria, the expansive lush complex consists of several distinct regions, including the Rose Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Japanese Garden.
Attracting one million visitors each year, The Butchart Gardens were officially declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004, a little more than a century after its foundation.
18. Royal Ontario Museum – Ontario
Home to over 13 million artifacts and over 40 galleries, the Royal Ontario Museum is the largest museum in Canada and one of the most extensive in all of North America.
Built-in 1912, the distinct architecture of the building has become an iconic landmark within Toronto for over a century and continues to attract more than a million visitors each year.
The museum itself is home to an internationally acclaimed collection of exhibits housing relics from various world cultures and natural history. Among its top displays are its collection of minerals and meteorites, international cultural displays, and a collection of dinosaur fossils, which include more than 150,000 specimens from the Burgess Shale in British Columbia.