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Chef Michael Potters of Hockley Valley Resort—Orangeville, Ontario

By Waheeda Harris

Inspired by the burgeoning food scene in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Chef Michael Potters moved there in 2003, opening the Milford Bistro and then the award-winning Harvest Restaurant (now closed) in Picton.

Now, after a stint at Angéline’s Restaurant and Inn in Bloomfield, Potters has become the head chef for Hockley Valley Resort, and will oversee the opening of its newest dining establishment, cabin, which opens December 24. (more…)

Winter Wine Tour: Experiencing Niagara’s Icewine

Icewine tasting at Peller Estates Winery

By Pamela MacNaughtan

Icewine originates in 18th-century Germany, but it has been perfected in the Niagara region, and people travel from all over the world to try icewines from this southern Ontario appellation. Today Niagara is the only place on earth where the full-flavoured dessert wine is produced annually.

See the slideshow.


Top 3 Sweet Ski Resorts in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe

Photo by Skistar Trysil

By Ilissa Maiatico

Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region is home to ski resorts that range from bunny hill fare to splashy getaways with time-shares and romantic restaurants. Here are our top three choices for skiing and snowboarding in Ontario—all within day-trip or easy-overnight distance from Toronto. (more…)

Guided by Locals: Java and Juice in Hamilton, Ontario

The Brain. Photo by Tyrone Warner.

By Kat Tancock

About an hour’s drive west of Toronto, the city of Hamilton is a bit of a secret in itself as it sheds its factory image in favour of a growing arts scene centred on James Street North. (more…)

The SkyWheel: Niagara Falls, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: We almost didn’t recognize Niagara Falls’ SkyWheel from this angle. Bathed in warm light, it looks almost like a yellowing photograph of a Victorian-era Ferris wheel—if it weren’t for the sleek enclosed (and heated!) carriages. (more…)

The Art Project at Ontario’s Walper Hotel

Walper Hotel exterior. Photo by Sean_Marshall.

By Waheeda Harris

Forget the tired, nondescript watercolour prints that hang in most hotels.

As part of a recent multimillion dollar renovation, the historic Walper Hotel in Kitchener, Ontario, is doing double duty as an art gallery. More than 75 photographs, prints and other artworks adorn its walls, in what it calls the Art Project.

The works are a veritable who’s who of the contemporary Canadian art scene: Charlie Pachter prints; K. J. Bedford, Brendan George Ko and Nelson French photographs; and unique creations from Mary Baranowski-Loden, Nancy Fox, Isabelle Hemard and Brian Hoxha.


5 Fun Cold-Weather Activities With Kids in Niagara Falls

Photo by Kevin Millican

By William Travis

Sure, you may have to bundle the kids up for a glimpse of the falls themselves in late fall or winter, but watching the 100,000 cubic feet of rushing water plunge downward is still a thrill no matter what season it is. Away from the falls, indoor and outdoor activities make Niagara Falls a fun winter getaway.

View as a slideshow… (more…)

Remembrance National Ceremony in Ottawa, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Photo by Greg Kolz (Michael Ignatieff/Flickr CC)

Why we chose it: Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. This photo incorporates nearly everything there is to experience at the official Remembrance Day Ceremony in the nation’s capital: buglers, bagpipers and soldiers in formation. The photographer shows off an amazing command of depth of field and captures a soothing nice colour palette in an event that’s usually a sea of red uniforms. A poignant image befitting a somber event.

Want to be featured in our Photo Friday? Join our Flickr Group and upload your favourite travel shots! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

A Soothing Escape to Ste. Anne’s Spa, Grafton, ON

At Ste. Anne's, guests wear their white robes everywhere, even to dinner.

By Laura Kathleen Maize

The main spa building is an 19th-century stone farmhouse.

Less than two hours from Toronto, this luxurious spa on a historic 500-acre estate makes a perfect day trip or overnight escape from the city, especially in cold-weather months.

Tucked away in Ontario’s Northumberland Hills, Ste. Anne’s Spa is in an incredibly relaxing, rural setting east of Toronto near Cobourg. An Aveda-only spa, Ste. Anne’s has won numerous awards, including SpaFinder reader’s choice awards for best spa in Canada and best spa treatment.

The spa building is in a renovated 1800s, stone-walled farmhouse with walkways and tiny cottages surrounding the main building. Inside, luxury takes over, with big windows, fireplaces, cucumber-water coolers and deep couches with throws. Guests, all clad in white bathrobes, drift from one treatment to the next, and the scent of eucalyptus radiates throughout. The grounds, with their tailored gardens and gazebos, are stunning; in warm weather, enjoy them from a hammock or chaise lounge. (more…)

Spooky Pumpkin Patch, Innerkip, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Photo by Paul Gorbould

Why we chose it: In honour of autumn and Halloween, we searched high and low for the best pumpkin-patch capture in the land. The hyper-contrasted overcast sky in this photo is deliciously ominous. The narrowing perspective created by the trees framing either side add to the overall spookiness of the snap. And what focus! If this is what HDR can do, we’re sold.

Want to be featured in our Photo Friday? Join our Flickr Group and upload your favourite travel shots! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Foodie Excursion: Niagara-on-the-Lake


© 2011 Creative Media

A foodie adventure is always a great reason to travel. The pretty waterfront Victorian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, at the heel of Ontario’s greenbelt, has a wealth of wonderful restaurants and shops that make use of local produce and wineries—especially during the autumn harvest. There is a lot you can learn from a city just by the food and the people who create the dishes.

Get the map. (more…)

Markets, Lakes and Gorges: Guelph to Southampton, Ontario

The Southampton shore. (Photo by Alistair Edmondson)

By Meghan Wilson-Smith

Fall driving in southwestern Ontario means landscapes of lush, ready-to-be-harvested fields of rich yellows, oranges and greens, and sunny skies dimpled with heavy wet clouds whisked by on a breeze just cool enough to bring out the wools. Air-conditioning off, windows open, and nothing but the splendor of the great Canadian north in your windshield.

Start: Guelph
End: Southampton
Overnight: Southampton

Get the map.


1. Guelph is already a pretty special town, a vibrant city core with a popular farmers’ market on Saturdays. It retains many small town values while delivering on big city comforts. It’s also a great take-off point to some of the quaintest of towns en route to beautiful Lake Huron.

2. Just a half-hour outside of Guelph, the town of Elora and the stunning Elora gorge are musts. Heading north on Highway 6 you’ll see a small sign for the Fergus and Mount Forest to the north or Elora to the west. Bend west a bit and head straight to Elora. The town is mostly made of limestone, as if it were an extension of the gorge it sits on. It has lovely shops and great hiking. (25 km)