If you are a tourist, or you live in Ontario and are looking for an awesome local experience, this roundup of the top 75 Best Places To Visit In Ontario is your guide to the top attractions in Ontario.
You’ll find suggestions on all the best things to do in Ontario from sight seeing to restaurants to hotels and spas you can stay at.
Your friends at theBOO included iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower as well as cultural experiences like walking through Toronto’s historical Chinatown or getting in touch with nature at one of Ontario’s famous parks.
We also included some local secrets like Eagle Canyon and Langdon Hall.
Read on or jump to the section you are most interested in!
Best Places To Visit In Ontario
Here is our list of the best places to visit in Ontario for 2023:
1) CN Tower
The CN Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Canada.
It is 1,815 ft tall and features a restaurant, observation tower, glass floor and the EdgeWalk, where visitors get to walk around the outside of the tower.
2) Casa Loma
Casa Loma was built in 1914 by Sir Henry Pellatt and is now owned by the city of Toronto.
Each year 650,000+ people visit the grounds to enjoy this stunning Gothic Revival mansion (that is more like a castle).
There is even a vintage car exhibition featuring cars made from 1910-1929.
Home of the Parliament of Canada, Parliament Hill (aka The Hill) was originally a military base due to its strategic location on the Ottawa River.
If you stand at the top of the hill you can look into Quebec which is on the other side of the river.
Parliament Hill features historic monuments of famous Canadians dating back to the late 1800’s. It also has a number of other monuments including the Centennial Flame, War of 1812 monument and Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial.
The Distillery District is located in the South East corner of Toronto where the Don River flows into Lake Ontario.
It officially opened in 2003 and features an inspired mix of Victorian Industrial architecture and modern design principles.
The shops, cafes, restaurants are lined by cobblestone side streets that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Flowerpot Island is located 6.5 km off the coast of Tobermory (nearly half way between Toronto and Sudbury) and is a truly fascinating example of Canadian geography.
The island is famous for the natural rock pillars, called “flowerpots” that are wider at the top of the formation that the bottom which creates a seemingly impossible monument to Mother Earth.
Check out this amazing video of Flowerpot Island by Bruce Anchor Cruises
The largest of the 3 Niagara Falls is Horseshoe Falls (aka Canadian Falls).
Horseshoe falls is not the tallest waterfall in North America but it does have the highest flow rate which creates immense hydroelectric power.
Stay at the Hilton Niagara Falls / Fallsview Hotel which features breathtaking views of the falls.
This river starts inside Algonquin Park and empties into Georgian Bay and is one of the best rivers to canoe on in Ontario for adventurous trippers.
The river features many rapids and the name of the river means “swiftly flowing waters” in the Ojibwe language.
8) French river
The French River is a Canadian Heritage River and is considered the dividing line between Northern and Southern Ontario.
It flows through French River Provincial Park and winds through the enormous Canadian Shield which makes for stunning landscape scenery.
A visit to the 1,000 Islands is worth the drive from Toronto, past Kingston and into Gananoque (3 hours by car) to experience this North American archipelago.
Lavish homes and castles, built in the 1800s and 1900s for prominent families in both Canada and America, still populate this historic part of Ontario.
There is even a bridge that connects Ontario to New York State called the Thousand Islands Bridge.
Here is an amazing old postcard from the American side of the 1,000 Islands:
Hamilton, Ontario is home to 100+ waterfalls and many are found just minutes from the downtown core.
Check out this amazing Hamilton Waterfalls Guide from Tourism Hamilton.
You can get to most waterfalls by hiking the Bruce Trail (Canada’s oldest and longest footpath) which stretches all the way from Tobermory in the North all the way down to Niagara.
In Caledon, Ontario you will find the Cheltenham Badlands which is one of the best examples of “Badlands Topography” within Ontario.
Badlands are a geological wonder and occur on every continent except Antarctica.
Another famous badlands is in Alberta and is home to Dinosaur Provincial Park.
12) Kakabeka falls
Kakabeka Falls is the second highest waterfall in Ontario and is located 30 km west of Thunder Bay.
Along with stunning views of Northern Ontario wilderness, you can find 1.6 million year old fossils at the bottom of the waterfall.
The Rockwood Conservation Area is near Guelph, Ontario and features an amazing mix of caves, hiking trails, ruins and the Eramosa River.
Admission is only $7.50 and the park is open year round with camping allowed from May 1 to October 15.
If you are a nature lover this is a top destination for day hiking in southwestern Ontario.
Toronto has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and it is one of the best places to visit in Ontario to experience the friendly multicultural city of Toronto. It is very central to the city so you can start your walking tour here at the corner of Spadina and Dundas.
