Last summer I posted a list of five places to visit that are about one hour's drive away from Toronto (give or take half an hour based on where in the city you are and the traffic at the time of day you're leaving). There are numerous places near Toronto to visit and it all depends on what kinds of activities you are into.
When living in any city, getting away for a day trip from the concrete jungle is often a very welcome activity on weekends. Having worked for five years in downtown Toronto, I didn't want to spend any more time surrounded by concrete, metal and glass (some of which occasionally falls).
Here's my new list of great outdoor places that are a short hour, to hour-and-half drive west of Toronto that may inspire you this summer.
Rattray Marsh in Mississauga
Right along the shores of Lake Ontario, you can enjoy an oasis of wildlife, nestled among the suburban streets of southern Mississauga. We love this area for early morning walks. Check out my blog post from our visit last year and for directions.
Travel time from downtown Toronto (early on Saturday morning): 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Royal Botanical Gardens - Burlington/Hamilton
|Photo by Glowing Star|
Travel time from downtown Toronto early in the morning 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
There are over 126 waterfalls in the Hamilton region. Enough said.
Well... I could say more. There are a number of waterfalls like Tews Falls and Websters Falls that are spectacular. Tiffany Falls are also beautiful. If you need to hear the rush of water and to see something other than grimy glass condos, this is the place for you to get a big dose of nature. Remember to bring your hiking boots/shoes if you want to get up close. Flip flops are just a stupid thing to wear on trails around the falls (stones can get slick and you need good soles that grip the rocks). Check out this blog post for more info on how to find the falls.
Travel time from downtown Toronto on a Saturday morning: 1 to 1-1/2 hours, possibly 2 hours, depending on which falls you are visiting.
Mountsberg Raptor Centre and Conservation Area
|Photo by Frank Bourne|
Fan of dangerous birds? Want to see a Bald Eagle up close and personal? Love owls? The Raptor Centre at Mountsberg Conversation Area, just west of Milton, is a must visit for a walk among over 15 species of birds. Check out the reservoir to view nesting Osprey birds.
Frank's blog post on this great place offers more photos.
Note: Leave your dog at home if visiting here. Pets, even on a leash, aren't allowed anywhere near the raptor cage areas.
Travel time from downtown Toronto on a Saturday morning: 1 hour.
Bellwood Lake Conservation Area
|Photo taken by Frank Bourne|
Learn more about the Conservation Area by checking out Frank's blog post - more photos and directions!
Travel time from downtown Toronto on an early Saturday morning: 1-1/2 hours to 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on traffic.