On a visit to the greater Toronto area a great side trip to take is to head out to the west end and check out downtown Oakville.
A quaint strip along Lakeshore Road, downtown Oakville is filled with great restaurants and shops – plenty of ways to fill a sunny afternoon. A nice meal at Paradiso is one of my favourites.
You can also head down to Oakville harbour and see the sail boats come and go, or check out some of the historic sites with many of Oakville’s original buildings restored for future generations to enjoy.
Mont Tremblant – in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec has long been famous as a first class winter resort. It has some of the finest skiing and snowboarding in Eastern North America and the resort has always been exceptional.
Now, with a fantastic pedestrian village at the base of the mountain it has transformed itself into a truly year-round experience.
The village, with fine restaurants, bars, patios, superb shopping, art galleries ensures there’s something for everyone and every taste, no matter whether you are relaxing apres ski, or if you are looking to spend a few hours exploring.
The village is built on a hill at the base of the mountain and does have a small gondola that runs from the base of the village to the top, so it can save you some uphill walking. Just take the gondola to the top of the village and work your way down and explore all it has to offer.
Another tip is to check out Tremblant and its village in July, as it annually hosts the Tremblant International Blues Festival and plays host to some of the best acts from the world of blues, rock, R&B, bluegrass and more.
Hamilton Ontario is known as the city of waterfalls and perhaps one of the most stunning is Webster’s Falls. Located on the Niagara escarpment just above the town of Dundas, Webster’s Falls has become a very popular place with waterfall watchers, families, picnickers and anyone looking for a great day out.
This significant natural area contains two beautiful waterfalls: Webster’s and Tews Falls. Webster’s is a magnificent tiered waterfall and Tews, which towers at 41 metres, is only a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls. Both offer spectacular vistas of the gorge.Ã‚Â A nature trail allows access to the Dundas Peak, which provides stunning views of Dundas and Hamilton. Other pathways passing through the park include the Bruce Trail, and a side-trail to historic Crook’s Hollow Conservation Area.
Webster’s Falls is located inÃ‚Â Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area, andÃ‚Â is part of the Niagara Escarpment, declared by the United Nations (UNESCO) as a World Biosphere Reserve.Ã‚Â This unique geological formation contains two of HamiltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best waterfalls, one of its best lookouts, and hundreds of species of wildlife living in this Carolinian forest.
The park connects to the Bruce Trail and allows for some of the best hiking routes within an easy drive of Hamilton or Metropolitan Toronto.
Canada’s ultimate amusement park – Canada’s Wonderland delights hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Located just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s top amusement park this year releases its most fearsome ride ever – the Behemoth.
Rides like the Dragonfyre, the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, Wilde Beast, Dropzone, the Vortex, The Bat and the Italian Job make Canada’s Wonderland a must visit for any Toronto vacation.
Quite simply the world’s most famous falls. Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada.
The spectacular sight and the incredible sound of over 2,000,000 litres of water rushing over the rim of Horseshoe Falls every second continues to draw millions of visitors every year to the Niagara Falls area, and for good reason. The Niagara Falls, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second largest waterfalls after Victoria Falls in South Africa, fire the imaginations of all who experience their awesome natural beauty and power. Yet there is much more to do here than simply watch the waters flow. Niagara Falls boasts Victorian mansions, fine vineyards, and luxuriant orchards, as well as a rich selection of cultural heritage sites that reflect the pivotal role the region has played in North American history.
Up in a small fishing village outside of St. John’s Newfoundland an interesting happening, as an iceberg has been trapped in a rocky bay at Quidi Vidi. It is provided an unprecedented opportunity to see a live iceberg right up close. Onlookers are flocking to the location to catch a peak at the iceberg while it is so close to shore.
The Canadian Press reported that you could feel the effects on the berg in the air:
Winds coming in from the north Atlantic and brushing against the berg left a noticeable chill in the air.
“It really takes your breath away – not only how cold it is, but the sheer size of it,” said Kevin Baker, visiting from Surrey, B.C., with his wife and 22-month-old son.
“You don’t get to see this kind of stuff out our way.”
Visitors to Newfoundland have a decent opportunity to see icebergs on a visit to the Northern part of Newfoundland. In fact a site called IcebergFinder.com has provided a service that will map active icebergs around Newfoundland. Check it out.
Just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Peggy’s Cove is one of most popular places in Atlantic Canada. Set on rocky shores, the famous lighthouse and village at Peggy’s Cove are a photographer’s paradise. Despite its popularity this tiny fishing village has been able keep the same relaxed atmosphere that has made it famous. Peggy’s Cove is certainly one of Canada’s gems.
One of the most photographed sites in the world, the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse was erected to light and mark the eastern entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay in 1868. While best known as “the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse”, it was and remains, officially know as the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse as its purpose is to mark the point, not the cove. The cove itself has its own small light on the government wharf. The first lighthouse was a a wooden tower, built atop a keeper’s dwelling at the point. It was a red light and used a catoptric reflector (a round silver-plated mirror) to magnify the kerosene oil lamp.
This structure was replaced by the present tower in 1915, a pleasing and stout concrete octagon 50 feet west of the original light. The keeper’s dwelling remained for many years nearby as did a tall flagpole displaying coded black cones and balls to warn of bad weather approaching.
No visit to the province of Quebec is complete without a visit to exuberant, romantic Quebec City, a travel destination found in one of the most beautiful natural settings in North America. The well preserved Vieux-Quebec (Old Quebec) is small and densely packed, and is steeped in four centuries of history and French tradition. 17th and 18th century buildings have been carefully maintained and preserved over the centuries and are bordered by numerous attractive parks which contain historic monuments. The majestic Chateux Frontenac at the top of the hill in Old Quebec defines the Quebec City skyline.
The government of Quebec has completely restored many of the centuries old buildings of Place Royale, one of the oldest districts on the continent. Because of its meticulous preservation of this, the only fortified city remaining in North America, UNESCO has designated Vieux-Quebec a World Heritage Site.
Perched on a cliff above a narrow point in the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City has a view that seems to take in the whole world. In the 17th century the first French explorers, fur trappers, and missionaries came here to establish the colony of New France. Today, it still resembles a French provincial town in many ways. The culture, music, food, and art are all distinctly influenced by the French. At the same time, the Quebecois have created their own enduring culture with its unique traditions, flavors, sounds, and sights.
Quebec City’s split level landscape divides Upper Town on the cape from Lower Town, along the shores of the St. Lawrence. Separating these two sections of the city are cliffs of steep and precipitous rock, against which were built more than 25 escaliers (staircases). Both parts of the town offer attractions ranging from from centuries old buildings to beautiful churches. The city also has an amazing array of cabarets, cafes, and restaurants where visitors can enjoy the unique Quebecois cuisine.
Quebec City is the closest one can come to being in France without leaving North America. Visitors to Quebec City are never disappointed. The blend of French culture with other traditions has produced an amazing city of timeless treasures and memories to be shared.
Alexander Keith’s brewing company was founded in 1820 and ever since has remained famous for it’s signature India Pale Ale. The historic Keith’s Brewery and Museum can be visited year-round in historic Halifax, Nova Scotia and includes guided tours to learn more about the brewery, it’s history and Mr. Alexander Keith himself (once the Mayor of Halifax even).