Province of Ontario Things to Do Tips by sim1 Top 5 Page for this destination
Province of Ontario Things to Do: 209 reviews and 493 photos
Big Chute Marine Railway
In Big Chute, close to Port Severn, you can find the Big Chute Marine Railway. It is unique for North America and fun to watch. This engineering marvel lifts boats over a 17,7 metres height of land on a specially-designed carriage.
In short it works like this: The specially designed railway carriage is lowered into the water on a submerged track. The boat is than floated onto the deck of the car and cradled by slings. The carriage is slowly raised out of the water and the boat 'settles' into the slings for support. The whole structure gets out of the water and follows the tracks, even passing a road! And down a hill, into the water again, where it releases the boat.
The Big Chute Marine Railway isn't easy to find if you don't know where to look. There are no signs pointing you in the right direction. But.... it is actually very easy to find!
When you drive from Toronto to the north, on highway 400 you'll almost pass it on the right hand side. Drive past Barrie, up to Coldwater, and take exit nr 162 to the right. This will bring you on road nr. 17 which crosses the Big Chute Marine Railway, you can't miss it! Big Chute is about 2 hours north of Toronto.
You can see more pictures of this strange marine railway on my Port Severn page
Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario
Grundy Lake is a beautiful Provincial Park in Ontario and I have been lucky to have visited not once, but even twice. There are some wonderful hiking trails here, and the nature is beautiful. I find this one of the most beautiful parks in Ontario that I've been to so far.
Grundy Lake is located just south of Bigwood. I hope in the future to show you some more images of this park as it is beautiful. As a nature lover a must see place!
The Collingwood airshow
I used to live close to Collingwood, and that is why I came here very often. I mainly went here for my grocery shopping. There is not that much else that Collingwood has to offer. But there are some nice shops in the main street through Collingwood, but that is about it. So I wouldn't put it on your "must see list" when you visit Ontario.
But the airshow just outside Collingwood is very enjoyable. In 2002 it was on the 4th of August and this was the 12th Annual Gathering of Classics at Collingwood Airport. It is not only an airshow, but a carshow at the same time.
I've added a few more photos to this tip to give you a bit of an impression of Collinwood.
A moose in Algonquin Provincial Park
Beautiful Algonquin Park! I always love going here. The campgrounds close to the road through the park are often very busy, but when you get in the canoe or go for a hike.... wow.... so beautiful! Lakes, forest, wildlife, that is what you will find here. Algonquin Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Canada and Ontario. A must do when you love nature and wildlife.
On this picture you can see a moose that I spotted in Algonquin Procincial Park. You have a good chance of spotting a moose here after sunset. There is only one road through the park, and the moose tend to come out in the open areas next to the road just after sunset. I am always amazed by seeing them.
I've added some more photos to give you a little impression how beautiful Algonquin Park can be. I visited the park in all seasons, from winter to summer, autumn and spring and every season has his own charm. But one thing is for sure: you'll never get bored here. Hahaha, well, if you are a nature lover that is ;-)
You can read much more about this beautiful park on my Algonquin (Ontario) page.
The village of Creemore
Creemore is a lovely little village not far from where I used to live. It was founded in 1842, and its history is reflected in the homes, churches and in the main street commercial buildings.
But besides that, Creemore is also a community of artists and artisans, and has an eclectic assortment of shops and restaurants, a year round schedule of festivals and community activities and is also home to the Creemore Springs micro brewery. It was one of the villages I loved to go on a lazy day or when there were festivities going on. Nothing spectacular, just a lovely little place.
Creemore is nestled in the valley of the Mad and Noisy Rivers and surrounded by the Purple Hills. The surrounding area is just beautiful, which is probably the reason why it is a popular little village. Creemore is located just 1 1/2 hours north of Toronto
You can read more about this little village on my Creemore page.
Elora is a nice little village in Ontario, just north of Guelph. It is famous for its Gorge but also for the cozy center of the village.
