Category Archives: Blog

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The 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback is now at Northwest Toyota

This is the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback, now at Northwest Toyota, and it may be the most Corolla-y Corolla of all time.

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The Corolla hatchback has been putting the fun in functional for decades now, and the latest iteration may be the best yet. This vibrant blue Corolla SE is lighting up our showroom right now. In fact we already featured it as our Car of the Week, but are so excited about the newest hot hatch from Toyota that we simply had to blog about it too.

Stylistically, the 2019 Corolla hatch is unpretentious but sharp, wearing its fifth door like a badge of pride where some hatchbacks try to camouflage it.

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This is the first compact hatch to have Toyota New Global Architecture at its foundation, and it’s 60 percent more rigid than the last offering. Engine wise, it’s got a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder that puts out 168 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. That’s paired with one of two brand new transmissions. There’s the automatic, Direct Shift CVT with sport mode and available paddle shifters. Or there’s the six speed intelligent manual transmission, which is made smoother by its downshift rev-matching control. Drivetrain, meanwhile, is pure front-wheel-drive, just like a good hatchback should be.

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_MG_6456 _MG_6455The interior is minimalist with a premium feel and a focus on safety. How very Corolla, right? This SE model includes a heated steering wheel, 18” allow wheels, Qi wireless charging system and Blind Spot Monitor safety system on top of the standard list of Apple CarPlay, Scout GPS Link, 8” Display Audio system with USB input and voice recognition, automatic A/C, push button start and more.

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The 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback is certainly Corolla-y, but is it the most Corolla-y of all time? Come down to Northwest Toyota to find out for yourself.

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The 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro makes off-roading look easy

The 4Runner has been one of Toyota’s most enduring nameplates. Since 1984, the tough little SUV has been used by outdoor lovers and workers as a simple-and-effective mean of getting where you needed to be, wherever that may be.

For 2019, a new variant has been launched; drawing from Toyota’s significant experience off the beaten paths, the TRD Pro aims to be the toughest and most capable 4Runner yet.

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So what makes the 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro so capable? It all starts with what makes the 4Runner itself unique. First of all, it’s one of the last body-on-frame SUVs out there, which is the ideal layout for off-roading. (Just ask any of the serious off-roaders who still ride in their old Hilux, FJ Cruiser or Jeep). The 4-link live axle rear suspension is also loved for its ruggedness AND its comfort on the road. Who said you need to sacrifice one to get the other? Not Toyota.

The TRD Pro is outfitted to go where other SUVs wouldn’t dare to tread. Its TRD shocks (designed in partnership with FOX) will bounce over hard ruts, while its off-road, multi-terrain ABS system ensures you’ll be able to avoid whatever Mother Nature puts on the road. Crawl Control makes crossing hard obstacles a breeze, while the 31.5-inches off-road tires will provide grip regardless of what’s underneath them. To protect the engine and cooling equipment, a TRD stamped aluminum skid plate comes standard.

 

It’s easy to recognize a TRD Pro among other 4Runners. From the front, it sports an old-school Toyota badging in a classic font, and there’s also a unique hood scoop and a roof rack. The 17-inch matte black wheels are also a dead giveaway, as are the black TRD badging all over the truck. Inside, the black leather seat with red letters is among the first things you’ll spot when you open the front doors.

When choosing the ultimate off-road SUV Toyota, you’ll only have one choice to make: do you want your 2019 4Runner TRD Pro in Voodoo Blue, Super White or Midnight Black?

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Toyota is hard at work developing fuel cell tech. Here’s what you need to know

Nobody can accuse Toyota of putting all their eggs in the same basket. Despite being the uncontested leader in hybrid vehicle tech, the manufacturer has also been heavily invested in another kind of green developments. With the recent arrival of the Mirai, Toyota proved that fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) were a viable alternative to fossil fuel.

Having been working on FCVs since the 90s, Toyota was confident that the Mirai would work well; now, with an ever-growing refueling network, they are ready for the next chapter in the democratization of this technology.

First, let’s take a few lines to explain exactly how fuel cell vehicles work and why Toyota thinks they are worth the investment.

