Colour fall leaves on the path and in the forest of a hiking trail.

Prince Edward County | Destination Ontario

10 reasons to love the fall season in Ontario, Canada

Colour fall leaves on the path and in the forest of a hiking trail.

Prince Edward County | Destination Ontario

Ontario, Canada has four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. Fall, or autumn as its also called, is a short but spectacular season. It generally runs from early September to the end of October and even the start of November in the more southern areas.

As the temperatures dip, the leaves of deciduous trees like maple, birch, ash, tamarack, oak, sumac, willow and elm undergo pigmentation changes before they fall from the trees. The result is several weeks of fiery red, gold and amber fall foliage.

In addition, autumn weather in Ontario is the perfect balance between summer’s heat and winter’s chill. In September, kids head back to school after their summer holidays, so parks and attractions across the province are less busy.

If you’re thinking of travelling to Canada, consider visiting during the stunning fall season. But don’t wait to book, because the season is short, and you don’t want to miss it.

Here are 10 reasons why you’ll fall in love with autumn in Ontario.

Gorgeous fall colours

Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to see nature’s dramatic show of vibrant fall colours. From downtown parks to forests and epic open spaces, people love to get outdoors and witness the beauty of the season.

Here are some great places to see the fall colours:

  • Urban outdoor spaces and parks like High Park in Toronto or the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa are perfect for admiring the vibrant fall colours in Ontario’s cities.
  • Ontario provincial parks are great to view fall colours. The Ontario Parks Fall Colour Guide is an excellent resource to check when leaves peak colour.
  • If you’re up for a hike, these scenic lookouts provide unique and breathtaking perspectives to see the fall colours, such as atop a granite ridge or from above a fire tower.

Harvest events and farmers’ markets

Ontario’s fall bounty is on full display at farmers’ markets and harvest events.

Don’t miss:

  • The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market, is located about an hour and a half drive west of Toronto in the heart of Southern Ontario’s Mennonite community. Fresh farm produce, local and homemade products including maple syrup, ready-to-eat foods and a vast antique market make this a full-day event.
    Location: 878 Weber Street North, Woolwich
  • Held behind the City Hall in downtown Kingston, the Kingston Public Market is the oldest market in Ontario. Shop for seasonal goodies and locally made artisan crafts.
    Location: 216 Ontario Street, Kingston
  • Muskoka Lakes Winery produces award-winning wines, such as Blueberry Wine and Cranberry Wine. Visit the winery to experience wine tasting and scenic hikes along the cranberry hiking trails. The winery is over a two hour drive north of Toronto.
    Location: 1074 Cranberry Road, Bala
  • Make it a road trip and follow the Cranberry Route and discover over 30 delicious cranberry-inspired products and experiences in the Muskoka region.
    Location: downtown Bala, Muskoka
  • Follow the Apple Pie Trail, a self-guided driving tour of farms, orchards, cideries and charming communities along Georgian Bay. You’ll enjoy apple-inspired culinary delights and experiences.
  • Location: The Blue Mountains

Fun family festivals and events

From pumpkin carving and Halloween events to fall festivals and farm visits, there’s a lot for families to enjoy this season.

If you’re travelling with kids, fun activities include:

  • Halloween is a ghoulishly fun tradition celebrated on October 31 in North America with costume parties, trick-or-treating, haunted attractions and more families or adults can enjoy.
  • Fall is pumpkin season in Ontario. Families flock to local farms’ pumpkin patches to find the perfect pumpkin to carve. And carved pumpkins and pumpkin attractions are popular, including the award-winning Pumpkinferno in Eastern Ontario showcasing thousands of carved and illuminated pumpkins.
    Location: Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village, 13740 Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County Road 2, Morrisburg
  • Mazes are a fun farm attraction. Corn fields are transformed into elaborate mazes that kids love to explore and solve, like the epic mazes at Saunders Farm, just a 45-minute drive south of Ottawa.
    Location: Saunders Farm, 7893 Bleeks Road, Ottawa
  • Another popular pastime during the autumn season is visiting apple orchards to pick fresh and delicious apples and enjoy apple cider, apple pie and farm entertainment. Chudleigh’s Farm and Downey’s Apple Farm are both within an hour drive from Toronto.
    Chudleigh’s Farm, 9528 Regional Road 25, Milton
    Downey’s Apple Farm, 13707 Heart Lake Road, Inglewood

World-class wine

Ontario has gained a global reputation for producing finely crafted cool climate wines, sparkling wines and some of the world’s best Icewine. The temperate weather, fall colour and food-focus of the season pair perfectly with wine tasting. You can even book an overnight stay at select wineries.

If you love wine, check out these top spots:

The Niagara wine region

The Niagara wine region is Canada’s largest and most concentrated winemaking destination. It is also home to top Icewine producers and the finest winery restaurants.

The region extends from the Niagara Benchlands into the picturesque vineyards of the Niagara Peninsula to the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The area is under a two-hour drive from Toronto.

Organized wine tours are a great way to explore the region’s wineries, such as:

Popular Niagara wineries to visit include:

Prince Edward County wine region

One of Canada’s trendiest travel destinations is also one of its fast-growing wine regions.

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, between Toronto and Ottawa (under a three-hour drive from each), Prince Edward County’s rural character and innovative wine and culinary scene makes for a great fall getaway for wine and food lovers.

Plan the perfect day of wine touring and tasting with a guided tour.

Wineries to visit in Prince Edward County include:

Amazing hiking, biking and canoeing

A vast network of urban, rural and wilderness hiking and cycling trails and connected waterways, rivers and lakes create the perfect outdoor playground, made even better with the beautiful backdrop of fall colour.

Find adventure with:

Sightseeing rail, air and water tours

Capture the spectacular colours on a sightseeing plane, boat or train tour.

Great tours include:

Relaxing destination spas

Treat yourself to yoga, meditation, luxurious body treatments and endless pampering at one of Ontario’s top spas and wellness retreats, including:

Top film and theatre

Two of Ontario’s most famous theatre festivals run throughout the fall season and North American’s most significant film festival draws movie makers, celebrities and cinema buffs to Ontario in September.

Attend a critically acclaimed live theatre performance or be the first to see groundbreaking films at:

Great golf

Ontario is home to professionally designed public golf courses with challenging, diverse layouts, superb facilities, scenic surroundings and in some cases, resort accommodations nearby.

Autumn is the perfect time to sink a few hole-in-ones at:

Cozy resorts and cottages

The fall season in Ontario is also about getting warm and cozy with the ones you love.

Experience the finest fall comfort and tranquility at these accommodations:

Last updated: April 2, 2024

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