Vaughan is not really known as a tourist destination, but rather is the location of several first-rate attractions in communities like Kleinburg (McMichael Gallery, Kortright Center), and Maple (Paramount Canada’s Wonderland).
French explorer Etienne Brulé, who traversed the Humber Trail (connecting Lake Simcoe with what is now Toronto) in 1615, passed through Vaughan. Vaughan was first settled after the end of the American Revolution drove Loyalist north. Thornhill had its first saw-mill in 1801, added a grist mill in 1815, and grew to 300 by 1836. Other settlements grew at Burlington, Burwick (Woodbridge), Carrville, Claireville, Coleraine, Concord, Edgeley, Elder’s Mills, Elgin Mills, Fisherville, Jefferson, Kleinburg, Langstaff, Maple, Nashville, Patterson, Pine Grove, Purpleville, Richmond Hill, Richvale, Sherwood, Teston, and Vellore.
Vaughan Township’s population was pretty well unchanged (around 4,000) from the 1840’s to 1935, but after World War II the immigration boom grew the population to 16,000 by 1960. Many of the news settlers were Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans who supported the area’s commercial and industrial development.
Bartley Smith Greenway
Multiple access points, From Steeles Ave to Maple
This l5 kilometre trail follows the West Don River. The trail commences at Steeles Avenue near Dufferin Street, northward through Marita Payne Park, continuing north to Langstaff Road where the southern trail ends. The trail recommences north of McNaughton Road and continues to Teston Road (Maple).
Black Creek Pioneer Village
1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York, ON M3N 1S4
(Jane & Steeles W -watch for signs from Highways 400, 401 and 407)
This takes you back to rural Ontario community in 1867, when Canada was formed. See farms, a blacksmith shop, a one-room school house, and 40 restored heritage homes, shops and gardens, staffed with costumed interpreters and artisans. Open year-round, Vary by season, see website for details. Admission $$.
Blue Willow Garden & Butterfly Conservatory
23834 Highway 48, Baldwin, L0E 1A0
905-722-5849 Fax: 905-722-3157 1-800-598-0041
Beautiful indoor and outdoor gardens, with a butterfly conservatory, where you can observe the magic of caterpillars turning into butterflies. See native and tropical butterflies close up. Garden Centre. Open Apr. 1st-Oct. 31st. Butterfly Conservatory open June 1st-Sept. 30th. Open daily 10 am to 5 pm.
Boyd Conservation Area
Islington Avenue, Woodbridge (Vaughan)
(5 kilometres north of Highway #7, just south of Rutherford Rd)
416-667-6299 or 905-851-0575
Ninety-six hectares (237 acres) of protected woodand and designated nature trails in the Humber River Valley. Popular for barbecues, picnics and relaxation. Sports venues for camping, bocce, soccer, sand volleyball, and basketball. It opened in 1957, and has 7 kilometres of hiking trails for bird watching and nature hiking. Open: April to October. Admission $$$. Pets allowed but must be kept on-leash.
672 Chrislea Rd, Woodbridge, L4L 8K9
905-264-9463 Fax: 905-264-8671 1-888-245- 9463
A winery begun in 1977 creating award-winning wines in a 36,000-square-foot, California mission-style building, houses a beautiful wine boutique and barrel-aging cellar. Tours available. Open Mon-Fri 9 am- 7 pm, Sat 9 am- 6 pm, Sun 11 am- 4 pm
Humber Trail (William Granger Greenway)
The first and second phases of the gravel Humber Trail (5.7 kilometres) link these areas: Canadian McMichael Art Collection, Boyd Conservation Area and Canada Company Way. It is open and free of charge, for hiking, biking and walking. This section of the Humber Trail is named for William Granger, former chairman of the Toronto Region & Conservation Authority (T.R.C.A.) The trail includes many significant natural habitats, cultural and heritage resources, recreational and educational facilities, and the historic Toronto Carrying-Place Trail which was a key aboriginal trade route. Access Points: Stegman’s Mill Road & Islington Avenue at Canada Company Way. The trail ends at Rutherford Road, with no access at this location. Parking: Bindertwine Park; Foster T. Woods.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
9550 Pine Valley Dr., Woodbridge
(Pine Valley Dr . runs south off Major Mackenzie Dr., west of Highway 400)
905-832-2289 or 905 -661-6600
Visit Canada’s largest environmental centre, with emphasis on conservation and renewable energy technology. There are over 18 kilometres (11 miles) of trails through mixed woods, marshes, and open parkland. It is home to several peregrine falcons and other birds of prey, including hawks and owls.