Instead of using gasoline, FCVs use hydrogen to power themselves. Being the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen is very easy to find. So how do they convert this element into motion? Basically by extracting electricity out of the molecules. We could spend most of this text talking about the complicated science of the whole process, but we’ll instead simplify it: FCV basically work just like electric vehicles, but the battery is replaced by a hydrogen fuel cell. Once the electricity has been extracted, what’s left is simply dumped on the ground. But here’s the amazing thing: the only byproduct of this chemical reaction is H2O, more commonly known as water!

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Having proven that the technology is sound and viable, Toyota is now working on bringing fuel-cell vehicles to the masses. To do this, the Japanese giant has a plan that draws from its vast experience building cars. Before 2025, a full range of FCVs will be developed. And according to some sources, a range of SUVs, trucks and commercial vehicles will also be developed. By using chassis, body panels and interior component from gasoline-powered cars, Toyota hopes to bring building costs down.

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Right now, the Mirai is hand-built by technicians in Japan. The process is long, and only five cars get out of the assembly plant each day. When you consider that Toyota builds 13,400 vehicles daily, it’s easy to see how FCVs would benefit from being built in series.

Eventually, performance will improve even further and by 2025, the Mirai is expected to be able to go 1,000 km on a full tank, doubling the 500 km range available right now.

Watch for the Toyota Mirai available at Northwest Toyota and on roads in Ontario later this year.

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How to get your car ready for back-to-school season

What’s that I hear? A bell ringing? This time of year forces many of us back into a routine—for some it’s welcome and others not so much. Regardless of how you feel about the sound of the looming toll of the bell, it’s time to prepare yourself, gathers supplies and soak in the summer moments. And while you’re getting your life ready for the classes and the commute, don’t forget your car.

Whether you’re dropping your kids off for their fist day of school or you’re heading off to your college dorm, here are seven things you can do to get your car back-to-school ready.

Find the perfect filter

We’re not talking about photo filters – although there is no harm in doing that too. Check the owner’s manual and see if your air filters need to be replaced, or consult a professional. And for the most part, if you can’t remember the last time it was changed, it’s probably time.

Don’t let the pressure get to you

Or rather make sure you check your tire pressure. Get out that good ‘ol trusty tire pressure gauge (it’s in the glovebox, remember?) and make sure they’re ready to go. Check the tires when they’re “cold” (AKA before you have driven or at least three hours after you’ve driven) for an accurate read. When properly inflated, your tires will last longer and help improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency as well.

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Show up in style

Now that the interior of your car is squeaky clean, it’s time to give the outside of your car some love too. Our array of Toyota Touch cleaning and detailing services will have your ride looking its best when you drop the brood off. Or you can DIY in the driveway or at a car wash.

 

Shed some light on the situation

Now this may seem like an obvious one but, check your lights! Now that summer is over, and fall is in full swing the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Make sure you’re prepared for the next ten months of school and extracurricular activities by getting those lights working at full capacity. You can request a quote on your Toyota’s headlight here.

Craft your ultimate car survival kit

You never know when you’re going to need a wet wipe, a tissue, a band aid or even a snack. Stock up on those glovebox essentials. While you’re out and about shopping for back-to-school supplies, grab some items for your own custom car survival kit.

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Vacuum deep, deep in the seats

Summer means long road trips, frequent trips to the pool and more outings in general. While all of these things are super exciting, they tend to mean that you’re spending more time at the beach than you are cleaning your car. Which, to be honest, is way more fun. Back to school season is a great time to reset, refresh and pressure wash the apple sauce off the rubber mats. However, if you’re too busy shopping for that Instagram-worthy picture day outfit, schedule a Toyota Touch appointment with a Deluxe, Premium or Ultimate detailing service at here at Northwest Toyota. Let us take care of the persistent piles of sand and ice cream stains once and for all. We’ve got some great service specials at the moment.

Keep calm and survive the commute

Commuting to and from the school during rush hour can take what feels like forever. Between the early mornings, long days, other drivers constantly hitting their breaks for no apparent reason and your kids going crazy in the backseat, it can be a lot. To avoid pulling out your own hair, make sure you stock up on DVDs for the rear-seat entertainment system. Throwing on a film to keep the kids quiet on those already hectic mornings, will make life just that much easier.

