Ottawa's Canadian Tulip Festival is the world's largest such tulip festival, showcasing over three million of these seasonal favorites around the capital city. The festival brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors from Canada, the United States, and around the world.
Credit: Ottawa Tourism
Talking of festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival is one of this happening city’s many cultural offerings. Held each September, TIFF runs Cannes a close second as the world’s most glamorous gathering of movie glitterati. Premieres here have included Chariots of Fire, Sideways, and Crash.
Instantly recognizable, Niagara Falls’ Horsehoe Falls drop an average of 188 feet into the Lower Niagara River, serving as a literal sluicegate between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Niagara Falls, Ontario, is Canada’s most-visited family-vacation destination.
Niagara ain’t just water. It also means wine, with 28 wineries occupying the fertile peninsula below the Niagara Escarpment and on the shores of Lake Ontario. Closer to Toronto, oenophiles can get in on the action at popular wineries including Magnotta Winery, Milan Wineries, and Willow Springs Winery.
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Boasting over 330 parks covering a massive 22 million acres, there’s plenty space to get lost in Ontario. One of the most popular escapes is 1.9-million-acre Algonquin Provincial Park. A 35-mile stretch of Highway 60 offers a taster, though the only way to explore the interior is on foot or by canoe.
Canada’s biggest ski resorts lie to the west in the Rockies, or east in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. Blue Mountain Ski Resort, 100 miles north of Toronto, is no slouch, however, with 36 trails and 720 feet of vertical.
Ontario’s Point Pelee National Park is on the migration route of the beautiful Monarch butterfly. For a few days each autumn, thousands of butterflies rest on Point Pelee Island in preparation for the long stop-free flight across Lake Erie and southward as far as Mexico.
Old Woman Bay lies north of Sault Ste. Marie in Lake Superior Provincial Park. A popular viewpoint here offers scenic views atop 400-foot cliffs, as well as the chance to see nesting peregrine falcons.
VIA Rail’s Toronto-to-Vancouver route may vie for the mantle of “world’s best railway journey,” but Ontario’s Agawa Canyon Tour Train and the Algoma Central Railway is surely a sleeper hit. Chugging through the wilderness of northern Ontario, the route includes a 12-mile-long, 500-foot descent into Agawa Canyon.
The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, capped by the ever-popular Bruce Peninsula, where sea kayakers, backpackers, kiteboarders, and more can play to their heart’s content. The 500-mile Bruce TrailCanada's oldest and longest footpathsnakes from the Niagara River to Tobermory at the northernmost tip of the Bruce Peninsula.
Ontario’s northernmost park, Polar Bear Provincial Park is home to some 200 polar bears who pass through coastal areas of the park, particularly in early November. Other wildlife here includes caribou, moose, beaver, and black bear. It is only accessible by air.