Tourism in the Province of Ontario
 

Tourism

Ontario's geographical location, its economic importance, it's diversity and the large number of well developed tourism attractions make it Canada's most visited province. The City of Toronto is the key entry point for visitors from abroad. Located in the heart of southern Ontario, the city allows easy access to some of the provinces most spectacular areas as well as connections to Canada's other tourism hot spots.

 

Kingston - Ontario East

 
Of course Ontario is a huge province, if you're looking to visit Superior's north shore, the endless lakes of Quetico or the paddling routes feeding Hudson's Bay you'll still have a ways to go when you touch down in Toronto. Fortunately, along the way you'll be presented with lots of opportunities to take in a hike or a cycling trail to get up close to nature at its best - all of which will only add to your trips enjoyment.
 
Camping in Ontario Parks

 

Ontario Tourism

Ontario Ontario Tourism Information Center - In Toronto
Eaton's Centre
220 Yonge St., Level One
P.O. Box 104
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2H1
Tel: (416) 314-5899
Fax: (416) 314-5901

Most of the major vehicular entry points to Ontario also have Ontario Travel Information Centres. This includes:

Cornwall - 903 Brookedale Ave
Fort Erie - 315 Bertie Street
Fort Frances - 400 Central Ave.
Hawkesbury - (Chute a Blondeau, Quebec Border) 777 Highway 417 - Seasonal
Niagara Falls - 5355 Stanley Ave.
Hill Island - (Lansdowne) 700 Highway 137 - Seasonal
Lancaster - 20806 Country Road 2 at the intersection of the 401 - Seasonal
Kenora - Highway 17 at the Manitoba Border - Seasonal
Pigeon River - 7671 Highway 61 at the U.S. border - Seasonal
Prescott - 103 Highway 16 at the U.S. border - Seasonal
Rainy River - 301 Atwood Ave. - Seasonal
St. Catherines - QEW Westbound at the east end of Gardner City Skyway
Sarnia - 1415 Venetian Blvd.
Sault Ste. Marie - 261 Queen Street West
Windsor Huron - 1235 Huron Church Street
Windsor Park - 110 Park Street East

With the exception of Barrie and Toronto, all of the year round centres have currency exchanges. In addition the seasonal centres at Hill Island and Pigeon River also have exchanges.

 

Government

 

 

The Chateau Laurier - Ottawa

  Accommodations

Ontario's range of accommodations extends from the stately suites of the Chateau Laurier, which has accommodated kings, to the simple honesty of a rural bed and breakfast situated on a working farm. Whether you choose to pamper yourself or involve yourself in the intimate world of a family which has opened their door to visitors you won't be disappointed.

 
Toronto Region

Ontario East

South Central Ontario

Out-There's Central Ontario North - The Muskokas, Grey, Bruce & Simcoe Counties

Southwestern Ontario

Northwestern Ontario

Northeastern Ontario

Hotel Chains

 


Hostels

If you're idea of Hostelling is pulling up a piece of the rug, in an urban fallout shelter, with a dozen strangers - think again. Hostels range from a place to unroll your sleeping bag, to something approaching resort like accommodations, in beautiful settings with you're own private room. Prices are still unbeatable and the company is usually interested and interesting world travelers. If you're a boarder or skier take note, there are hostels in most of the major resort areas throughout the country as well.

Hostelling International

  • Georgian Green Summer - Barrie, North Central Ontario, Ontario
  • Louise House Summer Hostel - Kingston, Ontario East, Ontario
  • Niagara Falls Hostel - Niagara Falls, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario
  • Orillia Hostel - Orillia, North Central Ontario, Ontario
  • Ottawa Jail - Ottawa, Ontario East, Ontario
  • Sandy Hill - Ottawa, Ontario East, Ontario
  • Severn Court Summer Hostel - Peterborough, South Central Ontario, Ontario
  • Sault Ste. Marie Algonquin Hotel - Sault Ste Marie, Northeastern Ontario, Ontario
  • Toronto Hostel - Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
  • Confederation College - Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario, Ontario
  •  


    Cottage and Vacation Rentals

     

    Restaurants, Bars and Night Clubs

    Ontario once took a back seat to Quebec when it came to eating out. Well, we don't know about that anymore... Certainly Toronto has passed muster and Ottawa isn't far behind when it comes to fine dining. London, Kitchener, Hamilton and Guelph are all sporting fine dining establishments. A good part of the reason for this change is the multi-culturalism that the province has embraced. Every culture's cuisine is represented in almost every area of the province. Take advantage of this rich diversity to broaden you experiences and educate your palette.

