Spring in Ontario brings the beginning of nature’s wake from its hibernation and becomes alive with activity, much different from the snow-capped fun of Ontario winter activities. With the busy bees and brooks babbling surrounded by bouquets of bolstering buds, the spring season in Canada is a fantastic festival of natural wonders.
From the fun-filled festivals to the humble splendours of a weekend away in the wild, an Ontario spring brings the goods to create remarkable memories.
Wondering how to discover the splendid pearls of springtime fun in the vast sea of Ontario activities? We’ll unearth some of the top excursions in this Canadian season of joy to ensure you have a flourishing time.
When Does Spring In Ontario Start?
With plenty of spring showers and growing greenery to look forward to, this season of new beginnings starts around late March and till late June.
The weather in Ontario can be pretty fickle, which can fluctuate between mild and cold weather throughout the season. The silver lining is that there are plenty of events to get lost in during the season, which will prompt you out of your cozy bed on rainy days to explore.
Note: Take a look at the weather in Ontario, Canada, beforehand, as the ever-changing spring weather pattern might put a damper on your plans if you don’t plan accordingly.
Things to Do in Spring – Ontario Sights & Attractions
Get ready to jump into the springtime stream of possibilities, as Ontario’s best activities and attractions will have you dive into this season swimmingly. Take a look at what you should add to your itinerary to make the most out of this joyful season:
1. Enjoy the Easter Celebration
Easter in Ontario is a festive holiday with themed events, from egg hunts to endless parades of egg-laden events. Whether hunting for a family-fun adventure or just looking for a hopping time, you’re in for a treat.
Make your way to Milton in Southern Ontario to participate in Canada’s largest Easter egg hunt, which has a 23-acre hunting ground to search for these colourful treasures. By teaming up with family or friends, you’ll ensure you’ll have an eggcellent time at this spring event.
After filling your baskets, you can head to various food vendors on the property to celebrate your victories or losses in style.
If you want to get into the Easter spirit, you can travel to Toronto to watch the Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade in full throttle. After a slight absence, this spectacular float-filled event is back and better than ever, with a wide variety of floats to enjoy.
Known as the biggest Easter parade in North America, you’ll be able to delve into the festive spirit along Queen Street. A pinnacle of the community since 1967, you’ll have a blast waving at the various organizations and floats as they walk and ride by.
2. Go to the Various Flower Festivals in Ontario
While embarking on some spring activities in Ontario, one thing is sure — this province knows how to celebrate the unfurling wonders of flowers in the season.
With a stunning selection of flower festivals to choose from, budding botanists and flower enthusiasts will experience the true meaning of flora frenzy. Here are a few blossoming events to dive into during spring:
- Canadian Tulip Festival – An opulent occasion in the Commissioners Park in Ottawa, this event has been a staple of celebrating Canada’s historic liberation from the Netherlands. As the days get brighter and warmer in May, the Canadian Tulip Festival blooms in full glory, with hundreds of thousands of tulips providing a picturesque backdrop of vibrant colours and inviting aromas.
With tulip night shows and fireworks displays, you’re in for an illuminating experience. Painters and photographers flock to the area to immortalize the beauty of this annual marvel.
- Peony Festival – An ode to this pillowy plant, this occurrence in mid-June takes place in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.
- Warkworth Lilac Festival – A celebration with a charming edge, this festival has a stunning array of lilacs to discover and explore for May. This is an excellent opportunity to craft a handmade bouquet for Mother’s Day to ensure you have the perfect gift.
3. Take a Trip to Flowerpot Island
What better way to commemorate the spring flower theme than by travelling to the wondrous nature setting of Flowerpot Island? This idyllic space forms part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park and has abundant hiking trails and camping facilities, perfect for a spring adventure.
The island is named after the unique rock formations peppered on the island that resemble flower pots. You can book a tour boat to this space to access the island when weather conditions are safe.
This island is a must for nature lovers, from snorkelling through the aquamarine waters to watching the sky become bespeckled with stars when you camp. It is also the perfect activity to add to your weekend getaway plans.
4. Dust Off The Canoe/Kayak Snd Head To Algonquin + Arrowhead
Algonquin Provincial Park is a stunning wilderness destination during spring, where you can canoe and kayak on the numerous lakes, hike the rocky ridges and forested trails, and listen to the captivating call of the loon.
The diversity of wildlife, including moose, beavers, bears, wolves, 30 varieties of reptiles, amphibians, and many birds, will blow you away. The Mizzy Lake Trail offers an incredibly excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing.
If you plan to hang out in Huntsville, visit Arrowhead Provincial Park, where you’ll find the highly photographed Big Bend Lookout.
