15 most exciting places to visit in Ontario in winter 15 most exciting places to visit in Ontario in winter

What are the Top 15 Places to Visit in Ontario in Winter?

In addition to being the site of the two most populated cities in Canada, Ontario is also the location of some of the most beautiful places to visit in Ontario in winter in the province. During winter, visit several wilderness locations, gorgeous lakes, and the breathtaking Niagara Falls.

People flock to Ontario in the summer to cool down at the province’s many water parks, paddleboard, fish, camp in the province’s many lakes and rivers, and see the country’s most recognizable monuments, like the CN Tower are also among the best places to visit in Ontario in winter.

While some people enjoy the snowy weather by visiting ski resorts, skating rinks, snowmobile parks, and winter festivals, the vast majority of people prefer to spend their time doing winter activities inside at hockey games, restaurants, theatres, and shops which are also the best places to visit in Ontario in winter. 

This region has everything a tourist might want, from quaint villages to bustling metropolises. Here are is most incredible places.

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List of places to visit in Ontario in winter

1. The Falls of Niagara

Millions of people go to Canada every year in the winter season to see Niagara Falls and Niagara lake, the country’s most well-known places to visit in Ontario in winter. 

Horseshoe Falls, the tallest of the three waterfall sections, with a vertical drop of around 57 meters and forms a massive sheet of water that separates the Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls. 

Water volume makes the falls so well-known, but when paired with the enormous drop, the result is a breathtaking natural wonder with Niagara on the lake. Because of their proximity to the city of Niagara Falls, i.e., Niagara on the lake, they are a popular tourist attraction

It is possible to stroll along Niagara Falls’ main tourist strip, which is an incredible show in and of itself, to the brink of the canyon, where you will discover fantastic views all along the boardwalk overlooking the river and the falls and also the natural park that is Niagara on the lake.

Toronto travel agencies can help you find winter destinations and plan a day’s winter trip to Niagara on the lake and Niagara falls. Niagara falls take roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive from Toronto.

1.1 Can you go to Niagara Falls for free?

Walking into Niagara Falls State Park to see the Falls is always free and open every day of the year. However, many people are happy to learn that in addition to this magnificent natural wonder, the tours of Niagara Falls and other activities available inside the park offer hours of additional entertainment.

Falls of Niagara
Photo by from Shutterstock

2. Toronto’s CN Tower

The Canadian National Tower dominates the skyline of Toronto and is widely recognized as one of the country’s most recognizable places to visit in Ontario in winter. 

The 553-meter tower is illuminated at night and can be seen from all across the city and neighboring areas at any time of day or night, but to get the most out of the experience, tourists will probably want to take a journey up the tower.

Approximately three-quarters of the way up to the summit winter trip is where you’ll find the restaurant and observation deck, both of which are accessible by elevator. The view is astounding, looking out over the city and Lake Ontario. 

On days when the air is apparent, it is possible to see the cloud of mist produced by Niagara Falls. Another magnificent sight is looking out over the city’s glittering lights at night.

A new Ripley’s Aquarium and the Rogers Centre, two of the most popular places to visit in Ontario in winter destinations in Toronto, may be found at the foot of the tower, which is situated in the middle of downtown Toronto.

2.1 How much does it cost to hang off the CN Tower?

The price for the 90-minute experience is CAD 195. Spending 30 minutes outside access to the Observation Deck, SkyPod, Glass Floor, and attractions are all included in the price.

2.2 How long does it take to walk up the CN Tower stairs?

In 30 to 40 minutes, the average climber reaches the summit. Shaun Stephens-Whale, who holds the WWF CN Tower climb record of 9 minutes, 54.9 seconds, advises using this 10-week training program to help you achieve your climb objectives, regardless of your experience level or desire to reduce your time.

3. Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Most tourists start their exploration of Ottawa from the top of Parliament Hill, a perfect winter weekend getaway located in the nation’s capital. The structures are located in a picturesque location on a hill that overlooks the Ottawa River. 

However, the Peace Tower, which is located between the Senate and the House of Commons and is more than 90 meters tall, is the building that is the most noticeable and the one that gets photographed the most.

The Centennial Flame may be seen in front of Parliament’s buildings. Those fortunate enough to be in Ottawa on July 1 can experience some of the largest Canada Day celebrations anywhere in the country. 

During the summer, visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard on the lawn in front of the Houses of Parliament, and those in Ottawa on that day can also watch the Changing of the Guard.

