Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Muskoka & Parry Sound

Halloween Events in Ontario

ToDoOntario, Halloween Events in Ontario

Adults and children alike enjoy a treat of seasonal foods and exciting games on this memorable holiday. Halloween events near me bring the entire neighborhood community together amidst an informal setting. Adorning spooky, creative, and funny costumes designed exclusively for this day is the norm.

Halloween, which means “hallowed evening” marks the beginning of winter and the close of the harvest season. Each year, celebrating it on Oct 31 is a tradition, and a host of fun Halloween events 2022 await you. 

You can indulge in trick-or-treating, wear unique costumes, carve jack-o-lanterns, and make the most of festive gatherings.

From among the Ontario Halloween events in the pipeline, be a part of those that most excite you. These are the most popular (and Halloweenie) of our website calendar Halloween events

Stalking Dead, 2nd Wave
Otonabee, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Stalking Dead, 2nd Wave

Corn farmer zombies, known as the “Stalking Dead” were thought to have been cured last year but new discoveries have convinced officials that we are in for a 2nd wave. Local law enforcement recalled the same pharmaceutical company to develop a cure to these brain craving idiots. Research stations were again set up at ground zero, a farmer’s field surrounded in high voltage fencing to secure themselves from new beasts. Scientists were convinced they found a cure to this new outbreak but before securing the data into the mainframe computer, the containment area was breached by zombie livestock. The community has reached out to the public looking for volunteers to retrieve the data at the research stations and enter it into the central computer system. Their hope lies with you.

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Little Pit Drive-In Halloween Edition
Haliburton, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Abbey Gardens LIttle Pit Drive In, Halloween

2022 TBA. Little Pit is Canada’s first OFF-GRID Drive-In. Located at Abbey Gardens and featuring a variety of movies, including popular releases and classic favourites, the Little Pit Drive In is the perfect night out! See Halloween themed movies select nights throughout October. 

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Pumpkins after Dark
Milton, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Pumpkins After Dark

Explore the magical pathway of lit pumpkin sculptures and displays, with music, sounds and special effects. With classic Halloween characters, dinosaurs and dragons, movie and pop culture icons – this family friendly event has something for everyone. Make Pumpkins After Dark your new annual tradition!

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Pumpkin Mania
Elmvale, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Rounds Ranch, Pumpkin Mania

Bring your family and join Rounds Ranch for pumpkin fun this fall. Enjoy ranch land fun including crazy pumpkin games such as, pie eating contest, pumpkin toss, pumpkin sack races and more. Take a tractor rides out to the pumpkin patch to pick your own FREE any size pumpkin to take home. Pumpkin Mania happens on the weekends ONLY & Thanksgiving Monday.

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Flashlight Cornmaze
Elmvale, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Rounds Ranch, flashlight corn maze

Can you solve the interactive maze puzzle to find the secret…in the dark? Bring your flashlight and try to navigate your way through the twists and turns. Try not to get lost! The Flashlight Corn Maze package also includes a Campfire. Come early to enjoy a wagon ride out to the patch and PYO pumpkin ANY size.

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The Witches
Haliburton, Ontario

ToDoOntario, Abbey Gardens - The Witches

Head to Abbey Gardens for a frightful night of bewitching, magic, and fire. Bass Witch Coven and NorthFIRE Circus present: The Witches. Gather round for a mystical night you won’t forget!  This 45 min performance begins as a walk through Abbey Gardens Haunted Forest. Let mischievous townspeople take you on an adventure back in time and discover what dark and mystical surprises the forest has waiting for you!

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Spooktacular Light Show
Mississauga & Markham

ToDoOntario - Spooktacular Light Show

Experience one of the largest Halloween Drive Thru Light Event in the GTA!

The creators of Journey into Enchantment Christmas Drive Thru Festival are back with a brand new Spooktacular Light Show! Spooktacular Light Show will be featuring over 1.5 million lights on a 2KM route of your family fun favourite characters, pumpkin filled drive thru tunnel, from 2D to 3D displays, music lights and much more this Halloween season!

For your convenience, Spooktacular Light show is located at
Meadowvale GO station in Mississauga & Mount Joy GO station in Markham city!

2022 TBA

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Hallowe’en Walk-About
Dorset

Announcing the first annual “Dorset Halloween Walk About” on October 30th. Head to Robinsons’ parking lot for treats and a spooky Halloween display! Bring the kids, get dressed up and have some family fun. Local businesses will be dressed up for your trick or treaters, providing another layer of fun for all. Adults don’t be shy, wear your costumes too! Don’t forget that if you bring a carved pumpkin to add to our display you will get a $10 credit for Robinsons General Store.
 

Bayview Wildwood’s Boathouse of Terror
Severn Bridge

ToDoOntario - Bayview Wildwood's Boathouse of Terror

Families are invited to join us at Bayview Wildwood Resort for some Halloween Fun. Drop in any time between 1 and 3 pm and we will be collecting donations to support our local food bank.  The Haunted Boathouse is open for ages 6+ if you dare!  Explore the Resort and our BW Market is open to purchase treats, Hot Chocolate, wine and spirits and Kawartha Dairy Scooped Ice Cream. Relax around lakeside bonfires and enjoy a complimentary s’mores.


Halloween Weekend Getaway

ToDoOntario - Deerhurst Resort, Halloween getaway

Looking for a ‘fang-tastic’ Halloween family getaway? Deerhurst has you covered! Enjoy a safe and fun weekend full of activities for the entire family to enjoy. From a trick or treat scavenger hunt to a craft beer hike to the top of the Lookout Trail and spooky specials available at our restaurants, there will be no shortage of stress-free fun for the whole family. Dress up in your favourite costumes and join us for a spooky time!

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Happy Howl-O-Ween

ToDoOntario - Haliburton Forest, Howl O Ween

Head to Haliburton Forest for alternative Howl-o-ween fun at Haliburton Forest. Start the evening with a delicious dinner at The Cookhouse featuring some ghoulish themed foods.

Wear your best costumes (a great way to dress up your required mask mask/face covering), for a chance to win our costume contest and a special dessert! Bring your flashlights – after dinner our staff will guide you on a haunted hike to the Wolf Centre, with some spooks and scares along the way. Inside the centre, use your flashlights to hunt for individually wrapped, peanut-free treats and sweets to take home while still following physical distancing practices! Last but not least, to end off the evening, howl alongside our staff in hopes of getting a reply from our resident wolf pack.

Happy Howl-o-ween! 2022 Dates: TBA


Ontario Heritage Trust

Get spooked at:

  • Waterloo Region Graveyard Driving Tour: This driving tour highlights four heritage cemeteries through three cities and four rural townships of the Waterloo Region. Each stop tells a historical tale of mischief, mystery, mayhem or murder: the Bean Puzzle tombstone (the poisoning by chocolate of Meta D. Cherry), ghostly nights with the founder of Castle Kilbride, and a bodysnatching in Kitchener. This event is part of Digital Doors Open, with a video open.
  • Fanshawe Pioneer Village: The pioneer village will be hosting its annual “The Abandoned Village”  in collaboration with ByronScaryHouse until Nov. 30. They will be transforming the buildings into haunted attractions.
  • Eldon House: London’s oldest residence will be opening its doors for three events this Halloween. Visitors can take a walking tour and learn about the crimes and scary happening of early London. There are also opportunities to learn about Victorian rituals of death, traditions of afterlife, and the paranormal phenomenon during a guided tour.  
  • Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre: Take a virtual ghost tour from the comfort of your own home of the last operating double-decker theatre facility in the world and learn about the Lavender Lady, the Rehearsal Interloper, Sam the trombone man and more.

The Ontario Heritage trust works with communities across the province to bring Doors Open Ontario to life, inviting Ontarians to learn about the provinces heritage sites and their stories – even the spooky ones. In 2020, Doors Open Ontario began offering digital experiences giving Ontarians, and Canadians, the opportunity to explore heritage beyond their region.

Kreepy Kortright

This outdoor event is organized by the Kortright Centre for Conservation from 2022 Dates TBA. To celebrate the spirit of the festival, get set for scary Halloween events from 8:30 pm onwards.

A haunted house tour and a frightening forest walk with live owls are some of the store’s activities for you. Families with children can together enjoy this creepy experience.

Howling Hootenanny

Black Creek Pioneer Village is planning a spooktacular fun treat in October. They are taking measures to limit visitors’ flow in one go so you can have an intimate family outing.

While in this historic village, you can treat yourself to a wacky science show, and brave the haunted maze. Challenge your family members by competing against each other in a pumpkin bowling competition. The 2022 Howling Hootenanny has yet to be announced. 

Ghost Walk Tours

The haunted walk appeals to all age groups in 75 minutes; it covers the Fairmont Château Laurier, Bytown Museum, and the eerie high school.

