Province/Territory: Ontario

Canada’s Cottage Country

  • 1600 lakes
  • 54 scenic vistas
  • 04-day snowmobiling loop

Welcome to Ontario's cottage country where hundreds of fresh water lakes, rolling hills and country pathways invite you to explore. Come in winter to ski, to snowshoe, snowmobile or simply breathe in the crisp, clean air. Perhaps you've always longed to experience the dramatic autumn displays of coloured leaves, or the gentle return to green that heralds the birth of spring. Maybe it's the prospect of lolling on a sunny beach, finding a shady lakeside hammock or paddling on a still lake that entices you. Georgian Bay and Muskoka truly offers something for every season and every type of adventurer.

Outdoor adventure

  • Soak up some summer sunshine at Wasaga Beach, the longest freshwater beach in the world.
  • Stroll a wooden pathway through the treetops at "Walk In the Clouds".
  • Hit the downhill slopes at Blue Mountain Ski Resort, explore quiet cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails, go icefishing or learn to drive a dogsled.
  • Explore a labyrinth of caves carved deep into Blue Mountain.

Nature & Wildlife

  • Get up close and personal with wildlife that ranges from hundreds of species of birds and fish to bears, deer, moose and much more.
  • Stargaze in the Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve.
  • Howl with the wolves at the Wolf Sanctuary in the Haliburton Forest.
  • Snowshow in the quiet woods along the shores of frozen lakes or try your hand at icefishing on beautiful Lake Simcoe.

Food & Drink

  • Follow the Apple Pie Trail as it leads you from artisanal cheese shops, to orchards, bakeries, butcher shops and a wineries where fruit becomes liquid ambrosia wineries.
  • Visit one of the many charming local inns and restaurants where chefs celebrate the hundred-mile diet philosophy, cooking with fresh ingredients from local farmers and producers.

Arts & Culture

  • From May to October, search for Fur Trade artifacts, and discover ancient First Nations traditions on the Great Spirit Circle Trail on Manitoulin Island.
  • Visit countless artist studios and art galleries, including the Tom Thomson Art Gallery featuring artwork inspired by area landscapes.

On the water

  • Glide past Milionaire's Row, home to some of Muskoka's grandest and most historic summer homes on board the oldest steamship in North America.
  • Relax at a wilderness resort, stay in a cozy cottage or pitch a tent on the shores of a lake so that long, lazy afternoons of fishing, canoeing, swimming and hiking can be enjoyed.

Weather

  • Warm summer weather extends from late-May until late September — expect average daily July temperatures of 17°C to 20°C.
  • Winter, from December until April, brings cold temperatures ranging from -6°C to -11°C.
  • Spring stretches from late March until early June, and brings milder temperatures in the 5°C to 12°C range.
  • Fall, from late-September to November, is cooler, with temperatures between 7°C and 0°C.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 944,735 sq-km
Largest City: Barrie
Total Population: 187,013

When to go
  • Ski season runs from December until early April. Crisp temperatures and snowy weather are also ideal for skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
  • Wildlife viewing, hiking and camping are wonderful all year round.
  • Lakes are swimmable from late May until late September.
  • Autumn's cooler temperatures turns the leaves in the forests of Muskoka and Georgian Bay gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red.
Getting Here
Getting around