This year I’ve been able to spend an entire season in my home province of Ontario. I wish I was able to explore more of Canada as a whole whilst here, Ontario alone is larger than most countries, making that quite difficult.
It’s been wonderful being able to see friends and family and to do so with my Irish boyfriend, Patrick. I mention his nationality only because travelling into Canada and around Ontario with a non-Canadian made me notice and experience things I may not have otherwise.
For example, when I was in Ireland, I was always amazed at the castles. They were just there, standing, looking magnificent. Being from a place with very few castles (the ones deemed castles are debatable at best) loved visiting them, exploring them, staring at them in awe. Where to Patrick, they were completely normal. He instead took a second look at squirrels (which they don’t have in Ireland) and our barns (which I didn’t really notice, but I guess they look different than theirs).
Another difference that came up quite a bit, was just how far everything was. To me, a two-hour car ride is nothing, even four hours is fine for a day trip as far as I’m concerned. But for him, or for anyone else visiting, it’s a long time to spend in a car. When you come from a place where you could drive from the East Coast to the West in under three hours, I get that. But here, where you could be driving over a day and still be in the province, a few hours drive seems pretty manageable.
So for those who plan on visiting Ontario, here are some things you can do that are a “reasonable” (depending on who you ask) distance away.
Ontario’s Capital and one of the few cities that those from out of the country immediately recognize. If flying from abroad, it is likely you’ll come into Ontario by way of either Toronto or Ottawa airport. Once into Toronto, some visitor favourites include the CN Tower, Ripleys Aquarium, and the Roger’s Centre to take in a Blue Jays game.
There are also some amazing food options and shopping. Personally, my favourite area in Toronto is the Kensington Market. Every month there is a “Pedestrian Sunday” where shops spill out onto the streets, there are artists, food, and an overall warm and fun vibe.
Despite being one of Canada’s biggest metropolis’, Toronto’s beaches are surprisingly nice.
Ottawa is in Eastern Ontario and is the capital of Canada. This summer I was able to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday here. Every year there are big Canada Day celebrations, but this year has been the biggest by far. It is home to Canada’s Parliament buildings and all the important stuff for the country happens here.
Beyond that, Ottawa is a fun place to visit in general. The Byward Market is a visitor favourite with many unique shops, restaurants, and nightlife.
There are also many festivals that happen in Ottawa throughout the year. These include the capital fair, the lantern festival, velofest (bike festival), RBC Bluesfest, and the tulip festival, among many others.
Prince Edward County
I spent a lot of time in my home town of Prince Edward County. Often just called “The County” it has become quite the booming tourist town. Much more so than when I was a child and it was just a month or two in the summer time of beachgoers and cottage people. Now, The County is packed from May through September, and still quite busy on months surrounding that.
The county is famous for its wineries, restaurants, and beach. While I’m not personally much of a beach-goer, it’s the main draw for many people coming as a day-trip from surrounding cities. It is also home to a wine trail, arts trail, and taste trail.
Running through vineyards with wine on my mind. #wino #vino #vineyard #pec #princeedwardcounty #theciderhouse #picton #waupoos #thecounty #visitthecounty #waupooscider #eatlocal #drinklocal #girl #canadiangirl #nature #ontario #discoverontario #dametraveller #fromwhereyoudratherbe #sidewalkerdaily #passionpassport #femaleblogger #exploreyourhome #imagesofcanada #explorecanada #glt #wearetravelgirls #girlvsglobe
Ontario as a whole has many great outdoor activities to explore. With approximately 250,000 lakes in the province, we’re not short on swimming holes and places for water activities. Looking for some inspiration for your Summer in Ontario? Check out our video!