Best Places to Visit in Ontario – Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

Best Places to Visit in Ontario

Ontario, the vast Canadian province, stretches across a territory comparable to that of a small country. With its diverse landscapes and numerous attractions, exploring all of Ontario would require months, if not years. However, we have compiled a list of the most iconic places to visit in this remarkable province, which will assist you in planning your itinerary and introduce you to some lesser-known gems. Here is the list of the top 10 best places to visit in Ontario as of 2023:


Places To Visit






Flowerpot Island

Fathom Five National Marine Park of Tobermory


Wiarton Willy

Waterfront Town of Wiarton


White River

Along Highway 17 of the Trans-Canada Highway





Cheltenham Badlands

Town Of Caledon


The Big Nickel

Greater Sudbury


Niagara Falls

Ontario, Canada


Niagara on the Lake

Southern Ontario


Ottawa Parliament Buildings

Parliament Hill

Top 10 Places To Visit in Ontario

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and captivating attractions. From the majestic beauty of Niagara Falls to the cosmopolitan allure of Toronto, Ontario offers a multitude of destinations that cater to every traveler’s interests.

This list provides a glimpse into the diverse and captivating destinations that Ontario has to offer. Whether you’re drawn to vibrant cities, natural wonders, or cultural experiences, exploring these iconic places will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the beauty of Ontario.

In this article, we have listed and explained the top 10 places to visit in Ontario as of 2023. Hence we suggest you to go through the article completely for a thorough knowledge of the subject.


1. Tobermory – Grotto

Tobermory, located in Ontario, Canada, is a picturesque destination known for its stunning natural beauty and the captivating wonder known as the Grotto. Situated within Bruce Peninsula National Park, the Grotto is a hidden gem that enchants visitors with its turquoise waters, ancient caves, and rugged shoreline.

The Grotto is a breathtaking geological formation that has been carved by the forces of nature over thousands of years. This enchanting sea cave features a stunning pool of crystal-clear water, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and rocky outcrops. The interplay of light and water creates mesmerizing hues of blue, making it a photographer’s dream and a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Accessing the Grotto involves a scenic hike along the Bruce Trail, a renowned hiking trail that stretches along the Niagara Escarpment. As you make your way through the lush forests and rugged terrain, the anticipation builds, and the sights and sounds of nature engulf you. Upon reaching the Grotto, you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerizing sight that leaves a lasting impression.

Swimming, snorkeling, and cliff jumping are popular activities at the Grotto, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in this natural wonder. The cool, refreshing waters beckon you to take a dip and explore the underwater world teeming with marine life. Snorkelers will be treated to glimpses of vibrant fish and other aquatic creatures in their natural habitat.

For thrill-seekers, the Grotto offers opportunities for cliff jumping into the inviting waters below. Adrenaline rushes through your veins as you take the plunge from the rocky ledges, experiencing an exhilarating moment of pure freedom and connection with nature. It’s important to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines when partaking in these activities.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

2. Flowerpot Island – Fathom Five National Marine Park of Tobermory

Flowerpot Island is a captivating gem nestled within the Fathom Five National Marine Park, located near Tobermory, Ontario, Canada. This picturesque island is renowned for its unique rock formations, turquoise waters, and diverse marine life, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and explorers.

The island gets its name from the towering flowerpot-shaped rock formations that dot its shoreline. These remarkable geological structures were sculpted over thousands of years by the relentless forces of wind, waves, and erosion. The result is a collection of impressive rock pillars, resembling flowerpots, that rise majestically from the surrounding azure waters.

To reach Flowerpot Island, visitors can embark on a scenic boat ride from Tobermory. As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by its stunning natural beauty. The crystal-clear waters, vibrant underwater ecosystems, and picturesque coastal cliffs create a breathtaking backdrop for your adventure.

Exploring Flowerpot Island allows you to immerse yourself in its diverse landscapes and ecosystems. The island features a network of hiking trails that wind through lush forests, meadows, and along the rugged coastline. These trails offer panoramic views of the Great Lakes and provide opportunities to encounter unique flora and fauna.

One of the island’s highlights is the iconic flowerpot rock formations themselves. As you wander along the trails, you can marvel at these natural wonders up close, capturing memorable photographs and appreciating their intricate formations. Be sure to tread carefully and respect the environment, as the fragile ecosystems on the island require preservation.

For those seeking underwater exploration, Flowerpot Island offers exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. The surrounding waters are teeming with colorful fish, submerged caves, and intriguing shipwrecks, creating an underwater playground for diving enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner looking to discover the wonders beneath the surface, Flowerpot Island’s marine park promises unforgettable aquatic adventures.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

3. Wiarton Willy – Waterfront Town of Wiarton

Wiarton Willie is a beloved and iconic figure in the waterfront town of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada. He is a weather-predicting groundhog who has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike, making Wiarton a popular destination during the winter season.

