The big, friendly country north of the USA
may be regarded by some (esp. those critical of US politics) as a kind of "better America", but it has its dark sides too, and thus also its dark sites
. So far three of these are covered here on this website:
Canada is blessed with huge expanses of wild nature (although much of it is Arctic tundra), and a very low population density, except for the thin belt along the US border. But from an environmental point of view, that nature is often not treated very well: Canadian exploitation of "natural resources" can be shockingly ruthless. And this makes for a few very dark places indeed:
Primeval forests are being felled on a large (non-sustainable) scale in British Columbia, though you'd need a plane and fly over to see that effect on the landscape (the outer hillsides are kept deceptively “intact”).
Amongst the planet's very worst places in environmental terms, on many levels, are the of oil sand mines around Fort McMurray in northern Alberta
, a hugely controversial operation of large-scale strip-mining at gigantic environmental costs. However, you can visit the place and go on tours (but don't expect a balanced portrayal)!
There is another place in Canada that positively welcomes tourists despite an industrial legacy and a name that epitomizes health-hazard horrors like few others: Asbestos
. This is actually also a town in southern Quebec, named after the substance, in an area where the stuff is still being mined to this day (so there is – amazingly – still demand for the stuff!).
On the Atlantic
coast of Nova Scotia, the old harbour town of Halifax
is a place with two
claims to landmark dark events in history. The first claim is due to its links with the Titanic
disaster (there's an artefact exhibition in the town's maritime museum), and the second claim is that Halifax was the site of one of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions ever, which devastated the town in 1917.
All that scariness apart, Canada is a smashing country to go travelling in! It really is friendly, there is still a lot of relatively unspoilt nature left too, and at least in the south the touristic infrastructure is good. There's still a decent rail network – you can even go all the way across the plains and the Rockies from east to west by train. Otherwise, as in the USA
, driving is the main mode of transport. And, also like in the US, distances can be vast, so plenty of time is required.