Welcome to Journeys Ontario! Your one-stop website for information, personal accounts, maps and pictures of great Ontario and Greater Toronto Area (and beyond) hiking, camping, geocaching, adventure, canoeing, community festivals and anything exciting that happens outdoors.

Travelling to Toronto and want a classy place to call home for a few days? Check out One King West, one of the finest hotels Toronto has to offer!

NEW! Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Located just off the Trans-Canada highway, near the town of Britt, Grundy Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful area of Ontario in which to take a hike, canoe ride,or camp.

Carassauga Egyption Dancer

The landscape is a great representation of mixed forest and Canadian shield rocky outcroppings. It is about a 4 hour drive from Toronto.

Adventure review: Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory

Want something to do in the winter that doesn't involve snow or the the cold? Why not head over to the Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory!
New Adventure: The Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Don’t be surprised if you see something or someone very frightening hanging out in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto this week… be it a zombie, a vampire or worse!  Dressing up is all part of the horrifyingly good times to be had at this

Toronto After Dark Film Festival People dressed up
year’s After Dark Film Festival hosted by The Bloor Cinema.
New Adventure: Toronto Zoo

We visited the Zoo in the beginning of its busy season—end of June.  Since it was a bright and sunny day with only moderate heat, most of the animals were out and about when we first arrived in the morning.

Toronto Zoo Monkey
Although, by mid-afternoon, the increasingly warmer weather became a bit of a bother to some of the animals and so we ended up peering at some of them sleeping rather than meandering about their enclosures.  To be honest, I don’t blame them!  Besides, even a sleeping lion is an extraordinarily beautiful and majestic lion!
Updated Adventure: Summerlicious at Canoe!

This year, it seemed like the clouds parted, the angels sang, and we were finally able to make reservations at Canoe! It started like any other Summerlicious (or Winterlicious for that matter) event: we called the restaurant on the first day reservation lines were open,  only to be told they were already totally booked.

Canoe Restaurant
We had decided to use what little spare money we had this summer on other adventures, when I heard a panicked, yet excited, yell from Nancy . Canoe had last minute reservations available! She had been reading up on local events on Toronto.com when she
New Hike: Island Lake Conservation Area

There are a few trails to choose from if you’re looking for a good hike in the woods or alongside the lake.  The Vicki Baron Trail follows the lakeshore, taking you past a wee little beach area, through forest and then into fields filled with flowers.  Where there are this many flowers, there is bound to be bumble bees!  I don’t believe that I have seen so many bees in one field since I was a

little kid (let’s face it, when you’re a kid, you’re a little closer to the ground and perhaps a little more concerned with the fact that your hands and legs are in the bumble bees’ field of vision).
New Hike: Glen Haffy Conservation Area

We arrived at Glen Haffy later on in the afternoon (closer to 4 p.m. ) which is apparently a calmer time of day to visit this park.  The attendant on duty at the gate left not five minutes after we got there and there was just one other car in the hiking parking lot.  Of course, there was about a dozen cars and plenty of people fishing around the well-stocked lake. 

As it is still early season, considering that many conservation areas only open in late April or early May,

we were surprised but not overly shocked by the fact that there was a small but powerful sign on the trailhead that said that the trails were closed
New Hike: Shade's Mills Conservation Area

Even though we pulled in about three hours before closing time on its first weekend, we were still pretty surprised to see no other car in the parking lot and only one other person (and their dog)

along the trails.  We’re thinking that this probably isn’t the norm during the warmer, sunnier and less wet months of July and August.  We followed the Toyota Trail along the river and across the footbridge to the other side of the conservation area.
New Hike: Dumfries Conservation Area

On our way home from my parents’ house, we got off the 401 to satisfy a coffee craving and ended up hiking our way through Dumfries Conservation Area.  Rob had passed by this park many times but had never had a chance to stop and enjoy a stroll on through.

Right in the middle of Cambridge , Dumfries was originally a piece of land that was donated to the Queen but to be maintained for the benefit of the local public. The Grand River Conservation assumed responsibility

for the land about 30 years ago with permission for the donator, Mr. P.R. Hilborn.
New Travel Log: #10 Winter Camping in Algonquin Park

Our last winter camping experience in Algonquin was in a yurt—comfy, warm and dry. As promised to ourselves, we planned out yet another winter camping trip but this time we opted for trying out our tent with what we hoped would be the same results—comfy, warm and dry. 

Winter Camping in Algonquin Park Road
Time for a Roadtrip to Chicago -

St Patty's day parade is March 14 2009

Three days, a car and a mini-budget… where to go?  New York ? Rob had already begun to explore the Big Apple.  Montreal to visit friends and family? We’ve been there fairly recently for a friend’s wedding.  Chicago ?  Yes! So, I hop on the internet in search of affordable accommodations in a fairly convenient location to major attractions.  “Affordable” and “ Chicago accommodations”

is not a search string that yields pleasant results, though I find “hostel” to reveal a collection of budget-friendly options.
NEW Adventure: Learning to Scuba Dive!

As a child, there was a time when I was obsessed with Jacques Cousteau. There were no wall-sized posters or fan mail, but I had just about every book about underwater exploration and marine biology checked out of the library throughout my childhood. 

My dad happily shared in my marine obsession and we spent many afternoons watching Cousteau TV specials about his “Undersea World” andocean odysseys.  I read about the “Aqua-Lung,” one of the first fully automated regulators, created by Cousteau and Emile Gagnan that supplied oxygen to divers underwater.  In my youth (and to be honest, still to this day) I adored pictures of seemingly mythological creatures that could only be found deep in the sea.  Of course, despite this ongoing infatuation with the undersea
NEW Hike: Burns Conservation Area

Part of the Halton Region’s collection of protected lands, Burns Conservation feels like a natural best kept secret.  There were all of four other people in the area when we visited on a very sunny afternoon.  Of course, it was extremely hot and humid—which could have accounted for the measly attendance.  Even we almost didn’t make an afternoon of it,

but not due to the sun’s spiky rays—thanks to the inundation of blood-sucking mosquitoes!  Not two minutes up the trail and we were very rudely reminded of the fact that we had neglected our typical soak-down in insect repellent.
NEW Hike : Heart Lake

Heart Lake Conservation area is a natural oasis in the middle of urban sprawl-ville.  Yes, as the GTA continues to grow out and up, it is becoming harder to find that taste of the natural world untainted by honking horns and that oh-so-lovely smell of smog. 

Heart lake mushroom
We were so pleased that we found this significantly sized conservation area a mere 20 minute drive along the 401/up the 410 from our home.  We were equally pleased to see the sprawling picnic areas, a network of trails and a large lake!
NEW Photographic Location: Shooting Moose

I know, I know... big surprise that Algonquin Park is a good place to shoot nature BUT did you know if you go at the beginning of May you are almost guaranteed to get some great shots of moose?

Algonquin Park shooting moose
All winter long we salt the heck out of our roads, and when the spring rains come it washes all this salt into the ditches and wetlands. Moose LOVE this salty water and come out in the early morning and late afternoon to have a good munch.
Got a great hike not listed but should be? Let us know and we will give it a shot. Or, better yet, send us a write up and we'll post it on our site!

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