Explore Beyond Toronto: Day Trips Outside the City
Niagara College Canada has compiled a list of adventures to check out near Toronto this summer.
There’s no end to the amount of fun to explore in the City of Toronto. As a world class city, Toronto has a diverse offering of activities and cuisines and entertainment that could take a lifetime to experience. But what about the world beyond the city limits? Canada has many national parks and locations that celebrate the natural wonders of the country. Just outside Toronto, these six spots are perfect for a weekend getaway or day trip to learn, explore, and have an adventure.
1. Niagara Falls
The most famous of the landmarks on the list, Niagara Falls is one of the great natural wonders of the world and located less than two hours from Toronto. Three falls combined, Niagara Falls is not only a spectacle, but a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Enjoy a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist to get up close and personal with this natural wonder, or snap Instagram-able pics of the falls by simply strolling Queen Victoria Park. There’s also Journey Behind the Falls, a walk-through underground tunnel to a stunning observation deck. Don’t forget to check out the amenities and attractions in the city of Niagara Falls, with everything from restaurants and confectioners to haunted houses and arcades!
2. Collingwood Caves
Put on your best hiking shoes (no flip flops here) to explore the self-guided walking trails through the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures of Collingwood. Set in one of Canada’s eighteen United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) biosphere reserves, the site is rich with history and adventure, and there are so many caves and crannies to discover and explore. After you finish with the caves, don’t forget to check out the suspension bridge for an incredible view of the gorgeous Georgian Bay area, or the walking trails ‐ a great place for snowshoeing in winter!
3. Ferris Provincial Park
If you’re looking for beautiful views and a bit of adventure, Ferris Provincial Park is a great choice for a day outside the city. Get a birds-eye view of the Trent River Gorge by walking across the 30 ft high pedestrian suspension bridge or walk to the scenic Ranny Falls, a plunge waterfall spanning the width of the river. The park has over 10km of trails through woodland and riverbanks and is open year-round.
4. Elora Gorge
Escape the city with a day of hiking, swimming, and exploring at the Elora Gorge Conservation Area. Towering limestone cliffs carved by glacial meltwater frame the Grand River, a perfect spot for swimming, kayaking and especially tubing! Open from May 1 to October 15, hike the riverside trails and bring a picnic to enjoy in front of the rapids and watch the tubers and kayakers race by, or head into downtown Elora for lunch in front of the Elora Gorge Falls!
5. Algonquin Park
The oldest provincial park in Canada, Algonquin Park is a stunning 7, 653 km of protected land that forms the barrier between Northern and Southern Ontario. The park is home to Canadian wildlife like moose, black bear, beaver, dear, owls and even the Eastern wolf. Visit for the day or take the weekend to camp at one of hundreds of campsites on the edges of the park, or for the more adventurous, portage by canoe or kayak to a more interior site. The park is also home to many lakes and rivers making it great for fishing trips. The park has attractions all year round, whether you want to tap into the spring syrup season, ice fish, enjoy some summer hikes, or take-in the fall foliage.
Head an hour east of the city to beautiful Prince Edward County and find the largest bay-mouth barrier dune in the world! A trio of sandy beaches on the shores of Lake Ontario, Sandbanks has everything you need for fun in the sun. The shallow waters are warm and have a gentle sloping drop off, perfect for families and friends looking for a day-trip beach getaway. The park is also a migration hotspot for a variety of species of birds, and close to many of the offerings of Prince Edward County, known for its wineries, bike tours, restaurants, and antiques.
There are so many scenic and adventurous spots just outside the city of Toronto for you to explore. Get outside and experience the natural spectacle that Canada has to offer — its right outside our doorstep!
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