Dine at Drake's & Live The High Life: 5 Reasons Ontario Is Canada's Must-Visit Province
It's got so much more to offer than Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Shania Twain...
Justin Bieber. Shawn Mendes. Drake. Shania Twain. It’s no secret that Ontario is home to many musical icons. The beloved province also lays claim to Canada’s capital Ottawa, its biggest city Toronto and the actual Niagara falls (legendary). It’s no wonder that every year millions of people travel to Ontario.
That’s not all though. The territory is also one of the most diverse holiday destinations in the entire world. From the people (over 54% of Toronto citizens were born outside of Toronto) to the setting (beaches, mountains, nightlife), there’s no place like Ontario.
We had the pleasure of visiting Ontario this summer and it was a trip of a lifetime.
The Great Outdoors
You may be eyeing up Ontario for a city break but you miss so much if you don’t experience the scenery that it has to offer, too. We stayed in the Mosaic Boutique Suites at the Blue Mountain resort, which is just a two and a half hour drive away from Toronto, and it impressed us so much. The resort offers a swimming pool and plenty of places to eat in the heart of nature.
Make sure to see the Scenic Caves to learn about the landscape, cross the 420 foot suspension bridge and scare yourself silly on the longest zip line in Ontario there. Or take a spin on the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster above the resort if you dare (there are amazing Segway tours at the top of the mountain if you want to see the landscape in a more leisurely manner).
Whatever you do though make sure to hit up Free Spirit Tours so you can go hiking or kayak down the charming Beaver river (don’t worry you don’t need to be an athlete for this). The route is beautiful and it’s mere minutes away from Mosaic Boutique Suites.
We stayed at the Blue Mountain resort for just three days but you could easily spend longer there. It also doubles up as a skiing destination in winter so it’s great to visit all year round.
As great as it is being active, a holiday isn’t an actual holiday without some time off to be a bit of a luxury b*tch and take care of yourself. After kayaking down the Beaver river in Blue Mountain, we spent the afternoon at the Scandinave Spa and it was everything. From the saunas to the pools, it is beyond relaxing. Plus it’s a celeb hangout. Justin Bieber has been spotted there multiple times.
After our break in the mountains, we moved to the Double Tree Hilton in Toronto. The hotel offers a pool as well as some of the comfiest beds in the city. In our first afternoon in Toronto we had a leisurely wander around to get our bearings. Check out the famous dog fountain in Berzcy Park if you have time.
Toronto is renowned for its culture and it’s safe to say that it doesn’t disappoint. We recommend visiting Graffiti Alley. It’s constantly changing and it’s a great way to see incredible Toronto street art first hand. If you want extra info you can pay for a tour too. You’ve not been a tourist in Toronto if you haven’t posted an Instagram photo in Graffiti Alley.
If you’re an art and history buff, set aside a few hours to explore the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. There are always great exhibitions at the AGO and the ROM teaches you everything you need to know about Canada’s indigenous cultures. There’s also a bat room which is exactly what you think it is.
Toronto also has great nightlife for both straight and LGBTQ+ people. We went to Buddies (which hosts drag performances, doubles up as a theatre and raises money for LGBTQ+ causes in the area) and it was our best night there.
It’s expensive ($255) but, if you have the funds, the CN Tower Edgewalk is a once in a lifetime experience worth doing. You will be terrified (if you’re in any way human) but the fear is more than worth it for the view and the sense of accomplishment. They get you to hang over the edge and it’s one of the best and worst things you will ever do.
We dined at Drake’s newest restaurant Pick 6ix (delicious sushi) as well as Luckee (mouthwatering Chinese) in Toronto, both of which were sensational. Not to mention, we grabbed food at various markets and ate our weight in Canadian delicacies such as butter tarts (treacle tarts but a million times better) and beaver tails (the best heart attack you’ll ever eat).
By Sam Prance
MTV Travelled With... Air Canada - the lead-in return Economy fare London Heathrow to Toronto is £453.21 (incl taxes and 1 x checked bag). The latest fares are available at aircanada.com or by calling reservations on 00 800 6699 2222. A room in the Blue Mountain Mosaic Suites starts from $139 (£79) per night. A room at the Double Tree Hilton in Toronto starts from $219 (£124) per night. For more information please visit www.explore-canada.co.uk and www.ontariotravel.net/uk