The Ottawa jail tour takes you through cellblocks where inmates were once imprisoned. You can also retrace the final footsteps as death row convicts walked to the gallows. Only 12 people at a time are allowed to participate in these evening tours.

Four unique story-telling walking tours on offer range from the very daring to the slightly toned-down versions for younger audiences. Such tours collaborate with creative professionals like musicians, actors, and storytellers to make these walking adventures even more gripping. Since walk tours attract artists from various spheres, it adds to their overall spooky appeal.

Make Halloween an unforgettable experience for you and your loved ones in Ontario. Events that prioritize your safety above all else in these challenging times are worth your while.

Dress the part so you can immerse yourself entirely in the spirit of the occasion. Above all, enjoy the festivities without letting your guard down so that Halloween does not come back to haunt you before the year ends.

Paranormal Investigators

Your Phantoms of Yore hosts give you a feel of the latest paranormal technology in the most haunted historic sites. After briefing you on the equipment to be used, you can wander in the dark to discover new findings.

Being part of the paranormal investigation team allows you to witness experiments being conducted and evidence analyzed. You also learn about the history and supernatural accounts that have previously taken place at the site you visit.

Horror Hallways

Toronto’s horror hallway transports you deep into what appears to be a never-ending maze of horror. The insanely frightening adventures in the store may unnerve you as you tremble in the pitch dark. At the cost of making your hair stand, the haunted maze features that you will be treated to are terrifyingly thrilling.

Navigating Corn Mazes

You can get lost as you navigate through the world-famous Ontario corn mazes. From picking pumpkins, cuddling bunnies, to milking goats, there are many activities on offer at these farms. Your family can spend the entire day picking fresh produce and exploring the vast expanse.

Many of these farms grow sweet peas, tomatoes, strawberries, and beans, too, besides pumpkins. You get to experience an abundance of Ontario’s harvest in the outdoors, with some farms offering wagon rides to their pumpkin patch. Family-run farms often challenge you with gripping treasure hunt like activities that keep you entertained.

ToDoOntario - Halloween skeletons

ToDoOntarioHalloween Events in Ontario
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Ontario’s Best Summer Beaches

Top Beaches in Ontario, by Region

Attention, all of you sun-worshipping water babies: these are our picks for the top beaches in Ontario.

ToDoOntario, Ontario's Best Beaches

Disclaimer: Ontario has many, many, MANY outstanding beaches. We know yours might not have made our list. It doesn’t mean your favourite beach isn’t awesome – it is! Believe us, it was HARD selecting our top picks for the best beaches in Ontario (hey, it’s a tough job, but we’re happy to do it!).

So what criteria did we use to select our favourite beaches? Amenities, ease of parking, clear swimmable water, accessibility for paddlers, nearby attractions and overall beauty were our top considerations.

Here are our top picks for Ontario beaches, by region:

Southwest Ontario

If you’re looking to recreate the experience of visiting the tropics, head over Port Dover Beach to lounge by the palm trees. Yes, you read that correctly – palm trees! Each year, 15ft palms are planted and grow happily outdoors for five months (when the summer season is over, the palm trees are transported to spend winter in a greenhouse). Lake Erie is the second-smallest of the Great Lakes, and its shallow waters are warm and inviting. Anglers can fish off the pier or charter a boat and head out on the open waters. The town of Port Dover itself is as charming as it gets. Just be mindful of visiting on a Friday the 13th: this town is known for hosting large biker rallies on that conspicuous date.

Southwest Ontario Tourism

 

Niagara Region

Sunset Beach in St. Catherines is a peaceful spot, situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The 1200 ft beach is sandy and well-groomed, an inviting spot for swimmers, sunbathers and paddlers alike. There’s a playground for kids, paved trails for bikes and rollerblades, a boat launch, picnic area and public washrooms. Sunset Beach is also close to the Welland Canals Parkway Trail, a 45 km paved trail that is ideal for cycling.

Niagara Tourism

 

ToDoOntario, kids sand beach fun

Hamilton, Halton and Brant

The wee town of Winona is home to the Fifty Point Conservation Area, a massive, eighty-hectare park loaded with activities and amenities for nature lovers. The beach is clean and warm, making it an ideal spot for swimming. There are 340 docking spaces for boats, making this a great location for anglers. The surrounding parkland is known as a “hotspot” for birding, so bring your binoculars with you. Pack a lunch and come for the day or, if you’d like a longer stay, reserve one of their well-serviced, accessible campsites.

Hamilton, Halton & Brant Tourism

 

Huron, Perth, Waterloo & Wellington

In a region best known for farmland, the only beaches to be found here are on the shores of Lake Huron, and most of those are rocky. There is, however, a treasure of a sandy beach at Point Clark. Aside from blue waters and sand, one of the cardinal traits about this site is the Point Clark Lighthouse and Museum. Climb the 114 steps of the limestone lighthouse (built in the 1850s) and take in the spectacular view! The beach itself also has a large boat launch for those hoping to spend some time in nearby open waters.

Huron, Perth, Waterloo & Wellington Tourism

 

GTA

Stuck in the city this summer? No worries, you can still have the sun and swim time you crave at Toronto’s Cherry Beach. Here you’ll find a surprising beach oasis in the city, with swimmable waters, a food truck and a great, big dog park if you’d like to bring your furry four-legged friend. You don’t need to bring your car, either! Cherry Beach is accessible by TTC (take the 121 bus from Union Station).

GTA Tourism

 

York, Durham and Headwaters

Sibbald Point Beach juts out into the waters of Lake Simcoe and is just a short, one-hour drive from Toronto. Here you’ll find many a family out for a day trip to splish-splash in the shallow, warm lake. Sibbald Point is another of Ontario’s provincial parks, which means it’s equipped with the usual amenities for changing, washrooms, and facilities for campers. When you’re ready for a break from the beach, explore the park’s museum (it was the original Sibbald Estate home), historic cabin, an 1870s Anglican church and churchyard, where you’ll find the resting place of famed Canadian author, Stephen Leacock.

York, Durham & Headwaters Tourism

 

ToDoOntario, beach activities, Standing Up Paddleboarding

More sandy shores and beaches near you or worth the drive here in Ontario 

Bruce Peninsula

Okay, this was a tough toss-up between Tobermory and Sauble – both are outstanding choices for a day at the beach. However, for us, the scales tipped in favour of Sauble Beach. The 11+ km of public beach is soft and sandy, and the shores of Lake Huron are warm and shallow, making it a perfect spot for families seeking fun by the water. One of our favourite features: Sauble Beach is westward-facing, so the views of summer sunsets are quite spectacular. There’s plenty of other activities to be had too if you’d like to mix up your beach day with some golf, hiking or shopping.

BruceGreySimcoe Tourism

 

Southern Georgian Bay

Can we call this one a tie? Because we really can’t choose between the following two candidates:

Wasaga Beach is, reportedly, the longest freshwater beach in the world. Wasaga is a non-stop beach party; this is a community built for summer fun. There’s a colourful, touristy boardwalk filled with beach apparel, concession stands, bars and restaurants. If you’re looking to live out your full Frankie-and-Annette beach party dream, this is the right spot for you.

Alternately, if you’re looking for a beach experience that connects you to nature, we can’t think of a better spot than Awenda Provincial Park. Awenda – the second-largest provincial park in Ontario – has five beautiful mixed sand/stone beaches to for swimming and sun-worshipping. The drive into the park through protected forest is astonishingly beautiful, and there’s plenty of woods for hiking for those looking to commune with nature. There are campsites at Awenda for those of you who’d like more than a one-day getaway, but book early – spots fill up quickly.

BruceGreySimcoe Tourism

 

Lake Simcoe – Couchiching Beach Park

Couchiching Beach Park is an excellent place for families to play for the day. Here you’ll find a playground, picnic areas, gardens, a boat launch, and washrooms/changing facilities. Couchiching Beach Park is home to many summer events, and you’ll often catch live music playing in the bandshell. When you visit, bring your bike or roller blades – there’s an excellent paved trail along the waterfront.

BruceGreySimcoe Tourism

 

Kawarthas Northumberland

It’s a hard call, but we’re going to put our money on Coburg Beach as our top pick for the Kawarthas Northumberland region. A beautiful, well-groomed beach and amenities include a splash pad for kids, canteen, picnic area and basketball court. If you can, try and visit during the first weekend in August when the annual Coburg Beach Sandcastle Contest takes place. This is when master artists descend on the beach to create some pretty remarkable sand sculptures (bring your camera!).

Kawartha Northumberland Tourism

 

Southeastern Ontario

The largest sand beach on the St. Lawrence Corridor is beautiful and has a spooky twist. Milles Roches Beach is on the largest of eleven islands on the St. Lawrence River, but the islands are – wait for it – the tops of underwater ghost towns! In the 1950s, ten communities were permanently submerged to create the St. Lawrence Seaway. Around 6500 people were displaced as a result of the intentional flooding.

