Friday, May 06, 2016

The Best New and Undiscovered Festivals in Ontario

Festival season is around the corner and we have your go to list of the best new and upcoming festivals North of Toronto for 2016.   From the much beloved Butter Tart to the treasured kayak, there are endless opportunities that will get you out discovering the best of Ontario's cottage country and beyond.

Ontario’s Best Buttertart Festival

June 11, 2016
Are you ready for the sweetest showdown of the year?  Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival and Contest is the province’s premier event celebrating everyone’s favourite ooey-gooey pastry—the butter tart! 
Learn more

See more at Midland Tourism | Downtown Midland

Salsa at Blue

Blue Mountains
June 17-19, 2016
Muy Caliente!   Latino fever hits Blue Mountain with the return of the much anticpated 8th annual Salsa at Blue Mountain.  A FREE family street party transforming the entire Village into a fiesta of fun with mucho music and dancing capped off with FIREWORKS! 
See more at Blue Mountain Village

Festival du loup

July 14-17, 2016
French Canadian Heritage and Cultural Festival celebrating the roots and the "alive and well" French community. It is a family event with music blending professionals and locals. A taste of the past and present through music, exhibits, arts, food and laughter! The theme of the Festival originates from the legend of the wolf of Lafontaine.

Summer in the Park Festival

North Bay
July 29-31, 2016
Civic long weekend is going to rock with headliners Hedley, Tim Hicks, and Cory Marquardt.  Plus more artists to be added soon.  
Learn more

Steampunk Festival
August 6, 2016
Steampunk Festival Theme:Circus Sideshow. Vintage Car Show on August 4.  Artists Flea Market on August 5. Heritage Performers, Artisan market, Costume Contest and more August 6.
Learn more

Blue Mountain VillageAugust 6-7, 2016Celebrating families with entertainment to delight all ages including Mega Magic Show, Isabella Hoops, The Tom Show, Hands on Exotic animals, The Balloon Tree theatrical performance, Groove Dancing, guided family hikes and live music by The Next Generation Leahy.
Learn more

See more at Blue Mountain Village

Get Outdoors Festival

Wye Marsh, Midland
August 6 & 7, 2016
Explore one of Ontario’s largest wetlands by foot, boat or bike. There are over 25km of forested trails, floating boardwalks and canoe channels that let you escape into the Marsh. Experience hummingbird banding and monarch tagging demonstrations. See birds of prey soar and learn how to i.d. turtles and snakes in a live demo.
Learn more

Rama First Nation Pow Wow

August 20-21, 2016
The 30th annual Rama First Nation Pow Wow!  Competition powwow featuring some of Turtle Island\’s best singers and dancers.  Dozens of food, arts, craft, and educational vendors onsite.
Learn more

See more at Ontario's Lake Country

The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival

August 26-28, 2016
A showcase of kayak & stand up paddleboard challenges, seminars & workshops, arts & culture exhibitors & vendors, live performing arts which include free admission to live concerts both Friday & Saturday night, an interactive  Aboriginal village, fireworks, and children’s activities.
Learn more

Discovery Harbour, Penetanguishene
October 1-2, 6-9, 13-16, 20-23 & 27-30, 2016
On a cold rainy night in October of 1815, a ship from ports far away glided effortlessly into the Penetanguishene Naval Establishment blown by an eerie wind from the East. Little did the people of Penetanguishene know but this ship was bringing with it a curse that would haunt these lands… forever!
Learn more

First Light

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, Midland
November 24-26, December 1-3 & 8-10, 2016
“First Light” is a must-see event with a great line-up of family activities and performers, all amidst the spectacular glow of over 5,000 candles.
Learn more

Buckhorn Maplefest

MacLean Berry Farm, Buckhorn
March 18-19 & 25-26, 2017
At Maplefest, there are a tons of fun activities for the entire family. Whether it’s going for a wagon ride, eating pancakes with fresh maple syrup or seeing how the sweet stuff is made, there is something to do for everyone! Whatever it is you’re looking for this spring, McLean’s Maplefest is a great way for everyone to shake off a long winter and enjoy the celebration of springs arrival.
Learn more

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Best Ontario Earth Day Activities

Take a Hike

Check out the trails north of Toronto and explore on your own this Earth Day,

Discover the rugged beauty of Muskoka by foot
Hike lakeside in Ontario's Lake Country
Take in the view and vistas in Ontario's Highlands
Explore Midland in the Heart of Georgian Bay.  
Go beyond the Village at Blue Mountain 
Escape into the Ottawa Valley 
Experience the historic beauty of the Algonquin's Highlands
Find your favourite spot in the Haliburton Highlands 

Eat Local

Go local, support a farmer near you and reduce the environmental footprint of your food.

