Ontario and Québec are two of Canada’s most fascinating provinces, allowing visitors to explore a part of the country which encompasses two fascinating cultures in one holiday. Both boast vibrant cities like Toronto and Montréal, in addition to unrivalled landscapes, impressive parks and an abundance of wildlife.
While Ontario is Canada’s most populous province—home to Canada’s largest city, Toronto, as well as major sights like Niagara Falls and the majestic Lake Ontario—Québec, Canada’s largest province, is steeped in history, monuments and museums, as well as having a thriving cultural scene with over 500 festivals year-round.
To experience the highlights of both Ontario and Québec at your own pace, fly drive, motorhome, and escorted tour holidays are all appealing options, allowing you to take full advantage of opportunities for outdoor adventure in this part of Canada. Read on for our top recommendations and contact our experts to book your Canada flights for 2020.
Escape to serenity at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain (Ontario)
In addition to a range of great hiking and biking trails, fishing tours and boat cruises, many visitors come to Blue Mountain Resort to enjoy Ontario’s wonderful outdoors from the comfort of a eucalyptus steam bath. The Scandinave Spa is located less than a three-hour drive from Toronto and makes for a relaxing weekend getaway or stop as part of a longer road trip. You’ll find the spa nestled amongst 25 acres of natural Ontario birch, Canadian maple and pine trees, providing expansive views of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment and skiers tackling the mountains during winter. Since weekends and bank holidays are particularly busy, we recommend visiting on a weekday if you can. It’s also worth noting that guests must be 18 years of age or older, and phones and cameras are not permitted.
Take a scenic drive through La Mauricie National Park (Québec)
If you’ve chosen to hire a car as part of your trip, La Mauricie National Park is an amazing place to soak up the scenery. The Park has more than 150 lakes of various sizes, as well as pools where you can stop for a dip after a long day of driving, and waterfalls like the breath-taking Waber Falls. For the best views, don’t leave without stopping at the Le Passage viewpoint. You should also keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including moose, black bears, beavers, red foxes and wolves.
Zipline over Muskoka’s colourful trees (Ontario)
Muskoka County is another popular spot on an Ontario-Québec road trip. As well as being the birthplace of the comfortable chairs of the same name, it’s also home to two zip line and aerial parks: Treetop Trekking in Huntsville and Muskoka Zip Lines & Aerial Park in Bracebridge—both perfect for adventurers of all ages. Glide through a canopy of coloured trees in the beautiful Muskoka Forest via zip line, or stride along the top using rope, bridges and climbing nets in the company of experienced guides. What better way to enjoy one of Ontario’s most scenic landscapes?
Go canoeing in Jacques-Cartier National Park (Québec)
Another of Québec’s popular outdoor spots, Jacques-Cartier National Park is the perfect location for a spot of classic Canadian canoeing. Experience the best views of the surrounding mountains from the river where you can choose to hire your own canoe or kayak, or book onto a guided tour. There’s something for all ages and skill levels, with both calm sections and whitewater, and it’s an incredible thing to experience whatever the weather.
Go wine tasting in Prince Edward County (Ontario)
For an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed year-round, head to Prince Edward County in Ontario. Home to the largest number of wineries outside of Niagara, enjoy everything from the Terroir Wine Festival in spring, to a guided tour through the production facility at Huff Estates Inn & Winery, where you’ll be taken through the processing life from a bunch of grapes through to a bottle of wine. The region features over 40 wineries, as well as local food producers and fantastic restaurants. Various tours with full transportation are also available for booking if you are visiting for the day.
Try Rock Climbing in Val-David (Québec)
If you’re visiting Montréal (as we recommend you do on a visit to Québec) the granite crags of Val David are just an hour away. The birthplace of rock climbing in Québec in the 1930s, you’ll find multiple faces open for climbing, with routes of varying levels, as well as several extensive boulder fields, making this a good place to improve your climbing skills. Please note that a fee is required to access the park.
Hike in Killarney Provincial Park (Ontario)
Killarney Provincial Park offers hiking trails of varying lengths, ranging from around an hour (the 2 km Granite Ridge Trail) to around four hours (the 6 km route known as ‘The Crack’). Many trails also cover uneven and rocky terrain, so sturdy footwear, plenty of water and a park map are recommended. Those looking for a more challenging route can hike Killarney’s Silhouette Trail—a rugged 73km loop trail which takes up to 10 days to complete. It starts and finishes in the George Lake Campground, making it a great option for those on a motorhome holiday. You can also bring a tent, or hire a camp cabin or yurt if you wish (reservations are required).
Cycle Québec’s Route Verte (Québec)
Fancy biking around Québec’s great outdoors? The Route Verte is North America’s longest network of cycling trails, not only running through Québec’s most beautiful regions but also connecting the province to bikeways in Ontario, New Brunswick and the US. Stretching over 3,200 miles, it allows seasoned cyclists to travel from region to region with ease, and beginners to take advantage of quiet country backgrounds boasting views of Québec’s rivers, lakes and fjords. There are also many off-road trails for slightly more experienced riders.