Today, this area of the St. Lawrence is popular with scuba divers who explore the remains of the underwater ghost towns. For those who’d prefer a more traditional beach experience, Milles Roches Beach is surrounded by a canopy of trees, and is popular with swimmers and water sports lovers alike.

Southeastern Ontario Tourism

 

Ottawa and Countryside

Alas, the Ottawa area isn’t well known as beach territory, but we do have an excellent suggestion for a secluded swimming hole. The pond at the Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area is very private, and made from what was a gravel and sand pit in the 1940s. Today, this little swimmer’s oasis sits nestled in among the trees. Head’s up: this is a quiet area with several restrictions (no dogs, no bikes, no noise), so this spot is best intended for those looking for a serene swim.

Ottawa & Countryside Tourism

 

Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley

It is, perhaps, a bit overshadowed by the giant that is Algonquin Provincial Park, but nearby Bonnechere Provincial Park is a gem all on its own. Happily, this soft, sandy beach on Round Lake recently had an accessibility upgrade in the form of a wheelchair-friendly path from the park to the beach, and floating wheelchairs are available to sign out.

The water is shallow, making it kid-friendly, but please note there are no lifeguards on site. If you’re bringing a 4-legged friend, they are allowed to doggy-paddle off of the boat launch.

Haliburton Highlands to Ottawa Valley Tourism

 

ToDoOntario, father & son walking the beach

Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Muskoka and Parry Sound

Sorry, we just can’t commit to one “best” beach in this region. I mean, this so isn’t fair. How do you even pick in an area scattered with lakes and 100’s of kilometres of Georgian Bay shore? You can’t swing a stick in this part of Ontario without hitting a beautiful beach! Whether you’re visiting the aforementioned giant Algonquin Provincial Park or one of the many small cottage country towns (Gravenhurst, Honey Harbour, Parry Sound, Bala, Bracebridge to name a few) you will have ample options for beach fun.

Algonquin Park, Almaquin Highlands & Muskoka Tourism

 

Northeastern Ontario

The clean, fresh waters of Lake Nippissing are one of our personal faves, and can be enjoyed by anyone with a visit to Marathon Beach, North Bay. This small Ontario city has happily maintained its public, downtown beachfront. There’s a government dock for launching your watercraft and if you don’t have a boat to paddle, no worries – kayak rental is available. Surrounding the water, you’ll find a paved path for cyclists, beautifully maintained gardens, a playground and ice cream stand. Sounds like the makings for a perfect summer day, doesn’t it?

Northern Ontario Tourism

 

Sault-Ste.-Marie and Algoma

North of “the Soo” you’ll find Pancake Bay Provincial Park,  another gem of protected, natural beauty in Ontario. The sandy beach at Pancake Bay is 3 km long and is met by the crystal blue waters of Lake Superior. As with other Ontario provincial parks, there are amenities for camping (RVs welcome, yurt rentals are available), great trails for hiking and birding, and  a lake full of trout for anglers. While you’re there, check out the Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout and take in the view of the spot where that famous ship met its fate back in 1975, inspiring the now legendary song by Gordon Lightfoot.

Northern Ontario Tourism

 

Northwest Ontario

Chippewa Park Beach, beautiful, sandy beach, a view of the legendary Sleeping Giant, areas for volleyball and baseball, and amusement park rides are just a few of the features that catapulted Chippewa Park Beach to the top of our list. There are concession vendors for hungry day-trippers, or bring a picnic and eat in the park. One great perk: Chippewa Park Beach has lifeguards on duty during the summer months for extra peace-of-mind when swimming in Lake Superior.

Northern Ontario Tourism

 


Remember if you head out to a beach this summer to be courteous and stay safe. Keep social distancing and our favourite rules of thumb “Take only pictures and leave only footprints”. It’s just that easy. 

Looking for more summer fun? Check out the 11 Fun Things To Do This Summer in Ontario blog! And always check the weather before you go! Summer weather in Ontario can change quickly and you should always be prepared. 

ToDoOntarioOntario’s Best Summer Beaches
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Finding the Waterfalls of Ontario

ToDoOntario - Healey Falls

Guest Blog post by Mark Harris, the author of Waterfalls of Ontario. 
Photo credits: George Fischer

Ontario’s waterfalls are special places. Found in all corners of our province, they are great spots for hiking, photography, family outings or to just spend some quiet time in nature.  

As a hobby, ‘waterfalling’ has grown in popularity in recent years. Whether it’s just a short walk to a falls in your neighbourhood, or an overnight trip to a far corner of Ontario, this a great way to explore your province, spend locally, and get some fresh air and exercise.  

The new, updated and expanded 4th edition of Waterfalls of Ontario is a resource that people can use to find out where waterfalls are located by region and to learn about what to expect before heading to their destination. 

Most waterfall fanatics get their start at Niagara Falls. Our most famous falls is formed where the Niagara River blasts over the side of the Niagara Escarpment. The Escarpment is a high rock cliff formed where a harder rock layer called dolostone protrudes over a softer, more easily-eroded layer of shale.  This allows the river to fall vertically 53 m to the plunge pool below. 

From Niagara, the Escarpment winds its way west to Hamilton and then north to the Bruce Peninsula. Other streams that encounter the Escarpment also form waterfalls. And even though these are much smaller than Niagara Falls, they can be more approachable, and just as enjoyable. 

Balls Falls, near St Catharines, is a great first waterfall to visit after Niagara. A visitors’ centre, small pioneer village and well-marked hiking trails make for a great afternoon. The beautiful falls are the star of the show, of course.  And this site comes with a bonus… two falls for the price of one! This is because in some places along the Escarpment, there are two separate resistant layers of harder rock. Each one creates a beautiful falls.  

A little further west, in Hamilton, so many streams form waterfalls as they drain over the Escarpment that the city has billed itself as the ‘Waterfall Capital of the World’. To be fair, many of these falls are very small, and like Balls Falls and others in southern Ontario, many are often dry through the summer. Still, bigger beautiful examples like Albion Falls, Sherman Falls, or Tiffany Falls are busy attractions that generally flow year-round.  (Pro Tip: try to visit smaller waterfalls in spring, when stream flow is highest). 

Even more scenic waterfalls are located along the Escarpment as it winds its way north. Inglis Falls, Indian Falls and Jones Falls are all developed for visiting and are easily accessed from Owen Sound. Inglis Falls, like some other larger falls, requires a small entry fee. Please pay; it helps to control crowding and maintain the park. 

In Eastern Ontario, much of the landscape is underlain by flat limestone. Lacking a big, bold landform like the Niagara Escarpment, most of the waterfalls here are shorter. Yet the larger rivers in this region can still result in broad, inspiring waterfalls. Healey Falls or Ranney Falls, for example, both put on a good show during spring melt.  Smaller, but attractive falls are easily visited at Almonte and Pakenham. A taller example is found at Rideau Falls, just a modest walk from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. 

As we move out of southern Ontario, it is impossible not to notice the shift to the rocky Canadian Shield landscape.  Water and exposed bedrock are everywhere, which, of course, means lots of opportunities for waterfalls! 

Instead of the alternating layers of hard and soft rock that we see in southern Ontario, the Canadian Shield is dominated by rocks like granite and gneiss. These are all hard, which is why we don’t see the vertical “plunge”-style waterfalls that form on the flat rocks in southern Ontario.

Much more common in the north are “cascades” which occur where a river flows over a rocky slope. Onaping High Falls near Sudbury is a perfect example of a slope cascade, where the Onaping River follows a more gently-sloped, yet chaotic route down the side of a large hill.  
 
Does this mean that the waterfalls in northern Ontario are less spectacular? No way! Even if they are rarely vertical, northern falls on big rivers can be raging monsters during spring melt. Many waterfallers find that the longer, tortuous shape can make northern cascades more fun to explore. With lots of nooks and crannies, their appearance varies as stream and river levels rise and fall through the season. 

Many southerners get their first glimpse of “northern” waterfalls in cottage country. Bracebridge Falls, Wilsons Falls and High Falls are all easily accessed at Bracebridge.  The first one is found right in town and allows for a more ‘civilized’ experience. Wilsons Falls offers great hiking, while High Falls is the largest and is joined by two smaller bonus waterfalls just a few steps into the woods.    

Other great waterfalls are found throughout cottage country. Some, like Brooks Falls near Emsdale or Fenelon Falls, are right off the highway and are accessible to everyone. Others, like Egan Chute just east of Bancroft, or High Falls, near the southern tip of Algonquin Park, require a 15-20 minute hike into the wilderness. Just right for the novice explorer.   

Some of the real “hidden gems” can only be reached after a long hike or a long paddle. Dozens of waterfalls in Algonquin Park, for example, can only be reached after a challenging canoe trip. 

