The Best Hidden Gems of the Greater Toronto Area

It’s no surprise – The Canadian dollar stinks.  Gone are the at-par days with the U.S. greenback, making overall travel more expensive (did you know airlines purchase fuel in U.S. dollars?).  But with Canada turning 150 this year, the timing is perfect to stay in your own backyard to celebrate what this great country has to offer.  In the Toronto area alone, there’s plenty of hidden gems to last a lifetime.  When was the last time you went ice-fishing or even took the time to learn about your region’s history (did I mention Canada’s turning 150?)?

So before you decide that things aren’t exotic enough for you in Toronto, think again.  Below are some hidden gems of York Region (just north of Toronto) with all of it doable over the course of a couple days.


Briar’s Spa

What’s a vacation without a little spa time?  The spa at Briar’s Resort is one of the most luxurious of the region providing services ranging from massages, hydrotherapies, and hand/foot treatments.  For a real treat, try the Mokkaccino Body Wrap!


…heck, just stay the night!

Gong to the Briar’s Resort only for the Spa is too much of a tease!  Stay the night and enjoy one of the best resorts in Ontario with fine dining, luxury pool area, numerous fireplaces (too many to count!), and lots of historic items from around the world showcased throughout the grounds.


Walk on Water

Lake Simcoe is famous for its ice fishing.  It is something that all Canadian should do, but take for granted.  Even if no fish are caught, the true appreciation comes from the tranquility of being in the middle of the wilderness.  Remember, beers are a must when ice fishing (and totally legal since there’s no boat)!


Extreme Outdoors

Want to try out some extreme sports in a comfortable setting?  Swing by the ROC (Recreational Outdoor Campus) for both winter and summer activities, including a world-class trail biking course.  If extreme is not your flavour, try out tubing in the winter.



Located beside the ROC is the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives that showcases a surprising amount of Canadian history of the region (and Canada in general).  Entry to the grounds is by donation and is open from May to October.  A great location for a family picnic in the summer!