20 Things To Do In Ontario

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

One of Canada’s largest provinces and home to vibrant cities like Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario is one of the best places to visit for Canada’s top attractions, like Niagara Falls and the Parliament buildings. Beyond these iconic landmarks, there’s plenty to see and do in this province to keep you busy for weeks. Year-round, Ontario’s activities are fun for everyone. From ice skating to sun baking on the world’s longest freshwater beach, these are the things to do in Ontario you won’t want to miss.


Top Tour

ontario map
Looking for things to do in Ontario? Check out our top 20 suggestions.

If you only have time for one tour, try the Niagara Falls in 1 Day: Tour of American and Canadian Sides.

20 Things To Do In Ontario

1- Feel The Power Of Niagara Falls

Best of Niagara Falls Canada Small Group w/Boat & Behind Falls
Cruising around Niagara Falls is one of the iconic things to do in Ontario, Canada.

What’s a trip to Ontario without visiting one of the world’s most famous waterfalls?

Not only is Niagara Falls a magnificent sight, the activities and entertainment district of Clifton Hill will give you a weekend to remember.

Go behind the falls with Journey Behind the Falls, get soaked as you jet around on the Whirlpool Jet Boat tour or cruise to the base of the falls on the Voyage to the Falls.

Other attractions like the helicopter tour and zip line will get your heart pumping.

Clifton Hill is a fun shopping destination filled with entertainment for the whole family.

Get a unique bird’s eye view of the falls on the Sky Wheel or check out a world of wonders at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

This entertainment street is full of restaurants and bars to keep you busy right through the night.

Niagara Falls is 129 km from Toronto and easily accessible by the regional GO Transit system.

Recommended tours:

2- Visit The Parliament Buildings

Ottawa City Tour by Land and Water
Touring the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa is one of the top things to do in Ontario for history lovers.

The Parliament buildings in Ottawa are a centerpiece of Canada.

These stunning historic buildings were built between 1852 and 1856 and are used by the Canadian government today.

Make time to do one of the daily tours at each building and book your tickets in advance through the Parliaments website.

Ottawa is the best place in Canada to learn more about Canada’s history, government and military history.

A visit to the capital should be on everyone’s bucket list. Ottawa has its own international airport, with many flights arriving daily.

Ottawa is also 198 km west of Montreal and 403 km northeast of Toronto, so you could combine a visit to these two major cities.

It’s easily accessible for a weekend trip, but there’s enough to do in Ottawa if you’re thinking of staying longer. 

Recommended tours:

3- Look For Roadside Attractions On The Trans Canada Highway 

Northern Ontario has some of the quirkiest roadside attractions along the Trans Canada Highway.

Outside Echo Bay, you’ll find the world’s largest loonie (1 dollar coin).

Wawa is home to the Wawa goose, which is a 20 to 30-ft tall goose that guards the Visitor Center.

In White River, the Winnie the Pooh memorial tells the tale of this famous Canadian bear and if you head down south to Sudbury, you’ll find the largest nickel statue in the world.

Check out the fun, quirky stops is one of the fun things to do in Ontario. 

Alternatively, explore Canada in miniature scale at Little Canada

4- Soak Up Arts And Culture In Toronto

toronto ontario waterfront at sunset
Spending a few days exploring Toronto is one of the top things to do in Ontario for a big city vibe.

Canada’s biggest and most multicultural city has many festivals, museums, music and art galleries displaying the city’s quilted heritage.

It’s worth planning your trip around the festivals and concerts the city hosts.

There’s something on every weekend, from Caribana to Salsa on St Clair and if you’re looking for a famous festival in Toronto to plan your trip around, consider Toronto’s International Jazz Festival in July.

One of the things to do in Toronto is to explore museums and galleries, like the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Aga Khan Museum (for Islamic art).

There are also many smaller museums and galleries scattered throughout the city as well as art installations and murals all over the city.

