You can’t truly comprehend how huge Ontario is until you’ve ridden for 10 hours on a train…and are in still in Ontario. It’s amazing to think that in Europe, I would have passed through any number of counties in that amount of time. We are incredibly lucky to have acres of pristine wilderness. This summer, one of my Ontario bucket list dreams came true, and I was able to ride the magical Agawa Canyon Tour Train!
Being in Sault Ste Marie alone was a big deal for me- it was the furthest north that I’ve ever been in Ontario. I was about to travel even further- the train takes you 114 miles away from Sault Ste Marie.
I have this weird thing where I like to look up boutique hotels in different cities, so I know where I would want to stay if I ever visited. (Clearly I have too much spare time.)
Hotel Metro was on my list ever since I came across them years earlier online. So, I was really happy to see that I’d been booked into the Hotel Metro for my visit to the Food & Wine Show! Hotel dreams do come true.
The Eaton Chelsea Hotel may be one of the best kept secrets in Toronto. At least to this local girl. It was obvious when I checked in that this wasn’t a secret to travelers around the world. The hotel was very busy with families, couples and businesses travelers checking in.
The Eaton Chelsea hotel was given a fresh re-branding in July. This is Canada’s largest hotel with 1500 guest rooms!And it’s right in the heart of downtown Toronto. There are four restaurants and lounges in the hotel including Bb33 Bistro & Brasserie, Monarchs Pub, Market Garden and Elm Street Lounge. Click here to find out more.
I enjoyed my stay in a t 315 ft Deluxe King room. The bed was comfy and the room was spacious, with a nice view! Although the hotel was busy and my room faced the street, the room was very quiet. I loved the little sitting area, and was pampered with their customised bathroom amenities.
Complimentary amenities included:
• Hotel-wide Wi-Fi Internet
• Iron and ironing board
• In-room coffee and tea
• LCD flat screen TV
All in all, this is a large hotel with cozy rooms and a fantastic location.
The Eaton Chelsea, Toronto is at 33 Gerrard Street West, Toronto, Ontario.
To me, summer isn’t summer without at least one camping trip. We got off to a bit of a late start, but last weekend we went to Awenda! We went canoeing on quiet Kettle Lake, participated in their annual corn roast and took a walk on sandy beaches.
As soon as we were done setting up our tent, we headed down to the beach just in time to catch the beautiful sunset on Georgian Bay! Awenda has five beaches, and one is an off leash beach for your dog to run around.
This weekend, I was traveling in style with my new Coleman Oversized Cooler Quad chair. This chair is huge (it supports up to 400lbs!) and it let me dangle my feet without touching the ground (and I’m pretty tall, so I loved that). It has a built-in soft cooler that holds up to 4 cans and an Ice Pack.
The best part was that the cooler zipped up, so it doubled as a secure s’more supply pocket. No bugs! I also appreciated the black pouch that was large enough to hold my magazines and the park map. This sturdy chair has a steel frame and is made with heavy-duty polyester fabric. It comes with its own carrying case, and isn’t heavy to carry. I will be carrying it to concerts and more camping trips in the future!
The next morning we went down to Kettle Lake. You can rent canoes, but be quick about it! We went at 11:00am and the canoes were already sold out. We went back a little later and were able to grab one. A 3 hour rental is $25. It was very peaceful on the lake. This was only my second time in a canoe, and we didn’t tip over! Woo hoo.
It’s a great lake if you are a beginner, because there are no large boats to create waves, and it’s a small lake. Pretty lotus flowers were growing among the lily pads.
What else can you do at Awenda? You can go hiking on one of their trails, go bike riding or go swimming at the beach.
To find out more about Awenda, click here.
I was a little hesitant (but also very excited…a farm!) to visit the working Perth Pork Products in Stratford. The farm raises a variety of pigs including Tamworth, Wild Boars, Ironage and Berkshire. The Tamworth pig is especially prized by chefs for it’s smoky taste. Many Stratford and Toronto chefs buy their pork from this farm.
As we muck around the farm, the air is fresh and it’s a beautiful day. The family comes out to greet us. Yes, this is a family farm and it goes back to 1850! Fred and Ingrid de Martines are orginailly from the Netherlands. The run the farm with the help of their children. Fred led us around the farm and we saw the indoor barn, feed crops and of course…pigs!
It’s clear that the pigs are well cared for and loved by the entire family. “They love to eat the walnuts,” Fred tells us fondly, gesturing to the wild boars. He tosses them a handful, and the boars run to the nuts and crunch contentedly. Awwww.
At the end, their daughter brought out a tiny baby pig to say hi. It was so cute! It’s a bit sad to think about it being eaten. To finish up the tour, we were given samples of sausage and boar sausage. I hate to say it…but it was delicious. The tour taught me a lot about pigs and it was cool to see where my food comes from.
Want to visit? You can arrange your own farm tour here. If you go to the farm, you can buy bacon and sausage on site from their tiny shop. Yum.
Perth Pork Products Ltd. de Martines Family Farm 4538 line 38, Sebringville, Ontario
Cabana Bar is exactly how I picture Miami in my head. Lots of white, people hanging out in bikinis and swimming in infinity pools while holding cocktails. Welcome to Cabana Bar, a little piece of the beach life in the city. Cabana Bar just opened this weekend, and yet it already seems like the majority of people I know have been there. (On Saturday the weather was perfect, so I don’t blame them.)
Entry on Saturdays is $10, or $20 if you’d like to swim in their beautiful pool. The vibe is very daytime clubbing. Pulsing dance music and girls dancing on the tables in bikinis. (for real.) Shisha is available, if you enjoy that, and tables have bottle service.
Oliver & Bonacini has created an interesting menu of sandwiches, wraps and appetizers. We tried the grilled angus beef burger, heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, and classic poutine. We found the food to be fine, but nothing outstanding. Our waitress also messed up our order several times, and service was slow. Still, this was their opening weekend, so maybe they need time to adjust.
Cabana has room for a whopping 2,500 (standing) on their 50,000 sq. foot enclosed patio area. They also have 12 elevated and private cabanas. If you love to soak up the sun, people watch and pretend that you live in Miami, then this is the place for you. It’s certainly a nice way to spend a Saturday!
Starting in July, Cabana Pool Bar will be open 7 days a week. The bar is located at 11 Polson Street, Toronto, Ontario .
The moment the weather turns warm, I’m day dreaming about where to go. At the top of my list for fun day trips was this- the West Montrose Covered Bridge (aka, The Kissing Bridge)!
A kissing bridge is a wooden bridge that is covered on the roof and the sides. It got its name because when you are inside the bridge you can’t be seen…and could be doing anything, I suppose. 😉
The longest kissing bridge in the world is in Manitoba! (I will get to this one day.)
This beautiful kissing bridge is the oldest one in Ontario, and spans 198′ across the Grand River. Despite being 132 years old, the bridge is a pretty popular location. Within the couple of hours I was there I spotted a group of Mennonite children, tourists, and many couples. There was also quite a bit of local traffic going through the bridge.
You can walk through the bridge…and you should! Legend says that if you close your eyes, hold your breath and cross your fingers while crossing a kissing bridge, your wish will come true!
While you are in the area, visit one of the most popular farmer’s market in Ontario- St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. The perfect day!
Woolwich, Ontario is approx. an hour and a half away from Toronto.