WORDS: ALYSSA TRUDEAU
Humans are creatures of habit, and it can be easy to get stuck in a familiar routine. With so much to do in Ontario, it’s a shame to miss out on new and exciting experiences just because they fall outside the realm of your usual haunts. Enter Culture Trek, a new program of travel itineraries produced by the Culture Days team. Inspired by the diverse variety of activities available to Ontarians during the Culture Days weekend, Culture Trek simplifies the planning required to get you, your friends and family out the door and exploring your province.
Ontario is naturally diverse and multicultural, home to residents from over 200 ethnic backgrounds who speak more than 200 different languages. The province boasts both thriving cosmopolitan cities, and quaint villages laden with history. The roar of Niagara Falls echoes loudly, while further north the gateways to woodland country offers quieter beauty. Throughout, there are vibrant sites of arts and culture. There are urban tech hubs, lands of festivals and performance, rural communities steeped in tradition, and burgeoning places where art and agriculture meet.
As a celebration of arts and culture, Culture Days is a fantastic way to learn about these hidden (or not so hidden!) gems that are just a one-tank trip away. Tapping in to the recommended travel routes suggested by the Culture Trek itineraries provides road-trippers with suggested stops including Culture Days sites, tourist attractions and great places to eat, sleep and relax. The Treks have been thoughtfully selected with input from local partners to reflect the unique arts and culture character of each area. Travellers can expect to find mainstays like well-known theatres and museums, as well as the work of local artists, collectives and community groups.
Culture Trek responds to independent survey results that show the high interest of Culture Days participants in travelling longer distances to experience Culture Days programs. In fact, Ontario residents appreciate “staycations” and taking overnight trips within their home province. According to Statistics Canada, 76% of overnight stays in Canada are Ontario residents travelling within Ontario.
In its inaugural year, Culture Trek has launched three itineraries in three very different regions of Ontario: St. Catharines, Durham Region and Muskoka. Spread across a diverse canvas of natural beauty, distinct landmarks and local hidden gems, each location boasts unique sights and attractions. The overnight St. Catharines trek presents unexpected intersections of arts and culture: the picturesque harbourfront village of Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario is juxtaposed with the vibrant contemporary murals found in downtown’s Graffiti Alley. Mixing quaint, heritage-laden rural towns and bustling, historical cities, the Durham Region trek highlights local art, music and food, enticing you to check out the Clarington Outdoor Art Festival and Manantler Craft Brewing Co., Bowmanville. Just two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka is widely famous for its beautiful cottage country. Many may not know, however, that the rugged Canadian Shield landscape and iconic wind swept pines provide a backdrop for an enviable arts and culture scene.
The 2018 Culture Days weekend is coming up, and we cannot wait to see which Trek you will choose!
Click here to see complete itinerary details.
Photos courtesy of City of St. Catharines, Town of Huntsville, and Regional Municipality of Durham.
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