If you are serious about urban exploration and into Chinese cuisine then take a look at this article from the Local Toronto City Blog.
Stratford, Ontario is home to the Stratford Festival which is an epic theatre experience that attracts top talent from all over the world.
The festival runs from April to October with all types of events like music concerts, plays, author readings, and actor meet and greets.
Fun fact: the Toronto Film Festival was originally the Stratford Film Festival.
16) Wiarton Willie
Wiarton Willie is the Canadian version of Punxsutawney Phil and lives in Wiarton, Ontario.
Groundhog Day (Feb 2) is a major celebration in Wiarton and features dances, parades and quintessential Canadian ice hockey tournaments and curling bonspiels.
17) The Big Nickel
The Big Nickel is a 9 metre Canadian nickel replica located in Sudbury, Ontario.
You can see the Big Nickel at Science North (the Sudbury Science Centre) if you decide to visit the largest city in Northern Ontario by population.
The Royal Ontario Museum (the ROM as locals say) is one of the largest museums in North America and attracts more than 2 million visitors annually.
The ROM features multiple dinosaur skeletons including an unbelievable T.Rex fossil skeleton.
Friday Night Live at the ROM is an adult museum experience with great food and drink.
Get your tickets here
19) Bridle Path
Toronto’s bridle path is the most luxurious neighbourhood in Toronto where celebrities like Drake, Elton John, Margaret Thatcher and Robert Herjavec have owned homes.
You can take the TTC (Toronto’s subway system) up to North York to explore “Millionaire’s Row”.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is home to more than 100 thousand pieces of art.
The gallery itself is a work of architectural art and the Galleria Italia, a giant wood projecting canopy used as a viewing hall, is worth the price of admission.
Famous Canadian art collective, the Group of Seven, has a permanent collection of paintings here.
The Canadian Automotive Museum is located in Oshawa, Ontario and opened its doors to the public in 1963.
The car collection dates back to the early 1900s and features an eclectic mix of Canadian, America, British and European cars.
Tickets to the museum can be purchased here and start at $14.00 for an adult, $6.00 for a youth (ages 6-17) and free for ages 5 and under.
If the thought of giant beer mugs, lederhosen, and unlimited Bratwurst tickle your fancy then you definitely want to check out the second largest Oktoberfest in the world hosted by the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo.
The largest Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany where over 6 million people gather each year to drink nearly 8 million litres of beer. The second largest is in Kitchener-Waterloo and attracts just under 1 million visitors every year.
The sport of hockey is as Canadian as a maple syrup covered beaver (please do not try to create this at home) and the Hockey Hall of Fame is the house of hockey.
It is home to the stanley cup, tons of hockey memorabilia, interactive games and exhibits and is responsible for honouring the legends of the sport.
It is located downtown Toronto and accessible by public transportation.
Located in North Bay, Ontario the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defense is an interesting place to visit to learn about advances in air and space technology and defense.
Canada’s largest theme park is located just north of Toronto in Vaughan, Ontario and is a fun-filled mix of roller coasters, a waterpark, and seasonal events like Halloween Haunt and WinterFest.
If you are a thrill-seeking family then you need to go for a ride on Yukon Striker – the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.
Science education is an important part of general knowledge and the Ontario Science Centre is a mecha of scientific exhibition.
Here, kids and adults alike can learn about physics, the Ice Age, the animal kingdom, biology, chemistry and much more.
It is an interactive experience featuring an IMAX Dome with sensational video exhibits, live experiments and friendly, educated staff that help make your visit both educational and enjoyable.
Looking to cool down in the summer heat? Then Canada’s largest wave pool at Calypso is the place to be.
Check out Calypso to enjoy:
- Water slides
- Wave pool
- Lazy rivers
- Kids splash area
It is located 35 km east of Ottawa in Limoges, Ontario and covers over 100-acres water features and attractions.
28) Eagle Canyon
Head north to Thunder Bay, Ontario and discover Canada’s biggest zip line and longest suspension footbridge at Eagle Canyon Adventures.
They are open from May 1 to October 15 and have hiking trails, a picnic area and scenic vistas for less adventurous explorers.
The future of gaming entertainment can be found at Ctrl V.
Canada’s first virtual reality arcade is located in Waterloo, Ontario and features cutting edge VR technology that makes visitors feel like they have stepped into Ready Player One. They also now have an arcade in Cambridge, Ontario.
Hotels and spas
30) Ste. Anne’s Spa
Pamper yourself at one of Ontario’s best all-inclusive destination spas.
