Destination Guides


Ontario

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Niagara Falls ©Judith Duk

Ontario is Canada's most varied province with its large southern cities, tranquil farm country and wild remote northern areas where polar bears outnumber humans. It is in the eastern central area of the country, bordered by Manitoba and Quebec, bounded in the north by James and Hudson Bay, and bordered by the United States in the south.


Ontario hosts the capital city of Canada, Ottawa, but also has Canada's largest city, Toronto, within its borders. The province boasts many bests, many records, many prime attractions, but probably the most wonderful thing about the region, for travellers, is the sheer variety on offer.


Ontario has a wealth of water, being the site of four of the five 'Great Lakes' of North America, as well as the mighty St Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers and about 200,000 inland lakes. Last, but by no means least, in the far south is the most famous water spectacle of all, Niagara Falls. Ontario is Canada's most populous province by a long stretch, home to more than one third of Canada's population, and has amassed great wealth from its mineral resources, heavy industrialisation, forestry, agriculture and fishing.


Climate Info

The climate of Ontario is continental and the province experiences hot summers and very cold winters with heavy snowfall. Spring and autumn tend to be milder, and due to the Great Lakes, the province experiences far less of a variation in its temperatures year round, as well as more precipitation than would be expected for such a central region. Cities futher away from the lakes, in the south of the province, are much hotter and temperatures can range around 80°F (30°C), with possible heat waves. In winter, areas north of the Great Lakes tend to be much colder, with more severe winters caused by Arctic air currents and temperatures can range between 36°F (0°C) and 14°F (-10°C). Fortunately the major cities are geared for the cold, with lots of central heating, indoor shopping arcades, underground walkways and indoor sports venues.


Getting Around

Public transport in Toronto is fast, safe and reliable, consisting of an integrated system of subways, buses and streetcars that reach every part of the city. The subway is easy to use, with four lines, and the buses and streetcar stations are next to every major stop, taking over where the subway leaves off. Fares are standard and a single fare will take you anywhere on a single trip; tokens can be used to avoid the hassle of having to pay with exact change. To freely change from one form of transport to another, get a transfer slip when paying for the fare. The subway operates from 6am to 2.00am, the buses and streetcars from about 6am to 12.30am (both start around 8am on Sundays), and the Blue Night Network services main street routes after 1.30am. Taxis are always available and ferries travel to the Toronto Islands. Driving a hired car is not recommended due to traffic congestion and expensive parking.


Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

LocationThe airport is situated six miles (10km) south of Ottawa.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 (613) 248 2000.

Getting to city

There are hotel shuttle and limousine services available to downtown Ottawa. Bus 97 departs from outside the Arrivals area. Taxis are also available.

Car Rental

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Hertz are all represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available outside the terminal and the average fare to downtown Ottawa is C$37.

Airport Facilities

There are a number of bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as retail outlets, duty-free shopping, ATMs and currency exchange services located throughout the airport. Internet access is also available.

Car Parking

Both short-term and long-term parking is available. Parking fees are C$4 for 30 minutes and C$21 per day in the short-term parking, and C$16 per day in the long-term parking.

Websitewww.ottawa-airport.ca


Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

LocationThe airport is located 14 miles (22.5km) northwest of downtown Toronto.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 (416) 247 7678 (Terminals 1 and 2), and +1 (416) 776 5100 (Terminal 3).

Transfer terminals

The Airport LINK train system operates a 24-hour free service between Terminals 1 and 3, as well as to the Value Parking Lot.

Getting to city

The LINK Train offers free transportation between Terminals 1 and 3, the Sheraton Gateway Hotel and Viscount Station. Several companies provide bus and shuttle transit services to and from the airport into Toronto and surrounding areas. The UP Express train links the airport to Downtown Toronto in just 25 minutes. The airport is also easily accessible on various public transportation routes with providers such as Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and GO Transit.

Car Rental

Car rental is available on Level 1 of the parking areas adjacent to each terminal. Rental companies include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Hertz and National/Alamo.

