Explore Road Trips Ontario – Owen Sound, Ontario

Give us a place to stand, Give us a place to grow, And call this land, Ontario”

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It is finally coming up to that time of year again!  Spring is almost here and it is time to start planning road trips again!

Naturally, I will start with my first road trip of the season, but first let me tell you a little bit about my beloved Province of Ontario.

Explore An Ontario Road Trip

Canada consists of 10 Provinces and 3 Territories, and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean  in the east, to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and the Artic Ocean in the north, with Ontario having the second largest land mass. Ontario also boasts having the largest population, with a population of 14.32 million people representing approximately 40 percent of Canada’s population.  The largest population resides in Ontario’s capital and the Country’s unofficial financial capital, of Toronto.   The next most highly populated areas are Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and the Niagara Region.  Ontario has an extremely diverse population and is known worldwide for its friendly and polite people.  You will get tired of hearing “thank you”.

Elora Gorge in Elora, Ontario offers some epic hiking trails and amazing views
Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario

Four of the five Great Lakes are located throughout Ontario, which provide many beaches and water sports for the beach lover.  In addition to our world class beaches, Ontario is also known for its many parks and forests, with Algonquin Park located in Northern Ontario being the most notable park.

Ontario is home to many hiking trails to explore
Outlook Along Highway

For the avid hiker, Ontario offers the Bruce Trail, which stretches over 890 km. (550 miles) from the Niagara River to Tobermory, as well as many more smaller trails throughout the Province.  And not to disappoint the wine lover, the Niagara Region offers over 88 vineyards, most of which offer tours and tastings at their facilities.  For a more intimate introduction into Ontario’s wine culture, I recommend visiting the up and coming wine region of Norfolk County (while you are in the area, I recommend stopping at Marshview Patio at Long Point Eco-Adventures).

Ontario boasts two popular tourist attractions which are known world-wide; the CN Tower which is 553.3 meters (1,815.30 feet) high and of course the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls. Both attractions are well worth a visit.

The best time to visit Ontario is between the months of May and September when the temperatures can reach as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).  If you are a winter lover and not afraid of a “little” cold, by all means visit during the Winter months of November to March, when temperatures can reach as low as – 30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit).  Yes, it does get cold, but trust me, we do not live in igloos as many people believe lol.

Now that you know a little bit about the Province of Ontario, are you ready to hit the road for the first road trip of the year?

Owen Sound | Road Trip Ontario 

From Kitchener, Ontario to Owen Sound, Ontario (293.6 km. Roundtrip)

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a road trip!  I find, road trips so relaxing and allows me ample time to reflect and plan my life and my next adventures. Most importantly, it provides me with the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and see the world’s surrounding beauty.  I am definitely not a city girl at heart.

exploring  street art is a fun thing to do when road tripping in Ontario
Building Mural, Durham, Ontario

Kitchener, Ontario

Population: 233,222

Distance from Toronto: 100 km (62 miles)

Kitchener is a city located in Southeastern Ontario, and is currently the place that I call home.  It was previously known as the Town of Berlin during the years 1854 to 1912, at which time its name was changed to the City of Berlin and remained the City of Berlin until 1916 It then became the City of Kitchener.  As you might have guessed, Kitchener was originally a settlement for German immigrants and still has a large German and Old Order Mennonite population to this day.

Why I Like the Road Trip to Owen Sound

I always choose this particular road trip as my first road trip of the season, so that I can visit my brother who lives in Owen SoundOwen Sound is located in the snowbelt along the shores of Georgian Bay, making it nearly impossible to make this trip during the winter months.  In fact, it is not uncommon for the highways leading into Owen Sound to be closed completely between November and March.

This particular road trip is perfect for those who do not like driving on the major highways.  The landscape is made up of rolling hills, farmland and rivers.  There are very few towns that you pass through, but those towns that you do go through are perfect for taking a break and exploring.

Map and directions from Kitchener to Elora, Ontario, the perfect road trip destination

Grab your Timmie’s and let’s hit the road! 

Elora, Ontario

Population:  7,756  

Distance from Toronto:  84.3 km. (52.38 miles)

The first town you come to when leaving Kitchener is Elora.  Elora is situated along the banks of the Grand River and the Irvine River, and is well known for its 19th century limestone architecture and the infamous Elora Gorge, making it the perfect place to stop to stretch your legs and explore its natural beauty and boutique style shops.

Hiking Elora Gorge in Elora, Ontario is an awesome way to spend the day. Adventure lovers should rent tubes and tube the river
Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario

To learn more about this fantastic little town, visit Discover Tourist Towns Ontario.