Highway 17, which runs from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and beyond, can be considered to be Ontario’s “Main Street” for waterfalls. The highway provides easy access to many of our biggest and most scenic falls. People living in northern Ontario know that the highway also serves as a springboard for more remote falls that are more challenging to visit. 

In the ‘Waterfalls of Ontario’ community on Facebook, it is a rite of passage for many southerners to make the “Thunder Run”; a multi-day waterfall trip to Thunder Bay and back again. So many waterfalls are found along the route that people have planned and enjoyed week-long, waterfall-centred vacations. A shorter 3-day version of the trip can include a turnaround at Wawa.   Highlights along Highway 17 include Duchesnay Falls at North Bay, Chutes Provincial Park at Massey and Crystal Falls at Sault Ste Marie. Chippewa Falls and Sand River Falls are all easily reached right off the side of the highway, and at Wawa, Magpie Falls and Silver Falls should not be missed. 

Anyone passing through Thunder Bay usually stops at Kakabeka Falls. Known as the ‘Niagara of the North’, this 40 metre high, near-vertical falls is right off the highway and is surrounded by viewing platforms. Perhaps equally as impressive, but much less busy, is High Falls on the Pigeon River. Found at the end of a 15-minute hike, this is great afternoon excursion from Thunder Bay. 

Great waterfalling also exists in north-eastern Ontario. This includes a good cluster of wild but easily-accessible waterfalls in the Timiskaming area, north of North Bay.  A three-day loop trip from southern Ontario can take you to a provincial highlights like Kap-Kig-Iwan Falls near New Liskeard; aside from the main falls, there are no fewer than 6 smaller waterfalls in the same park. Adding an extra day to your trip takes you to Timmins and back, providing access to Grassy High Falls and others. 

Whether visiting alone or with the whole family, you need to take a few precautions at waterfalls. While they can be completely safe to visit, there are risks to the visitor. Sadly, over the years, people have lost their lives at many waterfalls across Ontario.  
 
Steep cliffs, rushing water and slippery rocks combine to create a safety hazard. Protect yourself by staying on the trails and behind safety railings. Sites that are less popular or more remote may be completely undeveloped for visitors. You are responsible for your own safety…”If in doubt, stay out!” 

Many people ask about swimming at waterfalls, and my response is always as follows…”Waterfalls are not water parks.” These wild spaces are not engineered or safety checked. Cracks in the rock, hidden under fast flowing water can grab a foot and hold it, spelling disaster for the unsuspecting swimmer. Always ask a local for advice before swimming or wading.  

Remember also that some waterfalls are found on private property. Some landowners tolerate respectful visitors, but this is their decision to make, not yours! Land ownership and access rules can change over time. Thus, even if you are following a guidebook or using a tip from social media, you must respect signs telling you to “keep out”, etc. Unwanted trespassing ruins our hobby. Fortunately, the vast majority of our falls are located on public lands.   

Being a responsible waterfaller is easy, but is crucial to keeping our falls accessible. Stay on the trail, don’t put yourself at risk, take out what you bring in, and have courtesy for your fellow visitors. Sadly, some of our nicest waterfalls were temporarily closed due to overcrowding and bad behaviour during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Please do your part.   

Waterfalls of Ontario, 4th Edition by Mark Harris and George Fischer was first published by Firefly Books in 2003 and is now in its fourth edition. Using its maps, photos, descriptions and directions, many readers grab the book and visit the falls in person; others enjoy virtual visits from their favourite reading chair.  The website, waterfallsofontario.com, provides even more resources for the explorer. You can also join a Facebook group community to share photos and get updates.   

Get out there and explore your province!  

AdminFinding the Waterfalls of Ontario
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Incredible Ontario Nature Hot Spots

Incredible Nature Hot Spots destinations in your neck of the woods.

Ontario has no shortage of outdoor destinations to explore which is perfect for anyone planning a staycation this summer. The new book 125 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read is a lively, informative introduction to some of the province’s best-kept secrets. And for birders, botanists, wildlife lovers, rock hounds and naturalists, it also shares a fresh look at destinations that have made Ontario famous.

125 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario by Chris Earley & Tracy C. Read

The call of the great outdoors is hard to resist. Here are 5 nature hot spots to explore this summer, in various regions of the province, as found in the book:

Northern Ontario: Pukaskwa National Park

This park puts fresh life into the overworked descriptor “pristine wilderness.”

You can reach Ontario’s only wilderness national park by the most conventional of routes. Simply turn off the Trans-Canada onto Hwy 627, which drops you at the Hattie Cove Campground. Once you exit your vehicle and look around, you’ll quickly realize you’ve left civilization far behind.

Pukaskwa National Park sprawls across 1,878 square kilometres of some of the province’s most dynamic landscape. It’s the very definition of “Shield Country.” On its western edge, Pukaskwa hugs the dramatic undulations of the Lake Superior shoreline, where massive headlands push into the waters of Canada’s tempestuous inland sea, creating a dazzling series of deep, sculpted bays. Punctuating the coast are beaches of white sand and water-smoothed stone and stretches strewn with massive pieces of timber tossed ashore by the tumultuous Superior waves.

Inland is a world of rocklined lakes, surging rivers and intact boreal forest that serves as a natural habitat for northern wildlife, such as moose, black bears and wolves. A small, elusive herd of woodland caribou also makes its home here, though the forest industry operating in adjacent lands threatens its territory. The intrepid might consider exploring Pukaskwa by water, but be forewarned: The typically cold and unpredictable Lake Superior waters and winds will inevitably pin down paddlers for days at a time.

For hikers, there are moderate trails that lead to some of the park’s best vantage points. The Beach Trail winds through North, Middle and Horseshoe Beaches; the Southern Headland Trail leads to the lakeside, where, on a late-summer afternoon, you might relax on the sun-warmed granite to the sounds of Superior lapping against the shore. The more ambitious can undertake the 18-kilometre return hike to the White River Suspension Bridge, which soars 23 metres over Chigamiwinigum Falls.

Central Ontario North: Restoule Provincial Park

RESTOULE_Snapping turtle_PhotoCredit Chris Earley

This provincial park’s low public profile translates into on-the-ground advantages for savvy nature lovers.

Sandwiched between Restoule Lake and Stormy Lake southwest of North Bay, Restoule Provincial Park extends along the shores of the Restoule River. These beautiful waterways serve as an invitation to explore the area by canoe or kayak. Paddle along the base of the towering Stormy Lake Bluffs and look up, way up, for an intimate view of geologic history. In this region, roughly 550 million years ago, a huge parcel of land split and fell away along a fault line, creating a long, steep-walled depression—now filled with the waters of Stormy Lake—that is the southern edge of the Ottawa Valley Rift.

The park offers much to the avid hiker as well the paddler. There are 15 kilometres of trail through a mixed forest of red oak, yellow birch, red maple and sugar maple, but perhaps the most rewarding hike is along the seven-kilometre Fire Tower Trail. This route explores a variety of forested areas, finishing with a spectacular view of Stormy Lake from the 100-metre-tall Stormy Lake Bluffs.

Wildlife watching is an essential part of any visit to Restoule. The two lakes harbour some extremely large snapping turtles as well as river otters, while snakes and turtles live in the park’s wetlands. The area is also home to one of Ontario’s largest herds of white-tailed deer and more than 90 species of birds are found in the park.

Eastern Ontario: Sheffield Conservation Area

SHEFFIELD CONSERVATION AREA_Little Mellon Lake_Photo Credit Shutterstock_MattFrepp

A precious piece of the Canadian Shield south of 7

The eastern segment of Ontario’s Hwy 7 runs west to east from Peterborough to Ottawa and famously represents the demarcation between the iconic landscape of the Canadian Shield and the scrubbier farmland south of the well-travelled roadway. A mere 11 kilometres south of 7 on Hwy 41, however, there’s a remarkable exception to this boundary. A short gravel side road leads from the highway to the 467-hectare Sheffield Conservation Area. From the parking lot, you are steps away from a small boat launch and what may be Sheffield’s most beautiful vista.

From the foot of the launch, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view that encompasses a curving shoreline, a marsh shimmering with water lilies and—especially on sunny late-summer afternoons—the vivid blue waters of Little Mellon Lake. Silhouetted against a background of windswept conifers are rounded, rugged granite outcroppings. It is an exquisite microcosm of everything that makes Canadian Shield country memorable.

A loop trail winds some 4.5 kilometres around the conservation area. From the launch, the lower path leads across a grassy stretch to a picnic table, a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the fresh air and the sound of birdsong. With careful supervision, children can walk out on the flat granite rocks for a closer look at the aquatic fauna and small fish swimming in the shallows.

The upper path rises into mixed forest, past granite patches, swamps and glacier-dumped boulders. Both routes are demanding, made tougher by erratic trail markings, and hikers should come prepared with water and snacks as well as orienteering skills. For the less adventurous, a lakeside picnic or a peaceful paddle is an ideal way to appreciate this remarkable area.

