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Ontario Travel & Holidays Guide

Capital City: Toronto

Canada's most populated and second largest province, Ontario is a major tourist destination with the majority of visitors drawn to the famous Niagara Falls. Ontario is home to the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, but the provincial capital is Toronto, the biggest city in the province.

Over 90% of the population are concentrated in southern Ontario, while the remainder are in small towns and villages scattered throughout the expansive northern regions of the province.

Ottawa is a great city for visitors who like a lot of history in their travel plans. The same can be said for most of Ontario as much of Canada's early history occurred here. Early French history, slaves escaping from the USA, military battles... its all part of Ontario's rich historical tapestry.

Toronto is one of Canada's most ethnically diverse cities and the mix of difference languages, cultures and gourmet experiences make this a vibrant city full of surprises. Toronto tours are some of the best available anywhere in Canada and cater to all interests.

Outside of the cities, Ontario offers great hiking trails, superb fishing, camping and canoeing. It is a place where visitors can enjoy a leisurely trip down a Canadian Heritage River or trace the routes of the first European explorers and fur traders along the legendary waterways. The four Great Lakes touch Ontario and offer endless opportunities for water recreation and adventure as well as great opportunities for sailing and cruising these stately waterways.

Just like most parts of Canada, Ontario loves its festivals and when summer arrives, the province springs to life with festivals and events that celebrate everything from air races to highland games.

Things To See & Do

It's impossible to fit such a broad subject into just a few lines on a web page, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Polar Bear Express: 300km stretch of railway between Cochrane and Moosonee through untamed wilderness regions

  • Kirkland Lake: a historic gold mine town dating from 1912 when gold was first found here

  • Algonquin Provincial Park: Visit this huge forested habitat of wildlife and birds and still the traditional home of the Algonquin indians who have lived in the area for centuries. A popular location for canoeing, rafting and kayaking.

  • Upper Canada Village At Morrisburg: One of the most outstanding and fascinating examples of "living history" that recreates a real 19th Century community.

  • Fort Wellington National Historic Site at Prescott: A military museum with the restored blockhouse and fortifications of the original fort.  Re-enactments are staged of the old military drill parades in the British and American uniforms of the time.

  • Thousand Islands: Little islands scattered over an 80 km stretch of the St Lawrence. A place of great natural beauty, popular for water activities and cruises.

  • Canadian Automotive Museum at Oshawa: A museum that charts the history of the automobile in Canada which has a collection of over 80 vintage cars from between 1898 and 1930.

  • Peterborough Lift Locks and Boat Cruises: A glimpse of the engineering skills from yesteryear where locks regulate the water level for shipping. Built in 1904 and one of only eight of its kind in the world, it allows a lift in level of 20m.

  • Bruce Trail: A breathtakingly beautiful hiking trail along the Niagara Escarpment noted for its great views. It stretches for 800 kilometers with numerous other side trails that open up one of Ontario's finest areas for hiking and walking.

  • Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford: A museum displaying an impressive collection of Indian artifacts portraying the everyday life of the Six Nations Indians of the eastern forests.

  • Georgian Bay: The ideal place for anyone who enjoys spending time on, in, or around the water. An almost land-locked part of Lake Huron and the site of early Jesuit Mission stations.

  • Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons: An historic site and recreation of the original mission station founded by the Jesuits in 1639

  • Muskoka : One of North America's prettiest lake districts with a landscape of lakes, islands, rocky outcrops and located just a couple of hours north of Toronto.

  • Welland Canal: A series of 8 massive locks that overcome the level difference between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. situated close to world famous Niagara Falls and not far from the Canadian-US border.

  • Visit the famous Niagara Falls which is one of the most beautiful and popular waterfalls in the world.

  • Steam train lovers can ride the South Simcoe steam train through the scenic Beeton Creek valley

  • Take a tour of Toronto's craft breweries.

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