Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

july 27, 2017

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Beaches & Sand Play

While Ontarians like to go to Southern climes in search of beaches, many don’t know that we have some pretty awesome beaches right here at home. What’s particularly nice about our beaches is that many of them have attained (or are candidates for) Blue Flag Status, which is an international eco-label awarded to beaches that meet specified standards for water quality, environmental management/ education, safety & services. Beaches are like any other attraction; they each have their own personality, attractions, sand type and people, so make the rounds and find your faves!


article1_july272017.jpgWhen people talk about Toronto, they mention its skyline, restaurants, etc, and not its beaches but it has a surprising number of them along the Lake Ontario coastline. Beaches range from busy active ones like Woodbine Beach, to clothing optional (Hanlan) to Sugar Beach’s urban beach park with candy coloured umbrellas & Muskoka chairs. Eight of Toronto’s beaches were Blue Flag status last year, and some also have pools nearby.

Elgin County & Goderich Beaches

article2_july272017.jpgGreat for a day trip or family holiday, both these beautiful shorelines are famous for their blue flag beaches and stunning scenery. Easily accessible from Kitchener, Hamilton, Burlington, London, Toronto etc., Elgin County’s picturesque towns & sandy beaches are on the shores of Lake Erie while Goderich’s charm, stunning beaches & walking trails are just north of there on the shores of Lake Huron.  Both areas also feature culture, history and great food!


article3_july272017.jpgSandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County, SW of Picton, makes the record books – it has the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world! If you are looking for sand, you’re going to find a LOT of it here! You’ll also find 3 sandy beaches that some say are among the best in Canada, incredible bird watching due to the bird migration hotspot in spring and fall, walking trails and more! Note that this is a REALLY popular place; so much so that in 2016, the park installed road signs to let you know if the park is full, so come early. NOTE: due to high water levels, the dunes are accessible but much of the beach is under water – check their website for updates.

Northumberland & Cobourg area

article4_july272017.jpgNorthumberland east of Toronto, is surrounded by Lake Ontario, Rice Lake & the Trent River & features sandy beaches, warm lakes & rivers. Enjoy the white sand beaches of Cobourg and don’t miss their annual Sandcastle Festival - Aug 5, 2017, with its sand masterpieces. Visit the beautiful beaches & Waterfront Trail of Port Hope or wiggle your toes in the soft sand at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, near the town of Brighton, another great spot with a cool island character, 800 km of coastline and a shipwreck perfect for scuba divers.

Lake Superior Area

article5_july272017.jpgLake Superior, or Gi chi Gamiing (“Great Lake”) to the Ojibwa, is the world’s largest freshwater lake & the Great Lakes’ deepest.  While the waters can be very cold, people still flock to beaches at Agawa Bay Campground, Katherine Cove & Old Woman Bay. At Katherine Cove, look for Bathtub Island, a shallow tub of water made of an enclosure of rocks in the lake, which warms up in the summer, although you get to it by walking out in waters which are significantly colder! Warm up on its fine sand beaches after.


Rock Point

article6_july272017.jpgAt Rock Point Park (N shore of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Grand River), budding paleontologists can search for exposed fossils in the ancient coral reef along the beach. There is also a sandy beach which features Muddy The Mudcat, the largest mudcat statue in the world.  Take a break from the beach on the hiking trails or train your binoculars skyward to find one of over 260 avian species in the park. For the motorcyclists out there, cruise one of the 2 or 6 hour routes along Grand River or Lake Erie en route to the beach.

Featured Events

Annual Picton Art & Craft Sale

Aug. 3, 2017 Picton, SW Ontario

featuredevents1_july272017.jpgStroll through the buildings, arenas and outdoor vendors to find your treasure! Over 220 artisans sell everything from jewellery, stained glass, paintings and pottery to clothing, toys, outdoor furniture & more.  Great food, free parking. Proceeds fund community programs. Adm: $5, under 12 free.

Fergus Scottish Festival

Aug. 11-13, 2017 Fergus, SW Ontario

featuredevents2_july272017.jpgVisit Fergus Aug 11-13 and experience the best of Scotland...without the airfare! Celtic music, pipes & drums, heavies events, highland dancing, clans, McKiddies, main field events, beer tent, vendors & more at Canada's most celebrated Scottish Festival.

Pride of Canada Carousel

Located in Markham, GTA area.

featuredevents3_july272017.jpgHave you ever wanted to ride a carousel? Here’s a great opportunity! This unique, handcrafted carousel was created by Canadian artists Patrick Amiot & Brigitte Laurent and features 44 Canadian-themed, rideable sculptures crafted from recycled objects. Housed in a beautiful glass pavilion, the carousel is open year-round but since we are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday – now is the perfect time to experience it.

Featured zoo: Elmvale zoo

featured_july272017.jpgElmvale celebrates 50 years of making families smile! This exciting, educational, outdoor adventure features majestic lions, tigers & jaguars, playful monkeys & lemurs, baby animals, rare & exotic birds, and more in the park's 25 acres. Touch & feed animals in the petting area & feed the rainbow trout & watch them jump.



City of Port Colborne August 4-7, 2017

onlyinont_july272017.jpgThe City of Port Colborne hosts Ontario’s largest outdoor Classic Car & International Kite Show which occurs during the 4-day Canal Days Festival in which marine vessels gather to celebrate history and heritage along the canal. In addition to cars and kites, there are activities at a dozen different venues including games, live entertainment, craft show, food, shopping and lots of fun! Don’t miss the spectacular fireworks show.

Print Edition 2017

img11_201777.jpgThe NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide is now available in ONroute centres, Longo’s stores & other locations around Ontario. Pick up your FREE copy or email with your full name and mailing address to have one mailed to you.

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Coming In the next issue

Boat Cruises around Ontario

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