In Elora you can find the Elora Gorge, which is a scenic place. On both sides of the gorge, limestone cliffs plunge 22 metres (70 feet) into the bubbling Grand River below. One of the most prominent features is a rocky outcrop known as the Tooth-of-time (in the middle of the photo). This unique feature is precariously perched in a waterfall that spans the river.
How to get to Elora :
From the 401, follow Hwy.6 North through Guelph. Continue on Hwy.6 to County Road No.7. Follow No.7 for about 10 minutes - and Voila! You are in Elora :-)
You can read much more about this village on my Elora page
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Another one of those fantastic Provincial Parks in Ontario is Bon Echo. I have been to Bon Echo Provincial Park in the summer of 2001. Unfortunately I only had one day to explore the park, which is not nearly enough. I really would love to go here again to canoe and hike.
I know this horizon of this picture is a bit crooked, hahaha, but it is hard to take a good picture while canoeing on a windy day! This picture is taken during a canoe trip in Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Sheer Bon Echo Rock rises 100 metres out of deep Mazinaw Lake for 1.5 kilometres at this park north of Kaladar. The Algonkians painted 260 red-ochre pictographs on it. The way to explore the park is by canoe!
You can read much more about this destination on my Bon Echo page.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is an internationally significant historic site. Sainte-Marie was the 17th century fortress and headquarters for the French Jesuit mission to the Huron nation and was Ontario's first European community. In 1639 the Jesuits, along with lay workers, began construction of this palisaded community that would include barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Native visitors. By 1648, Sainte-Marie was a wilderness home to 66 Frenchmen, representing one-fifth of the entire population of New France. Sainte-Marie's history culminated in 1649 when a dramatic turn of events forced the community to abandon and burn their home of 10 years.... there is much more info on their website :
I actually found it a tourist trap, but that is my opinion. The site is nice, but a bit boring. I think they could have done much more with it to bring history alive here. The buildings are rebuild, and they try to give an impression what they were used for. There are guides walking around in period clothing but.... mmmm... they are kinda shy, and don't tell a lot about the history and don't make it feel alive. They only info you have is one piece of paper, describing the use of the buildings.
I've been to Louisburg in Nova Scotia, and that was totally different. The guides there were fantastic, hahaha, and made it like I was back in time. Wish they would try to do that here too. That would make Sainte-Marie among the Hurons much more interesting, and make you able to imagine what it must have been like to live here in those days.
You can see much more about Sainte-Marie among the Hurons on my Midland page
Lake Superior Provincial Park
I made a trip with a camper from Toronto to Vancouver. Wow, what a distance, but what a beautiful trip! One of the wonderful surprises was Lake Superior. We only stayed in Lake Superior Provincial Park for one night, but I would love to go back here! The nature is spectacular, almost overwhelming. The view over the huge Lake Superior, the coastline, it all makes this a beautiful spot. The only disadvantage is that it isn't so easy to reach as it is located so far north from Toronto. But if you have lots of time and don't mind a long long drive, a park you certainly should consider visiting.
You can read much more about this destination on my Lake Superior Provincial Park page.
Fire department in Parry Sound
Parry Sound is not a spectacular little town, but worth visiting for its surrounding area. The Old Fire Hall that you can see in the picture was constructed in 1893. The original bell called the volunteer firefighters for 73 years and sounded the nine o'clock curfew until WW II. The historical landmark has been refurbished and is open to the public during the summer months. It is located at Market Square, downtown Parry Sound.
Parry sound is a good place to get all your shopping, and is also a starting point for a cruise throught the 30,000 islands region. Or maybe more original, take a scenic air tour. Hahaha, that is what I did, and it was great fun! You can see those pics on my Parry Sound page.
The area around Parry Sound is very beautiful though, and so is Killbear Provincial Park. Killbear is a 30 minute drive northwest of Parry Sound on Highway 559. (see my tip about Killbear Park)
If you want more information about Parry sound, please take a look at these websites :
You can read much more about this destination on my Parry Sound page.
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