Central Ontario South: Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve

THICKSONS WOODS Great Horned Owl_Photo Credit Shutterstock_CraigSterken

Home to the last old-growth white pines on Lake Ontario’s northern shore, this small woodlot is a sanctuary for migrating birds

The towering white pines at Thickson’s Woods were once officially reserved as ship masts for the Royal Navy, but before the trees were collected, sail-powered naval ships disappeared. With no market for their broad trunks, the white pines stood unbothered for decades, looming over the understorey and providing habitat for wildlife. But in 1983, as developers encroached on the area, the logging rights were sold: It appeared that Thickson’s Woods would stand no more.

In an impressive feat, a small group of concerned naturalists raised the money to buy the property. Although some of the pines had already been felled, others remain today, 150 years in age and exceeding 30 metres in height. These giants define the woodlot, and the gaps led by their fallen brethren have been filled by other tree species, including black cherry, blue beech and mountain maple. In 2001, the naturalists—now working on behalf of the Thickson’s Woods Land Trust—purchased the meadow adjacent to the woodlot, creating the nature reserve we see today.

While the reserve is rich in all varieties of life, it is especially important as a rest stop and fuelling station for migrating birds. The tall pines may act as a landmark, drawing tired migrants in with the promise of refuge. In the spring and fall, the trees come alive with warblers, vireos, fly-catchers and thrushes, while raptors and waterfowl move overhead. Not all birdlife at Thickson’s Woods is temporary, though. Many birds breed here, including forest specialists like the wood thrush and red-eyed vireo. Visitors with keen eyes may even spot resident great horned owls, blending in among the foliage.

Thickson’s Woods is open every day and free of charge. The trails are well established, and the walking is easy. The reserve is not staffed, so be prepared to explore this small woodlot on your own.

Southwestern Ontario: Rock Glen Conservation Area

ROCKGLEN_Waterfalls_PhotoCredit Shutterstock_KeatsPhotos

A hike along a riverbed turns up clues about life on Earth 350 million years ago

It’s not often that human and geological history, physical beauty, biodiversity and family fun come together in one place, but you can find it all at the 27-hectare Rock Glen Conservation Area, just outside the village of Arkona.

Located in the transition zone between the Carolinian Forest Region and the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Lowlands, Rock Glen is home to an abundance of tree species from each area, from the heat-loving sycamore, sassafras and tulip tree to familiar cold-hardy species such as the sugar maple, beech, white elm and basswood. As many as 50 species of wildflowers burst into bloom each spring, as the sounds of songbirds fill the air and small mammals scurry through the underbrush. If that weren’t enough, there are playgrounds, trails, boardwalks, a scenic lookout and a lovely 10.7-metre waterfall on Rock Glen Creek that cascades into a pool at its base.

But perhaps Rock Glen’s most compelling aspect is tied to what it was some 350 million years ago. In place of a stand of deciduous trees and a rushing river, imagine a shallow sea, teeming with millions of hard-shelled marine animals known as brachiopods, filter-feeding echinoderms named crinoids, horn corals and three-lobed arthropods. As the sea retreated, these creatures were buried in ocean-floor sediment. The result? Layer upon layer of sedimentary rock studded with clues about the Earth’s history, obscured for millennia by a glacier and then a lake. Thanks to an earthquake that split the bedrock 10,000 years ago, these fossils were exposed. Today, Rock Glen is one of the best repositories of Middle Devonian Era fossils in North America, as well as a productive site for artifacts from the Early and Archaic First Nations people who made their living in the area hunting barren ground caribou.

Although you are not allowed to dig for them, heavy rains often free fossils embedded in the walls of the river gorge, washing them down to the streambed. Excited would-be geologists are allowed to take one sample with them when they leave. The whole family can learn more about the area’s human and geological history at the on-site Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre.

Niagara Region: Woodend Conservation Area

This stand of Carolinian forest offers visitors a sweeping view of the neighbourhood’s biodiversity.

Woodend Conservation Area offers a graphic lesson in the Earth’s history, but be sure to take

a moment to appreciate its human history as well. Originally granted as farmland to United Empire Loyalist Peter Lampman during the American Revolutionary War, this spot saw its share of action during the War of 1812. Perched atop the Niagara Escarpment and located mere miles from military clashes at Queenston Heights, Beaver Dams and Lundy’s Lane, the property proved to be a perfect observation point for armies from both sides. Today, visitors can peaceably enjoy the sweeping views of the escarpment slopes and forests and the meadows below.

This conservation area can be thoroughly explored in under two hours. A trail system allows visitors to hike the escarpment’s base, mid-section and top rim, thanks to a section of Canada’s longest and oldest footpath, the Bruce Trail. As you hike up from the base, take note of the conspicuous rock strata, a literal reminder that you are retracing geological history, step by step. The escarpment creates an invaluable wildlife corridor, and standing at the top, you can watch white-tailed deer graze in the adjacent field. Woodend’s green space enhances the health of the artificial wetlands along its northwest boundary and provides habitat for creatures like the spotted salamander, which marches down the hillside every spring to find water in which to breed.

Note how the surrounding hardwood trees dominate the escarpment slopes. Passerines frequent the layers of this forest, making the area attractive with birdwatchers.

It’s also a popular playground for hikers, cross-country skiers and photographers, while students and educators at nearby elementary schools and Niagara College as well as scientists and nature-loving citizens use the conservation area as a classroom and backyard laboratory. Generations from all walks of life have visited Woodend, burnishing its reputation as a natural treasure.

To find more great nature hot spots in the province, check out 125 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario by Chris Earley & Tracy C. Read.

Buy Book Now

 

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Ontario Festivals Returning in 2022

Everyone misses festivals. From Music Festivals to Harvest Festivals we miss them all.  

Many Ontario festivals are back this year. It’s time to dust off your festival shoes and get back out there. Summer Festivals aren’t the only festivals either. The list below contains fall, spring and winter festivals too. 

Stay tuned to this list as more festival announcements come out. Click through to the festival or event website to see how the festival will operate this year. Some changes have been made for health and safety reasons.

2022 Festivals in Ontario

Sweetwater Harvest Festival

ToDoOntario - Wye Marsh, Sweetwater Harvest Festival 2022

Celebrating: Maple Syrup
Location: Wye Marsh, Midland

Date: March 19/20, March 26/27, April 2/3

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Tap into Maple

ToDoOntario - Orillia & Lake Country Tourism Tap into Maple

Celebrating: Maple Syrup
Location: Various (Orillia & area region)

Date: March 4 – April 3

Learn More

TO Food & Drink Fest

ToDoOntario - Toronto Food & Drink Fest

Celebrating: Food & Drink
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Date: April 22 – 24

Learn More

Beerhurst-at-Deehurst Craft Beer Festival

ToDoOntario - Deerhurst Resort, Beerhurst at Deerhurst 2022

Celebrating: Ontario Craft Beer
Location: Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville

Date: May 27 – 29

Learn More

Muskoka Earth Festival

ToDoOntario - Muskoka Earth Festival

Celebrating: Environmentalism, Climate Change awareness
Location: Bracebridge Fairgrounds

Date: May 28

Learn More

Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival

ToDoOntario - Town of Midland, Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival

Celebrating: Butter Tarts
Location: Downtown Midland

Date: June 11

Learn More

Mariposa Folk Festival

ToDoOntario - Mariposa Folk Festival 2022 poster

Celebrating: Folk (+) Music
Location: JB Tudhope Park, Orillia

Date: July 8/10

Learn More

Festival du Loup

ToDoOntario - Festival du Loup

Celebrating: Francophone Culture in Ontario
Location: Lafontaine, Ontario

Date: July 16

Learn More

Garlic Festival

ToDoOntario - Abbey Gardens, Garlic Festival

Celebrating: Garlic
Location: Haliburton, Ontario

Date: August 29

Learn More

Carnival City

ToDoOntario - House of Culture, Carnival City 2022

Celebrating: Carnival Festival
Location: Tweed, Ontario

Date: July 27 – August 7

Learn More

Tweed Stampede

ToDoOntario Ontario - Tweed Stampede

Celebrating: Horse stampede, Country & Western
Location: Tweed, Ontario

Date: September 2 – 5

Learn More

Country Live Laugh Love Music Festival

ToDoOntario - Country Live Laugh Love Festival 2022

Celebrating: Country Music
Location: Jacksons Point, Ontario

Date: September 30 – October 2

Learn More

Other Ontario Festivals Happening in 2022

Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Date: March 20

Niagara Falls 420 Expo
Date: April 23

Doors Open Toronto
Date: May 28 – 29

TD Salsa on St. Clair Festival
Date: June & July

Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival
Date: June 11

Luminato Festival
Date: June 9 – 19

TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Date: June 24 – July 3

PRIDE Toronto Festival Weekend 
Date: June 24 – 26

Toronto Caribbean Carnival
Date: July 7 – August 1


Ottawa Bluesfest
Date: July 7 – 17

Ottawa Bluesfest Getaway Package @ Fairmont Fairmont Château Laurier

ToDoOntario - Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa

Take advantage of this special rate for RBC Bluesfest ticket holders between July 7 and 17, 2022. With its close proximity to LeBreton Flats, Fairmont Château Laurier is your perfect homebase during RBC Bluesfest. Ticket holders can take advantage of a special Fairmont Room rate when tickets are presented at check-in. Book now for stays between July 7 and 17, 2022.

