SOUTHERN ONTARIO FROM EAST TO WEST - 4 ITINERARY IDEAS

Ontario's territory is vast and rich in experience. I'm sure you would like to see everything, explore every nook and cranny. If you don't as much time as you would like, you will probably have to plan and make choices before you start exploring it. In this article, I propose 4 itinerary ideas that can be realized in less than two weeks. Find below the maps highlighting the proposed routes and some information on each stop. Each itinerary is made considering the minimum number of days needed to fully appreciate the destination. I hope these itineraries will inspire you!

ITINERARY 1 - 13 DAYS

Long-Sault (3 nights) - Toronto (3 nights) - Niagara (3 nights) - The Pinery (4 nights)

ITINERARY 2 - 14 DAYS

Wasaga Beach (4 nights) - Blue Mountain (passage) - Tobermory (3 nights) - Manitoulin Island (3 nights) - Algonquin Park (4 nights)

ITINERARY 3 - 13 NIGHTS

Thousand Islands (3 nights) - Wasaga Beach (4 nights) - Algonquin Park (4 nights) - Ottawa (2 nights)

ITINERARY 4 - 12 DAYS

Sandbanks (4 nights) - Sauble Beach (4 nights) - Tobermory (3 nights) - Toronto (3 nights)

LONG SAULT PARKWAY
Halfway between Kingston and Montreal, Long Sault Parkway crosses an archipelago of eleven islands created by the flooding of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958. This park has the largest public beach on the shores of the St. Lawrence River (Mille Roches), bike paths, preserved nature trails, boat launch ramps, picnic areas, scuba diving and remarkable fishing. Enough to keep you busy for a few days.

For an immersion in the region's history, be sure to visit Upper Canada Village and the Fort Henry site. Wildlife enthusiasts will be enchanted by the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary located within the park.


Camprounds:
Long Sault Park is home to three campgrounds with more than 600 sites, many along the river. You will find locations for all types of equipment.

https://www.stlawrenceparks.com/camping/campgrounds/long-sault-parkway/

TORONTO
I could write several lines listing all that the busy city of Toronto has to offer. This city, which had the reputation of being a little dull and unattractive, will surprise you. There are eclectic and vibrant neighborhoods with many interesting bars and restaurants. These include the Distillery District built inside former Victorian industrial buildings declared a national historic site or the upscale York district. Not to be missed is the St-Lawrence Market, which also offers a unique atmosphere.

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If this is your first visit to the Queen city, don't forget Old Town and its must-see attractions such as the CN Tower and Ripley Aquarium as well as a guided tour of the Steam Whistle Brewery. While you're at it, why not attend a Blue Jays baseball game. Casa Loma Castle near the city center is also worth a visit. Several museums welcome you with exhibitions that will please everyone.

Camprounds:
If you decide to stop in Toronto during your trip to Ontario, choose an urban campground. Glen Rouge Campground is the only campground located in the City of Toronto within walking distance of public transit and close to local attractions such as the Toronto Zoo, the Petticoat Creek Conservation Area and Toronto's beaches.

http://www.rvcc.ca/Rouge_Park_Glen_Rouge_Campground.html

NIAGARA
Beyond the famous waterfalls and the city of Niagara Falls, which I would qualify as "Kitch", the Niagara region has a lot to offer.


A few days are needed to explore this region renowned for its vineyards. More than 40 wineries produce distinctive wines in Twenty Valley, which is more than enough to satisfy the sommelier in you. Be sure to stop in the picturesque villages of Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland and Jordan Village.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake is also very popular for its wineries and fruit growing. The charming historic city of Niagara-on-the-Lake is sure to charm you with its streets lined with art galleries, cafés and craft shops.


Campgrounds:

The campgrounds in the region are privately owned. The offering is abundant near the falls. It is the ideal place to set up a base camp and explore the area for a few days. Camping KOA Niagara Falls and Camping Campark Resort are among the highest rated.

http://koa.com/campgrounds/niagara-falls-ontario/

http:/www.camparkcom/

THE PINERY
Pinery Provincial Park has 10 kilometres of sandy beaches on the shores of Lake Huron. According to National Geographic, this region ranks among the top 10 places in the world that offer the best sunsets. The park is home to extremely rare ecosystems. Its landscapes are characterized by its fragile oak savannah and coastal dunes with extraordinary biodiversity.


