Immediately to the east of Toronto, Durham Ontario is a region of small cities, towns and townships, farms, lakes and, most importantly for this website, many recreation areas.
Officially, its proper name is the Regional Municipality of Durham or, for short, Durham Region.
The Region is mainly urban and suburban south of Highway 7 and mainly rural north of 7. Highway 7 is the old road linking Toronto to Ottawa.)
Where the rest of the Greater Toronto Area has grown and developed modern towns and cities, losing most of their character along the way, Durham still has many fine examples of old Ontario main streets.
Buildings like this one from the late Victorian or early Twentieth Century with its original storefront.
In the southern part of the Region are larger urban areas, such as Oshawa, Whitby, Pickering, and Ajax, and while all these have places to visit, like the Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, they're working and living spaces rather than true vacation destinations.
It's in that northern part of Durham Ontario that the holiday opportunities lie.
Municipalities like Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock and places like Cannington (with its Dog Sled Races in February), Beaverton on Lake Simcoe or Port Perry on Lake Scugog. The Trent Severn Waterway too can be accessed in Durham from Lakes Simcoe and Scugog. More about this below, next to the Port Perry picture.
Boat rentals in Port Perry allow visitors to make their way north through the Trent river sytem to the main east-west waterway.
The Oakridges Moraine Trail also runs through Durham Ontario from near Goodwood in the west to Burketon in the east and it's ideal for hiking and cycling over most of its length. I say 'most' because some parts are on roads and even though these are quieter rural roads, they need to be traveled carefully.
Along the Moraine Trail, is Purple Woods just north of Oshawa where the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Areas (CLOCA) organization runs an annual Maple Syrup Pancake Breakfast during the Ontario schools' March Break. The photo shows the Purple Woods Sugar Shack where the sap is being evaporated to syrup.
Speaking of trails, the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail runs along the Region's southern boundary and it's a great way to sample the different parts of Durham from Pickering in the west, right on the border with Greater Toronto, to Clarington in the east, bordering on Northumberland County.
Another attraction of the the region is shopping. Durham ontario shopping includes some large malls, Pickering Town Centre, Oshawa Centre, and a number of modern retail parks with all the big box stores. Whitby, in particular, has gone all out with parks at Thickson and Hwy 401 and another large one on Brock Road north of the town.
Some of the larger lakes in the Region, include Simcoe, named for Ontario's first Governor-General John Simcoe, and Scugog. The image shows Port Perry main street, looking from the tour boat on Lake Scugog on a misty autumn day.
Across Lake Scugog from Port Perry, on land belonging to the local native people, is the Great Blue Heron Casino. Native peoples, because they own the land as sovereign nations, were able to sell 'sin' attractions, like gambling and tobacco, without all the hassle regular citizens faced.
Lately, since the rules have changed about gambling, they've had competition from the Corporate world.
Durham Ontario has a lot to offer visitors, particularly for short 'getaway' breaks and here's a site to help you make the most of your visit --Durham Tourism.
Autumn is a good time to visit the country areas of Durham for it's then the small towns have their Fall Fairs, Santa Claus Parades, and, for some such as Clarington, the Farmers Christmas Parade of Lights.
Durham Region has a number of small, and not so small, zoos. Cat World, near Orono, specializes in all sizes of cats, as the name suggests. They have everything from the largest lions to the smallest of wildcats.
The not-so-small zoo in Durham Region is Bowmanville Zoo, which was founded in 1919 and is still going strong. It has hundreds of animals of all shapes and sizes, all of which are easy to see and, with such animals as deer and llamas, touch.
And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:
Tours To Explore
Dvd To Explore