What’s on Your Bucket List?

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IHG Hotels. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a bucket list? Most of us do. In fact, a recent IHG survey shows that six in ten Canadians have or plan to make one. Ever since the popular movie by the same name came out over a decade ago, people seem to be coming up with all kinds of things to see and do before they kick the proverbial bucket. Especially the younger generations; Canadians under the age of 35 are the biggest advocates for bucket lists; 82% of those surveyed said they had one.

To help you knock off some of your bucket list destinations, I’ve partnered with IHG and am giving away 60,000 IHG Rewards Club Points. The contest details are below, but know that a bucket list, doesn’t have to include all big expensive items. Sure, an African safari would be incredible, but there are smaller, more affordable, and more realistic experiences that can fit on your bucket list as well. Many of which are right here in Canada.

Canadians are quick to recognize just how much our country has to offer, we’re not the only ones who know how incredible it really is. Travellers from around the world visit Canada throughout the year to knock a few items off their own bucket lists which include some of the following:

Assiniboine Park – Winnipeg, MB – Courtesy of EWM

Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff National Park with its turquoise lakes, towering mountains, and expansive forests full of wildlife tops is a top Canadian contender on most bucket lists. It’s the idyllic Canada that’s shown on postcards and one of the best places to experience Canada’s incredible nature.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls is the top visited attraction in all of Canada and, for those that have been, we know why (especially since Canada has the better views). Whether you visit in the summer and have the misty spray to cool you down, or in the winter when they freeze, Niagara Falls is a must see here in Canada.

The Northern Lights, Canada-wide

Many people travel to Iceland, Norway, or Finland to see the Northern Lights, but there are plenty of opportunities to see them in Canada too. Some of the best spots include the Yukon, Churchill, Manitoba (where you can also see polar bears and beluga whales), Manitoulin Island in Ontario, and Battle Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Quebec City’s Carnival, Quebec

Canada’s winters are notoriously cold with plenty of ice and snow. However, we know how to make the most of it. One of the country’s best winter festivals is Carnival in Quebec City. With a friendly snowman mascot, impressive ice sculptures, parades, games, and more it’s definitely bucket list-worthy.

Tulip Festival, Ontario

Every May, Canada’s capital turns into a giant tulip garden. From Parliament Hill to Dow’s Lake and the Canal, colourful tulips spring up across the city. It’s all in thanks to the Netherlands who send bulbs every year after an Ottawa hospital room was declared to be Dutch soil so the queen could give birth to a proper Dutch princess. It’s one of the country’s best historical stories and makes for a popular bucket list activity.

Iceberg Sighting, Newfoundland and Labrador

Beautiful but dangerous, icebergs have fascinated people for years, especially after the disaster faced by the Titanic. Newfoundland is one of the best places in the world to view icebergs. The best time of year to see them is late April, early May along the coast of Newfoundland, and from March to July off the coast of Labrador.

What’s on your bucket list?

While these are certainly some of Canada’s best and attractions, they aren’t the only ones. IHG has partnered with bucket-list expert Robin Esrock to create The Great Canadian Bucket List; 25 bucket-list worthy experiences to try this year. From using the Holiday Inn St. John’s Conference Centre as a base to explore St. John’s and get Screeched in, to visiting Canada’s most visited museum, the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa, only a short distance away from the Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa. It’s a must-read list if you’re looking to create or add to your own bucket list

Remember, a bucket list is made of dreams but it’s easily doable, especially if you start small and local. Ready to kick-start your Canadian bucket list adventures? Visit IHG.com to help plan your bucket list experiences and to book any of their 177 affordable hotels across Canada.

Now, it’s your turn. Do you have a bucket list? Share what Canadian attraction, activity, or place tops your personal bucket list in the comments for a chance to win 60,000 IHG Rewards Club Points (worth up to a 2-night stay depending on time, location, and availability). Ensure you comment by June 22, 2018, the winner will be announced on June 29, 2018.

Contest terms & conditions:

Contest – e.g. challenge friends to share their favourite bucket list challenge to win IHG 60,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Contest disclaimer: 60,000 points provides up to two nights stay. Depending on time, location and availability.

  • Open to Canadians only
  • Contest ends June 22, 2018
  • Winner must have an IHG Rewards Club account
  • Sign up for a free IHG Rewards Club account here

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Talia on June 7, 2018 at 8:31 AM

    A hiking and kayaking adventure in Victoria, BC.

