Nothing is more spectacular than Fall in Ontario. It’s that special time of year when sweltering summer heat gives way to a crisper, more enjoyable climate and the region explodes into a brilliant display of red, orange and yellow foliage. A view so enchanting it inspires long romantic walks and encourages leaf-peepers to venture out into the countryside with their camera in tow. Many would argue that fall is when Ontario is at its glorious best, showcasing the finest of everything. If you’ve ever experienced this magical time, you would agree.
Fall is harvest season and an opportunity to indulge your culinary palate with a bounty of delicious food and wine celebrated at festivals, vineyards, and farmer’s markets throughout the region. And with so many fruits and vegetables in season there is no shortage of warm pie to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy classic favorites like apple pie and pumpkin pie, but if baking is your thing why not try new recipes like Apple-Cranberry Pie, Pumpkin-Mascarpone Pie with Candied Pecans, Butternut Squash Pie with Gingersnap Crust, or Maple-Nut Pie.
Mother Nature’s brilliant light and bold autumnal hues inspire the photographer in all of us. Pack a picnic lunch and set off on a scenic drive through the country or go on an apple-picking adventure to capture the province’s remarkable display of color. Panoramic views make for great pictures and unforgettable memories.
While fall’s foliage inspires many, there are those who seek out another kind of adventure - one that involves haunted hayrides, pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and tales of ghosts and haunted houses. With October 31st just around the corner, Ontario is filled with Halloween attractions for the entire family.
Whatever your preference, fall is a time for reconnecting with the earth and giving thanks for all its bounty. With so much to see and do this season you are never short of options, so we’ve listed our top picks for outdoor activities, harvest menus and weekend adventures that will help you FALL in love with Ontario.
A great start to the fall season is a visit to the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival, awarded Ontario’s event of the year in 2012. From September 20-22, you can sip, sample and savour local dishes, as well as meet Award-winning chefs, celebrated culinary authors, producers and innovators. And while there, why not attend the renowned Stratford Shakespeare festival.
Celebrate the harvest at the Apple Harvest Festival in Ontario’s largest apple growing region. It’s a wonderful time to explore the countryside and harbour towns of Blue Mountain, Thornbury and Clarksburg. There’s hiking, biking, trails, gallery tours, street performers, live music and much, much more.
Nothing beats picking fresh apples and pumpkins while the scent of freshly baked pie fills the air. Dixie Orchard is a family-owned and operated farm located in beautiful southern Caledon full of orchard activities including: Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations, fresh baked pies, apple cider, weekend wagon rides, corn maze, straw jump and farm animals. The best part is that there’s no entrance fee!
With over 30 fabulous wineries and an incredible display of nature’s bounty, a drive to Prince Edward County is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. Savour regional food and wine, attend local fairs and festivals, enjoy theatre and art, and watch a parade with some of the region’s best pumpkins at their annual Pumpkinfest.
Ontario’s acclaimed wine country is home to one of Canada’s loveliest little towns - Niagara-On-The- Lake. This picturesque region is the perfect place to take in beautiful foliage and the best that fall has to offer. From enchanting landscapes, to wine and culinary adventures at wineries across the Niagara Peninsula, to the scenic route between the small towns of Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake, this pocket of paradise is a fall must see.
No thanksgiving season would be complete without a stroll through the historical 19th century at Black Creek Pioneer Village. It is a great way to teach your children about our past and a reminder of all the things we can be thankful for this season.
Come October, Ontario’s favourite amusement park, Canada’s Wonderland provides Halloween fun for the whole family; from the kid-friendly Camp Spooky to the more intense Haunted House which promises to scare the daylights out of you!
Enjoy an afternoon hike through Toronto’s High Park. With an exceptional concentration of rare plant species, spectacular lakefront and many hiking trails, the park highlights the best of what nature has to offer in a display of autumn’s fiery red, orange and yellow hues. So pack your camera, put on comfortable walking shoes and snap away!
Look for this article in the new issue of Whatever Vaughan Magazine.