Side Trips from Toronto: Places to Explore

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Southern Georgian Bay

The southern shores of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay are home to waterfront towns and beaches that are popular getaways for Torontonians in summer. Ski resorts—Blue Mountain is the most popular—draw city folk as well once the snow falls and become biking and adventure resorts in summer. The region's largest city is Barrie (population 130,000), on the shore of Lake Simcoe, originally a landing place for the area's aboriginal inhabitants and, later, for fur traders. Today it's a big-box-store-filled suburb and one of Toronto's farther-flung bedroom communities. More interesting are the quiet towns of Midland and Penetanguishene (also called Penetang by locals), occupying a small corner of northern Simcoe County known as Huronia, on a snug harbor at the foot of Georgian Bay's Severn Sound. These are docking grounds for trips to the Georgian Bay Islands National Park. To the west, the attractive harbor town of Collingwood, on Nottawasaga Bay, is at the foot of Blue Mountain, the largest ski hill in the province.

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