Every year on February 2nd, Wiarton Willie emerges from his cozy burrow to make his highly anticipated weather prediction. According to folklore, if Willie sees his shadow and retreats back into his burrow, it is believed that winter will continue for six more weeks. Conversely, if he doesn’t see his shadow, it is believed that spring will arrive early.

The tradition of Wiarton Willie dates back to 1956 and has become a significant event for the town of Wiarton. Locals and tourists gather in anticipation to witness Willie’s prediction, which is accompanied by festivities, parades, and celebrations. The event adds a touch of excitement and charm to the winter season, attracting visitors from far and wide.

Beyond the annual prediction, Wiarton offers a picturesque waterfront setting that attracts visitors throughout the year. The town is nestled on the shores of Colpoy’s Bay, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding natural beauty. The waterfront area features a scenic promenade, parks, and green spaces where visitors can relax, stroll, and take in the serene atmosphere.

Wiarton is also known for its friendly community and small-town charm. The main street is lined with quaint shops, boutiques, and eateries, where visitors can browse unique items, sample local cuisine, and immerse themselves in the town’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. The local artisans and crafters showcase their talents, offering a range of handmade goods that make for delightful souvenirs.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy in and around Wiarton. The Bruce Peninsula, located nearby, offers breathtaking hiking trails, including the famous Bruce Trail, which winds its way along the rugged cliffs and scenic shoreline. Visitors can explore the Bruce Caves, a series of natural caves formed by ancient glaciers, or visit the beautiful Sauble Beach, known for its sandy shores and clear waters.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

4. White River – Along Highway 17 of the Trans-Canada Highway

White River is a charming town located along Highway 17 of the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, Canada. Situated amidst the pristine natural beauty of the region, White River offers a welcoming stopover for travelers and an opportunity to explore the wilderness of Northern Ontario.

As you venture along the Trans-Canada Highway, White River stands out as a tranquil oasis amidst the rugged landscapes. The town is known for its picturesque setting, surrounded by dense forests, sparkling lakes, and rolling hills. The untouched wilderness of the area provides a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

One of the notable attractions in White River is the Winnie the Pooh Park, which pays homage to the beloved fictional bear. It is here that the town’s connection to the famous bear originated, as it was in White River that a young black bear cub named Winnie was discovered and later became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh character. Visitors can explore the park, learn about the bear’s history, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Outdoor activities abound in White River, making it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the nearby rivers and lakes, known for their abundance of fish species. Hiking and biking trails meander through the surrounding wilderness, offering opportunities to explore the rugged terrain and spot wildlife along the way. Canoeing and kayaking on the pristine waterways provide a tranquil and immersive experience in nature.

White River also boasts a rich railway history. The town was a crucial stop along the historic Canadian Pacific Railway, and remnants of this heritage can still be seen today. Visitors can learn about the town’s railway past at the White River Heritage Museum, which showcases artifacts, photographs, and displays depicting the region’s history and the impact of the railway on the community.

For those looking to relax and unwind, White River offers a peaceful atmosphere and a chance to immerse oneself in the tranquility of the natural surroundings. The town has accommodations, restaurants, and amenities that cater to travelers’ needs, making it a convenient and comfortable place to rest during your journey.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

5. Diefenbunker – Ottawa

The Diefenbunker, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is a fascinating and unique historical site that offers a glimpse into Canada’s Cold War era. Built between 1959 and 1961, the Diefenbunker is an underground bunker designed to serve as a government emergency relocation center in the event of a nuclear attack.

Named after former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, the bunker spans four stories and covers an area of 100,000 square feet. It was constructed to withstand a nuclear blast and was equipped with state-of-the-art technology and supplies to sustain the government and military operations for an extended period.

Today, the Diefenbunker serves as Canada’s Cold War Museum, providing visitors with an immersive and educational experience. Guided tours take you through the underground complex, where you can explore the various rooms and corridors that once served as offices, dormitories, communication centers, and even a CBC broadcasting studio.

As you navigate through the bunker, you’ll learn about the history and geopolitical context of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear warfare, and Canada’s role in civil defense during that time. Exhibits showcase artifacts, documents, and interactive displays that shed light on the everyday life of those who would have worked and lived in the bunker.

