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Toronto day trips

10 Road Trip–Worthy Ontario Restaurants

THESE SOUTHERN ONTARIO RESTAURANTS PROVE THAT TORONTONIANS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO APPRECIATE A GOOD MEAL

Ontario Road Trip Restaurant Drake Devonshire Prince Edward County Wellington

The Drake Devonshire Inn’s dining room boasts picturesque four-seasons vistas (photos: Kayla Rocca)

Torontonians tend to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about food and drink. And why wouldn’t we? This city’s collection of restaurants, cafés, snack spots and cocktail bars is arguably both the most varied and highest quality in the country. That said, the culinary borders of Canada do extend beyond Toronto’s city limits: Montreal and Vancouver are also renowned foodie towns, and closer to home, Southern Ontario hot spots like the Niagara and Muskoka regions, Stratford, and Prince Edward County also cater to discerning tastes. But you needn’t take our word for it. Hop in your car and discover these road trip–worthy Ontario restaurants for yourself.

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Southbrook Vineyards Adds Field-to-Fork Fare to its Hospitality Menu

SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS BOASTS NEW NIAGARA-INSPIRED CULINARY OFFERINGS TO COMPLEMENT ITS AWARD-WINNING ORGANIC WINES 

Southbrook Vineyards Niagara Winery Patio Food

Chef Shawn Murphy highlights Niagara ingredients in his al fresco offerings at Southbrook Vineyards (photos: Craig Moy)

The Niagara region has dozens of excellent wineries. Some large, some small, almost all very welcoming to enthusiastic visitors looking to learn a little more about the intricacies of winemaking (and wine tasting) in southwestern Ontario. Among the area’s very best, for the quality of its wines and its hospitality, is Southbrook Vineyards.

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Where to Eat and Shop in Revitalized Downtown Hamilton

THE SOUTHERN ONTARIO PORT CITY OF HAMILTON HAS BOUNCED BACK FROM A LENGTHY SLUMP—STILL A LITTLE ROUGH, BUT DEFINITELY RARING TO GO.
BY FLANNERY DEAN

Hamilton Toronto Day Trips

Earth to Table Bread Bar, Rapscallion and White Elephant are among the trend restaurants and shops to check out in downtown Hamilton

Hamilton is having a moment. The former industrial town, once dubbed the “cradle of the Canadian steel industry,” has reinvented itself as a gritty alternative to Toronto (a transformation helped, in part, by a steady influx of Torontonians drawn to Hamilton’s well-appointed stock of affordable downtown real estate). The injection of big-city blood has come with a few welcome perks. Note, for example, the availability of pricey bespoke cocktails and grass-fed gourmet burgers avec frites. But the city hasn’t entirely succumbed to gentrification: you can still get a strong coffee and a doughnut for a couple of bucks.

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Agritourism in Ontario: Discover Where the Good Things Grow

ONTARIO’S AGRITOURISM ATTRACTIONS OFFER LOCALS AND VISITORS ALIKE A FARM-FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON OUR RENOWNED AGRICULTURAL BOUNTY.
BY RENÉE SUEN

Ontario Agritourism Toronto Day Trip Food Tour

(Monforte Dairy cheese photo: Renée Suen)

 

Finding seasonally fresh food in Toronto isn’t hard: nearly every restaurant menu and produce shelf boasts of the bounty. Ontario is blessed with more than half of Canada’s highest quality farm land, and most of it is a mere hour or two’s drive from the GTA. No matter if you’re a dilettante cook or a full-fledged foodie, it’s easy to connect with the province’s primary tastemakers to learn about land stewardship, food security, and sustainable aqua- and agriculture, all while marveling at the picturesque surroundings. So fill up the tank, plug in your favourite playlist, and embark on an adventure that’ll leave you satisfied, but also hungry for more.

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Boutique Wineries in Niagara That are Worth the Drive

SCORE POINTS WITH YOUR OENOPHILE FRIENDS BY TOURING THESE SMALL-BATCH WINERIES IN NIAGARA—AND BY BRINGING HOME A BOTTLE OR TWO

Wineries in Niagara Ravine Vineyard

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

Less than two hours southwest of Toronto lies the pastoral Niagara region, where row upon row of vines are cultivated to produce award-winning ice wines, Cabernets, Merlots, Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The area’s big-name pioneers—such as Jackson-Triggs, Peller Estates, Château des Charmes, Inniskillin and Reif Estate—remain vital and worth a visit, but a number of small, often family-run wineries in Niagara are now also garnering the attention and acclaim of oenophiles.

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There’s Still Time to Explore Ontario’s Parks and Outdoor Spaces This Summer

BY CRAIG MOY

Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)

Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)

According to the 2011 census, 81 per cent of Canadians now live in urban areas. In Ontario, that number is even higher—86 per cent. And yet a significant part of our national identity remains tied to the frontier, the wilderness. We may live in condos and work in cubicles, but our hearts still yearn for open spaces.