     

    Planet Hollywood - Niagara Falls

     
    Toronto Region
    • Toronto Groove - Bar and Night Club Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • TorontoBars.Com - Bar and Night Club Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Toronto Night Club - Bar and Night Club Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • DineNet - Restaurant Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Delivery and Take Out - Restaurant Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Taste Toronto - Restaurant Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Tordine - Restaurant Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario
    • Yes Toronto - Restaurant Guide, Toronto, Toronto Region, Ontario

    Ontario East

    Southwestern Ontario

    Central Ontario North - The Muskokas, Bruce Peninsula, Lake Simcoe and Southern Georgian Bay

    Northeastern Ontario

     


    Brew Pubs

    Gastronomy

    Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) - Excellent site with recipes and entertainment tips, product search, store search, food match for wines, special offers and even cooking classes.

     

    Wineries and Cider Houses

    Once upon a time Canadian wines were suitable for cooking - period!. With our wineries bringing back gold medals from France we can now bring the bottles out of kitchen with pride. Wineries are springing up all over the country inspired by this pioneering success. Ontario plays a large part in this with the temperate climate of Niagara and the area above Lake Erie allowing us to perfect or vintages and of course the dedication and vision of the those that went first.

    Wine Web Sites

     

     

    Festivals, Events & Attractions

    Toronto has innumerable festivals, celebrating the culture and music of the different ethnic backgrounds that make up the cities communities. Ottawa isn't far behind in the area of celebrations with annual Blues and Jazz festivals, and of course it provides one of our favorite reasons to get outdoors in the winter, in the form of Winterlude. This is only the tip of the iceberg, when you are considering Ontario's many celebrations and attractions. The largest Octoberfest outside of Germany takes place in the Kitchener-Waterloo area in the spring and the fall. You should also take note of the bird migration events which are so popular throughout the province during the shoulder seasons. The Great Lakes have a broad impact on migration and provide some unique opportunities for birders not found elsewhere in North America. Ontario has exceptional Theatre which is well developed throughout the province particularly of course at the world renown Stratford Festival.

    Events Across Canada

     

    Central Ontario North

    Golf

    Central Ontario North

    Spas

    Central Ontario North

    Sailing, Boating and Cruising

    Trent Severn Waterway - 384km (215mi.), rivers, lakes, locks and channels connecting Lake Ontario in the south and Georgian Bay in the northwest. This is one of North America's great cruises.

    Hydrographic Charts

    If you planning to sail or cruise to the region by boat hydrographic or nautical charts are essential. The maps can be obtained from the Canadian Hydrographic Service in Ottawa.

    Canadian Hydrographic Service

    Marine Forecasts

    Marine Weather Forecasts

    Marinas

    • Bayfield Marina - (519) 565-2233, Huron County
    • Bayfield River Cottage Colony & Marina - (519) 565-2632, Huron County
    • Harbour Lights Marina - (519) 565-2149, Huron County
    • South Shore Marina - (519) 565-2110, Huron County
    • Homan's Inlet Marina - (519) 524-9895, Huron County
    • Maitland Valley Marina - (519) 524-4409, Huron County
    • Snug Harbour - (519) 524-8813, Huron County
    • Bala Cove Marina - Bala, Muskoka
    • Beaumarismarina - Lake Muskoka, Muskoka
    • Lagoon City Marina - Lake Simcoe/Lake Couchiching, Orillia, Simcoe County
    • Starport Landing - Orillia, Simcoe County

     

    Banks and Trusts

    Currency Exchange and Conversion

    Currency Conversion - Toronto

    Thomas Cook - Terminal 3, Pearson International Airport, Toronto

    Thomas Cook - Downtown Toronto

    9 Bloor St W 416-923-6549
    10 King St E 416-863-1611
    123 Queen St W 416-363-4867

    Credit Cards

    Postal Services

    Phone Directories Online

    Travel Agents - Canada Wide

     
     

    The Falls at Niagara in the Winter

      Regional Tourism, Cities Towns and Chamber of Commerce

    Out-There breaks Ontario up into eight separate regions. Ontario East stretches from the Quebec border to just passed Kingston in the west and above Algonquin park in the north. The South Central region continues west to just above Toronto and is bordered in the north by Algonquin. The North Central region lies above Toronto also bounded in the north east by Algonquin and in the northwest by the waters of Georgain Bay and Lake Huron.

    Southwestern Ontario lies below the North Central region and to the west and northwest of Toronto. The region is bounded by Lake Huron, Lake Erie and a small section of western Lake Ontario. Northeastern Ontario lies to the north west of Algonquin Park and encompasses the vast areas in the north east. Its neighbor stitches across the rest of northern Ontario to the Manitoba border.
     

