You don’t have to fly halfway around the world to travel; sometimes, adventure awaits just next door. Such is the case with Ontario, Canada — the province is proving it by highlighting all the best places to visit during its 150th anniversary celebration. All year long, Ontario has hosted events around the region commemorating its natural beauty and culture. Ontario150 is still in full-swing, and world travelers stand to benefit by swinging by often overlooked destination and enjoying some of its most exciting adventures.
Niagara Falls is a must-see travel destination at any time, in any year, but this summer and fall, it offers even greater delights. Quite aside from the stunning river and waterfall and the entertaining attractions in the city, the Niagara Falls summer firework display is exhilarating, especially considering this year’s achievement of the province. As the colorful explosions reflect in the thundering water of the falls, it isn’t difficult to appreciate the history of the region and the struggle of the people in making Canada what it is today.
Nearby, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, you can learn more about Canadian history and revel in its success at the Confederation Celebration. Throughout the year, various events celebrate Niagara, Ontario, and Canada, including:
- Special lectures and tours at the Niagara History Museum
- Festival for the 225th Anniversary of the First Parliament in Simcoe Park
- Tours of historically significant sites, including cemeteries, battlegrounds, and conserved townships
- Barbecues and cookouts at various parks throughout the summer and fall
Ontario by Bike
Summers in Canada are outdoor times, especially in Ontario, where a Mediterranean-like climate keeps temperatures relatively mild and comfortable year-round. Thus, cities around Ontario are celebrating its 150 years in seasonal style by organizing cycling events for enthusiasts and novices alike.
Ontario is crisscrossed by thousands of kilometers of cycling trails, and cities add more every year. This year, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Greenbelt Route have won awards of distinction, as they provide access to some of the most outstanding scenery in the province. The Waterfront Trail traces the northern coasts of Lakes Huron, Eerie, and Ontario, passing through Quebec, Toronto, and the Niagara region. Meanwhile, the Greenbelt Route sticks to Ontario’s countryside, showcasing the natural regions around Toronto and Niagara Falls.
These notable tracks aren’t the only way to see Ontario on two wheels. Plenty of cities have organized bike tours for the occasion, encouraging locals and visitors to learn and explore with healthy, sustainable transportation. You can even enjoy brewery and winery tours by bike. Finally, there are plenty of cycling events arranged specifically for Ontario’s 150th anniversary, including organized rides, rallies, and races, so if you love being on two wheels, you should hurry to Ontario.
Games and Sports
Ontario loves all sorts of sports — not just cycling — so the province is celebrating its other athletes with various games throughout the year. In addition to friendly competitions at festivals and jubilees around the province, the Invictus Games, which take place at the end of September, celebrates adaptive sports practiced by injured active-duty and veteran service members. The games and sports will include archery, a variety of track and field events, golf, rowing, volleyball, powerlifting, swimming, tennis, and more; plus, the opening and closing ceremonies promise to be star-studded, with entertainers such as Alessia Cara, Kelly Clarkson, and Bryan Adams. The Invictus Games is just one of several sporting events occurring around the province, but as it attracts hundreds of competitors from 17 nations, it is certainly one of the most important celebrations in Ontario.
Art of Ontario
Finally, organizations and cities around Ontario are hosting a bevy of events celebrating the varied and wonderful art of the region. Throughout the summer and fall, concerts and music events are occurring, including the ONtour Concert Series, which is traveling from city to city and showcasing different bands and musical artists across a variety of genres, so there is a musical adventure for every audiophile to enjoy. Alternatively, SESQUI is a media experience celebrating Ontario’s 150 years through film, virtual reality, and other technologies. This art-filled adventure allows you to learn about innovative technologies shaping the world — including the art world — as well as the country’s and province’s unique history.
Ontario offers much to the world traveler, and it offers even more this year, as its farthest reaches join for a massive celebration. If Canada is calling you, this is the year to answer.