Ontario On a BudgetChances are when you think of Canada, the things that come to mind are all located in the province of Ontario. Ontario has the highest population of any province in the country, and is the heart of Canadian tourism. As the home of Toronto, Niagara Falls and Lake Superior, this area is a major tourist destination.
SightsThe most iconic attraction of this region is, of course, Niagara Falls. This "Honeymoon Capital of the World" this area is considered to be one of the most romantic places in the world. On the Canadian side of the falls, most visitors get their first glimpse from Queen Victoria Park. For a real unique experience, hope aboard the legendary Maid of the Mist to go right at the sight of the thunderous foot of the falls. Stay after sunset to see the Falls light up, and in the summer months you'll even catch a fireworks show every Friday and Saturday night.
Another big draw to Ontario is it's most popular city, Toronto. Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe region. Known as the "New York City" of Canada, this city is full of history, culture and energy. There are museums, gardens, shops and night clubs all ready for the eager tourist to explore.
RegionsOntario is split into several regions. The largest region, Northern Ontario, is full of vast forests and very isolated communities. The Golden Horseshoe region is the wealthiest of all the areas as it's home to Toronto, Niagara and a large amount of museums, historic sites and metropolitan areas. Eastern Ontario is the land of lakes including the capital of the province, Ottawa. Southwestern Ontario is a region of extensive farmland and charming, historical villages throughout the area. Lastly, Central Ontario quietly includes lakes and rivers earning it the nickname "Cottage Country."
ActivitiesOne of the simplest activities you can do in Ontario involves the city of Toronto and your feet. This city is full of so many interesting and eclectic neighborhoods that you can find yourself entertained for a whole day by simply strolling the streets around the city.
You may also consider catching a show at the world famous Toronto location of Second City. This comedy improv theatre has hilarious shows that involve the audience over dinner and drinks.
The city of Toronto is full of exciting activities, but if you're dying to get back to nature, there are plenty of activities available in Ontario. Hiking trails, for example, are available for most experience levels. The Sleeping Giant is a series of flat-topped mountains, or mesas, in the shape of a human body near Thunder Bay. You can also hike through Temagami's Old Growth Forest and canoe Lake Temegami. Should you take a weekend and camp out at Bruce National Park, you can walk the Bruce trail from Tobermory to Niagara Falls.
To visit another world, take a boat tour of shipwrecks of the past at Fathom Five National Marine Park, or take a haunted ghost walk in Hamilton. This spooky tour walks you down dark alleys and haunted buildings where you may encounter a friendly ghost or two.
Food and DiningGiven the massive popularity of the Ontario Province, the cuisine has been influenced by almost every major culture in the world. The Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Golden Horseshoe and Niagara Falls regions all offer wide varieties of cuisine from Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Latin American, Japanese, fast food and French. With so many tourists flowing in and out of Toronto and Ottawa, you'll likely find the most variety in those cities.
TransportationOntario is a large region, so car is the most convenient and practical way to get around the province. If you plan on traveling Northern Ontario, a car is pretty much your only option along the TransCanada Highway. Driving in Ontario is much like driving in most Western areas of the world.
If you plan on staying in the Golden Horseshoe, the GO Transit bus system is an option. Your fare is determined by the distance you are traveling, and the buses provide inter-city travel. If buses are not available, some routes are covered by the VIA Rail services.
Looking for a party hostel in Montreal or Vancouver?
Traveling alone to Toronto or Montreal?