LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hotel du Canada is a towering landmark that leads guests to the Canada pavilion at Epcot World Showcase. The distinctive building, modeled after Ottawa’s familiar Chateau Laurier, also boasts a Rocky Mountain and waterfall backdrop.
Near the entrance to the pavilion, guests are often seen snapping photos in the brilliant flower gardens, inspired by Victoria’s Butchart Gardens.
The Canada pavilion is a mixture of rustic Native Indian villages, an ornate French-flavored chateau, the Scottish influence of the Maritimes and the ruggedness of the Canadian Rockies.
It combines authentic architectural designs, and features 30-foot totem poles which mark the Native Indian village where a log cabin and its nearby northwest trading post carry out the northwoods theme. Gift shops display authentic Canadian crafts, boutique items and a Roots clothing store.
The flowered pathway leads into a mountain canyon where a 30-foot waterfall cascades into a rushing stream. Rocky, pine-studded slopes surround the shaft opening to Maple Leaf Mine, the entrance to the theater.
“O Canada” is a splendid visual tour of Canada’s scenic wonders. The CircleVision 360 film is a motion picture technique that surrounds viewers with Canadian snow geese by the thousands on an autumn stopover near the St. Lawrence River; a chuckwagon race in the Calgary Stampede (filmed from the buckboard); pine-covered mountains at Banff National Park; reindeer in the Northwest Territories; Toronto’s CN Tower; and the northern midnight sun.
Le Cellier Steakhouse is located in a chateau wine cellar that celebrates the Canadian provinces and territories, featuring the flavors of Midwestern seasoned steaks and seasonal Canadian seafood paired with wines and beers of Canada, the border states and Europe.
The showcase introduces visitors to the traditions, culture and atmosphere of the places that are most attractive to tourists in Canada. Off Kilter, a Celtic rock band, entertains live at the Canada outdoor stage on the promenade.
Many young people from Canada work in the pavilion and help to explain their country to the world. Those included are students participating in the World Showcase fellowship ambassador program who study management and the hospitality industry under the direction of Disney professionals. These and others brought to Walt Disney World Resort through a unique cultural program are replaced by a new group of “ambassadors” each year.