Ontario has the highest population of all Canadian provinces and it is also one of the largest in terms of land. Here you can visit the Canadian capital of Ottawa as well as the ever-popular city of Toronto. The region sees thousands of tourists arriving each week with many of them heading for one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – Niagara Falls. You will find most of the population living in the south of the province while the north is very sparsely populated. Part of the province can also be found within the Arctic Circle. English is the main language although there are some French speakers still living in the region.
The Golden Horseshoe is one of the wealthiest areas of the province. Here you can find the cities which are filled with cultural attractions, lively nightlife and great shopping facilities. For something a little quieter you could spend time in the eastern part of Ontario where there are lakes and forests – perfect for hiking. This section is also home to the city of Ottawa as well as a variety of towns which have changed little over the last couple of hundred years. In the south-western region you will come across farms and villages and in the central region of Ontario you will quickly discover why it has earned the nickname of ‘cottage country’.
With several major cities you will also find several major airports and flights arrive in Ontario from all over the world. You can then take regional flights to some of the smaller airports. As the province is linked to the US it is also possible to cross the border by car if you prefer. If you want to spend time exploring areas outside of the cities then a hire car is a must. Public transport within the cities is fine.
The region has several historical forts and buildings and one that is a must for history enthusiasts is Old Fort William which can be found in Thunder Bay. Here you can often see historical re-enactments. You can also take a trip to see the various lighthouses along the coastline of Lake Huron. While in the city of Toronto a trip to the CN Tower is also essential as the views from here are spectacular.
Many tourists come to the region for the hiking and areas such as the Sleeping Giant near Thunder Bay are among the best routes. You can take a boat trip to see the shipwrecks at the Fathom Five National Marine Park, but the more adventurous could spend some time diving to see them. Camping is a popular pastime both with tourists and locals and there are many sites including those at the Bruce Peninsula National Park.
If you are looking for a traditional beach holiday then this is perhaps not the best destination, although there are some great beaches in the region. You can try Wasaga Beach or Grand Bend which can be found in the south west of the province. You could also try the beaches within the Lake Superior or Charleston Lake parks, so on warm days you can still soak up the sun.
The area also has plenty of wineries and breweries which do tours for the public. The ‘Wine Road’ near Niagara is a great route to follow and in downtown areas of Toronto or Kitchener there are some craft breweries. If you are travelling with a group you can often get a discount if you book together. The wine industry in Canada is still in its infancy but you can pick up a bargain bottle or two while you are travelling around. You can also give one of the brew pubs a try. These are establishments where the beer is brewed onsite and designed to complement the dishes served in the restaurant.
As the province is home to some of the larger cities in the country you will find more internationally branded hotels here and higher standards of luxury. However, as you travel further out of the cities the accommodation becomes a little more traditional in the form of hostels and inns. Most of these are independent and family-run, so you can find a comfortable place to stay at a good rate. In the more remote regions the accommodation is likely to be fairly basic.
Ontario is perfect both for those who are looking for a city break and those who want to spend some time in the great outdoors. Whichever you choose, the region has something to offer.