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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.

Ontario Cultural Destinations

Theatrical performance

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.

6. Visit Aeolian Hall in the city of London. Originally built in 1884, the building features High Victorian style and serves as a music hall for the city.

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.

Ontario Cultural Destinations

National Gallery of Canada

10. See the lights and music spectacle of Mosaika in Ottawa. Set against Parliament Hill, this cultural event allows you to bring your lawn chair and enjoy the summer nights in the nation's capital.

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.

Ontario Cultural Destinations

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.

Ontario Cultural Destinations

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.


Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Brantford Hotel and Conference Centre

19 Holiday Drive, Brantford ON N3R 7J4
Phone: +1 519-753-8651  |  Fax: (519) 753-2619  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Fireside Inn

1217 Princess Street, Kingston ON K7M 3E1
Phone: +1 613-549-2211  |  Fax: (613) 549-4523  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre

591 Wellington Road S, London ON N6C 4R3
Phone: +1 519-681-7151  |  Fax: (519) 681-3271  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Stoneridge Inn & Conference Centre

6675 Burtwistle Ln, London ON N6L 1H5
Phone: +1 519-652-6022  |  Fax: (519) 652-1150  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Toronto Airport Hotel

5825 Dixie Road, Mississauga ON L4W 4V7
Phone: +1 905-670-8180  |  Fax: (905) 670-8083  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel

6400 Lundy's Ln, Niagara Falls ON L2G 1T6
Phone: +1 905-356-1161  |  Fax: (905) 356-8664  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Fallsview

6289 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls ON L2G 3V7
Phone: +1 905-356-0551  |  Fax: (905) 356-7773  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Ottawa City Centre

1274 Carling Avenue, Ottawa ON K1Z 7K8
Phone: +1 613-728-1951  |  Fax: (613) 728-1955  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Ottawa Kanata Hotel & Conference Centre

1876 Robertson Road, Ottawa ON K2H 5B8
Phone: +1 613-828-2741  |  Fax: (613) 596-4742  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown Suites

377 O'Connor Street, Ottawa ON K2P 2M2
Phone: +1 613-567-7275  |  Fax: (613) 567-1161  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Inn On The Bay

1800 2nd Avenue E, Owen Sound ON N4K 5R1
Phone: +1 519-371-9200  |  Fax: (519) 371-6740  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa

82 Peter Street, Perth ON K7H 1S2
Phone: +1 613-326-0082  |  Fax: (613) 326-0044  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Parkway Hotel Toronto North

600 Highway 7 E, Richmond Hill ON L4B 1B2
Phone: +1 905-881-2600  |  Fax: (905) 882-3114  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Downtown Sudbury Centreville

151 Larch Street, Sudbury ON P3E 1C3
Phone: +1 705-673-7801  |  Fax: (705) 673-5296  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Roehampton Hotel & Suites

808 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto ON M4P 2L2
Phone: +1 416-487-5101  |  Fax: (416) 487-5390  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Travel Hotel Toronto Airport

5503 Eglinton Avenue W, Toronto ON M9C 5K5
Phone: +1 416-620-1234  |  Fax: (416) 620-1652  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Executive Inn

38 Estate Drive, Toronto ON M1H 2Z1
Phone: +1 416-430-0444  |  Fax: +1 416-430-0444  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Toronto North York Hotel & Suites

50 Norfinch Drive, Toronto ON M3N 1X1
Phone: +1 416-663-9500  |  Fax: (416) 663-8480  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Rose City Suites

300 Prince Charles Drive, Welland ON L3C 7B3
Phone: +1 905-732-0922  |  Fax: (905) 732-0644  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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