5. Victoria Day & Cottage Country
The Victoria Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, largely because we’ve grown tired of waiting –– but it’s technically still spring!
Some of our favourite places to visit if you’re in Southern Ontario are Muskoka, Prince Edward County, Niagara and everywhere in between. You’re guaranteed a wonderful time with plenty of hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, or doing nothing.
6. Enjoy a Sugar Rush at a Maple Fest
As Mid-February and March bring the sweet sensation of the sugaring season, the sap of maple trees begins to flow once more to produce some sweet treats. As the maple season only lasts a few months, this is a fantastic opportunity to peer into the beautiful world of the maple syrup-making process.
Make your way to the Proulx Farm in Cumberland to dive into the beautiful sugary activities of the Maple Fest. From horse-drawn carriage adventures to the array of maple-infused creations (such as maple syrup pie and taffy).
Tip: Looking to take a slice of the fun home? Be sure to visit the gift shop to purchase the ultimate candied souvenir to commemorate your syrupy adventure.
7. Take Instagram Worthy Pictures Of Cherry Blossoms
As the days get warmer, the first surefire sign of spring is when the cherry blossoms appear all over Ontario, bringing some colour back from the grey winter. Although High Park in Toronto is widely known and the most popular, there are plenty of other places to enjoy their beauty.
Depending on the weather, it typically takes place in mid to late April, but it only lasts about three weeks after the first blossoms.
8. Tee Up On An Ontario Golf Course
Ontario has many excellent golf courses. After a long winter, Spring brings warmer temperatures and longer days. The best time to play golf is during these warm months. If you want to enjoy some fresh air while playing golf, there are several opportunities in Ontario.
- Glen Abbey Golf Club – Located in Oakville and designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, the Glen Abbey Golf Course has hosted the RBC Canadian Open, a PGA Tournament, and Canada’s National Open Championships 28 times. The property is also the home to the Academies, the headquarters of GolfCanada, the Canadian Golf Museum, and the TaylorMadePerformanceLab.
- Forest City National Golf Course – Forest City National offers 18 holes of golf, an extensive driving range, and putting greens for you and your family to enjoy.
- Royal Ottawa Golf Club – The Royal Ottawa is one of the oldest golf clubs outside Britain, founded in the spring of 1891. The first nine-holer was built on 50 acres of land donated to the club by Charles Maguire, a real estate developer, on the banks of Lake Ontario, just west of the former Rideau Rifle Range.
9. Pick Your Own Greenery at a Flower Farm
With flowers crammed in every nook and cranny in Ontario during spring, you can bring the season of thriving flora home with you after a flower-picking excursion. This magical province has an abundance of farms to choose from to obtain the bouquet of your dreams. Here are a few to explore to step up your flower-arranging game:
- Thames River Melons – If you love picking your own apples or picking your own pumpkins, then Thames River Melons is the place for you! Visiting Thames River Farm is an excellent way to experience the unique charm of Woodstock. Here, you can pick your delicious fruits and vegetables with various options.
- Windecker Woods Flower Farm – With a kaleidoscope of colourful flowers, you can snip and clip your way to the springtime flower bunch of your dreams.
- Garden Party Flower Farm – A stunning 2-acre farm in St. Agatha, this picking adventure is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature (and take a piece home with you!).
- Makkink’s Flower Farm – A picturesque space embellished with farm events throughout the year, this flower-picking experience is a must. You can expect to harvest some peonies and dahlias in spring.
10. Try to Find and Capture Some Fireflies
While they might only be humming around in late June (as spring is nearing its end), this glowing encounter is a sparkling spectacle worth searching for. These bright bugs usually ignite in brilliant bunches in Southern Ontario, making it the ultimate opportunity to embark on a camping expedition with a shining twist.
You can try your luck at Algonquin Provincial Park, embellished with beautiful natural scenery like forests and lakes. If you didn’t find fireflies on your camping trip, you could enjoy abundant adrenaline-fuelled activities on the premises. You’re in for an adventure of a lifetime, from canoeing to various backpacking trails.
11. Early Spring Bird Watching
Head to Ontario’s Southwestern parks this spring, get your binoculars out and be on the lookout for raptors, swans, hummingbirds, majestic birds of prey, and many songbirds.
There’s no better time than now to join birders alike at Point Pelee National Park in early May to take part in the Festival of Birds. As if the 390+ species of birds weren’t enough, you may also have the opportunity to hike wildflower trails, cycle the Centennial Trail, and spot Canada’s largest butterfly- the Giant Swallowtail, known for its residence in Pelee.
