Ontario National Parks

At over 14 million people Ontario may be the last place you would think of to get away from the hustle and be at one with nature. The truth is that Ontario has some of the best National Parks in the country. So rent an RV from Toronto and head out of the city and let’s explore the National Parks in the province of Ontario.

Bruce Peninsula National Park is a small park, with an area of only 154 square kilometres. Being that it is on a peninsula it is mostly surrounded by water. The most popular spot in this park is The Grotto. The 45 minute hike (each way) leads you through giant cedars spiralling off cliff edges and through wetlands filled with native orchids and ferns. And if the beauty of the trail is not enough, at the end you will be greeted with a stunning cave filled with crystal clear turquoise waters. Parking fills up quickly so go early. The only complaint about The Grotto is the parking, but parking can be reserved here. There are bathrooms and a nice little spots to have a picnic lunch. Everyone who visits wants to come back, this is a must see.

Photo Credit: Narcity

There are many lakes in this park, Halfway Log Dump may not sound very inviting, but maybe that is why it is one of the quieter lakes offering day use. There are other lakes like Cyprus Lake that offer overnight camping.

Point Pelee National Park is a tiny National Park, just 15 square kilometres, located on Canada’s most southern point. This National Park is great for bird watching as it is on the fly path of many migratory birds. As this park sits out in Lake Erie with no cities around it makes for the perfect place to go star gazing. The park staff host lots of kids educational programs. Marsh Boardwalk is a great trail for all fitness levels. The two large towers provide amazing views of the ponds and cattail marsh.

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Pukaskwa National Park is located on the northern side of Lake Superior. A four hour hike will take you to Chigamiwinigum Falls. Geocaching adventurists will turn their hikes into a treasure hunt, a GSP can be rented at the Hattie Cove Visitors Center or park kiosk. Rent a canoe and travel the shorelines for days without seeing a single soul.

Cascade Falls
Photo Credit: ParksBloggerOntatio.com

Georgian Bay Islands National Park protects 63 islands within the worlds largest fresh water archipelago. The main island, Beausoleil Island, is the largest island within the park and is the focal point of most visitor activity. The park vessel will take you on a 15 minute boat ride from Honey Harbour to the island, from there, there are lots of hiking and biking trails, smooth sandy beaches or rocky shores to swim in, or enjoy bird watching or take a walk along the interpretive trails and learn about the natives 5,500 year history in the area.

Photo Credit: Penetanguishene.ca

Ontario’s National Parks let you visit some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. So get your calendar, get the time off from your boss, and rent an RV and start planning your next great Canadian RV rental adventure.

15 Things To Do in Ontario

Algonquin Provincial Park

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The oldest provincial park in Canada is frequented by moose, beavers and a varying species of birds. Partake in lake activities such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing! There are over 1,500 lakes in the park. Go for a short hike or a full day hike for even better views. Within Algonquin Provincial Park there is lots of places to camp. The developed campgrounds (suitable for RV’s and motorhomes) include: Archray, Brent, Canisbay Lake, Kearney Lake, Kiosk, Lake of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Pog Lake, Rock Lake, Tea Lake, & Whitefish Group Campground.

Stratford Festival

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The Stratford Shakespearean Festival is the biggest repertory theatre company in North America. The festival runs from April to October and features Shakespeare plays, as well as other classical, and contemporary plays. There are 4 venues; the Avon Theatre, the Studio Theatre, the Festival Theatre and the Tom Patterson Theatre.

Shaw Festival Theatre

Located in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario, this theatre holds the reputation as the “second largest repertory theatre company in North America”, the largest being Stratford ‘Shakespeare’ Festival in Stratford Ontario. The theatre aims to honour George Bernard Shaw, a leading playwright during his life (1856-1950). Shaw wrote more than 60 plays and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925. The theatre performs only plays written by Shaw or written about his life. Escape the heat into the air conditioned theatre to catch an afternoon matinee perhaps! This theatre is known for being professional and entertaining. Afterward take a short stroll through the Niagara Parkway Recreational Trail to see the Fort George National Historic Site.

CN Tower

cn-tower-from-across-water CN Tower from across the water

One of the ‘must-do’s’ when in Toronto, the tower is a major landmark. With a revolving restaurant at the top and view from above the skyline! Try to time it when a Blue Jay’s game is playing, as you can see the field from the top. Paying extra to go up higher is worth the money, too.

