Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

APRIL 6, 2021

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6 Unique Off-The-Beaten-Path Experiences in Ontario

Ontario has it all; nature, specialized events, incredible food, and a deep history.  We know that Ontario’s popular hot spots are always crowd pleasers, but what about the hidden gems just off the beaten path?  With lockdowns going in and out of effect in various regions, you might be looking for something to do that isn’t the norm.  This week, we are exploring 6 unique experiences that you may not have heard of yet, right here in Ontario.  There is so much to discover so without further ado, check out our list!

A Majestic French-Inspired Art Alleyway in Kingston (Eastern ON)

article1april62021.jpgIf you’re in Kingston, it’s definitely worth a visit to one of the most unique alleys in Ontario.  Martello Alley has been painted and decorated to look and feel like La Rue du Trésor in Québec city.  Local artist David Dosset has painted cobblestone and brick onto the existing alleyway in this imaginative art space.  Not only does it create an immersive experience, but you can also purchase gorgeous art and prints.  This is definitely a unique gem to behold hidden within Kingston.

A Night in Jail Without the Crime (Ottawa Region)

article2april62021.jpgWe’re sure you never intended to spend a night in jail, but now you can - minus the crime.   Hostel International has a hostel in Ottawa within the 150-year-old former jail walls.  It is even rumoured to be haunted.  Sleep alone in the solitary confinement cell or get a room within the stone walls and iron bars.  The building itself is absolutely beautiful so if your heart isn’t up to staying the night, why not organize a tour of death row for your group.  Now when you play never-have-I-ever with your friends, you can say you’ve been to jail.

Stargaze at Ontario’s Official Dark Sky Viewing Park (Northern ON)

article3april62021.jpgAlong the Canadian Shield, close to the border of Minnesota lies the rugged Quetico Provincial Park.  While it’s worth a visit just for the iconic natural beauty alone, there’s something that makes this park really unique.  It’s been designated by International Dark Sky Association as an International Dark Sky Park.  This means they’ve dedicated a significant portion of the park to be light pollution free for night sky gazing.  Visitors can look up at the starry northern Ontario sky and see what millions of people from past eras saw.  This definitely makes for an incredibly awe-inspiring experience that truly can only be had at very few locations in Ontario!

Pretend You’re on a Mediterranean Island Without Ever Leaving Ontario (Southwestern Ontario)

article4april62021.jpgFlowerpot Island is a 2KM island located in Georgian Bay’s Fathom Five National Marine Park.  This off-the-beaten-path destination (literally – it can only be reached by boat) is open May-October, weather permitting.  While you’re on the island there’s plenty to do.  Check out the 12,000-year-old caves, hike, have a picnic while taking in the incredibly clear blue water, or snorkel to explore the underwater rocks and cliffs.  There’s even a lighthouse on the island.  You can camp overnight or opt to do a day trip to Flowerpot Island.  You’ll feel like you’re in the Mediterranean without being far from home!

Hang Out with Ostriches at This Sustainable Ostrich Farm (Niagara Region)

article5april62021.jpgIf you’re looking for a farm with a twist, head out to Ostrich Land in Lincoln, Ontario.  Get up close and personal with the big birds as this sustainable farm where you can meet the chicks and see 3 species of Ostriches.  These birds are a rare sight and at Ostrich Land you can even touch and feed them.  Facilities include a picnic area, playground, snack bar, smart garden, and souvenir shop.  Make sure to book your visit in advance.  We dare you to look at these silly faces and NOT smile.

An Explosion of Colour & Culture in this Historic Toronto Alleyway (Greater Toronto Area)

article6april62021.jpgTreat yourself to a feast for your eyes on a walk in this colourful alley with a just-as-colourful history.  Graffiti Alley was formerly the home of unsanctioned graffiti until the Queen West Business Improvement Association fought to have this alley designated as an area of municipal significance.  The alleyway runs on Rush Lane along 3 city blocks.  Check out Toronto’s vibrant street art scene and culturally significant murals.  If you don’t know where to look, you might pass right by it making this one of Toronto’s coolest hidden gems.


Featured Events

Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium

April 14 – May 16, 2021
Toronto (Greater Toronto Area)

featuredevent1april62021.jpgThe highly anticipated Illusionarium features live magicians, life-size holograms and 3D projections up-close, but socially distanced for your safety.  This immersive exhibit will stretch your mind and tickle your senses as you walk through its 4 rooms dedicated to 4 different ages of magic.  A mix between a museum, an exhibit and a magic show - this event will be one for the books after a long lockdown.  Tickets are on sale now.

Spring into art with the art gallery of ontario (virtual)

April 12-16, 2021
Virtual Event

featuredevent2april62021.jpgSpring into art with a week of free live-streamed events for Spring Break.  Think about art and storytelling in a safe place with daily free events led by experts.  Themes include Underwater, Underground, Playspace, Outerspace and Intergalactic.  Look for craft lists or use what you have on hand.  Registration is not needed, and events will be streamed on AGO’s website at

TSO On Demand: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Virtual)

Running until April 16th, 2021
Virtual Event

featuredevent3april62021.jpgEnjoy a 60-minute concert that features 21 musicians from the Orchestra performing the exquisite musical works of art of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Featured  museum: Bata Shoe Museum

featuredapril62021.jpgJoin Bata Show Musuem for everything SHOES this April Break.  From April 12 - 16, explore their new online ballet exhibit ON POINTE, make recycled CRAFTS inspired by thier exhibitions from materials around your home, play SHOEBOX BINGO LIVE (registration required), listen to a STORYTIME Series marathon and make a bookmark for your favourite book, join a VIRTUAL TOUR (registration required) and more!  There’s something new each day to keep you and your kids entertained! Watch the sizzle video to see what's planned for the week and visit thier website for more information.



onlyinontapril62021.jpg Did you know Canada’s Highest Bungee Jump is right here in Ontario! Located in Chelsea, Quebec is Canada’s highest bungee jump – The Great Canadian Bungee.  This season will be Great Canadian Bungee’s 30st year of operation!  High above ‘The Rock’ at Morrison’s Quarry – the bungee was built with the utmost degree of safety possible.  Tens of thousands of people have made the plunge so if you’re looking to take a walk on the wild side and earn some bragging rights, check them out!

Print Edition

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CHECK OUT the next issue

Totally Tubular Winter Fun In Ontario

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