Fortunately, Ontario boasts bounteous natural expanses (national and provincial parks, as well as locally administered conservation areas) for exploration and recreation. Many of these sites are within reasonable distance from the Greater Toronto Area, but not so close as to be overrun with visitors.

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Strike Out from Toronto for an Ontario Craft Beer Road Trip

BY DAVID ORT

Block Three Brewing Company is worth the drive to St. Jacobs (photo: Block Three Brewing Company)

Block Three Brewing Company is worth the drive to St. Jacobs

A distinctive feature of any craft beer is that the personal touch of its brewer tends to be quite obvious. In the past few years, more and more Ontarians have joined the club of brewers, adding their own signature to the local beer scene. In Toronto, beer drinkers have an exciting number of opportunities to taste the interesting new lagers, porters and ales being produced outside the city, but there’s not nearly enough retail space for those of us looking to purchase more than a pint or two at a restaurant. That’s a compelling reason, I think, to pack the car and spend a few days discovering some of the province’s best breweries for yourself.

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21 Unforgettably Unusual Day Trips and Getaways From Toronto

By CAROL SPODE

Unusual-Getaways-from-Toronto-Sundance-Balloons

Unusual getaways from Toronto: hot air ballooning (Photo: Sundance Facebook)

Toronto is a great destination in itself, but travel just a few hours outside the city, and an unusual world of possibilities opens up. Of course, there are the obvious day trips from Toronto—the vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the theatre of Stratford—but for those looking for a memorable experience that’s off the beaten track, we’ve compiled this list of amazing, unusual getaways from Toronto.

Start the slideshow of unusual day trips and getaways from Toronto »

— Carol Spode runs Tailor-Made Toronto—http://britgirlintoronto.wordpress.com—which offers Toronto-based itinerary planning tailored to a client’s interests and time frame. If you are a visitor, have visitors coming to stay or simply want to find out how exciting and diverse Toronto can be, then leave a comment on Carol’s blog. Contact: britgirlintoronto@wordpress.com.

 

TRAVELLING TO TORONTO? YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
30 Things to Love About Toronto Right Now
Toronto’s Top 10 Shops for Art and Design Gifts
12 Best Pizza Spots in Toronto
• The Top Shops for Cookies in Toronto

HOTEL INSIDER: Langdon Hall – Cambridge, Ontario

By BRITTANY HENDRY

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa

ABOUT THIS HOTEL
This beautiful country house is hidden away in Cambridge, Ontario—about 100km from Toronto—and is surrounded by 75 acres of breathtaking gardens, rolling forests and manicured lawns. Named the best hotel in Canada by Conde Nast Traveller two years in a row, prestigious Langdon Hall offers luxury accommodations in quaint quarters. The hotel was originally used as the opulent summer house of the Wilks family, a history that is showcased by the authentic painted portraits that hang on the walls. After joining the internationally renowned Relais & Chateaux family of hotels, Langdon Hall was brought up to date while maintaining its old-world charm.

Start the tour of Langdon Hall »

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Niagara-on-the-Lake: 10 Things You Need to Know About This Getaway From Toronto

By KAREN CLEVELAND

Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake (Photo: Theodore C)

If you’re going to invest 90 minutes of driving for a getaway from Toronto, fewer places net a higher return than a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The charming town is home to breathtaking views, excellent restaurants, amazing vineyards and some of Canada’s most treasured heritage sites. Whether you fall in love with Niagara-on-the-Lake for a long affair, or just a fleeting tryst, be sure to consider these 10 tips when making your getaway plan. (more…)

Q&A With Custom Trip Planners Jennifer Deacon and Mercedeh Sanati

Jennifer Deacon and Mercedeh Sanati

Custom travel experts Jennifer Deacon and Mercedeh Sanati in Venice

Jennifer Deacon and Mercedeh Sanati are rare creatures in the travel world: trip planners that have lived the experiences they sell. Through their Toronto company, Quench Trip Design, the pair creates custom travel packages for clients based on their own journeys. After over 30 combined years in the travel industry—and after taking four or five major trips per year—they know the destinations they recommend and are uniquely positioned to satisfy the desires and requirements of their clients. We caught up with them before they left Canada for trips to Tuscany and Morocco to ask them about their favourite spots in Canada, how to create a custom trip and what travel trends are hot right now.

Read the Q&A with Jennifer Deacon and Mercedeh Sanati »

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Amazing Day Trips from Toronto: Niagara

By Eva Voinigescu

Day Trips from Toronto Niagara

Day Trips from Toronto: Niagara Falls (Photo: Ashwin Kumar)

Founded over 200 years ago, the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is your starting point for taking in the sights and tastes of the Niagara Region’s world-class attractions. The village’s tree-lined streets are perfect for strolling and home to beautifully restored buildings, fine shops, B&Bs, spas and restaurants. Fort George, a major War of 1812 site, offers an educational experience while the annual Shaw Festival is perfect for theatre lovers. (more…)