The 10 best Instagram winter locations in beautiful Canada

Capilano Canyon lights
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights festival.

It’s no secret that Canada is a jaw-dropping level of gorgeous, with all those pristine lakes, enormous mountain ranges and snow laden activities.

This country may boast more Insta-friendly locations than any other, so choosing the best photo spots is like picking out your favourite dessert at a particularly delicious buffet – they’re all going to be pretty good.

However, if you’re very dedicated to the ‘gram game, here are a few top picks to get you started. We’ve even covered from one coast line to the other, so you have inspiration no matter your Canada winter destination.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

 
 
 
 
 
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A favourite among those visiting Vancouver, and with good reason – there’s a suspension bridge along with a Cliffwalk and a treetop adventure course, all set among 30-ton Douglas fir trees. Aim to visit from the end of November to the end of January, when the attractions are covered in twinkly fairy lights that would make the elves of the North Pole jealous; the perfect stopover on your way to one of the ski resorts in British Columbia or Alberta.

Lake Louise

 
 
 
 
 
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No matter the season, Lake Louise is magical. Turquoise in the summer, frozen over in the winter, it’s the perfect scene for kayaking, ice skating or simply walking around the lake – and the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is worth a photo moment even if you’re not staying at the hotel. But our pick for your Insta feed is visiting in winter to see the ice castle at Lake Louise. Put up by Christmas each year, this baby doesn’t usually melt until April, and it’s fit for a (frozen) princess.

St John’s

 
 
 
 
 
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This little-known town of Newfoundland and Labrador has a big claim: it’s one of the oldest cities in North America, and the most easterly. Full of historic narrow streets lined by houses in various hues of jellybean, along with tiny wooden houses battered by the coastal winds, you need a bit of time to wander and find the incredible hidden gems all over town. Lucky there’s plenty of art galleries and incredible restaurants to keep you entertained, fed and watered.

Northern Lights

 
 
 
 
 
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Seeing the Northern Lights is often at the top of everyone’s bucket list, and you can see them in the territories of Canada: Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavat. Generally visible from August through to April, and from 10pm through to 3am, there are plenty of tours available for visitors to view the aurora from the best possible spots. You’ll have to brave the cold to get your Insta-worthy shots – but stock up on the glove warmers and the puffer jackets, because once the lights start dancing, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away. 

Ottawa

 
 
 
 
 
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Plenty of Aussies miss Ottawa on a trip to Canada, but the country’s capital is well worth the visit, even if it’s just for the variety of ideal Instagram spots. From the giant ‘Ottawa’ sign to the stunning architecture and the range of markets, you also have to drop by Parliament Hill to see if you can spot everyone’s favourite good-looking Prime Minister, Mr Trudeau himself; or go for a spin on the beautiful Rideau Canal, which runs right through the city and freezes over for ice skating from December.

Fernie

 
 
 
 
 
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In a battle of best-looking main streets, Banff and Fernie would really go head to head – but Fernie has that extra dose of historic goodness, with everything from a heritage stone library to the kind of General Store that’s straight out of an old-school Western movie. With the ideal mountain backdrop, you’ll be wandering along shops, restaurants and galleries with one of the best views on the planet.

Churchill

 
 
 
 
 
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The polar bear capital of the world… need we say more? It’s one of the only places where humans co-exist alongside polar bears, although you’ll mostly be seeing them from purpose-built tundra vehicles that will keep you safe. You can also spot beluga whales and the Northern Lights in this magical spot. Literally no roads lead to Churchill, which makes it all the more cooler, but you can fly from Winnipeg or take a casual 48-hour train ride.

Hot springs

 
 
 
 
 
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There are plenty of hot springs scattered around Canada, but a best-kept secret (shhh forget you read this) are the Halcyon Hot Springs out of Nelson, British Columbia. First Nations people have used them for centuries, referring to the springs as “great medicine water”, but tourists have been accessing the springs since 1890. They’re surrounded by the photogenic Monashee Mountains, and the water is so pure that it can be bottled and drunk.

Jasper

 
 
 
 
 
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Oh Jasper, you majestic thing. This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to a lot of adventurers and explorers who make the most of the winter activities – plenty of skiing and snowboarding, ice walking in the Maligne Canyon, and the beyond-spectacular Icefields Parkway. This is the kind of place people visit… and never leave again. Consider yourself warned.

Lake Windermere

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s not Canada in the winter time without doing a lap around an ice-skating rink, even if it’s a wobbly lap. One of the best locations to test our your skating legs is the Lake Windermere Whiteway, a 34km-long groomed ice skating track that connects the towns of Invermere and Windermere. To sum it up in two words: beyond gorgeous. You might even want to switch to video for this one.

All of the above is just the tip of a very beautiful, extremely photogenic iceberg. If you’re keen to learn more about Canada and get exploring, click here. 

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