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Which Toyotas are made in Canada?

Throughout Canada, there is a movement toward buying Canadian-made goods and services. This isn’t a political blog by any stretch of the imagination, but let us just say that we get it. So, if you’re in the process of trading in your old car for a new Toyota, you may want to know where our most popular models are built.


If you’re looking to keep your money within Canada, you’ll be happy to know that two of our most popular models, the Corolla and the RAV4, are built right here in The Great White North.

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) is comprised of three separate facilities. The biggest of them is located in Cambridge, Ontario and builds both the Corolla and the Lexus RX crossover in the North and South Cambridge Plants. In fact, it is the second-largest Toyota assembly plant in North America, right after the Georgetown, Kentucky facilities.

The Cambridge plant was also Toyota’s first manufacturing installation in Canada, having originally opened in 1988 and continuing to operate strongly today. If you own an older Toyota Solara or a Matrix, there is a strong chance your car comes from there, as well!

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In 2008, the Woodstock plant was opened to increase North-American production for the ever-popular RAV4. Each year, more than 200,000 RAV4s roll out of these facilities, before being shipped throughout North America.

Overall, the three facilities of TMMC have the ability to build up to half-a-million vehicles each year. The three plants employ more than 8,000 peoples and are a testament to Toyota’s commitment to building quality products right here in Canada.

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6 ways to increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency

The rise in fuel prices has drivers trying all sorts of things to save fuel economy. Some of them work… and some of them don’t. Here are a few tips and tricks that’ll actually save you cash at the pump.

1: Check the tire pressure

A regular inspection of your vehicle’s various components is key to maximize the range of each drop of fuel. Start with the pressure of your tire. An under-inflated tire will increase rolling resistance significantly; with a drop of only 8 pounds of pressure in your tires, fuel economy might also drop by as much as 5 percent.

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2: Have the engine checked

An optimally performing engine is a fuel efficient engine. Back in the day, mechanics would “read” the spark plugs and adjust carburetors to optimize fuel delivery and replace what they believed needed replacing. Today, modern computers and fuel injection have eliminated the guesswork from the procedure, but it hasn’t removed the need for a regular tune-up. Technicians will analyze the various readings of the car’s sensors and perform a checkup of all components, changing things like filters and belts.

3: Turn off the air conditioning

The air conditioning of your vehicle is a source of drag to the engine, which means it will increase fuel consumption when it is used. The solution is simple: turn it off when you don’t need it. If the weather is fair, just roll down the windows and enjoy the fresh air. In the middle of a summer like this, however, don’t go crazy… saving a few litres of fuel isn’t worth a heat stroke.

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4: A regular check-up of the whole vehicle

While a choked engine is obviously bad for your fuel economy, it isn’t the only part of your vehicle that can affect fuel consumption. Things like bent wheels, worn axles bearings or shocks, and broken springs can all increase the drag on your engine, which will make your engine struggle and drink more fuel. And as an added bonus, you will make your vehicle safer to drive.

5: Choose the right tire

Those big, knobby tires on your SUV look awesome and aggressive, no doubt, but they almost certainly also increase your fuel consumption because they are harder to turn. Make sure you’re using tires with highway-efficient tread if fuel economy is your goal.

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6: Pack only the essentials

Open your trunk and take a long, hard look at everything that’s in it. If you see anything that you don’t need on your daily commute—other than safety gear, obviously—leave it at home. Dead weight will obviously increase your fuel consumption. Same goes for the roof rack: that aerodynamic drag makes your car drink more than it needs to.

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How to maximize fuel economy (and save money!) in a hybrid

It’s no secret that the Toyota Prius is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. Without any special driving techniques at all, Prius drivers can manage fuel economy ratings that make regular car owners jealous. However, with a few changes in the way you drive, operate and maintain your hybrid you can achieve economy numbers that would make even a Vespa rider green with envy.