  2. Xavier on June 7, 2018 at 8:39 AM

    Oh my list will be huge but here are some of my main ones…Haida Gwaii to see the spirit bear and rainforest… Jasper and Banff National Parks because mountains!
    Aurora Borealis!
    St.John’s Newfoundland to see the passing ice bergs in the springs. Also to get screeched 🙂
    Lastly, Osoyoos to visit the Canadian desert and the Okanagan wine region. 🙂

  3. Yasin P on June 7, 2018 at 8:58 AM

    Drumheller Alberta to go dinosaur fossil hunting.

    • Otis Wong on June 25, 2018 at 3:05 PM

      It is Amazing. Great museum

  4. Sagar Aggarwal on June 7, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Rock climbing the mountains in BC

  5. Maelyne Abrenica on June 7, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    I want to explore the east coast!.. And eat as much lobster as I can :).. While whale watching!

  6. Gwen Nielsen on June 7, 2018 at 8:40 PM

    See first hand the awesome ruggedness of our Canadian shield and travel the superb waterways of the Trent channel system on a houseboat. Explore areas only accessible by boat that where depicted by our iconic artists like Tom Thompson. There is nothing more calming than listening to the breezes through the northern pine trees.

  7. Nicole Jubleew on June 7, 2018 at 9:09 PM

    Hiking Gros Morne National Park and visiting Quebec City are on my bucket list.

  8. Christopher Auty on June 8, 2018 at 4:48 PM

    Skiing in Whistler or dogsledding in the Yukon

  9. Sylvia Seeley on June 10, 2018 at 7:01 AM

    Would love to visit British Columbia and travel the coast..so much to see and do.

  10. Hannah Logan on June 12, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Polar bears in Churchill is my big Canadian bucketlist item! I’d also really love to go to the Yukon.

  11. isabella on June 12, 2018 at 9:04 AM

    Yukon to see the northern lights and Nunavut for a tour of the wild north!

  12. Clint on June 12, 2018 at 10:05 AM

    Definitely the polar bears in Churchill!

  13. Richard on June 12, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    I’d love to explore Newfoundland. Have seen the other nine provinces.

  14. Ronald Arsenault on June 12, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    We were just talking about bucket lists this morning: Churchill Manitoba to see the Polar Bears.

  15. Dave Hemphill on June 12, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    My bucketlist destination would be to drive from Ottawa to Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Canada is a fantastic place to explore.

  16. Stephanie on June 12, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    It’s my dream to see Western Canada. Would love to see Lake Louise in Alberta – just the drive into the mountains looks beautiful. Also to cycle along Okanagan Valley’s wine route!!

  17. Krystyna on June 12, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    My bucket list destination is to see and experience the norther lights in our great white north!

  18. Susan on June 12, 2018 at 10:23 AM

    I would love to see Niagra falls.

  19. Anandi Carroll-Woolery on June 12, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    I would love to take my family to see Quebec City. I heard there are historical reenactments in the summer. The immersive experience would be awesome!

  20. Sue-Lee Pring on June 12, 2018 at 10:31 AM

    I would love to go to Hawaii

  21. Julie Bonner on June 12, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    Have never travelled to the East coast, so would love to see the maritimes, especially, Peggy’s Cove. Thanks for this contest, and good luck to everyone!

  22. Maria Ferreira on June 12, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    In no specific order:
    – Visiting Newfoundland and Labrador to hike at Gros Morne, driving to Fortune and taking the ferry to St. Pierre et Miquelon, watching the icebergs and whales.
    – Hiking and kayaking in Haida Gwaii to see the temperate rainforest.
    – Visiting north of the Arctic Circle and seeing the Aurora.

  23. Angelina on June 12, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    Getting my family over to the east coast is on my Canadian bucket list.

  24. Raed Rifai on June 12, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    PEI is where I go…. take a long drive trip and enjoy the scenery across

  25. Larissa on June 12, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    I know Canada has so many amazing places to discover and it could be the great opportunity to realize the dream .. thank you for the contest !

  26. Tiffany Dang on June 12, 2018 at 11:12 AM

    I have a drone that has yet to see the beautiful Banff/Lake Louise! It’s definitely been on my list as I’ve never been to mid-west Canada. What a treat it’d be to wake up to a view of the beautiful lake and take in the fresh Canadian air!

  27. CHARLES KAPLAN on June 12, 2018 at 11:13 AM

    I strongly recommend an annual visit to the Festival de Lanaudière, a short 45 minutes from Montreal, with a superb natural amphithéâtre where you can enjoy world class classical concerts in the summer. Picnic on the lawn or sit in the covered section.

