Canada is worldwide known for its breath-taking fall colours, but in fall, there’s much more to do than this. Besides admiring the wonderful colours, you can go apple picking, pumpkin carving, hiking… there are just so many options!
In this post, I want to give you an overview of the best things to see, to do and places to visit in Ontario in fall. My experience living in Canada combined with the unique insights of other travel bloggers give you the widest range of options possible!
Hopefully, this list will inspire you to get out and visit all these wonderful places in Ontario this fall!
What to see in Ontario in fall
Contributed by Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel
One of the best places to visit in Ontario in the fall is the historic city of Cobourg in Northumberland County. Located an hour east of Toronto, one of its most appealing fall attractions is its waterfront park stretching along the shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Things to do on the waterfront include exploring the native plants and demonstration gardens at the Ecology Garden, strolling the West Beach boardwalk that winds through beach dunes dotted with wildflowers, gawking at the lighthouse in Cobourg Marina, watching flocks of migrating geese at the Heritage Harbour and walking the promenade along Lake Ontario to Victoria Beach.
Attractions at Victoria Park include a shell-shaped Bandstand that dates to 1934, a commemorative statue of Fern Blodgett Sunde, the first Canadian female wireless radio operator, and the stately homes flanking Victoria Park shaded by towering trees in flaming red and orange fall foliage. On nearby King Street, another must-see is Victoria Hall, a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture, constructed in the 1850s and declared a National Historic Site.
It’s well worth spending some time browsing the boutiques and shops then enjoying a butter tart at the Dutch Oven Bakery, one of the stops on the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Trail. On Saturday mornings, a vibrant farmer’s market takes place in the Rotary Park behind City Hall and is a fine spot for fall produce, pumpkin pies, jams and other locally-produced goods.
Contributed by Nina of Nina Out and About
Algonquin Park is not only one of the most beautiful national parks in Ontario, but it’s consistently said to be one of the best in Canada. This stunning park 4 hours north of Toronto and Ottawa is home to some of the best hiking trails and campsites in the province. You’ll find adventures for all skill levels.
Many people think that Algonquin Park is just a summer destination, with its plethora of camp programs, canoe excursions, and RV parks. But it’s not. Algonquin Park can be visited year-round. Every season offers a unique view of Canada’s nature. None can better show off the beauty of the park than fall.
Visit Algonquin Park in fall to see spectacular fall foliage. The hikes up to vistas overlooking the forests and lakes become bathed in a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s enough to make anyone get in the sweater weather spirit.
Another benefit is that popular trails are less busy in autumn. The cooler weather makes it easier to handle the longer trails that offer better views.
Be sure to know what to wear hiking to avoid an injury, like turning an ankle on muddy leaves. Keep an eye out for wild animals. Moose and beavers abound in Algonquin Park and are often seen frolicking in autumn.
Prince Edward County
Contributed by Cecily Protsack of Groovy Mashed Potatoes
Prince Edward Country is a buzzing island on Lake Ontario known for its scenic beaches, quaint towns, wineries and farm-to-table cuisine. It’s where city dwellers like to escape for a relaxing weekend.
Fall is one of the best times to visit Prince Edward County. The weather is pleasant and you will see fewer crowds than in the summertime. Take the rural roads on your drive through the island to admire the vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves falling from the trees.
When you visit in Fall that means you’re visiting during harvest season. Dine on hearty farm-to-fork cuisine and don’t miss the semi-annual Countylicious event, where the county’s top restaurants create pre-fixe menus featuring local ingredients.
Prince Edward County is one of the best couples getaways in Ontario. In October go with your loved one to Pumpkinfest, a fun event with a pancake breakfast, parade and entertainment. Afterwards rent bikes from Wellington and bike to wineries in the area like Hinterland, Sandbanks Estate and Karlos Estate. Stay at Merrill House, a charming gothic revival mansion converted into a luxury boutique hotel.
What’s a better time to visit Canada’s largest city than fall? Toronto is perfect if you’re looking for a fall weekend trip because as opposed to summer, you’ll find fewer tourists cramming the streets, shops and attractions!
This means it’s easier to get around and queues for certain places won’t be as long. Plus, temperatures will still be perfectly comfortable to visit all the city’s attractions, which is a huge contrast to the winter season.
As the sun sets earlier, you can go watch the sunset from the CN Tower, which is truly a magical experience! Also, take a boat to the Toronto Islands and enjoy the change of colours there while having a perfect view of Toronto’s waterside.
You can find more information about the best things to do in Toronto in a special blog post I wrote about the city!
Niagara falls is not a typical fall destination, but nevertheless, you can admire wonderful fall colours here as well! Around the falls there’s namely a great piece of nature that will reward you with the beautiful sight of changing colours.
Moreover, as Niagara is such a well-known tourist destination, visiting in fall will give a much calmer experience when the wildness of the summer crowds are gone.
You should definitely take a boat tour close to the falls and a walking tour taking you under the falls into the caves behind them!
Wouldn’t it be unique to experience and admire all the fall colours from the water? Well, this is possible if you visit the 1000 Islands in the Saint Lawrence River.
The most wonderful experience is to take a boat cruise of a few hours that not only takes you past the islands but also enables you to watch the sunset from the boat, which even brightens up the wonderful fall colours you’ll see!
On the many islands, you can also visit castles, museums and different other historical monuments teaching you about the rich part of this region. For the more sporty people among you, there’s also the option to go kayaking!
The place to be for these activities is Gananoque. While you’re at the waterside it’s also worth it to visit Wolfe Island and Lake Ontario, which are perfect to visit from Kingston.
Ready to explore Ontario in fall now?
I hope this guide gave you the inspiration and drive to visit all these places yourself and be a part of all the great fall activities and sights in Ontario.
Are you rather looking for a city break in Ontario? Then check out my blog post with the most beautiful cities in Eastern Canada!