Ontario is a gorgeous province to explore in any season, even more so when covered in a fresh blanket of snow.
With winter just around the corner, these getaways will have you day-dreaming about local escapes, whether you’re a fan of cold-weather activities or prefer to curl up indoors.
1. Blue Mountain Village
Home to one of Ontario’s most popular ski destinations, Blue Mountain Village is roughly a two-hour drive from Toronto and transforms into a magical wonderland each winter. For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s a wide variety of activities offered, such as skiing, tubing, and ice skating.
Warm up by the fire in a cozy lodge after, or soothe those sore muscles in the outdoor baths at the nearby Scandinave Spa. Within the village, you’ll also find quaint cafes, restaurants, shops, and accommodation offerings.
This picturesque small town near Ottawa will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a Hallmark Christmas movie – for good reason! As the filming location for countless movies on the small screen, Almonte will win you over with its historic downtown, heritage buildings, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
Shop and dine on Mill Street before wandering past the old mills and train bridge. There are also several inns and B&B’s to spend the night in and extend your stay.
Once called “Ontario’s most beautiful village” by a member from the Group of Seven, Elora is particularly stunning in the winter time. Home to the grand Elora Gorge, thrill-seekers can try ice climbing, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.
Under a two-hour drive from Toronto, the welcoming town also boasts a myriad of welcoming shops and restaurants, or you can book yourself a pampering spa treatment at the Elora Mill Hotel and Spa.
Not to be confused with the more famous City of Light in France, Paris Ontario is a lovely little getaway a lot closer to home. Admire cobblestone homes and buildings with European flair perched along the Grand River before stopping by the Penman’s Dam waterfall.
Walk, snowshoe, or cross-country ski along the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail before fueling up at one of downtown’s many eateries. After, you can watch the trains chug along on the railway above the river, a scene worthy of a postcard.
5. St. Jacobs
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you visit the pastoral town of St. Jacobs with its horse-drawn buggies, historical buildings, charming shops and restaurants. Peruse antiques and grab a bite in town, or learn about its fascinating history on a walking tour.
During the holiday season, you can hop on an antique train ride before listening to your favourite Christmas tunes sang by carolers. Nearby in Waterloo, don’t miss a visit to the St. Jacob’s Market, Canada’s largest year-round farmer’s market.
While Toronto has endless things to do to keep you entertained all winter, leaving the city can bring you a refreshing change of scenery.