Thanks for dropping by to check out my travel ontario bucket list!
Recently we made the move from Alberta to Ontario, specifically from Edmonton, Alberta. As i’ve already mentioned, my husband and I are originally from Australia, so all of our family is back in Aus. We have been here for nearly four years and to be honest we were kind of supposed to be back in Australia by now, but… with life being what it is, we are still here and will be for a while yet! Don’t get me wrong we LOVE Canada and it will always be a second home for us, like at the Olympics if Australia isn’t racing I’ll be a cheering for Canada! And for sure, when we do finally move back to Australia, I’ll be celebrating Canada Day every year with you guys and introducing my friends back home to everything I love about Canada.
Anyway, I digress… Edmonton will always have a place in my heart, for me it has the trifecta – great people, food and coffee. That is all my little heart needs. So when it came time to pack up our little family and move to good old Ontario, I didn’t really give it a second thought. Yes I would have preferred to be moving back to Australia, but that’s not on the table right now, but I always knew we were never in Edmonton permanently. So I said goodbye to the people and places I love and didn’t look back. Little did I realize, how hard it was going to be to adjust to this change. I had forgotten how hard it is too meet people in a new town. So while I deal with these unexpected emotions and continue to try and fall in love with my new home, one positive outcome of our move is that we are so much closer to a range of travel destinations!
Long story short! In no particular order, here is my bucket list with my top 5 travel destinations, that are within 4-5 hours from the Greater Toronto Area. If you have been to any of them, drop me a message and share your tips. Or if you have any to add, I’d love to hear from you!
Travel Ontario Bucket List
You can’t live in Canada and not visit Canada’s Capital! With plenty to offer, such as skating along the largest natural skating rink in the world at the scenic Rideau Canal (Winter only!), setting your sites on Parliament Hill, visiting the local artisans, farmers and craft makers at the year round ByWard Market to sampling their up and coming local cuisine. Ottawa is a place I need to see!
Of course a trip to Canada isn’t complete without a trip to Toronto. Now I have to confess I spent a week in Toronto about 6 years ago but I feel that I really need to experience it again as I don’t think I did the best job last time! I’m actually a small city girl at heart so I’m pretty intimidated by Toronto, I’ll be doing a lot of research before I venture there with a 18 month old in tow! Toronto is a hub for sporting events, a food lovers paradise and has a bustling artistic scene. A couple of hotspots on my list are: taking in a baseball game, a visit to the Kensington Markets, the Evergreen Brick Markets and St Lawrence Markets as well as strolling through the Distillery District and of course checking out the CN Tower.
East of the GTA
East and slightly Northish of the GTA is Prince Edward County and the Kingston area that includes the 1000 Islands and Wolfe Island. Prince Edward County is the closest to the GTA and is less than 3 hours making it a perfect weekend getaway. The 1000 Islands is a further 2 hour drive from Prince Edward County and will see you passing through Kingston on the way with Wolfe Island is just a short ferry trip away. Prince Edward County is our next travel destination and I am told it is a wine and foodie paradise (UPDATE: Check out our recent trip to Prince Edward County)! Two of my favourite things!
North West of the GTA
This area is on my summer travel bucket list! So far the hot spots seem to be the Bruce County, Muskoka and Georgian Bay. These destinations seem to be the place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of things and relax and unwind for a weekend away. Whether it be taking in “cottage country” in Muskoka, relaxing by the water, breathing in the fresh air while hiking the trails, taking part in the summer festivals or cruising the Gregorian Bay, this area seems ideal to get away from it all.
South West of the GTA
This area is on my list because of the beaches, I am a sucker for a beach town! So this summer, I am definitely exploring all that Ontario’s Southwest has to offer! The main destinations on my list are the beaches at Point Pelee and Canatara Park.
Ok so this makes six, I know! But see I have already been to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake twice, so it’s not technically on my bucket list BUT I felt it would have been rude of me not to include it as a must see Ontario destination. Niagara Falls is simply a must and is probably one of the most well known Canadian travel destinations, but Niagara on the Lake is one place I always recommend to friends and family who are thinking of traveling in Canada. Niagara on the Lake is a quaint, picturesque town, home to many world-class wineries.
This is of course not an exhaustive list of all of the wonderful travel destinations within 5 hours of the GTA, nor does it include everything there is to see, eat and do in each of the destinations mentioned. These are my personal travel ideas and plans that I hope might be of benefit to someone planning travel in the area as well!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, please drop me a message to add to this list of destinations or recommendations of things to experience in these destinations!