This Saturday April 23rd, the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers' Market and Orillia Farmers' Market have special Earth Day events happening!  Build a bird house, learn to grow your own food and more!

Explore the Outdoors

There really can't be a better way to celebrate Earth Day than by being immersed in nature. 

See some of Ontario's native reptiles and amphibians up close or take in a live birds of prey demonstration at Wye Marsh. Take a tour on the trails and hear the trumpet of the Trumpeter Swans. Starting this weekend you can explore the new exhibit - The Canoe: A Canadian Cultural Icon.  

Go on an authentic natural adventure at Scenic Caves and experience the view from their 420' suspension bridge or get rockin' at the gemstone mine.

Get Active

Get your adrenaline pumping this Earth Day by going on an extreme adventure high up in the canopy of the forest at Tree Top Trekking. Feel the rush as you fly like a bird on zip lines or balance like a squirrel from hammock nets, cable traverses, logs and wooden bridges.

Go hard or go home at Hardwood Ski & Bike, one of the best places north of Toronto for you to get your bike on this Earth Day.  Opening Saturday April 23rd, the trails will be waiting for you.

Art from Nature or Upcycled Items

Make your own art using what nature provides or what would normally get thrown out. Your imagination is the limit to what you can create! Or get inspired by a visit to the MacLaren Art Centre or get the whole family involved by taking part in a Family Art Workshop, held every Sunday.

Relax and Soak It In

Nothing says thank-you like a little bit of appreciation.  Take the day or weekend to appreciate the birds, the bees, the plants and the trees by surrounding yourself in the best of nature north of Toronto.  Whether on the lake, trails or hanging a line dockside there are plenty of places north of Toronto to celebrate Earth Day. Check out more Nature Adventures.

Earth Day is April 22.  For more Earth Day ideas visit

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Spring Time North of Toronto and North in Ontario

Seasonal transition times are not always an easy time to plan an activity. We recommend always calling or emailing to check conditions first and always pay close attention to the weather.

You can find the following spring fun day trip and getaway options on our website,

What is

400eleven is a website that promotes tourism based on heading north in Ontario. Whether you're looking to stay close to Toronto, check out the rugged beauty of true northern Ontario, or vear off a little to the east or west - the website has over 150 members promoting getaway offers, events, activities and other day trip or vacation option to consider. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

March Day Trips and Getaways in Ontario

Well? We made it. Almost. March is all about doing winter activities in spring-like weather!

What is happening in Ontario this March worth seeing and doing? LOTS!

A sure sign of spring to lift our long winter spirits. March Break is a spring tradition, and north of Toronto they are usually sunny with blues skies and warm enough to relax outdoors and enjoy winter activities one last time.

Maple and maple syrup activities are popular along with spring downhill skiing and snowboarding.

From day trip activities to getaways - you can find it all on our website,




Let's not forget about Easter too! Long weekend and spring breaks offer the best r&r for day trips or getaways to areas in Ontario north of Toronto.

On our website you'll find,





Be sure to also check out website out for great contest. The March contest is the Foodie Weekend Getaway to the Savour the Flavours Food and Drink show in Barrie.

To Enter visit

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Fall Pumpkin Patch Visit North of Toronto

Ever wonder where all those wonderful pumpkins come from that flood the markets and store in September and October? Most are grown here in Ontario, north of Toronto by friendly farmers.

Not only do farms north of Toronto supply Ontario with porch pumpkins but many offer pick your own pumpkin experiences and family fun farm visits.

Here are a few photos of a fun pumpkin visit north of Toronto.

This is just the beginning to a fun day trip. Farms may include other activities and the fall leaf colour displays along the way are sure to delight. Activities available offer both families, couples and single adventurers a great time. 

Visit our website for:

Happy Pumpkin Picking!

* all images copyright 400 Eleven Inc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Ontario Festivals in Fun Filled Cottage Country North of Toronto

From racing along a pristine northern Ontario lake to dancing under the stars to traditional French music, the region north of Toronto offers a rich cornucopia of things to see, do and even taste.

Things kick into a high and rather sweet, gooey gear on June 13 with Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival and Contest in Midland.

Amateur and professional bakers alike are expected to flock to the pretty Georgian Bay town to see if they can have their butter tarts declared the best in Ontario.

Besides the contest, the event features a full slate of activities to appeal to families.

Festival creator Barbara Rowlandson said she had worked for years perfecting her butter tart recipe and eventually started selling her creations in her downtown store.

photo credit: Shelby Mulligan

“Almost instantaneously, the tarts were a hit,” she recalled. “That first summer selling butter tarts, I watched an amazing thing happen in my shop. Complete strangers would linger, and have lengthy, and sometimes heated, discussions about what makes a good butter tart.” Rowlandson said that initial recognition of people’s passion for the pastry led to the eventual planning of the inaugural festival two years ago.