One of the highlights of the Diefenbunker is the Bank of Canada Vault, which housed emergency funds in case the financial system collapsed. Another notable area is the War Cabinet Room, a meticulously recreated space where critical decisions would have been made in times of crisis.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

6. Cheltenham Badlands – Town Of Caledon

The Cheltenham Badlands is a geological wonder located in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. It is a unique and striking landscape that stands out amidst the surrounding greenery and is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

The Badlands feature a series of rolling hills and exposed reddish-brown rock formations, creating an otherworldly and desert-like appearance. The vibrant colors of the rocks, formed by iron oxide deposits, contrast with the lush vegetation of the region, making it a visually captivating sight.

The formation of the Cheltenham Badlands dates back over 400 million years to the glacial and post-glacial periods. The exposed rock layers are composed mainly of shale and siltstone, which were shaped by erosion over time, resulting in the unique undulating patterns visible today.

Due to the fragile nature of the Badlands, it is important to adhere to designated viewing areas and respect any signage or barriers in place to protect the site. Visitors can explore the area on a network of trails and boardwalks, offering panoramic views of this distinct landscape. Interpretive signs along the trails provide information about the geological processes that shaped the Badlands and the unique plants and wildlife that call this area home.

The Cheltenham Badlands offers a picturesque setting for photography enthusiasts, with its dramatic formations and contrasting colors providing ample opportunities for capturing stunning shots. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a professional, the unique textures and patterns of the Badlands make it a fascinating subject to capture.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

7. The Big Nickel – Greater Sudbury

Canada has a fondness for unique and eye-catching roadside attractions, and one that stands out among them is the Big Nickel in Sudbury. As you embark on a journey across the country, you’ll encounter various notable landmarks like the Big Apple in Colborne, the Big Paddle in British Columbia, and the iconic Canada Goose of Wawa.

However, my personal favorite is the Big Nickel, located at the Dynamic Earth Science Museum in Sudbury. Not only does it captivate visitors with its impressive size, but it also serves as a tribute to the area’s rich mining industry.

Constructed in 1964, the Big Nickel stands as a towering symbol of Sudbury’s mining heritage. The monument pays homage to the significant role that mining has played in shaping the region’s history and economy. As you approach the Dynamic Earth Science Museum, the colossal size of the Big Nickel becomes evident, making it an unmissable sight for both locals and tourists.

The Dynamic Earth Science Museum itself is a fascinating and interactive attraction that complements the presence of the Big Nickel. It offers visitors an immersive experience, delving into the world of geology, mining, and earth sciences. Through engaging exhibits, educational displays, and hands-on activities, visitors can learn about the geological formations that led to the formation of Sudbury’s rich mineral deposits and the technological advancements in the mining industry.

Inside the museum, you can explore captivating exhibits that showcase the history of mining in Sudbury, the various minerals found in the region, and the impact of mining on the environment. There are opportunities to learn about the techniques and equipment used in mining operations and to gain insights into the challenges faced by miners throughout history.

As you venture outside the museum, the imposing presence of the Big Nickel commands attention. Standing at a height of over nine meters, it is an impressive replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel, which is known as the “Voyageur” nickel. The monument serves as a symbol of pride and recognition for the vital contributions of the mining industry to Sudbury and Canada as a whole.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

8. Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada

Niagara Falls is an undeniable must-visit destination in Ontario, and it truly lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. Even if you’ve had the opportunity to witness other renowned falls like Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls, or Gulfoss, Niagara Falls stands strong in comparison. What sets it apart is the remarkable fact that an entire city has been built around it, offering a wealth of attractions and experiences that can easily fill a week’s itinerary.

The natural splendor of Niagara Falls is awe-inspiring. As you approach the falls, the thunderous sound of cascading water fills the air, and the sight of the powerful rush of water is nothing short of breathtaking. The falls consist of three main sections: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. Each section offers its own unique perspective and vantage points to admire the sheer magnitude and beauty of the falls.

Beyond the falls themselves, Niagara Falls is a hub of excitement and entertainment. The city boasts a wide array of attractions that cater to diverse interests and age groups. For adrenaline junkies, there are thrilling experiences like the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes you up close to the thundering falls, or the Journey Behind the Falls, where you can explore tunnels that lead to observation decks behind the cascades. Helicopter tours provide a bird’s-eye view of the falls and the surrounding landscape, adding an extra level of awe to your visit.

Families will find plenty of fun-filled attractions, including water parks, themed museums, and interactive exhibits. The Clifton Hill district offers a vibrant atmosphere with its numerous entertainment venues, arcades, and shops. You can also catch captivating performances like the dazzling Falls Illumination and Fireworks shows that light up the night sky with a spectacular display of colors and pyrotechnics.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

9. Niagara on the Lake – Southern Ontario

When you visit Niagara Falls, don’t miss the opportunity to venture down the road and discover the charming town of Niagara on the Lake in Ontario’s wine region. Situated nearby, this picturesque town offers a delightful weekend getaway from the bustling city of Toronto.

