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Circle Tours: Historic Ontario

Arrival Airport: Toronto Pearson Internation (YYZ)

Overnight Stops: Toronto – Kingston – Ottawa 2 nights – Peterborough – Toronto

What to See & Do in Historic Ontario?

Starting in Toronto, head east past scenic Price Edward County to Kingston, with Old Fort Henry. Head  down the St Lawrence to Upper Canada Village, recreating life at Confederation, and then up to Ottawa, Canada’s capital. There, take in the many museums and attractions, the Parliament buildings, the Byward Market and the scenic Gatineau Hills. Head west through Rideau Lakes, Algonquin Park, and the Kawartha lakes to Peterborough and the Canoe Museum. In Toronto take in both big city attractions and Old Fort York.

Arriving at Toronto’s (1) Pearson International Airport, spend a night in Toronto before you travel east along Highway 401 (Highway of Heroes) past Ontario’s lush Lake Ontario farmland, the Armed Forces base at Trenton, and scenic Prince Edward County before arriving in Kingston (2). Kingston is a charming city, once the capital of Upper Canada, and home to Old Fort Henry, and the southern terminus of the Rideau Canal.

On your next day, head east along the St. Lawrence River to Gananoque and the Thousand Islands at the mouth of Lake Ontario where you can take in a boat cruise or explore the living history village of Upper Canada Village (just east of Morrisburg), before heading up highway 416 to Ottawa (3,4).

Ottawa-Parliament Hill and Chateu Laurier-sliver
Ottawa-Parliament Hill and Chateu Laurier-sliver

View of Peace Tower through Parliament Hill gatesOttawa, home to the Parliament Buildings and the seat of the federal government has too many museums to list, but consider the National Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Canadian War Museum — all a short walk away from each other. Take in the historic Byward Market, with its shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can commune with nature by driving the parkways along the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal to visit Dow’s Lake, or head into Quebec’s pretty Gatineau Hills.

From here, travel west on Highway 7 through Lanark County, and Perth known as the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, take in a historic walking or biking tour of the Rideau Lakes region, and into the Kawartha Lakes cottage district to Peterborough (5). This unique community lies on the Trent-Severn Canal system connecting Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. There are many outdoor activities to experience in Peterborough: in the summer there’s fishing and boating on the water, and in the winter, you can skate on the canal.

Oshawa-Pickering-Frenchmans Bay Nuclear Power Plant-sliver
Oshawa-Pickering-Frenchmans Bay Nuclear Power Plant-sliver

View of Fort York in downtown TorontoContinue west past Oshawa, home to the massive General Motors plant through Toronto‘s sprawling bedroom communities and down the pretty Don Valley Parkway into exciting downtown Toronto (6).

Here you can catch a Blue Jays baseball game, enjoy the panoramic views from the CN Tower, shop at the Eaton Centre, dine in trendy Yorkville, visit Old Fort York, catch a show or head to a nightclub in the Entertainment District. Toronto is home to many fine attractions such as Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Casa Loma and Harbourfront. One of the most famous events in the city is the Toronto International Film Festival in September where you can not only catch an eclectic array of world-class movies, but a few Hollywood celebrities too!

Route Map

Arrival Airport: Toronto Person Internation (YYZ)

Overnight Stops: Toronto – Kingston – Ottawa 2 nights – Peterborough – Toronto