Top 10 Things to do in Ontario
Ontario, home to Canada’s largest metropolitan city Toronto, Canada’s capital city Ottawa and a wide array of beautiful landscapes from amazing beaches to lush forests. There is so much to do and see in Ontario, so, whether you enjoy fast-paced, fun city life, exploring the great outdoors or indulging in some adventurous activities then I suggest you add Ontario as your next destination.
Top 10 Things to Do and See in Ontario
1. Visit Casa Loma
When many visitors come to Ontario, Toronto is the main stop – and for such good reasons; it’s a diverse metropolitan city, its nightlife, shopping and its character filled districts from the Distillery district to Yorkville. But a must see while in Toronto is Casa Loma. Perched atop a hill in downtown Toronto, Casa Loma is North America’s only castle and with its rich history, beautiful rooms and gardens and of course its hidden passageways, it’s a must visit!
2. Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum, or as Torontonians refer to it as the R.O.M., is over 100 years old and Canada’s largest museum. The façade is old meets modern with the extension of the crystal addition on Bloor Street. The museum houses over 6 million objects in 40 galleries and has a diverse collection, from dinosaurs to meteorites and Canadiana to Chinese architecture – of which is the largest collection outside of China. A few must see exhibits are; the Bat Cave, the Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art, and the Gallery of Africa: Egypt.
3. CN Tower
Toronto’s CN Tower is the tallest tower in the western hemisphere and dominates the Toronto’s skyline. The tower offers an assortment of experiences, from extreme adventure to fine dining. You can dine in the 360Restaurant with revolving views of the city, or choose to walk along the world-famous glass floor. There are also two observation decks. The first is at over 1,000 feet and the second, called the SkyPod, is one of the highest observation platforms in the world at 1,465 feet. The SkyPod offers epic views over Toronto, Lake Ontario. If extreme adventure is your game then EdgeWalk is for you. At over 1,000 feet it is the world’s highest hands-free full-circle walk that takes you around the tower on a five-foot ledge, harnessed and encouraged to push your limits. The price may be steep, at $195 CAD, but offers access to the other decks, a keepsake video, and photos of your adventure.
4. Experience Niagara Falls
Whether its natural beauty you’re after Niagara Falls has a plethora to offer from being witness to the grand Horseshoe Falls and even getting close with one of their boat tours. Head to the picturesque Niagara Glen for beautiful hikes. Or perhaps you’re looking for fun then check out the Butterfly Conservatory or the Bird Kingdom by day and head to the strip of Clifton Hill at night for laughs, scares and tons of entertainment with wax museums, haunted houses, and tons of other attractions.
A visit to Ontario would not be complete without a trip to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. Ottawa, home to our Parliament Buildings, the Chateau Laurier, some amazing museums and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Rideau Canal. In between exploring this amazing city with small town charm I suggest you head over to the stunning Rideau Canal where there is something to do no matter what time of year you visit, you can walk or bike along it, float down it or even skate on it in the winter when it turns into the world’s largest skating rink. The Rideau Canal is the oldest canal system to be continuously operated in North America and a must visit. Don’t forget to grab a Beaver Tail (a fried dough pastry) to enjoy!
One of Ontario’s charming small towns, Tobermory is a great place to visit, especially for nature addicts. Tobermory is located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula, just over three hours north of Toronto. Situated on the picturesque Little Tub Harbour, it’s home to quaint local run shops, great restaurants, and two National Parks – Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park. And there’s no shortest of things to do and see. Take a cruise to Flowerpot Island, go diving for shipwrecks, hunt for rare orchids, or hike through some of Ontario’s greatest trails. Full of natural wonders, Tobermory is a must stop in Ontario.
7. Take the Agawa Canyon Train Ride
Enjoy a slice of Ontario’s vast and remarkable northern wilderness with a train ride through Agawa Canyon. Hop on the train in Sault Ste. Marie for your 10-hour adventure. The train winds through rich forests of the Canadian Shield, over towering trestle bridges, and through awesome rock formations, all seen through large windows. There’s also a running commentary on the region’s history, Ojibway stories, and about the various points of interests.
But one of the best parts of your train journey is when it descends 500 feet into Agawa Canyon. Here it stops for around an hour and a half so you can step out and explore. Visit waterfalls, hike to the breathtaking lookout, or relax with a snack and soak in the wild beauty.
8. Relax in Muskoka
Muskoka is a true Ontario gem. Located an hour and a half north of Toronto, Muskoka is where many city folk go to enjoy cottage life on one of the area’s over 1500 picturesque lakes. Rent a cottage here to relax, swim, and enjoy this wonderful slice of paradise. And if you can’t sit and just relax there’s always something to do. Take a boat cruise, go chasing waterfalls, enjoy a summer festival, or explore the great small towns that dot the area like Bala and Gravenhurst. One of my favourite things to do in Muskoka is taking a drive down its backroads in the fall to enjoy the brilliant autumn foliage.
9. Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
Located in Midland, Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons blends our European ancestors with our native roots. This is a reconstruction of Ontario’s first European community and dates back 400 years. Here you’ll be transported back in time and learn what life was like in the 17th century. There are audio-visual shows, an award-winning museum, activities, and demonstrations on everything from fire-starting to medicine, and of course just wandering the historic site to see the original stonework and buildings is an experience in itself. And one of the best events is First Light, held in early November where you’ll wonder the site among over 5000 candles, and enjoy baked goods, folk songs, and more.
10. Stratford Festival
The very English and charming town of Stratford is located on Ontario’s own Avon River. Home to theaters, Victorian buildings, beautiful parks and gardens, and the world famous Stratford Festival. The Festival began over 60 years ago, and while it once focused on Shakespearean plays it now includes other great playwrights. Running from late April until early November, you can enjoy a play at one of the four venues, take in a tour, and see award-winning actors grace the stage.
Have you been to Ontario? What’s your MUST see thing to do or see?
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