Jim Byers photo Pull up a Muskoka chair at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and watch the boats go by in the channel. KILLARNEY, ONTARIO – Low-key, country charm and a dash of city glam. Folks heading to fabulous Killarney, Ontario are lucky to have several places to stay. I tested out two outstanding – and very different – properties during my visit. Killarney Mountain Lodge is a low-rise, old-fashioned kind of country spot with a big, screened-in porch, a central unit with several rooms and a series of small, wooden cottages spread over acres of grass and lovingly tended, colourful […]

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Jim Byers photo Stunning George Lake is an easily accessible lake in Killarney Provincial Park, with campgrounds and nice beaches just off the main road. KILLARNEY PROVINCIAL PARK – Some of the best hiking in Canada. Incredible kayaking and canoeing in pristine lakes surrounded by white quartz mountains and pale red rock. And brilliant sunsets over glorious Georgian Bay. There’s no place like this in Ontario. There’s probably no place like it anywhere in the world, for that matter. I had the good fortune to spend a few summer days in the town of Killarney and in the park, about […]

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Jim Byers photo A boat leaving the pretty harbour in Port Dover. It’s a fabulous town that’s only 90 minutes from Toronto. ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE OF ONTARIO – A kayak ride on what’s called the Canadian Amazon. A great story about one of Hollywood’s top actresses. And more fantastic food and wine. My final 24 hours driving the Lake Erie shoreline couldn’t have been any better. From top to bottom, it was extraordinary; with new sights and constant surprises that leave me very much wanting to go back. I started the final stretch of my road trip with […]

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Canadians are far more willing to unplug on holidays than most folks in the world. We’re also less likely to exaggerate our vacation experiences than residents of other countries. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Canadians place deodorant ninth on their list of things they find most important to pack, behind their passport, travel insurance and even a razor. Then again, this is the country that brought the phrase “playoff beard” into the global lexicon, so the latter may not be surprising. In a wonderful study issued today by hotels.com , it was found that folks from […]

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PORT STANLEY, ONTARIO – Call it a tale of two cities. Or maybe three. On the one hand, Port Stanley is your quintessential southern Ontario town. There are old-time B and B’s with giant porches and carpets of stunning flowers and quaint shops selling outdoor gear and fashionable women’s shoes and a cute coffee shop. There’s also a busy port, one of many lovely inlets on the north shore of Lake Erie, where brilliant white boats bob in dark waters surrounded by deep green hills. But there’s also a wild beach scene, with warm, gentle waters and endless sand and […]

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ALONG THE LAKE ERIE SHORELINE – The luscious scent of lavender. A zippy Chardonnay. A tranquil boardwalk. And a ridiculously good hamburger served on a perfect patio. I’ve been to Windsor many times, but my recent summer trip along part of the Lake Erie shore through the Windsor-Essex-Point Pelee area was my first exposure to the region’s natural wonders and to some of its towns. And I came away hugely impressed. The folks at Oxley Estate Winery in Harrow make an outstanding unoaked Chardonnay that’s crisp and not too sweet. It paired nicely with a quesadilla tucked with cheddar, jack […]

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JIM BYERS PHOTO The Lake Erie shore near Point Pelee is a peaceful oasis. ALONG ONTARIO’S LAKE ERIE SHORELINE – Great food. Wonderful people. Terrific wines. And great outdoor experiences. I really had no idea what I was in for when I told the tourism folks at Ontario’s Southwest that I wanted to do a trip along the Lake Erie shoreline. Truth be told, I’ve lived in Toronto for 33 years but had never seen the shore of this Great Lake except from an airplane. I know. I know. That’s terrible. But I think I’m like a lot of Toronto folks who […]

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