Holidays in Ontario
With a new experience around every corner, Ontario's scenic open roads will lead you to breath-taking scenery, quaint country towns, the sophisticated city of Toronto and Canada’s cultural capital city – Ottawa.
Just a seven hour flight from the UK, this four-season playground is home to world-renowned Canadian icons such as the CN Tower and the thundering Niagara Falls. 250,000 lakes and over 280 national and provincial parks promise endless opportunities for year-round adventure and plenty of possibilities to connect with wildlife and nature. The romantic Capital of Ottawa with its French influences and bags of charm promises urban and wilderness experiences right on the city’s doorstep and fun festivals year round. Explore the beauty of Blue Mountain and the surrounding region, with a variety of activities including RidgeRunner Mountain Coaster, mountain biking and segway tours.
Award-winning wineries and world-class cuisine, vibrant city nightlife and fascinating historical sites put Ontario in pole position as Canada’s most diverse, hip and happening must-visit destination.
What is included?
What is included?
Blue Mountain, near Collingwood
What is included?
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and is also the most populous city. Positioned on Lake Ontario the skyline is dominated by the CN Tower, which itself is surrounded by numerous skyscrapers, which are home to some of Toronto’s best hotels.
Toronto’s diversity means there is something for everyone, for the sports fan there is the Toronto Maples Leafs NHL team, the Toronto Blue Jay baseball team and the Toronto Raptors. The Rogers Centre, which is home to the Blue Jays, also holds many concerts featuring world famous music stars.
For the foodies the choice is almost endless, from budget snack bars to Asian flavours all the way up to the revolving 360 Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower.
The capital city of Canada, Ottawa sits on the junction of the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers. It is also unique in that it sits on the border of Ontario and Quebec. High above the Ottawa River sits the Parliament building which is open to the public for tours.
Passing through Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. During the summer this is a great place to enjoy a walk or a scenic cruise. It also comes alive during the winter, when it freezes over and becomes the world’s largest skating rink!
Ottawa is also home to ‘Beavertails', a doughy beaver tail shaped pastry which was invented in 1978 and is available year round from one of the many eateries in the ByWard Market.
Niagara Falls is located on the border between Canada and the United States of America. Although the falls are made up of three different falls, the most famous one is ‘The Canadian Falls’ also known as the Horseshoe Falls. While not one of the highest in the world the volume of water makes it one of the most spectacular. Due to its location there are many ways to view the falls, by helicopter, by boat on the Hornblower Niagara Cruises, which takes you right up to the falls, or even behind the falls with Journey Behind the Falls, where you can follow passages down to the base of the falls.
As well as the falls Niagara is home to great entertainment, Clifton Hill offers many attractions, including the Skywheel. In the Niagara Region, you'll also discover over 90 wineries to visit along the Wine Route as well as the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
As well as having amazing cities, Ontario also has breath-taking country scenery, with many National and Provincial Parks. The oldest Provincial Park in Canada, Algonquin is ideally situated between Toronto and Ottawa and great for those who want to get back to nature. With boating, biking, canoeing and swimming all options during summer, while in the winter, skiing, snowmobiling and dog sledding all come to the fore.
And for something different, by Kingston, the Thousand Islands National Park is one of Canada's smallest National Parks. Made up of over 21 islands visitors can follow trails, picnic or explore the islands from above on a helicopter tour.
For three weekends in February, Ottawa is taken over by the Winterlude Festival. Throughout the duration of the festival numerous events take place across the city, many of which are FREE. Each year, ice artists from across the world carve amazing ice statues which go on display in Confederation Park, there is even a chance to see these artists at work. There is the world’s biggest snow playground – the Snowflake Kingdom - which can be found in Jacques Cartier Park, a great place for young children to have fun. In winter, the Rideau Canal becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway, the largest ice rink in the world - all ages will love to skate here! Another event not to be missed is the Annual Village Bed Race, where teams race decorated beds across the ice.
Every year between May & October, Niagara Falls hosts a spectacular firework display lighting up the Falls and the city in an array of colours. The display occurs every Sunday, Wednesday & Friday starting at 10pm. There are many places to view the show, two of the best are from the Hornblower cruise as it travels up to the falls or from Queen Victoria Park. And from the end of May to the start of September the Queen Victoria Park also hosts music concerts on Fridays & Sundays, a great way to spend a night in Niagara Falls.
Most major cities host festivals & events and Toronto is no exception. Throughout the year Toronto plays host to some of the biggest events in Canada. For fans of food and drink there is Taste of Toronto, one the world’s top food festivals, held in June or in July. Toronto’s Festival of Beer showcases many of Ontario’s craft beers. Other festivals include the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival in July and August, Cavalcade of Lights in November and the Toronto Christmas Market in December. For sport and music fans, there's a variety of events - catch the baseball season and see the Toronto Blue Jays play between April to October, watch the Rogers Cup Tennis Tournament in July and enjoy the North by North East Music Festival in June.
Time difference: GMT -4 hours
Currency: Canadian Dollar.
Language: English, French.
Flight time from the UK (London): Approximately 7 hours.
Arrival Airport: Toronto Pearson International Airport or Ottawa International Airport
Entry details (for British passport holders): From the 29th September 2016, if you fly or transit through Canada, you must have an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.