Our Circle Lake Ontario Motorhome tour will take you on a spectacular 14 day journey featuring covered bridges, old Mennonite communities, beautiful gardens, fertile wine country, towering waterfalls, narrow shipping canals, weathered lighthouses, stunning coastal scenery, dazzling sunsets and much more...
From Toronto, take a side trip to St Jacobs Country before travelling down the Niagara Peninsula to Niagara Falls. Your journey takes you into New York State, following the Great Lakes Seaway Trail on the south shore of Lake Ontario to Cape Vincent, then on to the fabulous 1000 Islands and back into Canada. Continue your tour down Lake Ontario's north shore along the Ontario Kings Highway, stopping en route to explore the Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County. End your vacation visiting some of Toronto's top attractions.
The best part about hiring a motorhome is planning your route! The itinerary below is a suggested route you have the freedom of the open road to decide where you visit.
Circle Lake Ontario Motorhome Tour includes:
- Return UK Flights
- Overnight in Toronto hotel on first night
- Motorhome of your choice
- Opportunity to visit a variety of Provincial Parks.
Day 1 - Overnight in Toronto hotel
We recommend that you overnight on arrival into Toronto, to rest before setting off on your motorhome holiday
Alt Hotel Toronto Airport
Day 2 - Toronto to Petersburg (106km/66 miles)
After an overnight in Toronto (recommended) phone theToronto location after 8.00am this morning to schedule your pickup time for today. Ask the hotel reception to call you a taxi to the RV depot. Allow 1-2 hours at CanaDream to process your paperwork and learn about the operation of your CanaDream camper then head south west on Highway 401 to St Jacob’s Country.
Day 3 - St Jacob's
Plan to spend today exploring St Jacobs and surrounding area. Officially named Jakobstettel (Jacob’s Village) in 1852, St Jacobs has a strong Mennonite heritage.Take a multi-media journey at the Visitor Centre in St Jacobs to learn about Mennonite settlement in the area.
“Telling the Mennonite Story” describes the history, culture and religion of the Mennonites yesterday and today in both the St Jacob’s area and the world. Admission is by donation.
Browse through the quaint village of St Jacobs, one of the best shopping locations in Ontario.You can find authentic Canadian crafts made on site, pottery, blown glass, weaving, decorations, women’s apparel and gift shops, antiques and quilts.
Many of the shops and lodges in St Jacobs are historical buildings dating back to the early 1800s.One great stop for architecture buffs is The Mill and Village Silos complex, a former 19th century flour mill converted to a series of shops and art galleries. With five floors of winding hallways and small rounded white rooms, the silos are a unique place to shop and explore. The old mill itself is a grand building currently housing a quilt gallery, the town’s maple syrup heritage museum, a model train panorama, electricity exhibit, the history of Home Hardware (which started in St Jacobs) and more.
To make the most of your St Jacobs visit, try to be there on a Thursday or Saturday between 7.00am and 3.30pm when St Jacobs Country hosts one of the most successful Farmers Markets in the world. From mid June to late August, the market is also open on Tuesdays.This enormous market, located between the village of St Jacobs and the city of Waterloo, features over 500 vendors.There’s always something unique going on, from auctions to buskers, to a children’s petting zoo. If you prefer not to drive to the market, you can park your RV at Waterloo Station and catch the Waterloo Central Railway to St Jacobs from there. The train will be a sure hit with kids as well as historians bound to appreciate the original 1914 rail materials. The train travels to St Jacobs village with a stop at the Farmers Market.
If you’re more into scenery than shopping, consider taking a 4 hour horse trek from Waterloo to St Jacobs with Conestogo River Horseback Adventures. This tour is available weekdays only and passes through the village of St Jacobs before returning to Waterloo.
The historic kissing bridge at Montrose West is worth a visit. Only a short drive from St Jacobs, this red covered bridge is Ontario’s last remaining covered bridge. The bridge is often referred to as “The Kissing Bridge” because it is enclosed and the soft light provides a feeling of intimacy for the romantic.