  28. Carole Elliott on June 12, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    Gatineau hills in the fall. So beautiful and so different from our (also) beautiful prairies

  29. Michael Barkley on June 12, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    Gros Morne National Park and spending a few weeks exploring Newfoundland and Labrador. Particularly interested in spending time in St John’s and surrounding hikes along the coast

  30. Ismet Mauthoor on June 12, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    I ‘d love to travel the rocky mountains and Alberta the Wildrose Country. Experience the Banff National park and Lake Louise

  31. Gordana on June 12, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Accros the country with Via rail. That is number one on my list.

  32. Carol M on June 12, 2018 at 12:31 PM

    My top two would be visiting the polar bears in Churchill and going to Newfoundland.

  33. Janice on June 12, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    The top of my Canadian bucket list is definitely to see the aurora borealis/Northern Lights. Thinking Whitehorse! Would love to camp out under the stars. And if I see the polar bears? That’s a huge plus since I LOVE them.

  34. Lannois Carroll-Woolery on June 12, 2018 at 1:02 PM

    Retracing the places that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, e.g. “Anne of Green Gables”. There are numerous historical homes in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, not to mention the beautiful scenery and delicious food!

  35. Karen Wudrich-Mattock on June 12, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    Visit the Yukon to photograph the northern lights then to Churchill for the polar bears.

  36. Patrick S. on June 12, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Yukon or Northwest Territories for the Northern Lights!

  37. Jodi on June 12, 2018 at 2:04 PM

    I would love to take the family in an east coast adventure!

  38. Jon Weigand on June 12, 2018 at 2:35 PM

    I have always wanted to go on the Mountaineer Trains through the Rockies and visit BC

  39. ian Crawford on June 12, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    My Canadian bucket list is to do a cross country Canada trip…..starting in a camper from Vancouver and ending in St John’s Newfoundland

  40. Don Harris on June 12, 2018 at 2:57 PM

    Arctic Circle…drive up from BC…through Yukon

  41. Cathy Bruce on June 12, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Newfoundland for sure, and the rest of the East Coast including Campobello Island (think that will be several trips!) I’d like to visit every province and territory.

  42. Sharon Barteau on June 12, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    Going to the Rocky mountains by train, seeing Dawson City and visiting Victoria are on my bucket list

  43. Norm SChwartzman on June 12, 2018 at 3:45 PM

    Lived in BC most of my life and have never been to northern BC. Would like to go fishing in the Queen Charlotte Islands

  44. Connie Buck on June 12, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    There is so much to see in Canada. My husband and I have done a number of trips east and west. Still lots to see. Haven’t been to the Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut which is definitely on our bucket list.

  45. Kerry Tudin on June 12, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    I always wanted to see the polar bears in Churchill Manitoba

  46. Arlene Goodyear on June 12, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Whistler in winter time is on my list!

  47. Shannon on June 12, 2018 at 6:11 PM

    Still trying to get to Newfoundland! Maybe this summer we will get there.

  48. Janice M on June 12, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    Visiting family in Victoria and playing some tennis at the new red clay tennis center

  49. Melissa on June 12, 2018 at 6:59 PM

    Churchill, Manitoba. I would love to see the whales and bears before it’s too late.

  50. Charles Richard on June 12, 2018 at 7:06 PM

    I would love to visit Banff National Park. The turquoise lakes look awesome!

  51. Richard Russell on June 12, 2018 at 7:38 PM

    Richard Russell

  52. Richard Russell on June 12, 2018 at 7:42 PM

    Quebec City and stay at the fairmount Frontenac hotel. Number one to start then all Canadian Fairmount hotels- Banff, St. Andrews, montebello, royal York ,

  53. Karen C on June 12, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    My dream is to go to the Yukon!

  54. JANE CONNORS on June 12, 2018 at 8:08 PM

    We definitely want to see Jasper and Banff National Parks! Newfoundland is absolutely beautiful, but hey, we live here b’y!

  55. Russell S. on June 12, 2018 at 10:40 PM

    Via Rail’s The Great Western Way, from Toronto to Vancouver.

  56. Steven Zussino on June 12, 2018 at 11:12 PM

    Nunuvat, would love to see the rugged terrain.

  57. Chrissy on June 13, 2018 at 1:41 AM

    I’d love to skate down the Rideau Canal one day. What an amazing experience that would be!

  58. Julian on June 13, 2018 at 3:58 AM

    Road trip from St. John’s to Vancouver and then up to the Yukon.

  59. Liz Brock on June 13, 2018 at 6:36 AM

    trip to Yukon to pan for gold and then a trip to the Arctic

  60. Leanne B on June 13, 2018 at 8:11 AM

    A canoe trip through Nahanni National Park and along the Tatshenshini.

  61. Brian O’Donnell on June 13, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    A trip to Nunavut and the northern coast of Canada.

    • Mary Moogk on December 10, 2018 at 8:47 PM

      Looking for a Brain O’Donnell who has a sister named Kathleen.