    Regions

    Southwestern Ontario

    Southwestern Ontario Lying to the east of Toronto bounded by the western tip of Lake Ontario, the Northern shore of Lake Erie and the southern portion of Lake Huron, Southwestern Ontario presents lots of outdoor opportunities in a heavily populated area. Major cities, such as Kitchener, Hamilton and London along with a wealth of smaller centers dot the landscape but lots of areas have been set aside for adventurers. Watershed preservation, a dedicated outdoor spirit and some visionary zeal have sustained an amazing patchwork of natures best.

    Wedged between three of the world's largest lakes this area has no end of shoreline to explore. The lakes present an interesting problem to migrating birds which use the shores as staging and re-fueling areas during migration. This contributes heavily to the fact that this area provides some of Canada's best nature observation bringing birders out in droves during the spring and fall.

    Perhaps Ontario's most interesting geological feature, the Niagara Escarpment, winds its way through the region. The Niagara River cascades over the escarpment at its southern Canadian tip providing one of Ontario's most awe inspiring spectacles, Niagara Falls. To truly appreciate the endless natural diversity the escarpment provides take a day hike, or better still grab your backpack for a couple of nights out. The Bruce Trail, one of Canada's premier hikes follows the Escarpment for almost 800km to its northern terminus on the Bruce Peninsula at Tobermory. Accolades to the original planners and the clubs which maintain the trail. They have proven that unspoiled wilderness can be maintained even in the *midst* of a populated area.

    The Escarpment has more than a world class trail associated with it. You'll find some excellent snow boarding and of course downhill and cross country skiing. Climbers will be impressed by the excellent rock at Rattlesnake Point, an easy drive from surrounding centers. Mountain bikers have lots of areas to choose from ranging from lazy rollers to some wild screamers that run off the Escarpment. Several of the Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas are well known for their biking. Many of the parks and conservation areas also provide camping, allowing you to enjoy the areas during an extended stay. Nature hasn't neglected paddlers which have a lot of options. Sea kayakers can revel in three of the worlds " great inland seas" in the form of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and of course vacationers favorite Lake Huron. Regardless of your skill level, you can find challenges to test your mettle along these varied shores and lots of excellent area to explore. White water enthusiasts as well as canoe trippers can take a crack at the Grand Rivers to exercise their passion.

    Central Ontario North - The Muskokas, Bruce Peninsula, Lake Simcoe and Southern Georgian Bay

    Ontario Central is a mix of cottage country and year round small communities just to the north of Toronto. The area encompasses Simcoe County, Grey Count, Bruce County and the Muskokas. The northern section of the Niagara Escarpment runs through the Central Ontario region and forms the amazing cliffs which make up the western shores of the Bruce Peninsula. The Escarpment has been declared a World Biosphere Reserve. A lot of the regions outdoor activities center around the escarpment's features. Activities include caving, hiking, backpacking, cross country skiing, scuba diving and nature observation.

    The world famous Bruce Trail follows the escarpments along its 725km length from the town of Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce down to Niagara Falls in the south. The microclimates and natural features of the escarpment provide a unique environment for the plants and animals associated with the cliffs. The cliffs uneven erosion provides for fantastic natural formations which attracted nature photographers, hikers and naturalists from all over the world. The area is home to over 250 species of birds, dozens of mammals and reptiles including the endangered Massasauga Rattle Snake. The Bruce Peninsula is known widely for it's variety of orchids and wildflowers. The cliffs of the escarpment are known to support living trees which are as much as a thousand years old, yet with trunks only a few inches around. Ontario's best snowboarding centers are along the escarpment including the resort at Blue Mountain.

    To the east of the escarpment along Georgian Bay you'll find endless beaches - literally. The worlds longest fresh water beach, Wasaga is just a few miles from the cliffs. Some of North Americas best sea kayaking is available along the shores from the Bruce Peninsula to Honey Harbour and out to the endless Islands which work there way north up the coast. The tip of the Bruce Peninsula at Tobermory has some of the worlds best scuba diving with crystal clear waters and a large number of wrecks to explore.

    Mountain bikers will be happy to hear that this area also has some of Ontario's best mountain biking at Hardwood Hills and the Mansfield Outdoor Centre.

     

     

     
     

    Brantford - Southwestern Ontario

      Cities and Towns

    The province of Ontario is home to Canada's capital city, Ottawa. It also lays claim to the financial capital of the the country in the form of the City of Toronto. If you are flying into Ontario, Toronto is the major hub but there are other international airports as well. With cities that range from several million people to those with populations in the thousands, Ontario has a broad cross section of major urban areas including London, Hamilton, Kitchener, Brantford and Windsor. The southern regions of the province are heavily populated, while the northern reaches have very few communities.

