The New York Times has named Canada — the entire 9.985 million square kilometre country — its top travel destination for 2017. Canada is "a world unto itself, with cosmopolitan cities, barely explored natural wonders and everything in between," says the newspaper. It's a solid shout-out from our neighbours to the south, just in time for the country's 150th anniversary of Confederation.
And the festivities highlighted by the New York Times are just as relevant for Canadian tourists. You can expect free admission at more than 200 national parks and historic sites across the country throughout the year. There will also be a full year of celebrations in Ottawa and tons of events in Montreal, which turns 375 (happy birthday!).
But in other news, Toronto didn't make the cut this year in the roundup of 52 places to visit — despite being seventh on last year's list. At that time, the newspaper pegged Toronto as "ready for its close-up," thanks to its reopened Queens Quay filled with bike paths and promenades, and the rapid development of The Junction, dubbed the city's "most stylish neighborhood for its bars, live music and coffee shops".
In the New York Times' 2017 rankings, the Atacama Desert in Chile came second, and Agra, India, ranked third.