Hands up if you thought the capital city of Canada was Toronto? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, the nation’s capital is Ottawa, a likeable city with generous green spaces, a good bar scene and the parliament buildings. Visit the galleries and  museums by day and take a stroll through the ‘Market’ in the evening, a lively area with good  restaurants, bars and open air shopping.


The province’s, and the country’s largest city is Toronto (pronounced ‘Traw-no’ by Canadians). Highlights include CN Tower — the highest freestanding building in the world, with a vertigo- inducing glass platform — great shopping in Eaton Centre or Queen Street West, and funky cafés and pubs along Queen Street West, College Street and in the Beaches.

When the sun comes out, the harbourfront area is popular for biking and  walking. All the galleries, sports stadiums and historical sights are also located near here.

Toronto is a major centre for gays and lesbians, being the first city in North America to legalise same-sex marriages. The gay area is Church-Wellesley Village and one million people flood the city during Pride Week in late June.

In summer, be sure to check out a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game. And in winter, watch the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team zip across the ice, or have a go yourself at one of the artificial ice rinks, which are set up throughout the city from mid-November til March.

Niagra Falls

Although this province may be a prime stop-off point for your culture fix, it’s also tops for nature. Niagara Falls is one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, drawing 13 million tourists each year. It’s easy to see why; the equivalent of more than a million bathtubs full of water thunders over its cliffs each minute.

Get outside

Ontario’s lakes are great for  wakeboarding, canoeing and fishing. Head to Bruce Peninsula for rugged cliffs, forests, lakes and black bears, or Muskoka, about two hours north of Toronto, to get away from it all

The vineyards of the Niagara Peninsula, the charming town of Kingston, and the wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park are also fantastic if you’ve got the time.

Go snowmobiling

To get the blood pumping, have a go at snowmobiling. Ontario has the longest system of recreational trails in the world, at 46,000km. The season runs through January and February.