If you’re still looking for something to do in St Jacobs come evening, enjoy a casual meal at the Stone Crock Restaurant or Jacob's Grill. If you prefer something more cultural, maybe an evening at the theatre is an option.Choose from the St Jacobs Country Playhouse, the Schoolhouse Theatre or the Drayton Festival Theatre – there’s sure to be something to entertain you here.
Day 4 - Petersburg - Hamilton - Niagara Falls (115 km/97 miles)
Rejoin Highway 8 into Kitchener this morning then continue south-east on highway 8 to Sheffield. If you’re travelling with kids, you may like to visit African Lion Safari, open daily between early May and Labour Day. Enjoy an educationally guided tour aboard a Safari Tour Bus where you can view and photograph 1000 unique and rare birds, and animals that roam freely throughout large Game Reserves.
If African Lion Safari isn’t something that interests you, you may like to spend some time today visiting the Art Gallery of Hamilton, home to a comprehensive collection of Canadian historical contemporary art, or the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, about ten minutes north of Hamilton on Ontario King’s Highway 2. The gardens (often referred to at RBG) contain the largest population of Canadian wild plants to be brought together in one spot including some species not found anywhere else in Canada.
Hamilton could well be known as the city of waterfalls, boasting more than 100 waterfalls within the city’s boundaries. The landscape surrounding Hamilton is agricultural with orchards, berry farms, fresh vegetable farms and honey stalls dotting the countryside.
After leaving the Hamilton area, join Queen Elizabeth Way which will take you towards Niagara Falls. Leave the highway at Winona and visit the Fifty Point Conservation Area, a magnificent 80 hectare park on the shores of Lake Ontario.Visitors can enjoy a fabulous lakefront view by walking along the promenade or relaxing at conveniently located benches and shaded areas.
Tonight you may like to go down to the Falls to see them illuminated and watch the fireworks show (if playing).
Day 5 - & 6 Niagara Falls
What you decide to do during your stay in Niagara Falls will most likely depend on your personal interests. Tickets to some of the most well known attractions in Niagara Falls can be purchased with a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass.The pass covers admission to Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara’s Fury, White Water Walk and the Hornblower Niagara Cruise plus 2 days of transportation aboard the people mover system and valuable money saving coupons with your purchase.
CanaDream guests can purchase passes for both adults and children through the CanaDream Club at a discounted rate.
High above the racing Niagara River, the Whirlpool Aero Car will transport you through the air in an antique cable car.The cable car is suspended from six sturdy cables and offers a wonderful view of the Niagara Whirlpool which is formed at the end of the rapids where the gorge turns abruptly counterclockwise and the river escapes through the narrowest channel in the gorge. The Whirlpool Aero Car is located on the Niagara Parkway between the White Water Walk and the Butterfly Conservatory. While at the Whirlpool Aero Car, visit Souvenir City Headquarters to view their extensive range of Canadiana items and First Nations crafts, watch glassblowers in action and indulge yourself with some delicious fudge made on site at Chocolate World.
To see the Falls from a greater height, consider a helicopter sightseeing tour with either Niagara Helicopters or National Helicopters. National Helicopters also offer a range of romantic tours for couples, including winery visits.
If a helicopter tour isn’t in your budget, you could take a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel, affording you breathtaking views of the Falls and beyond. Towering 175 feet (53 metres) over the Niagara Falls horizon, the SkyWheel is the most exciting way to see Niagara Falls. From this vantage point you will be treated to memorable view of the Horseshoe and American Falls, the Niagara River, Niagara Parks and other landmarks. You can ride day or night, in any season.
Have you ever wondered about the daredevils who have gone over the falls and their ultimate fates? The Daredevil Gallery at the Imax Theatre, Niagara Falls, contains actual barrels and artefacts along with the fascinating stories of the history of Niagara and of the daredevils themselves. Hear the stories, touch the vessels and then imagine the courage (or the insanity) that it must have taken to climb into a barrel and throw yourself over the edge!
