Things to do & Places to stay in Ontario

march 7, 2019

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Springtime activities – tap into Maple Syrup and more!

Spring may not officially have sprung but it sure is close! With Maple syrup festivals, March Break and daffodils poking through the ground, we can start to feel like winter is finally over. Take advantage of the longer days and get outside.

Maple Syrup

article1_mar72019.jpgWhen the sap starts to run, maple syrup events start to happen. Visit one of Ontario’s sugar bushes to learn about how maple syrup is made, have a wagon ride and taste some freshly made syrup or pancakes. Best of all is maple candy on snow! It’s not just for kids either. The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association has a list of maple events here, and we’ve highlighted a few below too. Maple Weekend April 6-7 offers loads of fun at a variety of locations around the province – check for a site near you.  Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival runs March 9 to April 7 and takes place at Kortright Centre, Bruce’s Mill, Terra Cotta and Island Lake Conservation Areas and has demos, wagon rides, pancakes and more. Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is the world’s largest one day maple festival on April 6. And Taste of Maple March 7-April 6 also has a variety of participating locations around Headwaters.

Moose Viewing

article2_mar72019.jpgMuskoka and Algonquin Park are gorgeous and deserving of visits year round, but they are also the best places to see moose. Because the salt used to melt snow on the roads is appealing to moose, they come to the sides of the road to access it, especially in spring. Early mornings or evenings are great and if you aren’t sure where to look, you can always go on a moose-watching excursion with a professional such as Algonquin Outfitters. Some of the best places to catch a glimpse are Chapleau Game Preserve, the world’s largest Crown Game preserve – they even have an online web camera that you can watch to see what the conditions are like. Highway 60 through Algonquin Park is another great spot. And if you don’t have success and still want to see a moose in person, try Cedar Meadows Wilderness Park, in Timmins. They have animals up close and personal and you may also have a chance to feed them!


article3_mar72019.jpgDark Sky Preserve at Gordon's Park on Manitoulin Island, offers some of the most stunning views of the night sky. You can gaze at the stars stretching across the horizon, without any bothersome light pollution or white noise. Bring your telescope to discover the constellations and far-flung galaxies (check out our Guide to Spring Stargazing here). Spring is also one of the best times of year to view the Aurora Borealis. Yes, you can see the Northern Lights frequently from here on cooler spring and fall evenings. While there are no guarantees of sightings, this is a dazzling phenomenon and one of the world's greatest natural wonders.


article4_mar72019.jpgThe Toronto Sportsmen’s Show has >300 exhibitors representing things like fishing, hunting, boating, camping, travel & outdoor adventure.  March 13-17. Easter is coming too! Bring the munchkins to the Collingwood Downtown Great Easter Egg Hunt on March 31. Pick up a form and count the eggs that have been hidden in store windows. Go to Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory on March Break (March 9-17) and taste real insects like beetle larvae & crickets. Bugfeast - FREE with paid admission. There are also loads of March Break events – check out:


Featured Events

Sugar Shack TO

March 9-10, 2019
Sherbourne Common, Lower Sherbourne & Queens Quay, Toronto

featuredevent1_mar72019.jpgTake the whole family to Sugar Shack TO and celebrate the end of winter and the sweet taste of taffy! In addition to authentic fresh Ontario maple syrup, there are ice games like shuffleboard & tic-tac-toe on ice, a marketplace, a skating rink, an obstacle course, maple sugaring demonstrations, a warming station and more!  FREE admission thanks to Redpath and the other sponsors.

Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority's Maple Syrup Day

March 23, 2019
Ganaraska Forest Centre (Central Ontario)

featuredevent2_mar72019.jpgCelebrate all things maple syrup in Ganaraska! Tour Maple Valley, watch demonstrations, play games, listen to stories around the campfire, enjoy crafts and watch live music. And don’t forget the pancake feast in the Great Hall!
Click here for calendar

March Break at Blue

featuredevent3_mar72019.jpgBlue Mountain is a great place for the family on March Break. There are plenty of activities & entertainment for kids AND adults! Enjoy ski lessons or snowshoeing, watch live music shows & interactive comedy presentations, see fabulous fireworks, eat casual or gourmet food, take part in a scavenger hunt, go tubing, watch a birds of prey show & more! Check the schedule for up to date events.

Featured activity: Historic SDG Jail c1833 - Guided Tours

featured_mar72019.jpgGrand opening May 2019! Plan your visit now. The facility was originally built in 1833 and remained active as a jail until 2002. During its years of service, it was used for many purposes including an “asylum”, a house of refuge, a courthouse & a minimum or maximum-security jail where numerous escapes & deaths took place. Sign up for a truly fascinating Guided Tour, walk in a prisoner’s footsteps & hear all the scary secrets!



onlyinont_mar72019.jpgThe Vanier Museopark & Urban Sugar Shack
Did you know that North America’s only urban sugarbush is wedged into 14 acres of land in Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood, just 10 minutes from Parliament Hill? The Vanier Museopark is the only francophone museum in Ottawa and one of the few museums dedicated to francophonie outside of Quebec. It is also where the fully-functional urban sugar shack is located. The annual festival includes live music, activities, French-Canadian folk performances and, of course, many maple syrup delicacies. The 2019 Sugar Festival takes place on April 2-7.

Print Edition 2019

img19.jpgWatch for the NEW & updated edition of Summer Fun Guide coming to ONroute Centres, Longo’s stores & other locations around Ontario in time for the 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

Cool places to spend the night In Ontario that are NOT a hotel!

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