With 250,000 lakes, 100,000 kilometres (60,000 miles) of rivers and 3,000 kilometres (2,400 miles) of coastline forming the shores of four Great Lakes, it's not surprising the Indigenous people named this place Ontario, believed to mean "shimmering waters".
Navigate the 44 locks of the 386 kilometre (240 mile) Trent-Severn Waterway that winds from Trenton to Port Severn through scenery varying from pastoral farmland to the rugged shores of Georgian Bay. Explore the Grand River, designated as a Canadian Heritage River. Sail among 14,000 islands on the magnificent Lake of the Woods in Sunset Country, host to LOWISA - the largest inland regatta in the world.
Cruise the Sault Canal built in 1895 to connect Lake Superior and Lake Huron, or the Rideau Canal, constructed after the War of 1812 as a safe route for the military. The St. Lawrence Cruise Lines Inc. offer overnight cruises on the St. Lawrence River and on the Ottawa River, and the Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc. on the Trent Severn and the Rideau Canal.
Discover over 100 waterfalls in and around Hamilton, including Albion Falls, Websters Falls and Tew’s Falls. Embark on the Waterfall Tour in Grey County, which will lead you to the cascading Eugenia Falls, Inglis Falls and Indian Falls.
Witness the spectacle of the Niagara Falls, a natural world wonder or hike to Kakabaka Falls, just outside of Thunder Bay, known as the Niagara of the north.
Designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Region because of its unique ecological and cultural significance, the Niagara Escarpment is a spectacular limestone ribbon of wilderness that winds its way for 725 kilometres (450 miles) from Queenston to Tobermory.
Great for hiking, rock-climbing, wildlife viewing and snowshoeing, the escarpment is a magnificent outdoor haven with more than a hundred parks and scores of conservation areas protecting its natural features and incredible variety of plants and wildlife. Rock climbers are drawn to the great climbs at Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Old Baldy Conservation Area in Grey Sauble Conservation and Lion's Head on the Bruce Peninsula. Views from the top are spectacular.
Follow the Bruce Trail, Canada's oldest and longest hiking path, as it meanders along the escarpment. You’ll find panoramic views of the deciduous forests in Beaver Valley Conservancy — a summer playground for fishing and cycling and in winter, a magnet for cross-country and downhill skiers.
On the north end the escarpment rises out of the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay to form the spectacular limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of the Bruce Peninsula. The Escarpment is home to an amazing variety of orchids, celebrated during the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival every May.
There is also an impressive array of trilliums and violets coupled with Indigenous history at Crawford Lake near Campbellville, one of the prettiest corners of the Escarpment.
THE CANADIAN SHIELD
The Canadian Shield is Canada’s largest rock formation, resulting from ancient volcanic action. The Shield contains Precambrian rock, and the exposed portions bare the marks of glacial activity. Stretching from the Manitoba border in the west to Ottawa and the St. Lawrence River in the east, it overs over half of Ontario. The combination of the dramatic rock formations, fresh water rivers and lakes, vast pine forests and diverse wildlife has hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers for generations. The Canadian Shield landscape was the inspiration for many works of the Group of Seven, a collection of beloved Canadian artists.