Kids may enjoy spending a day at Marineland which includes a number of fun filled rides as well as entertainment featuring amazing dolphins, walruses, sea lions, killer and beluga whales. When night falls, Niagara comes alive in a different way. Lighting illuminates both the Canadian and American Falls, and on selected days from mid May until mid October, you can view fireworks over the Falls. Options for dining out abound – some of our recommendations are the Oh Canada Eh Dinner Show, Canada’s “must-see” musical. Meet a singing Mountie, hockey player, Anne of Green Gables and more. Full of laughs, this musical celebration of Canada will delight audiences of all ages. While you’re enjoying the show, the performers serve you their famous all-Canadian five course, family-style meal.
Day 7 - Niagara Falls - St Catharines - Niagara on the Lake - Barker - NY (140 km/88 miles)
Leave the excitement and commercialism of Niagara Falls behind you as you again travel the Queen Elizabeth Way through fertile agricultural country to St Catharines. Exit onto the Welland Canals Parkway and stop at the Canals Centre. See ships from around the world up close as they navigate Lock 3 on their way through the St Lawrence Seaway System.
Step inside the Welland Canals Centre for a fascinating look at the history and engineering behind the Canal that opened up North America’s industrial heartland. Admission is free.
We have more suggestions for things to do today which cost little or nothing and will be a refreshing change from the past few days, particularly if you’re travelling with kids.
In St Catharines, visit Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary and Petting Zoo, a 15 acre municipal park on the shores of Lake Ontario or stop by the Morningstar Mill and Mountain Mills Museum to see the operation of the mill, tour the house, blacksmith shop and grounds, see the display of local artefacts and access the Bruce Trail which follows the ravine across the top of the escarpment. Drive out to Old Port Dalhousie and take a stroll along the Harbour Walkway. Pathways follow the shoreline, winding past historical sites and modern features, connecting Lakeside Park and the East and West Piers. Kids will enjoy riding an historic Looff Carousel, an antique 1905 hand-carved merry-go-round that still operates from June to September in Lakeside Park.
From Old Port Dalhousie, take Lakeshore Road to Niagara on the Lake, the first capital of Upper Canada and the “Prettiest Town in Canada”. The town has a unique charm, including historic forts and monuments, grand mansions, golf courses, breathtaking parks and gardens and world-class wineries and vineyards. Niagara on the Lake is home to more than 20 wineries – behind the doors to each winery you’ll find friendly staff, stylish and relaxed tasting rooms and a wide range of wines to sample. Visit www.wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com for a list of wineries, hours and touring information.
Return to Niagara Falls and cross the border into the USA via the Rainbow Bridge. This will take you into the tourist district of Niagara Falls, New York where you can view the Falls from the American side. Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the USA, dating back to 1885. The park contains the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and part of the Canadian Falls.
Day 8 - Golden Hill State Park - Selkirk Shores (via the Great Lakes Seaway Trail) (256 km/160 miles)
If your campground last night wasn’t Golden Hill State Park you will need to reach this point today before continuing with this itinerary. From Golden Hill State Park, follow the Great Lakes Seaway Trail signs to Ontario Beach. Orleans County’s rural landscape with farm markets offers a taste of homemade fudge, u-pick fruit, pumpkins and wagon rides. In Albion, find North America’s oldest cobblestone church at the world’s only Cobblestone Museum complex.
Quilters love the Country Barn Quilt Trail, a 22-mile loop off the byway that starts at Partyka Farms in Kendall and has more than 40 barns with hand-painted quilt block patterns.
Six miles west of Rochester, you may see researchers banding birds at Braddock Bay Park & Hawk Watch.
Rochester’s Jim Kennard, “Great Lakes Seaway Trail’s Jacques Cousteau,” credits the byway’s cool freshwater with preserving significant underwater resources. In 2008, Jim and Dan Scoville located the British Revolutionary warship HMS Ontario west of Rochester.
