Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

april 20, 2017

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Explore Eastern Ontario this summer

Elvis Presley sang a song called 'Go East, Young Man' and it seems he really knew what he was talking about! Eastern Ontario has a fascinating ancestry with a lot of history to explore. Because Kingston was once the capital of the Province of Canada, it was and remains an important military installation. There are also hundreds of freshwater lakes, perfect for swimming, boating and whitewater rafting, and in recent years, an award-winning wine region has also developed.


article1_april20_2017.jpgEuropeans wanted a presence close to local Native populations to control trade, so they founded a French trading post & military fort known as "Cataraqui" in 1673.  After the British conquered New France, the village was renamed Kingston. United Empire Loyalists, refugees from the American Revolution, later settled in E Ontario, giving the area an Anglo-Saxon character, which was reinforced when Irish & Scottish Highlanders came seeking a better quality of life. Learn about early life in the region at Madonna House Pioneer Museum, Fort Wellington National Historic Site and Bellevue House National Historic Site and explore some other types of Military history at Military Communications & Electronics Museum & National Air Force Museum of Canada.


article2_april20_2017.jpgEastern Ontario is a gorgeous area, with Brockville, the 1000 Islands and loads of unspoiled wilderness, perfect for spending time outdoors. The region boasts thousands of kilometres of cycle routes, particularly in the Cornwall area which is host to 90 km of the famed Waterfront Trail that spans the entire region along the St. Lawrence River, and Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry. Prefer 4 legs instead of 2 wheels? How about a Horseback Riding Vacation? Horse Country Campground has 40 km of trails and can do romantic sunset rides all the way to 3 day city slicker adventures! Ontario also has also plenty of trails for those of you who like to keep both feet on the ground! Choose from shorter, easier walking trails to rugged hiking adventures. Get some exercise and fresh air or find one with a campground at the end and make it a getaway.


article3_april20_2017.jpgWith 1000 Islands as a signature feature of the area, you can’t visit Eastern Ontario without spending at least a little time on the water.  One of the best ways to explore the area is to take a boat cruise, many of which bring you up close to the famous Boldt and Singer Castles. Check out Gananoque Boat Line Ltd., 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises –Brockville and 1000 Islands Rockport Cruises. You can also view the large number of shipwrecks in the region, either by diving (it is one of the world’s best fresh-water shipwreck diving destinations) or in a glass bottom boat. The zebra mussel, which has become a scourge in many areas, has had one beneficial outcome – they have cleaned the river so there is incredible clarity to see the shipwrecks below. Can’t get enough of the water? Kawartha Lakes is the Houseboat Capital of Ontario!


article4_april20_2017.jpgThis region is all about celebrating! From Fairs, to Elvis, to Culture, to history, to food, you can go to an event or festival all year round. While we have loads more on our website and online event calendar , here are just a few that we wanted to point out: Trenton Scottish Irish Festival  - Sept 9-10, 2017; Belleville Waterfront & Ethnic Festival – July 6-9, 2017; 182nd Picton Fair -Prince Edward Cty-Sept 8-10, 2017; Glengarry Highland Games - Aug 4-5, 2017; Tweed Tribute to Elvis Festival - Aug 25-27, 2017; St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival - July 8-Aug 12, 2017. Take note of the dates and consider booking a trip to the area at that time. They all have drawn visitors to the region for years!


Featured Events

Quinte West Hops on the Water

April 22, 2017 · 11 am to 7 pm Quinte West Farmers' Market · 67 Front St

featuredevent1_apr20_2017.jpgWhat better way to celebrate Spring than to relax by the water and sample tastings from craft breweries, cideries and wineries in the Bay of Quinte region? Bonus – enjoy some live music, entertaining buskers and delicious local food!

Artfest Ontario - Kingston, Toronto, Port Credit

Toronto - Distillery District (May 20-22 & Sept 1-4)
Kingston - City Park (July 1-3)
Port Credit  - Memorial Park (May 26-28)

featuredevent2_rev_apr20_2017.jpgBook Artfest in your calendar - take advantage of one of the 4 FREE outdoor arts & craft festivals in historic settings and celebrate the Arts in Ontario. One-of-a-kind artisan exhibits, live music, dance shows, kids’ area & more. Grab a bite and walk around to enjoy the sights.

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’s DAY- Multicultural Dance and Art Festival

April 23, 2017, Nathan Phillips Square - City Hall, Toronto 1:30 - 5:00 pm

featuredevent3_rev_apr20_2017.jpgA celebration for kids of all nationalities. Shows, folk dances, clowns, face painting, popcorn & cotton candy, balloon sculpting and more. The objective is for kids to have fun, interact & make new friends while being integrated into Canada’s cultural diversity! Free admission.

Featured region: Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry

featured_april20_2017.jpgTake some time this summer to explore the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry region. You’ll find beautiful parks, sandy beaches, waterfront trails, campgrounds, museums & historical sites, fabulous fairs & festivals and even the really cool Prehistoric World. If you dare … you can visit the Historic SDG Jail to hear ghost stories or participate in an escape!



onlyinont_apr20_2017.jpgSandbanks Provincial Park
Check out the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world - right here in Ontario!  Relax at the 3 “best beaches in Canada”, with soft sand dunes and shallow water for families. Walk the trails to experience the dunes and wetland habitats. Learn more at the daily interpretive programs geared towards families (summer only) or simply bring a picnic and enjoy the view.

Print Edition 2017

img11_20177.jpgWatch for the NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide coming to ONroute centres, Longo’s stores & other locations around Ontario in time for May long weekend. Pick up your FREE copy or email
to have one mailed to you.

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Coming In the next issue

National Historic Sites, Culture & Heritage Museums

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