Airpor Taxis

There are authorised taxis available outside the arrivals halls.

Airport Facilities

All terminals are well-supplied with facilities, including bureaux de change and ATMs, internet access, shops and duty-free outlets, hotel reservation services, bars and restaurants.

Car Parking

Parking at Toronto B. Pearson International Airport ranges from C$5 for 30 minutes or C$50 per day in the Express Car Park to C$18 per day or C$90 per week in the Value Park Lot. The Daily Park Lot costs C$30 per day and is within walking distance of Terminals 1 and 3.

Websitewww.torontopearson.com


Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)

LocationThe airport is located three miles (4km) from Thunder Bay city centre.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT-4 from the first Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The airport is serviced by local buses, on line #3 Memorial - Airport, at a cost of C$2.65 for a single journey. Taxi services at the airport are provided on-demand by Roach's Yellow Taxis.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxi services at the airport are provided on-demand by Roach's Yellow Taxi.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include phone services, internet access, shopping, restaurant, lounge and security services.

Car Parking

Long- and short-term parking is available at the airport with over 500 bays. Short-term parking costs C$3 per hour and C$0.50 for each additional ten minutes, up to a daily limit of C$25.49. Long-term parking is charged at C$12.75 per day, up to a weekly maximum of C$89.25.

Websitewww.tbairport.on.ca


Casa Loma


Canada's own castle, Casa Loma, is today owned by the City of Toronto and draws plenty of interest, standing in medieval splendour on its hilltop site. The castle was formerly the home of Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellatt, who engaged the noted architect E J Lennox to help him realis
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Casa Loma ©nicblockley



CN Tower


Standing 1,815ft (553m) high, Toronoto's landmark CN Tower was the world's tallest building until 2007, and remains a celebrated icon, an important telecommunications hub and the centre of tourism in Toronto. About two million people visit the tower each year to take in the panoramic vie
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CN Tower ©Dennis Jarvis



Royal Ontario Museum


The pride of this large and varied museum is the golden mosaic ceiling inside the main entrance to the building in Queen's Park, Toronto. The ceiling is adorned with patterns and symbols representing cultures from around the world throughout the ages, and is made from cut squares of impo
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Royal Ontarion Museum ©Randy OHC



Toronto Zoo


The Toronto Zoo covers 710 acres (287 hectares) and is divided into 'zoogeographic' regions. It features four major tropical indoor pavilions and several smaller indoor viewing areas, plus numerous outdoor exhibits with more than six miles (10km) of walking trails. The zoo houses more th
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Tiger at Toronto Zoo ©Roger Ahlbrand



Niagara Falls


Straddling the Canadian-United States border and situated between the province of Ontario and the US state of New York, the awesome Niagara Falls attracts about 12 million tourists a year. It makes a spectacular day's outing from Toronto. The Niagara River has been flowing for about 12,0
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Niagara Falls ©Judith Duk



Parliament Hill


Parliament Hill in Ottawa is a place for decision-making, but also a place for people. Visitors can tour the buildings, watch Parliament in action, and enjoy ceremonial spectacles like the Changing of the Guard ceremony. There are three buildings making up Canada's parliament complex. Th
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Parliament Hill ©Servez-vous



Canadian Museum of Civilisation


One of dozens of museums in Canada's capital city, the Museum of Civilisation is one of the most fascinating, with artefacts on display including interesting things such as the world's oldest known boat, several mummies, and the story of the 'bog people' of northwestern Europe. The museu
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Canadian Museum of Civilization ©Michel Rathwell



Gatineau Park


Gatineau Park is a giant wedge of land measuring 140 square miles (363 sq km) to the northwest of Canada's Capital Region. It is a recreational haven for locals and visitors alike, and contains many features of interest. The Luskville Falls are beautiful; the Lusk Cave made of marble can
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Gatineau Park ©Lezumbalaberenjena



Old Fort William


Visitors can travel back in time to 1815 at an authentic duplicate of Old Fort William, the inland headquarters of the North West Company of Montreal, located at Thunder Bay just nine miles (14km) upstream from the site of the original fort on the bank of the Kaministiquia River. The Nor
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Ontario fur trade ©Don Pugh



