Outdoor Music Festival
28 Cultural Ontario Travel Destinations
Full of hidden historic treasures and nationally renowned institutions, Ontario's cultural and museum scene is one of the most vibrant in Canada and North America.
Whether you are a traveling family, passing through on business, or a local looking for something new, be sure to enjoy these 28 cultural and historic destinations the next time you pass through Ontario.
1. Explore the Historic Bovaird House, built in 1852 and acting as a landmark of the city of Brampton ever since. Enjoy seeing period artifacts, vintage maps from the 1800's, and classic decorations found throughout the historic house.
2. Experience the legend of one of ice hockey's greatest players with a visit to the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford. Aside from exploring exhibitions, the centre features ice rinks offering free adult skating and a fitness centre with world class amenities.
3. Visit the lakeside city of Kenora and stop by the Lake of the Woods Museum, known as "one of the coolest little museums in Canada." See more than 25,000 items, including aboriginal artifacts, steamboat era products, and historic photographs.
4. Reconnect some of Kingston's history with a trip to the lakeside Fort Henry National Historic Site. Built in 1837, this fort features an on-site museum and preserves all the sites and functions of what a military fort looked like in the day.
5. Continue your Kingston trip with a visit to the Miller Museum of Geology. Find your new favorite fossil and check out the mineral displays and the self-guided tours throughout the complex.
7. See the Halton County Radial Railway in action. This Guelph landmark features an electric railway and museum, and includes the historic Toronto Transit Commission streetcar. Be sure to see the artifacts, displays, and memorabilia at Ontario's largest railway museum.
8. Stroll through exhibits and kid-friendly attractions with a self-guided tour at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. See more than 2,000 tropical butterflies from forty five species at this 11,000 square foot glass enclosed conservatory in Niagara Falls.
9. Visit a unique on-the-lake experience with a stop at the Shaw Festival near Niagara Falls. See classic plays at the historic Court House Theatre and don't forget to take a backstage tour and attend a local theatre workshop.
National Gallery of Canada
11. Explore the hallmark National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Home to four major performing arts stages, the centre hosts the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Opera Lyra Ottawa, and numerous ballet and musical productions.
12. Spend a day at Canada's prestigious arts museum at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. See famous paintings by some of history's most renowned artists alongside recognizable sculptures, drawings, and photographs.
13. See the monuments and grounds of Ottawa's Parliament Hill. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour of the country's political centre, including the summer gazebo, the Centennial Flame, and Victoria Tower Bell.
14. Visit the Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum in Owen Sound, located on the shores of the Owen Sound on the Georgian Bay. See a historic Canadian National Railway Station, a preserved Caboose 78581, and railway educational programs.
15. Visit the Perth Museum in Perth, which is home to a piece of the historic Mammoth Cheese. Originally produced in 1893 for the World's Fair, the cheese is commemorated with posters and other memorabilia.
16. Catch the Showboat Festival Theatre in Welland. Located in the historic Roselawn Centre, the festival offers numerous shows held throughout the summer season. Don't miss the Food and Wine series, the Author series, and other special events.
Roy Thomson Hall
17. Visit the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum near London for a taste of Canada's baseball legacy. See the profiles of over 90 inductees, an array of global baseball memorabilia, and take the kids to the Kids on Deck baseball camp, held throughout the summer.
18. Spend a night out at the Sudbury Theatre Centre in Sudbury. Start with a local theatre and dinner package downtown and continue by catching one of the the centre's numerous productions held at the Fraser Auditorium.
19. Experience a cultural highlight of Toronto with a visit to downtown's Art Gallery of Ontario. Housing over 80,000 works of art, the AGO is one of the largest art galleries in North America and features collection ranging from modern art to art from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
20. Visit the unique Bata Shoe Museum, found in downtown Toronto. See more than 10,000 footwear items, each representative from places and cultures from all over the world and from different periods of history. Don't miss additional lectures, performances, and family events.
21. Tour the 98-room house of Casa Loma in Toronto. Built as a Gothic Revivial style castle, the property offers self-guided tours through landmark rooms like the Great Hall, Library, Smoking Room, and more, as well as the castle grounds, hunting lodges, and stables.
22. See over 3,000 pieces of ceramic works of art at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Explore art ranging from the Italian Renaissance to the Ancient Americas and don't miss the museum's pottery and clay classes.
23. Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. Enjoy interactive exhibits which feature hockey legends, famous matches, and other staple moments, and don't miss hands-on activities like the NHLPA Be A Player Zone and the Source For Sports Shoot Out. Top your visit by seeing the triumphant display of the Stanley Cup.
Royal Ontario Museum
24.Find your new favorite modern art piece at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) in Toronto. The museum features exhibits and pieces from over 800 artists and offers free tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't miss frequent specialized art shows.
25. Marvel at the wonders of the ocean with a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto. Explore several galleries, including Rainbow Reef, Dangerous Lagoon, and Canadian Waters. Don't forget to visit Systems Control, which reveals the processes of the aquarium.
26. See a landmark of Toronto's architecture with a visit to the Roy Thomson Hall, home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Take part in a year-round calendar full of gala screenings, concerts, tours, and festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival.
27. Visit one of North America's largest museums with a trip to Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. Housing six million items across 40 galleries, the ROM covers art, natural history, science, architecture, and more. Families won't want to miss the kid-friendly CIBC Discovery Gallery.
28. Enjoy a delightful evening at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Toronto. The centre offers year-round performances from famous musical artists, touring companies, and musical theatre productions. Don't miss the historic lobby when visiting.