In Rochester, the “Flower City,” welcomes those who love kids’ stuff to the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play. Don’t miss the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden!
Savour local flavour from “white hots” (light coloured pork hotdogs) and Abbott’s Frozen Custard to a “garbage plate” and Finger Lakes wines.
Photography pioneer George Eastman’s estate includes Dryden Theatre showing films from a world-class cinematic collection.
The byway’s maritime heritage is well-kept by Old Sodus Bay Lighthouse and Great Lakes Seaway Trail shipwreck-theme “outdoor storytellers.” Learn about the ill-fated schooner St. Peter, near Pultneyville. The Landing at Pultneyville is a lovely place to shop and dine. Recreational boaters enjoy Sodus Bay, “The Crown Jewel of Lake Ontario.”
Fair Haven offers camping, fishing, antiquing, and golf. The summertime Sterling Renaissance’s Elizabethan woods become Screamer’s Hollow for Halloween. Sterling Nature Centre is perfect for outdoor hiking and birding year round.
The Trail’s unique WWII-connected history is well preserved in the City of Oswego. Safe Haven Museum tells of the only WWII refugee site on American soil at Fort Ontario located right across the road. A WWII Normandy Invasion tugboat docked along West 1st St. Pier is among the H. Lee White Marine Museum collections.
A WWII tradition has been revived along the Salmon River. Active duty soldiers and disabled veterans fly fish for salmon and trout with river guides. Project Healing Waters Regional Coordinator Fred Kuepper says, ”This program is modeled after the successful fly-tying program that rehabilitated veterans at Great Lakes Naval Hospital during World War II.”
Divers explore the steam barge David W. Mills, scattered a half-mile offshore of Oswego, with the 1957 tugboat Mary Kay nearby..
Overnight at Selkirk Shores State Park on Lake Ontario near the town of Richland in Oswego County. Please reserve this campground in advance.
Day 9 - Selkirk Shores, NY - Ivy Lea, Ontario (216 km / 135 miles)
Continue your journey today along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 17-mile Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes & Wetlands Area offers free access sites for bird watching, nature walks, lake viewing, kayaking, fishing and picnicking. At Sandy Island Beach, let the kids build sand castles, picnic on the beach, and enjoy a refreshing swim (fee may apply.)
The world-class fisherman’s paradise here includes Lake Ontario’s open water, its tributaries, Henderson Harbour, the bays of the Golden Crescent, professional sport fishing charters and angling tournaments.
Sackets Harbour celebrates its War of 1812 and architectural history with an historic battlefield, Madison Barracks, and three-story Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Centre (open seasonally) in the former Union Hotel where a future President, Ulysses S. Grant, played checkers as a young US Army Lieutenant.
The Black River attracts white water rafters and kayakers. The Hudson River Rafting Company in Watertown, NY, offers rafting and tubing adventures on this and three other rivers in the area.
The leisurely pace through the 1000 Islands/St. Lawrence River section of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail carries you to marinas, resorts, campgrounds and shoreline villages. Along the way, enjoy a sip of cold-hardy grape, fruit or onion wine at River Myst, Coyote Moon and other Seaway Wine Trail vineyards.
Tibbetts Point Lighthouse & Hostel stands an enduring sentinel overlooking the meeting of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, NY.
Unwind on “River Time” – imagine a clock without hands - for boating, sightseeing, freshwater scuba diving and fishing. Boat tours, charter boats and guides are available. In Clayton, discover classic St. Lawrence watercraft at The Antique Boat Museum, savour River Rat Cheese, and enjoy Clayton Opera House programming.
The view from the road offers a glimpse of some of the 1,800 Thousand Islands. The regional icon is Boldt Castle on Heart Island, in sight of the Alexandria Bay resort area. Downriver, you can sleep at Dark Island’s rugged Singer Castle with secret passageways and a dungeon!