Amethyst Mine


Ontario's official gemstone, amethyst, is one of the many natural resources found on the north shore of Lake Superior. The coloured crystalline silica mineral quartz found in this area comes in beautiful shades, like Precious Purple and Thunder Bay Lavender. Visitors can mine their own a
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Amethyst ©Zopilote0



Sleeping Giant Provincial Park


This 24,400-hectare provincial park is set on a rugged peninsula near Thunder Bay resembling a sleeping giant. Known as the 'park of legends' it was inhabited for 9,000 years by natives who fished and hunted in the rolling, forested terrain dotted with lakes, which is still roamed by lyn
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View of Sleeping Giant ©Graham M Fawcett



Lake Superior


Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America and Ontario shares this vast expanse of water with the US states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.


The shores of the lake have been inhabited for over 10,000 years and evidence of some ancient communities ca
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Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario ©Tony Webster



Distillery Historic District


The brick-paved streets of the pedestrianised village have been designated a National Heritage Site and are said to contain the finest collection of Victorian era industrial architecture in North America. The historic Distillery District, spread across 13 acres (5 hectares) in downtown T
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Distillery Historic District ©Peter Kudlacz



Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art


Formerly the Art Gallery of North York, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art opened its doors in 1999 keen to display modern Canadian art that addresses current Canadian narratives and global issues. Situated in trendy downtown Toronto, Mocca boasts a permanent collection of about 400
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Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art ©Roberta Cibin



Toronto Islands


A chain of small Lake Ontario islands just offshore from the city, the Toronto Islands were created from a series of continually moving sandbars connected to the mainland by a frail peninsula, which finally disintegrated after a major storm in 1858. Only a short ferry ride from the mainl
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Toronto Islands ©Norman Maddeaux



Gardiner Museum of Ceramics


Housed in an attractive building across from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics is one of the city's finest examples of modernist architecture. Giving visitors a glimpse into a universal art form that has spanned centuries, the Gardiner Museum exhibits more than 3,
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Gardiner Museum of Ceramics ©End User



Kensington Market


A National Historic Site, Kensington Market embodies Toronto's multicultural society. Founded in the early twentieth century by eastern European Jewish immigrants and Italians, the area was renowned for its open-air market, reminiscent of those found in Europe. Home to immigrants from th
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Kensington market ©Accordion Chick



Harbourfront Centre


With an idyllic setting right beside the lake, the Harbourfront Centre is the communal heart of the city, where locals gather on weekends for some gallery hopping, shopping, biking and concerts. Used as an industrial docklands for decades the abandoned warehouses and disintegrating facto
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Harbourfront Centre ©Ivan Hernández



Hockey Hall of Fame


Any avid hockey fan must take a turn at Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame, an ode to hockey's greatest players and most prized teams. A shrine to Canada's national sport, visitors can learn about the history of the game through memorabilia from every era, hockey artefacts from around the wor
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Hockey Hall of Fame ©Richie Diesterheft



Paramount Canadas Wonderland


Boasting more than 200 attractions including 65 exhilarating rides, Splash Works and a huge variety of roller coasters, Paramount Canada's Wonderland is Canada's favourite theme park. Kids will enjoy the fastest and biggest roller coaster, the Behemoth as well as carousels, train rides a
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Paramount Canada's Wonderland ©Jeremy Thompson



High Park


High Park is Toronto's largest park and features sporting, cultural and educational facilities, gardens, greenhouses, walking trails, playgrounds and a zoo. A great place for a stroll or a family picnic, High Park also features two children's playgrounds, a communal swimming pool which i
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High Park ©Sandra McKeown



Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park


Just 45 minutes east of Toronto on Highway 115, Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park is one of Ontario's most popular tourist attractions. The Park is home to a diverse collection of mammals, such as wolves, skunks, lemurs and chimpanzees - though it is the collection of big cats that truly ma
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Snow Leopard ©Tambako The Jaguar



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