The good news is Toronto’s cultural events are easy to reach by public transport, which is a good thing, as parking is limited and driving isn’t recommended, especially downtown. 

Recommended tour: Best of Toronto Small Group Tour with CN Tower and Harbour Cruise

5- Relax in Niagara-On-The-Lake

Niagara-on-the-lake is a popular destination for the residents of Southern Ontario and is fast becoming a popular destination due to its ease of access from Toronto.

This picturesque village is on the south side of Lake Ontario and a lovely place to rent a cottage for the weekend.

Explore the historic fort, take an eerie ghost walk or relax on the beach.

Tick the popular Jackson Triggs winery off your to-visit list or spend time visiting several wineries on an organised winery tour.

Niagara-on-the-lake is 129 km south of Toronto and is easily accessible through GO Transit, southern Ontario’s regional transit system.

Recommended tours:

6- Learn About Indigenous History On Manitoulin Island

Manitowaning Lighthouse And Church
Visiting Manitoulin Island (pictured here is the Manitowaning Lighthouse and church) is one of the interesting things to do in Ontario, Canada.

Not only is Manitoulin Island a stunning vacation spot in Northern Ontario, but it also happens to be one of the areas in Ontario with a well-preserved indigenous history.

Indigenous people have lived on Manitoulin Island for thousands of years and historical sites, cultural centers, stores, cuisine and tours are available throughout the island.

Wikwemikong First Nations hosts various foraging, cooking, nature and guided historical tours that give visitors an in-depth experience into Indigenous history and culture.

It’s a great way to support the locals and learn more about Canada’s pre-colonial past.

Manitoulin Island is 565 km North of Toronto or 296 Km Northwest if you want to take the Chi Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory.

It’s a bit far away for a day trip but makes a unique three to four-day adventure.

7- Go On A Vineyard Tour In Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is an emerging wine region with fewer visitors than Niagara.

Beautiful wines are created from the grapes that are grown on the rolling hills of the limestone basin and affected by lake breezes.

Driving through this beautiful landscape is a lovely experience stopping at various wineries that line the roads.

Small towns like Picton and Wellington have small businesses and restaurants perfect for a walk or a glass of local wine on the patio.

Other attractions like Sandbanks Provincial Park and the revamped Mustang Drive make Prince Edward County a wonderful weekend getaway.

Prince Edward County is 204 km East of Toronto, and it’s recommended to go by car as transit infrastructure is limited.

Recommended tour: Private Full-Day Prince Edward County Wine Tour from Toronto

8- Explore The Grotto Near Tobermory

Yacht At Sunrise
Cruising around from Tobermory is one of the things to do in Ontario.

One of Ontario’s most beautiful natural wonders, Tobermory, is a small town that is extremely popular in summer.

295 km northwest of Toronto, this charming town has an eclectic collection of restaurants, shops and cottages.

Tobermory is completely flooded with tourists during the summer season and there’s so much to do it’s hard to get bored.

Down the highway from Tobermory, you’ll find Bruce Peninsula National Park, home to The Grotto, a limestone cave filled with the turquoise water of Georgian Bay.

At the rocky shore’s edge, you’ll see happy swimmers splashing around in the water.

If you brave the chilly waters, you can swim over to this picturesque cave but if you’d rather not swim, follow one of the trails to the cave and peek in through the skylight.

Tobermory is also the jumping-off point for the Chi Cheemaun cruise to Manitoulin Island and Flowerpot Island.

Other activities are glass bottom boat tours of the Fathom Five shipwrecks or a walk at Singing Sands beach. 

Book a bus transfer to The Grotto

9- Enjoy A Beach Day At The Southernmost Tip Of Canada

Ontario is home to the southernmost tip of Canada, Point Pelee National Park on Lake Eerie.

This national park has a stretch of wild sandy beach where you can spot wildlife like songbirds, monarchs and other marsh-residing flora and fauna.

Point Pelee National Park is 180 km from London, the nearest Canadian international airport, and 367 km from Toronto.

