Expats · Toronto

Escaping the city to Ontario’s spring wonderland

Weekend getaway to Muskoka and Algonquin

I had the realisation this morning that I’ve only spent a measly 5 (!) days out in the countryside since moving to Toronto just over a year ago.

By countryside, I’m talking no large tower-blocks or glass robed condos for as far as the eye can see. Somewhere you can only hear birds singing and the wind rustling trees. Specifically, absolutely no screeching car horns or the constant drill of construction.

5 days. It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning in a sea of concrete and desperately craving getting away from the general bustle of the city.

If you’re new to my blog, you should know I’m really not a ‘big city person’. Toronto was a bit of a shock to the system – something I wrote about extensively when I first arrived.

All things considered, our ‘escape to the country’ style Easter weekend felt (literally) like a breath of fresh-air.

We stayed in the most wonderful, picturesque cottage in the middle of nowhere – just outside of the Muskoka region.

 

cottage Muskoka
Cottage by the lake

We’ve been away on a fair few trips since moving to Canada, but they have generally involved visiting other big cities such as New York and Ottawa, or tourist hotspots like Niagara Falls. This weekend it was amazing to be able to get away from all of that. I finally feel like I’ve seen the rural side of Canada – the lakes, wildlife, and miles of open road I was so keen to see when I first found out we were moving here.

lakeside views
View of Otter Lake from our balcony

The Air BnB we stayed in was absolutely perfect. Right on ‘Otter Lake’. Private. And the hosts made us homemade banana bread to enjoy.

Friday, as the weather was so nice, we decided to make the hour and a half drive to Algonquin Provincial Park. Somewhere that’s been on our list of must dos for a while…

There was still snow on the ground, and walking along the trails we felt like we were in a real-life Narnia.

Algonquin 3
Algonquin Provincial Park in April

Algonquin 2

Algonquin 1

The highlight for me was spotting a moose just off the main road that runs through Algonquin.

 

moose algonquin
Moose spotted at Algonquin Park in April

 

Unfortunately, Saturday we weren’t quite so lucky with the weather. It was pouring with rain. Determined to still see some of Muskoka, we made a stop at SugarBush Hill Maple Syrup Farm.

Sugarbush hill farm
Sugarbush Hill Maple syrup farm, Muskoka

Although there were no tours running over Easter, we still were lucky to hear a little bit about how the syrup goes from Maple Tree to shelf and had the chance to try some samples.

We stopped for a hearty pub lunch in the town of Huntsville before making a rainy journey back to Toronto.

Overall, I can safely say Easter weekend was one of my favourite Canadian adventures yet. I hope to re-visit both Muskoka and Algonquin before we head back to the UK at Christmas time.

 

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