BOOK NOW


Rock the Park Music Festival
Date: July 13 – 16

Festival of the Sound
Date: July 17 – 31

Kempenfest
Date: July 21

Boots and Hearts Music Festival
Date: August 4 – 7

TD Toronto JerkFest
Date: August 4 – 7

Alliston Potato Festival
Date: August 5 – 7

Taste of the Danforth
Date: August 5 – 7

CNE (Canadian National Exhibition)
Date: August 19 – September 5

TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)
Date: September 8 -18

Bala Cranberry Festival
Date: Weekend after Thanksgiving

Click Here For More Ontario Events


Festival Accommodations in Ontario

Some of the festivals in Ontario have on-site camping. However in some cases for multi-day festivals you might need to find accommodation. 

Many Ontario accommodations have great packages and offers. Packages that would help save you money or include activities. Make sure to check the nearby hotels and resorts and see if they have any festival rates.

Check out these great Ontario Getaway Offers by season

Summer Getaway Offers 
Fall Getaway Offers
Winter Getaway Offers
Spring Getaway Offers


Are You Ontario Experienced? Find more things to do this summer in Ontario and read the ‘Are You Ontario Experienced  – Summer Edition blog‘. 

ToDoOntario - Are You Ontario Experienced - Summer Edition


Best Internet Rates at ChoiceHotels.com

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Not Your Mama’s Spa: Muskoka BeerSpa Now Open

The quintessential Canadian spa experience

ToDoOntario - Muskoka BeerSpa

Torrance, Ontario – May 13, 2022 – Downtown Torrance welcomes its newest attraction for visitors and local community members alike.

Introducing:  Muskoka BeerSpa

Aficionados of craft beer are already on board with the fresh brews produced at Clear Lake Brewing Co.  Fans of rustic cabin getaways may be familiar with accommodations at Muskoka BeerSpa, their vintage VHS collections and in room draft taps.  Locals can’t get enough of the great food and live music in the community beer garden. 

Loyal pizza lovers have been waiting patiently for The Cottage restaurant to open for the season, and today is their lucky day!  Refreshing Cottage Springs vodka beverages will soon be produced at the new on-site craft distillery.

But the BeerSpa is an entirely new experience.

“Pool, hot tubs, saunas, steam, margarita bar, taco stand, everything is up and running, and Mother Nature has given us amazing weather for our opening,” says Muskoka BeerSpa founder Greg Knight, “There is nothing like this in Canada.  We celebrate all things beer, including a playful approach to relaxation that you will rarely find at a spa.”

The official opening celebration, “Muskoka BeerSpa-palooza,” is set for Friday, May 20, 2022.  MooseFM will broadcast live on-location from 2pm to 6pm, and everyone is invited to join in the fun.  “Two-four-1” spa access will be offered, and The Moose will give out prizes every hour from 2pm to 6pm.  One lucky visitor will win a season’s pass for two.  Visitors are encouraged to book online now, as space is limited!

Beginning May 20, select massage and facial services will be offered, along what could be the world’s most eclectic spa treatment: the “Two Beer Pedicure”…. a beer foot soak, scrub and lotion treatment, bar service in an enclave of Muskoka chairs with enough room for all your friends!

Spa-goers can reserve their visit on-line at Muskoka BeerSpa Day Pass 

Admission is $40 plus tax, per person.  Proof of Age of Majority is required for spa access.

###

For more information, press only:

Leah Leslie

705-346-2248  [email protected]

Website www.muskokabeerspa.com

ToDoOntarioNot Your Mama’s Spa: Muskoka BeerSpa Now Open
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Welcome from Severn Lodge’s new owners

ToDoOntario, Severn Lodge, Muskoka resort
 
Severn Lodge is excited to announce that Severn Lodge has been purchased by Santa’s Village of Bracebridge, Ontario.  Santa’s Village, owned by Brad & Sara Dunkley and their partner Jamie Hopkins, will continue the tradition of operating Severn Lodge as an all-inclusive, family resort. Guests can expect the same level of service, exceptional cuisine and friendly staff that they have come to rely on. Our General Manager, Gary Don, and Head Chef, Hubert Obermeier, will continue in their current roles, which they have both held for many years.
 
“The Breckbill’s have been wonderful stewards of Severn Lodge and we are honoured to be assuming the responsibility of maintaining and preserving this unique and cherished resort,” said Brad Dunkley. Rick Breckbill added, “Severn Lodge has been a part of the Breckbill family since 1928. We are pleased that the Dunkley family will be continuing the traditions we began so many years ago.”
 
The Dunkley’s connection to Severn Lodge goes back many years. “My great-grandfather, Vic Conner, lived nearby at Big Chute for nearly 50 years and was a good friend of Bill and Jeanne Breckbill. As a kid, my family vacationed at Severn Lodge, and it is also where Sara and I got engaged. It will always be a special place to us,” said Brad Dunkley. 
 
“Santa’s Village and Severn Lodge are similar in many ways. They are both special places with rich histories where families come together to have fun and make memories. A big part of our motivation is to make sure these businesses continue to thrive for future generations to enjoy,” added Sara Dunkley. 
 
They are looking forward to opening for our 119th season on June 10th and we hope to see you and your family this summer.
 
For more information visit: https://severnlodge.com/
 
 
ToDoOntarioWelcome from Severn Lodge’s new owners
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Indigenous People’s Day & Month in Ontario

Indigenous Events, Activities & Experiences

To Do Ontario - Indigenous Tourism, dreamcatchers

Every June brings another chance to celebrate Canada’s rich history with National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st. First established as a national holiday in 1996, the day encourages Canadians to honor and celebrate the legacy and culture of the country’s Indigenous groups.

Whether you’re looking to celebrate your own Indigenous heritage or simply want to honor a piece of the country’s history, there are plenty of ways to get involved this year. Read on for more information about Indigenous Peoples Day, and find out how you can celebrate throughout the entire month of June!

A History of Indigenous Peoples Day

In 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (now known as the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a day that would recognize the rich culture of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, as well as the contributions they’ve made to the nation’s prosperity. 

Over a decade later, Governor General Roméo LeBlanc officially declared June 21st of each year to be National Aboriginal Day. Thanks to a statement issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2017, the holiday is now widely known as National Indigenous Peoples Day and honors the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada.

The Importance of Celebrating Indigenous Culture

ToDoOntario - Pow Wow Dancer

The contributions made by Indigenous peoples to Canada’s history and prosperity are overlooked. And thanks to a long history of colonization and discrimination, Indigenous culture has largely become invisible, despite the fact that Indigenous peoples make up nearly 5% of Canada’s total population. 

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day provides a space for these groups to be recognized and celebrated for their achievements and rich culture. It also allows non-Indigenous people to gain a better understanding of and a new appreciation for the Indigenous communities that surround them.

Celebrating Indigenous Culture Respectfully

If you’re a non-Indigenous person who would like to participate in the Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, it’s important to maintain a level of respect.

Respectfully observing the holiday largely means keeping the focus on Indigenous culture and history. This can be done in countless ways and can include anything from eating traditional foods to attending a celebration hosted by an Indigenous organization. 

Another crucial aspect of celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day respectfully is educating yourself about Indigenous history, which is often improperly taught. Staying educated can minimize misinformation surrounding Indigenous culture, and keep misconceptions from being passed down to future generations.

Ways You Can Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month This Year

In 2022, there are plenty of things you can do to honor Canada’s Indigenous history all month long. Read on to find out what you can do for Indigenous Peoples Day this year!

Online Government Programs & Celebrations

ToDoOntario - National Indigenous Month & Indigenous Day

Be sure to check out National Indigenous Peoples Day virtual activities happening in your region through Celebrate Canada.

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David R. Maracle

Where: Picton, Ontario

David R. Maracle, Mohawk Bear Clan of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory will be performing an outdoor concert June 25 at the Macaulay Heritage Park  house in Picton Ontario with a Traditional Mohawk dancer accompanying him. David then will exhibit his artwork along with other Indigenous Artists at the same space on July 22 to August 11 at the Macaulay Heritage Park house.  

ToDoOntario - Revel Celebrating Diversity event

Learn More About David

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 

Where: Ottawa, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Pow Wow dancer, Sandra Sharkey

Come celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with our Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, Competition Pow-Wow and much more.

