See the Best of Ontario

Top travel guide books to explore the province

Many of us have been waiting to travel for months. Before non-essential international travel reopens, exploring Ontario’s hidden gems is a great idea.

These guide books can make your plans for exploring the province much easier. All are available at amazon.ca and Indigo.

Waterfalls of Ontario: Revised and Expanded Featuring Over 125 Waterfalls (Mark Harris, published by Firefly Books in 2018, $30)

Waterfalls of Ontario: Revised and Expanded Featuring Over 125 Waterfalls

(Mark Harris, published by Firefly Books in 2018, $30)

Besides Niagara Falls, Ontario is home to many other wonderous waterfalls. The book introduces a total of 125 destinations in eight areas that the author calls “waterfall regions.” Maps, concise yet informative writing, vivid photographs, and recommended routes are all offered to give readers a complete idea of the trip. Some of the areas include Algoma, Eastern Ontario and Hamilton.

Harris is a water resources professional and his collaborator, photographer George Fischer, has had his work appear in the New York Times, Islands Magazine, and Explore.

110 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places (Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read, published by Firefly Books in 2018, $30)

110 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places

(Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read, published by Firefly Books in 2018, $30)

Mother Nature has blessed Canada with lots of forests and majestic views. As a result, many parks and conservation areas were established across the country and in Ontario in particular, to protect natural heritage sites. This guide covers six regions – Southwestern Ontario, Central Ontario South, Niagara Region, Eastern Ontario, Central Ontario North and Northern Ontario. The last section of the book shows what you can find in your own backyard.

Earley, a biologist at the University of Guelph Arboretum, and Read, a writer and editor in Kingston, focus on describing the natural scenery and regional geographical features. Photographs show readers typical animals and plants, such as the black throated blue warbler in Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve and the blue racer in Pelee Island. The authors also outlined reasons why travelers should visit each location, making the book engaging and practical. For example, travellers should come to LaSalle Park as there are some beautiful winter waterfowl viewing here.

Ontario's Ghost Town Heritage (Ron Brown, published by Boston Mills Press Book in 2021, $25)

Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage

(Ron Brown, published by Boston Mills Press Book in 2021, $25)

Have you ever thought, among the high-rise buildings, industrialization and busy highways of Ontario there would be forgotten towns? For adventurous travelers, there are 80 mysterious places to explore including villages that were once bustling, where now only a few people live or are even abandoned. Besides interesting historical stories, the book includes detailed maps.

Brown has a great love for mysterious subjects. He is the author of several books about Ontario’s lost towns and roadside attractions. He is also a regular contributor to CBC Radio and has many travel articles published in magazines.

Top 160 Unusual Things to See in Ontario (Ron Brown, published by Boston Mills Press Book in 2019, $30)

Top 160 Unusual Things to See in Ontario

(Ron Brown, published by Boston Mills Press Book in 2019, $30)

What makes Ontario more fun in the eyes of a visitor? From natural to man-made wonders, the book opens up strange places in the province. Beyond beaches, bustling industrial cities and crowded shopping malls, it’s exciting to discover odd nooks and crannies.

The previous editions of this book have sold more than 100,000 copies. It includes beautiful color photographs, complete information on key locations near densely populated areas, and detailed directions.

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