Annual events: Maple syrup festival (early spring). Open Mon-Fri: 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm, Admission $$.
271 Chrislea Road, Woodbridge, ON L4L 8N6
905-738-9463, Fax: 905-738-5551 1-800-461-9463
Visit Magnotta, Canada’s most award-winning winery, with a shop filled with VQA and International Series award winning wines, spirits, beer, wine accessories and gourmet food items. Free tours of the 60,000 square foot facility with state-of-the art winemaking equipment, bottling techniques and our temperature controlled underground barrel cellar. Outdoor patio features an original bronze Lea Vivot sculpture, with other statues and bronzes on display. Open 7 days a week, all year round. Mon-Fri 9 am to 9 pm, Sat 8:30 am to 6 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Free tours daily at 2 pm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
10365 Islington Ave, Kleinburg, L0J 1C0
905-893-1121 Fax: 905-893-2588 Toll Free: (888) 213-1121
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection features a magnificent collection by Group of Seven, First Nations, Inuit and contemporary Canadian artists. The gallery is nestled in 100 acres of stunning woodland with nature trails, picnic areas and outdoor sculptures. The Gallery Shop featuring one-of-a-kind handcrafted items completes the authentic Canadian experience. Open year-round seven days a week, 10 am to 4 pm in winter and 10 am-5 pm in summer.
NASCAR Speed Park
1 Bass Pro Mills Dr,Vaughan Mills Mall, Vaughan, L4K 5W4
NASCAR Speed Park with 4 exciting tracks, the only on e in Canada, provides fast-paced fun for all the speedsters in the family. The complex also features a SpeedDome arcade, a thrilling Simulators, Laser Tag, Thunder Alley Slot Car Racing, Kids’ Indoor Playground and rides, the Pit Stop Grille and NASCAR apparel and merchandise.
Paramount Canada’s Wonderland
9580 Jane St, Vaughan, L6A 1S6
(Take Highway 400 from Highway 401 and exit at Rutherford Road if traveling north of Major Mackenzie if traveling south. Follow the Park signs)
905-832-8131 and 905-832-7000
Canada’s premier theme park covering 330 acres with over 200 attractions in eight themed areas, 65 thrilling rides, North America’s greatest variety of roller coasters, the 20-acre Splash Works water park, and live shows. The Park is best suited for older children and teenagers. Small picnic area at the front gates, campgrounds and other accommodations close by. Eat at fast food establishments in the Park or bring your own picnic lunch.
Special Events include Soap Opera Festival, Canada Day Fireworks, Victoria Day Fireworks. Kingswood Music Theatre the outdoor venue presents popular entertainers for live performances, with separate admission. Open May 7th-October 8th weekends from 10am to 8pm; and daily May 19th to September 4th daily from 10am until 10pm. One admission price covers all regular shows (except Kingswood Music Theatre), rides, and the waterpark. Admission: $$$.
Pine Farm Orchard & Fruit Winery
2700 16th Sideroad Side Road, King, L7B 1A3
Visit this apple orchard in the gentle rolling hills of King township. Gift shop is always brimming with unique items to treat yourself or someone you love. Enjoy a warm lunch and sample some of our outstanding fruit wines. Open: Mid August to December 31 Tues-Fri 9:30-5pm Saturdays and Sundays 9-5 Open holiday Monday’s
Vinoteca Inc. Premium Winery
527 Jevlan Dr., Woodbridge, ON, L4L 8W1
905-856-5700, fax 905-856-8208, 1-866-313-5700
Producing award-winning wines since 1989, Vinoteca has been widely recognized as a respectable winery nationally and abroad. They make red, white, and dessert wines, and also do bulk packaging in barrels for ease of dispensing. Visitors are welcome year round for tastings and tours. They Private label wines for special occasions, weddings, anniversaries and corporate events. Open Mon-Fri 9am to 6 pm, Sat 9 am to 5 pm, Sun 11 am to 2 pm. Closed Sundays in July & August.