12. Taste Test Ontario Wine
Many great wines are made in Ontario, and we’re very thankful for them!
Ontario has thousands of vineyards spread across thousands of acres, making this province the largest producer of wine in Canada. Niagara, Prince Edward County and Essex-Peele-Island County are well-known classics. Still, Norfolk County, Lennox & Addington County (The County’s Southern part is already part of Prince Edward County’s Wine Region), Georgian Bay, and others produce some fantastic reds & whites.
13. Or Taste Test Ontario Beer
Ontario has no shortage of great breweries; we’re also very thankful for them. These days every city and town has a brewery making delicious craft beers. You’ll have to wait till Fall for Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, the best Beer Party in the province! However, we’ve stumbled upon several faves while road-tripping, and we tend to consider spring an excuse to explore more!
- MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company – MacKinnon Brothers are located on a 200-year-old family farm, in Bath, Ontario and through the generations, it thrived as a farm. The brother decided to add a farm-based brewery by renovating the old barns and planting hops and malting barley in the surrounding fields.
- Elora Brewing Company – The Elora Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery, pub, bottle shop, and music venue brewing hundreds of beers, making it the city’s top late-night hot spot. With the gorgeous Elora Gorge in their backyard, popping in for lunch or dinner with a delicious beverage is a must.
- Baked By Bees – One place you don’t want to miss is Baked By Bees out in Burlington. Here you’re going to get to sample some delicious mead-fermented beverages.
- Kingston Brewing Company – The building is an 1800s-era brick and stone, built initially as a telegraph office. You’ll find an extensive collection of beer memorabilities that will keep your eyes busy for hours and inspire lots of conversation. Kingston Brewing Co. is Ontario’s oldest brewpub, established in 1986, and offers beers, ciders, and sodas made on the premises. It’s a must on your next trip out east to Kingston.
14. Grab The Freshest Produce At An Ontario Farmers Market
The best way to learn about a county or region in Ontario or around the world, for that matter, is to visit a local Farmers Market. Here you will find produce, products and even services unique to a particular part of Ontario. Enjoying the freshest fruits, veggies, meats and fish or top-quality handmade goods is a great way to support the local economy.
One of the most impressive Farmer’s Markets we’ve visited during our travels is St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market in the Waterloo Region.
15. Spring Into Romance At 1000 Islands
Explore the archipelago by boat and travel through the narrow channels of the St Lawrence River to discover the hidden gems of the over 1800 islands. A day cruise lets you enjoy the sights of secluded beaches, quaint family cottages, and luxurious homes on Millionaires’ Row.
If romance is in the air, stop at Boldt Castle to learn the heartbreaking story of George C. Boldt and his wife. After she died before the castle was finalized, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority completed the task and opened the grounds for exploration.
Important note: Be sure to pack your passport as the castle is on the American side of St. Lawrence.
16. Get The Vehicle Ready For An Ontario Road Trip
We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest getting an early start on some fantastic Ontario road trips.
No matter the time of year, road trips are a great idea, but they tend to slow down during winter. Though the weather isn’t always ideal, you won’t have as many crowds as in the summer. Start with some day trips, then move to weekend getaways and multi-day road trips.
Please Note: Ensure that attractions and facilities are open since they are more likely to be available during summer.
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Top Tips for an Opulent Ontario Spring Experience
From ruining your shoes in mud puddles to getting caught in a sudden flash rain session, the unpredictable weather an Ontario spring is known for can be tricky to navigate. Take a look at some top tips to keep your wits about you during this season:
- Always take a light jacket on your day trips – While the weather report might call for a rain-free day, you should always carry something warm and waterproof just in case.
- Keep an eye on road conditions – In some parts of Ontario, snow and icy conditions persist. If you’re on the road, drive carefully to avoid accidents.
- Be aware of ticks in long grassed areas – While strolling along a meadow in spring is a romantic idea, you’ll need to check your body for ticks afterwards to ensure you didn’t capture an unwanted visitor.
- Check to see what produce is in season – With spring comes an abundance of in-season Ontario fruit and vegetables. After the cold winter months, you can add some colour to your salad, from greenhouse strawberries to red onions.
- Invest in a good pair of walking shoes – Blisters and frosty toes are so last season. As spring calls for frolicking around in nature’s finest settings, this is the perfect time to purchase a good pair of water-resistant walking shoes to take on these trails comfortably.
Springtime in Canada’s Ontario
While it might be a rainy season, you’ll have a few silver linings in the form of blissful and adrenaline-fuelled adventures. From enjoying the sensory pleasures of flower picking to swaying your hips to the beat at Easter parades, you’ll feel springtime bliss in your body.