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After Russia, Canada is the largest country in the world, and spans over 3.8 million square miles in total. Each region offers a wide variety of different landscapes to see and experience, so choosing a particular Province to visit is always a difficult choice!

That said, if you’re looking for the chance to visit a big city (Toronto), while still being able to experience Canada’s famous nature, you can’t go wrong with Ontario.

With globally recognized landmarks, a multicultural landscape, and one of the best sports scenes in North America, Ontario has something to offer no matter what type of traveler you are!

First time visiting? Here are a few quick things you need to know.

6 Things You Need to Know For Your First Trip to Ontario

Allow for Travel Time in Ontario

Toronto Skyline RF

We cannot stress this enough! If you’ve never been to Canada, it’s important to allow for the sheer size of the country for traveling.

To give you an idea of how large Ontario is, it is over 30% larger than the size of the state of Texas. Ontario covers an area of 1.076 million square kilometers, while Texas only covers an area of 695,622 square kilometers.

If you are trying to visit multiple different regions or cities in Ontario, be prepared to spend a lot of time traveling by car, train, or even airplane.

Ontario is larger than most countries in the world (larger than France and Spain combined, and almost 1/3 the size of India!), so you will definitely want to plan out your itinerary and route ahead of time to maximize your time spent there!

Be Prepared for Any Type of Weather

Snow RF

If this is your first trip to Canada, you may not be aware of just how quickly the weather can change. Ontario is well known for its extreme temperature swings depending on which season you are visiting.

For the winter, you can fully expect to be celebrating a White Christmas so bring a winter jacket and some boots for trekking around town.

In the summer, Ontario has a very humid heat that can be quite uncomfortable for those who are not used to it. For this reason, please check the weather reports ahead of time, and pack your wardrobe accordingly!

Get Outside of Toronto

As mentioned, Ontario is massive, so don’t fall into the trap of defining it by its largest city. There is plenty to do outside of Toronto and like the rest of Canada, this includes checking out the wonderful natural landscape.

Just a few hours out of town and you can find beaches in one direction and mountains for skiing or camping in another. There is even a thriving golf scene in Ontario where you can find resorts and clubs that are as luxurious as they are challenging.

Toronto is where a majority of tourists fly into so we understand that much of your travel plans will be using the city as the hub. But if you do get a chance to explore the rest of the magnificent province, definitely work that into your itinerary!

Check Out the Local and Online Casino Scene

Ontario has had legalized gambling for a few decades now and offers plenty of brick and mortar casinos in many of the most popular tourist areas – there’s even one above Niagara Falls.

Built on a cliff overlooking the world-famous Horseshoe Falls, Fallsview Casino Resort is the largest and most elegant gaming resort facility in Canada; casino tourists won’t get this view south of the border in Vegas!

Ontario’s online casino industry is also well established which makes the province a fun place to be stuck indoors in case of a sudden snowstorm. Ontario has some of the best online casino sites in the industry available for anyone over the age of 19.

These Ontario online casinos offer incredible bonuses, a wide selection of games, and most of them even have mobile options as well. As a tourist or as a local, you can now visit the best online casinos in Ontario from anywhere in the province.

Check out Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Female Traveler RF

If there’s one sight you simply have to see when you go to Ontario, it’s the epic and majestic Niagara Falls.

There are three distinct waterfalls to see, and together they provide the highest single flow rate of any waterfall in North America, which is a crucial measurement for how much hydropower it can create.

The falls themselves were created during the Ice Age, which makes them over 12,500 years old. In the surrounding areas, there are endless things to do for all members of the family, including museums, a few brick and mortar casinos, wineries, and golf courses. 

Check out a Local Sports Game

Take your pick of which team will be playing on any given night: the Raptors (basketball), the Maple Leafs (Ice Hockey), or the Blue Jays (Baseball).

All three teams have major fan bases in Canada, and experiencing a game in person is an excellent way to feel the positive energy of the city of Toronto.

Tickets for the Raptors and Maple Leafs are certainly hard to come across, so if you are planning to go to a game, do not leave your ticket shopping until the last minute.

During the summer, the Blue Jays will often play midday matinee games which are usually less busy and a great way to pass the time for a few hours.  

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. There are SO many opportunities to enjoy nature in Ontario. You really do need to have a car though as our public transit won’t get you far.
    There are 340 provincial parks and 5 national parks in Ontario. You can’t come without visiting a few of them. We also have over 200,000 lakes!
    If you go to Niagara, visit Niagara on the Lake. it’s a really nice town with some great wines and lots of fruit.
    So, before visiting google some road trips and pick one that fits in your time schedule. There’s no way you can see it all unless you’ve got a few months. Come in the summer. The hot humid weather never lasts long and is much better out of the city. Whatever you do, you MUST leave Toronto!! It does not represent Ontario. Even if you just take the via rail East and stop at several small towns on the way to Montreal….get OUT of Toronto :D

    • Thanks for the tips Jodi!! Between the parks and the lakes, you could spend a lifetime in Ontario :D

      I will definitely be heading back and renting a car again for more!

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