If a holiday abroad isn’t on the cards for you this summer, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to make your Ontario staycation fun without breaking the bank. From sunbathing on Toronto Islands to camping in Algonquin Park, here are our five best ways to enjoy the province on a budget this summer.
1. Scarborough Bluffs Park
If you’re looking to escape Toronto for a few hours, consider The Scarborough Bluffs for a breath of fresh air. Spanning 14 km of Lake Ontario’s shore, The Bluffs offer moderate hiking and walking trails with gorgeous views of the lake. Visit the park either by the TTC or car — free parking is available on site.
2. Toronto Islands
The Toronto Islands may be small, but there’s no shortage of things to do there. If you’d like to explore the islands at a clip, rent a bike from the Bicycle Centre or BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike). More of a water baby? Canoes and kayaks can be rented on the islands, but you can also boat over from Toronto if you own your own. The 18-hole disc golf course is also a cheap and cheerful island activity.
3. Algonquin Park
The summer is the ideal time for a digital detox, and Algonquin Park is the perfect place to disconnect. With more than 2,400 lakes and 1,200 km of streams and rivers here, you won’t have time to miss your phone. Camping is particularly popular in Ontario’s oldest provincial park and there are plenty of accommodation options for the experienced and novice campers alike.
4. St. Jacobs Country
Foodies looking for some much needed R&R should check out St. Jacobs. St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market — Canada’s largest year-round market —has a plethora of food vendors, as well as crafts and imported goods. After gorging yourself, explore the community by foot on their many paths and trails. You may see some horse and carriages along the way!
5. Niagara on the Lake
Niagara on the Lake is great for a weekend getaway. The heart of Ontario’s wine region, there are plenty of wineries to drink and dine at. Not to mention, the lake is only a short drive away from Niagara Falls. If you don’t feel like seeing the falls up close, pack a picnic and enjoy a bird’s eye view of them. Want to splurge even more? There’s always the casinos!
Featured image: Instagram/ @samexplores