Why Halton Makes a Great Day Trip in Canada

If you live in Toronto or plan a vacation there and want a day out of the city, Halton is the place to go. Only thirty-eight minutes away if you're driving, or less than two hours by bus, you can slip away and get to enjoy a new town. Not only is Halton cheaper than Toronto, but you can also find more outdoorsy things to do and delicious food to eat than you could if you had to wade through too many options in Toronto.

Ontario has some very pretty areas, and there’s lots to explore, but especially when you go further north, interesting roads often don’t lead anywhere or may lead to very long detours. Road markings for roads that aren’t provincial highways often leave a lot to be desired. A lot of roads that look like they might be through roads are not. Believe the maps.

Ontario has a decent freeway system, but the vast majority of the province has two lane roads, even between major cities (Guelph and Hamilton, Kitchener and Hamilton, Niagara Falls and Windsor). These roads often cut through small communities with much lower speed limits.

Hotels and motels are on the expensive side ($100 a night and up in summer, $60 and up in off season) so a cheap way to travel is to take advantage of the many campsites throughout the province, many of which are on main travel routes like Highway 11. However, people in the province like them too, so they can fill up quickly, particularly during holiday weekends.

In the northern parts of the province, it’s not unusual to have a 100 km (61 mile) stretch with no gas stations. Many highways have limited food service options. For example, if you’re coming east along the 401 and want to pass through Toronto, the last place on the 401 to get gas and food without leaving the highway is Cambridge South. The next stop is Port Hope, 167 km away (about 100 minutes). Sure there is other food and gas along the way, but it means getting off the highway.


Here are the top reasons to visit Halton and why you can fit it in a getaway in Canada with your friends.

1. Enjoy a nice hot cup of fresh apple cider

Halton has a range of options of things to do; you won't have a moment to be bored unless you schedule it. If you're big into sports, this town has everything from its hockey team to some fantastic baseball that you won't want to pass up. There are excellent nature trails you can walk along and rivers you can fish in or boat on.

A big pass-time in the fall for locals is to pick apples at Chudleigh's Entertainment Farm or enjoy a nice hot cup of fresh apple cider. You'll feel more connected to nature without losing out on any of the perks of city life.

2. Eat from a Food truck

There are endless restaurants in Toronto, of course, but sometimes all of that selection is a headache to decide from. Instead, Halton has fewer restaurants that are all of a higher caliber. Whether you're craving high-class food and want to try the Glen Tavern, or you want some fantastic pasta at the Cellar, you can find what's going to suit your palette.

Simultaneously, if you're going to eat a little lowbrow and have fun with it, there are plenty of food trucks like the Eat Well Italian Food Truck that offer something delicious without all of the set dressing.

3. Visit a garden

If you want to get out and take in the views, Halton has you covered. There are beautiful walking trains to let you clear your mind that range from riverside to forest trails. If you'd instead take in some human-made beauty, you can go to the Royal Botanical Gardens, which offer beautifully designed gardens with incredible flowers.

Ranging from local to rare and exotic, these plants will surprise and thrill nearly any visitor. It’s almost as beautiful as Halton itself, and you won't want to leave.

Not just any garden, but Canada's largest. The world-renowned Royal Botanic Gardens is without a doubt Canada's top attraction and a must for anyone visiting or passing through the city.

The gardens are separated into different sections that are spread across 900 hectares of land. It has four outdoor gardens, one greenhouse, and three restaurants, as well as a gift shop.

Stroll through the picturesque gardens and see the world's largest lilac collection and over 1,000 other plants and flowers. It also happens to be an important area for birds.

4. Look at the art

Mount Nemo Conservation Area is the place to do it. In fact, it is one of the most popular places to climb in Southwest Ontario.

The climb starts at a speed of 5.9 with parts falling between 5.10 and 5.12, so not for a hobbyist. However, any avid climber will like to go rock climbing here.

A feature of the climb is the spectacular views, which, on a clear day, stretch all the way to the CN tower. There are hiking trails also for those who do not want to do the climb.

5. Go hiking

Stretching for 890 kilometers, the famous Bruce Trail runs from the Niagara River to Tobermory. This is a world famous trail and it is the best place in the city to go hiking.

The trail runs along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It's a phenomenal hike with stunning views, waterfalls, and wildlife.

Part of the way passes through the Mount Nemo Conservation Area, where spectacular views can be seen. It also passes through the Crawford Lake Conservation Area, which features a rare Meromictic.

6. Wander around a museum

There are two historic buildings that are now museums; Ireland House and the Joseph Brant Museum. Visit any of these and wander around to learn about the history and heritage of the city.

Ireland house was built in 1837, making it one of the oldest houses. Explore the house and learn about the life and times of three generations of the family.

Stroll through the Joseph Brant Museum to learn about the founding, settlement, and development of its surroundings. The museum has permanent exhibits as well as hosting traveling exhibits.

A Real Getaway

Not every trip outside of the city has to be a full vacation or an overnight. Halton is the perfect mix of space that pulls you out of the traffic and the hustle and bustle and affordability that can make any wallet happy. It is a short drive, a small bus ride away, and just enough amenities, shops, and sites to see to keep you entertained and happy.

Just don't get too carried away, or you might find yourself digging for Halton real estate before your next trip! Although the houses are less expensive, and the people are kinder, any Toronto native will tell you that they’d never give up Hogtown.

Kalyan Panja