Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

AUGUST 22, 2019

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Ontario Wineries are World Class!

Lots of people know about wineries in Niagara; some people know about wineries in Prince Edward County; almost no one knows that there are now wineries in all 7 of Ontario’s regions, including Northern Ontario and even the GTA!  Johann Schiller, a German soldier serving in Quebec, brought wine to Ontario in 1811 and since then, Ontario has been developing the grape and winning awards for its wines around the world. The majority of the Ontario growing region lies between the 52 & 41 parallel which is the same approximate latitude as Bordeaux, France and Napa, California.

Niagara Region

article1_aug22_2019.jpgThe Niagara region is the backbone of Ontario wines with >88 wineries in the Niagara Escarpment, Twenty Valley, and Niagara on the Lake areas. The wineries range from large ones like Inniskillin which won an international award in 1991 for its Icewine and put Niagara on the map to small artisanal wineries, some of which only sell their wines in-house. Most have tasting rooms, each of which is unique and many also have excellent small restaurants or cafes with outstanding food to complement the wines. You can even find organic wines in Niagara. And don’t forget that NOTL has the wonderful Shaw Festival and is also close to Niagara Falls and all you find there.

Eastern Ontario

article2_aug22_2019.jpgPrince Edward County is Ontario’s fastest growing wine region with almost 40 different winemakers, each with something that makes them different. The limestone-rich soils have a natural minerality that comes through in the wines and the lake effect moderates temperatures which concentrates flavours. Worth a visit because the wines are really unique and the PEC area has become really cool lately, with boutique hotels, lots of arts events and other things to do.

SW Ontario

article3_aug22_2019.jpgThe Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island (with 11) are Canada’s southernmost regions and the strong summer heat & moderating lake breezes there combine to produce full-bodied wines. Lake Erie is also the home of Ontario’s first commercial winery. SW Ontario has gardens & bike trails, stunning beaches, loads of festivals, and a bird sanctuary, so once you are visiting, plan to take some extra time to explore.

Emerging Regions

article4_aug22_2019.jpgAs we said in the intro, every single region in Ontario now has wineries so while there are larger concentrations in the 3 regions highlighted above, you aren’t out of luck if you’re going elsewhere. There are emerging wine regions across the province. Toronto region now has a few wineries, Norfolk County is developing some of its own and the Georgian Bay area’s wineries are also worth a visit. Going to Ottawa? You can taste wines at 2 wineries there. Even Northern Ontario has the Boreal Winery, which makes a unique cold climate wine from the haskap berry, among others.


Featured Events

Starry Night Studio & Gallery Tour

Aug 24, 2019, 7-11pm
Downtown Orillia, Peter St S. (Central Ontario)

featuredevent1_aug22_2019.jpgWant to spend an evening strolling through the streets of downtown Orillia, stopping for dinner on a patio somewhere and visiting the beautiful galleries along the way? This is the night to do it! The streets close to traffic, pedestrians wander through over 25 different galleries, seeing the works of over 100 artists. It’s a magical evening for everyone involved.

Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy

Aug 30-Sep 2, 2019
Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E (GTA)

featuredevent2_aug22_2019.jpgThis festival bills itself as “Comedy, spontaneity and a dash of the unbelievable.” You don’t know what to expect until you’re there but it is sure to be entertaining!  There are comedians, musicians, magicians, fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, clowns, daredevils and more. Admission by donation to Epilepsy Toronto. Lots of fun, all for a good cause.

Tecumseh Corn Festival

Aug 23-25, 2019
Lacasse Park, Tecumseh (Southwestern Ontario)

featuredevent3_aug22_2019.jpg2019 marks the 44th summer Corn Festival in Tecumseh. Many claim it’s the best corn on the cob you’ll ever eat! Check it out for yourselves. There are carnival rides, a corn maze, corn on the cob eating contests, a Car Show, a parade, live entertainment & lots more!

Featured place to visit: london

featured_aug22_2019.jpgLondon may seem like a sleepy university town but there is a LOT going on there – it is much more of a cosmopolitan city than a quiet town. From festivals year round, to music, arts and culture, to outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone. There is even a tree trunk tour; artists have created 2 dozen sculptures that are out on public streets to be enjoyed by all. Cool!



onlyinont_aug22_2019.jpgCanadian National Exhibition (CNE)
Aug 16-Sept 2, 2019

Did you know that Canada’s largest annual event takes place right here in Toronto, Ontario? Yup – the CNE is also one of the top 5 agricultural fairs in North America and plays host to the world’s largest indoor lantern festival! It is definitely an event not to be missed. There’s something for everyone – concerts, a farm, SuperDogs Show, fantastic (and unique) food, great rides & games, and a spectacular three-day Air Show!

Print Edition

img19.jpgPick up your FREE copy of the NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide at ONroute Centres & other locations around Ontario while supplies last or email to have one mailed to you. View a digital version of the print edition online here:

CHECK OUT the next issue

They Call Them Fun Fairs For A Reason

Questions or comments?

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