There is no cost associated with participating in the free daily guided tours offered at the Parliament Buildings. These tours cover the East Block, Senate, and House of Commons. 

3.1 Can you go inside Parliament Hill Ottawa?

On Parliament Hill, West Block (111 Wellington Street) offers tours of the House of Commons. Between the West Block and Centre, Block structures are where the public entry is situated, at the new Visitor Welcome Centre.

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Source: Depositphotos

4. Ontario’s Provincial and National Parks

Several remarkable provincial and national parks are winter destination places to visit in Ontario in winter called winter wonderland, which allows visitors to access some of the most breathtaking places in the province. 

You may do winter activities like ice fishing, swimming, winter camping, and go pleasure boating on some of Ontario’s finest frozen lakes, frozen waterfalls, lake Ontario, ice climbing, and snow-covered trees in several parks around the province that are wonderful places to visit in Ontario in winter.

However, if going to the beach and lounging on the sand is more your style, the parks are prime locations for some of the most beautiful beaches in Ontario, which will be among the best winter destinations.

Algonquin Provincial Park is among the most popular and best parks and outdoor winter destinations in Southern Ontario. It has an extensive network of hiking trails and lovely lakeside camping, making it one of the province’s most popular parks and outdoor destinations. 

A little farther away but no less stunning, Killarney Provincial Park is another excellent location for outdoor activities, including canoeing, hiking, and camping.

The Bruce Peninsula National Park is also a winter wonderland located on the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and it features its own set of attractions. 

In the immediate Area, however, boaters and divers can find exciting places to visit in Ontario in winter, like Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.

Some of the parks also include historical sites and artifacts. For example, Petroglyphs Provincial Park, located only a short drive northeast of Peterborough, is home to a remarkable collection of Aboriginal rock carvings that date back between 500 and 1,000 years which are also amazing places to visit in Ontario in winter.

Visitors may get an up-close and personal view of this collection by visiting the park’s petroglyphs. In addition, the pictographs that line the rock walls along the shores of Lake Superior at Lake Superior Provincial Park are unique, even though getting to them might be a bit of a challenge, and among the fabulous places to visit in Ontario in winter.

In the Quetico Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario, visitors searching for a genuinely distant experience will encounter invitingly pristine lakes and woodlands. Canoe treks into the bush and fishing expeditions are standard in this region.

5. Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

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Javen on Shutterstock

The Royal Ontario Museum, also known as a magical winter wonderland located in the heart of Toronto, is widely regarded as one of the best museums in the province.

It has various collections, including those about natural history, science, and cultural artifacts from around the globe. This museum, more often referred to as the ROM, had an expansion in 2007, which resulted in the construction of a contemporary and one-of-a-kind extension known as the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.

As a result, the structure presently has a remarkable aspect that combines ancient and modern architectural styles. The impressive Gardiner Museum and the posh boutiques on Bloor Avenue are within easy walking distance of the Royal Ontario Museum, and both are great places to visit in Ontario in winter.

5.1 How long does it take to walk through Royal Ontario Museum?

It takes about three to four hours. An average trip to the ROM lasts between three and four hours.

6. Canada’s Wonderland

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A massive amusement park known as Canada’s Wonderland can be found around 30 kilometers northwest of the core of Toronto.

This park is only open during the warmer months. One of the most recommended summertime activities and outdoor fun for local families is taking the children to Canada’s Wonderland at least once per year.

However, since it is the most popular amusement park in Canada, families from all across the nation visit this attraction; some attractions include a water park, a dinosaur park, Christmas markets and live performances, roller coasters, and other types of thrill rides appropriate for children of all ages during the holiday season.

Taking a journey to Wonderland from Toronto is a simple day trip destination.

6.1 Do you need to be vaccinated for Canada’s Wonderland?

Although it is not required, the park does request that visitors self-evaluate for COVID-19 symptoms.

7. The Blue Mountains

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MasterPhoto on Shutterstock

Blue Mountain, about two hours north of Toronto, is an excellent winter destination for a weekend getaway.

Blue mountain is widely acknowledged as one of Ontario’s most incredible ski villages in the blue mountain within the fen lake ski trail, but rather the best ski trails resort in that province.

This ski trails resort in blue mountain is the epicenter of all winter sports, serving as the starting point for everything like outdoor skating rinks from cross country skiing and snowboarding to sledding and snow tubing, thanks to its over 42 trails and 16 chairlifts.

On-site options for renting gear, purchasing day tickets and season passes, and signing up for classes are available for online booking. Blue Mountain Village After you’ve had your fill of playing on the slopes, be sure to spend some time exploring this quaint little community (pedestrian only).

