"Ontario, huge metropolis and unspoiled scenery" Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Ontario by vtveen

Province of Ontario Travel Guide: 11,643 reviews and 27,820 photos

Ontario – Canada’s second largest province – has it all. On one side it is by far the most populated province and on the other side it offers a lot of great scenery and (almost) remote areas. For us this mixture is the attraction of Ontario: one day we were shopping in a huge shopping mall and the other day just hiking through a breathtaking coloured fall forest.

Cities, villages and scenery

Toronto, Ontario’s capital, is a huge metropolis with millions of inhabitants. Of course it has a vibrant city life, but the traffic jams (at least during rush hours) are really terrible. We do like Ottawa much more with its parks, canals, the Ottawa River and some impressive monuments. Skyscrapers are not that high and people seem more relaxed.

We discovered a lot of unexpected, almost un-Canadian, villages. Some of them - Unionville and Kleinburg – are just a stone’s throw from Toronto. Merrickville calls itself "Canada’s most beautiful village"; don’t know if it is the truth, but it was most charming. And what about Niagara-on-the-Lake, just lovely.

The Niagara Falls are perhaps Canada’s most well known tourist destination. Going north from Toronto we travelled trough Muskoka and Algonquin Park with fantastic scenery. Just outside Ottawa - I know it is in Quebec - is Gatineau Park with the amazing Mackenzie King Estate.
We also made a bike tour at Prince Edward County along the remarkable Sandbanks Provincial Park and saw the stunning scenery of the “1000 Islands”.

Fall foliage

We visited Ontario twice. Our first visit was a ‘normal’ summer holiday, but we came back just to discover the magnificent fall colours in Ontario. We made an auto tour from Toronto along Huntsville, Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley, Gatineau Park, along Lake Ontario back to Toronto. During this trip we also visited a couple of smaller Provincial Parks (Balsam Lake, Mono Cliffs).

I have to admit: the colours are just stunning and they surpassed my wildest expectations.
The best time of the year for these fall colours in Ontario is the end of September/early October.
Algonquin Park even says: “… catch the maples at their peak in the last week of September or, occasionally, in the first few days of October”.

  • Last visit to Province of Ontario: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated Nov 20, 2007
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Reviews (36)

Comments (5)

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2008 at 5:17 AM

    These sound like great off the beaten track places. I'm always in such a hurry when I visit Toronto. Clearly, I will have to slow down and follow the colors! LOL

  • July2's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    Jaap, great info on Ontario-I enjoyed reading it; nice fall photos!. I've visited the Dorset tower twice in the last few years and look forward to climbing it during the fall color time again~~

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    I must say Jaap, I am very impressed with your Ontario page. Accurate information, excellent B&B tips, personal thoughts about our wonderful province - Muskokas, Niagara-on-the-Lake & Algonquin Park. Good that you could see the autumn changing colours.

  • Sibbella's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Great page :) As much as I am looking forward to moving to be with Frank, I'm going to miss my home province.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2007 at 1:40 AM

    Though I have been to Ontario several times, your tips made clear to me that it is a very big province and there are lots of parts I have never seen. (And very different kinds of B&Bs.) Thanks for the link to the Fall Colour Progression Report.

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