This great nation is blessed with all the natural wonders a person could possibly want, from forested areas the size of entire countries, to ice-bound mountain peaks, glittering blue lakes and isolated sandy beaches, echoing with the grunts of the Atlantic walrus.
Sometimes, however, a man needs to do some gambling just to get away from all this nature business. Happily, Canada is equally well-catered for in terms of casinos. In this post I’ll look at some of the finest establishments in the country; you may even decide to use these recommendations as the basis for a road trip. If so, make sure you know what you’re doing before you set out; you can practice your skills for free online.
We’ll head east to west, starting in Montreal. The Casino de Montreal is celebrating its 21st birthday this year, and it’s still the biggest in the country. It’s situated on the Ile Notre Dame in the centre of the city, occupying an unmissable modernist-style building that you’ll either love or hate. Or maybe not care about. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and pretty much every game you could want is offered, from poker to craps, baccarat to roulette. It’s a relatively upmarket spot with four good restaurants including L’Instant, a deli, and Ajia for Asian cuisine.
Now let’s head down into Ontario; where better to stop off than Niagara Falls? If it’s the glories of nature spiced with a bit of gambling you’re looking for, Niagara’s your place. Casino Niagara has 95,000 square feet of table games and slots, and offers regular big-money tournaments including a $20,000 slot event at the end of June. Try and take in the waterfall stuff while you’re in town as well – it’s really quite impressive.
If you’re crazy enough to be doing this trip by car, it’s at this point that you might want to sell it and catch a plane, as our next destination is Winnipeg, Manitoba. Open until 3am every day, the Club Regent has regular live music events as well as all the games you’d expect. There’s bingo and keno with sessions starting at 10.30am, but also Hold ‘Em and Omaha for poker players. Again, you can practice for free at sites like Party Poker.The seafood at Jag’s Buffet is great; don’t miss happy hour, from 4pm to 7pm.
Alberta is jammed with casinos, and Casino Yellowhead, in the north of Edmonton, is one of the finest. It opened in 2000 and features a couple of good restaurants, and a sports bar showing live games. The poker tables are open 24/7, which is not the case everywhere. High rollers can head straight to the High Limit Lounge for big-money Blackjack and Pai Gow.
We’ll finish our Canadian Casino Caper in the noble city of Vancouver, BC. The nightlife here belies Vancouver’s outdated nickname, “No Fun City”; visit the Edgewater Casino and you’ll be convinced. It’s an amazing building resembling a stadium from the outside, and it’s another 24 hour establishment. 500 slots compete with all the table games you’ll want, and there’s a High Limit Room as well as a dedicated poker lounge. There’s also plenty of live music, and dining options include the informal Vue Bar & Lounge, where you can swap stories of big wins – hopefully…