St. Anne’s Spa is a heritage country castle that has been renovated into a modern and luxurious health and wellness spa. It is located in Grafton, Ontario and the property is set on rolling hills with a stunning view of Lake Ontario.
Ontario is not known for having great skiing when you compare it to other Canadian provinces like Alberta or British Columbia but Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood (near Barrie, Ontario) the best place to go if you are looking for a ski village vibe in Ontario.
Also, you can visit Blue Mountain in both the summer and winter seasons.
Winter activities include:
- Cross-country skiing
and, summer activities include:
- Downhill biking
- Mini putt
Book a room at the Westin Trillium House (a Marriott Hotel) if you want to experience the natural wonders in comfort and luxury.
Located in beautiful Fergus, Ontario – the Elora Mill Hotel and Spa is a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
The modern facilities are perched atop the thundering Elora Gorge and offer an intimate experience in nature. The Hotel only has 27 guest rooms so it never feels too busy.
Book your trip here
33) Shangri-La Hotel
If you are staying overnight in Toronto, and you have a big budget, you absolutely must check out the Shangri-La Hotel in one of Toronto’s tallest buildings.
The rooms are exquisite and the hotel has an indoor pool with views of the Toronto skyline that you can see through a glass roof.
The hotel has a health club with a gym, fitness studio and classes, sauna and steam room.
35) Hotel X
Hotel X is Toronto’s newest luxury hotel and is a modern take on outstanding hospitality.
Have you ever wanted to play indoor tennis with a skyline view or or swim in an indoor/outdoor rooftop pool? Because, they have both.
Every detail is fine tuned, down to the bathroom products (which are L’Occitane products).
The hotel is minutes from downtown Toronto and set in the famous Exhibition Place complex.
This Fairmont hotel is one of Canada’s most recognizable landmarks and is built to look like a Renaissance-era French chateau.
It is located in the downtown core of Ottawa and is walking distance to most of the top visitor locations in the city.
The architecture is so awe inspiring that the hotel was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Food and drink
Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky created this namesake winery and it is a top destination in Ontario for wine lovers.
Wayne and his team have created an experience to rival the even the great California vineyards.
The wine selection is very approachable and easy on the palate and the estate also has a whisky bar and distillery.
The food is fantastic and you can even book a private group tasting for up to 10 people for $20 per person.
37) Dinner at Canoe
Rated #6 on the Canada’s 100 Best restaurant list.
Canoe is an Oliver and Bonacini restaurant that serves the finest Canadian food products with a modern twist.
Set on the 54th floor of the TD Centre with views of Toronto and Lake Ontario, the views will leave you breathless while you enjoy some of the best food in Ontario.
38) Peller Estates
The Peller family has poured their heart and soul into building one of Ontario’s premium wineries.
Peller Estates has been a driving force behind the development of the growing wine movement in Canada.
The team here makes every guest feel like family and they offer expert guided tours of the property while educating visitors about the wine making process.
Labatt has been brewing beer in Canada since 1847 and produces nearly 350 million bottles of beer annually.
You can take a guided tour to learn how Canadian beer is made which takes about 2 hours.
The tour is at their London, Ontario brewery and you must pre-book by email (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The cost is only $12 per person and all guests must make sure they have closed, flat footwear.
Check out this amazing guide to the best things to do in London Ontario for more great ideas.
Visit “The Roundhouse” for a special tour of Toronto’s famous beer company Steam Whistle’s property.
There is a Munich-inspired biergarten, an indoor event space, and a guided tour of the brewer’s operations.
Supply and Demand, in Ottawa, is a family owned restaurant that features locally grown foods.
They use sustainable ingredients and focus on vibrant raw bar dishes and vegetable-focused small plates.
The menu changes to fit the seasonal supply of local farmers.
Built in 1898, Langdon Hall has a hotel, spa, restaurant and 75 acres of well groomed wilderness to explore.
Dinner at Langdon Hall is a real event, and even has a dress code (jacket preferred and no denim, shorts or sportswear).
The restaurant is rated #4 on the Canada’s 100 Best restaurant list and each dish is prepared in a manner befitting the storied terroir of Langdon Hall.
43) Glen Abbey Golf
The course at Glen Abbey was designed by the legend of golf Jack Nicklaus.
It has hosted a PGA Tour even (RBC Canadian Open) and is consistently ranked a top golf course in Canada.
It is located in Oakville, Ontario and is the home of both Golf Canada as well as the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Originally just called Osprey Valley, the now “TPC Toronto” is actually 3 courses (Heathlands, Hoot and North) and all 3 are top ranked courses with a distinct feel.
The course is always in excellent condition due to the expert greenkeeping and maintenance staff.