Over the Thousand Islands International Bridge at Wellesley Island, self-tour Thousand Island Park, a 19th century summer community with well kept Victorian gingerbread and other architectural accoutrements.
North America’s “rich and famous,” including John Jacob Astor, Pullman railroad car inventor George Pullman, and country music star Alan Jackson have visited this historically- popular vacation destination.
After exploring 1000 Islands Park, continue north on US81 towards the Thousand Islands Bridge which will take you across the border into Canada . After crossing the bridge, take the Thousand Islands Parkway west and continue about 9km. Our recommended campground tonight is 1000 Islands Ivy Lea KOA Campground.CanaDream Guests will receive a discount at this campground.
Day 10 - Ivy Lea - Kingston (104 km / 65 miles)
In Prescott itself you may like to pay a visit to Fort Wellington National Historic Site. The fort recreates the lives of members of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment who were stationed there in the 1840’s.The massive blockhouse is the heart of Fort Wellington and is thought to be the largest in Canada.
Costumed staff are on hand to tell visitors about the history of the fort and to answer their questions. Demonstrations of activities that the men, their wives and children would have engaged in occur at regular intervals.
Half an hour east of Prescott on the Ontario Kings Highway 2 is Upper Canada Village, a 60 acre site boasting over 40 heritage buildings to explore and a host of costumed interpreters who delight in bringing you with them on an entertaining journey into Canada’s past. This is a world-class award-winning attraction and is a must-see/must-do when visiting the area.
In Brockville be sure to visit Fulford Place, former home of Senator George Taylor Fulford who made millions of dollars from “Pink Pills for Pale People” – a patent medicine he manufactured in Brockville and sold around the world. He constructed Fulford Place, a 20,000-square-foot, 35-room Edwardian mansion between 1899 and 1901. The original grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted of the Olmsted landscaping firm, which also designed Central Park in New York City. Fulford Place is now owned and operated by the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Visitors can tour period rooms that contain many of the magnificent original furnishings of the house, enjoy special exhibits, and get a rare glimpse of a gracious lifestyle from another era.
There are lots of activities for children at the Brockville Museum. Kids will enjoy discovering three creative centres geared to different age groups. Little ones will delight in hunting for "Boo" while their parents tour the museum, while older children can participate in a Scavanger Hunt. The Museum also houses exhibits featuring the industrial, agricultural and social history of Brockville. Highlighted are the waterfront leisure activities through the years and the various early industries that influenced the development of Brockville.
No trip to the 1000 Islands would be complete without taking a boat cruise out among the Islands. Rockport Boat Line has a variety of cruises leaving daily during the cruising season from Rockport while Gananoque Boat Line’s cruises depart from Gananoque. Cruise times vary from one to eight hours and onboard commentary is available in many different languages.If a flight over the 1000 Islands is more to your liking, check out 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours. They offer an alternative to the water tours but don't stop and they also offer a Kingston City Tour.Our recommended campground tonight is 1000 Islands/Ivy Lea KOA, approximately 40km east of Kingston on the Thousand Islands Parkway.
Day 11 - Kingston
Kingston was originally a First Nations settlement called "Cataraqui" and the growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post. In 1741, Kingston became the first capital of the Province of Canada and, while its time as a political centre was short, Kingston remained an important military installation.
Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many historic buildings in the city built from the local limestone.
