Ontario Holidays & Accommodation
Canada, North America
Ontario is often referred to as the centre of Canada, and contains much of the country's population and industry notably around its largest city, Toronto, close to the US border and being the arts and financial capital of Canada. The national capital is also located here in Ottawa, close to the Quebec border, and the province is the second largest in Canada. Most of the population is concentrated in the arable south, while the northern three-quarters of the province are sparsely populated.
Ontario Holidays Planner
Ontario contains all of the Great Lakes except Lake Michigan, in addition to approximately 250, 000 other smaller lakes. The province's name translates roughly into 'beautiful water' in the Iroquois language. What this means is the province is a natural haven for anglers of all shapes and sizes, and much of the area has become known as 'Cottage Country' because of the tendency of so many urban dwellers to own a vacation home next to a nearby lake. It also draws in the tourists to view the staggeringly beautiful landscape of Niagara Falls, draining between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and splitting the US and Canadian borders some 120-km south of Toronto.
Ontario's network of lake and rivers make the province a natural haven for those who love canoeing and kayaking. It is easy to go for weeks from lake to lake with only a short portage between calm forested lakes, and there are also plenty of dynamic opportunities for river kayaking for those experienced paddlers. National and provincial parks maintain wilderness areas in near-pristine condition with the advantage of park access roads to reach otherwise difficult areas.
Some interesting parks include Fathom Five National Marine Park at Bruce Peninsula National Park. Here, with proper training in scuba diving, you can dive among pristine freshwater wrecks in beautiful clear water. For those without diving experience, you can simply snorkel among the wrecks for a truly exhilarating experience. There is also the opportunity of taking a cruise through the St. Lawrence Islands Park in the Thousand Islands, an archipelago in the St. Lawrence River that straddles the U.S. border.
For fishermen, casual or serious, there is nothing like the freshwater lakes and rivers of Ontario. No matter where you go, you are sure to get a bite. Whether you are an advocate of the catch and release method, or you are fishing for your supper (make sure you buy a sports licence), if you don't have luck, there is always another fishing spot around the corner. Even if the fish aren't biting, sometimes the best part about fishing is simply being out in the wilderness, enjoying the outdoors.
Certainly the most well-known outdoor activity in the summer in Ontario is visiting the cottage. As a visitor, you can rent a cottage to stay in. Most cottages come equipped with a dock out on to the lake and a boat or a canoe that you can explore the water with. With a backyard grill and a nearby store for quick provisions, there really isn't much else you might need for a gloriously equipped summer.
In winter, Ontario is a place of wide open blue skies and snow. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are uniquely Canadian outdoor occupations that you'll find plenty of opportunities to indulge in with a few safety precautions, a map, and rented equipment. There is nothing quite as satisfying as that hot meal after day spent in the snow.