Renowned architect Doug Carrick is responsible for the design of each course and he has expertly created a memorable golf experience that fits naturally into the iconic Ontario geography.
Hamilton is located in Ancaster, Ontario and has consistently been one of the best parkland courses in North America for 100+ years.
The course sits along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and is actually one of the oldest courses in the country.
It is a private club so you’ll need an invite to play here.
46) Cobble Beach
Doug Carrick brought his expert golf course craftsmanship to Owen Sound, Ontario and helped bring Cobble Beach to life.
This golf course is situated on the shores of Georgian Bay and has incredible views that you might not otherwise find unless you were in Nantucket.
Legendary California golf course, Pebble Beach Golf Links, is the inspiration from this course and we have to say that Cobble Beach might even outshine its muse.
Tour a University Campus
UofT is a top university in the world and is located centrally in Toronto.
Here you can see spectacular examples of Neoclassical, Gothic, Romanesque and Norman architecture.
Walking around UofT sometimes make you feel like you are exploring Hogwarts.
The Richard Ivey School of Business is a top ranked business program in the world.
The new and architecturally stunning Richard Ivey Building is LEED Gold sustainable and contains 15 78-seat classrooms and 5 50-seat classrooms.
The 640-seat auditorium (BMO auditorium) features state of the art communications technology.
49) Osgoode Hall
Osgoode Hall was built in 1832 and is a central landmark in Toronto.
Part of York University, Osgoode Hall is one of the top ranked law schools in Canada.
The grand architecture and grounds house the Great Library of the Law Society of Ontario.
Located downtown Ottawa, uOttawa is the largest English-French bilingual university in the world and offers a diverse set of academic programs.
On campus you’ll find free bicycle rentals, a community garden and even a living wall.
Set on 105 acres of land, the university has 30 main building, 806 research laboratories and enrolls over 35,000 undergraduate students.
The Ottawa Senators home arena is Canadian Tire Centre and the team is one of two (the Toronto Maple Leafs being the other) hockey teams in Ontario.
Although not one of the “Original 6” NHL team, the Sens have been around since 1883.
3/6 Canadian Football League (CFL) teams are in Ontario and the team with the wildest fan base is surely the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The team plays at Tim Hortons Field and they have won 8 Grey Cups.
Fun fact: the Tiger-Cats are the only CFL team to ever defeat a current NFL team
Canada’s only current NBA team are the Toronto Raptors who play at Scotiabank Arena, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Raptors won the NBA championship in 2019 with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry leading the team to their first ever world championship.
The Raptors Fan base is incredibly passionate and watching a game at the Scotiabank Arena is an electrifying experience.
Toronto’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team plays at BMO Field in the Exhibition Place by Lake Ontario.
Toronto FC is the first Canadian team to win the MLS cup and their home arena is the largest soccer-specific stadium in Canada.
The Toronto FC fan base is truly incredible and are known throughout the MLS. Some of their supporters groups are the REd Patch Boys, U-Sector and Original 109. Try and get a seat in one of their sections for a nearly European soccer experience.
If you feel like watching baseball in Ontario then you have to catch a Toronto Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre.
Originally named the “SkyDome” Rogers Centre is an engineering marvel and was the first stadium to ever have a fully retractable motorized roof.
If you do attend a game, make sure to take part in the famous 7th inning stretch where you will sind “OK Blue Jays” before singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”.
Places To Visit In Summer
Summer in Ontario is best spent at the lake in one of the many “cottage countries” like Muskoka, Kawartha, Haliburton or Georgian Bay.
Check out some of the top luxury Muskoka resorts here
There are tons of cottage rental websites as well as Airbnb rentals to choose from.
Make sure that you don’t leave at “rush hour” if you are planning to get to the cottage as the 400 Highway can get extremely congested.
Hop on a ferry and head over to the Toronto Island Park for a day of sun filled fun with the family.
Visit one of the many beaches, go sailing, take a bicycle or check out Centreville Amusement park.
A visit to Niagara-On-The-Lake Heritage District is like stepping back in time.
The food and drink scene is bustling with many different restaurants and wineries in the area.
All 165 acres of Andrews Scenic Acres is located in Milton, Ontario (part of Halton Hills) and is full of strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, squash, raspberries and other produce that you can pick and bring home.
Visit the farm and disconnect from your devices while reconnecting with the earth. 2 hours at Andrews Scenic Acres is like a week at the spa for the soul.
There is even a winery here where they make award winning fruit wines.
Check out this awesome review by Christopher Rudder at Roadtrip Ontario.
