What to see and do on Canadian holidays in Ontario

Monday, 31 October 2011 10:36 AM

Enjoy a round of golf in Ontario

Enjoy a round of golf in Ontario

There are many potential destinations to consider when it comes to booking Canada holidays - and one location that should be high up on your list for a glimpse of what life is really like in the country is Ontario.

Arts and culture

Culture vultures really will be in their element in this part of the world, and no trip to Ontario would be complete without checking out some of the local galleries and museums. You might want to head to the Canadian Canoe Museum, for example, which is home to the best collection of these boats on the planet.

Alternatively, you might be taken with the idea of visiting the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, where you can familiarise yourself with some of the greatest artists in the country.

If you are keen to take in a live performance, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa could be the ideal venue.

Here, you will find a wide range of high-calibre artists coming through the doors. The facility - which is one of the biggest in the world - is the only multidisciplinary bilingual performing arts centre in North America.

The National Ballet of Canada might also be of interest when it comes to arts and culture. This company was set up back in 1951 and is the only one in the country that puts on a complete range of full-length traditional classics.

Works by Rudolf Nureyev, John Cranko, George Balanchine and Alexei Ratmansky, among others, can be seen here.

The great outdoors

Looking for ideas for outdoor activities? New York to Niagara Falls tours could be a great choice.

These enable holidaymakers to make their way around Manhattan before travelling to upstate New York and then going on a scenic drive around the Delaware Water Gap and the Poconos.

From here, you will be able to travel on to the falls and perhaps even go on a Maid of the Mist boat ride - a must for anyone new to the area. Alternatively, you could sign up for a trip on the more fast-paced Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour.

Make sure you pick up some souvenirs before you leave and also spend at least one night of your holiday at the Fallsview Casino.

Another must-do before you head off elsewhere is a trip to the Niagara Botanical Gardens and, for a brilliant view of the city, head up to the Skylon Tower back over the border in Canada.

Love golf? Ontario is perfect for those with a passion for the sport. There are over 800 courses in the region, with 12 of them being in the top 20 in Canada.

Some of the best venues include the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course in Belleville - a great choice for anyone looking to get out of the city - and the Ferns Golf & Country Club in Grey County.

Once you've exhausted yourself on the fairway, you should make time to visit some of the wonderful wineries on the Niagara Peninsula.

There are over 50 to choose from, and you can learn all about the traditions of Reif Estates, Chateau des Charmes, Hillebrand Estate Winery and Inniskillin Wines, among others.

Head to Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island to find the oldest commercial grape-growing region in the country.

This has the same latitude as northern California and Bordeaux in France and, if you're keen to see some local countryside as well, this would be a good choice as it is home to Pont Pelee National Park.

Approximately 300,000 people visit this park on Canada adventures each year, and birdwatchers in particular are sure to enjoy its environs.

Watch out for flycatchers, Carolina wrens, yellow-breasted chats, red-bellied woodpeckers and blue-gray gnatcatchers, among other species.

Rest and relaxation

Once you've had your fill of wine and the great outdoors, you might want to unwind at one of the many spas in this part of Canada.

St Anne's Spa offers treatments like a moor mud bath, which is meant to detoxify the body and boost circulation.

High Fields Country Inn and Spa could also be a good choice, as here you can opt for a seaweed wrap and exfoliation, as well as a soothing massage and Alaria warm body wrap.