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mel_hunt Jul 30th, 2008 01:58 PM

short Ontario road trip--what to see/do?
Hi all,
I am going to be driving from Detroit to Toronto next week--any points of interest I shouldn't miss? Time isn't really a factor so if there's something really good that's a bit off the beaten path, that's ok. I just need to get away from work in Ohio for a few days and Canada seemed like a good idea. I'm interested in, but not limited to nature preserves/lakes, walking/hiking trails, shopping (craft/boutique shops, not department stores or the like), historical sites, good road food....) Thanks for your suggestions!

semiramis Jul 30th, 2008 05:32 PM

Not a lot of hiking in downtown Toronto - which is where I assume you are staying.

In Toronto:
High Park is pleasant
Interesting shops and restaurants on Queen St West
Beaches area - you can walk along the lake, again interesting restaurants and shopping
Chinatown - food and shops
The Danforth - Greek Food
Little India on Gerrard St. East - shops and food
Metro Toronto Zoo - lots of walking and animals

Near Toronto (close to Hamilton actually)
- Crawford Lake Conservation area is quite interesting - recreated Huron longhouse, miramictic (sp?) lake, buzzards soaring off high cliffs (quite fascinating to watch their gliding skills)
- North of Toronto
Bruce Trail - lots of walking

BAK Jul 31st, 2008 06:32 AM

Point Pelee park, on the north side of Lake Erie, is an interesting place for at least an hour or two. There's a long, long spit that goes out into the lake, and it's enjoyable to walk to the end of that.

Stratford and St, Marys are not too far off the mainhighway, and both have lots of intreting old houses; Statford, as the home of the Stratfore FEstival, is also a town with a lot of good restaurants.

Paris is another interesting town with a river running through it. Stratford, St Marys and Paris are all in a book I did photographs for, featuring walking tours.

Hamilton has a great arplane museum; nat at big as at Dayton, but you can touch the airplanes in Hamilton and walk under the taller ones.

Niagara Falls is sort of on the way; lots of fruit vendors near there.

For a hike in Toronto, take the subway to Bloor and Jane, walk east along Bloor (past stores for shopping, snacks, see how Toronto realy lives) to High Park, and turn right/south and walk through this giant park down to The Queensway and take a streetcar back downtown.


SallyCanuck Jul 31st, 2008 06:56 AM has a section called Daily Events Listings.

Bruce Trail is a good idea, they often have hikes in the city:

Toronto Field Naturalists have “rambles” – slower-paced than the Bruce Trail hikes – there’s one next week called Newtonbrook Creek, free, meet at 6:45 p.m., meet at NW corner of Bayview and Finch – take insect repellent if you go. 416 593 2656

Fort York for history -

Toronto Islands are a short ferry ride away, Ward’s Island has a restaurant:

There’s the zoo with the stringray exhibit presently.

The ROM - they also have free walks, next Wednesday is the ROM and it’s neighbours at 6 p.m.. The museum is at Avenue Road and Bloor West.

At City Hall (Nathan Phillips Square) at Bay and Queen they have something called Tasty Thursdays with international cuisine from local restaurants and noon-hour concert with Café Ole from 11 till 2 – Lunch is $5 or less.

The Toronto Music Gardens have guided walking tours on Wednesdays at 11 am, Thursdays at 5:30, free, 475 Queens Quay West or you can just wander through it on your's very pretty on the water's edge.

Taste of the Danforth is Aug 8, 9 and 10 in Greektown – a big chunk of Danforth Avenue closed to traffic with food, bars, entertainment….be warned – it gets very crowded. Subway stops are Broadview, Chester and Pape.

SallyCanuck Jul 31st, 2008 07:23 AM

The TFN ramble is Wednesday, the 6th.

mat54 Jul 31st, 2008 09:17 AM

If you take Highway 401, Stratford northeast of London (lots of restaurants, unusual shops, cafes, famous live theatre, etc.) as suggested by BAK is nice. Before heading on to Toronto from there, you could swing by the smaller historic village of St. Jacobs - craft shops and boutiques - just north of Kitchener-Waterloo. If it's a Thursday or Saturday you could also stop at the large St. Jacobs Farmer and Craft Market. A little more out of your way, Elora north of Guelph is another similar village and is adjacent to the Elora Gorge - a scenic section of the Grand River carved through limestone.

A longer and more off-the-beaten path route is to hug the shore of Lake Erie, and visit places like Point Pelee National Park (as suggested by BAK) and the provincial parks with spits into Lake Erie - Rondeau, Long Point. All three are very popular with naturalists and bird-watchers. Port Dover is a smallish holiday-type town on this route with several restaurants and a take-out place offering fresh local Perch dinners. This route could also lead into the Niagara Region - many very excellent wineries plus the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake with good restaurants, specialty boutiques and another popular live theatre.
If you have time and get tired of Toronto, heading up north a couple of hours will bring you to lots of lakes. A favourite preserve is Algonquin Provincial Park - great walking/hiking trails, very scenic (but you might want to book accommodation ahead - it's a busy time of year).

SallyCanuck Jul 31st, 2008 10:43 AM

There's also Uncle Tom's Cabin...

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