  62. Clint on June 13, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    See the Rocky Mountains!

  63. Rick Norris on June 13, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Travel the Northwest Passage thru the Canadian Arctic

  64. Jennifer Squires Ross on June 13, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Banff has always been on my Canadian bucket list!

  65. Cathy on June 13, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    To visit Kim Crawford Vineyard in New Zealand!!

  66. Hayden on June 13, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    For the moment, I just want to see that new funicular on the Edmonton riverbank

  67. Tammy Bricker on June 13, 2018 at 2:43 PM

    My Canadian bucket list involves islands on both east and west coast. I would love to see icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland and totems on Haida Gwaii, BC. Ive been fortunate to visit all over Canada in the past half century but still need to see those two places.

  68. kim johnson on June 13, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    Surfing and Hiking in BC. and exploring the city of Vancouver!

  69. Melanie Branch on June 13, 2018 at 5:36 PM

    Where isn’t on my bucket list may be an easier question!! I would love to visit the polar bears and see the northern lights up north. Victoria is also very high on my list!!

  70. Natalie Chang on June 14, 2018 at 12:17 AM

    Vancouver, Banff/Calgary, Halifax

  71. Frank Fedyk on June 14, 2018 at 7:50 AM

    Hiking and exploring Gros More National Park is on my bucket list.

  72. Andrea Rees on June 14, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    My Canadian bucket list is long. Visit Haida Gwaii, see brown bears, wolves and polar bears in the wild, see the northern lights in the NWT or Yukon, visit Newfoundland and Quebec City. Do a cross country road trip or train trip.

  73. Deb Cheng on June 14, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    In no particular order: volunteer teach in Iqualuit, Nunavut; take surfing lessons in Tofino, BC; and hiking in Jasper National Park

  74. Tknight on June 14, 2018 at 3:54 PM

    Niagara Falls, Magdalen Islands and Quebec City!

  75. Larissa Yantha on June 14, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    I would like to; go to New Zealand, see the elephants in Thailand, lie on a beach in Seychelles, take a boat to Antartica and have champagne on the Eiffel Tower. It is also my goal to start running on each continent.

  76. Amy Yu on June 15, 2018 at 11:01 AM

    Oh I would love to go travel everywhere! All these years I spent my time pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, I rarely had the time or the resources to travel outside of Toronto. First I would explore within Ontario and eventually travel West..The top of my bucket list would be to see the Northern Lights!

  77. Phyllis W. on June 15, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    At the top of my bucket list in Canada is to visit Quebec City in the fall to explore where my ancestors first came to this country.

  78. Ian on June 16, 2018 at 1:03 AM

    Kayaked in Haida Gwaii last summer. No other bucket list item needed after that one. However, a canoe trip on the Snake River or Bonnet Plume would help fill the bucket.

  79. Richard on June 16, 2018 at 9:56 AM

    Newfoundland is the one part of Canada that I have missed. I love the”Newfies” I have met and want to see them in their element.

  80. George Ward on June 18, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    Rocky Mountaineer trip through B.C. to Alberta.

  81. Theodore on June 19, 2018 at 5:23 AM

    My goal is to visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites. I would start with the Nahanni National Park and then visit the other wonderful attractions.

  82. Deb Melnik on June 19, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Hike Sunshine Meadows

  83. Judith on June 19, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    I want to visit every province and territory in Canada; see the polar bears in Churchill, MB; stay at Fogo Island Inn; go glamping in the Rockies; Northern Lights in the Yukon; watch the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup in Toronto! (OK, the last one might be a bit of a stretch…)

  84. Amparo Roxas on June 20, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    I enjoy the quality time spent with family and visiting all of our beautiful places and sites that our country has to offer. We hope to see the Northern Lights, Rocky Mountain, ceberg Sightings and many more!

  85. Stacy on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 PM

    PEI and around eastern Canada!!

  86. Simon on June 21, 2018 at 6:48 AM

    Banff National Park and Jasper – especially lake louise and Moraine lake

  87. Angela on June 22, 2018 at 10:38 PM

    My ultimate Canadian bucket challenge would be to go dog sledding in Nunavik, in northern Quebec, The Inuit dog sledding tradition has been around for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. Going dog sledding with expert Nunavik Inuit mushers, racing with purebred Inuit husky dogs would be a one-of-a-kind pure Canadian experience!


  88. Otis Wong on June 25, 2018 at 3:56 PM

    Kayak Lake Louise, See the Northern Lights in the Territories, Hike killarney Provincial Park, Seafood from East Coast , Cliff Dive in Elora Quarry, Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.

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