I spend loads of time in Canada since that’s the place my lovely spouse Natalie was born and raised. She grew up simply outdoors of Toronto, which is 90 minutes due north of Buffalo, New York. It’s simply an hour flight from New York Metropolis and a four.5-hour flight from Los Angeles, which is often the place we’re coming from.
A fast little bit of historical past: Natalie and I met on a press journey in Delray Seashore, Florida in November of 2006 whereas she was the digital editor for Fashion at House Journal (a big Canadian life-style publication). We dated for 5 years earlier than we obtained engaged in Clearwater, Florida and obtained married in Toronto.
To provide you an thought how a lot Natalie loves Canada … it took me eight years to speak her into transferring to Southern California and that was effectively earlier than President Trump began ragging on our northern neighbors. BTW: Regardless of being married to an American citizen, it nonetheless took her a very long time to get a Inexperienced Card whereas President Obama was in workplace so I suppose it’s harder now. Not lengthy after she moved to the US, she obtained pregnant and we now have essentially the most wonderful boy on the planet.
Now that Jack is a frequent flier, we journey typically to Toronto so he can spend time along with his relations. As a result of we’re there to go to household, we don’t exit exploring that a lot, apart from going into downtown Toronto for dinner or to satisfy up with mates. However when Ontario Journey, the province’s tourism board, employed us to discover the York Durham Headwaters, a area that I’d by no means heard of earlier than, I spotted simply how a lot I’d been lacking out on!
I had no thought there are such a lot of enjoyable and distinctive issues to try this are lower than hour from Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport (YYZ).
For example, inside York Durham Headwaters, there’s a intelligent self-guided free audio tour referred to as Temperance and Temptation. Vacationers can take a guided journey again in time in the course of the prohibition period, hearken to a downloadable audio information and expertise music, meals, drink and historical past alongside the best way.
Guests study not simply in regards to the excursions however dwell them and expertise first-hand what it was wish to be tempted by “tasty giggle water, copacetic music and a lot extra.”
Since a two-year outdated can’t be hanging out at bars and distilleries, we tweaked the tour by going to solely family-friendly distilleries inside shut proximity of one another and including in some enjoyable stuff for each adults and kids.
There are numerous causes to go to Ontario, Canada. Listed here are just a few!
1. It’s low cost as a result of the Canadian greenback is so low. At press time (October 5, 2018) $1 CAD = $zero.77 USD. Meaning when you’re procuring with US dollars, all the things is 23% off. So when you spend $100 on one thing, it’s actually solely $77.
2. Canadians are very pleasant and well mannered folks.
Three. It’s secure. You don’t should be wanting over your shoulder for some deranged madman with a gun like I discover myself doing oh-too-often in my beloved U.S.A.
four. It’s inside driving distance for tens of hundreds of thousands of Individuals. Right here’s how far it’s from the place all over the place.
5. It’s really lovely. Take a look at the photographs beneath.
Though all the things we did in York Durham Headwaters made for a straightforward day journey from Toronto, we determined to spend the night time and verify right into a lodge. We stayed on the incredible Hockley Valley Resort, which is subsequent to the Adamo Property Vineyard (they’ve the identical Italian-Canadian proprietor). You possibly can examine each locations right here.
Right here’s a map of how our tour of York Durham Headwaters (YDH) went. If you’d like driving instructions, simply see this map.
(Word: scroll right down to see picture gallery).
Rosemont Basic Retailer
From the Hockley Valley Resort, it was a 15-minute drive to the Rosemont Basic Retailer. What I really like about being out within the nation is there’s no site visitors and exquisite vistas. The Rosemont Basic Retailer appears prefer it has loads of historical past and it does. There’s a duplicate pink bench out entrance that depicts its opening in 1846! The kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch day by day and serve some basic breakfast dishes like buttermilk pancakes with native maple syrup ($14) and for lunch they also have a pizza menu that features the Canadian: pepperoni, bacon, mushroom, and inexperienced peppers.
Museum of Dufferin
A five-minute drive up the street is the Museum of Dufferin, which is an formidable and eclectic mixture of displays. Their archives are full of tales of the group and the individuals who helped construct and form it, all obtainable to the native historical past buffs and researchers. Right here, you’ll uncover the busy hub of a pleasant group full with journey information, spectacular grounds, present store, clear bogs and attention-grabbing stuff to have a look at. They presently have a guided tour of the Temperance and Temptation exhibit however don’t miss the views from the silo. Admission: Grownup $5.00, Senior (65+) $four.00, Youth (6 to 18) $2.00.
Landman Gardens & Bakery
A easy 30-minute nation drive away, you can see a hidden gem of a bakery. Landman Gardens and Bakery is owned and run by Rebecca Landman, who can be a baker and farmer. She lives on the property along with her household and her brother takes care of the animals. They’ve over 300 goats, which give 1000’s of liters of goat milk per week. They’re milked twice a day utilizing machines that take simply 2-Three minutes. Additionally they have chickens and pigs however the actual cause to return right here is to pattern the baked items from the small bakery. It’s standard amongst locals who both decide the products up in individual or meet them on the two famers markets. The blueberry pie is wonderful in addition to their butter tarts, that are very Canadian and a deal with I sampled for the primary time. For particular dinners, ebook their conventional Scottish Black Home.
Grand Spirits Distillery
5 minutes down the street in Grand Valley is Grand Spirits Distillery. The distillery constructing in addition to the city’s Predominant Road feel and appear like a film set. The dilapidated former schoolhouse was remodeled into an Instagram-worthy distillery that has a bar and restaurant inside.
Right here, you possibly can find out how they make easy vodka with barley and gin and style their concoctions. The drinks and meals are memorable and so they have the nicest excessive chair ever for toddlers. See photograph gallery beneath.
Spirit Tree Property Cidery
About 35 minutes down the street, heading again in the direction of the airport, is the Spirit Tree Property Cidery. They’ve an apple orchard, cidery and farm store. We visited on the excellent time because the apples have been in season and their cider (arduous and non-alcoholic) is scrumptious.
They create some superior seasonal ciders like pumpkin cider, which is mild and deliciously spiced. Locals eat of their bistro or seize one thing fast like their Sicilian-style pizza. I actually needed to strive their pumpkin soup since they have been roasting them within the brick oven.
For those who ask Jack what his favourite stops alongside the best way have been he would little question say Landman’s Bakery as a result of he was in a position to stand up near the cattle or Downey’s Farm for all of the enjoyable children actions. Downey’s Farm is an 11-minute drive from Spirit Tree and this time of yr they’ve lots of, if not 1000’s, of pumpkins.
Between September 22 and October 31, they host their annual PumpkinFest, which is somewhat child’s Disneyland. They’ve wagon rides, cattle, dwell leisure, slides, trampolines, sandboxes and an Eight-acre corn maze! Throughout the road, they’ve apple choosing. If the road for the store isn’t too lengthy, seize one in every of their well-known pumpkin donuts for the journey residence.
From Downey’s, it was only a 22-minute drive to YYZ and we have been amazed at how shut we have been to Natalie’s mother’s home. We did a lot in 24 hours that we felt like we have been away for per week. One factor is for positive: The following time we’re again on the town we are going to exit and discover extra of Ontario, together with a number of the locations we visited this week.
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