The Ultimate Ontario Summer Bucket List
There's an endless list of things to do in this gigantic region of Canada and it’s difficult to know where to begin.
That’s why Smaller Earth have put together this ultimate list of places to check out. We've filled it with action-packed activities so that you get the most out of your summer travelling in Ontario.
Explore the Thousand Islands
Located in southeastern Ontario, close to the U.S. border, this sightseer’s dreamland is a hub for adventure. It’s not difficult to see why - comprised of more than 1,800 islands, there’s always something new to discover. Whether you want to live the adventure, or simply relax and enjoy the views, here are our suggestions of the best ways to explore:
- A trip up the Thousand Islands tower to get the perfect panoramic snap
- A guided kayak tour around the river and islands (no experience necessary!)
- Relax on one of many available boat tours
- Or for a first-class view hop on a private helicopter ride
Experience Toronto from above
At over 550 metres tall, the CN Tower is one of Canada’s most famous attractions. You can’t go to Toronto without experiencing this. A standard general admission ticket gives you access to 2 observation levels at 346 metres high, where you can walk on the Glass Floor and the outdoor SkyTerrace above the city for around £22.
To go even further you can dine at 360 The Restaurant and experience unbelievable views of the city while you eat. If you're a thrillseeker, you have to do the EdgeWalk; the world’s highest hands-free walk that circles around the outside of the main tower.
Go on a Waterfall Adventure in Hamilton
Known as ‘The Waterfall Capital of the World’, it’s no surprise that there’s over 100 to visit in and around Hamilton. Although there’s probably not time to visit them all, we recommend these top 5 to hike around for some spectacular scenery:
- Albion Falls
- Webster’s Falls
- Tew’s Falls
- Tiffany Falls
- Devil’s Punchbowl
Be Blown Away by the Niagara Falls
While you’re in the mood for waterfalls, Niagara is something you need to see. Niagara Falls is just a stone’s throw away from Hamilton, so you can get to it easily. If you want to get the absolute most out of your trip to Niagara, and you’re willing to spend a bit more money, the jaw-dropping effect of the falls can be experienced in a number of different ways:
- Wildplay Niagara Falls Zipline
- Whirlpool Aero Car
- Niagara Helicopters
Camp in one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks
With 72 parks dotted around Ontario, it’s almost guaranteed there will be one close by. Checking out a park is a perfect way to clear your head and take a breather from the fast-paced city lift. Each park boasts something unique - if you’ve got a couple of days, an overnight camping trip in one of these dramatic landscapes is an amazing way to experience the wilderness and wildlife first hand.
Here are a few parks we recommend;
- Lake Superior
- Bon Echo
Swim in the Bruce Peninsula Grotto
We’ve probably saved the best till last - hidden on the Bruce Peninsula’s Georgian Bay shoreline, this Grotto is a scenic cave with a pool of deep, blue water. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d probably miss it all together. To get there, hike to the picturesque Indian Head Cove, and then clamber into this secret wonderland Grotto (it can be quite challenging). You’ll either have to crawl down a small rocky tunnel known as ‘the chimney’, or scale a 12-metre tall open cliff face - but that’s all part of the adventure right?
These are just a few of the most amazing places we’ve seen so far in Ontario. Make sure to tag us on the Smaller Earth Instagram when you're on your travels to let us know what your favourite Ontario discovery was!