Lakeside Park Carousel

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This carousel was first gifted to the Township of St Catherines under the condition that the ride would always cost only 5 cents. So far, that hasn’t changed. Don’t believe it? See for yourself! This antique (circa 1890) carousel is for all ages. It is located near Lake Ontario beach (super sandy), and marina. Afterwards, take a walk to the lighthouse or enjoy a picnic on the beach.

St. Lawrence Market

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St. Lawrence market

Named the best food market in the world by National Geographic in 2012, you are best to come hungry! Reasonably priced and yummy food make for a great afternoon. Definitely a stop for the foodie.

Konzelmann Estate Winery

Konzelmann Estate winery is located on the Niagara Peninsula, a wine region known for their icewines. Their vines slope down to the water, and the winery itself resembles a castle. The Konzelmann Estate has received a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor, and the peach wine comes highly recommended.

Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm

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Syrup at the Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm. Photo courtesy of: Sugarbush Hill management.

A family-owned Maple Farm will be your ‘sweetest’ visit in Ontario. You will be entertained by live music, free tastings (including maple syrup, maple butter and maple mustard!), recipes, and a syrup making display. Make sure you visit the Farm for an educational afternoon, and to buy your friends and family back home the most Canadian gift!


Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

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Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

Photo Attribution: By Rlevse (Rlevse) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The butterfly conservatory is adjacent to Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture. It includes a mini video at the beginning, a gift shop, the conservatory itself and surrounding gardens. Take 1-2 hours to see everything. Wheelchair accessible. A couple tips on getting the butterflies to land on you is to move slowly, wear perfume /cologne and bright colours.

Rideau Canal

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Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario.

Photo Attribution: By Hussein Abdallah (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Rideau canal connects Kingston to Ottawa. It was originally constructed on the assumption of the US invading Canada in the 1820’s. The project was finished in 1832 and was never used as a military tool. In the 1840’s it was used as a transportation route for people and heavy goods such as lumber, contributing to Montreal’s settling. Today the historical canal is reclaimed as a UNESCO world heritage site. In the winter there is ice skating offered, making it the ‘World’s Longest Skating Rink’. In the warmer months you can enjoy a scenic stroll with historical buildings, good restaurants and shops along the way.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The aquarium is well laid out and includes a kelp forest, gallery, discovery centre, a jelly fish exhibit, shark exhibit (including the tunnel below), a rainbow reef, a Canadian waters exhibit, a photo op centre and a gift shop. Ticket prices bought at the aquarium are just under 30 Canadian dollars for adults, youth is 20, and children are 10. For more affordable pricing consider the city pass which saves you over 40% in total. The Toronto city pass is 72 dollars for adults and includes the Aquarium, CN tower, Casa Loma (North America’s only landmark castle), Royal Ontario Museum, and Toronto Zoo or Ontario Science Centre.

ontario-aquarium

Toronto Island Park

Toronto Island park is located on the Toronto Islands, the only Islands in the Canadian side of Lake Ontario. The Park offers bike rentals, an amusement park, beaches, a zoo, playgrounds and restaurants, or plenty of places to picnic.

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View of Toronto from Toronto Islands Park.

Attribution: By Benson Kua, from Toronto, Canada (Storm clouds  Uploaded by tm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Parliament Hill and Buildings

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By joiseyshowaa from Freehold, NJ, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The iconic landmark of Ottawa, built in 1859, sits overlooking the Ottawa River.

Tickets for the parliament buildings tour is free but limited. To ensure you get a ticket, arrive early in the morning.

Canadian war museum

Recently moved to a new location, the Canadian War Museum is a nice walk away from Parliament Hill. Learn about Canada’s earliest recorded violence and the nations peacekeeping history. There are many exhibits here including; Wars Fought in Canada, the First and Second World Wars, the South African War, the Cold War, and a memorial hall. The artifacts and accounts of Canada’s involvement in different wars is extensive and interesting.

Niagara Falls & Parks Garden Trail

A popular thing to do is bike the Garden Trail on your way to the falls. Make sure to at least take a stroll in the park when you are in the area. This is a nice spot to escape the crowds and find some shade before continuing sight-seeing!

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