Sightseeing Suggestions: Things to See and Do in York Region
York Region covers a significant area, so we’ve split the “tour” into three parts: South-East (around Markham), Southwest (around Vaughan) and north (Aurora-Newmarket & Georgina). Here are a lot of farms & farm markets in this area, along pretty well any country road, selling their fresh produce in season.
In and Around Markham
Here are our picks starting in Thornhill, heading north to Richmond Hill:
Historic Thornhill. Take a walking tour and see dozens of 150 year old settlers homes, including the Cricklewood mansion
Canadian Museum Of Hindu Civilization in Richmond Hill sits beside a beautiful temple, and showcases many facets of Hindu culture,
The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, in Unionville, was the home of this Group of Seven painter, and shows works by Varley as well as exhibits of contemporary local, national and international artists.
Historic Markham. Take a walking tour and see dozens of 150 year old settlers homes and the historic Markham Train Station
Rouge Park, along 9th Line between Markham and Stouffville, showcases the post-glacial Oak Ridges Moraine landscape.
The York-Durham Heritage Railway connects Stouffville and Uxbridge on an old steam train. Plan ahead to arrive in time to take the train
Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area, in Stouffville, has a beach, a hiking trail, and a treetop trek trail through diverse eco-systems that are home to 50 bird species.
In and Around Vaughan
This route starts in the south, eads along the western edge of York Region, and then east to Richmond Hill:
Black Creek Pioneer Village just south of Steeles, shows what Canadian rural living was like at the time of Confederation back in 1867.
Blue Willow Garden & Butterfly Conservatory, along the western edge of the region, is a summertime oasis where you can see thousands of butterflies in a luxurious garden setting.
McMichael Canadian Art Collection displays many of the works of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, If you love art this can be a half or whole day
Nearby are two conservation areas along the Humber River, Boyd Conservation Area, the Kortright Centre for Conservation. and the 5.7 km long Humber Trail (William Granger Greenway)
Paramount Canada’s Wonderland is a must-see stop if you are travelling with kids worth having a peek, or take all day here on the rides and the rollercoasters.
Catch the NASCAR Speed Park at Vaughan Mills Mall. Fun for the kid in all of us… there’s also a ton of big box shopping to do (everything form IKEA to Bass Pro Shops)
In and around Aurora-Newmarket & Georgina
This route zig-zags north from Newmarket
Historic Downtown Newmarket, has a history dating back to an early 1800s Quaker settlement from the early 19th century, with features like the old Town Hall and Fairy Lake
Rogers Reservoir, 2 km north of Newmarket, has a reservoir with a concrete lock and its swing bridge which are remnants of an early 1900s “Ghost” Canal System.
Holland Marsh, west of Bradford and roughly between Yonge Street and highway 400, is a unique farm area that used to be underwater marshland and now intensively farmed for a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and flowers
Sibbald Point Provincial Park, on Lake Simcoe has sandy beaches, a pioneer family’s manor and a historical church
Chippewas of Georgina Island (Georgina Island First Nation) are located on a 1357 hectare island in Lake Simcoe, accessible by ferry, gives insight into how Canada’s Indians live. There are trails, exhibits, and storytelling on the Island.