Sports fans will find themselves at home in Hamilton, base of the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
A pleasant port city wrapped around Lake Ontario, midway between Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Hamilton has plenty to see and do, including the Royal Botanical Gardens, Dundern Castle (built in the 1830s) and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Hamilton is a pleasant base for exploring the outdoors. Take advantage of the many waterfall trails that circle the city, and don't miss the spectacular Webster’s Falls and the imaginatively named Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Horse-drawn buggies are common in this charming rural area that has a Mennonite heritage and gentle pace of life.
A pleasant place to shop, St. Jacobs is well known for its farmers market whose old-fashioned building was destroyed by a fire in September 2013. But the market remains open, and a new building is being constructed. With historical shops selling artisanal crafts and introductions to local produce and crafts by the Maple Syrup Museum and the Quilt Gallery, it a lovely place to step back in time.
Nicknamed the loveliest town in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake has seen its retirement population soar due in part to its mild climate and scenic location where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario.
Rich in history and at the heart of Canada’s wine region, this charming 19th century village makes a pleasant day trip. Explore Fort George National Historic Site or enjoy fine dining at one of several historical hotels. The city also is a great base for visiting its more famous neighbour, Niagara Falls. Go whitewater rafting, take a bike tour or simply walk across the border to New York.
The Blue Mountains offer scenic views, skiing and snow sports in the winter. During the "green season," go mountain biking, caving, hiking or visit nearby Wasaga Beach.
The area offers many entertainment options. Stay in the village, which has an eclectic mix of cafes, après ski and shops. Or visit nearby Collingwood on Nottawasaga Bay with its nautical heritage. If you go to Collingwood, nature lovers will be pleased to find Canada’s sixth Great Lake on their doorstep, where they can explore the nearby wildlife.
For true adventurers, the call of the wild can be heard at Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, just a three-hour drive from Toronto. The reserve has rolling pine forests, clear lakes, raging rivers and the world’s longest continuous canopy walk. It's a perfect destination for those who like their holidays packed with activities.
Visitors can try snowmobiling and dog sledding in the winter or camping, fishing and mountain biking in summer. With clear skies away from city lights, Haliburton Forest offers beautiful views of the night sky.
A vibrant tech scene has breathed new life into the iconic City by the Bay, yet the hilly metropolis still remains a favourite spot for foodies, hipsters and hippies. But in order to get an authentic taste of this multicultural melting pot, we say skip Fisherman’s Wharf in favour of these not so faraway destinations.
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