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Explore fashion, history, natural wonders, urban centres and the arts – explore Ontario

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Ontario is a huge province which combines the attractions of Canada’s capital city – Ottawa – and those of Canada’s largest city – Toronto – with huge areas of rural land with small towns and a vast wilderness area to explore. This means that Ontario has a wide range of things to see, both natural and man-made.


Ottawa has many beautiful things to see, from the Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to the Trooping the Colour and Changing the Guard ceremonies at the Parliament Buildings – and Canada's capital has national sized festivals complete with brilliant fireworks and live music for thousands. Ottawa hosts several excellent museums which are worth seeing, such as the Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum, and the iconic Canadian Museum of Nature.


Peterborough is the home of the Canadian Canoe Museum – the largest collection in the world of these types of watercraft – the canoe really was responsible for the colonization of Canada through the fur trade. In Kingston you'll find Fort Henry, a living museum from the mid 1800’s.


Toronto is the financial, shopping and arts centre of Canada. There are museums, galleries, boutique shopping, music festivals and film festivals all centered in Toronto. The museums in Toronto range from the Royal Ontario Museum to private museums like the Bata Shoe Museum or the Ontario Science Centre. Toronto also is home to Ontario Place and the CN tower, both worth a visit, as is the Toronto Zoo where you can come face to face with a polar bear or hundreds of other animals.


North of Toronto, the McMichael Gallery showcases the best of Canadian art with the work of the Group of Seven acting as an anchor. Of course the Art Gallery of Toronto and the National Galleries in Ottawa are worth seeing as well.


Then there are places like Madame Tussaud’s Wax Works or Ripley’s ‘Believe it or not’ in Niagara Falls. Of course Niagara Falls itself is a site which must be seen.


There are several world class festivals in Ontario, such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. At several theatres in Toronto many world class shows are premiered. Of course one of the biggest festivals in Ontario is the Toronto International Film Festival, now one of the best film festivals in the world.


The autumn colours are spectacular as the leaves across the province turn brilliant red, gold, yellow and orange before they fall from the trees.

Natural places to see in Ontario are the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay and the 1,000 Islands of the St. Lawrence River, the cliffs and turquoise waters of the Bruce Peninsula and the gentle serenity of Algonquin Park.


All this of course is just in southern Ontario – the northern part of the province is far, far larger but focused mainly on wilderness and outdoor activities and sites – the native rock art on the shores of Lake Superior (itself a site worth seeing) at Agawa, the deep gorge of Ouimet Canyon, or the Sleeping Giant – a rock formation voted #1 on a list of Seven Wonders of Canada – close to Thunderbay are just a couple of examples.