Here are some tips and tricks to squeeze every last kilometer out of your Prius’ battery and fuel tank:

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1: Slow down

While the highway is the second-fastest way to reach your destination (the first would be the straight line, but the Prius isn’t designed for heavy off-roading), it isn’t the most fuel-efficient route. Sticking to routes with a lower speed limit will ensure your car runs on electric power for as long as possible. When you drive under 72 km/h and you remove your foot from the accelerator, the gasoline engine turns off. After that, simply depress the accelerator lightly enough to maintain your speed. 

Of course, don’t drive TOO slow… nobody likes a traffic blocker.

2: Ensure your Prius is in top condition

This particular advice is actually good for every car, but it works for the Prius, too: by ensuring your oil is changed at regular intervals, your air filter is free of dirt and your tire pressure is within the manufacturer’s parameters (which can be found in your Owner’s Manual), you’ll ensure your Prius performs as well as it possibly can. And bringing your vehicle for a more thorough service when it gets older will also ensure it remains as economical as possible. Maintenance items like injector cleanup, spark plugs change and wheel alignment will not only make your Prius more efficient, it will also prolong its life.

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3: For longer trips use the cruise control and stay under 90 km/h

Sure, you might not get to your destination as fast, but you’ll save fuel. Tests have proven that if you drive over 90 km/h, you lose one mile to the gallon per mile an hour of additional speed.

4: Master the Regenerative Braking and Gliding

Prius have many unique technologies that help them save on fuel. Regenerative Breaking works by simply taking your foot off the accelerator in Hill Mode. This will make the car slow down AND recharge its battery. As for Gliding, it is a technique used by seasoned Prius veterans: drive up to around 64 km/h, and then let your foot off the accelerator. After that, you simply want to slowly shave speed off until you reach 48 km/h. Here’s a quick Wikki guide to the Glide.

With these simple steps, you will save on fuel and maximize your Prius’ potential!

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How a man got a barely used vintage Toyota for $500

Images via Imgur/The mr. dos

If you scour the internet long enough, you’re bound to find some story about how somebody answered a cryptic ad in the newspaper that read “Old Car. Hasn’t Moved In A While. Come Tow It Away” and got there only to find a low-mileage 1967 Shelby Mustang with a thick layer of dust on it. Stories like this are still getting told to this day, and they usually feature American Iron from the sixties/seventies.

This is what makes this story so interesting: when Nick Dawson noticed a white 1993 Toyota MR2 abandoned outside of his workplace (a car repair shop), he got curious. So, he did what any nosy car guy would do and started peeking through the windows of the rare Toyota and tried to learn more about it.

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Turns out the little MR2 Turbo had been towed to the shop back in 1999. It then sat there for nearly two decades, with only 1,461 miles on the odometer. He documented his experience on Reddit.

So why did nobody come forth to claim it all this time? Well, turns out it was stolen from a dealership back in 1993 and simply vanished. So, when Dawson made some inquiries about the vehicle, it raised some alarms. Police officers turned up at the shop. When they could prove that the business didn’t actually steal the MR2 themselves (thanks to a work order that was drawn up in 1999), they took the car as evidence.

The original owner saw their long-lost MR2 and wanted nothing to do with the car since it needed too much work. This gave Dawson the opportunity to get the little white mid-engined beauty for the low, low sum of $500.

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As for the future, Dawson doesn’t plan on driving the car too much. Instead, he plans to bring the MR2 back to showroom condition.

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AEEqKVuIf this story teaches us anything, it’s that sometimes it pays to be a nosy neighbour.

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The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Glorious Return of the Hatch!

During the last New York Auto Show, Toyota surprised everyone by reviving a model that some thought had gone the way of the dodo (or the FJ Cruiser), the Corolla Hatchback.

There are many reasons why the announcement that an all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback was coming back to the Canadian market is a great thing. Here are three reasons you should be pumped to drive it.

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 1: Hatchbacks are a Canadian favourite

While our Southern neighbours have been fawning over everything that looks like an SUV, we Canadians still enjoy our small and sensible hatchbacks. Their size makes them really great to maneuver around town, but they are big enough to tackle the open road with lots of luggage in the back. Their smaller stature also means smaller engines, which equates to greater fuel economy. And who doesn’t like saving a few bucks?

