What to Do in Canada’s Biggest Cities This Summer (Part 2!)

August 6, 2020

Travelers, we know you’re sticking a little closer to home this summer. Remember, staycations and local road trips can be exciting too!


Recently, we published “Part 1” of our top picks for fun things to do in Canada’s biggest cities. You discovered our favourite summer highlights in Toronto, Victoria, Quebec City, and Edmonton. 


Here’s “Part 2” of our urban highlights series. Let’s dive into Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Halifax!


Vancouver Highlights

Cool off in Vancouver this summer with social-distanced outdoor activities!


  • Go camping! Any summer is a good summer to go camping near Vancouver. If you haven’t spent a weekend in the provincial parks or local campgrounds, summer 2020 is the perfect time to start! Take a day trip to Golden Ears Provincial Park or Whytecliff Park for magical landscapes and marine life viewing.
  • Find your zen in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Nature has the power to calm anxieties and soothe our minds. If you need a dose of peace, head to Sun Yat-Sen Garden for a calming walk among the plants and stones. This summer, enjoy online yoga classes and a virtual Wellness in the Garden series. 
  • Watch the whales. The Prince of Whales company offers whale watching adventures with strict COVID-19 safety protocols. Head out on the water and get a glimpse of the majestic creatures beneath the surface. It’s like traveling to another world—all near your urban home.

Calgary Highlights

The Calgary Stampede was canceled, but there’s still plenty to do in “Cowtown” this summer.


  • Visit Cobb’s Adventure Park. Though some activities are closed due to COVID-19, your family can still enjoy mini-golf, ground mazes, and several outdoor games this summer. If you’re concerned about social distancing, consider booking a private visit during off-hours!
  • Take an art walk. Calgary is home to several art galleries and art events. Whether you plan your explorations with Calgary Artwalk or stroll past public art on the sidewalk, the fresh air and vibrant colours will lift your spirits.
  • Escape the Locked Zoo. Did you know that Calgary Zoo is also home to the city’s largest escape experience? Tickets for these distanced events are on sale now. Most are adults-only, but the “Running Wild” event is open to the whole family. Remember to bring sunscreen and plenty of water!

Montreal Highlights

Every summer, Montreal comes alive with art and street performers. Events look a little different this year, but you can still enjoy the city.


  • Rest in the Urban Forest. McCord Museum’s Urban Forest is 10 years old this year! Wander into the outdoor art installation for a calming retreat from the noise of the city. Programming has been canceled to support social distancing, but the furniture and art displays are still there to enjoy.
  • Explore the Montreal Botanical Garden. A solo walk in the garden is calming. A family jaunt through the cultural gardens can even feel like a bit of international travel. Reserve your timeslot online — spaces are limited this year, but that means more of the gardens to yourself!
  • Enjoy the virtual Piknik Elektronik. Though Piknik Elektronik postponed its in-person season indefinitely, you can still “piknik” at home every Sunday! Check out the full details and even lineup on the website


Halifax Highlights


Nova Scotia’s capital has wonderful summer weather and adventurous maritime culture. Whether you’re visiting from elsewhere in the province or exploring your backyard, here are some ideas for 2020 summer fun.


  • Sample local ice cream. These days, it can be a challenge to dine in at your favourite restaurants. We love the idea of a local ice cream “tour” because you can savour the flavours outdoors — at a picnic table, under the shade of a tree, or while you walk to the next creamery! Discover Halifax has a great list of local creameries to get you started.
  • Visit McNabs Island. COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep you safe while you visit the beach. Dip your toes in the water, hike over 22 km of trails, and brush up on your local military history at McNabs Island. 
  • Stock up at the local market. The Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market has a blend of online and in-person shopping this summer. This is the perfect place to load up on local produce and baked goods. Support your local businesses while you’re home this summer!


Canada is a vast country. We’ve done our best to highlight summer fun in the cities this summer, but we know we haven’t covered everything. Connect with @gorvingcanada on Facebook or Instagram to share the adventures you’re taking at home this summer!