At this time of year of the winter season, the town is decked up with light displays that take me back to the atmosphere of a Christmas market.
The BeaverTails restaurant in blue mountains is a local institution.

You will come across many bars, souvenir stores, restaurants, and street vendors selling food in blue mountain. Still, if you want to try something new, go to Chuck Burger with hot chocolate or the Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery instead.

8. Fishing in Northern Ontario

Regarding ice fishing, Northern Ontario is among Canada’s top regions. Walleye, pickerel, bass, northern pike, and muskies are among the most coveted catches, and anglers from all over North America go here to try their luck and reel in one of these species. 

There is a wide variety of ice fishing lodges in Ontario; among great winter activities, ranging from opulent resorts to quaint cottages, are the best places to visit in Ontario in winter. 

However, most of these establishments provide everything for winter activities like you want to have a successful ice fishing trip, such as boats, guides, meals, lodging, and ice carving competitions.

The most extraordinary ice fishing may often be found on distant lakes in the north that can only be reached using tiny float aircraft. The majority of resorts provide fly-in packages.  However, some also offer boat pickup services. You may also locate several great alternatives that are accessible by car.

8.1 What kind of fish are in Northern Ontario?

  • Northern Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Muskie
  • Salmon
  • Steelhead
  • Lake Trout.

9. Museum of the Ireland House

Ireland House, constructed in 1837, was the residence of one of Burlington’s first families. Descendants inhabited the home up to the year 1985. The house offers an interpretation of three various historical periods that is a UNESCO world heritage site and has a collection that is, for the most part, unique. 

The family house, the cottage, and the surrounding woods are part of the Ireland House Museum. The museum provides a diverse range of educational activities, volunteer opportunities, and space for rent. 

In addition, the Museums of Burlington are happy to highlight the rich local legacy via the delivery of original, interactive programming and the organization of special events like winter festivals for people of all ages.

The Museums of Burlington invite visitors to experience our history in a historically accurate environment to foster an appreciation for the past, understand its relevance to the future, and maintain its position as a cornerstone of Burlington’s history, pride, and identity.

10. Lake Nipissing

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jrtwynam on Shutterstock

Lake Nipissing is the third biggest lake that is wholly contained inside the borders of the province of Ontario. It may be found between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay in Northern Ontario.

The lake stretches in a direction from east to west for 65 kilometers and is connected to Georgian Bay by the French River. It is likely a reference to the surrounding Great Lakes, which were significant trading routes for the Nipissing, the First Nation who originally inhabited this Area.

The Nipissing gave this place its name, which stems from an Ojibwa term meaning “small water.” For commercial and leisure purposes, fishing is an everyday activity on the lake, which has a snow-covered forest.

Unfortunately, since the 1980s, overfishing, and changes in the ecology have led to a significant drop in the walleye population, formerly the major fish species in the lake.

The ecology of Lake Nipissing is one of the most prolific on the planet despite the lake’s short depth. The lake is home to 44 different kinds of fish. However, the walleye, yellow perch, and northern pike make up most of the fish population.

Consequently, Lake Nipissing is the seventh most fished lake in Ontario, accounting for five percent of all local fishing in 2010. More than fifty different species of breeding birds, including the great blue heron and the osprey, make their homes on the Manitou Islands in Lake Nipissing.

The lake is surrounded by more than 6,650 wetlands that provide a habitat for various animals, including beaver, mink, and muskrat. Different creatures call the woodland surrounding the lake their home, including pileated woodpeckers, white-tailed deer, and moose.

Even though birch, hemlock, beech, balsam fir, and white spruce make up significant portions of the Nipissing Forest, maple makes up most of its trees. Aspens may also be found in plentiful amounts along the beaches of Lake Nipissing.

11. Nathan Phillips square

The public gathering space known as Nathan Phillips Square often hosts concerts, rallies, and art displays. 

Annual celebrations with the Christmas market consist of a party held on New Year’s Eve and the lighting of the official Christmas tree during the Cavalcade of Lights Festival. 

During the annual Christmas market Nuit Blanche art festival, art exhibitions are often put up in the Area are the best places to visit in Ontario in winter; in recent years, the event has also used the parking garage situated just below the square.

The Nathan Phillips Square is the Toronto Christmas market, and a square market is among the popular places to visit in Ontario in winter and serves as the location for a variety of public events, including concerts, art exhibitions, a weekly farmer’s market, the winter festival of lights, and other gatherings of the public.

