5 of the most disappointing tourist attractions in Canada

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Published June 28, 2024 at 11:31 am

disappointing attractions canada

A list of the most disappointing tourist attractions in Canada reveals places vacationers may want to avoid this summer.

School is out for summer and many families will head out on a holiday together. While it’s easy to find the most popular attractions through travel review websites, lists of places with low ratings are not easily accessible.

Earlier this year, Preply, an online language learning marketplace, released a report on the most disappointing attractions in Canada based on an analysis of more than 130 tourist attractions in Canada, each with at least 1,000 reviews on the travel review platform Tripadvisor.

Preply warned that the results are based on the analysis and not the opinions of the company.

Here are five of the most disappointing attractions in Canada:

Marineland, Niagara Falls

Marineland, which opens for the season today, was at the top of the list of Canada’s most disappointing tourist attractions. As of June 2024, the attraction, which did include an aquarium, zoo, and amusement park, has three stars on Tripadvisor.

At the end of the season last year, there were those who still loved the place.

“Best place to be with family and friends. Love watching beluga whales and other animals. The rides are really good as well. I also love deer park,” one person wrote in August of 2023.

But still others felt the time has come for Marineland to close.

“Horrible. Depressing. Gross,” one reviewer wrote. “This is the worst place ever. The worst place I visited. The worst place I took my kids. I’m disgusted with myself for bowing in and buying tickets. Please don’t support this animal welfare (or prison).”

marineland closing ontario

Marineland is number one on the list.

La Ronde, Montreal

La Ronde, Quebec’s largest amusement park, is number two on the list. Recent reviews indicate this place offers some good rides but is disappointing by some tourist’s standards. Reviews often highlight concerns about long wait times and high prices, impacting the overall experience.

“Earlier reviews weren’t kidding, it’s pretty bad. Promising dystopian movie set. Few interesting rides, disrepair,” one person wrote on Tripadvisor this month. 

But a review from 2022 claimed people were trying to tarnish the reputation of the park.

“The operations are great, with lines never longer than 30 minutes on a summer Saturday. Goliath has especially great operations as cars dispatch very quickly. You will always be able to find a good ride with a short line to enjoy somewhere on the park,” the review stated.

Chinatown, Victoria

Victoria’s Chinatown district is number three on the list mainly because the area is smaller than expected.

However, recent reviews are positive for the place. One reviewer found the area “cleaner than many Chinatowns” and another said it was safe and they enjoyed a good meal there.

Another review mentioned the proximity to East Hastings Street where those struggling with homelessness and drug abuse often stay.

disappointing attractions canada

Victoria’s Chinatown seen in a 2018 photo. Photo: Wpcpey

Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, Jasper National Park

This place ranks number four on the list of disappointing attractions, mainly because people were let down by how time-consuming and touristy the experience was.

Two recent reviews give the centre five stars for providing excellent tours and information about the glacier.

Other reviews note the paradoxical nature of the attraction.

“The message here is that the Icefield is disappearing because of us and climate change, yet they run buses back and forth all day to the glacier,” one person wrote in September 2023.

Olympic Park (Parc olympique), Montréal

Rounding off the top five least appreciated tourist attractions is Montreal’s Olympic Park, according to the report. The park is a legacy of the 1976 Summer Olympics and was disappointing for some tourists due to its aging infrastructure and the presence of construction.

But some people enjoyed the old structures.

“The Olympic Park is a cool step back in time! Seeing all the monuments and stadiums will make you feel as if you are back several years ago when the Olympics took place in Montreal,” one person wrote in October 2023.

Others who went to see a concert in the park were disappointed with the stadium, which “has clearly seen better days,” one reviewer wrote.

More Ontario attractions on the list

Disappointing attractions in Ontario further down on the list include the now-closed Ontario Science Centre (7), Canada’s Wonderland (8), Kensington Market (11), Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls (13), Toronto Zoo (14), Caesars Windsor Casino (15), and CF Toronto Eaton Centre (20).

See the full report from Preply here.

Lead photo of Olympic Stadium Montreal: Harrystyle

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