Detroit, Michigan, is the closest major city and is 70 km from the park.

10- See The Agawa Rock Pictographs

Lake Superior Park is a beautiful provincial park on Lake Superior about 874 km north of Toronto or 515 km east of Thunder Bay where you will find the nearest airport.

This remote and rugged park is popular with adventurous visitors looking to explore the wild terrain of Northern Ontario.

Although there are plenty of hikes and natural wonders, the park’s top attraction is the Agawa Rock Pictographs that were painted by the indigenous people who lived here between 150 to 400 years ago.

These amazing pictographs depict a mythical creature, Mishipeshu, that resides in the lake and were created with a mixture of crushed red ochre mixed with fish oil or bird egg.

The hike is quite difficult and you should only attempt it when the lake is calm.

11- Ride The Agawa Canyon Train Tour

The Agawa Canyon train tour is a fantastic day train experience in northern Ontario through the stunning Agawa Canyon.

During the journey, you’ll learn more about the area’s history and how rail travel helped shape it.

The fall is the best time for incredible views to see the leaves on the trees change colour.

When the train arrives at the canyon, you’ll have the opportunity to get out and enjoy canyon views from the picnic area or hike to Bridal Veil Falls.

Just make sure you return before the train heads back to the station.

The Agawa Canyon train tour starts in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, which is 702 km from Toronto.

There is a local airport in Sault Ste Marie with daily domestic flights.

12- Learn About Ontario’s Colonial Past in Kingston

Quebec and Eastern Ontario were two of the first areas colonised by the Europeans and are Canada’s oldest and most historic regions.

The best place to learn more about Canada’s history is in Kingston.

Kingston has museums like the Murney Tower Museum, Canada’s Penitentiary Museum and Frontenac County Schools Museum that display important pieces of Canada’s rich history.

Take a trip to the Royal Military College of Canada Museum or Fort Henry just outside downtown Kingston to dive into Canada’s military history, past and present.

Kingston is 266 km east of Toronto and can be reached by car, train, or inter-city bus.

Recommended tour: Kingston Self-Guided walking tour and scavenger hunt

13- Try A Farm Stay in Southeastern Ontario

One of the most relaxing things to do in Ontario is to unwind at a farm stay.

There are plenty of farms all over southern Ontario where you can relax with goats, join a farming workshop or devour a farm-to-table dinner.

A farm stay can be an excellent way to enjoy a rustic experience and get up close to Ontario’s booming agricultural industry.

Farm stays are all over southern Ontario within a 300 km radius of Toronto but due to the remote locations, renting a car and driving is advisable.

14- Paddle A Kayak or SUP Board on Lake Ontario

Enjoy the great outdoors in the heart of the city by renting a kayak or SUP from Cherry Beach, Woodbine Beach or Toronto Island.

It’s a great way to enjoy the summer sun and paddle rentals are usually by the hour or half day. They come with instructions for beginners and life jackets.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to paddle on Lake Ontario and get some of the city’s best views without the crowds.

To get to a rental site, use Toronto’s extensive transit network, the TTC. 

For a luxury experience, hire a private yacht and cruise around the lake

15- Take A Stunning Hike in Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Provincial Park Day Tour from Toronto
Exploring Algonquin Park is one of the cool things to do in Ontario for nature lovers.

Algonquin Provincial Park is a magical destination that’s perfect to visit every season of the year.

The park’s hiking trails are suitable for a range of levels, from beginner to expert and there are even a few multi-day trails.

You can canoe, hike, ski, or bike through this gorgeous park.

Front-country and backcountry camping are available in Algonquin Provincial Park and can be reserved online.

If you’re planning a summer camping trip, booking ahead is advisable as Algonquin is popular with the locals and spots fill up fast.

Algonquin Provincial Park is 294 km away from Toronto and 276 km from Ottawa.

It’s best to drive to Algonquin to fully enjoy the experience however in the summer, park busses operate out of Toronto.