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback will offer up to around 1,176 litres of interior space and fold-flat rear seats to maximize it.

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2: All-new powertrain

Toyota is usually fairly conservative when it comes to their drivetrains. Even on new cars, you often see a proven engine and transmission combo, with only minor changes compared to the previous year’s model. This is one of the many reasons Toyota vehicles are renowned for their reliability.

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback, however, needed a change. Under the hood sits a completely new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Filled to the brim with modern technologies like direct injection and variable valve timing and lift, this little engine is ready to tackle both the city and the open road. And, in a decision that surprised analysts and made enthusiasts cheer, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback will be available with an all-new six-speed manual transmission.

Sure, you can also order it with an automatic CVT transmission that simulates 10 forward gears, but we urge you to consider this stick-operated wonder of modern technology. With features like an automatic rev-matching (enabling smoother downshift) and lighter throws, you will rediscover what it means to drive a fun car every day.

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3: New look

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback is targeted at young buyers, so simply adding a larger cargo area to the existing Corolla wouldn’t do. This is why the newcomer looks and feels different when compared to its sedan brother. First of all, the Corolla Hatchback sits on a completely new platform, the Toyota New Global Architecture (or TNGA for short), which it shares with the European Toyota Auris. This is why the hatchback looks unique: it has a lower and more aerodynamic front end, a more squared back and is both larger and lower than the iM it will replace. The car appears dynamic and thanks to available low-profile wheels and a ground-effect body kit it will stand out in the parking lot… especially when painted in that gorgeous Blue that is shown in these press pictures!

We’re excited to welcome the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback at Northwest Toyota. Contact us to learn more about arrival dates or to pre-book a test drive.

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The best camping spots near Toronto

It’s finally, finally time! The ground is thawed (mostly) and people are itching to get out of the house and into the great outdoors.

With May Long weekend just around the corner (kind of a big deal in Ontario), many will be planning to escape the city for a few days. In the interest of not having to use two days just for travel, here’s a list of some of the best camping spots near Toronto.

Load up the Toyota with all the toys and kids and get outside already!

Victoria Park Campground in Cobourg

Only about an hour and a half from Toronto (throw a family friendly camping movie on in the Sienna like The Great Outdoors and sit back and enjoy the almost silent ride), Cobourg is a gem, and its campground has one of the best locations ever. Cobourg’s biggest attraction is its massive sandy beach, and Victoria Park Campground is sandwiched right between Victoria Park and Cobourg Beach. With the forest to your right, the beach on your left, and downtown Cobourg just a couple blocks away, everything’s at your fingertips. Cobourg’s great for families, and even has a ramp making the beach accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. In the evenings, there are also lots of artsy things to do in town, like checking out the concert hall, theatre, or art gallery. It doesn’t get any more convenient than Cobourg.

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Tobermory

There a several campsites to choose from in Tobermory, some where you can stay in a small cabin. Located at the top of Bruce Peninsula roughly four hours from Toronto, this harbour village is a sight to behold. A boat ride away from the mainland is Flowerpot Island, so named for the rock formations topped with greenery that have been worn by the waves to resemble – you guessed it – flowerpots. Flowerpot Island actually has its own campground, too. The other major attractions are the grotto caves carved out of Bruce Peninsula National Park, which are absolutely stunning. Thirdly, Tobermory is the scuba diving capital of Canada, with no less than 25 shipwrecks to explore. Do you really need more convincing? Get going!

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Awenda Park in Tiny

This township is Tiny. Both in name, and size. For a taste of small town living head north for two hours and settle in this little oasis by Georgian Bay. The whole area is covered with hiking trials including a beach path. The beach itself is beautiful and serene, not to mention very photogenic, with picturesque rocky sections as well as the expansive sandy sections. And the campsites in Awenda Park are well protected by trees, and around 3km from the waterfront. There’s also a lake within the park, where you can rent canoes and paddle around.

