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April 17th, 2014
Adventures for Daytrippers

Adventures for Daytrippers

Q1. In what lovely Ontario town would you find the Grand River?


Torontonians love summer! After months of grey skies, snow, sleet and cold temperatures, everyone rushes outside to enjoy the sun. On a spring or summer day, we enjoy walks in the country, hiking, cycling, roller blading, and countless summertime activities such as swimming, golfing, boating, waterskiing, and camping.

Summer in the Beaches is pure magic, with the many activities that happen every weekend in our neighboroughood. But for those who want a mini vacation, even for a few hours on a weekend, there are many intriguing and fun places to visit within a short distance from the city for summer-lovers of all ages.

Visiting small towns and country markets is a wonderful way to pass a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon, searching through antique shops or looking at the work of local artisans. Book time at a local Spa or tour a local Brewery. Ontario offers some of the best summer theatre in the world, located in our historic towns. Summer also means picnics and family fun at theme parks, or sampling wonderful cuisine at cafes and restaurants. There’s nothing quite like “alfresco dining”, on a warm summer night with candles on table and a warm breeze blowing through your hair. Summer is short! Look at the wonderful day trips so close to the city and enjoy!

For further information on Day Trips, including directions and transportation, please check community and Ministry of Tourism websites.


WEST


Oakville has some beautiful old homes, two magnificent historic harbours, the world-renowned Glen Abbey Golf Course, and Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Take in a show at the Oakville Centre for Performing Arts; visit Gairloch Gardens & Galleries, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, and the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate. Hike, walk or bike the network of trails that connects the Bronte, Sixteen Mile and Joshua’s Creek Trails with the Waterfront Trail in the south, and the East - West trail along the pipeline corridor in the north.
www.oakvilletourism.ca (39 mins, 46 km)

Webster’s Falls/ Spencer Gorge Conservation Area just north of Dundas in the hamlet of Greensville is an ideal site for family picnics and larger gatherings. Located just a few minutes walk from the magnificent Webster’s falls, the 41 meter tall Tews Falls has the largest drop of any waterfall along the Niagara escarpment outside of Niagara Falls itself.
www.conservationhamilton.ca/parks/visit (1 hr 3 mins, 81 km)

Elora and Fergus The sight of the Grand River rushing through the Elora Gorge is not to be missed. Both towns have lively arts communities, attractive shopping areas and old limestone buildings. Explore the Elora Antique Warehouse with over 14,000 square feet of antiques and collectibles. Fergus Market, housed in an historic building overlooking the Beatty Dam, combines a traditional farmer’s market with local artisans who sell their work.
www.elorafergus.ca (1 hr 38 mins, 122 km)

The Hockley Valley northeast of Orangeville is one of the most scenic parts of the Niagara Escarpment. It attracts many visitors in the fall, who come to tour artists’ studios and enjoy the magnificent fall colours. If you want great hiking, you can pick up a portion of the world-famous Bruce Trail.

Caledon has turned an abandoned rail line into a trail way that is ideal for walking, cycling, and horseback riding. Visit the Stationlands Park in Caledon East and view the pavilion and commemorative panels, pond and wetland, a developing arboretum, and Walk of Fame that honours residents past and present.
thehillsofheadwaters.com (1 hr 5 mins, 73 km)

Terra Cotta is the access point to a 15-km network of trails highly rated highly by mountain bikers as some of the best in the province. Cheltenham a short distance away is known for its badlands — bizarre rounded formations caused by erosion of the underlying red shale. The historic William’s Mill in the hamlet of Glen Williams, northeast of Georgetown, houses a gallery and the studios of more then 30 artisans who sell their handiwork.
thehillsofheadwaters.com (59 mins, 68 km)

Creemore was named by Harrowsmith Magazine as one of Canada’s prettiest towns, tucked away in the valley of the Mad River. Stroll down Mill Street and browse in the shops and studios. Creemore Springs Brewery is a major attraction as well as home to North America’s smallest jail.
www.creemore.com (1 hr 52 mins, 145 km)

Paramount Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, has over 60 rides, live entertainment, and the world’s greatest variety of roller coasters.
www.canadaswonderland.com (40 mins, 40 km)


EAST


Port Hope Many historians consider Walton Street as the best architecturally preserved 19th century downtown streetscape in Ontario. In addition, the Capitol theatre in Port Hope is the first theatre in Canada to be built specifically for talking movies and remains as the country’s only remaining atmospherical theatre, with its interior designed to look like a the courtyard of a medieval castle. Throughout the year, the theatre still hosts many concerts, high quality plays and screenings of vintage films. The well-known Ganaraska and the Lakefront hiking trails cross the town. Other attractions include the Canadian Firefighters Museum, the elegant campus of Trinity college school, and a beautiful sandy beach just a few minutes walk from downtown. Don’t miss the Port Hope All Canadian Jazz Festival Sept 21-23.
www.northumberlandtourism.com (1 hr 14 mins, 93 km)

Cobourg Not to be outdone by Port Hope — the sister town a few kilometers to the west — Cobourg has an architectural gem of its own, Victoria Hall. Free, guided tours of this historic building are available on summer weekends. Cobourg also is home of the original Victoria College, which later moved to Toronto and became affiliated with the University of Toronto. Few beaches in Ontario can rival the wide sandy beach at Victoria Park in central Cobourg.
June 30-July 2, a not-too-miss event is the annual Waterfront Festival hosted by the Lion’s Club. Don’t forget the Waterfront Festival-Canada Day Weekend. This is a huge event put on by the Lion’s Club.
www.cobourg.ca (1 hr 22 mins, 105 km)


NORTH EAST


Markham visitors are treated to a charming old-time main street and a museum with an historic village where staff in period costumes demonstrate life in the 19th century. Flowing through the Milne Dam Conservation Park is the Rouge River with trails for walking, jogging and cycling, as well a public beach.
www.mainstreetmarkham.com (26 mins, 24 km)


SOUTH


Wine Route Niagara’s mild microclimate is prime grape country and home of award-winning Canadian wineries, plus its quiet roads and terrain make it perfect for biking. You may want to drop in for a tasting at one or more of the region’s many wineries that welcome visitors.
www.niagaronthelake.com (59mins, 84km)

Niagara-on-the-LakeThis 19th century town is as pretty as a picture with its clock tower and handsomely preserved buildings housing boutiques, restaurants and inns. Each fall the town hosts the Shaw Festival, with plays in three different theatres. From January 19-28, 2007, it is holding the Niagara Icewine Festival, featuring now world-famous Ontario icewines. Icewines are made from handpicked grapes left clinging to the vines in winter. The frozen berries have concentrated natural sugar content, which intensifies the flavour of the liqueur.
To experience some real local history visit Fort George, a completely reconstructed British fort with costumed actors. The Laura Secord Homestead is the home of the War of 1812 heroine, and visitors can look through her two storey refurbished cottage.
www.niagaraonthelake.com (1 hr 35 mins, 135 km)

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