Canada has a reputation for maple syrup, hockey and Mounties, but there's much more to this expensive northern country than those three things.
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In Toronto, the largest city in the province of Ontario, the CN Tower is like Seattle's Space Needle on steroids. In 1995, the American Society of Civil Engineers named it one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and it isn't hard to see why. Until 2010, it was the tallest building in the world, and it attracts an estimated 1.5 million international visitors each year. Built by Canadian National Railways and completed in 1976, it serves as an important transmitter for television and radio signals, a tourist attraction and a venue for the weddings and celebrations of Toronto's elite.
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The star of Alberta is Banff National Park. Chances are you've seen Canada's oldest national park in advertisements and just didn't realize what you were looking at. The pristine Moraine Lake, set against the backdrop of The Valley of Ten Peaks, is so stunningly gorgeous it looks almost artificial. Icefields Parkway is a popular scenic route through the park, and you're nearby other national parks as well, such as Jasper National Park and Kootenay National Park.
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Quebec's stately Parliament Building is an excellent distillation of this province's French heritage. Completed in 1886, it exemplifies the Second Empire style of architecture in which a central clock tower is flanked by wings for administrative offices. If you're in Quebec, there is no question that it's worth a tour.
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Outdoors enthusiasts will love British Columbia, home to the internationally renowned Whistler Blackcomb ski resort and the picturesque Vancouver sound. Vancouver, British Columbia's largest and most trendy city, hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, which is as certain a testament as any to this province's ability to serve as a playground for sports fans.