Ontario Road Trip – Episode 474

categories: canada travel

Ontario Road Trip


Hear about a road trip around Ontario as the Amateur Traveler talks to guidebook author Carolyn Heller, author of the Moon guide to Ontario.

“There’s lots of great things to do in Ontario in the cities, but I’d like to take you outside the cities to a region that’s called the Georgian Bay. Georgian Bay is the easternmost section of Lake Huron. And you can get to Georgian Bay from Toronto in about three or four hours. Georgian Bay is a great region to do a driving tour because it takes you around the lake and there’s all sorts of outdoor activities you can do: hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, even snorkeling. You can combine these outdoor activities with all sorts of different cultural experiences. Particularly if you’re interested in aboriginal culture as well as early North American history there’s a lots and lots of places to discover around Georgian Bay. If you have about a week, or ideally 10 days, you can start and end in Toronto and make a loop around Georgian Bay.”

Carolyn starts us on the Bruce Peninsula which is the home to two national parks. “One of the things that was really dramatic about that area is that the water in the bay is blue like it is in the Caribbean.” The town of Tobermory at the end of the peninsula provides a good base for exploring the region. From here you can take a ferry to Manitoulin Island, when the ferry is running from late Spring to early Fall. One of the two national parks is Fathom Five National Marine Park which is a water based park which includes several unusual rock formations as well as numerous ship wrecks. Diving and snorkeling trips are run to these wrecks.

Manitoulin Island is a great place to connect with some of the tribes of the First Nations. There is an aboriginal tourism group called The Great Spirit Circle Trail that runs a number of interesting cultural adventures. The most unusual museum on the island may be the small Lillian’s Porcupine Quill Basket Museum.

From Manitoulin Island you can return to the mainland and Carolyn recommends a stop at the colorful Killarney Provincial Park for some of the wonderful hikes like “The Crack”. “If you are really into serious backpacking Killarney also has a backpacking route that takes about a week.”

In Perry Sound, Carolyn took a float plane tour of the 30,000 islands in the area. Some of those islands are protected as part of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park.

Near Midland, Ontario she recommends a stop at the Sainte Marie Among the Hurons where jesuit missionaries built a mission in 1639. They only stayed for 10 years before they were caught in a local war between the Huron (Wyandot) and the Iroquois.

“What surprised me is how beautiful this part of Ontario is. it’s not grand in the way that the Rocky Mountains are grand but there’s definitely lots of beautiful things to see from the blue water of the bay to the pink cliffs at Killarney to the long sandy beaches. You are not really far from Canada’s largest city are there are still all these strikingly beautiful outdoor places to explore.”

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Show Notes

Carolyn Heller
Moon Ontario (Moon Handbooks)
Ontario Travel
Georgian Bay
Bruce Peninsula
Manitoulin Island
Little Current Swing Bridge
Killarney Provincial Park
Parry Sound
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
Midland, Ontario
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Indian Head Cove
Fathom Five National Marine Park
Great Spirit Circle Trail
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
Church of the Immaculate Conception
Lillian’s Crafts
Providence Bay
Greater Sudbury
Science North
The Big Nickel
Killarney Mountain Lodge
Beausoleil Island
Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
Voyageur Storytelling
Butter Tart
Blue Mountain Resort
Moon Travel Guides


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Ontario Road Trip

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “Ontario Road Trip – Episode 474”



Check out @AmateurTraveler’s interview w/ @CarolynBHeller about road trip around #GeorgianBay! http://t.co/rVPg5RdQFR http://t.co/PWwhntokkL



Hear Moon author @CarolynBHeller share the beauty of a #roadtrip around #Ontario on the Amateur Traveler (@chris2x): http://t.co/WUyldW5d4r

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