You don’t have to travel far to immerse yourself in nature, especially when you have some of Ontario’s most beautiful waterways in your backyard. Whether you’re native to Ontario or just visiting, there’s a variety to do across each of its regions. Now that summer is in full swing, we’re sharing some of our favourite things to do along Southwestern Ontario’s most popular bodies of water. Pull out your note paper and pen, and jot down some of these bucket-list worthy activities.
Go on a Guided Segway Ride
If you haven’t been on a segway tour, now’s the time. This bucket-list worthy activity is one of our favourite ways to spend time outdoors. On this one-hour guided ride along the Welland Canal, you’ll learn about local history while you take in the sights of this scenic waterway.
Rent a Boat
If you’re looking for more of an action-packed day, there’s also canoe, kayak and paddle boards available along the canal that you can rent for as many hours as you’d like. Recruit a friend to be your travel companion and paddle up and down the canal to your heart’s content.
Marvel at the Canal’s Light Display
Each night of the year, Welland’s Bridge 13 lights up to commemorate celebrations and events. Make a point of coming out with your family and friends to marvel at this year’s light displays. This month’s schedule can be found here.
Attend an Event at the WIFC
The Welland International Flatwater Centre — which is home to the 2022 Canada Summer Games — is known for hosting competitive flatwater events like dragon boat races, rowing competitions and triathlons. This unique facility also boasts a state-of-the-art indoor training area that athletes can use to gear up for events.
Try Out River Rafting
Nothing compares to a day out on the water, so why not spend it rafting on the Grand River? Founded in 2006, Grand River Rafting has accompanied more than 240,000 people on their water adventures and you could be next. Select your route and your raft of choice from a list of options including turbo tubs and tandem kayaks.
Visit the Elora Conservation Area
Looking for enough activity to fill an entire day? Visit the Elora Conservation Area. Offering scenic hiking trails, views of giant limestone cliffs, and breathtaking lookout points, you’ll be happy that you made the trip.
Experience Life Lakeside
Dip your toes in the water and soak up the rays at some of the Grand River’s most popular lakes. These must-see destinations provide the perfect way to keep cool on a hot summer day. Click here to discover some of our favourite spots that boast sandy shores and campgrounds too.
Partake in an Evening Bike Tour
Travel across the harbour to the east side of the Toronto Islands via a ferry ride where you’ll partake in an evening bike tour. Learn about the island’s historic landmarks, stop for dessert at a local cafe and watch Toronto’s skyline illuminate.
Play Beach Volleyball
Sunnyside Beach Park is where all the locals go to enjoy the summer weather — with designated areas to sun tan, have a picnic, paddle along the shores, or play a game of volleyball at one of the beach’s courts. Once you’ve worked up an appetite or feel yourself needing a refreshment, head over to Sunnyside Pavilion and bask on their outdoor patio.
Attend a Free Concert
A must-see along the shores of Lake Ontario is the one-of-a-kind Music Garden which hosts free concerts for Toronto natives and newcomers to enjoy all summer long. Bring a loved one with you and be serenaded by classical performances of all kinds.
Book a Boat Cruise
These dinner plans may look a bit different than the ones you usually book, but they definitely live up to their hype. To celebrate your next special occasion or holiday, set sail for a dinner cruise on Lake Ontario. And if you’re a sucker for brunch, we have the perfect experience for you.
Spend the Day Horseback Riding
Horseplay Niagara offers horseback riding along the beaches of Lake Erie. Their 90-minute rides are led by an experienced guide, and give you a chance to see some of the breathtaking trails of Niagara including the Trans-Canada Trail.
Take a Tour of a Lighthouse
Constructed in 1917, the Point Abino Lighthouse is a must-see in Fort Erie. It was decommissioned in 1995 and is now a heritage building that’s open to visitors. Take a tour this summer to marvel at its architecture and brush up on your history.
Go on a Camping Trip
Long Beach Conservation Area is one of Niagara’s beloved campsites and for good reason. Located just off the shores of Lake Erie, it’s a go-to place for swimming, sun tanning, jet skiing and fishing.
Images courtesy of: City of Welland (Welland Light Display); Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC); Wellington Advertiser (Elora Gorge); View the VIBE (Music Garden); Elevation Map Logs (Point Abino).