JUNE 21 – 26, 2022

INDIGENOUS DAY CELEBRATION: June 21

EDUCATION DAYS: June 22 – 24
FREE performances and interactive workshops that share and celebrate the diverse Indigenous cultures of Canada. All of this programming is designed to encourage interaction and engagement with our Indigenous artists and knowledge keepers who will help bring the curriculum to life in a fun, authentic and appropriate way.

POW WOW: June 25 – 26
This year the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is excited to feature both our Virtual Pow Wow and live Competition Pow Wow, presented by CN Railway & Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Learn More About This Festival

Mādahòkì Marketplace

Where: Ottawa, Ontario

ToDoOntario - Madahoki Market

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National Indigenous Peoples Day @ Sainte Marie Among the Hurons

ToDoOntario - Sainte Marie among the Hurons, Indigenous Peoples Day

DATE: Tuesday, June 21, 2022
HOURS: 10 am to 3 pm*
Special Event Rate: $ 12.00 per person, plus HST

* The historic site and indoor museum are open until 5 pm (last admission at 4 pm).

This event will encompass a wide variety of unique Indigenous cultural and historical demonstrations such as music, art and traditional teachings.

Programming includes:

● Drumming and dancing demonstrations
● Tasting three sister soup and corn bread
● Corn husk dolls and okies workshop
● Canoe display and wigwam work
● Garden and animal presentations with our new Agriculture Worker
● Lacrosse, speed net and storytelling presentations with special guest, Chris Walser
● Indigenous art presentations
● Indigenous artisans market

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Anishinaabe Cultural Experiences @ Cape Croker Park

Where: Wiarton, Ontario

This team of experienced Anishinaabe naturalists and guides have developed a series of land & water-based activities to share with Park visitors.

Special Programs for 2022

Anishinaabe Painting – An Exploration of Colours and Wildlife

ToDoOntario - Cape Croker Park, Woodland Painting workshop

Saturday June 18, 10am-12:30pm

Join Anishinaabe artist and teacher Geoffery Wimtik Johnston in an art lesson inspired by the paintings of the famed Anishinaabe artist Norval Morriseau (the “Picasso of the North”) and the stories of renowned Anishinaabe writer Basil H. Johnston. Using acrylic paints, you will explore colour and art techniques using motivation from Noval Morriseau, whose paintings were inspired by the stories of Basil H. Johnston, who is from Neyaashiinigmiing and spent many days strolling through the trails, shores, and forests of Cape Croker Park with his dogs.

In the Acrylic Canvas Painting your motivation will come from our local wildlife and the beautiful colours of Cape Croker Park, from which you will paint your own canvas to take home. You may also choose to choose a rock from along the shore to paint. You can paint more than one rock if you wish, and time allows.

 
 

Saugeen Sojourn

ToDoOntario - Cape Croker Park, Saugeen Sojourn

The ultimate camping weekend at Cape Croker Park, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation (Neyaashiinigmiing)

Three nights and two full days of adventure on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula.

This small group experience (maximum 12 participants) includes the comfort of double occupancy glamping tents, all your meals (featuring Naagan, A Foraged Feast), fully guided and curated exploration of the local waters, natural features and cultural significance of the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek people, as well as all your adventure equipment.

JUNE 3-6 • AUGUST 12-15, 2022
 

Mohawk Institute Public Virtual Tour

The Woodland Cultural Centre presents a screening of the Mohawk Institute Residential School. Join them every third Wednesday of the month at 7pm and help support virtual programming at the Woodland Cultural Centre with your donation.

The virtual tour video was created with local production company Thru the Reddoor, and it follows the guide, Lorrie Gallant, as she gives a tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School. During the video Lorrie provides the history of the institution over its 140 year history. Viewers will get to see the different rooms in the school, from the girls’ and boys’ dormitories, the cafeteria, laundry room, and other rooms throughout the building, as well as hear interviews from five Survivors of the Mohawk Institute.

Learn More

June is month filled with things to celebrate in Ontario. Always check out the ToDoOntario Events Calendar for more things to do in Ontario. 

ToDoOntarioIndigenous People’s Day & Month in Ontario
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Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Ontario Dads

Things To Do Father’s Day For All Kinds Of Dads

Ontario Dads are pretty special. They do an amazing job at teaching their children not only all the fun things to do in Ontario, but how to enjoy them like a kid. Ontario offers all kinds of activities that fathers love and love to teach their kids. 

Spending time with Dad on father’s day weekend is always quality time. Spending the day with your father and doing something dad loves is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for everything he does. Summer-like weather means there are plenty of things to do in Ontario on Father’s Day. 

Perhaps plan a hike, or fishing outing. Now that patios are open again, maybe you can go out and get a bite to eat. Definitely make some reservations no matter what you choose to do. 

If you’re staying home maybe you can plan an outside bonfire and watch his favourite movie outside with popcorn and snacks. If you have a bonfire, make sure you make the ToDoOntario Dessert Cones!

During the day a bike ride with a snack stop could be a fun way to spend the day. Don’t let a little rain stop you, either. Sometimes a small change in the normal can bring some extra special surprises.

Make sure to take photos!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

If you’re looking to get something special for your dad this year, here are a few fathers day ideas that are getaway packages or experiences you can send Dad out to do, or do together. 

SPA TIME FOR DAD AT THE BEERSPA

ToDoOntario - Muskoka BeerSpa, pool

The new BeerSpa in Downtown Torrence has so many things Dads love. Craft beer, food, woods, pools, saunas, food truck and more! Open for day trips and overnight getaways, this Muskoka BeerSpa is so cool, we know your Dad will love it, a lot.

Learn More About Muskoka BeerSpa

SPA TIME FOR DAD AT A HYDROSPA

Let Dad go and soak or steam his tress away at either of these new awesome Ontario hydrospas. 

ToDoOntario - JW Marriott The Rosseau Hydrospa

Hydrospa Wellness by Water Muskoka

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ToDoOntario - Vetta Nordic Spa

Vetta Nordic Spa

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BUY HIM TICKETS TO LIVE MUSIC

ToDoOntario - ForrestJonesEntertainment, Practically Hip

Saturday June 18 at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound you can send, or if old enough, take your day to see Practically Hip. 

Where: Owen Sound

More information: Practically Hip @ Roxy Theatre

If you’re looking for more live music festivals, visit our blog section and read the list of festivals back for 2022.


SEND DAD ON A FISHING TRIP

ToDoOntario, Sunbeam Bungalows fishing vacations

For a night, for a weekend, for a whole week, send Dad off to recharge his batteries on an Ontario fishing trip. 

View Fishing Getaway Packages

BIKING & BREWERY EXPERIENCE FOR DAD

ToDoOntario, Humdinger Bicycle Tours, Quest for Quayles Brewery

With this experience your dad can cycle to Quayle’s Brewery either on an easier route that is mostly rail trail bike path or take a more challenging route on the quiet roads of Severn and Oro-Medonte townships. The ride is a supported, self-guided ride with lunch & beer tasting and shuttle back to start.

Learn More About Quest For Quayles

RELAX AND CRUISE GEORGIAN BAY

ToDoOntario, Island Queen Cruise, Huckleberry Island

Any Dad would love to join Island Queen Cruises as they cruise through the inner islands of the Big Sound, an area many locals consider to be home to some of the most beautiful islands and channels on the Bay, including the famous Hole in the Wall! This non-stop two-hour morning cruise is the cruise that started it all. 

Learn More About Island Queen Cruises

ToDoOntario, Sunset Cruises Muskoka

Or head to Muskoka for lake cruise board Peerless II. Captain Pott’s stories of local history and interesting facts make this cruise extra special. Sunset Cruises in Port has a schedule all week long for you and Dad to sit back and relax for this really cool cruise.

See Cruise Schedule

FORE THE LOVE OF DADS

ToDoOntario, Nottawasaga Inn Resort, golf

Ontario has no shortage of beautiful golf courses and driving ranges. Buy your father a gift certificate to enjoy a course he loves or even a new one to try! 

View Ontario Golf Courses

Climb Like A Kid Again Canopy Tours & Treetop Trekking

ToDoOntario - Treetop Trekking

In the treetops or on a zip line are a great way to have fun and make memories with Dad. Ontario has some pretty cool canopy tours and activities that will have your dad feeling like a kid again. 

Haliburton Forest Canopy Tours Ontario Treetop Trekking locations

PLAY IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS OF ONTARIO

ToDoOntario - Blue Mountain Resort, attractions

Enjoy the great outdoors at Blue, ride the attractions on the mountain or shop and dine at Blue Mountain Village. 

Blue Mountain Village Blue Mountain Resort

Does your dad like caving, hiking and incredible views? Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is a great place to explore the caves AND check out the view from the 420ft suspension bridge.