60) Grand Bend
Grand Bend is a bustling Ontario beach located on the shore of Lake Huron (one of the Great Lakes).
There are tons of activities that you can to at Grand Bend like parasailing, jet skiing, parachuting, swimming (the water quality has Blue Flag status) and sunbathing.
The area sports an assortment of unique accommodations to stay at overnight.
61) Canatara Beach
Canatara also has Blue Flag status and is located in Canatara Park which is the largest park in Sarnia, Ontario.
In addition to spending time at the beach you can check out nearby attractions like the Stones N’ Bones Museum or the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery.
62) Wasaga Beach
Part of the longest freshwater beach in the world, Wasaga Beach is a popular beach for people living in the GTA to visit on weekends.
It is located north west of Barrie, Ontario on the southern part of Georgian Bay.
If you get the need to stretch your legs you can take on one of the hiking trails nearby.
Ontario has some of the best cycling routes in North America.
Check out this awesome guide from Ontario By Bike to plan your route.
64) Canoe trip
Head to an outfitter to rent a canoe, paddles, tent, cooking tools and a backpack before embarking on a thrilling canoe trip in Ontario.
Here is a list of our Top 5 Canoe Routes in Ontario:
- Madawaska River (Intermediate, Whitewater)
- Algonquin Park (Beginner, Flatwater)
- Killarney Park (Beginner, Flatwater)
- Petawawa River (Intermediate, Whitewater)
- French River (Beginner, Whitewater)
Canoeing plays an important part in Canadian history and culture. It is great exercise and the best way to explore Ontario’s legendary provincial parks.
Places To Visit In Winter
The Rideau Canal (a World Heritage Site) is a 202 km long waterway that connects Ottawa to both Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River.
When the river freezes it turns into the world’s largest skating rink.
Usually open from January to March, the canal is open 24 hours a day for skaters of all ages to enjoy.
Mount St. Louis is dedicated to offering the best skiing and snowboarding in Ontario and is located less than 2 hours from Toronto by car.
It has 36 different runs and is serviced by 8 chair lifts.
At Mount St. Louis Moonstone – skiing runs in the family. The resort has been family owned since 1964 when it was founded by Austrian alpine skier Josl Huter.
If you are looking for cosmic, spiritual inspiration then you need to plan to see one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World – the Northern Lights.
The best time of year to see the Northern Lights is around the equinoxes (March and September) and usually between 5PM and 2AM.
You can only see the Northern Lights from certain places in the world like Alaska, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Northern Canada. Head up to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for a great chance to see the lights.
Head to Niagara Falls, Ontario from November 13-Feb 21 to check out the enchanting Winter Festival of Lights.
It is Canada’s largest free outdoor light festival and even features a giant 3D moose!
69) Algonquin Park
Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest and most popular provincial park in Canada.
It is host to many summer camps, canoe routes, and over 1,200 individual campsites.
You can fish in any of the many lakes as long as you have a valid Ontario fishing license.
There is even a direct bus shuttle from Toronto.
70) Killarney Park
Killarney Park is unmatched in geological wonder compared to other parks in Ontario.
Here you will find pink granite and white quartz peaks jutting out along the tree line.
If you do not want to camp then you should stay at the Killarney Mountain Lodge for a luxurious yet rustic vacation.
Black bears and other wildlife call this ancient cedar tree lined National Park their home.
If you visit the area then you should also check out Fathom Five National Marine Park which has some amazing scuba diving sites.
72) Montebello Park
While not a national or provincial park, Montebello Park is fascinating because it has a giant rose garden with over 1,300 rose bushes in 25 varieties.
This park, which was designed by the same man who designed New York City’s Central Park is in St. Catherines, Ontario.
73) Budweiser Stage
This concert venue is located at Ontario Place in Toronto and has hosted performances by top artists across a variety of music genres.
Catch a concert by the lake by booking a ticket online with Live Nation.
74) Rebel Nightclub
For a big night out there is no better venue in Ontario than Rebel Night Club.
Located on Lake Ontario at Polson Pier, clubbers can start their day at the European inspired Cabana Pool Bar before changing and heading into Rebel for an unforgettable sensory experience.
75) Boots and Hearts
Boots and Hearts is a country themed music festival held in Oro-Medonte, Ontario every year.
It is Canada’s largest camping country music festival and has won multiple “Festival of the Year” awards from the Canadian Country Music Association.
Whew – you made it to the end of the list!
In summary, Ontario has something to offer everyone from tourists to locals looking for an amazing experience within driving distance of home.
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We hope you loved this year’s 75 Best Places To Visit In Ontario and be sure to let us know if you think we are missing anything from the list.