And history seems to be on the region’s side. According to organizers, the earliest published butter-tart recipe comes from Simcoe County with an entry in a Barrie hospital cookbook dated 1900.

Speaking of turn-of-the 20th century fun, the village of Coldwater hosts its Steampunk Festival on August 8 with a full-costumed meet and greet scheduled for the previous day.

Event chair Suzy Burtenshaw said the festival initially kicked off in 2011 with the seed being a local artist and the inspiration coming from a young “Steampunk” girl from Coldwater, who makes her own costumes.

“People like coming to the festival because it overlaps with the maker movement, which is growing in leaps and bounds as people return to loving the beauty of things made by hand” Burtenshaw said, noting the entire village is transported back in time throughout the weekend.

“With hundreds of fully-costumed festival goers, this visual alone creates a photographer’s dream, against the back drop of turn-of-the century buildings, vintage vehicles and amazing museums. Our festival is unique because the entire village gets involved.”

The initial offering has grown dramatically and now features high-quality, related offerings from a range of vendors and artisans along with food, music, headline entertainment and street performers. As well, visitors attend the festival from across southern Ontario and the northern U.S.

“We are listed on Steampunk Canada’s website which puts the call out to people who love dressing up and showcasing their elaborate Victorian and Edwardian-era costumes and characters.”

For those looking to delve into Canada’s other official language, Lafontaine hosts the Festival du Loup from July 16 to 19.

This year’s edition of the popular, family-friendly event will commemorate 400 years of francophone presence in Ontario with guests transported back in time to the 17th century.

The festival’s program includes French stories and music, local food, artisans, a “painted-wolf” art auction and the always popular howling contest. There’s traditional French music throughout the event, highlighted Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night with a performance by Bon D├ębarras and Coureurs des Bois.

A few weeks later, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre holds its Get Outdoors Festival.

The family-friendly festival, which features a special Get Hiking portion, runs August 8 and 9 and provides a chance for guests to explore one of Ontario's largest wetlands by foot, boat or bike.

The site features more than 25 kilometres of scenic forested trails, floating boardwalks and canoe channels that allows one to “escape” into the marsh. The event also gives visitors the chance to experience hummingbird-banding and Monarch-tagging demonstrations while also taking part of in an interactive workshop on birding, backcountry camping or shelter building.

There’s also the chance to see the facility’s birds of prey soar above and learn how to identify native Ontario turtles and snakes during a live animal show.

As well, the Chippewas of Rama First Nation hosts its 30th annual Powwow with a full slate of activities highlighting traditional activities. Running August 22 and 23, the event features world-class singing and dancing along with related displays and the chance to taste traditional foods while also checking out the wares of area arts and crafts vendors.

For foodies, the award-winning agri-culinary event Savour Simcoe takes place August 30 at the Simcoe County Museum. The eighth annual event changes every year with new farmer/chef pairings and new offerings for beverages from area craft breweries and wineries.

Further north in Timmins from August 28 to 30, plans for the seventh annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival are well underway, according to event co-chair Guy Lamarche.

“We’ve had paddlers register from as far away as the U.K.,” Lamarche said, noting the event that’s listed as a Top 100 festival by Festival and Events Ontario regularly attracts visitors from across Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

“We challenge you to finish what you enter. The rewards are secondary.”

But besides the many water-based activities, the overall production has become much larger since its humble origins.

There’s now demonstrations and fun activities throughout the weekend along with a huge fireworks display that visitors have said would “rival Ottawa on Canada Day” and both local and well-known bands playing throughout, including this year’s headliners the Box and Platinum Box.

“It’s a community festival first,” Lamarche said, noting there’s no charge to attend with even parking provided free-of-charge.

“We have 13,000 to 15,000 people come to the park. At the end of the day, we’ve got a program that appears to every demographic and every level of paddler.”

Across the bay, Collingwood’s Blue Mountain Village boasts a number of family-friendly events.

From June 19 to 21, the seventh annual Salsa at Blue event offers a free family street party that transforms the village into a showcase of Latin life throughout the weekend with pulsating music, passionate dancing and live performances and demonstrations.

 A little later in the summer on August 8 and 9, the village celebrates families with live music, interactive activities, variety shows, guided family hikes and gondola rides during Famarama.

These or other festivals happening this season north of Toronto are an excellent activity to plan a day trip or getaway around. Pack a bag, start the car and enjoy Ontario road tripping.

Visit our website to find:

Summer Getaways

Attractions / Activities

More Events & Festivals

Visit our website and plan your perfect day trip or getaway north of Toronto, today!

Article written by: A Philips for