Explore Scenic Caves

You can also book Dad a private tour with Blue Mountain Adventure Tours, they’ll make sure your father has the best day ever, and no stress. 

Private Blue Mountains Tour

EXPLORE CAVES & SCENIC VIEWS

ToDoOntario, Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, Hiking Trails

Explore caves with Dad and take in picturesque views of The Blue Mountains and Collingwood. Situated within one of Canada’s eighteen UNESCO biosphere reserves and dating back 450 million years, our location is steeped rich in history and heritage.    Explore new heights from the longest Suspension Bridge in Southern Ontario, or take in our Hiking Trail Centre offering 15 kilometers of trails meandering through 370 unspoiled acres of natural beauty. Experience the unique views of the 200 year old forest, with well-marked trails offering gentle rolling slopes to steep climbs, and expansive, world class views!  

Learn More

TAKE DAD OUT FOR LUNCH OR A TREAT, ORDER HIM MAPLE SYRUP

ToDoOntario - Fish & Chips

Find a fun spot for a road trip near you and take your dad out for summer fish and chips or (and?) ice cream! Read out past blogs to easily find a place to try if you’re looking for something new.

If you’re 19+, read our blog about tips for visiting microbreweries in Ontario and have fun (safely) with Dad exploring some Ontario craft beers. The blog section contains YOUR list of favourite Ontario fish and chips places and also YOUR favourite Ontario ice cream shops. Does he love all things maple? Order him some Ontario maple syrup or maple products and have them shipped right to him. 


SEND DAD TO FORAGE FOR MUSHROOMS

ToDoOntario, Yours Outdoors, wild mushroom foraging

This immersive wilderness learning experience will bring your dad into the forest with a single delicious goal in mind: how to find, identify, and harvest wild edible mushrooms! This isn’t for every dad, but for those who love nature, being the woods and learning about Ontario’s wilderness, this is for him! 

Book Dad's Mushroom Foraging Workshop

SET DAD OUT ON A FOOD TOUR ADVENTURE

ToDoOntario - Midland Food Tours, Downtown Midland

Experience one of the best culinary tours in the heart of Georgian Bay. Join the thousands of Simcoe County residents, Toronto day-trippers and international visitors who have discovered the area’s history, culture, architecture and delicious food hotspots.

Learn More

TAKE A HIKE, DAD!

ToDoOntario - Yours Outdoors, Best of Barnum Guided Hike

We’ve all done a ton of hiking since the pandemic but this guided hike in Haliburton is extra special. Sign your father up to join a knowledgeable hiking guide for a 2-3 hour hike around the Barnum Creek Nature Reserve, learning about everything the region has to offer, and the rich history and stories of the area. 

Book Dad a Hike

ToDoOntario - Happy Father's DayThere are so many great things to get dads or do with dads this year. Check out the ToDoOntario Events Calendar for events and experiences your dad might like and our list of summer getaway packages for more inspirational gift ideas.

ToDoOntarioFather’s Day Gift Ideas For Ontario Dads
read more

Best Fish and Chips in Ontario

Summer and Fall seasons in Ontario are the time of year to jump in the car and check out diners, food trucks, restaurants and more for the ultimate fish and chips. Indeed, cities, small towns and communities have fish and chips all season ensuring that people enjoy fish from Ontario’s vast fresh waters. 

No matter where you live in Ontario, it’s pretty easy to find a few fish and chips stands or restaurants near you. We are here to keep you in the know on where to find the most delicious golden fried batter fish. 

This is the season for eating locally sourced produce. Eating local in Ontario is easy!

Oh, and hey if you really want to eat local Ontario, it is very likely that the potato french fry is also local. It is very important that the accompanying ‘tater side dish is equally delicious and worth the drive. Mr. French Fry, we’re looking at you too!

In fact, other typical side dishes to fish and chips are likely locally sourced grown produce too. Summer and early-fall is a great time when Ontario gardens are bursting with cabbages, lettuces, carrots, beets and other tasty things to make coleslaw and side salads with. These help brighten the already delicious battered or pan-fried fish. 

ToDoOntario - Fish & Chips

Best Fresh Fish and Fresh Cut French Fries

Where’s the Catch of the Day? – According to YOU!

We made a Facebook post last year and asked our followers to tell us their favourite fish and chips stops. We’ve compiled the list and ask you to try it for yourself, let us know if you agree or disagree, and even let us know if you think the list is missing someone!

Swiss Country House Restaurant @ Ahmic Lake Resort
50 Robinson Drive
Magnetawan
Website: http://www.ahmiclakeresort.com/restaurant.html
Phone: (705) 387-3853

Larry’s Chip Stand
230 Main Street
Sturgeon Falls

JJ’s Chip Wagon (formerly Just Judy’s)
7597 Highway 89
Alliston

Sullys Muskoka Gourmand
345 Ecclestone Drive
Bracebridge

Shelby’s Chipwagon
191 Sharpe Street E
Gravenhurst

Tristan’s Tasty Eatz
2222 Highway 60
Huntsville

Mrs H’s Fish ‘n’ Chips
2190 Muskoka Road 38
Bala

Herbert Fisheries
21 Channel Street
Killarney

Perky’s Fish and Chip
165 County Road 6 S
Perkinsfield (Tiny)

Jocko Point Fish and Chips
1 Jocko Point Rd
North Bay

Joeys Seafood
180 Shirreff Ave
North Bay

Duckworth’s Fish & Chips
750 Atherley Rd
Orillia

Danny’s Fish & Chips
411 Huronia Rd
Barrie

Kinmount Fish & Chips
4080 Kawartha Lakes County Rd 121
Kinmount

Cardinal Lodge Mattawa River Resort
6251 Hwy 17
Mattawa

Gilly’s Snug Harbour Restaurant & Marine
138 Snug Harbour Road
Carling

Baked and Battered
128 Highland St
Haliburton

Lord Elgin Fish & Chips
5128 ON-21
Port Elgin

Reel Em In Fish n Chips
88-202 Huronia Rd
Barrie

For the Halibut Fish & Chips 
220 Hastings St N
Bancroft

The Royal Oak – Centrepointe
117 Centrepointe Drive, Unit 105
Nepean

Chips + Malt
201 Main Street South
Newmarket

Taylor’s Fish & Chips
417 Erie Street South
Wheatley

The Fish Shack
1099 Muskoka District Road 39
Baysville

Beamsville Fish & Chips
Location in Beamsville, Ste. Catharines, Welland

Erie Belle Restaurant – House of Fish & Chips
259 Harbour Street
Kincardine

Duckworth’s Fish & Chips
2282 Kingston Road
Scarborough

The Cheshire Cat Pub
2193 Richardson Side Road, Ottawa

Broadway Fish & Chips
 308 Broadway, Orangeville

@827 Fish & Chips
827 Hwy 64, Alban

British Cuisine Fish & Chips
1256 Mosley St, Unit 7, Wasaga Beach

Fish N Fry Inn
803 Vindin St, Midland

Captain Ken’s Diner & Pub
70 Main St, Penetanguishene

Bounty Fish & Chips
18 Colborne St W, Orillia

Goderich Harbour Restaurant
111 N Harbour Rd W, Goderich

The Oar
530 Muskoka Rd N, Gravenhurst

Tracie’s Place Restaurant & Karaoke
592 Upper James St., Hamilton

Stage Diner
518 Concession St, Hamilton

Captains Grill Diner
287 Madison St, Severn Township

Golden Fish & Chips
32 Main St S, Georgetown

Riverside Hideaway
1 Mill St, Coldwater

Napanee Fish & Chips
35 Jim Kimmett Blvd, Napanee

Annie’s Seafood Restaurant
698 Ontario St, Stratford

Captain George’s
237 Mapleview Dr E, Barrie

Manoll’s Fish & Chips
11 Buell St, Brockville

Minor Fisheries
176 West St, Port Colborne

Corner Fish & Chips & Grill
558 County Road 8, Fenelon Falls

Knechtel’s on the Beach
15 Walker St, Port Dover

The Fryin’ Guys
155a Lake Street, Saint Catharines

Len Duckworths Fish & Chips
2638 Danforth Ave, Toronto

Taylor Fish Company
419 Erie St S, Wheatley

Wickie’s Pub & Restaurant
274 Burton Ave, Barrie

Chip+Malt
201 Main St S, Newmarket

Fork On Main – Kearney
108 Main Street, Emsdale

The Fish Shack
1099 Main St, Dorset

The Muddy Moose Restaurant and Inn
14530 Government Road, Larder Lake

 

Your favourite isn’t on the list? Tell us here:

Fave fish and chips

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Google Map – Ontario’s Best Fish & Chips

Love to fish and looking for a getaway to help you catch your own shore line meal?

Fishing Cast into a Lake

Fishing Getaway Packages
ToDoOntarioBest Fish and Chips in Ontario
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