Published on April 5th, 2017 | by Guest Contributor
10 Things to Do in Ontario This Spring.
Now that the warmer weather is here, it’s time to come out of hibernation, shake off that bout of cabin fever you’ve been fighting, and find something to do. From flora to fauna to film and more, springtime in Ontario offers events and activities to suit every taste. Here are just a few of our favourite ways to enjoy spring in Ontario.
Go Visit a Sugar Shack.
You can experience the great Canadian classic of visiting a sugar shack (maple syrup farm) through to the end of April in some areas. Traditional maple sugar shacks are scattered around Ontario offering tours and tastings, and of course the classic Canadian outdoor treat of warm syrup poured over snow.
Enjoy the Spring Bloom.
A free and easy way to celebrate the arrival of spring is to get out and enjoy the trees in full blossom. Southern Ontario is home to lush orchards of apple, apricot, plum, and pear trees that bloom in the spring. Take a scenic drive that allows you to shake off the late-winter blahs and experience the colourful renaissance of spring. For those in the Toronto – or who are visiting the big city – the cherry blossoms in High Park always draw enthusiastic crowds to see the lush spring blooms in late April or early May.
Hit the Road.
Speaking of taking a scenic drive, spring happens to be a favourite time of year for automotive enthusiasts. Suddenly, it’s fun to drive again with the windows open and a favourite song playing a little too loud on the radio. Classic cars that have been tarped all winter get dusted off and readied for the road. If you’re into cars or just looking for a fun outing, check out the 35th Annual Spring Barrie Automotive Flea Market. Running from June 1st to 4th, the event features classic cars and collectables, car parts and accessories from thousands of vendors, live entertainment and a festival foods.
For those that prefer fauna to flora, springtime in Ontario has plenty of wildlife to offer as well. You can see birds of prey in their natural habitats. Since 1975, birdwatchers have been monitoring the annual spring migration of hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures over the Niagara Peninsula. The Beamer Memorial Conservation Area – just outside of Grimsby – has people on hand monitoring the bird migrations daily from the beginning of March through mid-May. Point Pelee National Park is home to an annual Festival of Birds that allows visitors to witness the migration of thousands of song birds from numerous different species. The greatest variety can be spotted in the first few weeks of May. This year’s festival runs from May 1st to 22nd.
Moose on the Loose.
If birds aren’t your thing, how about moose? While there are always plenty of good reasons to visit the Muskoka and Algonquin regions for the natural beauty and great opportunities for hiking, exploring, and camping, springtime offers you the best chance of seeing moose. (So, drive carefully.) Highway 60 through Algonquin Park is one great spot. The salt poured on the road during winter attracts the moose to the sides of the road in the spring. Try an early morning or evening drive in May for the most moose. If you want to get out and explore the park – and have the best chances for spotting and photographing the majestic animals in their natural habitat, official moose-watching excursions are also available.
Cast Your Line.
While some people fish year-round in Ontario, spring marks the official opening of the sport fishing season – and it also kicks off the bass and walleye seasons. Lucky for southern Ontario anglers, Lake Erie is considered by many to have one of the best walleye fisheries in the world. Parks Ontario offers a variety of fishing packages and excursions for expert anglers and novices alike. Every year, the Orillia region holds its annual Orillia Perch Festival. This three-week fishing derby takes place during the last two weeks of April and the first week of May. Open to fishing enthusiasts of all ages, the contest offers cash and prizes for fish caught from Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.
Catch a Hot Documentary Film.
For something a little less outdoorsy this spring, you can always head downtown Toronto for the annual Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival. Running from April 27th to May 7th, this year’s lineup includes 230 documentaries from 58 countries around the world. Highlights include documentaries on James Bond, Whitney Huston, Leonard Cohen, among many others.
Enjoy the World’s Best Butter Tarts.
The butter tart is widely regarded as the quintessential Canadian desert. It was very common in Canadian pioneer cooking. So, it is fitting that the town of Midland holds an annual Best Butter Tart Festival and Contest each spring. The event draws bakers from across Ontario, selling tens of thousands of tarts each year. So, if you’ve got a sweet tooth or a hankering to taste a Canadian classic, the celebration of the butter tart takes place on Saturday, June 10th downtown Midland.
If you and your family love thrills and excitement head to Canada’s Wonderland. With over 200 attractions, this amusement park is one of the the best places for family fun in Ontario. It opens for the season on April 30th and CAA Members save over $20 on the front gate price at Canada’s Wonderland.
Visiting the Islands.
You don’t have to hop on a plane to experience the island life this spring. Simply head to Toronto’s lakefront, hop on a ferry across Lake Ontario and visit the Toronto Islands. Surrounded by the iconic Toronto skyline, taking a trip to the Toronto Islands is a quick day excursion your family will enjoy. You can rent bikes and ride the entire island, have a picnic on Wards Island Beach or even go on some rides at Centreville.
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