Niagara on the Lake is renowned for its rich history and captivating beauty. The town’s historic downtown area, with its well-preserved architecture and quaint streets, transports visitors to a bygone era. As you stroll along the tree-lined streets, you’ll encounter charming shops, cozy cafes, and inviting galleries. The town exudes a welcoming atmosphere, making it a perfect place to unwind and explore at a leisurely pace.

One of the highlights of Niagara on the Lake is its association with the flourishing wine industry in the region. The town is surrounded by vineyards and wineries that produce some of Ontario’s finest wines. Wine enthusiasts can embark on a memorable wine-tasting journey, visiting the numerous wineries and enjoying tastings of award-winning vintages. Whether you’re a connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass of wine, the wineries of Niagara on the Lake offer a delightful experience for all.

In addition to its wine-related attractions, Niagara on the Lake is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The Shaw Festival, a renowned theater festival, takes place annually, showcasing a diverse range of plays and performances. Attending a show at one of the festival’s theaters is a must-do for theater lovers and an excellent way to immerse yourself in the town’s cultural offerings.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

10. Ottawa Parliament Buildings – Parliament Hill

The Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Canada, are a major attraction for visitors. Situated on Parliament Hill, these impressive Gothic structures have been a prominent feature of Ottawa’s waterfront since 1859. Designated as a national historic site, the buildings offer guided tours that allow you to explore their interiors, stroll through the surrounding grounds, and for those interested, observe a parliamentary session and catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister in action.

The Parliament Buildings stand as iconic symbols of Canada’s political heritage and architectural beauty. Their Gothic-style architecture, characterized by pointed arches, intricate stonework, and towering spires, exudes a sense of grandeur and historical significance. They serve as the hub of Canada’s democratic system, where crucial decisions shaping the nation’s future are made.

When visiting the Parliament Buildings, you can partake in guided tours that provide fascinating insights into Canadian politics, history, and the inner workings of government. Accompanied by knowledgeable guides, you can explore the historic halls, chambers, and committee rooms where important debates and discussions take place. These tours offer a unique opportunity to learn about Canada’s political system, the roles of various branches of government, and the significance of the parliamentary process.

In addition to the interior tours, the grounds surrounding the Parliament Buildings are open for visitors to enjoy. The well-maintained lawns, gardens, and pathways offer a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection. You can admire the stunning architecture from different angles, capture memorable photographs, and absorb the tranquil ambiance of this iconic site.

Best Places to Visit in Ontario - Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

Other Most-Visited Places in Ontario

Here are some of the top places to visit in Ontario:

Toronto: The province’s vibrant capital city, Toronto, is a bustling metropolis known for its diverse neighborhoods, iconic landmarks, and thriving cultural scene. Explore the famous CN Tower, stroll along the waterfront at Harbourfront Centre, visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Kensington Market.

Muskoka: Known as Ontario’s cottage country, Muskoka is a picturesque region characterized by pristine lakes, lush forests, and charming small towns. Enjoy outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and hiking, or relax at one of the luxurious resorts that dot the area.

Thousand Islands: Located on the St. Lawrence River, the Thousand Islands region is renowned for its scenic beauty and historic charm. Take a boat cruise to admire the stunning islands and their grand mansions, visit Boldt Castle, and explore the charming towns of Gananoque and Brockville.

Stratford: A haven for theater enthusiasts, Stratford is home to the renowned Stratford Festival, which showcases world-class productions of Shakespearean plays and other theatrical performances. Explore the charming downtown area, visit the Avon River, and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene.

Algonquin Provincial Park: Nature lovers will find paradise in Algonquin Provincial Park, a vast wilderness area renowned for its stunning lakes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife. Embark on hiking trails, go canoeing or kayaking, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this natural oasis.

Kingston: Situated at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Kingston is a historic city with a rich heritage. Explore the well-preserved architecture of its downtown area, visit Fort Henry National Historic Site, and take a scenic cruise through the Thousand Islands.

Prince Edward County: Known for its vineyards, wineries, and charming small towns, Prince Edward County is a popular destination for food and wine enthusiasts. Discover the local culinary scene, indulge in wine tasting, and explore the picturesque landscapes and sandy beaches.

Blue Mountain: A popular year-round destination, Blue Mountain offers outdoor adventures in all seasons. Ski or snowboard in the winter, hike or mountain bike in the summer, and enjoy the scenic views from the top of the mountain.

Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, cultural experiences, or urban adventures, Ontario has something to offer every traveler. From the bustling streets of Toronto to the serene beauty of its parks and lakes, exploring the diverse destinations of Ontario promises a memorable and enriching experience.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

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