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The Best Things to See & Do Are in Ontario, Canada
The best thing about a visit to Ontario is its multitude of things to see and do. No trip to Ontario, or even Canada, is complete without a trip to see the Niagara Falls’ thundering magic. Whether you want to go out for the EdgeWalk, eat at a five-star restaurant like 360, or just want an unbeatable view of Toronto, then make a stop at the CN Tower and check it off your bucket list.
For you history buffs out there, you’ll have no shortage of attractions to check out during your time in Canada’s popular province. Go out to Perth and see a replica of the Mammoth Cheese; a contribution to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago that stood six feet high, weighed 22,000 pounds, and required the work of 12 cheese-makers as well as the milk of 10,000 cows.
Get mesmerized by fine architecture when heading to midtown Toronto and seeing Casa Loma; a classic, Gothic Revival-style building which was originally built as a residence for Sir Henry Mill Pellatt and now serves as one of Canada’s foremost museums. Enjoy Casa Loma in a more private setting by renting it in afternoons after the museum is closed to the public. If you plan to say, “I Do”, this regal building is also a popular spot for wedding ceremonies.
Spending some time at the historic Bovaird House can fulfill your passion for history and architecture. This Georgian-style farmhouse, which sits along a Pendergast Log House, was donated by William and Mossie Bovaird to the city of Brampton in 1985, with the hopes of preserving a relic of Canada’s pioneering history.
Go back in time to learn about military history when visiting Fort Henry in Kingston. The fort was built during the War of 1812, to protect the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard in case of an American attack and to monitor maritime traffic on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
Just as you can’t take a trip to Washington D.C. without taking in the Capitol Building, Parliament Hill is a must-go when in Ottawa. At a perfect location on the southern banks of the Ottawa River, this former military base is now the home of the Parliament of Canada. Its Gothic Revival-type suite of buildings will also wow appreciators of architecture.
Pet and animal-lovers will have a full itinerary as well. Take the kids to Gammondale Farm where there is a special activity for every season, birthday parties for children and adults, horse-drawn sleigh rides, the largest catapult in Canada, and much more.
If you’re looking for something your little ones will find both fun and educational, you definitely won’t regret a day at Egli’s Sheep Farm. You can’t go wrong with a trip to the zoo either, so why not explore the Toronto Zoo or the Elmvale Jungle Zoo? Sick of mammals? Then Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, and Ripley’s Aquarium are right up your alley.
Whoever you are, and whatever you like, Ontario’s ample attractions have a lot to offer. Come pay a visit and be in on some of North America’s best-kept secrets.
Popular Attractions in Ontario
The world's 5th tallest free-standing structure, and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower is a landmark located in downtown Toronto, Ontario.
Functioning as a telecommunications antenna, Canadian National Tower's dramatic architecture and observation level make it a popular tourist attraction.
Visitors to the tower's Indoor Lookout Level enjoy a breathtaking view of Toronto through the Glass Floor before dining at 360 Restaurant, which completes a revolution around the tower every 90 minutes. Make the most of your next visit to Toronto and explore the CN Tower – it truly is a premier destination.
Produced to promote Canadian Cheese in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Mammoth Cheese is now commemorated throughout Perth, Ontario. A piece of the actual cheese, along with original posters and other memorabilia can be seen the Perth Museum.
The Mammoth Cheese was six feet high and 22,000 pounds, and it took 12 Lanark County cheese factories to produce. Over 207,000 pounds of milk were used in its creation – the equivalent of one day of production from 10,000 cows.
Max the Moose
While visiting the lively northwest Ontario city of Dryden, keep a lookout for the town mascot. He's easy to spot since he is an eighteen-foot-high, nine ton statue named Max the Moose. The statue is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, near the tourist information center.
Not only do local residents love Max, they celebrate him, plus a variety of fun family activities, during the annual Moosefest Festival. Make the short drive in from nearby Sioux Lookout.
This month-long festival celebrates the diversity of Dryden with live music in the park, the Teddy Bear Picnic, a soap box derby, the Dryden Walleye Masters, a windsurfing regatta, canoe races, a strong man competition and Canada Day.
While visiting the Canadian Capital region of Ottawa during the summer, be sure to make your way to Parliament Hill. Bring your camera to capture the sights and sounds of Mosaika. This incredible, and free, thirty-minute light and music show is shown against Parliament Hill building each night from July through September. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for a comfortable spot on the lawn and get ready to watch and listen to this magnificent Canadian story.
The technology used to create the show, include nine high-definition video projectors projecting animated images onto the entire building, more than two hundred light fixtures and a 5.1 surround sound system. While in central Ontario, be sure to catch this must-see attraction.
A perfect spot for winter, PawsWay is a more than pet-friendly indoor eatery and 3,700 square foot space for dogs to roam off-leash in the city of Toronto. The first facility of its kind in Canada, PawsWay also offers free admittance and clean-up bags.
Closed on Tuesday, PawsWay also features exhibits, events and onsite experts for any pet-owner. PawsWay is located on Toronto’s Harbour Front, close to many of the top and must-see attractions in Toronto. You'll want to see the Ontario Legislative Building, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Point Clark Beach
The Lake Huron shoreline in southern Ontario is home to several beautiful, historical lighthouses. The small community of Point Clark, located south of Kincardine, is home to the Point Clark Lighthouse and adjacent Point Clark Beach. In 1966, the 110-foot-tall limestone Imperial Tower style lighthouse, was the first lighthouse in Ontario to be designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
The lighthouse was built between 1855 and 1859 by John Brown, and one of six Imperial style lighthouses built in the region. During the summer, enjoy walking up the 114 steps to the light room for a magnificent view of Lake Huron and tour the adjacent museum located in the keeper's quarters. After climbing down the stairs, take time to relax on the beach and dig your toes into the warm sand.
The Rideau Canal was built on the Ottawa River bordering Ontario and Quebec, in 1832. This Ottawa UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the "oldest continuously operated canal system in North America". It was recognized for its use of European slackwater technology. The 126 mile-long Canal includes portions of the Cataraqui and Rideau Rivers, as well as the Upper, Lower and Big Rideau lakes. A majority of the forty-five locks along the canal are hand operated. The Canal was initially built in preparation of a war with the United States, after a report indicated the US's intent to invade Upper Canada via the St. Lawrence River.
It became a popular commercial artery between Kingston and Montreal. Today, many Central Ontario residents and visitors enjoy the scenic boat tours of the canal aboard the Kawarth Voyageur, from Ottawa, Merrickville, Chaffeys Lock and Kingston. If visiting during the winter months, be sure to strap on a pair of ice skates to skate along 4.8 miles of the Canal, the "world's largest skating rink". While in Ottawa, check into one of the Best Western hotels to enjoy comfortable lodging and excellent guest services.