Circle Tours: Charming Golden Horseshoe

Arrival Airport: Toronto’s Pearson Airport (YYZ)
Overnight Stops: Toronto – Niagara Falls – London – Grand Bend – Waterloo – Toronto 2 nights

What to See & Do in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe?

The west end of Lake Ontario has the province’s highest population density, clustered close to Toronto, which is Canada’s largest city (and also “Hollywood North”). Head through Hamilton built against the Niagara Escarpment, and see the Welland Canal which lifts ships up the Escarpment, and take in the awesome Niagara Falls. The head west and check out old London on the Thames River and small-town Stratford (famous for its Shakespeare Festival and for Justin Beiber), and take in the sandy shores of Lake Huron and the architecturally interesting cities of Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener, and Waterloo, before heading back.

Arrive at Toronto’s (1) Pearson International Airport and spend a night in Canada’s biggest and liveliest city. The next day you can drive west and see Hamilton with its mix of industry, old neighbourhoods and forested Escarpment.

From there, travel around the “Golden Horseshoe” to majestic Niagara Falls , with stops along the way in the St. Catharines quaint beach area of Port Dalhousie , and meander through the wonderful Niagara Wine Region before visiting historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, home to the Shaw Festival.

View of gazebo in pretty Niagara on the LakeBask in the beauty of one of the seven natural wonders of the world, spectacular Niagara Falls, where the water cascades down a height of over 57 metres (187 feet)! Niagara Falls has many other attractions and museums suitable for kids, history buffs, and anyone who enjoys old-fashioned fun, as well as attractions like Marineland , the Maid of the Mist , and the Butterfly Conservatory.

View of Grand River in CambridgeOn the way west, see the locks of the Welland Canal where massive ocean-going ships climb up the Niagara Escarpment, at Thorold. Continue west to scenic London on the Thames River with its history dating back to 1812, and make a stop in the lovely beach town of Grand Bend.

See the old mill town of Cambridge, and experience the German heritage and culture around Kitchener-Waterloo . Continue on your trip as you visit the pretty town of Stratford, famous for both its Shakespearean festival and as hometown of Justin Bieber.

Return to Toronto (6) to explore old neighbourhoods and the city’s historic and modern architecture, ranging from Old Fort York to the recently updated Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) . At the end of it all, enjoy fine dining, catch a Blue Jays baseball game, enjoy the panoramic view from the famous CN Tower, or catch up on your shopping in Yorkville or the downtown Yonge Street area.

Looking down from the CN Tower was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. That and the sight of Niagara Falls have made this an unforgettable trip! – Zoe

Route Map

Arrival Airport: Toronto’s Pearson Airport (YYZ)
Overnight Stops: Toronto – Niagara Falls – London – Grand Bend – Waterloo – Toronto 2 nights

This variation of the route takes country backroads, and avoids the freeways, so you can see southern Ontario’s charm.