Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

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Get Out of Town and Explore Waterloo!

Plan your next weekend getaway to Waterloo, Ontario! The Waterloo Region is made up of three vibrant cities — Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo — and four pastoral townships: North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. Whether you’re looking to hit the trails, partake in fine dining, or hit some of the destination’s most renowned breweries, Waterloo has a variety of things to do! Here are some of our favourite things to check out while you’re there.

Fall Hiking Trails

article1sept152020.jpgRevel in the fall foliage in the multitude of urban and rural trails whether you’re walking, hiking, biking, or jogging. The Iron Horse Trail, part of the Trans Canada Trail, and the Huron Natural Area are great for nature lovers and photographers. The Hydrocut Trail--a series of 25 connected trails--is considered to be one of the top destinations in Ontario for riding your mountain bike. Explore more than 50 km of natural and urban trails in Cambridge, including the popular Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail and Devil’s Creek Trail for a day outdoors. 

St. Jacob’s Market

article2sept152020.jpgA weekend in Waterloo isn’t complete without visiting St. Jacob’s, located in the town of Woolwich, known for its Mennonite history. With over 300 vendors, turn your grocery shopping into a trip at St. Jacob’s Market, and famous for being the largest year-round farmers’ market in Canada. Shop around for antiques or take the family for a wagon ride with Elmira Wagon Rides. Train enthusiasts will get excited at the St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway, featuring hand built trains representing the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways.


article3sept152020.jpgThe Waterloo Region has quickly become a destination for beer lovers with its variety of craft breweries. Soak up the last of patio season at Block 3 Brewing and The Village Biergarten with a pint in the heart of St. Jacob’s. Get a craft beer sampler at one of four locations at the popular Abe Erb or make a coffee and beer pitstop at Red Circle Brewing Co. Not only is it a microbrewery but it is also a coffee roaster, market and bakery!

Museums & Galleries

article4sept152020.jpgThe Waterloo Region has a variety of unique museums currently open to the public. Make your way to The City of Waterloo Museum located in the Conestoga Mall, featuring more than 6,000 artifacts that relate to the Seagram family including a historic and rare bottle collection. Elevate your trip as an art day for the family at The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG), featuring over 4,000 works from different artists and an emphasis on its contemporary collection. Bonus: admission here is FREE! Marvel at the Victorian grandeur of Castle Kilbride, which you may notice as the set of the CBC/Netflix series, Anne with an E!

Fun Activities

article5sept152020.jpgOpen daily until October 12, explore the African Lion Safari and its seven game reserves from the comfort of your own vehicle for its drive-through experience. Experience Mirage VR, Canada’s first full-body, free-roam, multiplayer virtual-reality experience! Enter fantasy worlds where players use magical powers and teamwork to overcome obstacles. For a real-life fantasy experience visit the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and get lost in a 10,000 square foot tropical garden that showcases thousands of butterflies along with other animals, such as small birds, and tropical plants.

Other Cool Stuff to Do

article6sept152020.jpgIf you’re dining al fresco this fall, look out for the Art Fresco Public Art Project, which features a series of decorated picnic tables hand painted by local artists. In Cambridge, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa is a destination unto itself. Visit the Relais and Chateaux Property for a pampering spa weekend or splurge on a decadent lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea at its award-winning restaurant. While exploring the Waterloo region you most likely won’t get very far without noticing one of the many hand-painted signs for brown eggs and maple syrup. Make your road trip into a scavenger hunt looking for these farm gate sales and “honour stands,” which lead you to delicious honey, summer sausage or sweet corn, found via laneways off the county roads. Payment? Leave your money in a box and “on your honour.”


Featured Events

Haunted Ghost Drive-Thru Tours

Every Thursday-Saturday in September and October, starting at 7 pm
Pickering Village (GTA)

featuredevents1sept152020.jpgGet spooky in advance of Halloween with a haunted driving tour of a historic village in the Pickering Museum Village. Learn more about paranormal investigations that may keep you up at night! Tours start every 5 minutes from 7 p.m. for the 25-minute experience and cost is $20 per vehicle.

Festival Franco TekSavvy

September 24-26, 2020
Major Hill’s Park, Ottawa + Online Webcast

featuredevents2sept152020.jpgLimited to 100 spectators, celebrate Francophone artists live in concert to close off September. Featured performers include Ariane Moffatt, Isabelle Boulay, The R Premier, and Flora. Tickets are $45. There’s also an option to tune into the live webcast from the comfort of your own home at $10 per day.!

Wizards Festival & Hallows Express Train Ride

October 2-4, 2020, 12pm-7pm
York-Durham Heritage Railway, Uxbridge (GTA)

featuredevents3sept152020.jpgThis festival brings to life the wizarding world filled with interactive shows, potions classes, horcrux maze, magic shows, and workshops on how to defend yourself against the Dark Enemy. Premium ticket holders will not only have access to the Wizard Grounds but you’ll also be able to board the Hallows Express, where a journey to GOODWOODORA Prison reveals two evil wizards who are hatching an escape plan. It’s up to the train passengers and the professors on board to help the minis try secretly transport these evil sorcerers to a more secure location to await their trials. Will the mission be successful? Only time will tell! Make sure you come early to take a walk through the Enchanted Alley! Come in costume, no muggles attire!

Featured outdoor adventure: Scenic Caves

featuredsept152020.jpgScenic Caves Nature Adventures is the perfect destination to enjoy stunning, postcard-worthy fall colours. Self-guided trails welcome the whole family to explore unique geological formations of caves and crevasses carved millions of years ago by glacial ice. Hike along 15 km of trails meandering through a 200-year-old hardwood forest. Savour picturesque lookouts and cross southern Ontario’s longest Suspension Bridge at the highest point of the Escarpment. Mix it up with gemstone mining, mini golf, feeding the trout at the pond and a Children’s Adventure Playground. An unforgettable day of nature, wonder and adventure. Start exploring now at



Did you know that Kitchener-Waterloo’s Oktoberfest celebrations are the largest outside of Munich, Germany? Every October, revellers gather from near and far to bask in Bavarian culture, beer, traditional foods and fun activities for the family.  This year, celebrations will be held in person within your bubble and online, Sept. 25-Oct 12. Leading up to the event, you can learn more about German culinary traditions with a different food theme per week from how to bake a pretzel or hone in on getting schnitzel just right on the event’s Culinary Video Series.

Print Edition

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CHECK OUT the next issue

Totally Tubular Winter Fun In Ontario

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