Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

MAY 27, 2020

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4 stunning Places in Ontario that are open now to connect with the outdoors.

This Summer will definitely be a Summer like no other.  With social distancing in place, and most events and festivals being cancelled, nature will be our summer BFF and one we can most likely count on that will allow us plenty of space to safely enjoy our always too short summer.  Luckily for us, Ontario is full of beautiful places to connect with the awe of nature and we have picked 4 places that are open right now to do just that.

Pathways on Pleasure Valley (GTA)

article1_may272020_2.jpgA short drive NE of Toronto, Pathways on Pleasure Valley offers a unique horseback riding experience for all levels of riders through 225 acres of breathtaking scenery and tranquil forest trails.  Enjoy a private morning, afternoon or even a romantic evening ride for two with a well-trained equine partner as your guide. Pathways on Pleasure Valley is currently open for private rides and by appointment only.  Masks are mandatory for all trail rides.

Conservation Halton Parks (GTA)

article2_may272020_1.jpgConservation Halton Parks is a nature lovers dream.  With over 10,00 acres of natural parkland to explore, you will find everything from waterfalls, spectacular forests and caves to explore! Five of the seven parks for hiking and biking are currently open and can be accessed by using their new reservation system. Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit (biking only) will be open to members and to the public, for paid access, from 9am-9pm. Most, if not all of the trails will be available, but facilities such as washrooms, outhouses and visitor centers, will remain closed. Keep checking their website as other parks and facilities will be added in the coming weeks!

Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve (Central)

article3_may272020_1.jpgThe first of its kind in Canada, the Torrance Barrens Conservation Area was the first in the world to be officially recognized as a Dark Sky Reserve where star gazers can get a spectacular unobstructed 3600-degree view of the night sky! Located in the Municipality of Muskoka you will be completely removed from any urban light pollution where even an amateur’s telescope can see the rings of Saturn.  Get lost in distant galaxies and in the late summer and early fall you may even see the magnificent northern lights!

Algonquin Park (Northern ON)

article4_may272020_1.jpgAlgonquin Park is an incredibly stunning outdoor playground with many options on how to explore it.  It’s also the biggest provincial park so it can be a little intimidating knowing where to start! As of now there is no camping or beaches open at any Ontario parks however it is open for day use to enjoy many activities such as hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and boating.  The best place to start for hiking is off Hwy 60, as there are many trails along this Hwy.  Its best to get a trail guide which can be picked up at the entry gate.  Each trail is designed to explore a different aspect of Algonquin.  If you are keen to see wildlife check out the Mizzy Lake Trail or if you are more set on finding those picturesque views, try the Centennial Ridge Trail for the best scenic lookouts.  If you are looking to bike there are three bike trails ranging from flat surfaces, best for families and children, to the more rugged mountain biking experiences.  Algonquin Park is also home to some of the finest Brook Trout and Lake Trout fishing in the world so a day out fishing is guaranteed to be a winner.  One of the best ways to explore the park is by canoe.  Check out Voyageur Quest who are currently offering curb side canoe rentals by appointment only.  There are select washrooms open in the park but but make sure to bring your own water, food and hand sanitizer as there is no running water for hand washing or drinking.


Featured Events

Luminato Virtual Festival

featuredevents1_may272020_1.jpgToronto’s International arts festival is going virtual this year with 3 days of virtual programming including performances, visual art, music, theatre and dance.  Enjoy the festival from the comfort of your own home and share in this experience with audiences from across Canada and around the world.  This free festival will be Streaming on Luminato’s website and social media channels from 7pm on Thursday (June 11) until Saturday late night (June 13), and will include family programming beginning at 10am on Saturday.

June 11-13

Immersive Van Gogh Experience

featuredevents2_may272020_1.jpgSurround yourself with the masterpieces of one of the most iconic art geniuses of all time, Vincent Van Gogh.  This immersive experience will be projected onto huge walls of a 5-story abandoned building in Toronto.  You'll be able to wander through the warehouse viewing some of Van Gogh's most iconic masterpieces like Starry Night, Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, and The Bedroom, just to name a few.  This will be a touchless exhibit, by reservations only and a limited amount of people will be allowed in at one time.  Check out their website for ticket information and full COVID-19 precautions.

1 Yonge St, Toronto (GTA) July – August 2020

Hot Docs 2020 Virtual Festival

featuredevents3_may272020_1.jpgOntario audiences will get front-row access to over 135 documentary premiere films, speaker sessions with filmmakers and take part in virtual live events. Plus, a large selection of titles will be available for an extended post-Festival viewing window until June 24. Streaming of the festival will be available at Streaming is also geo-blocked to Ontario, so you will need to be within the province to stream films.

May 28 to June 24

Featured amusement: dinosaur valley mini golf

featured_may272020_1.jpgExplore 7 different custom-made courses and 63 holes at Dinosaur Valley Mini Golf in Sudbury.  This beautifully landscaped property is decked out with dinosaurs and dragons and even a Dragon Exhibit! Walk through the World's Largest Steel Dragon to play mini golf on An Inaugural Tourism Innovation Winner. Although currently closed it is typically open until Sept. 8th, 10am -7pm, 7 days a week. Its sister site – Josephine’s Vegetables is also worth a visit on your way home to pick up some fresh produce, with over 65 veggies grown on location.



onlyinontario_may272020_1.jpg Toronto Island
Did you know that the Toronto Island is North America’s largest car-free urban community?  This is what makes the island a little piece of paradise where with only a quick 13 min ferry you can escape city life and be transported to a natural oasis.  The Island is actually a group of 15 islands inter-connected by pathways and bridges so you can walk or bike from one end of the Island to the other. There is something for everyone do see or do on the island, from swimming beaches, boating, an amusement park, sports facilities, restaurants, a theatre and of course exploring the nature paths and wildlife.  Ferry access is currently closed for non-island residents.

Print Edition

img20.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

Totally Tubular Winter Fun In Ontario

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