Ontario Travel Guide
The destination that was kind enough to give us talents such as Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, Ontario is Canada’s second largest province and its most populated, with some 12 million permanent residents. Influential singer Neil Young saw fit to mention Ontario in his song Helpless, a fact that may convince you this is a province worth visiting.
Toronto, the biggest city in not only the province but in the country too, is a destination that revels in its accolade from the UN as ‘the world’s most multi-cultural urban center’. While this statement is open to argument, there is no disputing the fact that the city has around 5,000 restaurants. This is a place where you can eat 24 hours.
The smaller city of Ottawa, to the northeast of Toronto, managed to obtain the title of capital of Canada despite its size. Just four hours drive from Toronto, it’s home to the country’s government and the magnificent Parliament Buildings that its members sit and do business in. If politics is a great yawn to you it’s just as well that the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s longest skating rink in winter.
Nature lovers and crazed lunatics head for Niagara Falls, the latter climbing into barrels and hoping against all odds to survive the journey while the former are usually smart enough to appreciate the wonder of this awesome spectacle from a safe distance. The city of the same name is home to the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame, a museum dedicated to the life of one of history’s most revered magicians.
In the city of London, there are no palaces, big clocks or medieval towers, as in its English namesake. However, it does have the Labatts Brewery, the facility responsible for producing the nation’s favorite beer. Visitors can take tours of the brewery and imbibe a glass or two of golden nectar along the way. Head for the Banting House National Historic site if prefer something with a touch more temperance.
The north of the province is home to some of the best scenery, with Lake Superior providing one of the most famous natural sights. Pukaskwa National Park, covering a whopping 1,878km, enjoys a coastal location and presents some truly breathtaking panoramas as well as offering chances to see some of the coastline from the perspective of a sea kayak. Kakabeka Falls is the north’s answer to Niagara and while not as impressive, it still puts on a pretty good show.
Connoisseurs of all things gastronomic will find that the province’s significant French-Canadian community can knock up some fine French cuisine, so do grab the opportunity to pig out on pâtés, soufflés and consommés. There are French restaurants across the province, but Eastern Ontario has the largest concentration. And with the multicultural character of the place there are dozens of ethnic eateries too, with the largest Chinatown in Toronto.