As a growing city, Orillia has much to offer in the way of stunning countryside vistas and vibrant arts and culture. While we’ve previously explored Orillia’s stunning features and how The Sunshine City is the gateway to cottage country, sometimes the lights of bigger cities beckon. Whether you’re working in a nearby city or planning a weekend visit, tour Orillia’s urban neighbours and discover what’s beyond the countryside. From O to T.O., let’s take a drive down south:
If you’re commuting to the nearest city outside Orillia for work, take Highway 11 south to downtown Barrie and stay a while for the good stuff. This rapidly growing municipality features a beautiful historic downtown with specialty boutiques like The Artisan Boutique for art and home goods and J’adore for all your delicious cheese and sweet treat fantasies. Visit some of downtown Barrie’s illuminating restaurants and pubs and live the life of a raucous night owl on Dunlop Street on your evenings out. Be it weeknight or weekend, enjoy a pint of IPA at the local Flying Monkey’s Craft Brewery, bask on the shores of Barrie’s spectacular waterfront or attend one of the city’s unique festivals (Kempenfest anyone?). As Orillia’s metropolitan neighbour, it’s never been easier to live both the country and city life.
Eat: Pie Wood Fired Pizza Joint | Grilled Cheese Social Eatery | Michael & Marion’s
Drink: Donaleigh’s Irish Public House | Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Co.
Explore: Mavrick’s Music Hall | MacLaren Art Centre
Formerly known as the City Above Toronto, Vaughan is comprised of multiple districts full of exciting entertainment, unique shops, gourmet restaurants and more. Its suburban landscape is punctuated by attractions that make taking the drive down worthwhile for the whole family. Spend the day at the country’s largest amusement park, Canada’s Wonderland, offering year-round fun in the summer, fall (Halloween Haunt) and early winter (WinterFest). Search for the best bargains at Vaughan Mills or devote an evening to dining in historic Kleinburg. Experience a little change of scenery close to home.
Eat: Villaggio Ristorante | Ay Caramba, Eh!
Drink: The Moose & Firken | The Burg Village Pub
Explore: Canada’s Wonderland | Reptillia Zoo | Eagle’s Nest Golf Club
Though an hour and a half away, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. From work to play, its diverse and bustling atmosphere is second only to its cosmopolitan charm. Our province’s capital offers world-class food, museums, concerts, shopping, sports and so much more. Hop onto the subway and visit the Bata Shoe Museum, get lost in Kensington Market, see your favourite band at Scotiabank Arena – the Sky Dome’s the limit when you’re in the 6ix. Oh, and when you watch The Raptors defend their NBA title, say hi to Drake for us.
Eat: Hemingway’s | Fran’s Restaurant and Bar
Drink: Duke of York | Bellwoods Brewery
Explore: The Dr. Seuss Experience | Centre Island | The Royal Ontario Museum
Inspired to explore Orillia’s big city neighbours? Have a favourite Ontario city? Tell us your travel stories on our Instagram and Facebook.
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