Spend the day in Kingston and surrounding area exploring. Some suggestions for today include:
Loyalist Golf and Country Club – play a round of golf at one the best courses in the region. Fort Henry Wolfe Island – leave your RV behind and jump on the Wolfe Islander III, for a 20 minute trip to Wolfe Island. The ferry is free and runs from Kingston to Marysville approximately every hour from 7.15am to midnight. Once on the island rent a bike from Wolfe Island Bicycle Rentals and explore the island by pedal power. There are also a number of bicycle rental shops in Kingston if you prefer to take your bike on the ferry with you. Royal Military College Museum – Visitors are encouraged to walk the grounds of the campus at their leisure. If visiting during the summer, don’t miss the RMC Museum, located in the Martello tower of Fort Frederick. Open from the last weekend in June to Labour Day, admission is free. Marine Museum of the Great Lakes – open by appointment only from 10 am to 4 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Lake Ontario Park – A multitude of activities for young and old are available at Lake Ontario Park. Swim, play, mini-golf or stroll the appealing pathways around the area. The Lake Ontario Amusement Park is located in the vicinity and offers several rides and events. Kingston Family Fun World – features a three screen drive in movie theatre St George’s Cathedral Haunted Walk of Kingston – When the lights are low and the atmosphere is just right for a good ghost story, join Haunted Walk of Kingston and experience the city the way it was meant to be seen – up close and on foot. Frontenac Provincial Park – drive north of Kingston and spend the day hiking in this semi-wilderness park on the edge of the Canadian Shield. Bellevue House – once the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A Macdonald, the house has been restored to the 1840’s period and is staffed by costumed interpreters. The house and gardens are kept much as they would have been during the time that Macdonald lived there with his wife and infant son. Guided Tour of Kingston on the Confederation Tour Trolley – departs several times daily from the Tourist Information Centre opposite City Hall.
Day 12 - Kingston - Prince Edward County (109 km / 68 miles)
Travel along the charming Loyalist Parkway on Highway 33. The road ends at Adolphustown where a free ferry will take you across to the peninsula to Glenora and an abundance of farm-fresh products, wineries and beaches in Prince Edward County. The vineyards of Prince Edward County invite you to discover Ontario’s new wine producing region near the shores of Lake Ontario, surrounded by pastoral beauty and home to community artisans and music festivals. full details
Stop for a picnic lunch at the Rutherford-Stevens Lookout or Little Bluff. Take a trip out on Long Point Road to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. In the spring and fall, Prince Edward Point is a vital concentration point for migrating birds along the lower Great Lakes. Monarch butterflies and various bats also pass through during migration. In summer the point is a great place for swimming, picnicking and boating.
On the western side of the island you’ll find Sandbanks Provincial Park, where giant sand dunes and golden beaches form two of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbars in the world. Trails in this area feature dune stairs to protect the delicate vegetation. Easy hikes, between 2 and 5 km long, are popular in the park. You may like to consider camping in the park if there is space available or just outside the park at Quinte's Isle Campark. For a full service campground with all facilities including a swimming pool we recommend you camp tonight at North Shore RV Park in Carrying Place on the north west side of the island.
Day 13 - Prince Edward County - Toronto (227 km / 142 miles)
Spend more time today exploring Prince Edward county or take highway 64 from your campground to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. At the tip of the park peninsula you’ll find Ontario’s second oldest operating lighthouse and the original lighthouse keeper’s cottage.
There are also loop hiking trails in the park ranging from one to four km long. After leaving Presqu’ile, continue west on the Ontario Kings Highway (Hwy 2) which will take you into the seaside community of Port Hope before changing direction to parallel the 401 on its north side. You can continue on Hwy 2 if you wish or choose to keep to the coastline by taking Lakeshore Road as far as Bond Head. The quickest way into Toronto from here is on the 401 which will take you past the cities of Oshawa and Pickering. If you still have plenty of time to get back to Toronto however, consider staying on Highway 2.
Day 14 - Drop RV back to our Toronto location
Drop your RV back to our Toronto depot before the time shown in your rental contract. If you’re flying back home today our friendly staff would be happy to call you a taxi transfer.
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Alternative My Canada Trips Holidays That May Interest You
Below you will find a small selection of 2023, 2024 My Canada Trips holidays that may interest you. Remember, we tailor-make each holiday to your exact needs, so please call us on 0800 021 7732 and let one of our Canada Holiday experts design the perfect trip for you