    Of course the real Ontario isn't found in the the cities but rather in the smaller towns and villages that are so numerous in this, Canada's heartland. From the resort towns of Muskoka, to the small industrial centers of the east, to the mining towns of the north, to the farming communities in the southwest - this is Ontario.
     

    Counties, Townships, Regions and Districts

    Central Ontario North

    Chamber of Commerce

    Central Ontario North

     

     
    City Guides and Tourism

    Toronto Region - Map of Toronto

    For information on getting around visit our Transportation Section. Click here for the current weather forecast.

    Cams and VR

     

    Cities, Towns and Districts in the Toronto Region


    Ottawa - Map - PDF

    Ottawa - Transportation

    Ottawa International Airport is a short distance from the city center and is service by Canada's major airlines (or is that airline) as well as other international carriers. There are a number of regional carriers and charter services in the area as well.

    While Ottawa doesn't have a subway, it has an excellent public transit system in the form of OC Transpo. Many of the cities attractions are within walking distance of the downtown core and a bicycle will get you to that many more. For trips further afield, check with the provinces bus lines or consider a car rental. You'll find car rentals available down town, at the airport and in some suburban centers.


    Kingston


    Hamilton - Map - PDF

    Urban Transit

     

     

    Northern Charter
    photo Bill Layman

      Travel and Transportation

    The province of Ontario is a huge land mass stretching from Quebec in the east to Manitoba in the west and from the US border in the south to Hudsons Bay in the north.The population is concentrated in the southern corridor along the US border. This is one of the shortest stretches across the province, yet it still involves a full days travel by car (8-10hrs of driving). When you head north from Toronto it will take you about two days driving before you reach the Manitoba border.

    To get much further into the north country you'll have to take a train or more than likely a small bush plan, which is often the only access to many of the northern communities. Of course if your a real adventurer this is exactly what your looking for, the further from pavement the better.

    There is regularly scheduled bus services between most centers in Ontario as well as a major rail link between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto as well as a route which heads west to Vancouver. There is also regular air service between major centers and as well as international service into Toronto and Ottawa. Regional airlines will take you to some of the cities of the north but the smaller centers as we've noted will require a smaller charter.


    Airlines - National

    Airlines - Regional and Charters

    Airlines - International

    Bus Services

    Car Rental

    • CAA - The Canadian Automobile Association. The advocate for Canada's motoring and travelling public. Emergency Roadside Service, complete auto touring and travel services etc.

    Rail and Subways

    Both Algoma Central and Via Rail will carry canoes and other oversized gear and will stop to pick up or drop off adventurers in in backcountry areas. Contact the railways for details on each of the given routes.

    Road Reports

    Travel Reservations 

    Mileage/Distances

    Driving Distances

    Belleville - Kingston 82km (51 miles)
    Ottawa - Kingston 190km (118 miles)
    Toronto - Kingston 265km (165 miles)
    Montreal (Quebec) - Kingston 290km (180 miles)
    Syracuse (New York State) - Kingston 215km (135 miles)
    Boston - Kingston 800km (500 miles)
    New York - Kingston 745km (465 miles)

  • Ontario Distance Calculator
  • Approximate Flying Times into Toronto (Direct)

    Atlanta 2hrs
    Boston 1.5 hrs
    Chicago 1.5hrs
    Los Angeles 5hrs
    New York 2hrs
    San Francisco 4.5hrs

     

     
     
    Newspapers

     

     
    Maps

    Maps - Cities

    Road Maps

    Map Sources - Canoe Routes, Trails and Recreation Areas - Paper

     

     

    Weather

    Air Quality
    Firewatch
    Marine Forcasts
    Pollen Forcasts
    Snow Reports
    UV Report

     

    The Old Jail - Merrickville - Ontario East

      Historic Sites

    Canada's national historic sites are managed by the federal government. The include fortifications, historic homes and buildings, canals as well as areas which have little obvious clues of their historical significance. In the latter case, efforts are often expended to reconstruct some of the details of the past. An excellent example of this is available at the l'Anse a Meadow site in Newfoundland, which reconstructs the earliest known European presence in the new world, in the form of a Viking settlement.

    Ontario has over twenty national historic sites. In addition there are sites of historic significance designated on a provincial or regional basis and of course those which are established by interested parties in the private sector.

     
    National Historic Sites

     

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