Recommended tour: Algonquin Provincial Park Day Tour from Toronto

16- Explore Waterfalls In The Hamilton Region

The Hamilton region is well-known for its beautiful waterfalls.

Along the Niagara escarpment from Niagara to Manitoulin Island, you can find cascading falls running through the limestone cliff.

Take a day to explore some of the popular falls like Tiffany Falls, Sherman Falls, Webster Falls, Tews Falls and the Devil’s Punchbowl.

Most of these waterfalls are an easy hike and are close together, so it’s easy to see them all in one day.

You can make a day of it by exploring the trendy restaurants and bars that are up and coming in downtown Hamilton.

Driving to the falls is recommended, as public transit is extremely limited in the area.

Recommended tour: Explore Wawa history trails, tales and waterfalls

17- Take A Walk In The Cheltenham Badlands

Step out of Ontario and land on Mars at The Cheltenham Badlands.

These otherworldly red rock formations are a barren landscape that will make you feel like you’re on another planet.

As you walk through the badlands, you will learn more about this unique landscape and how it formed in the middle of an otherwise lush forested province.

The Cheltenham Badlands are 64 km north west of Toronto and the best way to visit is by hiring a car and driving there.

18- Walk Along The Edge Of CN Tower

Best of Toronto Small Group Tour with CN Tower and Harbour Cruise
Seeing Toronto from CN Tower is one of the top things to do in Ontario.

The CN Tower edge walk is one of the most heart-pumping, thrill-seeking adventures in the city.

First, you ascend the 553 m tall tower in the elevator to reach the top, where you can strap into your suit and harness to walk along or lean over the edge of the CN Tower.

The views are head spinning when you’re 116 stories up.

CN Tower is easily accessible by TTC or driving, but parking can be limited. Many Toronto city tours will also get you there so book your tickets in advance and skip the lines.

19- Cruise Around The Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands Two Castle Helicopter Tour
Cruising the Thousand Islands is one of the things to do in Ontario, Canada.

The Thousand Islands is an archipelago of over 1800 islands in the St Lawrence River, which has a boundary between Ontario and New York. 

A Thousand Islands boat tour is a relaxing way to explore the river while learning about the history of the river, it’s modern-day uses and hearing fascinating tales about bootleggers, pirates and other colourful characters. 

Several cruise options are available, ranging from short one-hour panoramic cruises, sunset and themed cruises to multi-hour excursions.

A highlight of most cruises is Boldt Castle, a historic mansion built in the 1900s by hotelier George Boldt.

You can either admire from the water or stop for a castle tour but if you’re planning on touring the castle, bring your passport as the castle is on Heart Island which is in the USA. 

Several companies operate out of Gananoque.

Recommended tour: Thousand Islands Two Castle Helicopter Tour

20- Swim At The Longest Freshwater Beach In The World

orange and red sunset Wasaga Beach
Enjoying the sunset over Wasaga Beach is one of the things to do in Ontario.

You’d be surprised to discover how many beaches in Canada there are, including the world’s longest freshwater beach in Ontario.

With 14 km of white sandy coastline, Wasaga Beach is a popular destination on the shores of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

Park your umbrella in the sand by the beach and relax by the water.

Restaurants, bars and shops line the main beach if you forgot your towel or want to grab a drink.

Wasaga Beach is 132 km north of Toronto. 

Previous article20 Things To Do In Crossville, TN
Next article20 Things To Do In Haiti
cropped amanda lawrence.jpg
Amanda is a Vancouver based travel blogger and writer who helps others have one-of-a-kind travelling experiences through her helpful and informative pieces. She began her writing career writing for her own travel blog in 2018 and has been writing for freelance clients since 2020. When she isn’t writing about travel, she enjoys writing about education, sustainability and technology. When traveling she likes to discover hidden gems while getting up close with nature and the cultures in a destination. Amanda loves to travel through South and South East Asia with Nepal and India being her top two favourite countries. She also loves visiting far off places in her home country of Canada.