The rest of the journey will take you through small towns and hamlets, such as Durham, Mt. Forest, Minto and Palmerston.  Some of these villages are so small that they don’t even have population signs.  If the need to stretch your legs arises before reaching Owen Sound, then Durham is the place to do this.  It also has a Tim Horton’s to replenish your coffee.

Map and Directions from Elora to Owen Sound, Ontario on Georgian Bay

Owen Sound, Ontario

Population: 21,341

Distance from Toronto: 107.2 km (66.62 miles)

Owen Sound is located in the northern area of southwestern Ontario at the mouth of the Pottawatomi River and the Sydenham River, on an inlet along the shores of Georgian Bay.  Owen Sound is the largest city in this area of Ontario, and you are now in what Ontarians call cottage country. Owen Sound is in very close proximity to many Beach Towns Ontario and Tourist Towns Ontario which makes the Georgian Bay area of Ontario a destination that you might want to spend a few days exploring.

Owen Sound along the shores of Georgian Bay is an easy drive from Toronto and is the perfect road trip destination in Ontario
Building Mural, Owen Sound, Ontario

When visiting and exploring Owen Sound, make sure your take a stroll along the harbour.  If  visiting in the winter or spring, you may even see the Chi-Cheemaun (meaning “big canoe”), which is stored in the Owen Sound harbour during the winter months, before making its way back up to Tobermory for the summer. Tobermory is another Ontario destination that MUST be put on your list of places to visit when visiting Ontario. This is where you will catch the Chi-Cheemaun to visit Manitoulin Island.

the chi cheemaun docks in the Owen Sound harbour during the Winter
Chi-Cheemaun (the “big canoe”)

Owen Sound is also known for its many waterfalls, so make sure to save enough time to chase at least one of them (which I unfortunately did not on this trip).  If you plan on exploring the waterfalls and trails in Owen Sound, hiking boots or closed toe shoes are highly recommended, as the Georgian Bay area is known to be home to the Massasauga Rattler, Ontario’s only venomous snake.  A siting of one of these beauties is extremely rare, as they prefer to remain hidden and will only strike if they feel threatened.

Owen Sound offers fantastic hiking with many waterfalls and it is an easy drive for a road trip
Discover Waterfalls

You just have to make enough time to explore and go for a hike at one of the many waterfalls in Owen Sound

  • Indian Falls
  • Keefer Falls
  • Eugenia Falls
  • Inglis Falls
  • Jones Falls
  • Weaver’s Creek Falls
Chase waterfalls at along one of the many hiking trails in Owen Sound, Ontario
Map of Owen Sound Waterfalls

After spending 5 ½ hours on the road and visiting with my brother, it’s time to head back home.  Of course I couldn’t pass by Elora without making one more stop.  I love this little town!

Elora is the perfect Ontario road trip destination with unique boutique shops, good food, great hiking and magnificent architecture
Church in Elora, Ontario

Thank you for joining me on this road trip and I hope that you will have the opportunity to take this road trip on your own at some point in time.  I am always searching for different road trips in order to explore Ontario, so stay tuned for more Ontario road trips in different areas of the Province.

What is your favourite road trip?

I continue to explore all that Ontario has to offer and I promise that I will be adding more Ontario road trips shortly.


Kelly xoxo

Travel Solo Like a Pro!


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27 thoughts on “Explore Road Trips Ontario – Owen Sound, Ontario

  1. Kavita Favelle

    I loved the parts of Ontario I visited on an Ontario-Quebec trip last year. I’d love to see more, especially the natural beauty spots around the lakes. I also loved the fresh local produce available in farm shops all over!


    1. Just One Passport

      I agree. The local restaurants really try to use the produce available to them here at home. Canada is such a vast Country that it’s impossible to see it all. I was born here 58 years ago and I’m still exploring lol


  2. brennathreatt

    So fun! I’m going to be in Ontario tomorrow night! We’re heading from Michigan to Quebec City and staying in Toronto, so, unfortunately, not this trip, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve loved my time in Ontario before.


  3. Sharon

    Your photos of Ontario make me want to visit. I love the waterfalls, and the horses are lovely. I would definitely want to visit during the warmer months. 22 degrees below is way to cold for me!


  4. Michelle

    These all look so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I would love to visit Owen Sound and see some of those beautiful waterfalls.


  5. Webb of Learning

    I have been wanting to go to Canada. Not sure where, not now I think I need to put Ontario on the list.


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  7. Renata Green

    I’m a sucker for road trips. Although I haven’t been to Canada yet, I assume it’s the perfect country for road trips. However, since I’m not driving, I would do it by bus which is probably an even greater adventure. The spots you introduce would definitely be on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

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