Experience the Culture and Rugged Wilderness of our Northern Neighbors in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

If you start your tour of the World Showcase in a counterclockwise way, your first stop will be Canada and it's definitely a pavilion you'll want to spend some time exploring.

The Canada Pavilion is one of the most beautiful pavilions in World Showcase and if you just walk by thinking "oh it's 'just' Canada" you are most certainly missing out on a great experience.

The pavilion was designed with the idea that nature was the essence of Canada and that is apparent in the multitude of flowers and trees that flank the pavilion's entrance. The trees in the pavilion are a mere sampling of the more than 650 species of tall trees found in northern Canada.

Canada PavilionCanada Pavilion

As you enter the pavilion, perhaps headed to lunch at Le Cellier, you will be awed by the Victoria Gardens. This area was inspired by the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia and is one of the most beautiful garden areas on property.

The flowers are changed with the season, and if you happen to visit in the winter you'll notice that Disney is using white flowers to represent snow. As spring begins the white flowers are kept only in the shadow areas, to represent the melting snow.

The pavilion's Victoria Gardens feature more than 150 rose bushes and seasonal displays and is one of the largest manicured gardens on property.

Victoria Gardens in the Canada PavilionVictoria Gardens in the Canada Pavilion

The centerpiece building of the pavilion is the Hotel du Canada which was patterned after the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Canada.

One of the unique features in the pavilion are the three totem poles located in the front of the pavilion. You might walk right past them without realizing how special they really are.

Two of the totem poles are meant to capture the spirit of the Pacific Northwest and were created by Disney Imagineers, but one was created by Tsimshian artist David Boxley from Alaska. He created an authentic piece of native art in a totem pole and mask wall.

Totem pole in CanadaTotem pole in Canada

As you make your way around the pavilion, you'll find yourself surrounded by the Rocky Mountains (well, Disney's version of the Rocky Mountains) complete with a 30-foot waterfall and a small lake.

Hidden back here is the theater that houses the Circle-Vision 360 film O'Canada. This 18-minute long Circle-Vision film is narrated by Canadian actor Martin Short and takes guests on a tour the very large country of Canada.

The film was updated in 2007 but it still contains some scenes from the original film. Guests will travel to the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Horseshoe Falls, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City, and Montreal.

The film also takes visitors to rustic towns and showcases popular winter pastimes including ice skating, skiing, hockey, and the very Canadian sport of curling. The film's theme song " 'Canada (You're a Lifetime Journey)' is sung by Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila.

O' Canada Circle-Vision film in Canada PavilionO' Canada Circle-Vision film in Canada Pavilion

And of course, some guests visit the Canada Pavilion to dine at one of the best restaurants on property, Le Cellier.

This table service location serves lunch and dinner and is historically one of the most difficult reservations to get at Walt Disney World. But it's worth the time and effort if you're looking for a great dining experience.

Lunch and dinner are both "signature dining" experience at Le Cellier, which means it will cost you two table credits on the Disney Dining Plan. But again, the food and atmosphere really do make it worth the cost. Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have a great review of lunch at Le Cellier!

Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada PavilionLe Cellier Steakhouse in Canada Pavilion

Guests will also find a Kidcot Stop inside the pavilion and of course if you're looking for a great souvenir to remember your visit to Canada, you can find it in the Trading Post and Northwest Mercantile. And don't forget about Off Kilter, the live band playing New Age Celtic Music. You'll find them playing on select days of the week on stage just past the pavilion. UPDATE 8/29/2014: As of September 27th, 2014 Off Kilter will no longer be performing at Epcot. You can find more information HERE.

The Canada Pavilion is possibly one of the most over-looked pavilions in World Showcase but the combination of rugged landscapes and beautiful gardens should make it one of the most popular.

Thanks to Kristen K. for the use of her great photos!

What is your favorite area of the Canada Pavilion? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 13:01:

Kristen K.'s picture

I really think that this is one of the more beautiful pavilions that Epcot has, I especially enjoy Victoria Gardens.

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