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Algonquin Park

There’s no way Algonquin wasn’t going to make it on this list. Algonquin’s has drive-up campgrounds as well as backcountry ones for the more adventurous, and the drive to get there is a beautiful site in itself. The park is massive, with more lakes than Swiss cheese has holes. The best way to really get to explore the depths of the park is by hiking the trails or canoeing the waterways. There’s great trout fishing, and Algonquin is probably the best spot on the list to potentially see some wildlife, including moose. Hiking up to a lookout over Barron Canyon is definitely a must-see, and it’s all around three hours from the city. Bring your binoculars. 

Killbear Provincial Park in Carling

Carling is located a little west of Algonquin, on the east side of Georgian Bay. Killbear Provincial Park has plenty of sandy beaches to lounge on, but the real attraction is the rugged, rocky shoreline, that’s just as fun to traverse (or jump off of, if that’s your thing) as it is to look at. There’s a 6km trail for hiking or biking, and the lake is a popular spot for sailing and windsurfing. The sunsets over Georgian Bay are gorgeous, and here, with the rocky shoreline and smattering of trees growing between the rocks, it’s even more gorgeous. There are also tons of little islands to explore by kayak or canoe.

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Bon Echo Provincial Park north of Cloyne

Bon Echo Provincial Park is like its own world, but Cloyne is only a short drive away in case you need anything the forest can’t provide. The park contains breathtaking aboriginal pictographs found on Mazinaw Rock, a 100 metre tall cliff over Mazinaw Lake. You can climb the hiking trails to use the cliff as a look out, or view it from the water to check out the over 260 native pictographs. Or better yet, do both. If you’d also like to explore the vertical side, The Alpine Club of Canada hosts rock climbing ventures up the rock face. Deeper into the park there are tons of beautiful smaller lakes to explore as well, with all variety of camping spots to suit your needs.

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McRae Point Provincial Park near Orillia

Jutting out into the north side of Lake Simcoe, this camp site is less than two hours from Toronto. If you’ve got some sizable water toys of your own, the proximity of this site and the fact that they have pull-through sites and multiple boat launches makes McRae Point super convenient. There’s a short nature trail with boardwalks, just 1.2 km, which is perfect for taking little ones with you. It also happens to be a great place for the avid birdwatcher, with over 79 different species known to frequent the area.

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Sandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County

Sandbanks, while not a particularly creative name, is an accurate descriptor for the attraction of this park: its long sandy beaches. The swimming is top notch, and Lake Ontario is ideal for canoeing and kayaking. A little further along the Lake Ontario coast from Cobourg, Sandbanks is a great base to explore Prince Edward County by bike, or by walking the hiking trails through the wetlands and over the dunes. For families, there are natural heritage programs lead by the park staff throughout the summer.

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Pinery Provincial Park in Grand Bend

The west side of Ontario’s tail doesn’t get a whole lot of love when it comes to its nature, but it should. A little less than three hours from the city, Piney is located at the bottom of Lake Huron. The park has a sizeable coastline, and, running almost parallel to it, the Old Ausable Channel further into the park, which is an awesome and easy place to paddle down. Pinery’s also has a bunch of hiking trails for every ability and a 14 km trail for cycling. The park staff provides educational programs for the youngsters, and even Wilderness Skills Workshops geared towards adults. Plus, they have fully furnished yurts for a more luxurious stay.

Sauble Falls Provincial Park in Sauble Falls

Also with a perfectly descriptive name, Sauble Falls’ main attraction are the step-like falls in the Sauble River. Sauble Falls sits at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, around three hours’ drive from TO. The river is amazing to swim in itself, but if you want a little more relaxation, there’s a beach where it meets Lake Huron. The park itself is on the small side, but you’ll be spending all your time hanging out in the river anyway. The river has some quality fishing, and is a great spot to watch the salmon runs in spring and fall.

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Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Kawartha is for the experienced camper, as each of the 100 camp sites in the park are backcountry, and are only accessible by canoe, and some require a little old school portaging. Kawartha is south of Algonquin, two and half to three hours from Toronto, and a newer park comparatively. If you want to really rough it in the best way without encountering too many other people, this is the place to test your mettle and go back to basics. Kawartha is home to numerous, mostly connected lakes, and can be a drop dead beautiful voyage, so long as you’re properly prepared.

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