We spent 7 days in glorious Ontario. We packed quite a lot in, so our itinerary could easily be extended by adding more time - in any of the three areas
Day 1 - 3 Toronto
We instantly fell in love with this cool, cosmopolitan and vibrant city. It's quite walkable and has great public transport and nothing is too far from the centre. The size means you can decide what to do on each day, rather than tick off areas, which makes sense time wise in other cities. Over the three days we visited:
The CN Tower – even if you don’t go up, it’s an iconic landmark
The Art Gallery of Toronto or the AGO – a world class art gallery in a phenomenal building designed by Frank Gehry. We loved the building, the Monet, the Indigenous Canadian art, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room and the Henry Moores (the world’s largest public collection).
City Hall – a vast plaza with stunning, modernist architecture and one of Toronto’s best known landmarks. Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale will instantly recognise it as a key location.
The Royal Ontario Museum – the ROM is massive with significant collections from dinosaurs to mummies and from Rome to China. Plus, the modern extension by Libeskind is stunning.
The best view of the city is from the islands, a short boat ride away, and if you’re into instagram don’t miss Graffiti Alley. We loved both and you can swim from the islands if it's hot.
Day 4: we drove 3 to 4 hours to the Bruce Peninsula.
The 100 kilometre long Bruce Peninsula is the end of the Niagara Escarpment. It juts into Lake Huron separating the cooler, crystalline waters of Georgian Bay from the warmer, sandy shored Lake Huron. The clarity and colour of the water is exceptional. It was icy cold, even in July, but irresistible, we swam, kayaked and hiked. The peninsula is home to 2 National Parks. We visited the The Bruce Peninsula National Park on day 1. It's the home of the aquamarine Grotto – you need to book car parking slots ahead for this must see attraction. We overnighted in pretty Tobermory with its lighthouse and clapperboard houses.
Day 5: we took a boat from Tobermory to the Fathom Five National Marine Park . It has 20 islands and 22 historic shipwrecks to snorkel over!. Tip: don’t miss a trip to nearby Flower Pot Island with its unique rock formations. We drove back to Toronto in the evening.
Day 6: Saving the best until last, we drove 2 hours to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. There's a US side too, but the views arent as amazing.
Niagara Falls is rammed with tourists, mega commercialised and phenomenal. BUT...the roar of the falls, the mist in the air and the power of the water are mesmerising. Don’t miss the obligatory Hornblower Niagara Cruises for an up-close and kagoul clad classic view. There’s also a zipline, Journey Behind the Falls, and helicopter trips. If you’re staying over, check out the whirlpool downstream and the historic 1918 Aero Car. We had a jam packed day and overnighted.
Day 7: We drove back to Toronto and relaxed in Kensington Market eating and shopping before our flight home. We can't wait to return to Canada.