Campgrounds:
More than 1200 camping sites are available in the provincial park. For camping options, visit the Ontario Parks website:

https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/pinery/camping

WASAGA BEACH
Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world with 14 km of shoreline.

In addition to the exceptional scenery offered by the provincial park, you can fish on the Nottawasaga River. The park's dune region offers 30 km of trails. As you enter the trails, you will pass through an area known as raised beaches. These are the remains of a glacial lake that covered the Wasaga Beach area nearly 10,000 years ago.

History buffs will be delighted by the Island of Nancy, an historic site associated with the War of 1812 in the Georgian Bay region. Today, Canada's borders are the direct result of the valiant battles of HMS Nancy and its crew. You can even watch a demonstration of muskets or cannons.


Campgrounds:
The best option is to stay in the provincial park. Camping options are quite limited in the area. It is therefore necessary to plan early to stay in the park. For more information visit:

https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/wasagabeach

BLUE MOUNTAIN
Very similar to the experience you could have while visiting Tremblant, this village at the footstep of the mountain, offers you entertainment in a magical setting. Blue Mountain is a resort that offers a wide range of activities all year round. Restaurants, shops and festivals for all tastes are in the spotlight 12 months a year.

TOBERMORY
Tobermory, on the Bruce Peninsula, offers a unique experience to its visitors with its two national parks. These two parks are home to natural gems that lead you into an unexpected world. Fathom Five National Marine Park has more than 20 historic shipwrecks that you can see on board the many cruises offered from Tobermory. In addition, this park offers some of the best freshwater diving opportunities in Canada. If you are a diver, this place is a must.

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Environ 4 heures au nord Toronto se trouve Tobermory, petit village au abords du Lac Huron, à partir duquel il est possible d'explorer une nature sauvage unique dans les parcs nationaux environnants dont le parc marin Fathom Five où nous avons pu voir, a bord d'un bateau au fond de verre, cette épave coulée il y a 125 ans. #tobermory #northernontario #huronlake #greatlakes #ontariolakes #bruceanchor #flowerpotisland #fathomfivenationalmarinepark #canadaparks #parcscanada #marinepark #shipwrecked #divespot #scubadiving #ontariotravel #quebecblogger #rockformations #clearbluewater #familyvacation #discovercanada #discoverontario #travelontario #ontariobeaches #ontariovacation

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Flowerpot Island is 6.5 km from Tobermory Harbour and is only accessible by boat. The cruises taking you there are the same ones that allow you to observe the wrecks. This small island is famous for its natural rock pillars reminiscent of flowerpots, caves, historic lighthouse and rare plants. Be sure to make a reservation.


The famous Grottos in Bruce Peninsula National Park, also near Tobermory, are one of the main tourist attractions on the Bruce Peninsula. The crystal clear blue waters are a unique natural wonder and a memorable place to see.


Don't miss to stroll down the charming streets of Tobemory with its shops and restaurants. If the weather allows it, the town of Lion's Head is very interesting and a kayak trip in this bay will offer you a breathtaking view of the rocky escarpments that give way to exceptional landscapes. Its pebble beach is very inviting for a picnic with a view of the lighthouse.

Campgrounds:
The Bruce Peninsula National Park campsites are beautiful. The campground is established in an ancient cedar forest. It is necessary to book early.
For informations: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/bruce

MANITOULIN ISLAND
The untouched scenery and beauty of Manitoulin Island will leave breathless if you love nature and wide open spaces. To get there you will have to take the ferry from Tobermory. It is strongly recommended to book your place on the ferry in advance.


The Great Spirit Circle (GSCT) trail is a self-guided tourist itinerary that includes stops in many First Nations villages and historic sites on Manitoulin Island.

