Written By: Nicole Wray
From coast-to-coast-to-coast, Canadians are spoiled with stunning landscapes, wild terrain, miles of coastal shoreline, and thousands of freshwater lakes. If a lifestyle more connected to nature is calling your name, choosing where to live might be the hardest part. To help make your dream of a life spent outdoors a reality, we’re sharing a list of six places across Canada that would make an epic homebase for outdoor adventure seekers.
Comox Valley, British Columbia
It’s no surprise a Vancouver Island locale tops our list of places to call home. Vancouver Island is known for its coastal communities and Comox Valley is no exception with Comox, Courtenay, and Cumberland providing endless opportunities to get outside all year long. From paddling in glacier-fed lakes to hiking in the mountains, biking on world-class trails or relaxing on one of many beaches, you’ll soon be wishing you had more weekends. Not to mention, with average winter temps around six to eight degrees Celsius, you can avoid the cold while having the luxury of nearby Mount Washington (just a 30 minute drive away) for 1,700 acres of skiing or snowboarding.
Legend says Whitehorse got its name when gold seekers thought rapids rushing through Miles Canyon looked like charging white horses. Today, Whitehorse is known for its legendary landscape with more than 700 kilometres of trails, over 40 neighbourhood parks and hundreds of kilometres of ski trails. The World Health Organization once named Whitehorse as having the cleanest air in the world. With a small, but growing population of about 33,000 (an increase of about 23% over the past decade), Whitehorse is a small city with big possibilities for adventure off the beaten path.
An hour’s drive from Quebec City is a nature-lover’s dream homebase. A designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Charlevoix is home to plenty of agricultural areas, rivers, mixed forests, and mountain ecosystems. Its unique landscape was sculpted by a meteorite that hit more than 400 million years ago, creating a natural playground for outdoor activities like boating, hiking, fishing, and camping at one of its three national parks or among the Laurentian mountains. If trails with mountain vistas and year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure are on your list, consider Charlevoix a charming place to call home.
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
You might be surprised to learn an island in Nova Scotia was once named North America’s No. 1 island. You’ll understand why after learning about Cape Breton’s world-renowned 298-kilometre Cabot Trail with unreal ocean vistas, ocean-side campsites at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and some of North America’s best hiking, cycling and motorbiking opportunities. Plus, Sydney, Cape Breton was recently named one of Canada’s most liveable places, leaving you extra funds for weekend outdoor fun.
Huntsville is the largest town in the Muskoka region, an area with some 1,600 lakes carved into the rugged Canadian Shield. A few of those lakes are accessible at local Arrowhead Provincial Park offering easy access to mountain biking trails, birding, canoeing and fishing close to home. For adventure on a larger scale, just 30 minutes from Huntsville is Algonquin Provincial Park. Bigger than the whole province of Prince Edward Island (more than 6,000 square kilometres), Algonquin offers thousands of opportunities to discover new trails, campsites and lakes, often in solitude thanks to the park’s epic size.
North Rustico, Prince Edward Island
If you’re fishing for solitude, epic beaches and seaside living, North Rustico in Prince Edward Island is a catch. This small town—about 600 people—is known for its strong fishing tradition, close knit community and connection to the sea. During the warmer months, experience oceanside living with deep sea fishing, sailing or paddling along the coastline. Walk or sunbathe on nearby beaches in the summer or enjoy wild, windswept views during the winter months. Plus, this small town is less than a ten-minute drive or scenic 10 kilometre bike ride to Cavendish (population of about 7,500), home to even more beaches, golf courses and all the amenities you’ll need to enjoy small town living.
Whether it’s lakes, beaches or trails you’re yearning for, make your next move closer to nature and enjoy all Canada has to offer. And remember, a local REALTOR® is always willing and able to help you find your dream home.