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Buying a B&B: A look at the top 5 Canadian destinations

It's likely you will already have a location in mind for your new business venture, but if you simply can’t decide, here's a look at the top five Canadian locations.

Most who aren’t from Canada have an idyllic image of the country in their head; extensive pine forests and crystal clear, still lakes mirroring the sunset behind a mountainous backdrop.

Of course, some places in Canada are truly like this – and some really couldn’t be any more different.

If your dream is to run and own a B&B business there are several options available to you:

Buying a pre-exisiting buisiness that's already up and running or

Buying or renting the property and starting your own B&B business.

What do guests want?

Like lots of businesses, your customers are your biggest asset. So, yo'll have to take their needs into consideration if you want to run a successful B&B. 

A Location close to attractions, dining and entertainment - when visiting a city, guests often want to be close to popular sightseeing destinations, as well as restaurants and entertainment. 

Some hotels and B&Bs offer a shuttle service to major landmarks in order to compete.

Atmosphere and local charm - B&Bs often seek to showcase the best parts of their city, whether it's the local cusine, the traditional charm or the lively culture. 

It's likely you will already have a location in mind for your new business venture, but if you simply can’t decide, here's a look at the top five Canadian locations.

5. Toronto, Ontario

Why choose Toronto?

A two-hour flight from New York City, Toronto definitely has a likeness to the Big Apple but with fewer bright lights, less of a fend-for-yourself attitude and not as much litter on the streets. On their website, TripAdvisor claim that they’ve heard it described at ‘New York City run by the Swiss’.

Who lives there?

Toronto is a multicultural haven, with over 140 languages and dialects spoken and half of its population born outside of Canada. It is also the largest city in the country and ranked as the safest by Places Rates Almanac.

What's there to do?

Located in Southern Ontario, it is around a 105 minute drive to Niagara Falls and sits on the north western edge of Lake Ontario.

What's the atmosphere like?

Toronto is an exploration of tastes and cultural experiences. Whether it's sampling brunch, wandering down St Lawrence Market, visiting the Art Gallery of Toronto or sampling Niagara’s ice wine, there’s a lot to do in the laidback city.

4. Victoria, British Columbia

Why choose Victoria?

‘Picturesque’ is a word that many use to describe Victoria. Located off the Pacific coast and on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is also known as 'The Garden City', with a stunning backdrop of the Olympic Mountains.

What's there to do?

Its antique shops and tea shops make Victoria an incredibly British Canadian city, further reiterated through its name. However its younger generation have influenced the rise in unique restaurants and alternative shopping.

The best of Victoria can be seen by bike following one the numerous amount of cycle lanes (the most in any Canadian city), while whale watching is a must-do on the sea as well as kayaking in the Inner Harbour.

Who lives there?

Victoria is popular with boating enthusiasts due to its rugged coastline and its temperate climate has attracted many retirees.

Victoria is also a young and lively city and there are a lot of students in the area due to a number of universities.

3. Montreal, Quebec

Why choose Montreal?

Creativity, culture and architecture flourish in Montreal. Stonewalled taverns and cobbled streets line the streets in the French-speaking cultural capital of Canada. With over 90 festivals and 250 theatre and dance companies, its title is unlikely to be contested.

What's there to do?

Three hours away from Quebec City via car, Montreal can be found at the southern tip of Quebec on the Island of Montreal and just north of Lac St-Louis. It was named a UNESCO city of design in 2006 with its mix of contemporary and older European style.

There are also a number of places for tourists to visit in Montreal, including the magnificent Notre-Dame Basilica and its Gothic Revival architecture, Old Monreal and L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.

2. Quebec City, Quebec

Why choose Quebec?

Quebec City, or Ville de Québec, is one of the oldest settlements in North America, and its Old Town was gifted the title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fortified city walls surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only of their kind north of Mexico in the Americas.

What's there to do?

Situated north east of Montreal in southern Quebec, it’s not as populous as the former, but has many historic roots to explore.

La Citadelle is another famous landmark in Quebec City, and is the oldest military building in Canada. It is also the official residence of the Canadian monarch and the governor general.

If tourists wish to venture into a less touristy part of Quebec City, Quartier du Petit Champlain offers unique boutiques and wall murals with a Cornish fishing village vibe.

Most of Quebec City can be walked to due to its compact size, making ideal for weekend breaks.

1. Vancouver, British Columbia

Why choose Vancouver?

The coastal seaport city of Vancouver is located on the mainland of British Columbia, and with its beauty comes an extensive dining scene and numerous trendy neighbourhoods to explore.

While many restaurants incorporate the local seafood into their menu, the variation of dishes is diverse. From elegant Downtown cuisine to innovative bistros and corner sushi bars, there are numerous places to sit and have a bite to eat.

What's there to do?

Vancouver’s craft beer, authentic izakayas (Japanese neighborhood pubs) and thriving art scene make it appealing to hipsters, but there are also many outdoor activities to get stuck into. Tourists staying in Vancouver can travel from downtown to the mountains in 30 minutes by car for skiing or snowboarding.

For those more comfortable in the water there are a variety of water sports activities available, including jetskis, paddleboards, kayaks and flyboards. Tours to Bowen Island will also see people venture through English Bay, Howe Sound and past the Seal Colony.

What's the atomosphere like?

The combination of extensive nightlife, culture, beautiful scenery and outdoor activities available means that Vancouver holds the top spot as the best city in Canada to visit.

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Rose Hill

About the author

Rose Hill is an in-house journalist and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.

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