Ontario Summer Fun Newsletter – Things to do in Ontario

 

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What are YOU going to do this weekend?
April 7, 2016
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It’s time to discover Ontario’s outdoor wonders!
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We talk a lot about attractions, and museums, and waterparks, but sometimes, we have to remember that not everything is man-made. Sometimes, the natural wonders are forgotten but they really should be at the top of your list. Not only should we plan to discover them, but we should also work to protect them.
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Waterfalls
Caves, Gorges & Bluffsaple Syrup Festivals
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Everyone loves waterfalls. What’s not to like? The power and the drop and the pool below all contribute to their beauty.  Ontario has some pretty amazing ones, and that isn’t even counting the world famous Horseshoe (Niagara) Falls. It even has a self-guided waterfalls tour in Grey County and the “Waterfall Capital of the World”  in Hamilton/Dundas, with over 100 waterfalls in the area. But in addition to those, check out these: Northern Ontario has quite a few but Aubrey Falls, in Algoma, is a standout, as is Kakabeka Falls, in Thunder Bay, which is Ontario’s 2nd highest waterfall. And pay a visit in summer to Decew Falls, in St. Catharines, which is a waterfall you can swim under. Cool!
Sometimes nature does things that are way more interesting than anything we could build.  The following are some natural wonders to look into or up to: Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon contain iron oxide deposits in the soil which make it look like you’re walking on Mars. Ouimet Canyon in Dorion is a 150-metre-wide gorge with sheer cliffs that drop 100 metres to the canyon floor. For some reason, the bottom of the canyon supports Arctic plants which are usually only found 1,000 km north. Bonnechere Caves in Eganville have stalactites hanging from the ceiling & the fossils of sea creatures alive before the Dinosaur age! And the Scarborough Bluffs were formed from the accumulation of sedimentary deposits over 12,000 years ago. These sand cliffs are eroding, so use common sense if visiting, but they offer great views.
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Provincial Parks
Water, Islands & Beaches
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Ontario has about 280 provincial parks divided as follows: 65 recreational class parks (394.8 km2), 6 cultural heritage class parks (67.4 km2), 80 natural environment class parks (14,675.3 km2), 109 nature reserve class parks (1,152 km2), 62 waterway class parks (14,446.2 km2), & 8 wilderness class parks (48,237.5 km2). There are too many to talk about all of them, but a couple have something extra to look at: Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay has a formation of sedimentary rock which looks like a sleeping giant. Sandbanks Provincial Park  has the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world, while Bon Echo Provincal Park in Cloyne has several hundred aboriginal pictographs covering the escarpment. Craigleith Provincial Park near Wasaga Beach has fractured oil shale plates on the shore that contain invertebrate fossils over 450 million years old.
There is something about water that just makes you say, “Ahhhhh”. And when a beach is attached, so much the better! Ontario has 250,000 lakes & 100,000+ km of rivers in the province, and many of these lakes are dotted with picturesque islands. Check out Agate Island Beach in the Lake Superior NMCA, where the island, its shores and the beach are all covered with agates, a stone used historically to purify, protect and heal.  Agate Island is also unique because of the Pukaskwa pits, archaeological sites that are thought to represent a form of Aboriginal architecture. Or dive into Elora Quarry in Elora, a limestone quarry that is now used as a huge swimming hole. And if islands are your jam, you can’t beat the 1000 Islands, Gananoque, where 1,864 islands are a sightseers paradise, from both land and water!
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Ontarians travel the world in search of gorgeous scenery but in these days of horrible exchange rates, it is time for us to recognize all the incredible natural sights right in our back yards! Check out the choices above but they are just a taste – have a look in the Parks, beaches, gardens and conservation areas on our site and discover Ontario!
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Annual Carv-a-Palooza
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TIFF Kids’ International Film Festival
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Doors Open Ontario
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See some of the best in chainsaw sculpting & carving! Over 30 carvers come together to create beautiful art from the heart.  It’s been called a magical experience and benefits both the artist and the visitor.
Muirkirk, SW Ontario,
April 20-24, 2016


Bring the whole family to
TIFF Kids, one of the largest children’s film festivals in the world! Events include film screenings, interactive displays, filmmaker talks and a contest where kids can submit their own film review.
GTA, April 8-24, 2016

Get out & explore some of the province's most intriguing & charming heritage sites. From April to October, various sites across the province open their doors & offer FREE admission. Don’t miss out! Locations and dates on website.


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Featured Festival:
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Yee-Haw! Get your boots tapping at a new, high-calibre, outdoor country festival, Trackside Music Festival, coming to London July 1-2, 2016 at the Western Fair District.  Featuring Florida Georgia Line, Grammy-nominee Chris Young & more, this is a festival you won’t want to miss!
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Goderich
Called the ‘prettiest town in Canada’ by Queen Elizabeth II, Goderich is located on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. More than a quarter of the town is dedicated to parkland and Goderich prides itself on its marinas, parks, beaches, scenic boardwalk, walking trails, special events, museums, heritage architecture & more. Also world-renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, Goderich is worth a visit this summer!
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Watch for the NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide coming to ONroute centres, Yogurtys Froyo stores & other locations around Ontario in time for May long weekend. Pick up your FREE copy or email  [email protected] to have one mailed to you.
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Survey:
Your opinion is important. Help make Summer Fun Guide even better!  Complete our survey and WIN!
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Coming In the next issue
Vacation resorts in Ontario

Questions or comments?
Email Elisa or Shari at [email protected]

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The best suggestions come from others who have been there and done that!

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Spring is in the air! Crabapple tree in full bloom in Toronto. "Like” us on Facebook, and submit a photo of your spring adventures in Ontario this season!
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