In addition, the reflecting pool is transformed into an ice skating rink, webster falls, skate rentals, and winter hiking outdoor hot tubs during the winter months so that people may enjoy the sport year-round. 

It has Canada’s oldest provincial park. It is the giant city square in all of Canada, measuring 4.85 hectares (12.0 acres). There are around 1.5 million people that go to the court each year.

12. Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario

Since it wasn’t included in the list of World Heritage Sites until 2007, the Rideau Canal is still considered one of the more recent additions.

The canal is an astonishing engineering feat that dates back to the 19th century and spans 202 kilometers of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers are fabulous places to visit in Ontario in winter. 

The Rideau Canal is the best-preserved example of a slack water canal in North America. It was first constructed for military reasons when the United States and Great Britain were fighting for control of the region. In the winter, it serves as the world’s largest skating rink.

12.1 Do you have to pay to use the Rideau Canal?

Several passes or licenses are needed for both passage through the Rideau Canal’s locks and anchoring overnight at lock stations. Visitors arriving by boat or paddle craft (such as kayaks and canoes) must present their lockage and overnight mooring permits.

13. Algonquin Provincial Park

It is possible to see the park as a section of the “border” that separates Northern Ontario from Southern Ontario. The park is located in a zone that transitions between the evergreen forests of the north and the deciduous forests of the south.

The park’s vast range of ecosystems and unique combination of forest types can provide a habitat for a remarkable variety of plant and animal species. In addition to that, it is an important location for the study of several animal species.

Its historic lodges, hotels, cottages, camps, and entrance gate (the West Gate was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992) are among the places to visit in Ontario during the winter, and national and provincial parks across the country have adopted its pioneering visitor interpretation programs.

In 1992, the Canadian government recognized Algonquin Park’s historical significance by designating it a National Historic Site. The park was honored for its contributions to park administration and innovative approach to tourist interpretation.

14. Tiffany Falls

The Tiffany Falls Conservation Area in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is home to a ribbon waterfall known as Tiffany Falls. 

This waterfall is 21 meters high and is situated in the Tiffany Falls Conservation Area. It reaches a height of 21 meters and has a softly falling cascade of water. During the winter, this location looks like a wondrous frozen winter wonderland.

14.1 How do you get to Tiffany Falls?

Take the 403 to Hamilton and get off at Main Street West to drive to Tiffany Falls. After leaving at the light, turn left and continue driving for a few kilometers until you see the power lines. Turn left at the light to go to the Main West Mall, a shopping center on the left.

14.2 Do you have to pay for Tiffany Falls?

Fees: Parking costs $11.00; the HCA Membership Pass is free. An important natural area is Tiffany Falls Conservation Area. Parking at Tiffany Falls is only permitted for one hour.

15. Springer market square

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Simon Lam on Shutterstock

Since 1801, the citizens of Kingston have had access to nutritious food and a strong feeling of community thanks to the Kingston Public Market, the oldest market in all of Ontario.

The momentous events that led to the establishment of the Dominion of Canada took place at Kingston Market Square, including the proclamation of Confederation. 

However, the middle of the 1900s saw a decline in business at the Kingston market due to many factors, including the need for more space to accommodate wider roadways, the trend toward shopping at grocery stores, and the imposition of stricter health rules on sellers.

The market is held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from April through November and is situated in the historic downtown district of Kingston. It is located just behind City Hall. The hours of operation for the market are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However, some sellers open earlier, and some depart sooner. When winter arrives and the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Springer Market Square is magically transformed into an ice skating rink where guests may glide among the twinkling lights of the downtown area.

Conclusion

Winter in Ontario is COLD, but degrees of cold are very relative. Because Ontario is such a large province, the winter climate varies significantly from one location to the next.

In general, you may anticipate the temperature to be much below the threshold at which freezing begins practically all the time. The temperature can drop to -25 degrees Celsius, and the persistent snowfall and wind chill don’t help.

Be cautious about dressing in layers before venturing out to explore the province since the weather may be unpredictable. Because most of these winter activities in Ontario take place outside, it is essential to bundle up appropriately.

 You should have a layer that acts as a foundation, an insulating layer (one made of wool or fleece), and a coating that is durable enough to protect you from the wind and snow.

It is advisable to wear hats, scarves, and mittens since these items may assist with protecting the most sensitive regions (fingers, ears, cheeks, etc.)

Suggested Reads

Check out more facts by clicking on the link about the places to visit in Ontario in winter.

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