Manitoulin Island offers superb hiking trails. The most famous trail is the Cup and Saucer trail, which offers a breathtaking view of the boreal forest. Don't miss the city of Kagawong and a walk to the majestic Bridal Veils Fall. This is a popular attraction in Manitoulin but it will not disappoint you. Walk down the metal staircase while enjoying a magnificent view of the falls. On hot summer days, it is not uncommon to see people swimming at the foot of the falls!


Campgrounds:
Several campsites are available on the island. Some campgrounds are suitable for tents, others for trailers and others for cabins, yurts and all-season tents.

  1. Batman’s Cottage and Campground
  2. Mindemoya Court Cottages and Campground
  3. Gordon’s Park
  4. South Bay Resort and Campground
  5. Providence Bay Tent & Trailer
  6. Stanley Park Campgrounds
  7. Idyll-Glen Camping
  8. Mac’s Camp

ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK
Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Ontario and offers visitors 7,700 square kilometres of wilderness and countless outdoors activities.


Barron Canyon Trail is a 1.5 km long interpretive trail that crosses a pine forest to the edge of a 100 metre deep Canyon and is one of the most spectacular attractions in Algonquin Park. The canyon was formed 10,000 years ago, when glaciers melted in the Champlain Sea.


Old Railway Bike Trail is a 10 km easy family bike path. The bike path built on an old railway track is an excellent way to spend a few hours discovering the history and fascinating Algonquin landscapes.

Algonquin Provincial Park has a reputation for providing one of the best trout fishing in Canada. Brook trout are found in more than 230 lakes and lake trout in 149 lakes.

Campgrounds:
The provincial park offers several types of campsites that can accommodate almost any type of equipment. For information visit:

http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/camping/rv-camping-in-algonquin-park.php


THOUSAND ISLANDS

This small park of 24.4 square kilometres in the Thousand Islands region stretches from Kingston to Brockton along the St. Lawrence River and is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The best way to explore it is from the water.

The park has several access points, including Mallorytown and Gananoque. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve section of the park is home to a large number of endangered species, including turtles, butterflies, snakes and birds.

http://www.boldtcastle.com

Campgrounds::
It is possible to camp within the Thousand Islands National Park or book nearby. KOA Ivy Lea Campground has a very good reputation in the region. https://koa.com/campgrounds/ivy-lea/

SANDBANKS PROVINCIAL PARK
Sandbanks Provincial Park's reputation is well established. It is the perfect place to enjoy the many white sandy beaches of Lake Ontario. Blue water and sand dunes worthy of a seaside landscape attract crowds every year.


Although beaches are the main attraction of the region, don't miss visiting the region's vineyards and microbreweries if you are an amateur.

Campgrounds:
Campgrounds are limited. The best option, in my opinion, is to stay in the park. I advise you to make your reservations several months in advance. Reservations are possible 6 months before the arrival date.

Each camping area in the provincial park offers a unique camping experience. I loved the sandy beachfront lots, without service, in the Outlet sector or the very intimate wooded lots, 2 services, in the Woodland sector.

Visit the park website for booking information: https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/sandbanks/camping

SAUBLE BEACH
Sauble Beach is the 2nd largest freshwater beach in the world after Wasaga Beach! On the shores of Lake Huron, Sauble beach is a typical beach town that will entertain you with its vibrant atmosphere. There is an aerial park, an arcade, the Sauble Speedway as well as many festivals such as the Sauble Beach Classic Car Show and the Sauble Beach Sandfest.

The white sandy beach is magnificent and you can observe piping plovers, small shorebirds running along the waterfront or nesting on the beach.


Sauble Falls is an interesting attraction to see in the area if you can get away from the beach for a few hours. They are only a few minutes from the city centre. Sauble Falls is a fantastic place to dive into shallow water and sit under the series of small waterfalls that cascade.

Campgrounds:
There is no provincial park in the area. On the other hand, Camping Carson's Camp is huge and offers direct access to the beach. Children will appreciate the wide range of activities available, such as the popular indoor pool on colder evenings!

For information: https:/www.carsonscamp.com/

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